This is why I don’t join conservative women’s groups. A recent post by a blogger at the Smart Girl Politics site only goes to prove that some women calling themselves smart and conservative miss the boat by miles on both counts.
Louise Butler, who describes herself as a Republican Lutheran, in her post Witches in Georgia; Nuts in Texas, relates a story of a Wiccan woman from Georgia who got a restraining order against a man who was stalking her. She apparently met this man through a dating ad where she stated her religion. The author has this to say:
“She was then shocked that she didn’t attract an intelligent, emotionally mature male. Instead she got a weird, obsessive stalker. Whom did she think she was going to get?”
I’m not suggesting that Wiccans and Pagans in general can’t be immature or criminal. But I have no idea about the Georgia woman’s maturity level. Since the author of the post didn’t mention interviewing her or give any other indication of how she knows her character, then I have to assume she’s basing her judgment strictly on religion.
But before I get to the rank religious bigotry of Ms. Butler, I want to address another glaringly obvious issue that seems to have escaped her. Stalkers come from all backgrounds. Her comment stops just short of the old “well, her skirt was so short, so she deserved what she got” canard. Whether or not you believe dating sites are a bad idea (and I may tend to agree depending on the circumstances), the man himself is responsible for his actions and stalking is hardly a Wiccan-only phenomenon.
Christianity is the majority religion in this country. Is she seriously suggesting that all rapes, stalking incidents and molestations are committed by people who don’t share her religion?Not one Christian is a stalker?
Ms. Butler seems to think that people who believe in witchcraft should go the way of the dinosaur. I say so should the idea that a victim of stalking is to blame for the crime committed against her. I realize that feminism is an “F” word for many conservative women. But accusing the victim of a crime of causing it by virtue of her religious beliefs is an attitude from the dark ages. How is this conservative in any way? For that matter, how is this attitude even remotely Christian? Aren’t conservatives the ones pointing out the war on women by radical Muslims when liberals keep their heads in the sand on this issue? Don’t American women who have different religious beliefs than Ms. Butler deserve the same protections that conservatives think all Muslim women should be getting?
As far as her religious ignorance, I don’t know where to begin. The woman compares people calling themselves witches to people who believe the earth is flat. She says:
“I realize that I am probably not being as tolerant as the times require, but it seems to me that any adult who calls herself a witch should not be expected to be taken seriously.”
Again, this is why I don’t join conservative women’s groups. I don’t expect there to be some great sisterhood that has my back. But if I’m a victim of a crime, I expect a conservative woman to blame the criminal and not me unless she’s a throwback to the 1950s. This post on the main Smart Girl Politics site shows me that expectation is naïve.
The ironic thing is that the post before hers is promoting a rally for religious freedom. Another bit of irony is the ending to another post of hers in which she scolds conservatives supporting Rush Limbaugh’s terrible behavior towards Sandra Fluke. She says, “Be calm, be civil and keep the faith.” Unfortunately, she comes off as just another Christian woman who doesn’t practice what she preaches.
I’m not asking that the conservative tent get bigger. I’m simply suggesting that all conservative women look up from the ground every now and then. When they do, they will see that the tent already includes people who may not share their religion but do share their respect for the ideals of American liberty and we might just get along because of that mutual respect.