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/
I have an idea for another post for the Feminism and Religion blog if they want me to do another (http://feminismandreligion.wordpress.com). Assuming they don’t hunt me down since I say things like humans created deity to fill a need not the other way around.
Anyway, I’m thinking of doing something on Feminism/Pagans and Prayer. I know a lot of Christians don’t think we pray and it’s something women aren’t allowed to do in a lot of churches and it’s something as pagans women take for granted. We just get up and do it.
I just hope it doesn’t get too long.