The sun is setting and the fires are being lit as they were in ancient times. People all over the world have gathered to celebrate. They celebrate life, love, and the divine within themselves and each other. They reach towards the sky, open their palms in praise to the Goddess, and begin the sacred chant. Men and women, young and old, lock hands and begin to dance in honor of the Great Mother of all life.
The above scenario may never get a chance to become a reality. The current statistics in Pagan communities in regards to gender is aprox. 3 women for every 1 man.
While I subscribe to many feminist ideas, and I honestly believe that being born female makes one a feminist by default, I abhor the idea that Goddess Religion is a cleverly designed ruse created to perpetuate a feminist agenda (political or otherwise). I also detest labeling the Religion of the Goddess as "feminist spirituality". In my opinion it is not a good label to give to a religion whose ideas we hope to promote to both men and women. You can not create change among an entire society by only convincing half of it.
Before I continue I want to specify that I am not looking to actively convert people. I do not believe that is the way of the Goddess. I do, however, believe that Goddess Religion can have a beneficial effect on our society as a whole. Both men and women can benefit from a more balanced concept of deity. I can already hear people asking how going from Patriarchy to Matriarchy is balanced. Simple. The Goddess does not preach original sin or convince people to feel guilty for being perfectly imperfect human beings. She is existent in men, women, animals, fish, birds, plants, all of creation. Patriarchal relgions, at least those of the Abrahamic variety, have rather opposite ideas. Now, back on topic...
I have run across more than one person's opinion regarding Goddess Religion that eludes to the fact that every woman who practices it is a lesbian and/or a femi-nazi. (I absolutely hate that slur.) I am not simply talking about the opinions spewed by fundamentalists. These are everyday people that assume I must be a militant man-hater to believe God could be anything other than male. (This is certainly not to say that all feminists and lesbians are man-haters.)
They don't care about the historical and archeological evidence that support Goddess Religion in the past. And forget the evolutionary science that supports the male as the secondary sex or the plain medical fact that every human being begins as female in their mother's womb. No, all they hear is that I am a lesbian and a radical feminist who hates men (despite the fact that I married one).
I believe it is high time Goddess Religion broke free of the feminist mold and started working its way into the mainstream full time. That will never happen until we start making it more universal. It is an all encompassing religion that does not privilege one group of people over another, regardless of their gender.
One of the main differences between Goddess Religion and Patriarchal religions is that the Goddess loves all life as a good, natural mother loves her children. She does not love her daughters more than she loves her sons. For that matter, she does not love her canine children more than her feline ones. This is a pivotal difference that can change the way the entire human race perceives divinity and life on this planet in general.
I am all for feminism I just don't think it should be the defining factor of a religion that should (and does) encompass all of creation and all genders. I am all for lesbianism because I am all for love, but I don't think specific sexuality should be a defining factor of religion either.
Honestly I could care less if some random stranger thinks that I am a lesbian. I would not be ashamed of the fact if I was. But it's not about me. It's about the hope of what the future can hold.
Topics on Goddesses and Goddess Religion can be found for study in universities across the country. This is great, but why limit these topics to the Women Studies department? Why create more seperation between the sexes when we should be realizing the oneness we all share?
Hopefully I won't get flogged for my opinions. I am always open to conversation and hope that those of you who read this will have an open mind and approach this topic with the utmost respect and maturity. Regardless of any eventual floggings, I stand by my position while remaining open to other opinions.