Category Archives: Rants

Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t

Because, as a woman, I must stand as a tribute to patriarchy no matter what my choices are, because choice is an illusion?  That is, according to the logic of some.

If I dress in a modern way, with heels and more revealing clothes, slut shaming is the rule of the day.  I’ll also garner far more sexual attention than if I were covered.  BUT, if I cover and dress more modestly, regardless of the history of abuse that caused me to make that decision in the first place, I am participating in patriarchal cultural norms.

Well, what the fuck am I supposed to do?

I often hear cries of “Embrace your body!  Don’t be ashamed!”. Yeah, no.  I’m not ashamed of my body.  My body is quite lovely, and if you saw it, you’d likely agree.  The point of my choice to cover is to remind myself first, others second, that my body is mine.  It belongs to me.  I took a dangerous stand against one specific male in my life who truly believed that my body belonged to him.  It didn’t.  It doesn’t.  It’s mine.  I cover my body because I don’t want him, or you, or anyone else looking at it.  Period.  End of story.  I don’t give a flying fuck if you think I’m doing it for the patriarchy.  I can’t change your mind.

When people decide they know better about how someone else ought to dress and feel about themselves, they are giving lip service to feminism, and nothing more.  When somebody tells you why they do this thing that you have decided is a failure in asserting their own claim over their own body, you’re just ignoring their lived experience.  You know better than they do.  They’re not feminist enough.  They’re brainwashed.  Etc., etc., etc.

Fuck you.  And fuck your elitist attitude.

Women have the right to wear what they please, and you may keep your opinions to yourself.  It’s not all black and white.  All covered women are not male tools anymore than all uncovered women are.  Cause, you know, Rebecca in her mini skirt is showing her legs.  Does that mean because men can see her legs that she is displaying her legs for their titillation?  No.  It’s 90 degrees outside and Rebecca is hot.  Also, mini skirts please Rebecca.  End of story.

If you see me and I am veiled, am I veiled because a man told me to?  Because obviously, I have no brain, or will, or agency of my own, right?  No.  I am veiled because it damn well pleases me to be veiled in public.  Because my body is mine, and I’ll do what I fucking want with it.  I will dress it however I fucking please, and I will speak up for your right as a human being to do the same.

You won’t hear me making value judgements on the way you choose to dress, because I am a real motherfucking feminist, who believes people can decide for themselves, based on their own lived experience, what is best for them, and what makes them feel empowered and most comfortable.

Take your goddamn feminist policing elsewhere.  Preferably back behind your own closed doors, where you can evaluate the reasons why you think you need to be the arbiter of other people’s clothes.

Bye, Felicia.

The Trap…

…Or, Why I Remain Committed to the Veil…

Each day that I awaken, greeting the Sun as it rises above this Land, I am made more aware of the divide which separates me from this society.  And I embrace that divide.  Why should I desire to be enfolded within a society which values only my female appearance, and only in prescribed ways?  I own this body, and if society had its way, I might be stripped naked in the street and shamed for not wanting to expose myself in modern clothing.

“Oh, that’s a little harsh, Columbine…”

Yeah, I hear many of you saying that to yourselves, not wanting to believe that anyone could make another person feel so unsafe.  Well, I’ve got news for you. Covered women don’t always feel safe.  Like many women, we have to deal with subtle forms of harassment, but dare I say that a woman who veils (barring Catholic nuns, since their position seems to afford them a wide breadth of respect from most people) often faces that harassment in much more blatant ways?

If I looked “normal” I could walk into any place around here and no one would bat an eye, for all that they might ogle my body.  However, dressed as I am, I can not “pass” for anything but “other”.  And that truly is the whole point of my attire.  I am other.  I am not of this world, and seeing that recognition become transformed into hostility, in a split second, is probably one of the scariest things I’ve had to experience on a regular basis.  And it’s gotten a lot worse since moving here.

I have things to do on at least a few days out of the month.  Things which require me to step outside of the protection and comfort of my home.  This is not the place I left behind, last year.  Not by a long shot.  The people here have more than a slight penchant for discrimination, and having read historical documents in the town library, I can confirm the reality of racial tension, even without relying upon my own experiences.

So, that’s three strikes against me already, as a black, veiled woman in this community.  If I didn’t have a backbone, I might cower indoors, indefinitely. *laughs*  Like that’ll ever happen.

