Politics

Same Sex Marriage & Freedom

As my workload has increased over these last several months, I have become truly aware of how my personal life has taken a real beating. My home is slowly starting to resemble a stereotypical bachelor pad with dirty laundry, dishes and mail everywhere. I am thinking I need some serious help.

I need someone who considers taking care of me as a life priority. Maybe what I need is a nanny. I need someone looking out for my health, welfare and sanity. Maybe I need a helpmate. I need to have someone in my life that can anticipate my needs and account for them routinely.

What I really need … is a wife.

I was thinking about this perennial wish of mine the other day when Ishtar reminded me of something I said earlier this year about same sex marriage.

I had noted that just like all social justice movements, the fight for gays and lesbians to marry could very well mostly benefit other sectors of society, primarily straight women.

And how would straight women benefit from same sex marriage you ask? Women could marry women and presto chango, it could change the meaning and context of single motherhood. Well, yeah, they would no longer be single. But more importantly, they would have access to all the breaks given to married couples, insure that their children were cared for the way they wished if anything happened to them, and if one of them had access to better healthcare all their children would get access to it.

But something else changes too. For those of us with ex husbands, families and in-laws whose politics, religious tolerance or value system differs greatly from our own, why not just marry your best friend forever (BFF). This way, the person who inherits, gets your pension and access to your 401K is the one who has had your back way longer than most straight marriages! We could literally take care of each other long into our later years.

And this would take a leap in understanding, since marriage we would have to admit, need not be a sexual union. It would become a joining of hearts, values and commitments. And if straight women could have their cake and eat it too, all bets are off in terms of strict gender roles.

And that is ultimately what I believe lies below the surface in the fears of the fundies of all stripes. Because anything that can potentially give women freedom, choice and escape from the rule of the fathers (patriarchy) must seem very scary.

Because if straight women began marrying each other, our culture could experience a huge shift in gender relations. One forecast we could make is that marriages might last longer overall and possibly the divorce rate would decline. Oh sure women would divorce each other, but the frequency might be less if sex was taken out of the equation. And what effect this might have on birth rates is a big unknown. But women all over this country might begin to experience a kind of freedom that we can only imagine

In the mean time, I am polishing up my personal ad. Because, increasingly, it seems like same-sex marriage is eventually “coming to your town.” And I had better be ready for when it hits DC.

SBF ISO WIFE - writer, teacher, mystic, poet, web designer and priestess seeks SF (or SM) for friendship and companionship plus help with household management, personal correspondence, and nutritional care. Relationship could lead to possible marriage. Sexual relations not required. Must be okay with alternative religions, politics, and life styles. Republicans and/or Evangelicals need not apply.

So whatcha think? Any takers?

Katrina

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Mon, 10/27/2008 - 8:00am.

The Challenge of the Present

I have mentioned in recent lectures that the current American political climate can be modeled as a clash between sensates and intuitives.

In my upcoming book, I define sensates and intuitives as corresponding to earth and air respectively. In the Myers Briggs and Kiersey personality type systems, it is the S and N split. In mythic terms, it is the ancient battle amongst the angels side by side with the battles between the Titans and Olympians. Sensate language is concrete and specific, while intuitive language is abstract and filled with metaphors. In esoteric terms it is the difference between the ethereal realm of Yesod versus the manifest realm of Malkuth.

Sensates peer longingly at the past and fear the future. While intuitives fear the past and look hopefully toward the future. But we each are the shadow of the other. So when sensates view the future of the intuitives, they see social chaos, family turmoil and eternal damnation. While intuitives are aghast at the past of the sensates, filled with stifling soul killing traditions, myopic disregard for minorities and women, and an ignorance born of shortsightedness.

What is a challenge to both is the present moment. Sensates and intuitives need each other because the information we both hold is needed to meet the challenges of the present. No we can not go back to the past, but there were gifts and values we cherish that need to be remembered and preserved. And although it is frightening to face a future of uncertainty, there is hope and promise that needs to be nurtured and shaped. And the sensates can help us remember, while the intuitives can give us hope … together.

Because in a global economy, none of us truly wants to return to the blindness and social injustice of our American past, nor do we want to un-tether ourselves from the societal and cultural traditions that have helped many of us to survive and thrive. And in a world facing the challenges of an environmental crisis, can we really make the changes we need without engaging the passions of all our citizens. We need to find common language, common values and work together. And we need to be specific.

What will not work is pandering to our fears. The American politic is dangerously close to a civil war. I have said it before and I will say it again. Although the American boogieman is “a black man with an erection coming over the wall”, what actually frightens us the most are angry white men. And we have seen a lot of images of angry white men and frightened white women lately.

So yes, the tone of the campaign needs to definitely calm down. But more importantly, we need to all step out of our shadows and into the present moment. Believe me, there are enough problems in the here and now without reaching into our collective unconscious.

So when we see those traumatized and frighten sensates, try to remember that they are being played ... just like the rest of us.

© 2008 Katrina Messenger

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Wed, 10/15/2008 - 10:33am.

