Dear Anti-Feminist Christians, Religion Isn't A Pass On Fighting For Equality

To The Christian Girl Against Feminism, Religion Isn't An Excuse Not To Fight For Equality

Religion is not an excuse to not fight for feminism.

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When I first read the article "I'm A Christian Girl And I'm Not A Feminist..." I thought it had to be a joke. Unfortunately, it was a sad reality.

I am a privileged white female. I came from a middle-class family with a law-enforcement father. I still am smart enough to realize we NEED intersectional, no strings attached, unconditional feminism. Anyone who disagrees is just wrong. In this case, the author is trying to base her outdated sexist beliefs on the Bible, and I am appalled.

At first, I thought it was a joke, I genuinely read the title out loud to my father and even he said it had to be a man pretending to be a woman. As I read the article I realized that sadly this is a girl who has had religion corrupt her life.

Religion can be a beautiful thing, it can change lives and give people hope that they need. I have heard countless stories about how finding a god has made people better, and that is incredible. However, using religion to say women don't deserve the same as men is absolutely absurd.

Part of me wants to scream in her face that she can't be ok with being a victim, another part of me wants to throw my hands up and give up on her and like-minded individuals. However, in a time like ours where women are coming so close to being equals, I can't sit down or act irrationally.

So here are the facts:

1. Women who work fulltime only make 77% of men's salaries on average. African American women only make 64 cents per dollar and Latina women only make 56 cents per dollar. Imagine being just as capable and trained just as well but a guy makes more money than you because he has a penis.

2. One in three women around the globe has experienced sexual violence. ONE IN EVERY THREE. YOU'RE SURROUNDED BY SURVIVORS. If women were considered equals that would not be the case.

3. Only 24% of high-level management positions are held by women. That's worldwide. 195 countries. Let that sink in. This isn't because women aren't smart either, 60% of all United States college degrees are awarded to women.

4. Women are not allowed to vote in many places, like Saudi Arabia or the Vatican. Imagine not having the right to vote! YOU GET NO SAY IN ANYTHING.

You can thank women for your right to work, vote, get an education, practice a religion that you chose, a range of professions, windshield wipers, bras, dishwashers, diapers, need I go on?

Women are strong as hell and your misinterpretation of an outdated book does not dimish all of the amazing things women have accomplished and will continue to accomplish.

To quote one bad bitch, "Power's not given to you. You have to take it." — Beyoncé Knowles Carter.

Now ladies let's get into our feminist formation and fight for our rights!

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What Easter Is Like As A Wiccan

For the majority of people, Easter is the celebration of Christ rising from the dead. But for witches, it's about something very different.
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One thing that can be quite irksome about being a part of the American school/college system is the fact that, for the most part, we are only given time off for holidays recognized by one religion, that being Christianity. I'm not saying these holidays are bad or that Christianity is overrated; far from it. But when you think about the holidays celebrated by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists or, in this case, Pagans, it makes you wonder how everyone else chooses to celebrate their own holidays in the midst of the all-mighty Hallmark-centric holidays.

Before I converted to Wicca, I never quite understood why the majority of Americans chose to celebrate the gory death and alleged resurrection of someone during the spring, much like how we choose to celebrate Christmas in December even though many historians believe Jesus Christ was born around June. Although anyone can celebrate their own holidays for their own reasons, I think its also important to understand where these holidays may have really come from and how other religious holidays can be represented during this Easter weekend.

Instead of celebrating Easter, myself and millions of other people who identify as Pagans celebrate the holiday Ostara. This holiday is mostly celebrated around March 21, but fell on March 20 this year. During this time, Pagans celebrate the Spring Equinox, when winter ends and the bright colors of spring are allowed to come forward for the year -- when "Night and day stand equal, The Sun grows in power and the land begins to bloom and the powers of the gathering year are equal to the darkness of winter and death."

Ostara is one of the eight Pagan Sabbats marked by the Wheel of the Year. Each Sabbat marks a new season, equinox or solstice, which are used to signify the cycle of life, love, death and rebirth between the Mother Goddess (Gaia) and the Father God (also known as the Horned God). With Ostara in particular, it represents a new age of fertility, as the cycle of life and death of the Horned God starts up again.

There are many ways witches and warlocks from the multiple branches of Paganism choose to celebrate Ostara, but the majority of them choose to celebrate the Sabbat of rebirth by basking in the fresh spring flowers. For many, they can choose to have a ritual in their hard garden or simply enjoy the world around them.

You may be wondering, well what does some holiday about spring have to do with Easter? I'm glad you asked! As it turns out, like many other pagan traditions, the Christian religion got a few inspirations from the Pagans, one of them being the beloved Easter Egg.

What the rabbit represents for Ostara is fertility, magic and sexual energy, seeing as the main theme in the Spring Equinox is fertility and sowing seeds. Many believe that both of the holidays' names come from the goddess Eostre, who is sometimes associated with fertility and is loosely connected to both eggs and rabbits. There are also many sources, such as Jacob Grimm (one half of the Brothers Grimm), who believe that the egg is one of the symbols of early Paganism.

So how exactly do Pagans celebrate Easter, considering it's usually a week after Ostara? Well, for many, they just use the holiday to reconnect with family and celebrate some much-needed time off. For me, I just celebrate with food.

Lots and lots of food.

Happy Easter and Merry Ostara everyone!

Cover Image Credit: Lucid Source

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The Problem With Men

The damage of toxic masculinity.

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Toxic masculinity is deeply rooted in stereotypes held for the male population. It's characteristics are a constant outward appearance of being strong mentally and physically, a suppression of emotion, and a violent behavior to assume a presence of power. The problem with men isn't men themselves, but societies reinforcement of these qualities defined as toxic masculinity. Nevertheless, men are still responsible for their actions and should hold themselves accountable.

Toxic masculinity causes problems for everyone, but it is particularly harmful to women. It is a contributing cause to domestic violence, sexual harassment, and rape. The United States has begun to recognize these issues and people have come together to fight them. What becomes overlooked, is the damage toxic masculinity has on men. The constant need to be strong and conceal emotion is extremely harmful to mental health. We cannot all be strong all the time, but that is the societal standard for men. This can be a contributing factor of increased suicide rates and decreased mental health in the male population. The need to prove power through violence could also be a reason for the overwhelming amount of men to women in the prison population. Some examples of the lesser effects of toxic masculinity are the assumptions that boys cannot play with dolls or like princesses, that men cannot wear dresses or skirts, and that men cannot be interested in makeup or clothing. This greatly limits individuality and outer expression for men. Girls have gained the acceptance to play with trucks or like superheroes, women can wear pants, and can be interested in cars or tools. There is still a long way to go for women, but for men, the battle for these simple things has not even been won.

Toxic masculinity stems from the fact that men are still held as superior to women. To show emotion, or to be 'weak', or to do anything that makes them akin to women will undermine their societal superiority. Inequality of the sexes has led to the issue of toxic masculinity and it all comes from prejudice and discrimination against women. To fix toxic masculinity we have to address the issue of perceived inferiority of women. Men cannot get completely better until the problem that births all the rest, is solved.

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