I was introduced to something new today. I was a bit surprised. Not a lot, but a little. It seems that another school is out to abandon all Halloween activities. But unlike most schools — who seem to make this decision to please uberconservative “Christians” with propagandistic views of the holiday, this one is actually cancelling due to what can only be described as “political correctness gone terribly wrong.” You see, this school is concerned about “offending real Wiccans with the stereotypes about witches.”
Now, I should point out that this isn’t the only reason mentioned. It’s just the reason that the article is focusing on. The school board actually cited three different reasons according to the article. And personally, I don’t think any of them hold water. (And I find myself wondering what the primary reason is or if this is just a matter of trying to find any reason that will stick for a decision already made.)
Now, some people who have seen this article have commented that it doesn’t mention any actually complaints from “real Wiccans.” (The closest thing to it is merely a soundbite from an unrelated news program made by a Wiccan High Priestess while explaining her religion.) And it’s a valid point. But sadly, I have no doubt that some “Wiccan” somewhere really is offended. (Heck, in my brash and younger days, I complained about such things myself. Fortunately, I’ve grown since then.) After all, there are some rather hypersensitive Wiccans (and Pagans of other persuasions, for that matter) out there. And it wouldn’t take much to see some of them get their panties knotted.
Me, I find the whole thing silly. Then again, I find the stereotypes silly. But that’s what makes them fun. I like playing with them. If I was in the middle of my town rather than off on some hill where no one sees me, I’d meet every trick-or-treater at the door in a painty hat and a fake wart on my nose. (Heck, I’d even cross-dress to be the traditional hag.) I think it’s fun to do such things. And besides, I think that playing with the stereotypes reminds us not to take ourselves too seriously.