Way to prove their point.
For one, I don’t like this concept of “serious” Lokeans. Grumpylokeanelder posts in the tags. Myriad posts in the tags. Feathers posts in the tags. Many other Lokeans who I respect DO NOT AVOID THE TAG. And in any case, claiming some Lokeans are serious and others are not is a flawed argument. OP has no way of knowing how sincere someone is in their devotion to Loki, and has no right to claim they do. What are their criteria? How are they making this judgment? It is ridiculous.
If by “serious Lokeans” they mean some of the “old guard” Cauldron Farms affiliates, they are correct that many of them avoid tumblr. But are they really the “serious” Lokeans? Many of them are completely uninformed or spread misinformation throughout the community, culturally appropriate from PoC traditions with no remorse, and do a lot of shitty, problematic, and manipulative bullshit. Even worse, most of the things tumblr Lokeans get mocked for actually started with them, but they have made such an effort to assert that they are legitimate and the “tumblr Lokeans” are not that everyone forgets this. The only grounds they seem to have for being called “serious” is that they have been there longer, but they don’t have the knowledge or decorum that they should in light of that seniority, honestly.
From my experience, a lot (not all, of course, but a lot) of the Lokeans who make a big deal of “avoid(ing) tumblr in general” do so for really shitty reasons. Many of them are incredibly ageist (“I don’t want to associate with all those teenage girls!”), queerphobic (“why is everyone on tumblr a grey-aromantic pansexual polygendered emo kid special snowflake?”), or try to use tumblr as a way of blaming Lokeans for their mistreatment in the heathen community. This mythical category of “tumblr Lokeans” that is demonized to vindicate the rest of the community needs to stop. The criteria at the heart of it are problematic (ageist, queerphobic, misogynist, and ableist) and seem largely untrue. I have seen the same kinds of posts that are usually mocked in basically every community across the internet where there are Lokeans, on Livejournal, Facebook, Wordpress, etc.. “Tumblr Lokeans” is largely a scapegoat category, and I am over it.
As far as Lokeans being “over reactive” (whatever that is supposed to mean), let’s take a step back for a moment:
In the past year, Lokeans on tumblr have had one hate blog aimed directly at them (shitpaganssay, formerly shitlokeanssay) and another that was largely aimed at them for many months (Bullshit Incorporated). They have been publicly denounced by many prominent heathens, and mocked by most of the “Big Name Pagans” associated with Cauldron Farms/Northern Tradition Paganism/etc. One of the most largely circulated posts about Lokeans on the internet is the one by Mikki, linked above, that essentially accuses the Lokean community (and in particular tumblr users) of all the dislike, distrust, and exclusion that Lokeans experience in the Troth and other organizations.
Several tumblr Lokeans have received death threats, and countless others have been called “crazy” or “delusional” for their relationship with Loki. A large number of these “paganconfessional” posts are decrying Lokeans, and another large chunk of them are mocking Godspouses, which, let’s face it, mostly applies to Lokeans, as well. Godspouses in other traditions and married to other Gods have also used the Lokeans as a scapegoat category to get more respect for themselves by way of making fun of others. There are several threads on AsatruLore linking to and making fun of specific posts in the Lokean tag, and just this week a Lokean on tumblr ended up on reddit. I’ve seen people claim that Loki isn’t a God, refer to Lokeans as “Loki fans” rather than devotees, assert that Lokean as a category began with the Avengers and “is something tumblr made up,” and accuse Loki worshipers on tumblr of being a bunch of little kids who just want to be edgy.
Do Lokeans on tumblr have the right to be upset about this? Yeah, they fucking do.
Are there Lokeans on tumblr who have stirred up unnecessary drama, flown off the handle, tried to cause problems in other places, or done things that are generally manipulative and detrimental? Sure. But this is likewise the case on Facebook, Livejournal, Wordpress, in Lokean groups as well as groups dedicated to other paths, practices, and Gods. There will always be humans who start shit, and the Lokean community on tumblr is no exception.
But are some of these Lokeans who ended up entangled in a fight the product of harassment, exclusion, mockery, or abuse, told repeatedly that their practice isn’t legitimate, that they are inferior to ____ heathen, pagan, or Lokean, and that they have no place in the community of their own religion? Yes, I truly believe so. Are some of these Lokeans people who have already suffered immensely because of their gender or sexual identity, their race, or their neuro-divergent status, compromised by a history of being hurt, rejected, and even oppressed? Yes, I believe so. Are many of the people who “overreact” to criticism against them and the God they worship people who have simply been pushed to the breaking point and cannot handle any more bullshit from people who think they have the right to judge someone’s beliefs and practices? YES, I BELIEVE SO.
Saying that fighting against the problematic treatment of Lokeans, and, in particular, the category of “tumblr Lokeans” is overreacting gets us nowhere. It is used to justify the exclusion of an entire group of people, as well as to invite criticism that blames Loki worshipers for their mistreatment and harassment rather than calling out the groups that are actually doing it. It is used by other Lokeans to establish an “us v. them” scapegoating game in which they divide themselves from the criticism of Nokeans and others by implicating their fellow Lokeans instead. Claiming some Lokeans are “more serious” than others is moreover disrespectful to Loki and those worshipers who are being criticized, as no one should try to speak for him or claim to know the nature of his interaction with or intentions for another follower. I have no respect for this rhetoric as I feel it only furthers the mistreatment of many of Loki’s followers rather than addressing the real causes for hate and exclusion in the community/ies.
People have the right to be involved with or not involved with whatever tags and blogging sites they want. If tumblr doesn’t work for them, that is fine. If the Lokean tag doesn’t work for them, that is fine. If they need to take a step back from the community to avoid drama or people who rub them the wrong way, that is fine.
But generalizing about “tumblr Lokeans,” claiming some Lokeans are more “serious” than others, or trying to blame tumblr Lokeans for shitty treatment to draw attention away from the groups that are actually doing it is NEVER FINE. Sorry, I am going to call that out when I see it, whether or not I get accused of being “over reactive.”
Excellent commentary from Lokavinr. I just have to add:
I’ve made comments about avoiding looking at the Lokean tag before, but the context to this is that I avoid looking at a whole lot of tags associated with religion, paganism, polytheism, et al. Often this isn’t on a permanent basis. It’s a result of the fact that I get emotionally worked up and burnt out really easily, and the Pagan and Polytheistic community as a whole has a lot of fighting, drama, and people reporting on upsetting things that have happened.
Whenever I’m avoiding tags, generally it has to do with self-care rather than an aggressive judgment call against everyone in that tag. I’ve done the exact same thing with other websites, limiting how much I interact and cutting down on what groups or places I have a membership/account. I still check in infrequently, but I limit how often I do due to low stress tolerance.
P.S. - If you think the accusation of Lokeans as “dramatic shit-stirrers” and “cr*zies” started with Tumblr, you are so, so, so wrong. It’s always, ALWAYS been the same shit. The talking points and justifications listed for shitting on and bullying Lokeans have shifted slightly with the times, but it was exactly the same over a decade ago. I’d venture it was the same before that too, from what I’ve seen.