G is for Gaming, the Goddess and Feminism – A pagan blog post

G is for Gaming, the Goddess and Feminism.

 

 

I should start by saying I’m a 2nd wave feminist. I had a charter subscription to MS magazine when it debuted in 1972. It was the 2nd magazine I ever subscribed to. The first was National Wildlife. My grandmother was a 1st wave feminist. And after some of the things said this week to me I’m inclined to think no progress has been made at all.

 

One of the ways a lot of my friends came to the Goddess was gaming. A group of us from Girl Scout camp used to play D&D every Friday night at the Last Grenadier in Pasadena and when the game was over we spent the rest of the evening at the pinball arcade a few doors down.

 

When we were first playing D&D it readily became apparent that the shop keeper who was also the main Dungeon Master (DM) was going to have to start a separate game for women and those who at least were open to playing with us. When we played with the boys they spent most of the game trying to kill us and not play the game because girls can’t game. We were older than most of them and I have to say a lot smarter and usually made a lot of progress in the game because the boys were more interested in trying to get us out of the game. It didn’t help that we were all lesbians and dressing like them. Not only were we girls but we weren’t pretty available girls. And when we were even paying attention to them could slice and dice them with a few words. Something we had to do regularly aided and abetted by the DM who loved having people who thought of unusual ways out of problems beside beating something to death.

 

We finally gave it up as a bad deal and let Kathy be our DM because we got tired of the constant of trying not to be stabbed by a party member just for being female. But there was a lot more to it. We got tired of trying to find female figures to paint and play that didn’t look like one of those boys wet dreams. Most of the lead figures at the time were something out of Hildebrand and none of could imagine going into battle in a brass bikini. I think one of the reasons a lot of us played elves were the figures were fairly androgynous and could be painted to look more like us. Good luck finding a human that wasn’t naked. I once played a female dwarf that was so totally ugly that I had to name her Butt Ugly. She looked like a feminized fireplug. The male dwarf figures didn’t look like that. And by the way, one night she saved our part of the party because when one of the boys cast a sleep spell so he could kill us in our sleep she was impervious to the spell because she was a dwarf as he found out to his detriment, aided and abetted by a pissed off DM.

 

From the article I just posted digital gaming hasn’t changed much since we were physically playing in the late 70’s and early 80’s. This was the group that lead to me discovering Z Budapest, thanks again to Kathy and the things she brought home from working at Page One women’s bookstore. So gaming led me to the Goddess along with Marion Zimmer Bradley and the Darkover novels that we were also reading at the time. We wanted nothing more than to live in Thendara House and be Renunciates. We were lesbian Girl Scouts and feminists and doing our best to grow young strong women to follow us.

 

But after this week and some of the comments I got I have to wonder if what we did made any difference all. Several comments said that veiling wasn’t anti-feminist but I still think it is. The societies that promote head covering are all with no exception patriarchal societies where women are stringently controlled. One women told be she did it to shield herself psychically from other’s energy. Well then she needs to learn better shielding techniques because that is what the problem is. We all have to learn to shield so we aren’t broadcasting ourselves and to protect and a piece of cloth isn’t doing that.

 

To be a witch practicing any kind of magic is to learn how to build wall and to build shields and to know how to take them down when in circle or at need. If you can’t do that you’ve had a piss poor teacher and need more practice. If you are doing it to hide yourself you need to do some meditation on why you are hiding. When you hide you are stealing from the community. We need everyone and withdrawing is selfish and rather narcissistic. What are you trying to hide that is good the rest of us aren’t allowed to see it?

 

I’m not attacking anyone for doing it although I’m sure a lot of people will think I am but I do want you to list 10 reasons to do it and not just, “my Goddess told me too”, because my answer to that is the same one your mother  would have given you about jumping off the building. Do mothers still ask that?

 

If the 10 reasons are logical to you then it doesn’t matter what any old fart like me says. It only matters that you have clear reasons for yours and not someone else’s reasons.

