lisa-vogel

So now transactivists have had Michfest closed...

When will they be standing up for transmen? You know, breaking down the doors of all the male only clubs e.g. Masonics, Promise Keepers, sport.

Oh, wait, thaaaat’s right! The trans movement completely ignores and gives zero fucks about transmen. They are biologically female after all and females are nothing but a pain in the arse to transwomen.

Transwomen utterly dominate the trans scene, transmen stay quiet bcos they get scolded and told “transwomen are more oppressed than you”. How can so-called feminists not see that it is a microcosm of patriarchy just with everyone having switched costumes?

Don’t pretend this is feminism. It isn’t. It is patriarchy pushing its way into female spaces bcos it “feels” like it. Im not transphobic, I’m a feminist and I fight for women including transmen. I am always here if a transman needs support bcos transmen have experienced female socialisation and continue to be endangered/oppressed bcos of their bodies.

What I won’t stand for is men marching in and throwing their weight around. Particularly old, white men who decided in middle age that they were female all along. Their egotistical bullying behaviour is all about power and control.

Shutting down women’s shelters and events like Michfest does NOTHING to help stop the real violence transwomen (particularly TWoC) face, that is violence at the hands of their fellow men.

They tear down safe and happy spaces for women in the guise of trans liberation but all they do is make life tougher for already oppressed women without making any progress on real trans issues.

I really wish people would wake up.

You are the next ones.

“In 1976, when we started the festival, we were living like we are now in patriarchy. So we had to think about every decision we made, because we realized, we’re thinking like men, because that’s all we really knew. So we really were in consciousness-raising groups all the time about how do we think like womyn? What is it to be womon-identified? And what are the values that womyn would bring to the table to create something?

So I want to say that we’re still living under patriarchy, and it is absolutely revolutionary to love and respect womyn under patriarchy.

It is a revolutionary act to create space that nourishes our essential Amazon spirit.

The revolutionary act I want to ask of you, is to take what you love from this land and plant something beautiful all over the world.

I love you.”

Lisa Vogel, From the closing night of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival Night Stage

August 2015

Uhm

am I the only one who thinks it’s not the end of Michfest?

Lisa Vogel worked hard for 40 years and honestly she deserves rest. Now where so many young women find their way to radical feminism and see just how important spaces for females only are (and know how gross trans women behave) - I think there will be a new “Michfest”.

Perhaps on another place with another name but as long as the ideals of the original michfest are still alive it’s never truly dead.

I had a vision

So I have had the following post in Drafts for a little while:

Right after the first Fest woman talked to me about doing the detransition workshop, I had this vision. I’d never even been to Fest but it had started taking shape in my consciousness. The idea that there was a place for us took root in my mind. 


It was a vision of a cavalry of young women–disillusioned and dissatisfied by the queer scene–coming to the defense of Festival in force. A critical mass of womyn loving womyn. Clear, purposeful, done with all mindfuckery, and ready to throw down for this place.

It’s happening. Army of lovers, come with us.

And the vision still matters but it has a different dimension. We will not get to inherit Festival; her time is passing quickly. But as many of us as possible need to come, so that we have taken part in the community, so that we have experienced Fest, so that we can take that experience to build on as we create the home we need for the future.

Lisa Vogel has been doing this job for 40 years. Anyone, no matter how Amazon, needs to retire sometime. Hers has been a hard labor, let alone the additional burden of being demonized, attacked, and misrepresented at every turn.

So young ones, we’re the next ones. Let’s choose it well. Come experience your heritage and let’s carry it forward in the best way we can.

My latest response to Lisa Vogel.

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is not a private event, no matter how many people would like to believe so. It is by every definition of the term a public accommodation, and any intention of its founders is entirely irrelevant, so long as MWMF continues to offer ticket sales to the public.

As the saying famously goes, “Intent is not Magic.”

I am very glad that MWMF does not seek to confront trans women who choose their own intentions for their own lives. I am proud of my own role in seeking to defuse what would have almost certainly devolved into violent conflict on the Land. But, holding a different opinion than Lisa Vogel and seeking to influence others to understand and adopt my point of view does not constitute “bullying” in any way, nor does it constitute “maleness” in any way. The fact that you would use these words blatantly erases the agency of the women who have found compassion for trans women and truth in our words, and that is something I find repugnant. If you feel “shamed” by that, well you should.

Let me be crystal clear: I am under no obligation to respect the opinions of people who believe my nature is theirs to define, who believe my existence is a matter for their debate, who believe that the validity of any part of my identity is theirs to decide.