Images of Strength

I am missing yoga again this morning. My healer admonished me against forcing myself even for things I enjoy and that are good for me. I am so busy that even things I enjoy are turning into burdens. [... sigh ...] So I am taking an open morning as a mental health break.

Later I have an appointment that will get me out of the house, but for right now I am focusing on breathing and hanging out with my cats. ... well ... at least that was my plan.

But you know how it goes … and all at once I was creating a rap in honor of Michelle Obama. I was so unsatisfied with the one from Lady Tigra that I suddenly found myself in full rap mode. It was coming so fast, I had to stop singing to quickly write it down. I still lost some of the lines … oh well. It was fun … and distinctly different from the work-a-day world of the last few months.

I get why so many of us black women are especially excited about Michelle Obama. I even joked that I haven’t been this excited about a potential First Lady since Teresa Heinz Kerry basically told the press to kiss her ass.

And while I still believe that both Barack and Hillary would make fine Presidents, I am oh so looking forward to an image of Michelle wearing her inaugural gown in the First Ladies Collection of the Smithsonian. And to think that I had always viewed such memorabilia as being just plain silly.

Back in the late seventies and early eighties, while recovering from my ordeal, I collected images of strong women on a bulletin board. When I reentered “the life” back in 1986, I did not need that collection as much as I had regained my own strength and was ready to rejoin the battle. But today, for the first time in a long while, I think I know what image I would add to that display.

First Black First Lady
First Black First Lady
First Black First Lady
First Black

She is built for style, speed and range
A power combo of both beauty and brains!

We haven’t seen this level of smarts and skill
Since Jackie O and then Anita Hill!

With their heads together, sifting through the clues,
She says, if it can’t be me then its gonna be you!

Don’t worry yourself about all that flack,
Just remember, Michelle, we’ve got your back!

First Black First Lady
First Black First Lady
First Black First Lady
First Black

Michelle O~ba~ma is the one
Michelle O~ba~ma is the one
Michelle O~ba~ma is the one
Michelle O~ba~ma is the one

First Black First Lady
First Black First Lady
First Black First Lady
First Black

It even has a totally different beat and meter from Lady Tigra's. Who knows, if I get time, maybe I will record it and post it here. Michelle O

Peace Out!
Lady K

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Thu, 10/02/2008 - 11:10am.

Anonymous is What I'm Talking Bout

Omigod! I am having such fun reading about the Anonymous protests around the world yesterday. I especially loved the reports about the London protests.

I especially love this image

This is both what I love and hate about Anarchists. They know how to have such a good time when they protest, and they bring such freshness to the entire discourse. And ... sadly, it is hard to sustain this kind of energy over the long term. I sincerely hope I am wrong.

It is just really hard to keep taking it to the streets. At some point, you have to have another strategy. Right now they are good looking, funny, good natured and more importantly ... not taken seriously. I hope to never see a Guy Fawkes mask drenched in blood ... or any of these good natured, smart and funny people in jail.

May their joyous spirits and deep intellect be heard, appreciated and welcomed. And may the gods of old protect their bodies, minds and hearts. From my mouth to the goddess' ears .... ashe!

------

On another note, I had another chance to be an urban avenger last night. It has been years since I was able to chase down a man abusing a woman. But last night, I did my current version of heroism.

I heard a woman screaming on my block, I rushed to the door to see her being beaten on a porch almost directly across the street. I stepped onto my porch and bellowed, "I AM CALLING THE POLICE, I AM CALLING THE POLICE, I AM CALLING THE POLICE" at the top of my lungs.

If you know anything about me, you KNOW how loud that had to have been. I then promptly ... called the police. Saying it three times meant it would get through to him that he not only was in trouble, but he had a witness unafraid to let him know who and where I was. The violence deescalated almost immediately. And the cops showed up in less than 2 minutes.

Later a fire engine came and the techs went inside the house with emergency medical supplies. Later the police walked out with the man in cuffs. All in all, a successful intervention.

I am feeling pretty good about myself at the moment.

Maybe I can't go and bust some heads, but I can yell and I can call for help. Yay ME!!

Posted in

Submitted by katrina on Mon, 02/11/2008 - 5:03pm.

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Recent comments

  • Nephthys (not verified)

    I've been with Firefly for a number of years, I recently left my position at The Firefly Community to pursue other dreams but to be clear how much I was involved before I address the statements made, I was a teacher, Priestess, member of the Inner Circle of the Council of Elders, Course Contributor, Clergy, Delegate and Divination reader so I was quite involved with Firefly on many levels.

    I am offended by your statement that Firefly is cultish. Given my involvement as listed above I can safely say that Firefly members are not cultish in behaviour nor is Firefly cultish in of itself. I am no longer involved with Firefly in any strong capacity other than that of a student so I can also safely say this is not coming from a blind faith position. I will be the first to admit that part of the reason I left Firefly was because I did not agree with some of the changes Lady Iris intended to make, that being said, I don't support the idea that abuse should be turned into a political statement.

    I don't know Sean and I am not close to Lady Iris (I live in a different country) and have not commented on the situation with her marriage but some of his behaviours are reprehensible. If a President did this he would be impeached and booted so I fail to see why it should be ignored and relegated to 'personal marital issues' when behaviour like this is indicative of larger psychological issues. If Sean Bennett is allowed to use and abuse women in this fashion, eventually he would work his way through the single ladies in the OHF and what would you be left with?

