Why can’t Dianics answer simple questions?

(this has apparently sat in “draft mode” for a couple days –oops!)

This is something I’ve noticed for quite some time, but seems brutally apparent here, in the comments on this post at The Wild Hunt.

I asked Lithia Brigan a fairly simple two-part question:

[Are] you saying that both a) you identify as someone who is not female – gendered but who is female – assigned, and b) that you are a part of Zsuzsana Budapest’s tradition and lineage? Cos if neither applies, I would be curious as to how you might know that her lineage accepts AFAB people who are not women, cos to my understanding, it does not.

She doesn’t exactly answer the first part, because in spite of repeated asking for clarification, she clearly refused to explain whatever the hell it was that she meant by “gender non-compliant woman”. There are two possibilities for what this could mean off the top of my head, but the fact that she consistently says “gender non-compliant woman/women” leads me to believe that she’s trying to find a way out of cisgender privilege. At one point, she provides a post from an Intersex blogger about how cis/trans narrative erases Intersex people who identify with an “intersex” gender from the narrative and forces those who identify with their AAB genders into a mould that doesn’t quite fit. That’s great for Intersex people, and come to think of it, it was one of my earliest objections to “cisgender”, which just kind of fell to the wayside when I eventually gave in to the term (and I gave in simply because it does describe an accurate experience of most people who are not transgender); why she fails in her attempt to bring this up is that she clearly presents it as a means of suggesting how “Both intersex and gender-variant people are, in fact, included in Women’s Mysteries and are served by Z’s Dianic Tradition.” The article does not do that (and more to the point, it’s an easily-proved fact that Budapest is explicitly hostile toward the very notion of non-[cisgender-]women in her lineage –so hostile, in fact, that it has led to at least one coven splintering from her lineage), and she again fails to answer what should be a simple “yes” or “no”: Was she initiated into Budapest’s lineage of Dianic witchcraft?

Then I asked mountainwind, very simply, and even with the offer of $20 if she could prove me wrong, if she could actually prove that Zsuzsanna Budapest has ever actually been issued “death threats” from people specifically over her transphobic beliefs? I’ve seen people make this claim just about every time Budapest’s name has come up in the last four or five years, but I have never once seen anyone be able to even point to a poorly-forged FaceBook post that allegedly contains one of these “death threats” but is clearly in Budapest’s own writing style and therefore likely something she just made up; not even is a hyperbolic FB post offered, wherein Budapest is just making some vague allegation of “death threats” which she obviously doesn’t want to talk about cos then it would raise questions as to the veracity of this vague claim. Mountainwind cannot even bring herself to say “I can’t prove that, cos it’s not something made public knowledge” or something to that effect, she’d just rather question the facts i present as being a rather odd juxtaposition against a demand to prove her own hyperbole.

So is there something about Dianic wicca, and perhaps specifically Budapest’s lineage, that preaches evasion as a virtue? Cos the latter question posed on The Wild Hunt, especially, is something that I’ve asked repeatedly, and have never gotten a straight answer on from ANYONE making that claim. This also isn’t the first time I’ve seen people make vague claims that “intersex and gender-variant” people, the latter of which I’m assuming they’re using as a [now-antiquated] shorthand for trans people, are somehow “served by” Budapest’s tradition, in spite of all apparent evidence to the contrary, and then fail to back up that statement in any way.

Is it just me, or is there something fundamental to Dianic teachings that makes a virtue out of evasion?

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3 thoughts on “Why can’t Dianics answer simple questions?

  1. I’ve been reading Witchcraft Today: 60 Years On and happened to read the Dianic essay today. Outdated biology and outdated archaeology, hand in hand. What I don’t get is why Dianics want to identify so closely with the very biology men use as an excuse to oppress them, so much so that unless you were born with a uterus, you don’t count.

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  2. To an extent, i see your point (you’re far from the first person i’ve seen bring it up), but at the same time, I’m not even half of the way through Raven Kaldera’s Hermaphrodeities , and while it’s a bone of contention for many trans people who’ve read it (at least from what I’ve gathered on the Internet, especially on Tumblr), I absolutely agree with his regular point that the physical and spiritual affect each-other are are not easily divisible, as many people in the pagan community tend to believe. In that way, I can completely understand the need for many women to celebrate menstrual mysteries, and the sacred in anatomy, if only because as a trans person in-transition, I’ve experienced my own mysteries from the transmogrification or “evolution” of the physical and spiritual into a new form —and puberty, childbirth, menopause, those all certainly qualify as an evolution in body and soul. That said, as sacred as the physical is, I do also find it peculiar that anatomy seems to be the ONLY real focus and defining point in Dianic witchcraft; sure, “feminism” is kinda-sorta a defining point in said, but it’s a kind of feminism that’s explicitly filtered through anatomy, which just strikes me as counterproductive to even the second-wave feminism that Budapest apparently embraced in the 1970s.

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  3. My impression of some these Dianics is that they don’t consider you *worthy* of talking to, because you’re a man. Frankly the only Dianic I remember meeting was actually a man, so obviously not part of Z’s crew. In the Twin Cities area, there are a lot of Reclaiming witches and perhaps there are some self-identified Dianics mixed in, but Reclaiming doesn’t seem to have the hang-up on biology that they tend to.
    Second-wave liberal feminism was generally more about *transcending* biology and emphasizing the similarities between the sexes as a way to justify equality. Radical feminism (Andrea Dworkin, Robin Morgan etc) grew out of women who were fed up with sexism within the New Left anti-war/related movements and tends to focus on reclaiming the body, critiquing porn and male control of female sexuality, lesbianism (sometimes as a political choice)

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