What We Mean By Rape Culture

I debated over this post. My colleagues genuinely believe it’s wrong to give things like this attention, and maybe they are right. I prefer to expose these things to the light of day. Maybe I’m wrong. I should go ahead an warn that some folks may find triggers in this post, and it does contain NSFW content.

I think the PNC did a fine job of covering PSG and Melissa Murry’s story. You can read the coverage here and here and here and here and here. I recommend you read through all of it. Having several PNC members participating certainly seems to have improved the quantity and quality of coverage over last year, and the year before.

I think overall the discussion over this emotionally charged topic has been calm, reasonable and productive. I am officially against excluding anyone from public events, whether that be transgender folk or cis-gender exclusive rituals. Those who have read my blog know I’m not a big fan of gender specific ritual and I have never found it appealing to contemplate my womb. I prefer to hang out in fully inclusive rituals.

But I recently had something happen that made me see the Dianic viewpoint a little bit. I acquired another hater. Not some random person who decided to call me stupid or fat. No this person spent 20 minutes discussing my genitalia and calling me a “bitch” and “whore.” They also said some pretty horrible things about Selena Fox, who is one of the sweetest people I know. Selena isn’t bigoted, she just made a bad choice because she was so caught up in the reproductive rights battle waging in the political sphere. I don’t think such a mistake will happen at PSG again.

I have a weird sense of humor. When I listened to the podcast I literally laughed until tears streamed down my face. I thought it was so over the top that it sounded like an X-rated Church Lady sketch, or a poor imitation of the hilarious Leslie Jordan. My poor roommates had to deal with me walking around cackling and talking about prolapsed vaginas all day. Even writing this I’m giggling a bit.

Other women did not find it funny. Some of these women had received threats of violence for writing for Pagan media. They were horrified. This made me think. I was certainly angry that someone had said such malicious things about Selena. I wasn’t terribly upset about what was said about me. But if some other woman had been the target, if this had been directed at Crystal Blanton rather then me, I would be furious.

Looking at it in that light I find this pretty reprehensible, and not funny at all. You can’t fight hate with more hate. You can’t gain your rights by taking them away from others. This applies to everyone: trangender, Dianic and everyone else.

If nothing else, this podcast serves to help me understand the Dianics a bit better. I still may not care for gender-specific ritual, but I can see how behavior like this may instill in them a need for their own space.

David Salisbury, of PNC-DC and the Human Rights Campaign, told me he spoke with Melissa Murry yesterday and that the podcast below presents an inaccurate take on her feelings regarding the situation. For Melissa’s actual words please see the PNC interviews and videos linked at the top of this post.

I’m not a hardcore feminist, but this is what they mean by rape culture. When a woman expresses an opinion and instead of being challenged on the merits of her ideas, she’s simply called a “whore.” Rape culture affects transgender women too.

Here is a link to the podcast page, but you can listen to it with the audio player below.

WARNING: This is extremely NSFW and contains graphic descriptions of genitalia and foul, misogynistic language.

Audio hosted by archive.org in compliance with the Creative Commons license provided by the podcaster.

I’m maintaining a copy of the audio for legal reasons, along with screenshots of the site taken over several days, but I have removed the audio from archive.org reflecting the change in license status.

About Star Foster

Polytheistic Wiccan initiated into the Ravenwood tradition, she has many opinions. Some of them are actually useful.

  • Vision_From_Afar

    This idiot is allowed to speak up, sure. We’re also allowed to point out how disgusting and juvenile his angsty little pitty party is.
    I’m on the fence as well, Star. Dragging this crap into the light both gives these idiots the attention they desperately crave, but it needs to be smacked down as the foul tirade that it is.
    I need a shower.

  • Cara

    Star – the person changed the audio to an actual porno.

    • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

      Orginal audio will be back in a moment.

  • IraDeorum

    Um, am I missing something? The player gave me 13 minutes of a soundtrack to a what sounds like a gay porn film.

    • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

      Original audio will be back in a moment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000451145781 MrsBs Confessions

    If you click the link to the podcast, it’s still in it’s original form.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kargach Rob Henderson

    I suffered through as much of it as I could stand yesterday (somewhere around 10 minutes, I think) and can assure everyone that it really did contain what Star said it did.  And even as a Gen-Xer, the kind of irony generated by a pro-trans person making fun of someone’s genitalia as though that defined them was more than I could bear.

