This is in response to People Dressing Up As Indians For Halloween by CherokeeWriter. I’d commented on it: “I think imitation is the highest form of flattering. Parody is another matter entirely. I think it’s okay if applied to yourself, but not okay if used as a way to make fun of someone else unless… well… people like Osama Bin Ladin are just begging for it. A monster can only be mocked as a monster after all.” Then I realized I had way more to say about it than was quite right to post in someone else’s blog; more that I needed to clarify not just to others but to myself as well; that maybe I was being artificially PeeCee here.
I went to witches ball put on a by an actual coven this year and was pleasantly surprised that, far from hiding from it or wasting a lot of energy being offended by all the nasty propaganda put out about witches by the church, many of the witches there just went with it, dressing as stereotypical witches to the nines; though none went so far as green skin, hooked noses, or general haggery. Nothing like this:
Or this nightmare vision put out by the Church for so long…
They were all beautiful renditions and joyful in who they were with or without all the false tale telling. More like this:
Except for the tiny detail that most of us there were a teensy bit middle-aged:
Not a great picture I know. Sorry.
It was supposed to be a black and white ball, so I considered wearing my witch or or belly dance costume…
… but decided against it at the last minute as the long velvet witch dress is too warm to dance in, the belly dance outfit makes my fat look rather too pronounced. *SIGH* so instead, I such wore a long, lightweight, silky black formal evening gown shot through with tiny silver threads my spider jewelry. I don’t have a picture of that but maybe I’ll post one later.
Anyway, these witches were a cheerful good-humored bunch with a gentle live-and-let-live attitude. Even so, I did hear a few express frustrations at the “born again” or Christian evangelist types they’d come across:
How one of the local churches had passed out flyers to kids warning them away from houses where witches were known to live because “they cursed the candy.”
“Yeah, I’ve been known to curse candy,” one of them laughed: “I curse you candy for making me eat so much of you and give me such a hard time dieting this time of year!”
How a Christian guy one of them had dated began preaching at her and bugging her to convert to his religion once they started getting serious. “I couldn’t believe him!” she groused. “I was fine with him being who he was. We’re all going to the same place; we’re just taking different paths to get there. But then he started using his religion as a cudgel to beat me with! Kept saying he’d pray for me to see the truth of his religion because if I didn’t accept Jesus Christ as my lord and savior, I was going to burn in Hell forever! Like, excuse me, I don’t happen to believe in Hell. That’s your path; not mine!”
I sat there thinking I’d have said, “After you, buddy! Time for you to take it packing. Maybe I’ll meet you there. Then again maybe you’re bat shit CRAZY and we should just part ways for good!”
Yeah, I’ve dated a few of those myself in my youth and would never want to go through that insulting bit of tiresome grief ever again.
While it is entirely possible to have good friends that happen to be Christians (they’re people first, right?) it’s not a good idea for an atheist, agnostic, or witch to date a religious person, nor even for a person of one religion to date someone of some other religion.
A guy who is first a person, comfortable in his own skin, confident, and truly open minded can love you for who you are.
A guy who is serious about his religion will be fine with who you are – attracted to you for that in fact – until he starts thinking seriously about marriage and then it’ll drive him (and you by logical extension) bonkers if he can’t convert you to his religion. But if you convert just to please him and that’s not who you really are, then you’ll be bending so far backward to be this religious person he says he wants you to be, that you won’t be yourself anymore, not the person he fell in love with; certainly not the person he really loves. So yeah: totally not worth it for most of us.
Side trip there. I really just want to say that I think it’s stupid to get uptight over how someone dresses for Halloween even if it pokes a little fun at your religion or ethnicity as long as it’s all in either fun or admiration, and not an unprovoked malicious satire.
Though I hate the stereotype, I still find kids dressed as “scary” church-inspired type witches just as cute as the beautiful ones. Most would rather be beautiful these days, but some, especially those raised with a lot of superstition and/or horror movies, would like to be scary and that’s all they’re really trying to portray. When you imitate something that’s scary to you, what you’re really doing is confronting it, scaring away some of the artificial darkness around it, and I think that’s just as important as portraying something beautiful that you are or want to be. Attaching too much PeeCeeism to these simple explorations of self is kind of ridiculous. Just my two cents worth.
Happy Halloween. Please enjoy the sheer fun of it.