I will not be bullied or intimidated anywhere, least of all on a public street, or in a public business.  Apollon is oh, so very clear on this.  I am to submit to no one but Him.  When a man gets that hostile glare going, I usually ask if there’s a problem. Mostly, they do not expect a veiled woman to have a voice, let alone the verbal skill to use it.  If they still insist upon looking, then I stare right back, unblinking, and wait for them to slink off into a corner where they belong.

But, wait, women aren’t any better at hiding their discriminatory tendencies. In fact, I’ve found women to be more likely to outright ignore my presence if they can get away with it.  It can really eat up your time when you’re standing in line, and four people are allowed to pass before you when a cashier opens a new register, only to be told to join another line upon reaching the front, because, well… because nobody wants to touch your ‘dirty black hand’.  They don’t say it, but the hesitation before taking anything out of my hands is pretty disgusting.

This is the community I moved into it.  It’s beautiful beyond belief, but it has many flaws, as do all places.  As do all people, myself included.  I believe I’ve said this a few times in the past, but I’m not perfect.  There are days when I want to tear this cloth off my head and just walk around like the “normal” women.

“Well, why don’t you, Columbine?”

Because, this thing I do, this veiling thing, isn’t one of those optional beauty choices, like whether or not I wear makeup.  The veil is absolutely necessary for me.  Even putting aside tradition and all of the energetic reasons for covering, such as control of empathy and minor shielding, and even setting aside Apollon’s command, I have reason still to cover.

Can you guess what that reason is?  It’s because this body is mine.  It is not a mannequin to be draped in the latest fashions, on the whim of whoever decided the new fall color-scheme.  It is not a sexual morsel, to be salivated over, or nibbled upon.  It is the tool I use to become a proper conduit of my Lord. Anyone who works with tools knows that they must be kept clean and orderly to maintain optimal functionality.  My body is no different.  And, like a knife that stays sheathed while not in use, so too do I remain covered.

This society is a trap.  One which I will not fall into, and I really do not care who agrees, or disagrees.  I will exercise my personal authority over my body, and I will not be left exposed to the elements around me.  Some people do better than others under these conditions, but I am obviously not one of those people.  And that’s alright, because everybody isn’t me, or even like me, and I thank the Gods for it.

GTFO!

A statement for anyone who thinks veiling women aren’t “real” feminists:

Get the fuck off my blog, right now!  Do not follow me!  I am a veiled fake feminist!  I will corrupt you with my covered hair, like some kind of tainted Jezebel!  Hide your liberated daughters!  I will teach them modesty!

Oh, no!  Oh, no!  It’s like walking back in time to a point when women were not expected to flaunt, and show their bodies to every man, woman and child on the street!  The horror!  It’s the end of the world as you know it, the total destruction of your post-feminist foundations!

Whatever will you do without the mad throngs of poor, oppressed, brainwashed little girls?  They will forever be doomed to their lives of servitude toward all those big, bad, mean, MALE Gods!

Weep now!  Weep for your daughters, for I will show them how to embrace their mortal femininity, without compromising Divine Masculinity!  Weep now, ye witches, for I am an example of uncompromising female assertiveness, who veils because it is my choice to cover the sacred body that was granted to me, by my Father, Zeus!  Weep!  And behold, as all that you know is torn asunder by the small, unassuming cloth on my head!  Mwahahahahahaha!!!

And… in case you haven’t guessed… that was sarcasm.  Except for the get the fuck out part.  That was real, but only if you think I’m not a “real” feminist because I cover my hair, and body.  Seriously.  GTFO.

Tell My Story? Really?

I’m in a foul fucking mood, so there ya go.  Yes, Queens curse, too.  We’re only human, and try as I might to keep a totally refined air about me, and to be aloof in regards to useless emotional baggage, there are some instances wherein I can not disengage.  This is one of them.  Granted, I’ve tried, but once I feel myself being triggered, it’s really too late.

So, yeah, I wish Del’s post about the Loki wives had had a trigger warning.  I mean, I get that it wasn’t aimed at me, per se, as a cisgendered hetero ultra femme, but seeing as that is precisely how I identify myself in both my religious and mundane lives, it really did feel like he was taking a dig at cisgendered hetero ultra femmes, under the more blatant dig at verbal new Loki wives in particular.  I like to give people the benefit of the doubt when it comes to such things, but how can I about this?

