Silence is Never Consent

We have to be careful about the rhetoric we use, especially in a forum that relies completely on written word.  I saw this this morning, and I decided not to address it on Patheos, because I don’t want to derail the conversation on racism that is happening.  At the same time, I am not okay with this:

A Quote from a Patheos blog reading, "Thank you for all your support in this discussion, but especially for this. It explains in great detail exactly why I wrote what I wrote. Silence is consent, and I do not consent to racism in my community." The identity of the quoted has been blurred out.
Identity withheld due to my assumption that the person quoted simply didn’t think this through before saying it since their chances of being raped are statistically less than mine.

 

 

By all means, draw lines when you feel they are needed.  Tell me what you don’t consent to even, because that’s really, really important. But silence?  Silence is never consent.  Ever.

I’m not unaware of the necessity for white people speaking out against other white people’s racist BS.  I will even agree that our silence when it comes to issues of white supremacy allows it to continue on.  We need phrases that challenge the tendency in human psychology to fear speaking out when we’re confronted with things that make us uncomfortable in a group.  Silence is compliance is a phrase I’ve used before.  Even compliance is violence.

But as a woman fighting against a world where people are raped and regularly asked what they did to get raped, or even told they can’t be raped due to their gender, I cannot and will not accept the muddying of what consent is by people who proclaim they are for social justice.

If this is acceptable rhetoric to the social justice community within the Pagan community, then I am incredibly disappointed and want no part in it.  While I consider it very bad form to derail conversations about one marginalized group with the plight of another, I think it behooves a person identifying as an ally to keep in mind the choice of words that they use, especially when calling others out.  Especially when one has the ability to stop and really pause to consider their words before hitting the send button.  There’s little excuse for such an egregious misstep in words.

Silence is never consent.

“Silence is consent” is how rape happens in our culture.

Pick a different word.

The only way to consent is to say yes, and if you don’t believe that then you’re as much of a problem to me as a woman as the racist is in the world.

Pick a different damned word for your rhetoric.

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My Modern Feminist Mind

Misogyny and bullying.  Do not feed the trolls…  But let’s talk for a brief moment about the acceptability of allowing people to say things like this:

“the only people arguing in these communities are woman.maybe you should revive traditional roles of woman as well instead of picking and choosing what you like and incorporating it into your modern feminist minds.”

This was a comment left on my YouTube channel.  This isn’t the first time this sort of comment has been thrown at a friend or even myself in our community.  I cannot pass it off as simply trolls being trolls.  This, my friends, is actually a commonly held belief by certain males in our community.  In the last year this sort of statement has been made more than once to me.

Why?  Because I spoke my mind.  Apparently, friends, since I was born with a uterus I should sit back and let the men revive the faiths of our ancestors by themselves.  Apparently it’s only us women who are arguing about infrastructure, theology, or anything else.  (Yes, you may pause to laugh here.)

Allow me to explain something to the misogynists out there lurking in the shadows and hiding behind trolly comments, where you’re clearly putting out so much helpful dialogue…

We women are not going away.  You cannot rebuild anything without us.  And we feminists?  We’re going to keep reminding all the women out there that they don’t have to put up with this sort of out and out bullshit.  You can treat us like crap, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter.

Why?

Some of us may fall into the traditional roles of our various traditions…

We may choose to be housewives and mothers.  But for some reason you seem to forget that we are the ones at home raising our children in the Polytheist and Pagan faiths.  We are the ones teaching the future generation what is right and wrong.  We are teaching in our vision and understanding of the world with our modern feminist minds.  So perhaps you should be encouraging us to debate what we see, feel, and think.  Because that will distract me from teaching the future generation not to put up with your brand of bullshit.  We are teaching our children not to put up with misogyny.

So, I highly recommend to the fellow who decided to troll my YouTube channel today by leaving the response above…  Go back to your commenting on your astral projection and UFO conspiracy videos.

You are part of the problem.