It’s Not About Vaginas

Okay. So. Goddess Spirituality and biological reductionism. Let’s talk about that.

I think by now (given that this happened literally over a year ago at this point) everyone already knows about what went down at Pantheacon wrt transmisogyny in Z Budapest’s ritual space (link goes to Miss Sugar’s blog, fyi – she’s got some “do you want to know more” links at the bottom of the post).

As such, I’m kind of late to addressing this.

So. How do I begin.

I haven’t entirely bought into the Maiden-Mother-Crone trifecta as the be-all and end-all of women’s experiences for quite some time. I’m not sure if I ever did — the categories get stretched out of shape so much because we’ve been trying to get them to cover “happily child-free career woman” and the like. But, at the same time, I get how they are still being used, if not entirely why.

More on that in a little bit.

As a cis woman who, until only about.. four(?) years ago, didn’t actually have a concept of myself that included sexual agency OR bodily autonomy; as a cis woman who knows that my reproductive system and the primary and secondary sexual characteristics[1] are used as justification for trampling my human rights in every single arena from legislature to the bus stop, from the school system to my own damn marriage bed, and punishing the audacity of my existence with every conceivable form of violence from micro-agressions to murder. (Stay with me here folks, I’m getting to it); as a cis woman in the context of a seriously woman-hating culture… yes, I absolutely found the treatment of cis-female biological functions like menstruation as Good and Powerful to be a really big, really wonderful deal.

The thing is… trans women? They get exactly the same bullshit[3], exactly the same trampling of their human rights, exactly the same systemic violence from micro-agressions to murder as cis women do, but in their case, it’s justified because of their lack of a bleeding, baby-growing, factory-direct vagina + reproductive-system.

So. Big reveal here: It’s not about vaginas.
Whether the assholes are assuming we have them, or assuming we don’t, we’re all systemically hurt, disempowered, and generally down-trodden by a culture that says, at every possible volume, in every possible way, that Girls Suck. (Here, have a kinda, sorta, tangentially-related video about femmephobia and transmisogyny and how they are connected within the (queer) Women’s Community – I think it’s relevant. Go watch it, I’ll wait).

And we’re back.

So, it’s not about vaginas.
Which, as it happens, brings me back to the M-M-C triad.
See… life doesn’t fall neatly into those age-and-biology-based categories, anyway. Not really. To site a personal example: The whole “Maiden” thing, where you’re exploring the world, being adventurous, and striking off the beaten path to find your own way and your own power? I sold a house and got divorced before I started that stuff. My “maiden phase” isn’t remotely tied to menarche, so why should it have to be so for any other chick?

My girlfriend, when this stuff first came up, asked “Why does it have to be body-centric at all??” and I think she has a point.

Hapaxnym has a post about an alternative Triple Goddess whose facets aren’t based on, or tied to, menarche, pregnancy, or menopause but, instead, focus on agency and skill-sets: The Warrior, the Healer, and the Queen. I like this a lot, and will probably revisit this Alternative Triad later on this blog.

Similarly, Miss Sugar has a post about Dianic Wiccan rituals she’s done that have to do with mutual care and strengthening, and on Traditional Women’s Work, rather than on, say, menstruation.

From a different direction, Foxfetch has this gorgeous post that looks at primary and secondary sexual characteristics and reproductive functions as Holy Mysteries that aren’t connected to (cis) gender. (He’s also got this and this, neither of which I’ve read yet, but which look at menstruation in association with the Horned God – I’m looking forward to having a look at them).

And (late addition, since I had to find it, first), there’s this piece by Little Light as well which, while not specific to trans women or goddess psirituality, is still quite relevant.

So that’s kind of where I’m at with regards to This Stuff.

More to come (in theory).

Meliad the Birch Maiden.

[1] You know, those visible-from-the-outside body parts that suggest to random passers-by, and/or people I go to bed with, that my reproductive system includes a uterus and ovaries[2]?

[2] Uterus and ovaries not being visible from the outside, and all. For all anyone walking by me know, my vagina (a) doesn’t exist, (b) is only about an inch and a half deep, and I don’t have a cervix, or a uterus, or ovaries, (c) built on a surgeon’s table, OR (d) was formed cell by cell in utero and is deep enough and flexible enough to take a fist or deliver a child from my body.

[3] With, I might add, bonus intersectionality!

2 responses to “It’s Not About Vaginas

  1. Pingback: Q is for Queer – Pagan Blog Project 2012 | Urban Meliad

  2. Pingback: G is for Goddesses – Pagan Blog Project | Urban Meliad

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