you are men well i am a woman; you don't frighten me

anonymous asked:

1 Of 2: I don't think the creator of that post said that men couldn't practice magic, just that they couldn't be witches. I don't know if there are any practices available only to witches, but I'm guessing that a wizard, warlock, druid, or whatever can worship the same deities or cast the same spells as a witch. It's important to some people that the title witch be reserved females because it's a historically female term, and I'm not saying that's right or wrong.

2 Of 2: I know you’ve done research and there are claims of historically male witches but I’m honestly a bit dubious of the numbers you’ve provided, and no matter what way you paint it, women were the majority killed in the Salem Witch Trials, the majority who are prosecuted to this day. Shouldn’t there be some female exclusive magic space? There are a number of gender neutral terms for magic users, or male terms, but witch is already associated with females and the only term that has traction. 

And I’m not trying to be bitchy or condescending I’m just confused and I want to understand both sides of the issue.

I got off my phone and on to a computer to answer this question. Doesn’t seem like you want both side of the issue, honestly - I have given mine, quite clearly, and you seem to have picked yours, also quite clearly.

Witch is a gender neutral term. The term witch isn’t “historically” female - it’s only been a term used to describe magic users as mostly women in modern times (1600s; that’s only 400 years). “Witch” has always been a gender neutral term - only in recent times has it been used more exclusively for women, but that was not ever its only usage. Man, even in Wicca, they call men who practice “witches.” 

Druids are not the same as witches; druidry is closed prior to initiation - people shouldn’t be using that title unless they are a druid or studying to be an actual druid - so that term should not be grouped in with the others.

You know, other people made the gender neutral terms, because shit like this made them scared and uncomfortable to use the term “witch.” They were frightened people would come out of the woodwork and tear them apart because “oh you’re not a woman, you can’t use that word!” Think about that.

There are zero practices available only to witches (if you’re referring to “witches” as still women-exclusive then yeah, definitely no practices closed to anyone due to gender either) - witchcraft is an open practice that anyone can delve into, use as they like, and take away however they want. So, yes, literally anyone can cast spells like a witch, but they can also cast spells as a witch - using that term as their classifier, if they so wish. Because witchcraft is not closed in any aspect to anyone, neither is the label. No one can dictate who can use the term “witch.”

I don’t honestly know why you’re bringing up Salem tbh. Yes, perhaps the majority of the people accused during Salem were female, but that still doesn’t give women the right to place ownership over the term “witch.” It seems like you’re trying to imply something about the fact that women were the ones who “mostly” died for it, so they should have a right to it exclusively? Correct me if I’m wrong, but that’s what I’m getting, and oh man does that not feel right to me.

Witchcraft was never a woman-exclusive space, period, and I don’t think it ever will be, and I think it’s great that anyone can come in and be accepted for who they are and practice magic like a boss however they want. If you want there to be spaces exclusive for women, make one, but it’s not the fault of the practice for not being that way naturally; there actually is a woman-specific space in Wicca, Dianic Wicca. However, exclusive spaces and stuff shouldn’t be something that is thrown over the entirety of the community regardless of how anyone else feels about it.

The term “witch” was never exclusively for women, as I’ve stated like a half a dozen times now - it is associated with almost exclusively women because that’s how it’s been used in modern times, but it has been used for men in the past too. It is gender neutral. If you thought it was a term for women-only, I’m sorry, but it never was; we’re not actually taking anything away from anyone, it was free to use from the get-go. You’re free to make your own spaces, but don’t try to take or claim something that wasn’t actually your “property” to begin with, please, and leave the rest of us struggling to fill it in. Just because we may not have “died” for it, doesn’t mean we have less of a right to it. 

(Okay, calm, calm down Richtor, civility.)

You’re also ignoring the fact that there are people who use the term “witch” who don’t fall under the category of either men or women. You declaring it a female-only term or space is not only excluding men. You’re excluding me too, you’re excluding many other people who don’t identify as either, which is why I am standing so hard for this point.

