Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Chiming in on "Gender Essentialism"

This short blog is in response to today’s blog post over at the Bishop in the Grove. Teo Bishop asked for people to sound off with their perspective, so I did. As most of the comments in his blog were not from Traditionalists, I thought it prudent to give the views of at least one Traditionalist.

Here is the question he posed, “I wonder how my Wiccan friends might respond to the idea that the Lord and Lady gave us our form, or that a trans person transitioning is the greatest insult to them.”

Let’s not confuse polarity, sex, and gender. They are not the same as taught within Traditional Wicca. Yes, our praxis expresses the duality of two Deities along the lines of the sexes; however, the core of the matter is the mystery of the creation of life derives from sex. The deep reality and focus of this schema within Wicca is the recognition of the relationship between ‘I’ and divinity as the ‘Other’ unto which the individual seeks to cast off the illusion of separation from and sit in the place of unity with. The manifestation of the Gods, our relationships, or us as individuals is not limited by Wicca lore; but instead each acts to inform the lore of the Wicca. The myriad of gender-sex combinations and the mysteries therein are each their own expansion upon the mysteries of the relationship between “I” and the “Other,” and the relationship that exists between one and the divine.

This is me speaking from a heterosexual perspective, so I invite my various LBGT Wicca friends to chime in with their own thoughts in regards to this. In my time practicing the Craft I have known two Initiates that have transitioned or are in the process of transitioning. They are not insults to our Lady and our Lord but are manifestations of them in all their glory and a credit to the Craft.

Boidh se!

-Spanish Moss

"Lost in a thicket bare-footed upon a thorned path."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree that gender and sex are different things. As a result sometimes things can get tricky with Paganism.

For example, women's/men's only space. If the purpose of the space is to talk about general issues of that gender then anyone who thinks of themselves as the given gender has a place and something to say. A woman who is trans has plenty to say about being a woman. But what if the space is specific, like they are talking to a women who is about to give birth about giving birth. I have never had a baby, so I would be ok with being excluded, but I know that hurts some people's feelings. Same thing if I was doing a ritual about menstruation, I don't see what a person who has never menstrated can bring to this.

There are lots of type of creation and ritual other than baby making/ sexual creation. In those cases gender and self-identification should be how we choose our roles. But sometimes biological reality can't be denied.

That is hard for me to say, because I am very pro-trans. And I want to be as gender friendly as possible. But the logical part of me can't deny the biological realities. There are some experiences that a trans person never has that I do and vice versa. I understand the need for trans only spaces too, because they are things they experience that I never will too.