 

 

So yes, I’m an old fart 2nd wave feminist who participated in Marches although the last one I did was in the March for Women’s Lives in 1986 in the pouring rain. http://www.feminist.org/research/chronicles/fc1986.html  Which was a companion to the DC march and 30,000 women came out in the thunderstorm to get soaked to the skin. It was the largest march in LA since the one in 1968. We marched wearing white and I still remember being with friends and strangers and singing as we marched. Passing a group of all male protesters to us waving bloody baby dolls and yelling with their toxic faces that we were going to hell, and we just laughed at how impotent they were in the face of some many like minded women and men.

 

And it comes back to 2013 and women are still in the midst of the rape culture and women are still living in fear and not taking up the space that the Goddess gave them to inhabit and sometimes I wonder why we bothered to march for ERA and for Roe v Wade if women haven’t seized their own space in the world and still seek to hide themselves away. Are we empowering women to be all that the Goddess meant them to be?

 

If you are going to go off half cocked and leave me moe nastiness which reflects on you more than me, read this: https://elfkat.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/a-followup-on-g-is-for-gaming-the-goddess-and-feminism/

21 thoughts on “G is for Gaming, the Goddess and Feminism – A pagan blog post

  1. Oh my Goddess… first just let me say “thank you, thank you, thank you.” You probably know why.

    Secondly, though, thank you for reminding me of Butt Ugly. I remember her! And I LMAO when I did!

    Thirdly, and probably most importantly, I want you to know that I agree with you 100%, and I hope that the people that are even now preparing their assault will read this next part of my comment:

    SAYING THAT YOU WANT TO DUMP SECOND WAVE FEMINISM BECAUSE IS IT OUTDATED IS THE SAME AS SAYING THAT YOU WANT TO GIVE UP YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE, because the right to vote comes from FIRST WAVE FEMINISM, and that is even more “OUTDATED” than we are.

    We are your mothers and grandmothers, and your so-called freedom that you now take for granded is DIRECTLY because women like me & Elfkat and Kathy and many, many others stood in the rain and had bags of urine thrown at us to stand up for YOUR rights.

    And, when you are then ready to piss on us all over again, which side does that put YOU on?

    Thank you, Elfkat. Again. you made my day. I sincerely hope that my rant just now doesn’t end up ruining yours.

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  2. Well for obvious reasons I cannot really comment, but I do see and maybe strange for a bloke, and understand your feelings towards this subject. But I feel that to get to the bottom of this question, we have to travel back thousands of years. How many cultures have accepted woman as equal or more important to men in the main histories of Humans?

    The biggest problem is that it is so ingrained within most (but not all) cultures and the human genes that even today a few voices shouting from the wilderness of society may attract a few like-minded, But for the most part, even the women you are trying to liberate are against you. 4-5000 years against 100-200 years, and most of the main State Religions and Faiths are still the same, so the population is still the same.

    But there is hope. Some women have the choice, but they were brought up to be lesser than what they could be, and accepting that position and passing the Dogma onward to their kids, but the more people shout, the more people listen, how many youngsters (up to 25 years old) that are fighting with you, and how many were there back in the 1970’s or 1930’s. Do not lose faith in the movement, it just takes time, and you need to break the Dogma of the main Faiths and Governments and Cultures before you will notice a major change in attitudes from both male and female.

    Your Government, same as mine could outlaw the use of the veil, but that would upset a lot of people, and rightly so, restricting the choice of the Woman. The Movement has achieved much over the years, do not lose hope, There is more time to do more, you may need to pass the baton on to the next generation and the next before major change happens. But nobody can undo what has been done by you few, you happy few, you band of Sisters.

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      • I am so sorry that I made you cry, I did not mean to do that, I was just trying to make the point of how far the movement has come, and yes there is a little way to go, but with time you will get there.
        Without the movement where would Oprah, Thatcher, or Clinton be? Still in the Kitchen.
        Again I am sorry I made you cry.
        Dave.

