equal right amendment

some fave sally ride facts

hey pals, I just finished reading sally ride: america’s first woman in space, by lynn sherr, and here’s a collection of my fave sally ride facts:

  • her favorite constellation was orion, because you can find it so easily
  • one of her first jobs was babysitting.  she made the kids pb&j sandwiches, but they wouldn’t eat them because “the peanut butter was on the wrong side of the bread.”  sally threw out the sandwiches and never babysat again.
  • she stopped drinking coors beer when she found out joseph coors had opposed the equal rights amendment 
  • she told the u.s. ambassador to norway that his rape joke wasn’t funny
  • exxonmobil gave millions of dollars to her “sally ride science” teacher training academies.  it was a business compromise between an oil company and an environmentally proactive nonprofit, and during each keynote speech, sally would make a comment about “oil spills” or “oily money” and glance over at the exxonmobil rep before moving on.
  • she had a border collie when she was a kid, and two bichon frises with her partner, tam.
  • watching barefoot contessa was a daily ritual, and she loved ina garten’s meatloaf
  • when her relationship with tam started getting serious, tam asked “is this forever?” and sally responded “I can’t think more than five years ahead.”  so every five years, tam would ask her “are we renewing?” they ended up being together for 27 years. when she was dying of cancer, sally told tam “I wish I had another 27 years with you.”

ERA for Gender Equality

Today marks the 45th anniversary of the proposal of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)!

ERA has been introduced in congress more times than any other proposed amendment.  If passed the ERA would have provided for legal gender equality if it had been ratified by the states.

The ERA passed Congress in 1972 by the required two-thirds vote. But amendments must also be ratified by three-quarters of the states. The ERA was quickly ratified by 35 of the 38 states needed.

As the seven-year time limit for ratification approached in 1979, Congress and President Jimmy Carter controversially extended the deadline three years. However, no additional states ratified. The ERA had been presented to Congress every year from 1923-1972, but never passed.

Fortunately, ERA inspired laws have passed to provide women with more rights and equality, but there is still some work to be done.

Photograph of President Jimmy Carter signing the resolution for extension of the ratification deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Learn more about the “Amending America” exhibit.

s-wilk-123  asked:

Im not saying I support underage Littles interacting with adult themed blogs,but, your tirade about it being "illegal" for under 18 to interact on adult themed blogs is inaccurate It's not illegal,but, it is against tumblr's policy but so are pornographic images - think about that

It actually is illegal. On the federal level. “transfer of obscene materials to minors.” This is ten years in jail. Also, a good lawyer could make the successful argument of “purposeful deception towards minors” (which adds on another 2 years to your prison sentence). 

Here are the specific law codes:

1. 18 U.S. Code § 1470

2. 18 U.S.C. § 2252B 

3. 18 U.S.C. § 2252C 

Not to mention, the average person screams “PEDOPHILE” when talking about anything relating to the Caregiver/little community, AND a Virginia supreme court recently issued a statement, effectively stating that BDSM practitioners are NOT protected by the ‘equal rights’ amendment, which has a HUGE negative affect on the BDSM community. 

t0rtillachipss  asked:

I love presidential history but being a woman myself, I always find it interesting to study the Women of the White House as well. I am curious to know who your favorite First Ladies are and if you have any suggestions for FLOTUS biographies to read. I hope you are enjoying this holiday season!

Thank you! We’ve had some remarkable First Ladies dating back to the very beginning of our country, and I hate to overlook some deserving women like Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and Eleanor Roosevelt, but my two favorite First Ladies are Lady Bird Johnson and Betty Ford. Both women were indispensable to the success of their husbands (although that’s a common thread in the history of First Families) and played inordinate roles in public life while living in the White House.

