The Nerdy Pagan

Because A Ven Diagram for "Pagan" and "Nerd" would form an eclipse.

195 notes

angelrin89:

Okay so this guy…

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jeff_glen_bennett.jpg

I should point out he voiced this guy…

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20081004085221/dcanimated/images/0/0a/Creeper.png

And this guy…

http://jimhillmedia.com/mb/images/articles/gargoyles4.jpg

And this guy…

http://www.clipartsegifs.com.br/cliparts/cartoon/johnny_bravo/johnny_bravo_001.jpg

And this guy…

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/korra_shinobi_3829.png

And this guy…

http://nymonsters.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/vlcsnap-2010-05-14-07h02m35s177.png

And this guy…

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/CandleJ_5419.jpg

And this guy…

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20111203190403/youngjustice/images/f/f4/Red_Tornado_powers.png

And this guy…

http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20121117194217/xiaolinpedia/images/c/c9/Clay_Intro.jpg

…………………………

………………………..

………………….talk about range.

Filed under Bennet is everywhere!

0 notes

One of the More Unexpected but Interesting Depictions of Voodoo in Pop Culture.

Lately I’ve been watching ther1980s series Beauty and the Beast staring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman. The show is decidedly sappy, but it fills a void for Urban Fantasy in my life that will be there until Netflix gets season 3 of Lost Girl.  It’s best described as Law and Order meets Gargoyles and follows assistant DA Catherine Chandler and Vincent, a man with the features of a lion who lives in a colony of orphans and misfits beneath the Manhattan sewers.  Together, they solve crime, protect the innocent and save each others’ butts from kidnapping at least once per episode.  I’m about to start episode 9 and so far the show has gotten off to a slow start, but there have been some gems.

Episode 8 of Season 1 was one of those.  It focused on a murder committed by a man accused of being a Voodoo sorcerer.  Cathrine’s boss thinks that this is an open and closed case, until the accused man dies after spending days in a trance.  Police and news media in the real world could take a note from Catherine who keeps digging.  She goes to scholars of Voodoo and also people in the Haitian community who know the accused to get a better picture of the Voodoo religion and finds a lot to suggest that while he was a practitioner of the religion, his using it to murder another individual is unlikely.


Now the real kicker (spoiler alert) is when the perpetrators are revealed to be the white professor Catherine turned to for help and his also white assistant.  Suddenly, the villians are not superstitious forigners but white academics who have appropriated Voodoo for their own means and who have their own cult which summons Baka, a vengeful Lwa to take out those who threaten them.  Baka’s appearance (in the show) is half man/half lion and there is some obvious resemblance to Vincent.  The professor is content to frame other practitioners of Voodoo, all of whom are people of color, for his own actions.  He relies on the very stereotypes the media promotes for his own cover.


I wish i knew enough about Voodoo to comment on the accuracy of it’s portrayal of the episode. They talk about ritual possession by the Lwa, and the belief that the mind and psyche control the physical body. If someone more familiar with Voodoo practices wanted to write a followup post on that subject, I would read the heck out of that.  Beauty and the Beast is on Netflix.  The episode in question is episode 8 of Season 1: Dark Spirit.

Filed under voodoo pagan paganism beauty and the beast

3 notes

Transgaming

katiemidway:

One of the biggest ways people my age interact is through the world of video games. Whether that means Xbox Live, Playstation Network, Steam, or a third party client like Ventrillo, we’ve come to expect that our gaming will have a social element of some kind. Leaving aside the part where I avoid most forms of social interaction with people I don’t know (and sometimes even people I do, but that’s a whole different problem), the increased level of social integration can cause a real problem for trans people who haven’t undergone many of the more advanced changes such as vocal or facial modification, or those who simply don’t want to. 

Back during my days on World of Warcraft, I almost always played a female character, simply because that was my default stance, and it was a small way that I could feel close to what I consider my true gender. I played on Roleplaying servers, and from time to time, flirted with the idea of joining a roleplaying guild. In fact, I did join one for a month or so in high school. I was unsure about the idea, but it seemed like a fun time, and at that point, you couldn’t really do much in WoW without having other people to play with. 

When the topic of real-world lives came up, I, by second nature, gave my gender as female, and didn’t think anything of it. After all, they could only see my character, and read what I typed. I never told them my real name, or where I lived, but then again, this was before you could get all that information from a person’s battle.net account. (That’s a bone to pick another time, by the way) The point is, there was no way for them to know that I wasn’t, biologically speaking, a girl. At first. 

