Hey, Instagram, Bring Back the Goddess

As you may or may not have heard, Instagram has banned the hashtag #Goddess. While this move was allegedly to cut down on explicit content posted under the hashtag, Instagram has inadvertently stepped onto a landmine of sexism, ethnocentrism, religious discrimination, and censorship. Instagram previously tried to ban the hashtag #Curvy for the same reason and reversed the decision after the backlash they faced. Somehow, nobody at Instagram thought that “Goddess”, an arguably way more loaded term than “Curvy”, would have the same issue.

Yet issue there was. Immediately upon noticing the ban, myself and others took to Instagram and other social media platforms to protest. Hashtags like #Goddess, #BringBackTheGoddess, #BringBackGoddess, #GoddessTribe, #GoddessRising, and others took off on both Instagram and Twitter, some with thousands of posts already. There is also a Change.org petition to reverse Instagram’s ban on #Goddess. Articles about the ban can be found on The Mary Sue, The Daily Dot, Bustle, MTV, Seventeen, Daily Mail, eonline, and other sites. Religious news outlets such as The Wild Hunt also covered the issue and religious organizations such as CUUPS (the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans), The Asatru Community, Wicca Spirituality, and many others have also sounded off on Twitter. People are angry and with good reason. Continue reading

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No War on Christmas, Just a Lot of Canons

I wrote this article last year on the banned books blog and wanted to share it, since it may actually be more relevant here. Half a look at how Christmas traditions change and adapt, this post also includes a list of the books, fairy tales, music, and movies that are part of my Christmas canon. Feel free to share yours in the comments.

Bound and Gagged

As a Mythology & Religion major, I think an awful lot about tradition and ritual; why they change, how they change, and how they are kept alive. And there is no time of year when this is more prevalent than the veritable smorgasbord of winter holidays around this time each year. Here the effects of cultural exchange, cultural diffusion, industrialization, and globalization on tradition and folk culture are clearest. For the anthropologically or historically inclined it’s, well, it’s like Christmas morning.

Yet this time of year is also when tensions over said traditions run highest, if the annual “War on Christmas” tirades, arguments in the media over the ethnic background of Santa Claus, concerns that the mainstream American vision of Santa Claus has eclipsed the German Sinter Klaus (Sinterklaas?), many an article on interfaith or Jewish parenting websites regarding the Christmas tree or Channukkah bush, and my Facebook feed are anything to go by. Having given…

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Stone Soup #1: An Inexact Recipe and a Mythology Major Overthinking Soup

Can you cook with all the colors of the farmstand?

Can you cook with all the colors of the farmstand?

If you don’t want to read all of my pseudo-anthropologically-minded ramblings, feel free to scroll down to the actual soup.

A Mythology Major Otherthinking Soup

I grew up in a UU Church where On the Day You Were Born and Stone Soup were childhood staples used in sermons themselves, a shared community mattered much more than a shared creed, and food and fellowship went hand in hand with worship. Holy day rituals were followed by a potluck and a bardic circle. Continue reading