Like Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson and Betty Ford recognized the power in their unique position. They had the ear of the President every night and the eyes of the nation throughout their family’s time in the White House. While most modern First Ladies find an issue that they want to shine a spotlight on, Lady Bird Johnson and Betty Ford revolutionized the role of the President’s spouse, becoming activists in support of the issues they believed in. Those issues were not always popular, and they didn’t always coincide with the policies of their husbands. Controversies which could easily be avoided – and which Presidential aides often pushed back against due to potential political traps – never frightened Lady Bird Johnson or Betty Ford from taking a stand on behalf of what they believed. Lady Bird didn’t worry about campaigning for her husband and LBJ’s Civil Rights legislation while facing hostile crowds in the Deep South. Betty Ford didn’t hesitate to publicly support abortion rights or the Equal Rights Amendment (despite strong opposition from leading politicians in her husband’s party), or reveal when she underwent a mastectomy and treatment for breast cancer. Later, Betty Ford publicly revealed an addiction to painkillers and alcohol, and opened the Betty Ford Center after leaving the White House.

Most Presidents note that their wives are one of their leading advisors on all issues, foreign and domestic, political and personal. Most First Ladies put energy into certain issues that they feel strongly about. Lady Bird Johnson and Betty Ford were warriors – activists with a Bully Pulpit every bit as strong (and often far more popular) than that of their husbands in the Oval Office. When looking back through American History, it’s noteworthy how many of our Presidents seemed to marry women so far above their station.

As requested, here are a few quick book recommendations on America’s First Ladies:

The First Ladies Factbook: The Childhoods, Courtships, Marriages, Campaigns, Accomplishments, and Legacies of Every First Lady From Martha Washington to Michelle Obama by Bill Harris and revised by Laura Ross (BOOK | KINDLE)

Secret Lives of the First Ladies: What Your Teachers Never Told You About the Women of the White House by Cormac O’Brien (BOOK | KINDLE)

Upstairs at the White House: My Life With the First Ladies by J.B. West with Mary Lynn Kotz (BOOK | KINDLE)

Lady Bird and Lyndon: The Hidden Story of a Marriage That Made a President by Betty Boyd Caroli (BOOK | KINDLE)

A White House Diary by Lady Bird Johnson

Lady Bird: A Biography of Mrs. Johnson by Jan Jarboe Russell (BOOK | KINDLE)

Betty Ford: Candor and Courage in the White House by John Robert Greene

The Times of My Life by Betty Ford with Chris Chase

Betty: A Glad Awakening by Betty Ford with Chris Chase 

Happy first day of Women’s History month! I’m going to try to post an update about a historical woman every day. The woman for today is one of my favorite feminists, Alice Paul.

Alice Paul was a co-founder and the President of the National Women’s Party (NWP). The NWP favored a constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote, a radical position at the time. The larger organization the National American Women’s Suffrage Association (NAWSA) favored a state-by-state approach to gaining the vote.

Alice Paul and the NWP are the suffragettes that protested in front of the White House during WWI. They were arrested and beaten for protesting. While in prison Alice Paul led a hunger strike that resulted in women being force fed.

After the 19th amendment was passed, Alice Paul wrote the Equal Rights Amendment. She was a lesbian. She was a vegetarian and an animal rights activist.

Alice Paul was considered VERY RADICAL at the time, which is part of why I like her so much.

“Mr. President how long must women wait to get their liberty?”

Alice Paul (1885-1977)

She is Our Homer

Staceyann Chin gives voice to our collective truth with dignity, power and vulnerability in ways that allows each of us to see ourselves more clearly and understand the deepest nature of our powerful communal experience. I emailed her to ask to post the poem she wrote for our closing circle. Her response follows, and then her poem.  – Lisa Vogel

Photo Credit:  Desdemona Burgin

Tell the women, I am honored to have been given space to speak their beauty. Tell them I exist but only for them. Tell them, without their breath, I would be dead.