A comparison to the Roman Catholic Church reviling Galileo for daring to claim what is simple truth would not be out of place here. There is no more any attribute or group of attributes, be they biological in nature or sociological, of femaleness or of womanhood that can objectively determine whether a given human being is female or woman that would not also exclude large numbers of cis women, anymore than the Sun revolves around the Earth. 

How ironic that we must point out that only a holistic, subjective, intuitive determination that elevates the agency of the woman in question is the only true determinant of identity to those who stake a claim of feminist righteousness! The self-contradictions espoused by transmisiast and transphobic feminists are astounding to witness, and inspire a sense of unreality that we are commanded to weigh ourselves in the balance with them.

May the Peace, Wisdom, and Love of the Goddess be upon all of us, and may her Light ever shine upon our Paths and bring us Happiness, all the days of our lives. Blessed Be, Sisters, One and All.

Sincerely,

Gemma Seymour

anonymous asked:

I'm REALLY pissed off about MichFest ending. I always wanted to go, I NEVER got to go, I'm not likely to be able to go this year and I was already making plans to go next year. I know the transactivists had something to do with why it's over after this year, they ruin EVERYTHING. I stg I hate them so much right now.

So I just want to be REALLY clear here.

Trans activism did one thing:  it made a certain kind of performer and a certain generation of women hate the festival based on easily debunked lies.   So there were a chunk of people who listened and stopped going. 

Truth be told, trans women went anyway.  They went and they went and they went (hell, fucking FALLON FOX went!) and no one hurt them, no one’s humanity was questioned, and it clearly wasn’t the seething hotbed of hate folks try to paint it as.  

What trans activism didn’t do was destroy the festival.

Every time someone says that, they do it because they want trans activism to be the reason that it ended.  It is not true.

PLEASE KNOW THAT TRANS ACTIVISM DID NOT KILL THE FESTIVAL.

Nancy Burkholder was asked to leave in 1991.  Since then, there have been 24 years of “activism” against festival.  Three iterations of Camp Trans have come and gone.  On land protests.   That stopped nothing.  

Lisa Vogel has been doing this job for FORTY YEARS.  She is almost 60.  She is TIRED.  There are a ton of other things that happened at the festival that made things difficult.  In 2008, a woman leaving the festival was killed in a car accident.  That had serious fiscal repercussions.  Attendance has dropped off, as has attendance and use of any lesbian institution.  I live in Brooklyn and ALL of our lesbian bars have closed.  Same in SF.

When you say that the only reason Lisa decided to end the festival is because of trans activism, you ascribe her choice, her thoughtfulness to those same activists.  You make festival about them, which it is not.  They are a tiny part of the many fights that Michigan has battled over in 40 years (SM, boy children on the land, butch/femme, vegetarian food, eco consciousness, race…god i could go ON) all of which LV was pilloried for by very separate groups.

Don’t hate them.  They don’t deserve that energy.  

They don’t even get Michigan.  They go and they don’t come back because they get there and it isn’t their experience.  It isn’t fathomable.  

You haven’t gone and you understand what you will miss.  

So know that the next thing already rises.  She is already here.  And you will know her soon.  

anonymous asked:

From what the wiki page said radfems are just feminists who want to eliminate the patriarchy and liberate everyone from an unjust society... I'm confused as to how thats bad?

Yeah that’s what they present themselves as, in theory, in practice however, a lot of radfems are just interested in reinforcing gender essentialist bullshit, criticizing transgender people for incredibly ridiculous, gender essentialist reasons and generally trying to shit all over sex workers.

In that very same wiki page you could’ve scrolled a little further down and found stuff like:

“Radical feminists have sometimes advocated for the exclusion of trans women from feminist events, a source of much controversy. Lisa Vogel, the Michfest event organizer claimed that protesters from Camp Trans responded to this controversy with vandalism.[55][67] They argue that trans women cannot be counted as women because they were not born biologically female.[55][67] Such radical feminists hold that trans women have enjoyed male privilege by virtue of being assigned male at birth and their insistence on acceptance is a type of male entitlement.“

Generally most radfems are basically just very uninformed people who think the best way to promote gender equality is by fucking everyone over.

-Yar.

On Boycotting Michigan Womyn's Music Festival

As the yearly debate about the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival heats up, I have been having a lot of thoughts around boycotts, artists pulling out from the line-up, or artists who have stated they will not play again until the intention of the festival is changed from a gender/sex separate space to only a gender separate space. Artists and trans activists such as Red Durkin have made a lot of statements about why they will not play or why the festival should be boycotted, but I find them to be vague, condescending, emotionally manipulative, and  intentionally inflammatory.

