A while back, I posted about gender inclusivity in rituals and generally speaking, and how actually relatively easy it is to go from being gender-binary in one’s focus to being inclusive of gender diversity. The folks at Polytheism Without Borders liked it enough to have it as a post on their blog, and I’m happy to have contributed it to their efforts there.
This is a variety of work that I’m involved with not just because it is a good, important, and just thing to do, it’s very specifically because I have devotions to the Tetrad++, and to do less would be to offend them and toss all of their blessings in my life into the mud, which I am absolutely loathe to do, needless to say…
However, it appears that some pagans elsewhere consider this to be “PC” run rampant, and they don’t want to comply with it or allow it–no doubt because they actually don’t take the existence of other-than-male-or-female persons seriously, and certainly don’t respect them.
I understand that there are many allies of full gender inclusivity and there are people who fully acknowledge that such non-binary diversity exists, but they might not have made the shift in all aspects of their language to reflect that viewpoint. Mistakes and omissions happen, and I don’t hold these against them; but, when such mistakes occur, they do need to be corrected, and most people who are of the viewpoint that other genders exist and should be accepted are happy to do so.
But as I said, it appears that some who praise respect as a polytheist value but don’t want to actually extend it to everyone don’t agree. Someone called Tannim Wolfkin, in a comment on a recent post by Galina Krasskova, wrote the following:
First off let me say that this is one of the better posts on Polytheist values that I have read recently. Values 3 4 and 5 are clearly lacking in most of the community and not really being taught regardless of what religion we are talking about. I would add respect (both for others and ones self), curtsey, compassion, the search for knowledge, both internally and externally and last but not least the development of being truly secure about who and what you are.
Might I just add that there are those of us who read your posts who know that when you use words like man, woman, male female you are most definitely not being ignorant of the gender spectrum. While I fully understand being inclusive must we always and in every post include EVERY gender and sexual variation? Honestly when will people grow up and understand that the use of words like male and female are NOT a personal slight against them, they are commonly accepted terms for gender. Again I fully support inclusion (within reason) regardless of the type. What I don’t support is the rampant and rabid disease referred to as PC.
There’s a much more rampant and rabid disease that I’m worried about, i.e. transphobia, gender-diversity-phobia, homophobia, and so forth, and that particular group of diseases does result in actual deaths, as well as untold incidents of harassment, abuse, and other such things that are far more destructive than asking people in a polite manner, who already agree on the importance of these matters, to change their linguistic usages. To argue otherwise is to very definitely be outside of what is factually undeniable; and what motive would lead one to argue otherwise is entirely beyond me, unless it is an actual resentment toward the acknowledged existence of other-than-male-or-female genders.
I think most modern pagans and polytheists (the latter of which, I think, implies pluralism and the notion that diversity always tends towards “more” rather than “less”) would consider themselves to be more advanced, inclusive, and pluralistic than many of the conventions in mainstream society are at present. Well, in this particular category, polytheists worthy of the name are going to have to either get with the program, or realize that there are community colleges that are doing a better job of recognizing gender and sexual orientation diversities than they are, and I’m happy to be affiliated with one that is doing so, as will be the case for all Washington state community colleges in the immediate future. Have a look at this page, and what it says in terms of the options it gives for gender and sexual orientation–which, I’d note, is more diverse in the options it gives than both the Human Rights Campaign, the Right to Marry campaign, and a variety of other supposedly LGBTQ-affirmative national organizations.
And here’s a video that they produced as well.
So, I’d invite anyone who thinks that shifting one’s linguistic usage to be more inclusive of gender-diversity as being part of the “disease” known as “PC” to not only reconsider their opinion, and to realize that they’re less-inclusive than community college admission forms in some parts of the country at present, but to also ask themselves if they may be infected with a more serious and dangerous disease, and one that is incredibly easy to have cured.