I have two links I’d like to share relating to potential privilege problems within paganism–whether Wiccanate or not is another matter altogether…
First, one that is from the Sci-Fi community, by Jim C. Hines, and echoed in some of the statements in the Pagans and Privilege panel at PantheaCon, relating to harm and its recognition rather than its reductionism and erasure. It isn’t that people “choose to be offended,” it’s that some people are actually being offensive, whether they realize it or not.
Second, Gus DiZerega has some thoughts on the future of paganism at his Patheos.com Pagan Channel blog, in which he mentions a few matters of privilege, and that he’ll speak about them more soon. I look forward to that, but I am also a bit troubled by some of what he’s written in that post, about certain traditions being majorities more or less because they’re “what sells.”
Whenever someone suggests that “the free market [economically or with ideas] decides” in a quasi-social Darwinist fashion, I tend to be pretty suspicious, as that’s the argument of the privileged almost without exception. If that argument really were sound, then we should all just stop deluding ourselves and join either Christianity or Islam, since those are the most popular religions and have the most money behind them…and yet, there’s value in doing whatever form of modern paganism a person might choose.
That some of them now have publishers and other institutional matters backing them up and supporting them isn’t necessarily a testament to their “fitness” or their “rightness,” any more than institutionalized racism is a testament to the superiority of white people.
There’s lots more that could be said on these matters, but I’ll leave it there for now.