“All Acts of Love and Pleasure” does not give you license to violate someone

The most problematic phrase in the Charge of the Goddess is “all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”. Unfortunately sometimes this is used as a weapon against women, particularly young or inexperienced women.

The Charge of the Goddess is a lovely bit of poetry but nowhere does it say specifically that those “acts of love and pleasure” have to be consensual and with both parties being equals. There is no “act of love and pleasure” if one party is a minor or an apprentice or drunk or impaired or any other unequal relationship that could happen. And the sad fact is the ones who wield it like a weapon are usually men. I’ m sure women have too but most are predatory males.

I’ve heard it when someone decided to grab my ass when I was younger and my answer was always “whose pleasure?” You don’t get to violate someone’s personal space or body just because you think the Charge might imply in your little pea brain that you have license. You don’t have a license to do it if you are drunk or horny or in the middle of a Beltane ritual. Just because I’m circling the MayPole doesn’t mean I’m interested in circling your Maypole.

All beings have a right to say “NO!” no matter what someone else thinks being pagan implies. Let’s try to remember that and it implies to hugs, kisses, or any other activity that might be unwelcome to someone. That’s how bad things happen.

And if someone comes up to you at an event and tells you something happened that they didn’t want, for Goddess sake, DO SOMETHING! Do not brush it off!. The person who said something is already stressed enough because they told that something happened. Deal with it appropriately. And do not make the person confront the offending party. That doubles the pain. And if necessary, call the cops. If the law is broken you still need to deal with secular authorities. Having an attorney available on event staff is always a good thing because you don’t know the law.

People need to listen and they need to step in when things happen and not excuse it in any way, that’s how this went on so long.

2 thoughts on ““All Acts of Love and Pleasure” does not give you license to violate someone

  1. I’ve had this conversation before…and I think about it this way. It says love AND pleasure…not love OR pleasure. If only one person finds an experience pleasurable, there’s no love there, no compassion, no respect. To have both, you have to have willing, enthusiastic consent.


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