In response to the Roles of Women in Religion article written some time ago, I would like to take the time to point out a small but important concern I would like your staff to address. When I willingly offered to present my speech on the roles of women in paganism, I clearly wanted to address some issues our society often assumes about modern day paganism.

Some may view us as those funny hippies who worship a goddess, the so called “goths” who slay animals for sacrifices when there are often so many misunderstandings about gothic subculture in general, even that common image of the pointy hat and riding a broomstick.

I clearly defined paganism as an earth centered religion where both men and women are equal. I also provided clear information that our religion is mostly about balance in most branches and sometimes followers choose to have women play higher roles than men.

It was my opinion that women should not be higher than men as that was an imbalance to me. I said it twice actually to make sure my point got across.

I’m not the only one in modern day paganism who agrees with this. When I first saw the article I was upset by the fact that the writer omitted such an important part of my statement.

I ask that next time a topic as controversial and often misunderstood as paganism is written, to please refrain from making paganism sound more negative than it is intended.

Followers such as myself try very hard to change the negative connotation associated with it and while we understand that newspapers want to sell controversy, it will obviously continue to set the standard of what our society continues to see it as. I am a member of Dance Theatre and have been for over a year, I’ve done plays, I often go to the Unitarian Universalist Church here in Richmond, and I’ve participated in many campus activities.

I only want to open your eyes to show others that we are not weird. I’m like any other student on your campus.

It takes a lot of work on everyone’s part to help people understand what we believe, and omitting an important part of my statement obviously gives others the impression that I don’t think women should be equal and should continue remaining unheard and unappreciated in our society.

Not to mention, other fellow pagans who read it will assume I don’t know what I’m talking about and that I’m not pagan. My religion is important to me, as many of my Christian and Atheist friends value their beliefs. It’s offensive in so many ways when you think about it.

So please, I ask that next time you present an article similar to the roles of women in religion speech and anything controversial about the subject, to correctly portray it as informational and enjoyable to read and share with others.

Rebecca Adams