Posts tagged ‘wiccanate privilege’

Are We Misusing the Term Privilege?

I decided to let some more time pass for emotions to cool down before I posted this. Another blogger, Jackal & Crescent linked to my earlier post on “Wiccanate” privilege, and I thought this person gave a valid critique of the possible misuse of the term privilege– he suggested “Wiccan bias” might be a better term, and that the word privilege should be used for more widespread systemic oppression such as race, class, gender etc. Now this concept was brought up by individuals that do have personal experiences with other forms of oppression, and they were bringing that perspective in mind.

I have also seen some thoughtful critiques of the use of “privilege” in general- here’s one from a disability studies blog.

Not every form of social advantage is a “privilege” in the sense of white/non-disabled/cisgendered/class/male privilege (I’m sure I’m forgetting other isms) I found a great Tumblr whose entire purpose is collecting iffy privilege lists. They are listing real advantages that some people have over others, that are in fact unfair, but it is ridiculous for the most part to equate them as being on the same level as other isms. Also note the lack of intersectionality in some of them- for example most of the items on the “monosexual” checklist (And I’m a politically aware bisexual, so yes, I’d already heard of “monosexism”.)

Privilege is Not Hierarchical and Mock Privilege Exists by Toni D’Orsay

Excellent essay by Ms. D’Orsay discusses the false idea of hierarchies of oppression, and the idea (new to me, but familiar) of mock privilege. A relevant example of this for Pagans would be the assumption of that many of us are Christian (or agnostic/secular), an assumption that we find annoying but works to our advantage if we are (in general or situationally) in “the closet” about our religion.

Some questions about the culture of well, privilege that surrounds discussion of privilege.

Other inappropriate uses of “privilege”- this Youtube video about “Geek Privilege“- as a geek myself I very much agree that we should stop shaming/bullying other geeks for being less knowledgeable about our pet topics, and I am thankful to this fellow for putting the message out there, but privilege is not how I’d phrase it. (heck I’d say the same about various Pagans/Polytheists…)

Some atheists/agnostics are also using the concept of “Religious privilege“, Christian privilege (or even monotheist privilege) is definitely A Thing, but religious privilege assumes all religious people get social benefit cookies regardless of how marginalized their religion is. In fact, I think there are some contexts in which secularism is dominant, (though religious people as an entire group are rarely prosecuted)

Ruadhan J. McElroy: Perhaps I’ve been unclearWhat “Wiccanate” Actually Means, “Wiccanate” is the New “Cisgender

Finnchuill’s Mast: The Wiccanate Privilege

EmberVoices: Wiccanate Privilege & Spackle

“To be sure, privilege is a serious problem in the San Francisco Bay Area Pagan community, and at PantheaCon, but I really don’t feel the Wiccanate privilege is anything like the biggest problem to tackle except to the degree that it reflects groundings in other problems like classism, racism, sexism, cis- and hetero-normativity, etc.” Spot on, thanks, Ember!

Yvonne Aburrow: Wiccanate Privilege & Polytheist Wiccans

Macha NightMare: My Perspective on “Wiccanate Privilege”

Mistress of the Hearth: Wiccan Bias, Not Wiccanate Privilege

Reclaiming Warlock: My Take on Wiccanate Privilege

“As somebody who deals in privilege discourse, I think it’s a mistake to attach every power critique to a brand new “____ privilege” type label, and in this case in particular it’s important to recognize that being Wiccan is not itself a privileged state.  Wiccans hold a lot of power over the discourse within the Pagan community–something that needs to be controlled–but calling them “privileged” ignores that in the wider community Wicca is a minority faith and subject to all the bullshit that that entitles them.”- Jack

 

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June 24, 2014 at 11:53 pm 5 comments

Friendships Beyond Faiths

I attended Paganicon this weekend- a conference held by Twin Cities Pagan Pride– which is why this post is so late, but the experiences I had there inform the post.

I went to various workshops- which I’d be happy to further discuss, but my favorite part of Paganicon was having informal conversations with people, and making new friends and re-connecting with old ones- both local and from around the country (and Canada too) The interesting thing in retrospect, is that I don’t think I had any in-depth discussions with anyone who I would say really shared my tradition or spiritual focus. No, I’ll scratch that- I talked to several people briefly who shared a devotion to Brighid. All from different types of paganism.

I didn’t attend the workshop on Kemeticism, but still learned a lot about it from several people that I knew from the Cauldron Forum– about open statues, the misinterpretation of Set and the myth of Osiris and Isis by the Greeks and later Christians and modern Pagans. I learned about the Kami of Misfortune from a Shintoist. I witnessed a procession and installation of a golden calf idol of Ba’al.

I reconnected with old friends and acquaintances from the Wiccan Church of Minnesota (thanks to Neva & John for the rides!)  and Standing Stones Coven, and various other pagans I’ve known a long time from hanging out in the community. I hadn’t seen many of them for a long time- I mentioned to some of them that I’d fallen away from spiritual practice and was trying to re-connect and find my place. No one really seemed to judge me for that.

And all the online fighting about “Wiccanate privilege” and what “real” polytheism is, and all that jazz just seemed so stupid.  I’ve had my problems with pagans. But funny thing- most of the pagans I’ve had problems with- weren’t Wiccan. They were recons or polytheists or Druids of some kind. (Though I’m sure if I had been more involved with the Wiccan groups, I would’ve had other problems.)

Twin Cities Pagan Pride, for the most part does a pretty good job of including a variety of paganisms. Do their events still to tend to have more Wiccans and Wicca-based programming?  Somewhat, yes, but that’s based on numbers of people who show up and get involved. Yes, some of us are busy with building our religions, devotions to our gods and so forth. That’s fine. Some of us don’t feel we have much in common with other pagans, and don’t feel the need to identify as pagan. That’s fine. Yes, some polytheists have experienced social exclusion (not the same thing as discrimination) at supposedly pan-Pagan events. So have various other groups (racial minorities, trans people, gay people, etc) We need to believe others when they make these claims- or at least give them the benefit of the doubt, and address things accordingly. We probably can’t do an opening ritual that will make everyone happy. (Maybe we just shouldn’t have one!) But we can be more inclusive.

March 17, 2014 at 4:23 am 2 comments


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