The artists statements, while varied, all imply that any connection to MWMF and Lisa Vogel is untenable. This claim deserves deconstruction. Let’s try playing Ok Cupid! With this situation, shall we? Let’s imagine that artists and venue owners fill out a political survey and the results will show the percentage of friend/enemy each match is. We will start with Lisa Vogel and the Indigo Girls.  It wouldn’t be a stretch to guess that Lisa Vogel, Amy Ray, and Emily Saliers agree on most subjects, except for the fact that Lisa Vogel believes sex is a class, that the female sex is a subjugated class, and therefore believes that separate space can be framed by that class. Since the Indigo Girls indicated they would play again if the intention was changed to one only based on gender, we can assume that they do support class-based separate space. That leaves us with Lisa Vogel believes sex is a class, and Indigo Girls do not. I will  estimate that the test will put them at 99% friends, and 1% enemy.

Being from New Orleans, my next selection will be a venue Indigo Girls often play here, Tipitina’s. Tips is owned by Roland V. Karnatowski III. He is a white, heterosexual, wealthy male who owns somewhere around 7,000 rental properties around the Gulf Coast. His landlord practices are questionable (google search yourself) and the Tipitina’s Foundation (a charity) scores so low on finances and transparency, it certainly makes a thinking person wonder what’s going on there. As a straight, white, male, I doubt he has ever spent much time thinking about the benefits of class-based space. Karnatowski has the privilege of not speaking his intentions about anything, unlike Lisa Vogel. Beyond that, since he will take anyone’s money at the door, I guess that makes him a good and enlightened guy. Is that the bar we are setting? Someone who is willing to  profit off anyone?

Do we even need to think about who these venue owners might vote for, or who might make the greater contribution to the Lesbian community or the GBT community? Do silence and capitalism trump the contributions and integrity of an outspoken and compassionate community member like Lisa Vogel? Of course, artists can refuse to play for anyone, but if one does choose to set a political bar on that choice and the bar is set at Lisa Vogel, the bar has been set extremely high. I have to assume that this bar will be applied to everyone, and not just one lesbian who has stated her intention for a sex and gender based space. In the case of Roland Karnatowski III, it is clear he falls below that bar. He makes zero contribution to the Lesbian and GBT communities, has questionable practices as a landlord with working class people, has supported political candidates accused of racism…what do we think? Let’s go with 5% friend and 95% enemy.  Goodbye Tipitina’s!

Lisa Vogel and many womyn who support the festival understand that each of us- not just the performers among us – is responsible for the way our money affects our community. This is why MWMF has no corporate sponsorship. None. This isn’t Lilith Fair or Dinah Shore. Politics and capitalism are hopelessly intertwined, especially in the U.S. Once upon a time, we were much more thoughtful about politics and our money. I don’t see much of a discussion happening about how our dollars are circulating when we buy a ticket to MWMF versus when we purchase a ticket to a show at a place like Tipitina’s. Where are our dollars causing the most good and where are they causing the most damage? Capitalism permeates everything, and those who are ignoring this cannot stand up to their  own moral high-grounding.

When politics lead someone to a place where they call for and/or participate in a boycott against an event like MWMF, I have to seriously question those politics. Boycotting is a strong weapon, one that has serious consequences.  Boycotting MWMF is not political. It is female socialization. It is internalized misogyny. I reject this as political. For myself, I will put my dollars in the hands of MWMF without hesitation and with total confidence. The boycotting artists have made me think more carefully about the other places I put my money. After looking at the venues and their owners in New Orleans and stacking them up against MWMF, I will not be going to many shows other than at festival. I will support the artists I love in other ways, such as buying their  music directly or contributing to musicians’ funding campaigns.

Why is all of this important? Your money is political. Everyone in the community should be thinking about the impact of their dollars, especially if they are supporting or contributing in any way to the boycott against MWMF. The Indigo Girls are looking me in the eye and asking me to refuse my money to Lisa Vogel while having no problem asking  me to give it to Roland V. Karnatowski III. Girls, we have a problem.

anonymous asked:

1. There are trans lesbians and ace lesbians 2. Not everything's about you, shut the fuck up for two goddamn seconds. I know it's incredibly easy for u bpq people to minimize and erase our oppression cuz gay dudes and straight ppl hate us so much and will happily cosign that crap, but maybe exercise some self restraint and idk some basic morals and let lesbians talk about our experiences without co-opting it and painting us as huge bigots?

