Dianic, Dianics, Goddesses, Gods, Heathen, Heathenism, Pagan, Paganism, PantheaCon, Rants, Religion, religious rights, Rights, The Wild Hunt, Transsexuals, Walking the Hedge
So, once again PantheaCon rolled around. Once again, Z Budapest and her Dianics held a ritual. Unlike last time though, they declared that it was for natural born women only. Once again, we start into the fight that we never even finished from last year.
I’m a bit late finding out about this, since I’ve been busy and haven’t really hit into the Pagan News circles lately. So I was a bit curious as to why it seemed a bunch of people were bringing up the whole Dianics vs Transexuals thing again.
For those not in the know, at last years PantheaCon (giant pagan convention) the Dianic were scheduled to hold a ritual. So people show up, and find out that this ritual is only for women (something that wasn’t advertised.) and the Dianics were turning away anyone who wasn’t a “natural born woman.” While this included men, boys, and a couple others, the biggest fuss about the Dianics excluding was that of Tran-sexual Women i.e. women in the bodies of men (which made me wonder if it was acceptable to discriminate against everyone else that has a male attachment).
In case you’re not getting it, Dianics have issues with anything that has a penis.
So the Dianics, and Z Budapest got a lot of hate, and pressure, and were called intolerant bigots. Personally, I wondered if those doing the shouting at them were really any different, the Dianics have issues with penii (is that right? Latin is hard) and have their path openly as a place for women who have been the victims of men. And they have a lot of hate for the male gender (and if everyone what getting onto them for the fact that they hate all men, I wouldn’t have such an issue with all this ruckus).
But the fact is that everyone is making this solely about the rights of Transsexuals. Personally, I have no issue with transsexual people. They are as free to do as they please as anyone else, and to exist as they will like anyone else. That said, I don’t see them as any more or less special than the rest of us. They’re people. Do certain people have more rights than others? The general impression is that they do not, though I will admit that practice often goes against what is preached as people go out of their way not to show special favors to one group and end up giving special favors to another.
This Dianics vs Transsexuals thing is like this. Normally, if someone was going after the Dianics, I think the Pagan community would be howling about “how dare you attack these battered women.” Yet, because it is Transsexuals at the forefront of the issue, suddenly the women of the Dianic path should offer up their path and their beliefs to be sacrificed for comfort of another. I mean, if it was a bunch of men complaining about being excluded, I suspect they’d be told to shut up and let the women have their thing. But because this is a smaller minority, boom.
Frankly, I don’t agree with the Dianics. I don’t agree with what they believe. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have the right to believe it. I mean, I wouldn’t like it if someone started suddenly shouting that Asatruar have to completely change their path because some people find our views offensive (which, honestly, happens a lot. So I understand what the Dianics are going through to an extent).
To me, this is still an issue of rights. Do the religious rights of the Transsexuals override the rights of the Dianics? Frankly, I don’t know, but I don’t think they do. Because if they do, then the minority has the right rule the other minorities based on some sort of Caste system of “who is more persecuted.”
And I thought we were supposed to be tolerant of everyone?
I’m not picking sides here. Really, this isn’t my fight. So I like to think I’m an impartial observer. Now, the Dianics posted this years ritual was for Natural Born women. There were protests (doesn’t sound very tolerant or respectful to me) and I have to wonder if the PantheaCon people wouldn’t know this would happen. They could have just not had the Dianics have a ritual (which would have simplified things) though my suspicious mind think that maybe the Dianics were set up so that they could be “taught a lesson” as to what is “acceptable belief.”
And so we once again are in the giant shitstorm that we didn’t even finish last year. The only people benefiting from this are likely to be the PantheaCon people, because this gets their name out there constantly. It’s not helping the Transsexuals, because even if they are allowed into Dianic rituals now, they will forever be resented as a forced intrusion of beings with penii (which is really what the Dianics really had issues and hated to begin with!). It’s not helping the Dianics, because being attacked like this is only going to make them sink deeper into an “Us vs Them” mentality where they are persecuted because they are women. It certainly doesn’t help the larger Pagan community, because it sets a dangerous precedent of forcing people to change their beliefs to fit with what others believe, rather than allowing people to seek truth and belief where they will, which is one of the driving forces behind Paganism itself.
