Sexual Predators in Paganism

Tents holding altars to various gods and goddesses at GoddessFest in Boise, Idaho.

Goddess Fest, Boise, Idaho, 2015. The Green Tent for Gods (left), the White Goddess (middle), and one of the Red Tents for Goddesses.  There were no sexual predators here (that I knew of).  Photo credit D M Koffer.

[This post uses profanity.]

[Edit: Please see the footnote for clarification around “denying accusations.”]

So, Kenny Kline is back in the news.

Not for anything he’s done recently.  He was just waiting for a jury to make a decision on his case.  (Which they did.  Guilty on all counts, for possession and distribution of child pornography.  Ick.)

But the national media picked up the story, and now several Pagan blogs are weighing in on the issue.  Of particular note is this post by Heron Michelle, in which she talks about being a student of Klein, and this one in which Heron talks a bit about the guilty verdict.

Pay attention folks.  This is super important.

It’s OK to be a little fucked up about this

I’ve done martial arts for most of my life.  I started when I was 17, and have been practicing for most of my life.

The martial art school where I practiced was awesome.  I was studying with the guy who taught everyone else in the United States.  Without boring you with the details, the techniques all fit together elegantly and effectively.  Plus we learned how to use swords (and other weapons).  I’m a geek for authenticity, and this really had it, you know?  We had an annual summer camp where teachers from around the country would come to Idaho to learn new material, and to re-hash old material so everyone knew they were doing the techniques properly.

I did this for over a decade.  Then, just a few years ago, the guy got caught in the act of molesting a very young girl.

I felt betrayed.  I looked back on all the interactions I’d had with the guy, looking for signs and clues that he was a pedophile.  I stopped doing martial arts.  The rest of the system changed its name and moved on.  Lots of people quit.  I had to sort out for myself which teachings were valid, and which were corrupted.  Just because the guy was a pedophile, didn’t mean that the karate he taught wasn’t effective.  But the philosophy, the ethics – 5 years later I’m still not sure I’m square on which of my beliefs were influenced by him.

When you’re a victim of a predator, it fucks you up a little.  Even if you’re not the primary victim, just knowing someone who sexually abused people is disturbing.

Like, it messes with your ability to trust people.

So I get it.  In the Pagan community, when someone is revealed as a sexual predator, it is totally natural to feel a little messed up.  Twisted around.  Cast loose from your moorings.  And it takes time to distance yourself from that person’s teachings, and to sort out where you stand on the ethics and techniques you learned from that person.

Hopefully, you see something like this and decide to make a change, to try and prevent it from happening again.  Keep that in mind, I’ll come back to it.

It’s not OK to tolerate grooming, manipulation, or abuse

Here are some of Heron’s quotes about Klein I want to speak to individually.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that he is guilty of the charges he now faces in a New Orleans courtroom.”

And yet, there were years between Heron’s contact with Klein and his arrest.  She played no part in his arrest.  Klein still participated in the Pagan community.  How many other girls became his victims because of Heron’s inaction?  That’s a shitty thing to think.  I don’t envy Heron.  I’ve been there.  One of my “friends” got caught molesting young boys.  I wish I’d seen the signs sooner, you know?  Maybe I could’ve saved a victim.

“He’s been accused of many inappropriate, creepy, questionable and outright horrifying indiscretions with minors over many decades, by people who would actually know like his ex-wife, Dr. Tzipora Katz, and his step-children.”

Why did no one put themselves between Klein and his potential victims?  If Heron knew there was something dodgy going on, she could still take action without making any career-ending accusations.  (More on this in a moment.)  Clearly there were accusations.  Maybe if more people stood up and said, “Klein’s behavior toward young girls makes me uncomfortable,” he would have either been caught sooner or pushed to a different community.

“It was around my campfire, that he befriended me, and offered to be my teacher, to show me the ways and secrets of “real initiatory Wicca that we can’t find in books.” He enticed myself and several other local witches to become seekers in his Blue Star coven. We spend the next few months hosting him here at my home and shop, as he offered us the seeker classes and rituals required before dedication.”

This is straight-up grooming.  That’s a line that every Pagan sexual predator has used on every naive victim at one time or another.  This makes me suspect that Heron may have been a victim of Klein.  Or someone near her may have been a victim.  I’m not saying that to be judgmental; in my experience of being fooled and manipulated by sexual predators, I totally understand how easy it is to be manipulated.  But that kind of guilt can hang over your head, and cause you to be less decisive than you might otherwise be.  Again – it would be totally OK for Heron to admit she’s a little messed up about this.  Or that she’s still working through some of the conflicting emotions.

