Picture the scene, if you will.
It is a muggy Thursday evening and my miserable lymphoedema legs and I (at this time of day they become the boss and I am powerless to challenge in the heat) are gently simmering and browsing the magic of the ‘gram. In my case this evening, browsing the actual magic, as I’m enjoying a witchy book feed and contemplating something new to read. Imagine my absolute joy when a shouty, sweary goth boy appears and starts shouting at everyone because apparently, the recommendation, by one of the community, of a book called Waking The Witch: Reflections on Women, Magic and Power is exceptionally sexist and exclusionary and he is feeling oppressed and left out! Gosh.
I think the problems are multiple but the most glaringly obvious is that it’s not a book for women, it’s a book about women. It actually says so in the title. Also, nobody is forcing him to read it, but also…you cannot come into a space which is largely curated by women giving each other book recommendations – not deliberately to spite him, but just because that’s how the community has fallen into place – and aggressively shout that the space has not been made representative enough specifically for him: a white boy in makeup screeching about being oppressed. Give it a rest mate.
It was interesting to observe the rage and indignation from someone who was claiming to be in tune with the feminine (he wears makeup you know – we all know, because he shouted about it at us) but who also seems to have a confused understanding of what it looks like to truly value and respect it. I did, of course, have a click through to look at his profile. What else are thumbs for? He is physically relatively unblemished, appears to live in a nice home and is able to wear clothing that reflects and expresses his cultural identity. He is able bodied, white, slim. He is secure enough in his own identity to be able to play with his gender expression publicly and not expect any real backlash. In other words, then – the epitome of privilege, in passing at least. No wonder entitlement grows from such conditions. It’s the most fertile kind of soil there is for roots to grown down into.
Anyway I’ve recommended him a book by the GLAM Witch, Michael Herkes – it’s about Lilith, so it’s another book about “FEMALES!!11!!” – but at least it’s written by someone whose voice he might value. I hope he enjoys it.