Glitter and Bunnies and Light, Oh My!

Week 12 (F): fluffy bunnies

Silence, fluffbunny! But wait…what does that mean?

fools

When I call someone a fluffy bunny, I mean that they have a storybook understanding of what it means to be pagan, and that I really can’t stand to be around them for more than five minutes. This is a term that’s considered offensive, but I think it has its practical uses. Here’s what the term “fluffy bunny” means to me:

  1. Someone who is nothing but “love and light”. Optimism is one thing, but to deny all negativity or scariness or intensity is totally unrealistic. That’s just not the way the world works.
  2. Someone who insists on calling themselves a Wiccan, but does not belong to a coven-based hierarchical initiatory tradition. (There’s no shame in being a neo-Wiccan. Really.)
  3. A teenager who claims to be a High Priestess or High Priest. Covens are a major undertaking, and to found one is a huge responsibility that I really don’t think is appropriate for a teenager (or for anyone who’s had less than 10-20 years of working with covens).*
  4. You’ve only read one book. Seriously. Libraries. The internet. No excuse. Even read stuff you don’t agree with: it’s best to critique something when you’ve actually read it, so you don’t come off as an ignorant ass.
  5. Someone who’s in it for the drama. If the only reason you call yourself a witch is to scare people, gtfo. This is a faith, not a fad.
fluffbunny1

but look at me! I am so cute & fluffy!

Sometimes this term is slung around as purely derogatory, with no meaning behind it. That’s the point at which the term becomes useless. What a fluffy bunny is not:

  1. A n00b. We were all new once. We were/are all students. It’s the people who refuse to learn that are fluffy bunnies. Someone who is willing to listen and incorporate new information, but may not know very much yet, is not a fluffbunny.
  2. Someone who follows a different path than you. There is no One True Way, no one size fits all; I think that’s one of the main appeals of paganism. Be tolerant.
  3. Someone who admits to not understanding something. None of us know everything. By admitting you don’t understand something, you’re being realistic. The first step to learning is admitting that you don’t understand something. I often tell my students that I’m more interested in seeing the mistakes they make along the way, because it shows they’re learning.
  4. Someone who has experienced persecution and refuses to be quiet about it. Religious persecution is a reality for many of us, and bigotry still exists. People who think persecution of pagans doesn’t exist probably also think we live in a post-racial post-feminist society. *insert gigantic eye roll here*

I was new once, and even then I thought the term “fluffy bunny” was apt for some people. Unpopular opinion: I think it’s useful to have a term to differentiate yourself from others who claim the same label that you may not necessarily respect. I don’t want to be lumped with people I can’t respect just because we claim the same label. I believe in solidarity, but maybe not unconditional solidarity.

And yet. And yet. I’m still conflicted about using term, because I don’t like rigid labels. I believe in the importance of choice, of people being able to claim their own labels. But…maybe labels shouldn’t be claimed uncritically or without thought. This is another one of those posts without a tidy ending and is a subject I’ll probably muse about a bit later.

Tl;dr version: while I absolutely do not believe there is One True Way of being pagan, I do think that some people don’t quite make the cut for people I would be proud to call my fellow pagans. But many do, and those are the ones I want to make connections with, hopefully through the Pagan Blog Project.

* Says the solitary

Further Reading

An Observation About Fluffy Bunnies (Chris K. Underwood)

FluffBunny (RationalWiki)

Fluffy Bunnies (Wicca for the Rest of Us)

Fluffy Bunnies: A Critique of the Term (most of the links on this one are dead, but I think the author makes some valid points, particularly about darkness being a problematic term)

Thoughts on Bashing Fluffy Bunnies (Ben Gruagach)

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4 responses

  1. Then you have those who spawn negativity, to quote monty python… “runnnn away…. it’s a fluffbunny with sharp pointy teeth.” Okay so not entirely monty python.
    I would have to say we all are new in this lifetime. I have read a few books and for a while due to Christian parents kept it to a hushed mumble. Now I am reading a must read since I have been called and started my training. While I do not have a coven I am teaching the ATHENA (Alternate Thesists Helping to Educate (and enhance) Neopagan Awareness) Society. But I learned what I had so far from elders, and some basic however with ATHENA and my own past I have found many are scarred however when it comes to having a pagan club on a college campus in Oklahoma we have to tread lightly. Teaching the youth to seek wisdom and energy in what is, is hard when many are 20 and bullet proof. I find myself having to stop Christian bashing because I find and feel more negative then positive and when it comes to energy healling is best to ground negative and talk about what makes us good people instead of what has harmed the past. If we continue to hold on to the negative it can fester and I as a practicing priestess don’t want hatred and fear in my circles.

    March 21, 2014 at 11:02 am

    • RUNNNN AWAY!

      I love that movie. So much.

      You’re spot on when you talk about teaching young folks to seek wisdom. It’s more than just the information. I think there’s a quote somewhere about how knowledge speaks but wisdom listens (something to that effect) that’s rather apt.

      I try to give people who Christian-bash the benefit of the doubt, simply because longstanding oppression can really screw somebody up. And I think that’s totally valid, to be screwed up by the prejudice that you’ve encountered. The problem starts when people refuse to heal.

      March 21, 2014 at 11:41 am

      • There is a point to where you have two types of wounded people; those who bash Christians get it out of their system and heal. Those that don’t. Those that don’t often find themselves looking for a religion to fix their issues or in rebellion. I am seeing this a lot in the society. And it is sad… often times thisbis the case they will not be asked to circles because they will not be willing to let go of fear.

        March 21, 2014 at 1:04 pm

  2. Pingback: Throwin’ Some Major Side-Eye | Anonywitch

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