Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Pronouns Are Incantations

Consider this, all ye Witches, Pagans, Shamans, Healers, and Magickal Workers of every name and practice, and of any and every degree of experience:
Words are tools that magickal workers wield, and more powerfully so if wielded with intention. This is true in any context. When one continues to employ an incorrect word after the correct word has been provided by the primary authority on the subject, one is intentionally manifesting some nasty consequences. I recommend practicing sincere discernment, including a rousing examination of one's own privileges.

Spivak gender neutral pronouns: e / em/ eir /eirs/ emself
A service I offered at PCon this year was to invite people to make their own pronoun ribbons. I carried a bag of blank rainbow ribbons and a variety of metallic pens and permanent markers. Most people got it right away and expressed glee and gratitude as they crafted one of their very own. I suppose it will shock few to learn that the folks who responded with blank stares or breezy dismissiveness turned out to be cisgendered men and women. I assured them that they, too, had pronouns. It was fun to see the light go on in their eyes as they realized this truth. It was amusing to see them struggle to figure out their own damn pronouns— and hopeful to see the the humility many of them experienced as they realized how challenging it can be to self-define, even for someone who has spent decades taking their identity for granted. Ribbon Lust as a gateway to wisdom!