Tell them to keep speaking. Tell them, I gather words they throw deliberate into the wind. Tell them, no poem I have ever written would be true without the rallying cry of them in battle for our freedom. Tell them we fight still. Together.  Without end. Tell them we are forever. Tell them, geography and time and space and distance means nothing if we are still talking to each other through the winds of our collected time.

REBIRTH FOR MICHFEST

When the first Michigan Women’s Music festival
happened/in August/in 1976
the local paper called it
an international gathering of weirdos

imagine that first flood of women
pouring into the deep dark Michigan woods
imagine them finding the courage
to stay on the land despite the angry men
circling the perimeter/the only plan
honk your horn/if there is trouble
call your sister/and she will come

that sisterhood has since grown
into a global jungle/from which we all come
sprouting eagle from Kingston and California
slithering snake-like from Scotland and South Africa
howling wolves from Brooklyn and Bangladesh

no matter where we spring from
we have never had any doubt/this place would be here
next August/to recharge us/for the year ahead
in our heart we could not conceive
of the final closing of these gates
and now/as we attempt to say farewell
the center of me is sobbing oceans
my heart broken open/my chest/cracking raw
my ribcage/collapsing
because I will never be here again/like this
on this holy ground
these eyes of mine will never see my daughter
in this place at thirteen/or thirty-three/like me
she will never see it/as I have seen it
open/sky/naked spirits/Amazon women
dancing/round red fires of sticks/and stones
taking back the imprisoned bones of ourselves
and finding new freedoms here

in communion/we mourn this bitter end
each of us/trying to remember/that life is a series of cycles
as old as the moon/as expected as the first coming of blood

we who believe in rebirth/see this period of rest
as only a practice test designed
to help us r/evolve in these complicated times

I ask you to remember that we are trained
in the tradition of doing things/they say cannot be done
I beg you to look again
to the determination of the generation
who built this pussy-centered city
with no fucking internet
no kick-starter campaign/no social media
no legal recognition of the right
to love whomever we fucking choose

those Amazons from that era gave birth to abortion rights
and the equal rights amendment
and rape-crisis centers
and women’s shelters
that movement laid the groundwork
for decriminalizing the entire LGBTQIA-BCDEFG identity

forty years after that first gathering of weirdos/we are still here
because Michfest has always been about more than just music
it has remained a light/at the end of a yearlong tunnel
it has been a promise that has kept so many of us going
in return/so many of us/have tried so hard to keep it going
over the years/we have persisted in coming
insisted on defying the odds
year after economically challenged year
every August/for one week/we orchestrate
this neurotic amalgamation of tarp
and bug spray
and tofu
and Tupperware
this single-minded, slick-wet celebration of flashlights
and foam
these flooded sleeping quarters
these fucking RVs and second-hand Subarus
these butch parades and sweat lodges
is about knowing/with everything in us
that being called a girl/is not a fucking insult

under these Sapphic stars
it’s the highest form of compliment

this place has been a celebration of our girlhood
a recognition of the magic of surviving womanhood
it has always been an open invitation to those of us
existing outside the confines of gender-binary limitations
this place is an homage
to the bra-burning/radical feminists of the nineteen-seventies
they believed they could/not only pick a fight against
racists/sexist/homophobic motherfuckers
but/they believed they could also fucking win

we are still fighting those same battles today
which is why we still need to stand together
against the patriarchy
to stand/to gather
this miraculous gathering of women
is only going down
for an expected cycle of much-needed rest

after all/it has only been four fucking decades
since the young Blood Moon
only 19 years old/with ovaries the size of fucking Saturn
started this shit—radical/feminist/midwife that she has been
she has kept the course for 480 months
Lisa Vogel and the long crew and the short crew
and the cooks from Gals
and artisans from Crafts and the workers at the Night Stage
and the artist on the Acoustic Stage
and the witches from the Womb
and all women stirring the multiple cauldrons
that make up this crazy cavalry
they have been holding down the logistics
of this place of safety for 2,080 weeks
it fitting to acknowledge also
that it has only been 14, 560 days
since you magnificent Michigan festies
have been pushing this impossible rock
up the motherfucking mountain of misogyny