Witchcraft is an open practice. Anyone can use the term witch, and anyone can practice witchcraft. I stand by my point, and the history of the word witch. If you don’t like it, well, I’m sorry, I’m not stopping. I’m standing up for me, for all the male witches, for all the trans witches and the non-binary witches, and the genderfluid witches, like me. We have just as much right to that term as anyone else, because hey! It was never exclusively for women, and witchcraft is a very open practice that anyone can take and use as they like. So I’ll be damned if I stop calling myself a witch, and I will not stand by as other people are bullied for using that term because of their fucking gender.

(Sorry, civility lost, let’s see if I can calm down again.)

This is a passionate issue for me, as I’m sure you can see. Trying to collect myself, I’ve made a few changes to what I wrote, but I’m not changing how I think, or some of my phrasing choices. This is important to a lot of us - having an inclusive space and term would be awesome for our community, in my opinion. A lot of people get into witchcraft because they have not many other places to go, to turn to, to draw strength from. Some people draw their self empowerment and confidence from calling themselves a witch - yes, exactly that term witch, not any other term. It gives them the strength to keep fighting and being active in their own lives, to not take life’s shit lying down. We use the word as armor, sword, and shield. It means the world to some of us, because of how it can be seen, regardless of gender. 

It’s a shame you can’t see past the gender part, really. There are some lovely witches out there, men and people who aren’t either, or who are both, and we just want a place to belong and feel welcomed. Trying to exclude us from a term no one actually had any rights to… It doesn’t feel nice. Which is why I will forever stand by my followers and friends, those who identify as ways other than how the term witch has been used, and still call themselves that with pride. (I still stand by those that use other terms for whatever reason, I stand by all magic users, but I hope you can see my point on this one.) I will keep fighting for the word that has no rightful owner, and for the people who want to call themselves it, regardless of its stereotype. 

If that is something you can’t accept, well, what you do next is on you. Because I know where I stand on this, and I’m not going anywhere.

natasha, pierre & the great comet of 1812 sentence starters (act 1)

(twigger warning: alcohol and domestic abuse mentions)


PROLOGUE

  • “There’s a war going on out there somewhere…”
  • “_______ isn’t here.”
  • “You’re gonna have to study up a little bit…”
  • “Everyone’s got NINE different names!”
  • “_______ is young.”
  • “_______ is good.”
  • “_______ is old school.”
  • “_______ is HOT.”
  • “He/She/They spends his/she/their money on women and wine…”
  • “_______ is a slut.”
  • “_______ is fierce, but not too important.”
  • “The war can’t touch us here!”
  • “_______ is crazy!”
  • “_______ is plain.”
  • “_______’s family… totally messed up.”
  • “_______’s just for fun.”
  • “What about _______?”


PIERRE

  • “It’s dawned on me suddenly, and for no obvious reason, that I can’t go on living as I am.”
  • “I used to be better.”
  • “His/Her/Their purse is always empty because it’s open to all.”
  • “I drink too much…”
  • “Right now, my friend fights and bleeds.”
  • “I never thought I’d end up like this!”
  • “The women/men/people all pity me cause’ I’m married but not in love.”
  • “He/She/They is charming, he/she/they have no sex.”
  • “There’s a ringing in my head…”
  • “There’s a sickness in the world.”
  • “I’ll sort it out later.”
  • “How many men before me, good men believing in goodness and truth, entered that door with all their teeth and hair and left it toothless and bald?”
  • “You empty and stupid contented fellows!”
  • “I’m different from you! I still want to do something!”
  • “Do you struggle too?”
  • “I pity you, I pity me, I pity you.”


MOSCOW

  • “I’ll take you where you must go.”
  • “What are you dawdling for?”
  • “Bring some rum for the tea!”
  • “______, you’ve grown plumper and prettier!”
  • “My cheeks are glowing from the cold!”
  • “How beautiful you looked in the snow!”
  • “I can’t bare this waiting!”
  • “He/She/They loves me only.”
  • “Dresses, dresses! We’ll buy what we can afford!”
  • “How wonderful to have you here instead of these gossips and crybabies.”
  • “You’ve hooked a fine fellow!”
  • “The old fellow’s crotchety!”


