However, I became annoyed enough to comment today when someone alerted me to a couple of threads on A Certain Anglican Blog Which Shall Not Be Named. To be fair, the author of one post (or those who administer the site) had warned that those who used the term “priestess” would be banned. However, he or they apparently did not feel that someone who used “priestess” only to declare it insulting crossed that line. Apparently, one only gets banned if one approves of the term “priestess,” not if one objects. Thus one commenter wrote
I think I will stay away from this thread except to say that I do appreciate that people be mandated not to use “priestess”. Yes, it is insulting and I have never known any ordained Episcopal or Lutheran clergywoman who uses it.
This was a bit much for me, so I fired off the following (actually posting it on two threads):
I am sorry that there are some who still find the term “priestess” insulting. It is, however, still perfectly unexceptionable and proper English. See
The author and the press cited above are hardly bastions of conservatism in the gender wars. If the objection by some in Christian quarters to “priestess” is that it carries pagan or gnostic connotations, well, yes. That’s the point.
Apparently, some do not care to be reminded that there is, in fact, an ideological or theological set of assumptions—true or untrue, valid or invalid, pleasant or unpleasant—on BOTH sides of this argument, and that those who declare the use of “priestess” insulting are in fact making a theological or ideological statement every bit as much as those who use it. Declaring it to be insulting is merely using emotion to blackmail objectors into using language in a way that caters to the very arguments to which they are objecting. So get over it. I will not allow my use of language to be policed by anyone who says she is “insulted” when in fact she is merely objecting to the position I have taken.
(I urge the reader to click on the link to Princeton University Press above to see my point.)
This was immediately deleted from both threads (as was the ‘thank you’ I received from another commenter) and I was declared banned. I have yet to see similar punishment meted out to the woman who styles herself FenelonSpoke and who declared the term “priestess” insulting (and parenthetically, I’m sure Fenelon is turning over in his grave). Arguments on this Certain Blog only go one way, it seems.
I’m not actually all that bothered by this. I admit it—I asked for it. But the double standard is troubling.
*They have posthumously banned C.S. Lewis. Banning a word is an attempt to control thought. I find the SF policy to be wicked, and Satanic. It is an attack on truth.