Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Emancipate Pantheacon Proclamation

If you're up to date on your Pagan social media buzz then you've learned of the controversy surrounding this year's PantheaCon.  Front and center, [and out-shadowing all of the wonderful happenings at one of the largest yearly gatherings for Pagans], was a conflict regarding gender exclusions in rituals.  To break it all down into a simplified one-liner:  if you were born with a "boy toy", you were not allowed to participate in a particular event. 

Z. Budapest, founder of the Dianic Tradition of Wicca, organized a ritual for women at PantheaCon and, for the second year in a row, chose to exclude women who were not born female. What makes this controversy even more upsetting [and, if you ask me, as tacky as Uncle Al's apricot leisure suit] is the theme of 2012's event:  "Unity in Diversity".  Ha!  Truly!  You're trying to argue for exclusions at a gathering to promote unity?!?!  This oxymoron is about as easily pegged as Jumbo Shrimp!

In a country that has seen waves of injustice followed by campaigns and outcries for equality, how can some from a community that prides itself on its diversity and acceptance, feel it appropriate to still claim "your kind ain't allowed."  What is this, pre-Civil War America?  Not last I checked!

What is a Pagan if not Peace and Acceptance
To be completely frank, I think the entire debacle stems from Z. Budapest's severe hatred toward men.  Just take a quick peak at her most recent blog post, Nobody Loves Women.  I believe her to be so consumed by her disgust with the male species that she can't find it in herself to embrace anyone from the transgender community.  Even her followers were quick to notice how extreme it is to claim hatred against women when you yourself hold such a strong distaste for men.  One reader commented, "Wow... you do realize that this post is just as phobic against men as you claim men are against women. This is nothing more that tossing more fuel onto the fire."

Many of the posts from the Pagan community were filled with outrage and hurt when they learned that such an intolerance would be permitted, for a second year, at a gathering that is supposed to represent a coming together.  E. Pluribus Unum and all that jazz, no?!  Instead we saw "Unity in Diversity... except for you."  Not very catchy.

Mrs. B of Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, a favorite e-spot for many Pagans, had this to say in response to the PantheaCon controversy:
"I've heard various arguments to defend both Budapest's actions and the organizers of the event's action in allowing it to go on for another year.  "It's always been that way, why should it change?"  Really?  If that was a real argument, nothing would ever change or improve.  Pagans wouldn't be allowed to have their symbol on military graves, women wouldn't have the right to vote, and people of different races couldn't legally marry. ... The time when it was okay to exclude people based on their gender, physical sex organs, or sexual orientation is over." 

I have to agree with Mrs. B.  

All tackiness jokes aside, this issues boils down to the rights that we all have as human beings.  This is not about what is between our legs.  It's about what is in our hearts.  Shame on those who speak out otherwise in the name of Paganism.  You embarrass us all. What is a Pagan if not peace and acceptance?

I look forward to being available to attend the 2013 event and will hope to see that these exclusions are no longer invited.  PantheaCon 2013:  COMPLETE Unity in Diversity... or bust!    

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