THE PRIVATE AND INTIMATE LIFE OF THE HOUSE

  • “I’ve aged so much.”
  • “I forget things…”
  • “I live in the past.”
  • “People enjoy me though.”
  • “Such a majestic and agreeable spectacle.”
  • “Bring me my slippers!”
  • “Bring me my wine!”
  • “I have no friends!”
  • “Stupid girl/boy, all my friends are dead!”
  • “I can hurt you!”
  • “I can hurt you but I never ever would.”
  • “He/She/They could beat me or treat me like a dog, make me fetch wood or water and that’s just how it is.”
  • “I know they’ll like me, everyone has always liked me!”
  • “Is this all I make of my life?”
  • “Maybe I’ll marry someone myself…”
  • “Oh, that offends you, does it?”
  • “Where are my glasses?!”
  • “He forgets things…”
  • “And I dare to judge him, I disgust myself.”
  • “I disgust myself…”



NATASHA AND BOLKONSKYS

  • “O-Oh… Oh, hello…. Won’t you come in?”
  • “Too fashionably dressed.”
  • “I DO NOT WISH TO SEE HER.”
  • “I know at any moment he’ll indulge in some freak!”
  • “I am not afraid anyone.”
  • “Too plain and affected.”
  • “Not much to look at…”
  • “What have I said?”
  • “What have I done?”
  • “Oh, they were so awful…”
  • “It all hurts so terribly.”


NO ONE ELSE

  • “First time I heard your voice, moonlight burst into the room.”
  • “You are so good for me.”
  • “I’ll never be this happy again.”
  • “You and I, and no one else.”
  • “We’ve done this all before, we were angels once. Don’t you remember?”
  • “How can anyone sleep? There was never such a night before!”
  • “I feel like putting my arms around my knees and squeezing tight as possible and flying away.”


THE OPERA

  • “Stop moving and moaning, we’ll miss the curtain!”
  • “Welcome, to the opera.”
  • “________, smooth your gown/shirt.”
  • “I’ve never felt like this before.”
  • “Look, there’s _______, home from the war at last.”
  • “He’s/She’s/They’ve changed, dear me!”
  • “What a headdress she/he/they has on!”
  • “They’re all looking at me, they’re all talking about me!”
  • “Now all the ladies/men/everyone are mad about him/her/them.”
  • “No, I am enjoying at home this evening.”
  • “Oh, those pearls!”
  • “So beautiful! What a charming young girl/man/person!”
  • “Have you been here long?”
  • “He/She/They never used to forget us.”
  • “There’s a woman/man/person one should stay far away from.”
  • “Oh, I’d tickle you all if I could.”
  • “He/She/They moved with a swagger. Which would have looked ridiculous, had he/she/they not been so good-looking.”
  • “Mais charmante.”
  • “How handsome he/she/they is!”
  • “He/She/They is talking about me.”
  • “Every time I look at him/her/them, he’s/she’s/they’re looking at me!”
  • “Bravo, bravo!”


NATASHA AND ANATOLE

  • “I have longed wished to have this happiness.”
  • “How do you like the performance?”
  • “He’s/She’s/They’re as handsome up close as at a distance.”
  • “You ought to come, please, come!”
  • “I know for certain he’s/she’s/they’re taken by me.”
  • “I fear he/she/they may seize me from behind and kiss me on the neck!”
  • “You will be the prettiest there.”
  • “Do come, give me this flower as a pledge.”
  • “It’s alright, _______, I’m here.”
  • “I-I cannot speak.”
  • “There’s nothing between us.”


THE DUEL

  • “I have known her/him/them since she/he/they was a child… I have long carried affection for her/him/them.”
  • “Yes, charming.”
  • “Drink with me, my love! For there’s fire in the sky and ice on the ground!”
  • “Vodka and wine are dangerous for me.”
  • “Keep drinking, old man/woman.”
  • “She’s/He’s/They’re first rate but nothing but trouble.”
  • “It doesn’t matter, I don’t give a damn.”
  • “Just as a duck is made to swim in water, God has made me as I am.”
  • “All I care for is deity and women.”
  • “God! To think I married a man/woman/person like you!”
  • “Don’t speak to me, wife/husband/spouse.”
  • “There’s something inside me. Something terrible and monstrous.”
  • “Here’s to the health of married women/men/people and their lovers!”
  • “How dare you touch her/him/them?!”
  • “You can’t love her/him/them!”
  • “I challenge you!”
  • “Oh, a duel? Yes, this is what I like~.”
  • “He/She/They will kill you, stupid husband/wife/spouse!”
  • “So, I shall be killed! What is it to you?!”
  • “________, my guns.”
  • “Oh, this is horribly stupid!”
  • “________, hold your fire! Not yet!”
  • “No! Shot by a fool!”
  • “Oh, my mother. My angel… My adored angel mother!”
  • “You are a fool.”
  • “Well, you certainly bring out the beast in them!”
  • “Come on, let’s get you home.”
  • “Be happy, we live to love another day.”