forty years is a very long time/my sisters

as the dust settles on our beloved dirt road
indulge your inconsolable ache
lament/weep/wail/cry all need or want
but know too/the seeds of joy we each planted on this land
will never be dead/instead/the legend of its roots
will grow large inside the heads and hearts
of all of us/who have loved here/and fought here
fucked out loud and without apology here
the memory of it/the spirit of it
will tingle inside the scarred chests
of warriors who survived
breast cancer
and rape
and female castration
and rape
and childhood molestation
and rape
and familial rejection
and rape
and ovarian cancer/and HIV and Aids
and drunken husbands/and human trafficking
and homophobia/and gender-policing
and poverty/and wire hangers
and rape
and rape
and rape again

this year/after we say our final farewell
we will again go home
to stand alongside incarcerated Black men
and undocumented children/and transgender boys/girls
and underpaid women/and all those bodies who remain targets
for the wealthy white bigots who would want everyone
who is not them
enslaved/or deported/or killed

with or without a yearly gathering on this land
we will never stand inside the gender-norms expected of us
we will continue to meet/in tents
in kitchens
in basements
inside convents
and churches
we will keep resisting/and out of this resistance
will come another core assembly of need and opportunity
a door that will push this community to birth itself anew

when it does/it is our duty to be ready
to receive it/every one of us
Lisa/and Judith
and Toshi
and Penny
and Holly
and Elvira
and Thokozani
and Sandy
and Hanifah
after the burning of our holy city
we must do something with this astoundingly beautiful ash
we have to cash in the credit of this place
to race toward a future in which our daughters
and our daughters’ daughters keep demanding
safety for every/body living this planet
this is call for Zuri and Cree
and Maddie
and Ruby
and Zora and Naiobi
this is a call for Zander and Josie and Emerson and Kai
this is a call for you/and you/and you/and me
this call is for all the girls/who grew up here
or came here
or heard about the magic that once existed here
to come together/to continue to fight
to grow up and out/to fucking bloom/and rise
and rise/and rise again
to find our Amazon phoenix spirit/to ascend
in flesh/in truth
let us use this moment to rewind/to reincarnate
to hatch and spawn/new blood
to amplify the ageless power we have all felt here at Michfest
the magic of this place must remain/in each of us
fueling us
protecting us
giving us direction
long after the pain of our present sorrow
is gone

anonymous asked:

Feminism is not a hate movement, yes there are misandrists in the movement that do not belong there but the aim of feminism is to support all genders and races

First, thanks for stopping by!  I’m always happy to educate.  While you’re making a statement of opinion instead of asking a question, I’m going to pretend that you’re asking me to back up my claims and are here for answers.

Second, this is going to be a long post.  This is Tumblr, so I’ll keep it as short as possible, but really… there is a mountain of feminist history going back over 200 years documenting the awfulness that is feminism. If I had the time, I could fill books with this stuff.

While I do believe that feminism has become a hate movement since the 1960′s, more specifically feminism is and has been a supremacy movement since its inception.

I’ll go back as far as the mid 19th century.  Before 1839, it was custom under English law (and countries which inherited English law, such as the US) to automatically give custody to the father on divorce.  Unfair, right?  Was the feminist solution equality?  Something like shared parenting, perhaps? 

Enter Caroline Norton and the Custody of Infants Act of 1839, which was the foundation for the Tender Years Doctrine.  This mandated custody of children under age 7 be granted to the mother in all cases.  The father had no recourse unless he could prove the mother was an adulterer.  In 1873 this was expanded to include all children under age 16.  The Tender Years Doctrine was written into law across the US and remained so until the end of the 20th century, alienating generations of children from their fathers.  Even today, with the “best interests of the child” standard, courts still recognize a maternal preference.  Mothers tend to be automatically granted custody while fathers must sue for custody.  This has resulted in a devastating 18% custody rate for fathers.