    • Karen St John

      As a trans person, I can assure you this individual is pro harming, and nothing else.   

  • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

    Audio is back.

  • DawnM1227

    Seriously, Star, all I was able to do was laugh. This person may be serious, but I can’t take them seriously at all. Has this individual ever actually been to PSG? I mean, really.

    • http://www.patheos.com/ Star Foster

       It is funny, until you consider how you would feel if this was directed towards your mother, sister, spouse or daughter.

      • Vision_From_Afar

        The words fundie-like-frothing-rage come to mind.

      • DawnM1227

        I’m not saying the content isn’t offensive, but I’m choosing to not enable their message by getting it out there further. Because unfortunately, as offensive as it is, by putting it out their for the world to see is just giving them the attention they want. And really, this is just a cry for attention.

        I love Selena. I’ve been part of the PSG community for 10 years, been on staff for 6. I run a non-profit and have done interfaith worth, the only way to deal with people like this is to not give them the attention they want. 

        I’m sorry they felt the need to attack you. It was uncalled for, completely. But I find the fact that this individual thinks this is at all painting the trans community or himself in a positive light humorous. Playing the victim and attacking the perceived instigators (his attacks on you and Selena, Melissa and others) does no one any benefit. 

  • http://blog.dianarajchel.com Diana Rajchel

    So this guy just outed himself as someone no person should have sex with, ever. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/rpaxton Robert Paxton

    It’s hard to count how many ways this guy is wrong, and I’d LOVE to see what someone like the guy who does The Oatmeal could do with a transcript.  But that means someone would have to not only endure the whole thing, but with enough attention to capture every “uhhh” and awkward pause.  And as the Media Center coordinator for PSG, I thought his allegations of tight media control were freakin’ hilarious…

    But yes: the straight-up misogyny was really hard to listen to, and I think this podcast could be held up as an example of how NOT to do podcasting.  I can only hope he gains some self-awareness out of this mess.

  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

    Wow…I’m offended on behalf of everyone who identifies as a freak, geek, faggot, LGBTQ, and anything/everything else this individual mentioned in that very bland and inarticulate tirade.  And I don’t personally know any druids (bitch) who say “Gawd!” and “Jesus Christ!” like that.  (If, indeed, this person left Christianity because of these discriminatory types of thing, as they said toward the end, then unfortunately they brought a whole pile of it with them into whatever form of druidism it is that has high priestesses and such…?!?)

    “Uninformed” would be the file I’d put this particular podcast under, I think.  As I believe Warren Ellis said, “You are not entitled to your opinion; you are entitled to your informed opinion.  No one is entitled to ignorance.”  There was more than one’s recommended daily allowance of ignorance in that podcast, sadly.

    I’m sorry you (and Selena, and many others mentioned implicitly or explicitly) were the target of this nonsense; but it really was laughably executed, as you said.  It’s always so profoundly satisfying when someone’s efforts to make others look bad instead speak volumes toward making that person look infinitely worse.

    • Nicole Youngman

       This person claimed to be a Druid?? Not one that WE would claim, lemme tell ya.  (Ok yes I can’t speak on behalf of all Druids yada yada…but still.)

      • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus

        Unfortunately, yes…at one point, he was being rather critical of Wiccans, and then said “I’m not a Wiccan, I’m a druid, bitch” or something like that…and, of all the misused and misappropriated usages of the term “druid” I’ve ever heard in my life, that one sat the least well with me.

        • Nicole Youngman

           Yeesh. Another one for the “I do not think it means what you think it means” files.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RevCrystal.Blanton Crystal Blanton

    You are sweet… and that is how I felt listening to him speak of you and Selena.  No woman should be referred to in this way and furthermore I was offended on behalf of the druids.  It was craziness and left a really bad taste in my mouth.  

  • AnantaAndroscoggin

    Sounds like the type of mentality which engineered the only actual means for “successfully” fighting the haters with hate:

    Nuclear M.A.D. (mutually-assured-destruction)

    End the run of Homo sapiens sapiens altogether, and the hate stops.

    along with everything else.