I wrote something about this last year on my former blog over at Blogger. The way I see it is the Dianics have a right to discriminate because religion is not an equal opportunity employer, nor should it be. However, that doesn’t mean that the Dianics aren’t being total knobs by making this such a bone of contention at a public function. But, their rituals are private and as far as I know, not PantheaCon scheduled events. But, this is why I just can never see myself attending any of these functions for the entirety of “paganism”. There is too much bickering.
Ashley Wells said:
UMMM how bout becasue trans women ARE NOT MEN?!!?!?! They are women, regardless of genital status???? So yeah I’d say discrimination especially since many trans women are victims of violence and sexual assault, abuse and rape at the hands of men themselves! Honestly I think penis=male, vag=female is a poor definition of gender, and vilanizing the penis isn’t helping anyone who has been through sexual abuse… So yeah it is an issue of discrimination and I don’t think trans women or cis women who don’t bleed (hysterectomy etc) should be excluded. That said, fuck the Dianics for being bigots and for having a dim vision of what a woman is.
Lucius Svartwulf said:
Okay…did I miss something? Not that I don’t appreciate the archive binge, but did PantheoCon happen again with the same thing? Because if it did…dear Gods and little fishes.
I’m not going to disagree with you that the penis = male, vag = female thing is a poor definition of gender. It probably is. But as far as the Dianics were/are concerned, a penis is bad. period. And that’s their business. No, it doesn’t help, but really, do you or I, or any of us, have the moral authority to stand in judgement of them? I don’t think so. I ain’t saying they’re right, that just it’s wrong to judge and force someone to change their views just because you don’t like.
After all, how would you feel if someone did it to you and your path?
Ashley Wells said:
Ummm they do it all the time to me and my path, every fucking day. Its called bigotry and hate. Its what I and every other transperson goes through every fucking day, and when we stand up for ourselves , we are told we are over reacting. We get spat on, beaten and killed every fucking day, merely for existing, and for being visible. And so some of us turn to our community for respect, understanding and acceptance, and this is how we are treated? Thats fucked up. Especially comming from a community claiming to be more enlightened than say, christians? Nope its just more of the same transphobic bullshit. Im not just talking about the Dianics here, but it goes way beyond them. Its that biggoted assumption that, in this case, it was a bunch of ‘men’ trying to infiltrate a woma’s circle, when its not… Its about women trying to enter womens space and being denied entrance because of discrimination. And then to have people say that we are asking for special privileges when we are merely asking for the same rights cisgendered people take for granted? Im sorry but I have no problems judging the Dianics here. They are the ones asking for extra privileges to deny other women entrance into women’s space.
Lucius Svartwulf said:
Okay, so I’m going to ask some questions to try and clarify some stuff so I don’t mis-speak.
It sounds like you’re saying the Dianics have come in and told you how to do your path. Now is this the case, or have they (in a general way) said “you can’t walk our path.”? Because that is a key difference.
Look, I am not exactly fond of the Dianics and what they believe. It’s a lot of Misandrist bs. But, and this is a big but, that doesn’t mean I have the right to go in there and tell them they can’t believe what they want. Lots of people make a big deal about tolerance, you yourself are demanding that the Dianics tolerate you as a transgender person and let you into their rituals, path, etc.
So you’re demanding tolerance, but not showing any.
Yes, transgender people have it hard. The women in the Dianic path have also, as a rule, had it hard. Everything you say you and yours go through, they say they and theirs go through. So in the end, you’ve got two groups who have been “made victims” and now the trans-community is/was going out in force to demand that the Dianics change their Entire Belief Structure, their very path, down to its core. They use words to try and explain how they feel, and while these words may seem rather…stupid and hateful…they are the words that mean what they need to, to the Dianics. That the message may be hateful, or garbled, may hinder our understanding of them. But it doesn’t change their situation.
Now, admittedly, I’ve been a bit out of the loop for a few months, but I don’t recall the Dianics going around (at least on a mass scale) telling Transgender pagans to go and change their paths. They just said “not in ours.” Which, is I suppose kind of a dick move, sure (pun not intended), but it’s not really infringing on your rights to practice Paganism.
Are they asking for special privileges? Maybe. But they had that privilege to begin with since they founded their path. All paths, at their founding, have the privilege to decide who they will and will not let in. Just as you, if you were to found a path, would be allowed to decide who did or didn’t get in. And don’t fool yourself, you wouldn’t let certain people into your path, for various reasons you consider valid, but that others might find prejudicial. Paganism is about finding your own path. What the transgender people are basically doing is coming in, and when not accepted, stomping around yelling “change your path for me.”