Next to World War I and the White Feather movement, which used female power to shame men into dying en masse

Onward and upward to 1923.  Ever heard of Alice Paul?  She was a real hero of the Women’s Suffrage movement.  In 1921, a year after the 19th amendment was passed, she introduced the Equal Rights Amendment.  By 1923 it was soundly defeated by… guess who?  Not misogynists, not conservatives… A coalition of feminists led by the League of Women Voters.  Why?  They wanted to preserve female privilege enshrined in law, which they would lose if the ERA made them truly equal.

Let’s move forward to 1971.  Erin Pizzey, another true hero who opened England’s first domestic violence shelters, noticed pretty quickly that a majority of the women entering her shelter were “equally as violent or more violent than their husbands.”  Feminists were so enraged by such an idea that she suffered harassment, death threats, and bomb threats which chased her out of England.  What is this once great supporter of abused women doing with herself today?  She is now a leading voice in the Men’s Rights movement and advocate for equality in domestic violence support.

Erin Pizzey’s findings have been reinforced by over FOUR DECADES of research.  What did feminism do with this?  It created the Duluth Model, which blames all domestic violence exclusively on men and the mythical patriarchy.  It continues to be the cornerstone of domestic violence support across the US, despite being debunked in 1999 by its co-founder.  Feminism and the Duluth Model is the reason why there are literally ZERO male domestic violence shelters in the US and men who call hotlines for help are referred instead to batterers’ programs.

Those are just a few points in history that highlight what feminism is all about.  While feminism was forgiven for its supremacy during the first and second waves because women actually lacked rights back then, it’s quite a different story now that women have not only legal equality but legal supremacy over men.  You can see in these points that things clearly changed from exclusively championing female power for much of the history of feminism to the more recent violent misandry.  

So what happened?  Christina Hoff Sommers has been a feminist longer than I’ve been alive (and I’m old in Tumblr years) and documents this well in Who Stole Feminism? published way back in 1994 - which should give you a hint as to how long feminism has been lost.

My answer?  By 1963 feminism had won.  The Equal Pay Act was the last major legislative hurdle women needed to have all the same legal rights as men AND keep all of the female privileges the ERA would remove.  Feminism had essentially fought its way into irrelevance.  What now?  What to do?

The bat shit hit the fan in 1967 when paranoid schizophrenic political lesbian Valerie Solanas published the SCUM Manifesto.  S.C.U.M. stood for Society for Cutting Up Men.  Here are choice tidbits:

“…overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and eliminate the male sex.“

and

“…”the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion…. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples.”

and my personal favorite

“To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.” 

With quotes like this from a murderous nutter like Valerie Solanas, any sane person would reject this entirely, right?

The SCUM Manifesto helped set the direction of third-wave feminism.  It continues to be widely read in Women’s Studies courses today.  It gave free license to feminists to cast off the shroud of equality and embrace supremacy. 

Today, feminism is a shadow of its former self… Wallowing in lies, half-truths, and fantasy.  While it is most noted for its misandry, feminism’s primary victim is women.  Third-wave feminism depends entirely on the victimization and infantilization of women.

It concocts fantastic narratives like the The Wage Gap myth based on a real statistic that shows no such thing.  It invents Rape Culture by ensuring that men can not legally be raped by women thus allowing it to ignore the fact that women make up 40% of rapists and, in education, place the burden of proof on men.  It flails about, searching for something, ANYTHING to make it relevant and lands on total nonsense like manspreading.  It even spreads like cancer to make itself somehow relevant in racial equality despite its long history steeped in racism.

In conclusion, third wave feminism is misandry.  The two are inseparable… and both are an abomination to anyone who wants equality over gender supremacy.

“To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.”