DUST AND ASHES

  • “Is this how I die?”
  • “How did I live?”
  • “I taste every wasted minute… Every time I turned away from the things might have healed me.”
  • “Was I kind enough…? Was I GOOD enough…?”
  • “Oh, why have I been sleeping?”
  • “They say we are asleep till we fall in love, we are children of dust and ashes.”
  • “When we fall in love, we wake up.”
  • “We are god and angels weep.”
  • “All of my life, I spent searching the words of poets, saints, prophets and kings! And now, at the end, all I know that I’ve learned is that all that I know: Is I don’t know a thing!”
  • “All the things I could have been! But I never had the nerve!”
  • “Life and love? I don’t deserve it.”
  • “All right, I’ve had my time.”
  • “Bury me in burgundy, I just don’t care.”
  • “Such a storm of feelings inside of me!”
  • “Why am I screaming…? Why am I shaking?”
  • “Oh, God. Was there something I missed?”
  • “Was happiness within me the whole time?”
  • “Don’t let me die while I’m like this!”


SUNDAY MORNING

  • “I see my face.”
  • “Don’t be silly!”
  • “They say you can see your future in the long row of candles in the depths of the mirror.”
  • “I see a shape in the darkness!”
  • “I’m so frightened!”
  • “TIME FOR CHURCH!!!”
  • “I suffer now more than before…”
  • “The rudeness of that man/woman/person! I’ll straighten him out!”
  • “I’ll shut myself in my room and try on new dresses/clothes.”


CHARMING

  • “Oh, my enchantress… Oh, you beautiful thing!”
  • “These dresses suit you!”
  • “Anything suits you, my charmer.”
  • “You are such a lovely thing, where have you been?”
  • “It’s such a shame to bury pearls in the country…”
  • “If you have a dress/suit you must wear it out!”
  • “How can you live in _______ and no go no where?”
  • “So, you love somebody! That’s no reason to shut yourself in!”
  • “My brother/sister/sibling/friend dined with me yesterday but he/she/they didn’t eat a thing because he/she/they was thinking about you.”
  • “A woman/man/person with a dress/suit is a frightening powerful thing!”
  • “You are not a child when you’re draped in scarlet and lace.”
  • “Your fiance` would want you to have fun rather than be bored today!”
  • “My brother/sister/sibling/friend is quite madly in love with you, my dear.”
  • “It must be all right…”
  • “There’s a ball at my house tonight, you must come!”
  • “You must come!”
  • “How the thought of throwing them together amuses me!”


THE BALL

  • “How I adore little girls/boys, they lose their heads at once!”
  • “There is no barrier between us!”
  • “I don’t know good from bad…”
  • “I’m so frightened!”
  • “You are enchanting!”
  • “Don’t lower your eyes, I love you.”
  • “I am in love, dear, I am in love.”
  • “Don’t say such things, I love another!”
  • “Don’t speak of that when I tell you that I’m madly in love with you!”
  • “Is if my fault your enchanting?”
  • “I don’t understand anything tonight!”
  • “Is it possible I will never see you again?”
  • “I have nothing to say!”
  • “Tell me, what just happened…?”
  • “I-I’m trembling…”
  • “I love you… Of that there is no doubt.”
  • “How else could we have kissed?”
  • “I could not help loving you.”
  • “I will love you, _______.”
  • “I’ll do anything for you.”
don't wait for "next time"

Rain in Los Angeles is affecting. When the clouds come in, there are no $12 juices, no leggings like skin, there’s no feeling of summer to justify afternoon sins. The rain washes streets caked with old seeds from trees that never feel frost. It washes out spider webs and petals and leaves from plants that were already dead. And of course talking about rain in LA is lyrical and whimsical, because it feels like a movie set, like breathing in someone else’s air. Farm girls remember lightning and old men remember soaked boots. And the children too young for memories find themselves imitating the movies, their fight scenes come to life with the gravity that sunshine can’t lend. We’re all somewhere else when it rains. We’re all indoors in our heads.