“We traveled with him to Sirius Rising Festival in Sherman NY in 2012 and camped out with him and his coven for a week. I saw skeevy things first hand; red flags were flaring all over the place while he hung out with gaggles of 13 year old girls; I had to stand in defense of a young woman refusing to be his nude photography subject, while I watched several others (who were probably over 18) take him up on that offer, with star-struck adoration for him in their eyes, and he lapped it up.  All of us from Greenville chose NOT to dedicate to further study with him, and I feel like we dodged a major bullet.”

How fuckin’ awesome is it that Heron stood up for someone who didn’t want to get naked for a pervy old man?  I wish more Pagans were like this.  BUT – what about those 13 year old girls who may have been victims?  What about Klein’s grooming behavior?  Where were these kids’ parents?  It’s great that Heron stood up to Klein, but was it enough?  And could other victims have been protected if she’d been more assertive at the time?

“I will watch the unfolding case very carefully, and I do hope that the fullest extents and protections of jurisprudence are followed to protect the rights of all involved, in fairness to Kenny and all his victims, so that justice may be served.”

And here, I feel like Heron dropped the ball.  She’s seen all this dodgy behavior, and all she can muster is letting the Gods and the US Criminal Justice System do all the work?  Fuck that.  It’s one thing to say “I’m a little messed up about this,” or “I’m still working through this.”  I feel like this quote, however, is a hands-washing, fence-sitting “not my fault, not my problem.”

It isn’t her fault.  But it is the Pagan community’s problem.  And Heron’s inaction seems to reflect the average level of action for most Pagan groups.

Cooperation vs. Predation

I’m all for enthusiastically consenting adults doing whatever they want to do.  As long as everyone’s honest, sets expectations up front, and respects boundaries, you do you.

Children – aka people who are under the age of 18 (which varies in some states) cannot legally consent to sex.  There is no gray area here.  This is a legal doctrine.  It’s also a neuroscientific and developmental fact.  (If you find yourself arguing this point, I’d consider it a big red flag, and I suggest you talk to a counselor.)

In a healthy, cooperative community, people work together so that the whole group can do better.  Whether that’s a bunch of monogamous couples who get together for circles and potlucks, or a polyamorous commune where free love abounds and everyone works the farm.  Again – as long as everyone is enthusiastically consenting, and their boundaries are respected, there is no problem.

But there are predators in the Pagan community too.  People who don’t respect boundaries.  People who manipulate.  People who disregard enthusiastic consent.

Klein is a predator.  He uses his position as a “Big Name Pagan” to coerce young girls to do things they ordinarily would not do.  (Manipulation.)  He spends time playing with young girls to get them used to his advances, to make them comfortable for when he wants to take advantage of their naivete.  (Grooming.)  He chooses targets who are less likely to resist his advances, and he keeps pushing after he gets a “no.”  (Disrespecting boundaries.)  And he ignores the age limit which protects young people from being taken advantage of.  (Disregards consent.)

Klein, and other predators like him, undermine a group’s ability to benefit from cooperation.  The only effective way I’ve found to effectively discourage predators is to make predatory behavior unwelcome.  Read: boot ’em out.

It’s taboo to criticize

We want our Pagan communites to be cooperative.  And to that end, we have evolved an ethic in which we don’t criticize other people’s path.  In fact, it’s a common thing on the Internet for people to be banned from Facebook groups for being “judgmental” of other people’s experiences or spiritual beliefs.

But predators love this situation.  Polite people are easier to manipulate.  When people feel obligated to be polite and non-judgmental, it lets predators keep abusing and taking advantage of their victims without fear of reprisal.  They know no one will call them out for being creepy.  They count on the fact that Pagans are too polite and respectful to say something.

And this isn’t just about sexual predators like Klein.  I’ve seen other kinds of predatory behavior in our local group.  In rural fucking Idaho.  One fellow liked attention from young, vulnerable women enough that he invented false rumors and conflict to get those girls on his side.  In another situation, a “spiritual counselor” exploited a vulnerable, post-breakup woman by selling “spiritual advice.”