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  3. Oh, dear. I believe you need a history lesson in the Feminist Movement: namely who the Mothers of Feminism were. Read Mothers of Feminism: The Story of Quaker Women in America by Margaret H. Bacon and please pay special attention to what is perched a top Lucretia Mott’s head. To even suggest that this remarkable woman was some how “less of a feminist” than you are because she wore a kapp is galling.

    Not only are you aiding the painful “You are not Pagan enough because you don’t worship as I do”, but you have taken this hurtful stance a step further by saying “You are not woman enough because you don’t do as I do.” The point of the feminist movement is not to shame women or silence the voices of women who don’t look and act just like you, but give all women the freedom of choice.

    If a woman makes the choice to wear a scarf on her head, then that is no business of yours. It’s a shame and disgrace that you feel so superior as to cast judgement so harshly while denying a woman the right to choose for herself what is in her best interest. Tell me: how is this any better than a patriarchal society?

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    • Lucretia Mott wore a bonnet because that was what that group of women did not because she was in favour of veiling. I know about 1st wave feminists/ suffragettes because I lived with my grandmother who was one. One book does not tell the story of all suffragettes. I, as I said know about 2nd wave feminism because I lived it.

      I never said you weren’t pagan enough or that anyone wasn’t pagan enough and that is a pretty big leap and assumption from what I did say. You seem to take one witches opinion very seriously and it makes me wonder about you. I can tell certain things about you from the name of your blog. You use the word Domina. Rather a loaded word that indicates you think you are above the hoi polloi and that your opinion should matter more than mine or anyone elses. If you thought of your self as an ordinary pagan and not above people you would have used another word like mulier or Uxor, mater but not femina which had negative meanings in Roman times. If you viewed yourself as one who teaches you would have used Magistra. But you used the female equivalent of lord and master.

      Now if you actually read what I wrote you would know I wanted you to be able to say why, nothing more and nothing less. It’s what anyone should be able to do about any pagan practice. I suggest reading twice next time before you fire off an ill-advised pot shot.

      Blessings

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      • Darling, you know nothing about me. Domina is the female equvilant to the Dom: the heads of a household of a family or home. Nothing more, nothing less. But that is not the point.

        I happen to know a lot about “those ladies” and their beliefs and by your shoddy answer it is very obvious you don’t. Learn the topic before spouting off your babble. For your information, Friend Lucretia was a Plain Quaker who lived by the Simplicity Testimony. She believed in veiling as part of her Testimony. Friend Susan (B. Anthony) did not choose to veil. They made the choice then, and we continue to make the choice now.