    1 year 46 weeks ago
  • Virginia Carper (not verified)

    I for one have been pondering this question. Iris did highlight a valuable point - how are checks and balances established to prevent potential abuse and to air concerns. These are hard lessons that groups need to learn.

    Without denying people their agency, how do you set up a system that will prevent abuse by other members? How far does a group go to ensure the mental and emotional safety of the adult members?

    For example, I know with my disability (brain injury), I would deeply resent being told that the group is looking out for my best interests. It would seem to be paternalistic on the group's part to assume that I cannot fend for myself. But because of my disability, I can be easy prey for a con-artist. How do you solve a dilemma like that? Can this be encoded or is this sort of thing too nebulous to pin down?

    1 year 47 weeks ago
  • Virginia Carper (not verified)

    I have a traumatic brain injury.

    That being said, I got caught in the cross-fire in the Firefly Campaign, since I did not get with the program - i.e. Firemoon was abused by a sexual predator, who for the sake of the community had to be removed. I was shocked at how this mantra was repeated over and over everywhere it could be. I was shocked at how the Firefly folks did not identify themselves as they sought to achieve their goals. It left a poor taste about Firefly in my mouth since I started to regard them as "cultish", incapable of independent thought or discussion. Also it disturbed me how the Firefly folks who had nothing to do with DC, carried water in the campaign as well.

    Since I had lot of free time, I researched the consistent posters and everything I could find, and an disturbing picture arose. The one you described of a one-sided campaign to achieve a stated end, without proper identification or perspective.

    As for the brain injury - I got raked over the coals for making light of the issue from an avowed healer, who thought my injury was a ruse. That scared me into thinking that perhaps my impression of the "cultishness" of the Firefly group was true. (I know cult is a loaded word, but I cannot think of the word that would indicate a group of people, emotionally inflamed with one mission in mind, and not allowing any dissent.)

    1 year 48 weeks ago
  • Kali Firemoon (not verified)

    Katrina,

    I am so sorry that we have not met yet since it so obvious from your comments that you are a close personal friend of Iris’s and know all there is to know about the situation from a front row seat. I mean, after all, one who has seen a woman four months pregnant, losing weight and physically appearing to not be pregnant would of course understand the emotional, and yes, physical stress she was under. But of course, since you were there I don’t need to remind you of that. So lets move on to the rest of the story, you know where her husband chose to have unprotected sex with someone else, who I am sure was a complete virgin and posed no risk to mother or child, and then husband went home to engage in carnal activities with his wife, confident that his unborn child was never at risk. Yes, I am sure that all of your female students understand why you are firmly in the husband’s court. After all, it’s always the woman’s fault when marriages go bad. Or at least that is what I seem to glean from your article. Yes, I am Firefly, and I was one of the one’s chosen to help this woman after she was victimized by this predator who seems to have persuaded the pagan community that it is acceptable to treat not one, not two but at last count four woman as though they were simply a means to his end. And BTW I know she attempted to alert the community to her situation and apparently no one felt it worth even a cursory investigation. Oh yes, one more example of us not wanting to rock any one’s boat. I will tell you that in response to her story, several other pagan women have come forward with similar stories of abuse reported to the male members of a community met with similar disdain and an obvious desire to hide this type of behavior. Do I believe it happened this time, yes; do I believe that this community is willing, no matter the cost, to hide this type of behavior, yes. No one wants to call attention to the pagan community because we already have an undeserved stigma. But that does not mean we should allow behavior none of us condone simply because we are afraid of controversy. If one of us needs be sanctioned, then we either stand and sanction or accept the stigma so many would place upon us. We need to “police” our own. When four and probably five women come forth and tell the same story of predatory behavior against women we either act or fold the tents and go home. So I suggest you talk to all of them before you post any more pontifications. I also realize you can never post this but we both know you will have read it.

    1 year 48 weeks ago
  • Cara Schulz (not verified)

    Hello Katrina,
    Although we know one another, mostly online but also when we met at Sacred Harvest Festival, for your readers let me note that I'm the Managing Editor of PNC-News and the Co-Editor of PNC-Minnesota. I was the primary author of the PNC-News statement that you are writing about.

    The persons who contacted me asking when PNC would cover this were not Firefly members. Most were not local to DC, but were Pagans and polytheists in other parts of the country who had donated to the Pagan community center in DC and naturally had an interest in it. Why would they contact me? Because I'm the Managing Editor and people often contact me to ask if PNC is covering a story or to request that we cover a story. That's how we get many of our articles - through our readers.

    As for why PNC-News put two different situations in one statement, it's because they are related in nature and both needed to be addressed promptly.

    If anyone has any questions, we encourage them to contact us and ask them.

    1 year 48 weeks ago
  • Kat, Emralde (not verified)

    Thank you for this perspective. I very much appreciate the voice of the elders as I struggle with my own (not-voiced) feelings about this situation and its outcome.

    1 year 49 weeks ago