After I had been with the guild for about a month-and-a-half, the old guildmaster quit the game. His replacement took the opportunity to make some changes to the guild charter, including requiring anyone in the guild to communicate via Ventrillo’s voicechat servers. I left the guild, and the friends I had made, that night.

Now, as far as I know, the people in my guild would have been really chill and understanding about the whole thing if I had just explained what was going on. But at the time, I didn’t feel like I could take that risk. As a whole, the gaming community is not always kind to people of alternate sexualities, and the WoW community in particular could be pretty bad in that department. That may have changed, I haven’t played since Wrath of the Lich King came out, but at the time, the thought of having to reveal what I was was frightening. 

With gaming becoming more and more social every year, more trans people are facing similar problems, particularly those who are out of the closet in real life, but still finding themselves having to revert to their biological gender online in order to avoid harassment. MtFs are accused of being pervy guys who roleplay as women/lesbians for some kind of sexual gratification. FtMs are mistaken for prepubescent boys and ridiculed. And it’s getting harder and harder to just avoid using some kind of voicechat, especially if you’re a console gamer. That’s one of the big reasons that I was unhappy with the news that Dragon Age III would include a multiplayer component. 

What I’m trying to say, in my usual too-long-winded way, is that if you find someone online who doesn’t sound quite like you think they should, think twice before jumping down their throat about it. Show a little understanding. You may just make their night. And if it makes you uncomfortable, don’t say anything. They’ll be just as grateful for that.

Filed under transgender gaming

31,622 notes

thepeoplesrecord:

Going beyond the Western gender binary - unlearning our backward cultural conditioning 

In Western colonial society (which dominates many aspects of the globalized, capitalist world today) we operate under the presumption that there are only two genders, male and female. But gender is a social construction. One’s options for what gender they identify with are shaped by the culture they are born into. Biological factors are most-often the primary driving forces that choose among the available socially-constructed gender categories.

Cultures around the world have different ways of talking about, thinking about, and identifying gender. It’s often a challenge for (particularly cis-sexual) Westerns to think about other ways gender can be socially constructed. Westerns have the false equivalency of gender and sex drilled into their eternal psyche from the time they are very young, and re-enforced through examples popular culture. There is no biological reality to gender. Many Westerners have the bizarre belief that one’s XY-sex-determination should also inform one’s gender identity, a socially constructed role in society.

In some cultures, there is no distinction made between gender and sexual orientation and the same can be said for sexual orientation - our culture socially-constructs the options and our biology helps us identify which socially-constructed option feels most ‘right’ and best resonates with us.

I’ve attached some photos to offer some examples of non-colonial, non-Western construction of gender. They’ve all been uploaded onto our Facebook page photostream in case you’d like to ‘like’ or ‘share’ them there. There are literally hundreds of ‘third-gender’ identifying peoples around the world. The eight I’ve chosen are mostly examples I remember from some of my anthropology courses but if you google ‘third genders’ you can find many lists and examples.

Who cares? Why it matters.

The most obvious reason to care about the way our culture has constructed gender and sexual orientation is to deepen one’s capacity for solidarity with people who identify as transgender, transsexual, and others whose gender or sexual identity exists outside of binary Western culture.

But there are other reasons as well. Western culture’s binary nature often creates non-sensical, problematic binary identity constructions that are inherently problematic. For example, I believe that Western masculinity (dominance, aggression, lack of communication, lack of emotional expression, etc) is inherently problematic. I believe that to be the reason why most acts of large-scale-violence and terror are committed by men (see: 100% of the mass school shootings in the United States), and I believe it fosters a degree of internal misery within people who heavily adopt these particular ‘masculine’ traits.

In the age of information, and the age of global connectivity, there is no longer any reason (particularly for young people) to feel isolated or restricted to Western definitions of gender, sexual orientation and identity in general. I think the social ramifications of a generation where more and more people begin to identify outside of the gender binary would be tremendous, and I think we should all consider how we can unlearn our cultural conditioning to embrace other, perhaps less exploitative and dominating identities.

Background information on the identities depicted in the above images:

Hijras:

Hijras are male-body-born, feminine-gender-identifying people who live in South Asia (mostly in India & Nepal). Many Hijras live in well-defined, organized, all-Hijra communities, led by a guru.

Although many Hijras identify as Muslim, many practice a form of syncretism that draws on multiple religions; seeing themselves to be neither men nor women, Hijras practice rituals for both men and women.

Hijras belong to a special caste. They are usually devotees of the mother goddess Bahuchara Mata, Lord Shiva, or both.