And that’s my issue. They had the privilege to determine their path. That’s their right. As it is your right to create your own path and rules. Now, you can feel that they are demanding you change your ways, but from what I’ve known of the situation they haven’t gone out doing that. If this has changed, please tell me, but otherwise…their path, their rules, even if it isn’t “fair” or “just.”
Ashley Wells said:
When I was specifically refering to when I was talking about my path wasn’t my religous path per say but the path I’m forced to walk every day as a trans person. The Dianics specifically didn’t do anythnig to me on a personal level. But unfortunately trans people are left to fight often without any allies, so any attack on trans rights affects all of us, and I think those who are able to respond without being triggered, should.
Honestly I don’t think we are going to see eye to eye on this. For I don’t think that a religion has a right to exclude people. That conflicts with the universal sense of freedom I have. Like for a very poor example, I don’t think that the KKK or Arian/white supremisist fuck heads should have the right to exclude non caucasians into thier organizations. Why a non caucasian person would want to join such an organization is beyond me, but I feel the rule of law superceeds any religious privileges in this case. Perhaps thats just my wierd perspective.
To further clarify my point I’m not talking about tolerance here, I’m talking about human and civil rights. I don’t want to be tolerated, but to be legally accepted as female (in my case). Even though I’m trans I don’t identify specifically as trans, its just the medical condition I have, I’m female, that’s it. I see too often, Cisgendered people offer trans space as some sort of solution, but that only works to a degree for people who ID as trans or gender queer or bi-gendered or gender fluid or one of the myriad of beautiful genders that do exist, and I think there should be space for them. But for trans women and men, who ID specifically as women or men, I do not believe there should be any discrimination to prevent them from going into respective female or male space. So for me its not a conflict of belief, its a group using cisgender privilege to reject reality and take away rights for other people. Which is what the Dianics are doing in this case. And like I said before I don’t know why a transwoman would want to associate themselves with Dianics, but if they do, if thats thier goddess, then they should be included in any female space that exists. Honestly I’m not that much for female and male space, but if its going to consist I think it legally should be about gender identity and not cisgender privilege. Does that make any sense???
To be fair I’m comming at this argument from a completely non religous argument, but then I’m not much for religion, I think religion corrupts faith, and I’m happy to be a solitary worshipper of Freija. I think ones actions and deeds are whats important, and I have an issue with the general lack of equality facing Transgendered people. Or rather the extreme lack of equality. You say that the Dianics have thier own problems they face as women… this is true for trans women too, we face the same problems that women face once we transition, plus the massive inequality that exists for trans people almost everywhere. Something that most cis people don’t face… Seriously though, how many cis groups (other than perhaps gays and lesbians in some areas) face a 40% murder/suicide rate. Thats how much the world hates trans peole. Its true that trans women don’t bleed or have cycles. We have plenty of other physical and mental trauma to make up for it. Though I will admit to a small degree of residual privilege, I think its mostly erased by the trauma caused by gender identity disorder, and from not actually mentally associating yourself with the gender that our society and culture coercively views us as. Trans women are women period, and should be treated as such. The same goes for Trans men.
Sorry I’m all over the place I know, but this is such a convoluted issue that is really complicated to explain and talk about without strong emotions to non trans people.
Ashley Wells said:
I think this article about michfest and female spirituality (which seems to be written by a female cisgendered pagan who supports transwomen inclusion in female space), is far more eloquent and to the point than I could perhaps write.
I want to say too, that I wasn’t intentionally comming to this blog to attack you or anything, I merely found this post somehow by googling Blot and wild hunt I think. I just wanted to know the common date for the great hunt to be celebrated so I could perform my Blot. It kind of took me by suprise and thus I was unhinged. I just want to make that clear.
Lucius Svartwulf said:
no no, you didn’t come across as personally attacking me. Believe me. you never came close.
You raised some interesting points about the trans community. But you also revealed some interesting things about yourself while you spoke as well. Empathy is a good skill for humans to have. That you desire the empathy of others, but when told of the situation of a similar group, but continued on where the group you belong to has all that and more is…fascinating. On an intellectual level, that is.
You say this is a matter of civil rights. But what is more important as a civil/human right. The right of a person to feel safe, accepted, and in a place where you can find healing. Or the right of another to be accepted where ever they wish to go? You seem to feel that the right of trans people to be accepted where ever they go succeeds another person’s rights to have a safe place where they can heal from the traumas of life.