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  4. I don’t continuously practice veiling all the time but when I do veil I do it for the following reasons (since you asked). I would like to note I don’t do full hijab but rather do more of the square scarf folded into a triangle and tied at the base of the neck. And although I don’t think anyone should feel a need to give reasons why they made the choice to do what they feel is best for them, it amuses me to do so, so in this case so I will.
    1. I think it is attractive (sure it is a purely aesthetic reason but that doesn’t make it any less valid of a reason). I like the fluttery colorful fabric as much as another woman may like sparkly headbands, or another to adorn her hair with ribbons, or wear cute hats.
    2. I like the femininity of it. While I do identify as a feminist, this doesn’t mean I have to chuck everything that is feminine out the window (just as I wouldn’t expect other feminists to reject bras…gods know that some of us feel more comfortable with them, or high heels). I am well aware of the history surrounding veiling, but is something I enjoy as much as long skirts and breezy blouses when I feel inclined to wear them. Considering I spend much of the work week in sturdy leather boots and pants with a uniform shirt, it is nice to indulge in things that make me feel pretty, and that I think look nice on me.
    3 It serves a practical function. As many women wear hats, I will often wear a veil to protect from the sun. I don’t care for hats. I generally find them unappealing on an aesthetic level, but also more often than not far less comfortable than my scarf. They are also easier to wash if it is a particularly hot day which causes you sweat. In reverse for colder weather they can help with heat loss. I rarely have felt a scarf to be inferior to a winter hat, especially as they do come in a variety of thicknesses and materials, and often stays in place better too.
    4. Also for practical functions, having very uncontrollable hair, it is very nice to use to keep my hair contained, especially in situations where it can get caught or snagged. In fact I find it far superior to a headband in keeping my hair out of my face
    5. It moves me to a different mindset when I veil during ritual. As many folks in the general neo-pagan community speak of having certain items which put them in the frame of mind to begin work or ritual, a simple piece of cloth works for me what a black robe may do for some witches I have known. In fact there are many times where I have worn very little aside from that bit of material. I wear a scarf in a color sacred to the god or goddess I am worshiping, or default to a standard white scarf. Among Orphics that I have worshiped with when I went to Hellas it was common to wear a bit of material or ribbon dyed in the color that is sacred to the god or goddess ruling the month during which worship is taking place. I find this more comfortable and more convenient to do with a scarf.
    6. Slightly related, I engage in belly dancing, some styles of which include a turban to be worn. This is especially true with American Tribal Belly Dancing which I am currently learning. Now religiously I use dance to honor my gods, especially those gods that I am devoted to; therefore, this also another reason for me to incorporate the use of a veil into my rituals. Even for more ecstatic dancing (that I usually engage in for Apollon and Artemis, though occassionally for Rhea and Dionysos) the removing of the veil during which I whip my hair about in my dance, is extremely meaningful…and without the veil present to begin with to be worn in a spiritual context, it looses some of its beautiful meaning to me.
    7.I *do* feel a calling to wear it religiously….but then I also have a calling to wear bells on my ankle and on my wrist and also to do spiritual tattooing too. These are consistent symbols that keep my gods continuously in my mind throughout the day. I typically wear white, orange or blue scarfs in honor of Apollon to adorn myself with his sacred colors, just as I wear bells in honor of Apollon because I feel sound issues from his domain. It also connects me in a fashion to my spiritual ancestors in the Hellenic religion, in Hinduism (which I also practice), and to my literal ancestors (I have a photo of not too distant Italian ancestors wearing scarfs over their hair. Unless I am doing a ritual for a particular god or in a very specific reference, as I said above I usually wear those colors on my scarf which are sacred to Apollon.
    8.To get back to another practical reason, it is very useful when you are having a really bad hair day. As in you didn’t have time to wash it the night before and need to go out and it looks like hell. I don’t know about some folks but I have really long hair, and naturally rather oily hair (which has its good points but also its bad). If I am having a bad hair day, neither putting it in a pony tail or twisted into a bun will save it. Yes it may be vanity, but on those days I would prefer a nice clean scarf that can be tied as simply or intricately as I like that will help me get through being out and about with my pride and ego in tact. I imagine back in the day when regular bathing wasn’t much of an option, women were perhaps a bit more glad to have something available to cover up with. As a scarf can also hold scents for a time as fabrics due, it is also nice to perfume a scarf and have that pleasant smell attached to it near your face. I enjoy it anyway 🙂
    9. I wear it for purpose of tradition for praying. I have had hindu friends inform me that women often cover their head during prayer, it was also common among Roman men and women (for the men with the edge of their toga and for women with the edge of their pala) to cover their heads in prayer. In Hellenismos it is a bit different, head-coverings were typically garlands of some kinds, whether of laurel, flowers etc. Living in Alaska I don’t often have such material on hand, and so prefer to default to hindu and roman covering practices for prayer, even if I am not engaging in a full ritual. This can be as simple as having a pashmina I keep with me that I can drape over my head and shoulders to pray briefly. Now in modern Hellenic rituals in Hellas you will find some women with something of the size of a pashmina wrapped around their shoulders, and draped over their heads in some video taped rituals. So I do it to honor the traditions in which I worship.
    10. Also on the spiritual bend, I have also been known to veil for no other reason than to honor goddesses who were likewise veiled. Not all goddesses wore veils, in fact few of them did. Likely it is a station thing going back to societal ideas of proper women, especially for upper class women. But this doesn’t seem quite as applicable with goddesses who were typically as powerful (or in some cases more so, such as Athena being quite apt at kicking the tail of Ares) as the gods. Therefore when you find goddesses such as Rhea, Hera, Demeter, Leto and Hestia being veiled, and even Artemis wearing a kind of turbanish hunting veil over her hair in one instance, well there are times when I feel to wear a veil in honor of one or more of these goddesses. Usually I do so for Leto, the mother of Apollon and Artemis. It is a kind of devotional activity. I choose to wear a veil, o goddess, in honor of your power, you who are obscure and powerful within it. It becomes a praise of divine femininity among these goddesses. And as I do practice bridal mysticism, it is also a respect to these goddesses who are themselves bridal and maternal goddesses. It thus also acts as a symbol, particularly when I am in public ritual that is meaningful for me on a personal level, akin to the meaning others find in their devotional jewelry they may wear.