—  Valerie Solanas, founder of S.C.U.M. (Society for Cutting Up Men), attempted to murder Andy Warhol in 1968; S.C.U.M. Manifesto (1967)

“Under patriarchy, every woman’s son is her potential betrayer and also the inevi­table rapist or exploiter of another woman.”

—  Andrea Dworkin, author and anti-pornography activist; Our Blood (1976) p. 20 

“[Rape] is nothing more or less than a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.”

—  Susan Brownmiller, journalist and author, co-founder of Women Against Pornography; Against Our Will (1975) p. 5 

“The institution of sexual intercourse is anti-feminist.”

—  Ti-Grace Atkinson, author, president of New York NOW and founder of the October 17th Movement; Amazon Odyssey (1974) p. 86

“I feel that ‘man-hating’ is an honorable and viable political act, that the oppressed have a right to class-hatred against the class that is oppressing them.”

—  Robin Morgan, author and editor for Ms. Magazine; Going Too Far (1978) p. 178

“Being a housewife is an illegitimate profession… The choice to serve and be protected and plan towards being a family-maker is a choice that shouldn’t be. The heart of radical feminism is to change that.”

—  Vivian Gornick, author and educator at The New School; The Daily Illini (25 April 1981)

“I feel what they feel: man-hating, that volatile admixture of pity, contempt, disgust, envy, alienation, fear, and rage at men … for the men women share their lives with - husbands, lovers, friends, fathers, brothers, sons, co-workers.”

—  Judith Levine, author and political activist; My Enemy, My Love (1992) p. 3

“There are times when a woman reading Playboy feels a little like a Jew reading a Nazi manual.”

—  Gloria Steinem, journalist and activist, co-founder of Ms. Magazine, prominent figure of second-wave feminism; McCall’s (October 1970)

“And if the professional rapist is to be separated from the average dominant heterosexual [male], it may be mainly a quantitative difference.”

—  Susan Griffin, author and recipient of the MacArthur grant and an Emmy for the play Voices; Rape: The All-American Crime; Ramparts Magazine (1971) p. 30

“I believe that women have a capacity for understanding and compassion which man structurally does not have, does not have it because he cannot have it. He’s just incapable of it.”

—  Barbara Jordan, United States Representative of Texas; Running as a Woman(1994) p. 266 

“Women have always been the primary victims of war. Women lose their husbands, their fathers, their sons in combat. Women often have to flee from the only homes they have ever known.”

—  Hillary Clinton, American diplomat and former senator; First Ladies’ Conference on Domestic Violence, El Salvador, 1998

“If life is to survive on this planet, there must be a decontamination of the Earth. I think this will be accompanied by an evolutionary process that will result in a drastic reduction of the population of males.”

—  Mary Daly, philosopher and former professor at Boston College (women’s studies and others); “No Man’s Land”; What Is Enlightenment? (Fall/Winter 1999)

“The proportion of men must be reduced to and maintained at approximately 10% of the human race.”

—  Sally Miller Gearhart, author and former professor of women’s studies at San Francisco State University; The Future - If There Is One - Is Female (1981)

“Women have very little idea of how much men hate them.”

—  Germaine Greer, author, journalist and former lecturer at the University of Warwick; The Female Eunuch (1970) p. 279

“Rape represents an extreme behavior, but one that is on a continuum with normal male behavior within the culture.”

—  Mary Koss, researcher and professor of psychology at Kent State University; Sexual Experiences Survey (1982)

“We have long known that rape has been a way of terrorizing us and keeping us in subjection. Now we also know that we have participated, although unwittingly, in the rape of our minds.”

—  Gerda Lerner, former professor of women’s studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, helped found the field of Women’s History; The Creation of Patriarchy, Volume 1 (1986) p. 225

“As long as some men use physical force to subjugate females, all men need not … He can beat or kill the woman he claims to love; he can rape women … the vast majority of men in the world do one or more of the above.