It’s kind of like pulling a Kanye West, popping up in the middle of someone’s space and saying “Hey, look, ya’ll doing great and all that, and I understand you’re scared of men, but I’m a woman so ignore that thing you fear betwixt my legs, ’cause I’m like you and I got a right to be here, regardless of how you feel.”
You mentioned that trans people have no allies. I’d say the massive storm that popped up proves that wrong, but you know, whatever. But let’s look at what happened in this situation. The Trans community got a lot of allies, while the Dianics were reviled to a woman. Pagans as a rule never have allies, just like the trans people. Only where trans people have the realms of science to back them up, and numerous GLBT organizations willing to lend a hand…Pagans get laughed out of the room. So there’s a lot of room there for people here in the Pagan community to understand. That’s why so many came to the support of the trans people.
Not hardly, at least not for the Dianics. Hel, the closest thing they had to anyone supporting them was people like me who didn’t like them, but saw the implications of what would happen if the community starts trying to tell us how to practice our faith. You say religion corrupts faith, but what is more corrupting than an outside force telling you what you can and can’t believe because someone else doesn’t like what you believe? How is that any different than the Christians telling us we shouldn’t worship pagan gods because they don’t like it. Trans might not like being excluded, and I would a world where such didn’t happen. But is the best way to do that to come crashing into people’s sacred spaces and saying “no no no! That makes me feel excluded/bad/unhappy you have to stop!”
I mean, how would you feel if the Westborrough baptist people started demanding entrance into trans meetups and going off saying “you people need to stop because that makes me feel bad/unhappy/excluded!” And then, while you’re in shock, the GLBT community starts supporting them saying that they have the right to be in your meetings and telling you what you can and can’t believe about what defines a gender? Because, really, that’s kind of what happened here.
Ashley Wells said:
I’m afraid its a bit more complicated than that. People have a right to safe space. As a rule a baptist or anyone for that matter is welcome in most trans spaces, as long as they don’t cause a big commotion. That said those westborough fuckers have the legal right to protest lbgt funerals, so I’m not sure if they are the best point to use. I don’t actually want to change what the Dianics believe, its just that they can’t act on thier bigotry to discriminate and prevent trans women, who are legally women from entering women’s space. So yeah it is a civil rights issue. My problem is that you are still segregating trans and women. They are one in the same, its nothing like Kayne west entering women’s space. Its more like an Islamiic feminst wanting to be welcome in feminist space, despite the ridicule she might face. And some feminists, especially rad fems who have similar allignments to the Dianics, have really racist WASP views on what being a woman and what being a feminist means. They’ve constantly put down, and been traditionally non inclusive to feminist people of color. I’d say that’s the more relatable analogy. Taking the hypothetical Islamic Feminist, She has an identity as someone who pracitces Islam and as a woman who is a feminist. You couldn’t and shouldn’t say just create separate space “Islamic Feminist” space just for her, unless she herself decises to create that space. For one, she might be alone, and need the consolation of other women, for two there is always the need of dialoge and community for some people who need it. The same is true for trans people, we are trans, but that does not always fully define who are are. I for one am a woman first before I’m trans. No one has a right to know what genitals I have execpt my lovers and and my Doctor. If I were a Dianic, I would want to enter Dianic space. Thank Valfreija I’m not!!!!
I haven’t kept up on this story honestly because it is extremely triggering for me. And when triggering means becoming suicidal or wanting to mutilate my body, then I try to stay away until I’m strong enough to look again. I’m EXTREMELY happy to hear that the Pagan community has stepped up and done the right thing. That gives me hope for that community. See the whole thing is that the Dianics aren’t being ridiculed for thier faith, they are being ridiculed for being ignorant and refusing to face reality. It is medical and scientific fact that trans women are female and trans men are male. The american medical association and world summits of doctors and psychologists have declared this fact, something that trans people have known all along. Gender is more complicated than using an outdated Patriarical method of using genitalia to label things Male and Female. Its ironic that the Dianics who are anti patriarical rely on a solely patriarical outdated scientific method to determine who is female for them. So I don’t really see this as an infrigment on thier right to “safe space”. Let me ask you this, if there was a strong Arian/White Supremacist Heathen presance at the con that they wouldn’t be reviled to a man???? Would that be wrong to prohibit them from creating white only space??? I don’t think so. Same deal here. The Dianics were denying other women thier identiy and humanity, so they were denying those women thier civil rights. Thats how I see it at least.
Pingback: Meanwhile, in the Hall of Justice!!!!! | Son of Hel
er… in latim it’s phallus.