Folks, it’s hard to think that other Pagans might be bad guys.  But our silence is allowing bad guys (and bad gals) to walk freely among us.  People who commit fraud.  Who exploit children.  Who gaslight and manipulate their students.

We have got to get over this taboo about calling people out for their misbehavior.

Yes, it means that we might be rude.  If we want, we can always use our words to say “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it that way.”  But if we say something that’s true (like, “you seem like you’re grooming that child”) and they call you rude, you may actually be on to something.

Is it really harmful if it’s not traumatic?

Yes.

Kids – and I’m talking up to about the age of 23 – are not fully developed in the rational and emotional areas of their brains.  They have difficulty understanding and coping with their emotional responses.  They are still developing their preferences.  They aren’t able to fully comprehend the consequences of their choices.  They are unable to evaluate risk.

This isn’t my opinion.  This is fact, based on neuroscience and human developmental studies.

Also, this is not just about trauma to a child.  It doesn’t have to be a traumatic experience to cause damage.

I’ve known several victims of child sexual abuse.  One was unable to participate in long-term relationships – 25 years later – as a result of her feelings for an older man.  Another destroyed her relationship with her entire family – even leaving the country – in order to pursue a relationship with an older man.

Often, it’s only years later that victims understand and can come to terms with the effect a sexual predator had on them.

Worse than that, by not condemning predatory behavior, we are tacitly approving it.  Klein crossed a line by grooming those 13 year old girls.  No one (that I’ve heard of) stepped up and told him that was not OK, and that if he continued he’d be booted from the event.  Now, the whole Pagan community looks bad, and all we can say is “Oh gosh, I guess he really was a pervert.”

How are we ever going to be taken seriously as a valid spiritual path, if we can’t keep our own house clean?

I mean, we condemn Catholicism for sweeping their sexual predators under the rug.  It seems disingenuous to let predators like Klein do the same thing in Paganism, and not stand against it.

And I know, we’re all against harming kids.  No one is advocating for Frost-style sexual abuse of children.  It’s just that predators are really good at disarming you, making you question your perception.  And our inaction is causing harm.

Proper, ethical actions to take

So, you don’t want to be the ethics police.  And you don’t want to wreck a guy’s career over false accusations.  That’s pretty noble, and I can respect that.

But don’t let yourself be shackled by the obligation to be polite.  Be fucking rude about it.  Politeness is one of the most effective weapons predators use to deflect blame, groom victims, and continue their abuse.

So I’m going to revisit Heron’s quotes from above, with some helpful suggestions on healthy, pro-social, anti-predatory actions you can take.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that he is guilty of the charges he now faces in a New Orleans courtroom.”

Your gut/intuition is telling you something.  Listen to it.  Tell other potential victims that this guy creeps you out.  Tell the event organizers about your feelings.  You can be creeped out and tell organizers his behavior is making you uncomfortable, without it being an accusation.  If he gets angry or protests, so what?  He should quit doing creepy things with young girls.

“He’s been accused of many inappropriate, creepy, questionable and outright horrifying indiscretions with minors over many decades, by people who would actually know like his ex-wife, Dr. Tzipora Katz, and his step-children.”

Maybe we don’t want to act without evidence.  Maybe we don’t want to act on rumor.  That’s totally OK.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t be extra vigilant when you hear rumors.  Maybe it was a vindictive ex.  But if several people are talking about it, it’s a sign to keep a close eye.  Also, you can vote with your dollar.  Tell the organizers you’re creeped out by this guy, and you won’t attend an event where he’s listed.  Don’t let your kids be around him.

“It was around my campfire, that he befriended me, and offered to be my teacher, to show me the ways and secrets of “real initiatory Wicca that we can’t find in books.” He enticed myself and several other local witches to become seekers in his Blue Star coven. We spend the next few months hosting him here at my home and shop, as he offered us the seeker classes and rituals required before dedication.”

Do a little homework on how sexual predators operate.  Understand how grooming works.  Sexual predators do not like to be called out or have attention directed at their behavior, so if you see something that looks like grooming, call it out.  Set a boundary.  You don’t need to tiptoe or be polite about it.  Tell everyone you know what that person did and how it made you feel.  It’s not ruining someone’s reputation if you’re telling the truth about their actions, or how you felt about it.  Maybe you’re misperceiving things, and that’s OK – you can always apologize.  But maybe you’re not misperceiving things, and other people are thinking the same things you are.