—  Marilyn French, author and lecturer, advisor to Al Gore’s presidential campaign; The War Against Women (1992) p. 182

“[The falsely accused] have a lot of pain, but it is not a pain that I would necessarily have spared them. I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration. ‘How do I see women?’ ‘If I did not violate her, could I have?’  … Those are good questions.”

—  Catherine Comins, assistant dean of students at Vassar College; TIME Magazine(June 3 1992)

“Politically, I call it rape whenever a woman has sex and feels violated.”

—  Catharine MacKinnon, philosopher and professor at three universities, presently University of Michigan; A Rally Against Rape (1981)

“Feminist consciousness is consciousness of victimization … to be aware of an alien and hostile force outside of oneself … For some feminists, this hostile power is ‘society’, or ‘the system’; for others, it is simply men.”

—  Sandra Bartky, professor of philosophy and gender studies at the University of Illinois; Femininity and Domination (1990) p. 15 

“Heterosexuality is a die-hard custom through which male-supremacist institutions insure their own perpetuity and control over us. Women are kept, maintained and contained through terror, violence, and spray of semen.”

—  Cheryl Clarke, author and former educator and dean of students at Rutgers University; Words of Fire (1995) p. 244

“If the classroom situation is very heteropatriarchal—a large beginning class of 50 to 60 students, say, with few feminist students—I am likely to define my task as largely one of recruitment … of persuading students that women are oppressed.”

—  Joyce Trebilcot, author and former professor of philosophy and women’s studies at Washington University; Who Stole Feminism (1994) p. 92

Rebirth for Michfest
by Staceyann Chin

When the first Michigan Women’s Music festival
happened/in August/in 1976
the local paper called it
an international gathering of weirdos

imagine that first flood of women
pouring into the deep dark Michigan woods
imagine them finding the courage
to stay on the land despite the angry men
circling the perimeter/the only plan
honk your horn/if there is trouble
call your sister/and she will come

that sisterhood has since grown
into a global jungle/from which we all come
sprouting eagle from Kingston and California
slithering snake-like from Scotland and South Africa
howling wolves from Brooklyn and Bangladesh

no matter where we spring from
we have never had any doubt/this place would be here
next August/to recharge us/for the year ahead
in our heart we could not conceive
of the final closing of these gates
and now/as we attempt to say farewell
the center of me is sobbing oceans
my heart broken open/my chest/cracking raw
my ribcage/collapsing
because I will never be here again/like this
on this holy ground
these eyes of mine will never see my daughter
in this place at thirteen/or thirty-three/like me
she will never see it/as I have seen it
open/sky/naked spirits/Amazon women
dancing/round red fires of sticks/and stones
taking back the imprisoned bones of ourselves
and finding new freedoms here

in communion/we mourn this bitter end
each of us/trying to remember/that life is a series of cycles
as old as the moon/as expected as the first coming of blood

we who believe in rebirth/see this period of rest
as only a practice test designed
to help us r/evolve in these complicated times

I ask you to remember that we are trained
in the tradition of doing things/they say cannot be done
I beg you to look again
to the determination of the generation
who built this pussy-centered city
with no fucking internet
no kick-starter campaign/no social media
no legal recognition of the right
to love whomever we fucking choose

those Amazons from that era gave birth to abortion rights
and the equal rights amendment
and rape-crisis centers
and women’s shelters
that movement laid the groundwork
for decriminalizing the entire LGBTQIA-BCDEFG identity

forty years after that first gathering of weirdos/we are still here
because Michfest has always been about more than just music
it has remained a light/at the end of a yearlong tunnel
it has been a promise that has kept so many of us going
in return/so many of us/have tried so hard to keep it going
over the years/we have persisted in coming
insisted on defying the odds
year after economically challenged year
every August/for one week/we orchestrate
this neurotic amalgamation of tarp
and bug spray
and tofu
and Tupperware
this single-minded, slick-wet celebration of flashlights
and foam
these flooded sleeping quarters
these fucking RVs and second-hand Subarus
these butch parades and sweat lodges
is about knowing/with everything in us
that being called a girl/is not a fucking insult

