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A Satanic feminist.

…We have more to do when women are denied access to reproductive healthcare and vilified as murderers by those
selected to represent them in the government.
The word of god has been evoked time and time again to justify opposition to the civil rights movement, to squash
women’s liberation, and stand in the way of same-sex marriage.
This is not “religious freedom.” The inclusion of all is not oppression and the voices of the minority are not without
value.
This cannot persist and we must awaken…

Jex Blackmore of The Satanic Temple in this ceremony (filmed by Matt Anderson) on the Michigan state capitol steps.

I am a Satanist. I am also an atheist, and a feminist. It is that last identity which still meets conversational derailment in the Satanic community (particularly outside of The Satanic Temple) with disappointingly plebian anecdotal misrepresentations. On days when I feel particularly masochistic I can count on discussing feminism with the plebs who frequent newbie atheist/Satanist forums to provide abuse I require. The frustration is the same, people who should know better but refuse to.

Limited concepts of feminism like this one from the Church of Satan are far too common for a community of people who have taken an identity that they know is expressed in wide gradation across a spectrum of individuals. Note Blanche Barton’s fixation on looks and dress in this piece. She affirms that a Satanic woman can be sexpot, independant, business savvy mother, but falls short on reinforcing that they can also be any combination or singularity of those. Essentially she’s set the bar higher for women than men. Then she discourages people from identifying as a feminist because Satan should be the only identity a woman needs to empower herself. Keeping with the most negative connotations she can muster for her audience concerning feminists she enables legions of mansplainers to set off into the world hunting witches, er, feminists to shout down.

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Photo: Seattle Times

Feminism exists across a range of thoughts and expressions. You won’t like all of them. I certainly do not care for TERFs (Trans- Exclusionary Radical Feminists), but (and I shouldn’t have to say this to Satanists, of all people) they aren’t all the same. Welcome to third wave feminism. Concepts like the ones in The Satanic Witch are included, but not solely representative of or based on The Satanic Witch like Blanche implies. Incidentally many of us are now interested in the development of a possible fourth wave of feminism, as with Satanism ideologies that become dogmatic and do not adapt to new information and cultural shifts become inviable relics.

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When people take on an identity, like Satanism or feminism, it is to contextualise their world and is layered over their prior experience and motivations. It is bizarrely hypocritical for Satanists to paint broad strokes about feminists based on their imaginings of how many of “the worst kind” of them populate the identity. Even if you imagine the women most independent from men who have the least concern for the male gaze or “acceptably” gendered attire, I don’t understand the intransigence. Who’s atrium are you tossing stones at Mr Blackest Flame who values individualism and rebellion against the tyranny of arbitrary social standards?

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Simple definitions.

Recently I was discussing feminism with a Satanist friend. He is a passionate supporter of women’s equality and reproductive rights, and he told me his criticism of the term feminist is that it encompasses so broad a scope of ideology as to be useless. He is correct in that, by itself, its use doesn’t inform the observer of possibly relevant details outside of “supports women’s equality”. That that feels redundant to many people. Because of the range of people who identify as feminists one doesn’t know for example if they’re discussing women’s only space issues with someone who is referring to legitimate concerns or a TERF who is prone to hyperbole and histrionics regarding anyone who was ever assigned as “male” in their life based on their genitalia. But if we consider that people who identify as Satanists, from the small theistic minority to atheistic Satanists, literary verses mystically delineated, and consider the pliable definition of Satanism then the objection to feminism being too loosely defined sounds disingenuous or incomplete.

Identities are personal. We do not recruit and aren’t inclined to convince people to try ours on. I have atheist friends who get what we are about but don’t particularly find that Satan mythology resonates with them. I have Satanist friends who are by definition feminists but don’t choose to wear the title. This is fine, but it’s not fine to stereotype groups of people based on ignorance and unfamiliarity. Satanists asserting narratives of castrating feminists out to create a new female ruling class expose their own stupidity and misogyny and illustrate why feminists exist and continue to speak. They also affirm why I am a Satanic feminist.FB_IMG_1452208617457

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