“I will watch the unfolding case very carefully, and I do hope that the fullest extents and protections of jurisprudence are followed to protect the rights of all involved, in fairness to Kenny and all his victims, so that justice may be served.”

I think our obligation to our fellow Pagans goes beyond this.  Here, Heron is advocating a “wait and see” attitude, figuring that “karma” or “justice” or “the gods” will somehow solve the situation, and no one has to get their hands dirty.  Fun fact – LOTS of sexual predators get away with it.  As in, they are never caught.  Karma is not a reliable measure for protecting people from sexual predators.  Setting boundaries and calling out inappropriate behavior, however, is.

Here are a few other things you can do.

  • If a creepy old guy is usually trying to hang out with younger kids, get between him and the kids.  Call him out.  Hang out with them to observe, especially if one of them is your kid.  Tell him his behavior is making you uncomfortable.  Tell the kids’ parents.  Tell the event organizers.
  • If someone is hitting on you and won’t take no for an answer, escalate.  Get security.  Tell the organizers.  If the action is criminal – groping, stalking, threatening – call the cops.  It’s a police officer’s job to handle that stuff.  It doesn’t matter if it’s annoying to them.  Better they are annoyed than you become a victim.  Plus, it shows the predator that you’re not an easy mark.  And if the predator escalates, you have an official record to show it.  Which is super handy if the case goes to the legal system.
  • Be smart.  If you’re under the age of 25, realize that not everyone out there has your best interests at heart.  Not everyone is being completely truthful with you.  You don’t need to trade sex for anything Pagan.  If someone is creeping you out, find an event organizer.  Watch out for your friends, like Heron did.
  • Call out behavior.  Say, “It is inappropriate to be talking about sex with underage girls.”  Or “I don’t like you following me.”  Or “I said no, I’m taking this to the authorities.”
  • Describe the actual behavior when you take it to an authority.  If an old guy is making dolls to play with as a way to engage with young girls, that’s a good description of behavior.
  • Be mindful of the “creepy factor.”  That goes both ways: meaning be aware that you might be a target, or be aware that your behavior might be making someone uncomfortable.  It’s not always young people who are victims.  It’s not always women who are victims.
  • If you call out misbehavior, be aware of the other person’s response.  If they tell you you’re wrong, get defensive, or criticize you for ruining the fun, that should be a big red flag.  Which means talk to other people about it.
  • Be aware that there’s a limit on the socially appropriate age of people you date.
  • Practice and promote enthusiastic consent.

A few notes for organizers

If you’re in charge of an event, it’s worth your time to think about this stuff and set some ground rules ahead of time.

This can be as simple as the organizing committee sitting down with a piece of paper and writing out a bullet list of what’s not OK, and what to do if someone does one of those things.

In our group, we have a policy of no sex offenders allowed.  They simply aren’t welcome.  We’ve taken some heat about it, and it’s fine by us if people want to disagree.  They can start their own group.  For us, the safety of members of our group outweighs any “community” or “support” for a sex offender.  We know the statistics on recidivism.  We are familiar with the studies on rehabilitation.  It’s still a hard no.

If someone crosses a boundary for our group, we ask them once to correct it.  Regardless of what that might be.  Even if it’s just a slur in a facebook post.  If the person doesn’t correct their action, or if they do it again, we remove them from the group or ask them to leave the event.  Yes, we have small events.  But they are good ones.

If your event is big enough, you might need to look at getting some kind of security.  That could be organizers or volunteers sitting at a table, ready to take action if there’s a report of a problem.  Make sure you have a plan for what action to take in case of a predator.  It’s OK to rely on the police if a situation escalates.

You’ll probably want to do some research into predatory behavior and warning signs.  If you need resources, get in touch with me.  I’m happy to work through this with you, or help you find resources to figure it out.

Final thoughts

So, clearly there’s an issue here.  A dude got caught doing things people thought he was doing for years.  We probably don’t want people like that in our Pagan community.  We don’t want them representing us publicly, and we certainly don’t want people victimized by them.

I think the only way to fix this is to learn from it.  Learn what didn’t work with Kenny Klein, and fix it.  To me, that includes being willing to be rude and call people out for misbehaving.  It means ditching some of my inclusivity in the interest of safety.