under these Sapphic stars
it’s the highest form of compliment

this place has been a celebration of our girlhood
a recognition of the magic of surviving womanhood
it has always been an open invitation to those of us
existing outside the confines of gender-binary limitations

this place is an homage
to the bra-burning/radical feminists of the nineteen-seventies
they believed they could/not only pick a fight against
racists/sexist/homophobic motherfuckers
but/they believed they could also fucking win

we are still fighting those same battles today
which is why we still need to stand together
against the patriarchy
to stand/to gather
this miraculous gathering of women
is only going down
for an expected cycle of much-needed rest

after all/it has only been four fucking decades
since the young Blood Moon
only 19 years old/with ovaries the size of fucking Saturn
started this shit—radical/feminist/midwife that she has been
she has kept the course for 480 months
Lisa Vogel and the long crew and the short crew
and the cooks from Gals
and artisans from Crafts and the workers at the Night Stage
and the artist on the Acoustic Stage
and the witches from the Womb
and all women stirring the multiple cauldrons
that make up this crazy cavalry
they have been holding down the logistics
of this place of safety for 2,080 weeks
it fitting to acknowledge also
that it has only been 14,560 days
since you magnificent Michigan festies
have been pushing this impossible rock
up the motherfucking mountain of misogyny

forty years is a very long time/my sisters

as the dust settles on our beloved dirt road
indulge your inconsolable ache
lament/weep/wail/cry all need or want
but know too/the seeds of joy we each planted on this land
will never be dead/instead/the legend of its roots
will grow large inside the heads and hearts
of all of us/who have loved here/and fought here
fucked out loud and without apology here
the memory of it/the spirit of it
will tingle inside the scarred chests
of warriors who survived
breast cancer
and rape
and female castration
and rape
and childhood molestation
and rape
and familial rejection
and rape
and ovarian cancer/and HIV and Aids
and drunken husbands/and human trafficking
and homophobia/and gender-policing
and poverty/and wire hangers
and rape
and rape
and rape again

this year/after we say our final farewell
we will again go home
to stand alongside incarcerated Black men
and undocumented children/and transgender boys/girls
and underpaid women/and all those bodies who remain targets
for the wealthy white bigots who would want everyone
who is not them
enslaved/or deported/or killed

with or without a yearly gathering on this land
we will never stand inside the gender-norms expected of us
we will continue to meet/in tents
in kitchens
in basements
inside convents
and churches
we will keep resisting/and out of this resistance
will come another core assembly of need and opportunity
a door that will push this community to birth itself anew

when it does/it is our duty to be ready
to receive it/every one of us
Lisa/and Judith
and Toshi
and Penny
and Holly
and Elvira
and Thokozani
and Sandy
and Hanifah
after the burning of our holy city
we must do something with this astoundingly beautiful ash
we have to cash in the credit of this place
to race toward a future in which our daughters
and our daughters’ daughters keep demanding
safety for every/body living this planet
this is call for Zuri and Cree
and Maddie
and Ruby
and Zora and Naiobi
this is a call for Zander and Josie and Emerson and Kai
this is a call for you/and you/and you/and me
this call is for all the girls/who grew up here
or came here
or heard about the magic that once existed here
to come together/to continue to fight
to grow up and out/to fucking bloom/and rise
and rise/and rise again
to find our Amazon phoenix spirit/to ascend
in flesh/in truth
let us use this moment to rewind/to reincarnate
to hatch and spawn/new blood
to amplify the ageless power we have all felt here at Michfest
the magic of this place must remain/in each of us
fueling us
protecting us
giving us direction
long after the pain of our present sorrow
is gone

Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, 2015.

(Text via the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival Facebook page.)