Before I was banned from this group, I went to a meet up where in the general discussion a person mentioned a Women's Retreat. I don't recall which one she meant, but there are Pagan Women Retreats throughout the United States. This also is not a purely Pagan or New Age ideology. Christian Churches will have women's retreats, or even secular groups will engage in this dichotomy. To be clear, there are also male-only retreats or gatherings.
As the title suggests, I'm not a fan of this.
Gender binary is the classification of sex and gender into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine. This type of binary system typically associates someone's gender to their sexual organs. It also promotes that fallacy that someone has to be entirely gendered-male or entirely gendered-female, else it puts in question the legitimacy of their gender.
Let me use myself as an example. I am a female-sex feminine-gendered person. People will make the assumptions that I will want to date and eventually marry a man, have children, clean the house, care about my appearance, be sensitive, be caring, etc. I have a friend who is a male-sex masculine-gendered person, to which people make the assumptions that he likes to date and have sex with women, is tough, likes sports, indifferent towards children, dumb with emotions but rational, a slob, etc. But the reality for both me and my friend are a mix between these "assumptions." Almost anyone you pull off the street and talk to will have a mix of what the gender binary says should belong only to one gender.
This does not take into consideration that people do not have to identify with a certain gender. Gender is a fluid term, dependent on social and personal constructs. Therefore, it is extremely relative to a person. There are people who are genderqueer, or are not "female" or "male." They exist too.
I already discussed in this article about how I do not believe in the gender binary, but that there are pagan religions that depend on this construct such as Dianic Wicca. Traditional Wicca, too, requires this binary as it is a fertility religion.
But I'm not Wiccan, so I shouldn't have a problem with all of Paganism. Only Wicca sunk its claws deep into the general Pagan audience to the point that most Pagans celebrate some form of Wiccan Wheel of the Year. With the Wiccan influence, the Wheel of the Year marks not only the Earth's rotation around the Sun but also how the God is rebirthed and courts the Goddess. I have stored in my resources how the God and the Goddess are embodiment of the Masculine and Feminine energy respectively. Sure, anyone can have a mixture of these two energies, but these were thee two energies.
This also gets into any type of item or subject within Witchcraft. No, I don't understand why "Lavender" has a "male" gender nor do I care to use it as such. That makes no sense to me. Why is my wand considered "masculine"? Have you seen it? Held it? Why would anything without genitals or involving some sort of sexual spell require a gender anyway? Why would it matter? Outside of Wicca and Neowicca, the fertility specifications are irrelevant as far as I'm concerned. Yet the pagan community, authors, members, and the like continue to push the gender binary.
I think that is all I have to write about at the moment, without getting into the specific post on Tumblr that sparked this inner rage. I just hate and loath the Gender Binary and those who push it. I am at the point where I think I may try to start a correlation of Pagans and Witches Against the Gender Binary and Heteronormativity (the latter term is another whole post in and of itself.) But I don't know how to go about doing that or what it would even accomplish.
So, I guess that's where I leave you reader, with the title of this very post...
What to do with the Gender Binary
in Paganism and Witchcraft?