And I think we’ve got to bring this into the open and talk about it.  Not in a “I respect your path even if I disagree” kind of way either, but in an “If you’re exploiting people, you’re not welcome in my group” kind of way.

I understand there’s a lot of gray area here, especially when we get into non-mainstream sexuality.  But the alternative is that we are seen as promoting unhealthy and illegal sexual acts, simply because we’re not condemning it.  And I think that’s as harmful as any sexual predator out there.

What are your thoughts?  Have you had a predator in your group?  How did you handle it?  What do you think about being rude and/or calling out inappropriate behavior?  Do you think I’m off-base, or do you think we could do a better job of weeding out predators?  How do we keep an inclusive Pagan culture, without creating opportunities for predators?

I look forward to your comments, O Amazing and Intelligent Readers.

Edit 4-10-17

I’ve received some feedback from some folks that are reading this to mean that anyone who denies being inappropriate with boundaries is raising a red flag.  That was not my intent.

I mean, it’s pretty obvious that anyone who is accused of this stuff is going to deny it.  So let me clarify: what a normal, appropriate response might look like; and what red-flag responses that invite further questioning might look like.

Let’s say you approach someone at a Pagan event, and you say to them:  “I feel like your behavior with that person is inappropriate, and it makes me uncomfortable.”

A Normal Response would look something like this:

“Oh, crap!  I didn’t realize I was coming across that way.  I am so sorry I offended you/made you uncomfortable!  I guess I need to think about my behavior and boundaries, and adjust them so I’m not accidentally freaking people out.”

Some Red-Flag responses might include:

“How dare you accuse me of being a stalker/rapist/child molester!”  –This is an example of a disproportionate overreaction.  You didn’t offer any specific accusations, but the other person is reacting as though you did.  This may put you on the defensive, or make you feel like you were being rude.  Predators will use this tactic to distract you and to use that social pressure to be polite to keep you from addressing their behavior.

“Oh, relax, you’re just being paranoid.  This is just harmless affection.  I just enjoy kids.”  –This is an example of minimizing or dismissing your concerns.  Predators use this tactic to force you to question your perceptions and boundaries.  (And it can be a form of gaslighting.)  It’s part of their tactic to deflect attention and continue pushing boundaries.  As a parent or friend, you have every right to feel whatever you feel about their behavior.

“Don’y worry.  See, this person doesn’t mind me doing this.  Right?”  –It’s a fallacy that sexual predators only abuse in secret.  Sometimes they will behave inappropriately right in front of you, to normalize their behavior to the victim and to see how far they can get away with things.  The victim may not, in fact, be OK with th behavior, but the social pressure might make it hard for them to feel like they can speak out.

I hope that clears up any misunderstandings!

Also, I just wanted to add – kids are looking to adults as a model for appropriate relationships between kids and adults.  Someone who is behaving inappropriately, or has inappropriate boundaries, may not actually be intending to be a sexual predator.  But their behavior can cause kids to be confused about boundaries between adults and kids.  And that can make it easier for a real sexual predator to take advantage of them.  So again, please take a moment to read up on grooming behaviors and appropriate boundaries between adults and kids, and if needed, adjust your behavior accordingly.

About the Author

I live in the sagebrush desert of southern Idaho, in a little town perched above a deep, rocky canyon. I've been pagan for a little over two decades. I've dipped my toes in Wicca, Rosicrucianism, Yoga, Reiki, and Qabala, only to settle into an Earth-based Neopagan Buddhist path. My credentials (if you care about such things), include an MA in English, an apprenticeship with Jason Miller, and a few publications here and there. I run a small Pagan group with my lovely wife, where we encourage people to show up, do pagan stuff, and live empowered and ethical lives.

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10 Comments

  1. So well said, thank you for taking on this topic!!

    I’m not a fan of anyone who looks the other way, chooses their own comfort, standing or position within a group over the safety of a child or who ignores their red flags and intuition when abuse is suspected or happening.

    We don’t need to use the measure of ‘I saw nothing illegal’ before acting on situations like the one described in Heron’s article with the 13 year olds. It’s simply not good enough to ‘wait and see’. We must be willing to boldly stand up and speak out against child sexual abuse within our community and call out bad behaviors and predatory practices when we see it.

    Sharing this article profusely!

