Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Coming of Age

Who here has heard about the Klein and Frost deal in the pagan community and also about the essays written about racism in Heathenism? If not, I recommend reading up about it before we continue.

Basically, Kenny Klein was arrested for child pornography and happened to be a prominent pagan figure. This lead to a huge backlash in the community over child abuse and how we deal with it (or rather, how we don't deal with it). Out of that backlash the Frosts were targeted (and rightfully so) for their inflammatory section in their book describing in detail how to "sexually initiate" children.

I have heard from several people that ask why Klein is a "pagan" issue. Uh, what? Philadelphia Pagan has said it better than me (with much less cussing):
A Pagan author who wrote several books about Paganism and was an elder in a Pagan tradition was arrested for and confessed to possession and distribution of child pornography. Several people came forward about the abuse and inappropriate behavior they suffered at the hands of this Pagan man, sometimes at Pagan or Pagan-dominated events. Some of those people were silenced when they first tried to talk about the inappropriate behavior by Pagans who wanted to protect their local Pagan community. 
But it’s not an issue for the Pagan community, because he also was a photographer. [sarcasm]

If you care more about the perception of Paganism by outsiders, who generally don’t give a shit about conversations we have with one another, than you do about cleaning up rape culture within Paganism and working to help victims… 
you’ve got your priorities all wrong.
Guys, this is a problem within our community. We cannot ignore abuse and the prevalence of rape culture within our own and then turn around and say we worship Goddesses and give women an equal footing with men. It's completely hypocritical! We all have known about predators in the pagan community for at least a decade, when I entered the pagan path. It seriously pisses me off when I meet pagans who feel as if it is somehow okay for people to silence the victims of abuse, or try to justify it.

In fact, on the Wildhunt's facebook page, this one guy... oh man. He was talking about how some children are more "sexually mature" than their age and how that's why it's somehow okay to ritualistically assault a child. THAT VERY ATTITUDE CONTRIBUTES TO RAPE CULTURE. STOP IT. A child is a person who is under the age of 18, period end of discussion full stop. When I was starting out, I could not find a coven or a mentor who would have dared take me under their wing because I wasn't 21! I had a very difficult time finding a coven who would take me when I was 18. Honestly, I feel that unless that coven is an open coven specifically meant for families, no one should be accepted or initiated into the coven until that person is 18 years old.

We as a community need to grow into the fact that, now we are become a bigger religion, there will be predators and we need to ostrisize them from us. We also need to be there for the newbies! However, that's for a different post.