Nandi female husbands:

Among the Nandi in Western Kenya, one social identity option for women is to become a female husband, and thus a man in society’s eyes. Female husbands are expected to become men and take on all of the social and cultural responsibilities of a man, including finding a wife to marry and passing on property to the next generation through marriage. Female husbands may have lived their lives as women and may even be married to a man, but once she becomes a female-husband, she is expected to be a man. Women married to female-husbands may have sex with single men uninterested in commitment in order to become pregnant, but the female-husband (who is often an older woman, often a widow) will father the child of said pregnancy and treat the child like her own.

Two-spirited people

Two-Spirit is an umbrella term sometimes used for what was once commonly known as ‘berdaches’, Indigenous North Americans who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many Native Americans and Canadian First Nations communities. The term usually indicates a person whose body simultaneously manifests both a masculine and a feminine spirit. Male and female two-spirits have been “documented in over 130 tribes, in every region of North America.”

Travesti
In South America (with a large presence in Brazil), a travesti is a person who was assigned male at birth who has a feminine gender identity and is primarily sexually attracted to masculine men. Therefore, sometimes the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation is not made. Travestis have been described as a third gender, but not all see themselves this way.Travestis often will begin taking female hormones and injecting silicone to enlargen their backsides as boys and continue the process into womanhood.

The work of cultural Anthropologist Don Kulick (a gay male by Western definitions) in Brazil demonstrated that gender construction in Brazil is binary (like Western gender construction), but unlike Western gender construction, instead of having a male-female binary, there is a male-notmale.

In this particular construction of gender:

  • Males include: men who have sex with women, men who have sex with Travestis but are never on the receiving end of anal sex, men who have sex with men but are never on the receiving end of anal sex.
  • Not-males include: women, men who receive anal sex from ‘male’ gay men or from Travestis.

Fa’afafine

Fa’afafine are the gender liminal, or third-gendered people of Samoa. A recognized and integral part of traditional Samoan culture, fa’afafine, born biologically male, embody both male and female gender traits. Their gendered behavior typically ranges from extravagantly feminine to mundanely masculine

Waria

Waria is a traditional third general role found in modern Indonesia. Additionally, the Bugis culture of Sulawesi (one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia) has been described as having three sexes (male, female and intersex) as well as five genders with distinct social roles.

 

Six Genders of old Israel
In the old Kingdom of Israel (1020–931 BCE) there were six officially recognized genders:

  • Zachar: male
  • Nekeveh: female
  • Androgynos: both male and female
  • Tumtum: gender neutral/without definite gender
  • Aylonit: female-to-male transgender people
  • Saris: male-to-female transgender people (often inaccurately translated as “eunuch”)

Kathoey (often called ‘ladyboys’)
Australian scholar of sexual politics in Thailand Peter Jackson’s work indicates that the term “kathoey” was used in pre-modern times to refer to intersexual people, and that the usage changed in the middle of the twentieth century to cover cross-dressing males, to create what is now a gender identity unique to Thailand. Thailand also has three identities related to female-bodied people: Tom, Dee, and heterosexual woman.

-Robert

(via lokisbruid)

31,622 notes

thepeoplesrecord:

Going beyond the Western gender binary - unlearning our backward cultural conditioning 

In Western colonial society (which dominates many aspects of the globalized, capitalist world today) we operate under the presumption that there are only two genders, male and female. But gender is a social construction. One’s options for what gender they identify with are shaped by the culture they are born into. Biological factors are most-often the primary driving forces that choose among the available socially-constructed gender categories.

Cultures around the world have different ways of talking about, thinking about, and identifying gender. It’s often a challenge for (particularly cis-sexual) Westerns to think about other ways gender can be socially constructed. Westerns have the false equivalency of gender and sex drilled into their eternal psyche from the time they are very young, and re-enforced through examples popular culture. There is no biological reality to gender. Many Westerners have the bizarre belief that one’s XY-sex-determination should also inform one’s gender identity, a socially constructed role in society.

In some cultures, there is no distinction made between gender and sexual orientation and the same can be said for sexual orientation - our culture socially-constructs the options and our biology helps us identify which socially-constructed option feels most ‘right’ and best resonates with us.

I’ve attached some photos to offer some examples of non-colonial, non-Western construction of gender. They’ve all been uploaded onto our Facebook page photostream in case you’d like to ‘like’ or ‘share’ them there. There are literally hundreds of ‘third-gender’ identifying peoples around the world. The eight I’ve chosen are mostly examples I remember from some of my anthropology courses but if you google ‘third genders’ you can find many lists and examples.

Who cares? Why it matters.

The most obvious reason to care about the way our culture has constructed gender and sexual orientation is to deepen one’s capacity for solidarity with people who identify as transgender, transsexual, and others whose gender or sexual identity exists outside of binary Western culture.