To give you a little bit of my backstory, I’ve lived for the last eight or so years within a den of patriarchy and male privelege.  Within this framework, I am literally only seen as an extension of my male spouse.  True fax.  (Yeah, and for those who would say “Just leave!”– I’ve tried.  Four times, and each was stopped by means that couldn’t rightly be called coincidence.)  So, basically I get told on the daily how inferior I am, how I need to shut up, how unimportant my problems are, etc, etc.  And yet I find solace in spiritwork, because it is, I’ve found, the only area within which I feel valued.  Or felt, rather.  As opposed to having someone tell me that “All religion is psychosis”, and that what I do for my Gods and spirits holds no value (not least of all due to questions like: “Why would a god want a *woman* to serve him?”) I felt like there was a place here for me, and those like me, to share those deep and spiritual parts of ourselves, without someone telling us how we squee too much, and how our language focuses so obtrusively on the feminine.  Whether or not that was Del’s intent, that is what I walked away with after reading the piece, and the subsequent comments.

Maybe I’m too sensitive.  All of this is my baggage, after all… except… over-sensitivity is one of those vague diagnoses lobbed against women when we start getting ‘uppity’.  So, no.  I’m not gonna accept over-sensitivity as a valid explanation.

The truth is, the post was triggering.  Not a lot of people are examining what about it might be triggering for any cisgendered hetero femmes who might have read it, but I know I’m not the only one who was.  And by that token, I can’t have been the only one who was brought to tears and/or felt physically ill while reading it.  I might be the only one with the cajones to call it out, though.

Sexism is never nice, even when it is completely unintentional, as I believe it was, in this case.  But lack of intent doesn’t make it right, and it certainly doesn’t make it go away.  It also does nothing to mitigate the damage that was done to a segment of the population that, sadly, is so conditioned by these sorts of things that most will never speak truth to their feelings.  But, as an Apollonian, I am also a Truth-teller, and this is a part of my truth in the experience of cisgenderedness.  It is a truth shared among many, and indeed, a truth that will probably be fervently denied, as it always is.  But, again, denial of a thing does not negate a thing.

And there’s my story. Take it however you will.

Why Wasn’t I Born “Normal”?

A silly question, I know, because “normal” varies from person to person.  So, what I mean is, why couldn’t I have been born to be one of those blissfully ignorant people who knows and experiences nothing of the Other worlds, or of the Beings who inhabit those worlds, as well as our own?  If I were born “normal” I wouldn’t feel like I’m letting down all the spirits who’ve embraced me on this Path.  I wouldn’t feel like a failed experiment.

The gods know I’ve tried.  Tried to be what they want, and to do as they bid. But how does one woman among a sea of opposition actually close the gap between modern human sensibilities, and the very real needs of the spirit community which co-exists with us?  How can I give all (the time/energy) that should be given, and still have enough left to give to my human family? What of myself?  Am I to give, give, give, and to serve, serve, serve, without any hope of support or compensation?  Why is it that I can’t stop doing this Work? Why do I feel like I’m going to die if I try to stop?

I feel like I’m lost in the twilight.  I can see both the night and the day.  I can touch both, I can straddle the line, I can be a bridge across those worlds… but I can’t just live in one or the other, like a “normal” human being.

How do gods choose the people who will serve them?  Why me?  I’m not special. Not even a little bit.  I’m not even half as talented as some of the other witches I’ve known.  The calling seems so random, and despite what I’ve been told by my gods, I do not feel at all qualified for this Work.

And if that wasn’t enough, Apollon has made clear that, eventually, I am to serve a community of humans.  To which I said, not a chance.  I didn’t name this blog “Queen Without a Court” for nothing.  Serving humans is far more emotionally draining than serving spirits, from my experience.  And, as emotionally unsound as I tend to be, I doubt I could handle such a task.  Yet, my mind is continually filled with images and ideas of what such service might consist of.  What shrines might be built, what rites might be performed for the benefit of humans…

The gods make me crazy, I swear.  Maybe that is what they ultimately want? For me to go mad and drop out of society, out of the world of humans, so that I may be better equipped to serve them?  There would be less distractions that way, but support, at least part of the time, would be a must.

It would also be an impossibility.  And so, I’m back to square one.  If I am unable to properly fulfill the calling, why was I called to begin with?

I know asking a god why is an exercise in futility. They do what they do, often for reasons unfathomable. But I can’t help wanting answers to these questions. Maybe someday I’ll figure it all out. But today is certainly not that day.