I didn’t comment last year because I wasn’t present and felt that it wasn’t really my place to say anything about Z.’s comments and actions towards the transgender community as I wasn’t present and frankly I kept hoping she would do some soul searching and apologizing between last PCon and this PCon. But reading accounts from several different parties, I feel I do need to say this.
I started my path in Paganism as a Dianic Wiccan and as a feminist. While my path has broadened, Dianic Wicca is still an important part of my faith. I agree with Thorn’s comments about Mary Daly, and I often counsel younger (sometimes more impatient) feminists to understand that things were v. different in the second wave and that we need to try to bridge the gap of understanding between second/third wave.
That said, at the risk of sounding dramatic, Z. has broken my heart. She was an important person in my religious and academic texts and I had read much of her writing, trying to give space and understanding for a difference in time, place and experience. I was always able to bridge that gap until last year when she made those hurtful comments that she’s never apologized for.
My Dianic coven does not discriminate based on “bits”, we ask that the women attending be woman-identified. I’m not sure that I agree with a cis-woman only space even as a cis woman but that’s something I’m still personally reflecting on.
What I can’t get past is her hurtful treatment of our trans-sisters. As such, after much thought between last year and this year, I no longer consider Z. as one of my personal Dianic elders though I do acknowledge her work in the community and her personal struggles.
Resources if you would like to learn more: