How do you make peace with gender roles in your practice/identity?
Life really does have a way of humbling us when we least expect it!
Anyways, back to the topic at hand…
One of the things that draws many people to this path is that it revalorizes the female and puts it in a position of balance with the male. But that balance seems to get a bit muddled for me as I delve into some of the stories that we tell in the “wicca” path, for example, the idea of the stag king and the goddess. I’ve heard of events where the men compete for the role of the stag king and I find myself cringing at the gender based division of this activity.
By the same token, often activities assigned to women (all voluntary for both genders) tend to valorize their domestic role and rarely try to create a role for woman outside of her assigned gender role. Is this because women don’t ask for it, or because experience has shown that they don’t tend to participate, or is there a darker, more sinister reason behind this absence of the female quest in our society?
And what do I personally make of this when I myself embody those female roles, even though the feminist in me is somewhat ill at ease with the fact that I am happier knitting in a circle than chopping wood?
As a female I don’t always identify with the virgin queen or the mother goddess, especially since I am neither in my everyday life! I don’t want to be the virginal huntress (Diana) or the goddess of prostitution (Inanna). I’m not just a healer (Brighid), not am I solely an analytical thinker (Athena). And yet, I am all these things and more. And I do find myself identifying and valorizing the “female” arts quite a bit in my own life.
I find myself often wondering where is the fine line between being proud of being a woman and all the things ascribed to my role as “woman” and renouncing the stereotypes and reclaiming my other roles.
I wonder if learning to navigate this paradox is what really shapes and defines us as people. Some women (or men) will lean more towards their ascribed roles than others, and some will lean towards their gender role while also defying it, and some will defy it completely. I hover somewhere in the middle, fluctuating between acceptance and defiance, and I suppose that knowing loopholes and not blindly accepting my gender role, is what makes me a stronger woman. (Or at least, I like to think of myself as a strong woman). But perhaps I need to remind myself to get out of my comfort zone from time to time, and explore the faces of the goddess that I’m sometimes less comfortable with (Kali, Hecate), as well as be less dismissive of the faces of the goddess that I want to kick in the ass for being so seemingly meek (Persephone, Tara).