“Wiccanate” is the new “Cisgender”

No, really, think about it.

Think long and hard, my fellow “dinosaurs”, back to a more wistful, homey, and innocent time on the pagan blogosphere, the years 2011 and 2012. Do you remember what I do?

harpy-budapest001Cos see, around this time of those years, i remember a bunch of aging harpies led by Queen Harpy Zsuzsanna Budapest, screaming bloody murder about how offensive the term “cisgender” was, when they were simply “women” and “transies” might look, talk, walk like women, but were NotWombyn™ and therefore “not women”. Cos, you know, the whole reason for a woman to exist is to be a vessel for the pod womb of The Almighty Uterus™, but that’s another story for another time.

So, now fast-forward to the present day. To a little news blog (heh, i almost typed “nudes blog”) clled The Wild Hunt –you might have heard of it:


cernowain greenman
The word “Wiccanate” is pejorative against Wiccans and makes Wiccans look like they have an agenda to assimilate Pagans into their liturgical agenda. Please stop using it.

Yes kids, you saw right, it’s somehow “pejorative” to use a term that not only correctly identifies the dominant influence in the dominant form of paganism in the Anglosphere, and also differentiates it from Wicca itself, AND also attempts to eradicate the notion of it being the “generic” or “default” or “normal” variety of paganism BECAUSE FUCKING FEE-FEES, DAMNIT!!!

That’s seriously what this kid’s argument boils down to: He doesn’t like it, and moreover, he’s paranoid.

And just like Budapest decided that she was going to prove to the whole Internet that she failed Latin and erroneously equate “cisgender” with “cyst”, Self-Righteous White Boy here has to erroneously equate “Wiccanate” with “the gay Wiccan agenda”.

If your religion, as you practise it, resembles Outer Court Wicca more than it does any other religion or religious grouping under the Big Pagan Tent, then your religion is a form of Wiccanate paganism. If your religion genuinely shares practically nothing in common with Outer Court Wicca, then it is not.

Many cisgender women were very angry two-three years ago to learn that there was a term, “cis[gender] women”, that applied to them. Many insisted that it did not apply, that they were “just women”, failing to realise (or at least see anything wrong with the fact) that this tipped the field in their favour, giving them an easier way to “normal” than it gave to transgender women. The same principles apply to “Wiccanate paganism”.


13 thoughts on ““Wiccanate” is the new “Cisgender”

  1. Excellent point! (And uggh I hate gender essentialist feminism!)
    Unfortunately people have knee-jerk reactions to labels others give them- problem is in both cases you mention members of the more privileged group are not acknowledging their privilege as being a problem- and that it’s a less privileged group trying to put a name to the invisible “norm”. But they are not going to agree to their own term (mainline paganism? yeah, right) So too bad.

    I’m glad they had that discussion at Pantheacon but it seems like a lot of people still don’t understand that “default setting paganism” is a problem.

    That said, things like the law that was just vetoed in Arizona do put all of this in perspective…


    • Exactly. It’s one thing for a minority group within a population to bond over a self-selected term (though as a Hellenist, let me tell you, Internet, there are at least half a dozen or so terms used by that community to define thag community, much less all the little sub-categories), but when a majority group in that population refuses any term to identify themselves but “normal”, “default”, “generic”, or so on, then there’s a problem.

      I’m also glad that the discussion at Pantheacon happened. Hopefully it got some people in a position to forward some changes in the community thinking –and if not, at least it has a lot of people talking about it.

      Are there other issues that might need some more immediate attention as something that more-noticeably affects things outside the pagan community? Possibly, probably yes, but I generally think that unless people are dying or in danger of said, it’s kind of tacky to say which issues are and are not “most important” or that things necessarily should be put into perspective. I dunno, it just kind of reminds me of people with the HRC effectively saying that same-sex-marriage is more important than a trans-inclusive ENDA –it can certainly be argued that some things might be addressed more easily than others, but it’s also one of those things of who’s to say what’s objectively more important when those most-affected by issues are going to believe that their issues are objectively as-important as anything else.


      • So nice that you could use me as your strawman/whipping boy. I don’t think a hard polytheist could ever understand, let alone acknowledge, that Wiccans and those you call “Wiccanates” are Pagans, too.


        • Who’s setting up strawmen? I’m not a pagan —I don’t give a shit who is and is not a pagan, BUT considering that a) my religion is often mistaken for paganism and thus I, myself, am often mistaken for a pagan, and b) in the field of “pagan studies” and other areas of academia, my religion is often included in a broad definition of “pagan religions”, I clearly need to define terms that help me illustrate why my religion differs from what most people know as “paganism”.