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    • Thank you! That makes total sense. And that’s all I ever asked for. For any one to know whythey do any religious ritual. No matter what it is. Hell, I talk to my plants because they talk to me.

      And no matter what some people think I am listening. I’ve been amazed at the attack but if you don’t know why you’re doing it, you shouldn’t do it. Just know why for Pere’s sake. Thank you again for calm reasoning.

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  5. I feel this post is indicating as fact as few points that don’t reflect my reality (not my reality as veiling woman as I don’t veil but as a practicing witch of many -effective- years). I would like to try addressing them and to try explaining why I found the way you expressed them offensive without offending you in turn.

    ‘To be a witch practicing any kind of magic is to learn how to build wall and to build shields and to know how to take them down when in circle or at need. If you can’t do that you’ve had a piss poor teacher and need more practice. If you are doing it to hide yourself you need to do some meditation on why you are hiding. When you hide you are stealing from the community. We need everyone and withdrawing is selfish and rather narcissistic. What are you trying to hide that is good the rest of us aren’t allowed to see it?’

    No. Just … no. I am a solitary witch. Witchcraft in its essence is the capacity to use your will and skill to direct energy, in order to transform yourself and your reality. Hopefully for the better. To say those practices have value only in the context of community is to deny the experience of a rather large number of people. Furthermore, for me, to be told that hiding part of the self from the community is a narcisistic act is just … well, senseless and a diminishing of what witchcraft is about at the same time. On a similiar note, I find terribly disturbing the notion the individual power should be irreversibly tied to how a vaguely defined community can benefit from it. What i choose to give my chosen community is a *gift*, of course – I value it, but only because I choose to offer it. What I choose to keep for myself of myself is mine to withdraw by virtue of the same choice.
    By this line of reasoning, well … I think one can be equally ‘liberated’ by dressing modestly or scantly, until both choices come from a place inside that is free of shame or self-loathing.

    ‘One women told be she did it to shield herself psychically from other’s energy. Well then she needs to learn better shielding techniques because that is what the problem is. We all have to learn to shield so we aren’t broadcasting ourselves and to protect and a piece of cloth isn’t doing that. ‘

    Here I am forced to put on my mysticism-bound hat and say, there are truly initiatic practices that eventually result in pretty costant opening of your crown chakra and even an advanced witch or experienced shaman can find the strogest shielding sufficient. Similiarly, there are devotional paths were shielding at a level you shut everything psychic out all the time becomes uncomfortable, simply because it feels like losing part of your ‘normal’ senses. I understand this is not part of your experience, but is that really a reason to be so dismissive of other POVs? I will admit, there are times of the year where, for reasons above mentioned, it’s far more comfortable for me to use hats when I go out (and I already so love my impressive collection), as covering the crown chakra truly seems to shut out the distracting electrified feeling of that chakra being overstimulated far more that shielding does. And, my shields can be quite stony if necessity requires them to be . 😉

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    • Any witch doing it seriously whether they are in a group or not is a solitary and you still need to learn to shield or someone will find you curled up in a ball some where blithering to yourself. That’s about the time I get a phone call from someone wanting me to teach them shielding. I hate to tell you how many times that has happened. I’m sorry I offended you. All I asked in the post was for people to know why they do it and to be clear about it. I see so many who aren’t and it concerns me.