But there are other reasons as well. Western culture’s binary nature often creates non-sensical, problematic binary identity constructions that are inherently problematic. For example, I believe that Western masculinity (dominance, aggression, lack of communication, lack of emotional expression, etc) is inherently problematic. I believe that to be the reason why most acts of large-scale-violence and terror are committed by men (see: 100% of the mass school shootings in the United States), and I believe it fosters a degree of internal misery within people who heavily adopt these particular ‘masculine’ traits.

In the age of information, and the age of global connectivity, there is no longer any reason (particularly for young people) to feel isolated or restricted to Western definitions of gender, sexual orientation and identity in general. I think the social ramifications of a generation where more and more people begin to identify outside of the gender binary would be tremendous, and I think we should all consider how we can unlearn our cultural conditioning to embrace other, perhaps less exploitative and dominating identities.

Background information on the identities depicted in the above images:

Hijras:

Hijras are male-body-born, feminine-gender-identifying people who live in South Asia (mostly in India & Nepal). Many Hijras live in well-defined, organized, all-Hijra communities, led by a guru.

Although many Hijras identify as Muslim, many practice a form of syncretism that draws on multiple religions; seeing themselves to be neither men nor women, Hijras practice rituals for both men and women.

Hijras belong to a special caste. They are usually devotees of the mother goddess Bahuchara Mata, Lord Shiva, or both.

Nandi female husbands:

Among the Nandi in Western Kenya, one social identity option for women is to become a female husband, and thus a man in society’s eyes. Female husbands are expected to become men and take on all of the social and cultural responsibilities of a man, including finding a wife to marry and passing on property to the next generation through marriage. Female husbands may have lived their lives as women and may even be married to a man, but once she becomes a female-husband, she is expected to be a man. Women married to female-husbands may have sex with single men uninterested in commitment in order to become pregnant, but the female-husband (who is often an older woman, often a widow) will father the child of said pregnancy and treat the child like her own.

Two-spirited people

Two-Spirit is an umbrella term sometimes used for what was once commonly known as ‘berdaches’, Indigenous North Americans who fulfill one of many mixed gender roles found traditionally among many Native Americans and Canadian First Nations communities. The term usually indicates a person whose body simultaneously manifests both a masculine and a feminine spirit. Male and female two-spirits have been “documented in over 130 tribes, in every region of North America.”

Travesti
In South America (with a large presence in Brazil), a travesti is a person who was assigned male at birth who has a feminine gender identity and is primarily sexually attracted to masculine men. Therefore, sometimes the distinction between gender identity and sexual orientation is not made. Travestis have been described as a third gender, but not all see themselves this way.Travestis often will begin taking female hormones and injecting silicone to enlargen their backsides as boys and continue the process into womanhood.

The work of cultural Anthropologist Don Kulick (a gay male by Western definitions) in Brazil demonstrated that gender construction in Brazil is binary (like Western gender construction), but unlike Western gender construction, instead of having a male-female binary, there is a male-notmale.

In this particular construction of gender:

  • Males include: men who have sex with women, men who have sex with Travestis but are never on the receiving end of anal sex, men who have sex with men but are never on the receiving end of anal sex.
  • Not-males include: women, men who receive anal sex from ‘male’ gay men or from Travestis.

Fa’afafine

Fa’afafine are the gender liminal, or third-gendered people of Samoa. A recognized and integral part of traditional Samoan culture, fa’afafine, born biologically male, embody both male and female gender traits. Their gendered behavior typically ranges from extravagantly feminine to mundanely masculine

Waria

Waria is a traditional third general role found in modern Indonesia. Additionally, the Bugis culture of Sulawesi (one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia) has been described as having three sexes (male, female and intersex) as well as five genders with distinct social roles.

 

Six Genders of old Israel
In the old Kingdom of Israel (1020–931 BCE) there were six officially recognized genders:

  • Zachar: male
  • Nekeveh: female
  • Androgynos: both male and female
  • Tumtum: gender neutral/without definite gender
  • Aylonit: female-to-male transgender people
  • Saris: male-to-female transgender people (often inaccurately translated as “eunuch”)

Kathoey (often called ‘ladyboys’)
Australian scholar of sexual politics in Thailand Peter Jackson’s work indicates that the term “kathoey” was used in pre-modern times to refer to intersexual people, and that the usage changed in the middle of the twentieth century to cover cross-dressing males, to create what is now a gender identity unique to Thailand. Thailand also has three identities related to female-bodied people: Tom, Dee, and heterosexual woman.

-Robert

(via lokisbruid)