          I don’t need some cis, white, and (statistically most likely) het and middle-class boy with severely lacking reading comprehension (id est: YOU) trying to ‘splain to me how bad I hurt his precious “feels”. especially seeing as how you’re so painfully stupid you can’t even make a proper reply on my blog (pro tip: if you’re responding to the main post, as you clearly are, you gotts scroll *all the way down* to the bottom of the page and make your reply in the BIG box, don’t just hit any “reply” link and make an irrelevant response to another comment).


  2. Being part of a minority Pagan religion has really helped me understand privilege, because I get to watch the discussions from outside of the group being labeled with the term. I’m a white cisgender male, so it’s been a refreshing experience for me.

    Curiously, now that I have a fuller understanding of how the word is used, I find it even less useful than I did when I only heard it applied to me.

    A word that causes people to stop listening and start shouting isn’t one that is solving more problems than it is causing. We can always find ways to piss each other off, but can we find ways to actually communicate? Because I for one would rather not be part of a minority that largely feels it can only be noticed by being angry. Sure, it gets us attention, but at some point in my life it occurred to me that negative attention is not, in fact, as good as positive attention.


    • Mind if I ask what you’re going on about? I mean, it’s great that you don’t find it it useful, but clearly others do, and simply “seeming angry” isn’t an argument that’s going to sway people to your ideas.


  3. You have every right to define yourself. But I have the right to not accept the labels you decide to put on me and mainstream Pagans. I don’t need your labels on me, just as you don’t need others’ labels on you. But if all you want to do is attack others, then go ahead and play that game, ’cause it doesn’t really impress anyone.


    • The fact that you don’t see how “Mainstream paganism = Wiccanate neopaganism” is a HUGE part of the problem speaks VOLUMES. I’m not attacking you any more than trans people attack Zsuzsana Budapest by calling AFAB women “cisgender”.


  4. I never said that Wiccans and mainstream Pagans don’t have privilege. I recognize that we do. We have tons of it under the Pagan religions umbrella. However, my rejection of your choice of labels is not about the issue of privilege, even if you want to make it so. The issue I have is your need to constantly resort to ridicule and to demean those who dialog with you. It doesn’t help your argument to be stronger, but rather it makes it appear weaker than it is.


    • Let me see if your fragile, albeit clearly gigantic ego can handle this truth: You are not everyone. You’re not even everyone who has disagreed with me on this topic, and at least one other person replying to this post has clearly disagreed with me on the matter.

      So let’s examine what it is about the situation that has led you to believe that I “ridicule and demean” those who disagree with me. Could it be because that’s arguably how I’ve responded to you? Is there anything about your comments in particular that may have provoked such a response from myself? I would say Yes and Absolutely yes.

      Maybe I’m not the problem? Maybe the problem is you?


  5. I never said I was everyone or that my opinion encompasses all. You see, that’s what I mean by your building a strawman. And whether I provoke or not provoke, that isn’t me. You are responsible for your responses, I won’t own that. So, what will you own concerning your actions? Probably nothing at all. And so it goes on…


    • Actually, you said very clearly that I belittle those who disagrees with me, when that’s not true –I’ve only been doing that with you.

      Do you even know what a strawman argument is? Cos that’s not how you used it the first time. That’s not even applicable to this instance.


    • Or rather, you *exactly* said:

      The issue I have is your need to constantly resort to ridicule and to demean those who dialog with you. [source]

      …and as I said, the fact of the matter is that I’ve only treated YOU that way, ergo, either a) you’re too stupid or self-absorbed to read other perfectly public-accessable dialogues I’ve had with other people and judge them fairly, and thus assume your own (comparitively) unique experience to be my standard M.O., or b) you more literally think you’re “everyone”. Either way, it’s stupid and solipsistic an assumption that is yours and yours alone.

      Furthermore, your claim that one’s actions is one’s and one’s alone would be cute, if it were true. Tghe fact of the matter is, we provoke things in others every day, with every interaction we have with others. To assume one only acts and that the actions and words of others had no part to play in that, is to grossly betray your own privilege in many matters. Let me guess, do you also think that trans people who get angry at the tiniest hint of being misgendered are overreacting for no reason?

      If someone treats you like you’re stupid, chances are good that you only have YOURSELF to blame for that. If you think otherwise, just cry your cis het whiteboy tears at someone else, maybe try the trilby-wearing anti-feminist LOLbertarians over on Reddit.


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