I recently read Doktor Snake’s Voodoo spellbook (available in my school library, donated by someone who a building is named after, I find this awesome). I’d recommend it even for people who don’t care to practice Voodoo or hoodoo because it gives interesting information and was pretty nicely written. It’s not just a spellbook, it also talks about some stories and the author’s experiences. Hoodoo, Voodoo, and Conjure: A Handbook is also pretty good for people who, like me, are sick of hearing about Voodoo but knowing nothing about it. I got it from interlibrary loan.
One of the bits Doktor Snake’s Voodoo spellbook spoke of was Robert Johnson, who allegedly sold his soul to the devil. It talked about how the “devil” at the crossroads was initially an African God who acted as a way for mortals to communicate with the Gods. This God was turned into “the devil” by white missionaries who came to Africa. So the term “devil” doesn’t have the same connotations for people who believe in Voodoo as it does for most people, and selling your soul to him isn’t as horrible as it might be to Satan.
I’m not even sure if you are “selling your soul” to him, it seems more like you’re making an agreement that you get something you want and give up most of your life in exchange, I’m not sure if there’s anything about what happens to it afterwards. There are people who would find 10 years of artistic genius well worth never living to see 50, but if the God got to keep your soul afterwards I don’t see why he couldn’t wait a few more decades to get it. But you might be so I don’t know, I’m clearly not an expert here.
Trigger warning: discussion of rape and various bigotries.
This is rape culture, so as always some poor woman is being dragged through the ringer for having the gall to say a man raped her. With the exact same tactics, which you’d think would make them easy to combat and yet they always work because they’re backed up. I just read a really moving post by an amazing woman and some of the comments on it, and…
How often does this happen? It’s worse to be called a rapist than it is to commit rape. It’s worse to be called a racist than it is to spread racism. It’s worse to be called homophobic than it is to be a homophobe. It’s worse to be called a cis supremacist than it is to be one. The accuser is a worse offender than the person who committed the actual crime. This is not good. We aren’t acknowledging how awful rape and racism and homophobia and cis supremacy are. We aren’t acknowledging how horrible it is for the victim to be subjected to rape or bigotry. And, I know that they are NOT on the same levels at all, but rape can have racist and homophobic and transphobic and all sorts of other bigoted reasons behind it, people without privilege are more likely to be raped than people with.
Why doesn’t this happen to attempted murder? That’s damn awful, right? Someone tries to take another person’s life. And yet it’s okay to accuse a person of murder. The accuser doesn’t get dragged through the ringer while people leap up and defend how it wasn’t really attempted murder because… or how the accuser is just a [horribly bigoted pejorative]. We don’t condemn the victim, dig up how the victim deserved to be murdered and was asking for it, attack the victim. Well, maybe we do sometimes, but it certainly isn’t something that is so common and so widely accepted.
So then why do we do it with these?
This isn’t good. This isn’t us seeing how horrible rape or anything else is. This is privileged people stigmatizing words in a way that only they can, taking away the power of the victims to describe their own experiences by tainting the words they need. This is making it so that if a person wants to honestly talked about what happened to zem, zie has to be ready to be attacked for doing so. After already being attacked in some way, far worse than any of the attackers are likely to ever know. This is silencing. This is oppressing. This is kyriarchy. This is bad.