      Personally, I think one of the perquisites of cronehood it to say what concerns me. Your job is to be able to give a clear and concise answer. Nothing more and nothing less. It’s your part of the responsibility.

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      • I love you, but that wasn’t all you did. You also told all women who veil for shielding that they are showing incompetence by not doing it by other means, and that they are stealing from the community. That’s not an “ask,” that’s a “tell.”

        Again on the shielding – not only do I know how, it’s part of my specialty field of work. Yes, I’ve had to rescue the gibbering idiot in the wee hours of the morning. Do you know how much I *wish* it had occurred to me to have them throw a rag over their head until I got there? Just because you know how to prepare a seven-course meal from the ground up doesn’t mean there aren’t days you’d rather throw something in the microwave.

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      • Sorry, I just noticed a typo in my above comment. When I wrote ‘even an advanced witch or experienced shaman can find the strogest shielding sufficient’ I actually lost the ‘not’ that was supposed to fit between ‘ strogest shielding’ and ‘sufficient’. And yeah, I agreed that shielding is important, but I was trying to testimony that certain brands of mysticism (mysticism, not witchcraft per se) come along with the necessity/result of a broadened psychic opening and shielding can benefit from a physical support. Headcovering seems to help for some people for some psychological or not-psychocological reason … I often wondered if the use of that piece of circular cloth to be worn on the head of priests from Catholic religion and others, might have a similiar origin.

        ‘Personally, I think one of the perquisites of cronehood it to say what concerns me.’
        I would not dream of arguing against your right of saying what concerns you, crone or not crone. My intent in commenting was not to be polemic , but to be informative on my point of view and my piece of experience, clearly and concisely, especially as we come from two different types of paths as that is something I view as my responsability.

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  6. “When you hide you are stealing from the community.”

    Oh, Elfkat. *Elfkat.*

    This is *your* argument? I was coming over here to jump down your throat, and now I have to be tactful.

    One: “Well, they ought to learn shielding.” As you may remember, I did. I’ve taught it. I also use a veil to shield, because as my health and my energy configurations change, different things become useful. When I developed insomnia I was also told I “ought to” use melatonin instead of conventional meds. Well, melatonin completely did not work and conventional meds did. Do I have some kind of moral obligation to let the community choose how I shield?

    But what really surprised and horrified me was “when you hide you are stealing from the community.” Do you know how far from a feminist sentiment I find that? I will tell you. The exact same logic can be used to tell me I’m obligated to walk around in sexually accessible clothing. I shouldn’t be selfish with my sexuality! It’s for everyone to enjoy! I shouldn’t get mad when people touch me without permission, because I *belong to the community.* That is just exactly rape culture thought process.

    But I don’t belong to the community. I belong to me. My body belongs to me, my sexuality belongs to me, my reproductive capacities belong to me and to no one else. My *hair* belongs to me. And it has nothing to do with whether I contribute to the community – which I may still do in the way that I see fit, in my own time, on my own terms. That is my feminism, the one that lets me be the one who decides who I am and acknowledges that I am a person who belongs to myself.

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  7. I think those of us who veil for spiritual practice DO know what we’re doing and WHY we do it..
    So please cut us some slack ok?
    We do this by choice … and we listen with our spirit and our connection to our Deities.. its not a whim I can assure you..

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  8. Since when is my body and how I choose to handle it a ” community” thing? The last time I looked my body was mine to so what I will.. not my “community” nor will every be..
    That’s kind of statement should like the same old bs women have been putting up with for a very long time..
    Same song just a different singer…
    Each one of use lives by what we feel is right … you don’t feel covering is right for you fine.. no big deal… we find connection when we do… it means something to us… and that alone should be enough …

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  9. Why do we have to give answers to you about why we do it? Do we hound you that you should veil or you’re doing it wrong, or tell you that we need 10 reasons why your head remains uncovered? Gods and Goddesses forbid we might decide that, given agency over our own body, we have the right to decide what we can and cannot cover!

