Friday, June 30, 2006

Can We Get Some Testosterone Here, Please?

I’m not Wiccan, but my neopagan worldview is virtually the same. As a guy, I have no problem with Wicca’s strong feminist leanings; and as a gay guy, I’m probably less threatened than most men about appreciating my own feminine side. Yet, like the guy who wrote the article referenced in a recent thread (whose Wicca experiences tended towards the “You’ve got a penis, so you’re wrong” type), I find myself wondering about the role of men in Wicca and its neopagan relatives.

I’m not concerned with individuals who reject all things male; their problem, not mine. But I’m curious if others have found anywhere in Wicca or its close relatives an embrace of “hypermasculinity”: the competitive drive, athleticism, unbridled promiscuous sexuality, a tendency towards directness, etc.

The nearest I’ve found is the Wiccan concept of the God as hunter, which seems of limited value to most of us whose nearest experience to death-dealing is ordering a burger. Ancient pantheons have a wealth of hypermasculine archetypes—Herakles, Zeus, Achilles, and a ton of other Greeks; Thor and Odin; and that’s just naming the most obvious. Yet in Wicca-related neopaganism, we seem to be defined solely in relation to the female: the Consort; the rape-fighter. (My sole purpose in life is to run around preventing rape? Great.)

As a gay guy I understand better than most just how damaging the hypermasculine can be when it’s improperly channeled: bullying, violence, war, patriarchal domination, and yes, rape. But maybe because my own embrace of my hypermasculinity was hard won, it seems a shame that so many Wiccan types cut themselves off from it. A nature-centered religion shouldn’t have so much trouble appreciating what’s beautifully obvious from every fantastically plumaged male bird belting out his song at the top his lungs. And a feminist religion risks diminishing its women if they’re not given the opportunity to embrace their masculine side (seen the legion of girls on suburban soccer fields lately?) just as we Wiccan-type guys get to embrace our feminine side.

So shoot me down. Am I totally off base here? In Wicca and its neopagan relatives, where’s the testosterone?

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