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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

NeoNotes — Rape culture

Rape is a terrible thing. Pagans and heathens have had more than our share of bad apples. We tend to attract the outliers and nonconformists.

But, America is not a rape culture. I won't speak for Europe. Not anymore.

The #MeToo movement never could have happened in a rape culture. It would not have been allowed. There would not be news stories about rape. Men would not be willing to talk to women about consent and mutual pleasure from sex. Nor would women have the right to own property, to vote, and to accuse rapists.

I bet that for every one person in America that thinks rape is acceptable, I can find thousands who don't. In those thousands, I bet that I can find hundreds who might decide a very physical response was appropriate. Personally I think removing body parts might be a good start.

By all means, do as you will to raise awareness of consent. Do what you can so people can enjoy sex with someone they care about. Respect each other and each other's boundaries.

But America is not a rape culture.

Thinking about it, that may be what bothers me most.

I firmly believe that most people are decent. I think I resent the implication that most men and women (yes, I said women) can't be trusted to behave themselves. There are always going to be bad elements, but most people are basically good no matter what their "race," gender, sexuality, or taste in socks. I resent the implication that people basically can't be trusted.

I think one of my pass-alongs sums it up.

“The people who pay attention to the law aren't the ones you have to worry about.”

Pardon, but I think there is a difference between rapes occurring and rape culture.

Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think a rape culture actively and legally encourages rape. The examples that leap to mind are certain Islamic groups and nations.

We have thieves, but we do not live in a theft culture. We have murders, but we do not live in a murdering culture.

Rape is a terrible thing and absolutely should be punished. But not every person is a rapist, nor is every man. Today women are much more likely to be believed if they report a rape, that wasn't necessarily true twenty or thirty years ago. At the same time, I read about some of the things happening in Europe and Africa right now (even leaving out the Middle East) and I don't think American women have the slightest idea what a real rape culture is.

It's easy to toss the phrase around, but that doesn't mean it's accurate.

That isn't the case with most of American society and culture.

I will grant you that is glamorized and celebrated by certain very visible people. I also think that some if not most "feminist allies" call themselves that and say the "right" things so they can take advantage.

What I see is the assumptions and punitive measures taken against people (men & women) who don't rape or even think about it. And then I see abusive behavior excused if the person happens to have the right politics or connections, like what happened prior to #MeToo.

It's not even a matter of "all men are rapists." Almost all men aren't rapists and would be horrified if it happened to someone they know, much less care for. At the same time, men are castigated if they dare give an admiring look, or actually hold a door open for somebody.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.


“We don't think we come into this World corrupt.”

“It's the end of the world, everybody. Well, it's the end of our mythology series, anyway. This week, we're talking about how mythological themes have made their way into the English language. We're taking on the Herculean task of tracking down phrases that have made their way into language from mythical stories.”


NeoNote — Where do pagans fit in?


NeoNote — Good and evil

Obviously I am not heathen, but I question that phrase "forces of darkness." Our World has both light and darkness, both are necessary for life, death, growth and renewal.

Perhaps it is just me, but I have issues with assigning good to light and evil to darkness. I probably have issues with the dualistic ideas of good and evil too. Sometimes what is "evil" for one group is "good" for another. If they are anything like the ones I've argued with, your "extreme right ideologies" probably see inclusiveness as very evil and damaging. I disagree, but it is their "evil."

Ah, now that is an interesting bit.

Bonewits pointed out that dualism, especially religious dualism, quickly shifts things to IS and IS NOT. If something IS NOT on the approved list, it is evil because the definitions and underlying assumptions don't allow any other possibility.

Long story short, without monotheism, the meaning of good and evil aren't so clear cut. It tends to be more in the nature of "this HELPS my tribe/city/nation" and "this HURTS my tribe/city/nation." It becomes relative and based on cost/benefit. It depends more on individual judgement and less on an Official List of "THOU SHALT NOTS."

But, since Bonewits is on the Disapproved List, this is just academic, right? An accused sexual predator and pedophile couldn't possibly have had good ideas…

I disagree.

I agree that unrestrained greed and unrestrained tribalism are bad. But so is unrestrained sex, unrestrained pacifism, unrestrained sugar, unrestrained sunbathing, unrestrained hair dyeing, unrestrained television, and unrestrained concrete. A little goes a long way, or as the old saying goes, moderation in all things.

Competition keeps us honest and is one big reason why we try to make things better.

*grins* I may bring the philosophy bit out. I enjoy it, I practice it, and I encourage it.

I was thinking about the Greeks and some of the philosophy of the Golden Mean, although the Buddhist version applies too.

Specifically I was thinking about self-discipline and responsibility. The Ethic of Reciprocity is usually associated with Christianity but predates Christianity and exists independently in other cultures. One of my party tricks is showing how people can build an entire social, ethical, and legal system using the EoR and without depending on authority granted from an Official Religion. And that brings us to unrestrained.

If we are talking about ethical restraints, those restraints have to be self-imposed. It's not really ethical otherwise. If a choice is imposed by force, it's not really a choice, is it?

Self-restraint goes right back to the EoR. If I want to be treated right, it's in my best interest to treat others right. We expect others to act morally and honorably. That gets into defining the Other which is a long subject. I'm going to skip that for our discussion here.

Every morning I have a glass of citrus juice with my breakfast. But it's a water glass, not a juice glass. Is that excessive? Some might say so. But it's my breakfast and my choice. As long as I am not depriving or harming others, then how is it anyone else's business?

That brings us to greed. If I want to continue having OJ, somehow I have to do something that someone else wants and is willing to pay for. With the division of labor, that becomes the free market. Voluntary exchanges between mutually consenting adults. To get what I want, I have to provide something they want.

Competition brings the second keystone of the free market: I can do better than that! Most fail, but the successes change everything.

You're absolutely right pointing out that competition doesn't mean destroying the other (odd how that word keeps cropping up). But the free market means that a company or person has to offer at least as much value as those around them, or someone else will sell.

It's not just buying and selling. Most people reading this site chose paganism or an alternative religion because that religion offered something that they couldn't get elsewhere.

One of the things I recently added to my lexicon, the two most important phrases in human history (www DOT neowayland DOT com SLASH lexicon SLASH tt SLASH #two)

“Let me help.”

“I can do better than that!”

And yes, I gave credit to Star Trek for the first.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.


NeoNotes — 10th anniversary of “Pentacle Quest”

If you don't like gambling or shows, there's not much that sets Las Vegas apart.


Speculate this

Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
— John Muir

Sunfell Tech Mage Rede Nine Words Serve The Tech Mage Best Keep What Works Fix What’s Broke Ditch The Rest

A narrow slice of life, but now and again pondering American neopaganism, modern adult pagans & the World.

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