I mention a lot that it bothers me in books or movies when they use the term warlock. Obviously it bothers me because it's a silly and inaccurate term, but why should that matter in a piece of art or entertainment that's nothing but pure fantasy? For me, my frustration with the word runs much deeper than simply being annoyed at someone elses ignorance.
As far as I know real Pagans (and I use the word real here to mean historical and real life, not my paganism is more real than yours) never used warlock to label a male Witch. The word Witch itself does not indicate a gender, rather it is supposed to label someone as wise, Witchcraft being the craft of the wise. Furthermore I'm fairly certain Warlock was actually used to call someone a liar, or oath breaker. The history junkies are more than welcome to correct me if they have information proving me wrong but all of my research points me to that definition so that's what I believe.
My thirst for accuracy and truth are what causes this little ignorant slip to annoy me but the reason I simmer just beneath the skin upon seeing this word is for another reason that may not readily spring to mind, and it has to due with gender labels. Using the term Warlock to label a Witch as male is sexist.. that's right I said it, it's fucking sexist.
This word annoys me as a Witch but it pisses me off as a woman and a human being. Why do men need to have a different title than women? It all hearkens back to an antiquated belief of separateness. We need to label ourselves and others as separate. We need to make sure their is no blurring of the lines between masculine and feminine. It's ridiculous. Witch has generally been used to describe a Wise Woman, or Woman of the Craft and when I see the word warlock it smacks of a need to distance men from woman and vise-versa. Somehow sharing a title stains us or them and we need to keep things clean and above all separate. I understand that I may be allowing my ire to get raised over nothing but there is a baser part of me that thrums with anger every time I see it.
What are your thoughts?