  2. Sexual predation is bad, and precautions must be taken to prevent it. Some of what you say disturbs me, however.

    At one Pagan event that required volunteer hours, I signed up for child care because I really like kids. Several other adults were also present, which is as it should be. During that shift I got to know those adults and several adorable kids, whom I thereafter greeted every time I saw them at that event. Once it was ending, another parent approached me with concerns that I spent too much time interacting with children. I understood the insinuation and denied it. You are suggesting what, that by denying it I am in fact a predator? My only other choice would have been to admit something which was not true. What a glorious position you would place me in from your place of blind fear.

    Protecting children is vital to our community. What you’re doing is sowing fear and paranoia, and it sickens me.

    1. Hi Jim,

      Thanks for bringing this up!

      Without knowing you or your situation, I can’t really speak to the details. But to clarify, I’m not intending “red-flag” behavior to equate to “sexual predator.” Rather, it indicates the possibility of a sexual predator, which a parent should follow up on and be more vigilant about.

      It sounds like your behavior raised a red flag for that parent. If you’re not doing anything illegal, then you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. It’s completely fair for that parent to decide they are uncomfortable with the kind of interactions you’re having with their child(ren).

      On the other hand, someone who has illicit intentions towards kids would say the exact same thing! (I’ve seen it firsthand.) Do you have any suggestions on how a parent is supposed to discern the difference between someone who just likes kids, and someone who’s grooming them?

      I think my suggestions – for parents to spend time in the group, and to be extra vigilant when they see red flags – are both completely reasonable responses.

      As to your claim of “sowing fear and paranoia,” I like to think of it as “raising awareness,” “teaching discernment,” and “advocating appropriate action.” And I think our Pagan community could use a hell of a lot more of it.

  3. There are sexual predators in everything. Sometimes, they choose to be involved in things that will bring them closer to children and victims, such as joining religious churches or social groups, as these places tend to have children and other unsuspecting people. We must always be on alert to protect the innocent and throw these criminals out of our communities, and also to show no tolerance for anyone who defends them. You are either on the side of the victim, or you are on the side of the predator.

  4. Excellent article except for one remark: “pushed to a different community.” Do we really want to foist our garbage off on other people? Rather, the thing (I think) for the general Pagan world to do is what Trad Wiccans do: get the word out about those who don’t deserve our trust.

    By the way, that photo of the Pagan festival in the Boise park blew my mind! When I lived there 30+ years ago we could never have done something like that!

  5. Thank you. This might be the very first truly well organized, deeply thought out, and realistic response to the events surrounding Mr. Klein.

    If there had more responsible people 20+ years ago, I wonder how many others might not have been hurt, not necessarily by him because it’s not the only one, but in general.

    Blessings,
    Dr. Tzipora Katz

  6. Regarding martial arts, the sad reality is that karate instructors (generic term) are more or less in the same category as youth pastors. Just do a Google news search for either string “youth pastor” or “karate instructor” and page after page of hits will come back telling you almost invariably about a man taking advantage of a child. I wish I could say it was these kind of people are rare, but speaking from my own experience I lost my first and third martial arts instructors to their predatory lifestyles. Both times they were highly charismatic and very persuasive. Trusted and admired by both the minors and the adults in their company. In the case of the first, nobody suspected anything, but in the case of the second those who suspected were forced out and discredited as cranks and malcontents. The predators were even more charming and convincing in the company of students who had been conditioned through dojo rules to respect and obey them. John Acton said that “power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely,” but I tend to prefer Frank Herbert’s version: Power attracts the corruptible; absolute power attracts the absolutely corruptible.” I find that I tend to be more distrusting of people as I get older. I wish I could say it was just a matter of “once burnt, twice shy,” but twice burnt makes for thrice skeptical.

  7. Great article, David! Very comprehensive, and practical too. I really appreciate you addressing this issue head on, and not in an inflammatory, reactionary way, but with well-thought out advice and examples of how it can be reasonably implemented. Good job!

    1. You described it well, Jack. He did this without being inflammatory or reactionary, which is more than I can say when I read the other gal’s article. My comments on her blog were based in frustration and anger, and I later deleted them, not because I didn’t mean what I said- I did, but because it really wasn’t helpful to the overall conversation I hope comes from this. People shut down and stop listening when we direct our ire at them and leave no room for discussion. So yes, DM totally wrote this well and kept it on track in such an awesome way that people feel inspired to have a meaningful discussion! 🙂 So yay for that!

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