Oh, Anon… Seriously? Okay, let’s have a chat.

In case my followers have forgotten the post that got me a metric tonne of hateful, spiteful reblog comments, here it is (and I quote:)


lonealien:
Speaking of the misogyny of gay men, I wish that these discussions revolved more around how lesbian issues and priorities always seem secondary and less “universal” than those of gay men, how gay men take lesbian support for granted, how resources for gay men seem more accessible, how gay men have more representation, or even how those comments about women’s bodies also negatively affect lesbians.
But instead all we do is talk about straight women and how they feel. It’s not that gay men don’t treat them poorly sometimes, but I wish they would stop acting like they’re the only ones hurt by this type of thing.

“I’d like to point out that this affects bisexual, queer/pan, trans, intersexed and asexual women as well - any person whom identifies as a woman.  Any time there is misogyny in the GLBTQIA community, most often in the guise of fat shaming or negative commentary of the female form, it affects all of us. I could even go on about how these groups in our community receive even less attention and support and far more derision than lesbians (and even from lesbians themselves,) but that’s not the point I’m trying to make.

The fact that there is misogyny being committed against our women by men who ought to know better - men who know very well how it feels to be ostracized and beaten down by the patriarchy and society - is like the basest form of treachery.”


You, my dear Anon, have done nothing but exemplified and proven my bolded, unspoken case above — which I really didn’t want to get into, because it wasn’t relevant at the time, nor to the post.  But since you’ve so nicely left me a note, I’m obliged to discuss this with you.  Nothing grates my nerves more than a person hiding behind that little gray face in an attempt to denigrate my self-worth and identity, or my support of all community members.  My post comments were meant politely, in a manner to open honest discussion on this topic.  

All I have gotten from it is flaming, and anon-hate from lesbian-identified cisgendered women.  Not all lesbians disagreed with me, mind you… but I just wanted to remind you of that very unsurprising fact.  Not one person from any other sub-communities has sent me anything but support on this - also unsurprising. 

Now, let’s go through your arguments one by one, since you’ve numbered them so efficiently.

“1. There are trans lesbians and ace lesbians”

Yes, I know.  I can assure you that while your revelation may surprise someone new to the community, this certainly isn’t news to me.  

But, not all transwomen and asexuals who identify as women (cis or not,) identify as lesbians, even if they only exclusively date women. As to why, we’ll touch on that later.  They are still given the same amount of horrible, nasty, anti-woman bullshit and body shaming from gay men - doubly so if they are trans lesbians or ace lesbians, because then they have the double whammy of bias from the anti-trans gay men who also despise women and their bodies, such as:

  • Purposeful, hurtful misgendering in order to hate on women, and to invalidate their gender, or treat them as “less than” for transitioning. 

Example:He doesn’t even look like a woman. I don’t know why he even wants to be a woman, anyway.” 

  • Overt, and thoroughly insulting body shaming.

Example: “A drag queen looks more fishy than that tranny,” or “They’re too fat to be a real woman/look good as a woman.” 

…and the bias of anti-asexual gay men who also despise women, their bodies, and the identity of asexuality as valid and healthy, such as:

  • Oversexualizing a conversation in order to make the asexual uncomfortable on purpose, or questioning the validity of their identity.

Example: “You don’t even know if you like having sex yet, because you haven’t had sex! Do you watch porn? Does this turn you on? Not having sex just isn’t right!”

  • Slamming women by way of utilizing common misogynistic beliefs in order to further shame the asexual.

Example: “You’re asexual and a woman? That makes sense, since all women are cold.”

Just because some trans women and ace women are lesbians does not erase their very particular and individual struggles that occur when experiencing inter-community hatred from gay men whom are also misogynistic. Doing so would be negating a very important part of their identities; their lives, personal stories, and experiences.  You are challenging the importance of intersectional feminism by doing so, which sets off major red flags to me on how much you really care about trans and ace lesbians and their fight for recognition and representation. I’ll touch on that in a moment. 

Cisgendered/AFAB gold-star lesbians do not own the struggle of under-representation in the GLBTQIA community, or the struggle of inter-community bias and misogyny from gay men - nor should they attempt to do so.  Your complaint is that only hetero women get attention for being hated on for having/wanting a pussy, acting “like a woman,” or being fat, etc., and that it is damaging to lesbian women, too. 