But the rain is rare and mostly time stands still here. Months in LA are useless. There’s no back to school feeling, no coming of Christmas, no feeling of renewal, no first day of sundresses, no change of the leaves, no first winter frost, it’s just palm trees and windbreakers and the only passage of time is how much older you look than the girls in the line for the bar. It’s very easy to accomplish nothing when it feels like time doesn’t pass. And when time isn’t precious, you take it for granted and failures of character are assuaged by saying, “I’ll do better next time.”

But next time never comes. It exists in the same sphere as, “I’m never drinking again” and “we’re just having fun.” It’s a displacement of disappointment, an admission of guilt laced with a get-out-of-jail free card. I’ll do better next time in a city that never ages lets you off scot-free. I’ll do better next time speaks not of ambition and not of hope, but of a current complacency that doing nothing for now is fine. I’ll do better next time is bullshit because next time’s right now and we’re not doing shit.

I’ll be more social, and I’ll call my grandmother, and I’ll finally write something new. But then I’ve spent hours doing nothing avoiding what might feel like failure if it doesn’t go well. For time standing still it’s a remarkable thing how different you can feel from who you were. What happened to the girl at the party so eager to meet her potential? So excited for “come what will”? Did I get tired or did I get old? It feels like no time’s passed at all. It feels like spinning, but in control. No forward momentum, no glowing horizon, just the beach, the sun, that’s all.

But if anything was concurable without some enigmatic summon from the horizon, surely it was calling my grandmother. Days prior she had moved from Ohio, where she had spent the entirety of her 87 years, to a new apartment in Arizona. A small woman, Sicilian, bored of life and looking forward to Heaven.

“Hey, Grandma.”

“What’s wrong, doll?”

“I’m worried I made a crappy decision.”

“Well, there will come a time when the choices you make have to be practical, but you’re too young to think the life you imagined for yourself can’t be yours. If you made a decision you’re not happy with, do something to fix it.”

That night it rained in LA and I stayed up all night listening. The sound was so foreign, it was almost frightening. I fell asleep to nightmares but the ghouls in my dreams weren’t successful and in the morning, the sun hit the wet pavement like it was hitting snow, reflecting and blinding. The city was hosed down, cleaning out the stale air of summer. It was warm and sunny and beautiful, but it felt like fall and suddenly I felt time pass. I felt younger, like feeling time actually gave me time.

I could keep waiting until the timing felt right. I could keep waiting to write and keep waiting to apply and keep waiting to say how I felt. That’s the comfort with doing better next time, you get to do nothing until next time shows up. Sometimes we’re lazy and sometimes we’re scared and sometimes uncertainty obstructs the path. The bad and misguided decisions setting us on a free-fall until the next opportunity comes, assuming that we’ll do better next time because this time can’t be fixed. And maybe it can’t. But waiting for a similar situation to come along, waiting for the exact play-by-play so you can enact your “better this time” is both a waste of time and waste of mind. The time spent plotting how to be better in the future could have been spent being better right now.

When you’re young, and I still am so I know this to be true, it feels like decisions are absolute, like they’re irrevocable and you’ll never know what might have happened if you’d taken the other path…but this is nonsense. Decisions may be this or that, but they’re part of a strategy, part of a game plan, and when one fails, you just edit the next to get back on course. A road may cross a river only once, but you can take whichever roads you need to cross the river again.

I made a decision that was foolish and I made another decision that was sad, but the game plan is still clear, the objective still in sight, and though I am on this path, I can hack my way through the woods ‘til I find the path I want. Maybe it will be harder. Maybe it will take longer. Or maybe, as unplanned adventures are wont to be, it will be a blast. I’m not waiting ‘til next time to do better, because I’m going to start doing better right now.