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  10. dang should proof read…. but ya’ll get where I’m coming from
    Of all things to make a big deal about is why Pagan women decide to head cover…
    For one thing ..its none of your business plain and simple…
    I don’t come in and tell you your way is wrong..
    And the whole shielding thing… why is it wrong for someone to use her veil as a TOOL to help shield?
    Have you not used “tool’s” in your practice… Talismans? Stones to help ward? Why would a piece of cloth on someone’s head be any different from any other tool?
    Why should it even matter to you ?
    We’ve got enough wolves at our doors… we don’t need tear each other down just because one person doesn’t understand another’s way of doing things…
    Didn’t we leave that type a thing behind?

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  11. You claim that a woman “hides” when she chooses what parts of her own body to show to whom – in this case taking the form of a veil. How is it any skin off your (or anyone else’s) nose if a person chooses of her (or his) own volition to put a piece of cloth on their own body? Would you have us all wander around naked so as not to “steal from the community”? For all that you claim to be concerned about rape culture, it is exactly this thinking of a woman’s (or man’s) body as communal property that contributes to rapists getting away with it – because the assumption then is that the assaulted one doesn’t have a right to say no to what happens to that communal property. My body is NOT community property, and I’ll cover or show it as *I* choose.

    You also mention that you don’t think it’s valid to cover because of a request from one’s Divine Spirit(s). Why the heck not? Have you never been asked to do something by a lover, friend, or family member for which you cared? Have you never decided to do them the favor just out of respect and love for them? Why would it be so unthinkable then, to do the same for one’s Deity? I don’t feel the need to justify ten reasons (or even one) to a blogger whose tone (at least in the original post) is holier-than-thou about people who have different reasons for making different choices – which seems rather anti-feminist to me. I cover when I want to do so, don’t cover when I don’t wish to do so, and have “seized (my) own space in the world” regardless of how much cloth adorns my body. I’d rather have hoped someone claiming feminism would have been able to not pigeon-hole other women as such.

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  12. i take great exception to the idea that my body is a common property, madam. we’ll put the feminism argument on the table and i’ll only address this one matter, because it is the most offensive of all aspects of your post. controlling how much access others have to my body is my right as a human being. let’s put gender aside for a moment and consider, do we not have the right as human beings to self-determination? do we not have the right, as human beings, to control who has access to out bodies and what type of access there is? to imply that by veiling i am stealing from the community, which is exactly what you are suggesting, is to imply that my body is common property.

    as common property, i have as much value as the road. as such, abuses of my person ranging from verbal harassment to sexual assault to murder are no longer crimes against a person. to say that i am common property dehumanizes me and turns any of such activities in to a mere act of irresponsibility and a civil matter, when they are actually crimes. murder of a woman is a far more egregious offense then the destruction of a tree upon the common thoroughfare or in the public park. i adamantly reject the concept that i am common property. i will not be chattel for anyone under any circumstance and i am most offended by your paltry efforts to treat me as such by insisting that i am stealing from the community by way of veiling myself.

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  13. Being Male I’m sure my 2 cents won’t hold much weight, already being painted the oppressor by people who don’t even know me but I will rise (no pun intended) to the occasion and be the bigger person (sarcasm interjected). The women I know who veil do so because they are not ashamed, and by no means are they in anyway subserviant or slaves to men, or society in general let alone any organized, or unorganized group. The veil because they find to do so is a deep expression of their soul and connection to whatever goddess or go they serve. It is an act of reverence and an admission of vunerability, just as Skyclad it (reverence for creation and ourselves and demonstrating the ultimate trust we can in the gathering, to see us for who we are past any bodily judgments and baring it all to the god/goddess, no pretence). The veil also can demonstrate this vulnerability, that standing in the presence of the god/goddess we are indeed human and lest we loose our humanity in their presence we need to anchor it somehow. This is one of the many functions of ritual, which is designed to throw us into the sacred realm. The veil, like all of our tools, is symbolic/metaphorical and highly personal. There is no difference between being veiled and using incense, or annointing oil, chanting, an Athame/wand, book of shadows, pentacle or quartered circle etc.

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