My complaint is that this issue goes much, much deeper than just hatred against lesbians by gay men who are also misogynists. There are woman-identifying trans lesbians, trans queers/pansexuals, and trans bisexuals that get it.  There are woman-identifying ace lesbians, ace queers/panromantics, and ace biromantics that get it, too.  Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the queer, pansexual, and bisexual ciswomen or intersex women, either. 

Because the issue of internal misogyny from some gay men in our community isn’t limited to one specific sexual orientation or gender. 

I wasn’t trying to “steal” anything away from you by opening a discussion.   There was nothing to steal, because you don’t own that particular hurt. You don’t get to erase their experiences, just because straight women get more attention for it. 

Please notice that I am not in any way arguing that lesbians do not receive less services/support than gay men in our community centers/organizations, because you’re right — they don’t.  However, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that your trans lesbian/bisexual/pansexual/queer, ace lesbian/biromantic/panromantic, cisgendered/intersex bisexual, cis/intersex pansexual, and cis/intersex queer sisters receive even less support and representation than that. 

“2. Not everything’s about you, shut the fuck up for two goddamn seconds.”

No. I will never “shut the fuck up for two goddamn seconds” about the importance of intersectional feminism, and how much it is needed in our community.  

Did you know that trans women aren’t allowed inside the Michigan Womyn’s Festival (and other women-centered festivals/conferences) because they were AMAB, and “couldn’t possibly know the real experiences that cisgendered women experience from the patriarchy?” 

The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival maintains what producer Lisa Vogel refers to as “the intention” that the festival is “a community defined by lesbian culture,” with “a focus on the experience of those born female, who’ve lived their lives subjected to oppression based on the sole fact of their being female.” In August 2014, Vogel issued a statement, where she wrote, “Again, it is not the inclusion of trans women at Festival that we resist; it is the erasure of the specificity of female experience in the discussion of the space itself that stifles progress in this conversation.”

Hmm, sounds really familiar doesn’t it? It should, because it’s a prime example of “Cisgendered Women Lesbian-Only” culture attempting to erase trans lesbian and trans women bisexuals/queers/pansexual’s ability to share in the conversation on feminism and against misogyny at its finest.  That culture treats their experiences as not valid, because they didn’t experience misogyny in the exact same way.  

Holy shit, it’s like everyone forgot that the first person to throw their high heel at the cops at Stonewall was a trans woman that liked men.  It’s like you forget how awful some “feminist lesbians” are towards trans women, saying that they’re “sick,” and only “mutilating their genitals because they hate themselves,” due to the rampant patriarchy and overwhelming misogyny in our world. 

“I know it’s incredibly easy for u bpq people to minimize and erase our oppression cuz gay dudes and straight ppl hate us so much and will happily cosign that crap, but maybe exercise some self restraint and idk some basic morals and let lesbians talk about our experiences without co-opting it and painting us as huge bigots?”

Us BPQ people, eh? For those reading that don’t know, BPQ is an acronym for Bi/Pan/Queer.  

I would argue, my dear Anon, that us BPQ’s — as you so lovingly blatantly threw at me — do not hate you, nor do we tag-team with gay dudes or straight people to hate on you.  Those of us identifying as women would just like a place at the table to share our common experiences with you, and help support you.  In turn, we get this kind of backbiting, and accusations. We get our fair share of erasure from lesbians because of our identities, as well.

A personal aside, to help you know that I do understand where you’re coming from:  Once upon a time, when I first came out, I identified as a lesbian.  Why do I identify as queer/pansexual now, you ask? 

When I dated a transwoman, followed by dating a self-identified-butch lesbian who then came to terms with being FtM and transitioned, I was thoroughly discriminated against by fellow community members, especially lesbians.  They accused me of being a tranny chaser, and then accused me of being hetero-normative by their next breath. It was made quite clear that I was no longer welcome on the lesbian train, and that my experiences as a lesbian woman were forever “tarnished” by who I loved, because who I loved weren’t “real lesbians,” or “lesbian anymore.”  You know what? That’s bullshit, Anon. It stinks to high heavens of reverse discrimination right in the middle of our oh so loving and “supportive” lesbian community. I’m married to a genderqueer butch woman now, and I still get flak for it.  Step off.

I didn’t paint you, or any other lesbians as “huge bigots” in my original post. You kind of did that yourself, by reblogging my post with anger, and very misleading tactics.  You certainly did it with your anonymous message to me.  I just provided the commentary. 

*throws a book about Intersectional Feminism at you* 

Read it.  It won’t kill you, I promise.