I mentioned I haven’t been writing serious posts on here because there’s only so much I can say on so many topics before I start getting repetitive, so, to break up my slew of endless reviews, I present this post on respectability.
It seems like PaganSquare (witchesandpagans.com) has become the place where a bunch of Big Name Pagans gather to write things that piss the rest of us off–not always, of course, and there are plenty of writers on there that I like, but for every post I like there are five that irritate me in some way.
The inspiration for this post comes from one by Kenny Klein about the intersection between fantasy and Paganism and folks that he feels take it….a little too far, and, you know, I think he raises some good points even if they are expressed in a condescending manner (and the sexist art on the page certainly doesn’t help).
What I definitely don’t appreciate is the way he manages to raise these points while simultaneously dumping on atheist Pagans, pop culture Pagans and otherkin, and I definitely think there are better ways that he could have presented his points without dumping on large (and growing) segments of the population. But you know, that’s not even my main sticking point with the article.
My main sticking point is the issue of respectability, as expressed in this quote:
“However, if a person purports to be a Pagan teacher or leader, if they keep a blog on Paganism, if they offer insights into their practices on social media sites, if they lead workshops at an event, then that person represents Paganism and its practice. This is where reality needs to be considered.This is when a person needs to present the commonly held beliefs of Paganism, at least, perhaps doing so before diverging into their less accepted beliefs (and watch out, that coven who arrests vampires is watching you!).”
Note that, according to Klein, anyone who blogs about Paganism (ie. who isn’t just a leader or teacher who blogs) is expected to be respectable in this way. In fact, he says as much in the quote preceding this one:
“What does this mean to us as Pagans? Well for one thing, if a person is a solitary practitioner, is not involved in a group where she/he represents Pagan practice to the group, is not in the public eye as a Pagan, does not blog, or comment on social media sites about their own practice of Paganism, then this is all irrelevant. Believe whatever you like. Believe that Wicca comes from the planet Wicky, or that you become a werewolf in ritual, speak like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins, whatever. It’s all cool.”
Basically, in order to be exempt from not being respectable, a person should not talk about their personal practice, at all, but the minute they step into the public eye, suddenly WE NEED TO ALL LOOK PRESENTABLE BECAUSE THE PUBLIC!
no I’m not but fuck that!
I refuse to be respectable.
I refuse to sit down and cross my legs at the knees because you don’t like the way I’m sitting. This is my blog, this is my space, and I will be as weird as I like. I will blog about pop culture and fandom and writing and Paganism on my blog, all at once, and I don’t need the approval of the public, or some Big Name Pagan on their high horse, or anyone else, because this is MY blog, where I do what I like, and what I like to do is write about books and video games and Vanatru.
Do I find it ironic that someone who makes a snide remark about “Pagan police” then proceeds to police other Pagans? Yes, yes I do.