marjaerwin: (Default)
Fest is a healing space for gender-nonconforming womyn, as long as they're not trans womyn too, and therefore Fest must exclude trans womyn...

I can’t see how the first implies the second.

I can’t see how excluding and othering one often-marginalized group of womyn would strengthen healing space for another group of womyn.

And, well, it hurts with this headache, but it also hurts when people treat trans womyn’s bodies as symbols of violence, when we are often also survivors of that violence, and it again hurts when people treat our struggles to survive or to recover as forms of violence.

And, well, it’s quite possible that more trans womyn are autistic than other womyn, and are being misread once more.

Also, I have encountered this, here:

http://redressalert.tumblr.com/post/96419964145/what-michfest-means-to-me

and via DaisyDeadhead, here:

http://lavenderjanestrikesback.tumblr.com/post/97177287294/confessions-of-a-skeptic-at-the-michigan-womyns-music

and various other places.

If I thought active inclusion for trans womyn would mean dis-inclusion for various other womyn, then I would think that some spaces including each group and excluding another would be necessary. But I don’t think so, and I think this would screw over people who are both, or who have some experiences associated with both.
marjaerwin: (Default)
Trans Womyn Belong Here has recently published a few suggestions for an inclusion Michfest. While it's unlike that Michigan will come around soon, especially with Lisa Vogel asking for donations to support ‘the intention,’ the suggestions should help for other spaces trying to be inclusive womyn’s spaces.

http://transwomenbelonghere.blogspot.com/2013/05/envisioning-inclusive-michfest-thoughts.html
marjaerwin: (Default)
NOTE: I ought to have made some things clear when I first posted this. I have posted elsewhere about people calling for violence, and threatening violence, and I have suffered violence from neo-Nazis and others I'd rather not name. Never from feminists. So I don't think Kitty Barber is calling for violence. I picked her comment because, to me, the buzz-saw imagery seemed as violent as the imagery which Catherine Brennan has been complaining about. /NOTE

It seems hypocritical for people to selectively denounce 'violent' rhetoric from trans folks and pro-trans folks while ignoring violent rhetoric from anti-trans folks, especially on sites they follow. I'd rather not see this rhetoric from either side. We face the same systems of oppression, and we can't smash them while we're fighting each other.

(from http://gendertrender .wordpress.com/2012/04/09/2792/ [broken link])

I’m waving the red flag, color of my blood; females first. Womyn for womyn. Tranz–and ‘allies’–you are up against a freaking buzz saw. You are hardly the first to fall, and you will hardly be the last. Just good practice for us in the fight to come.
marjaerwin: (Default)
At times, after years of exclusion, selling tickets may still fall short of true inclusion. It has to be safe space and healing space for everyone before I'll call it true inclusion.

Trans womyn are marginalized within patriarchy and have been marginalized within womyn's communities. And inclusive spaces need to help take away that legacy of exclusion. At present, it's possible to get incomplete inclusion for trans womyn, even at Michfest. But I don't see how to get from incomplete inclusion to true inclusion without more cooperation from festival organizers and the festival community. I'd rather work to ensure that other festivals, such as the Ohio Lesbian Festival, survive and prosper. I understand that the Ohio Lesbian Festival is officially trans-inclusive, and if it falls short of true inclusion on the ground, it should be possible to work with festival organizers to achieve true inclusion.

One of the things which attracts many cis and other non-trans womyn to festivals like Michfest is the near absence of body policing and gender policing. They find healing space when they can get away from patriarchy and get away from body policing and get away from sex-role policing and they can arrive in community with all kinds of womyn with all kinds of personalities and skills and presentations and bodies. They find healing space where they can be proud of their female selves, their struggles, their bodies, and all.

Except that some kinds of womyn still aren't welcome there. Except that certain personal histories aren't as welcome. Except that certain bodies aren't as welcome. I haven't been to Fest. I don't know how much welcome trans womyn find there and how much unwelcome. I read the Michfest fora, and some festies have begun watching out for seemingly-male appearance and seemingly-male energy, and many festies treat a womon's penis as something threatening and shameful. I read the Michfest fora, and it looks like they are repeating the same kinds of body policing and gender policing, not only on trans womyn, but on many other womyn. And maybe a womon's penis is triggering to some womyn, and some womyn will need space away from that, but other womyn need space where it is accepted and it is not taken-as-shameful. At Camp Trans, we could go skinny-dipping in the nearby river and it was a chance for everybody to recognize the variety of [mostly female this year] bodies. At Michfest, I fear that it would be hard to create any space that welcomes trans womyn to the same degree the rest of the festival welcomes non-trans womyn, and it will be hard to prevent any backlash or false rumors. At Ohio, I think it would be easier to create that kind of healing space.

So I think it is important for inclusion activists to look to places like the Ohio Lesbian Festival, which have varying degrees of inclusion, and work to keep these spaces going, and work to make these spaces more inclusive.

Now, Nedra Johnson has been one of the more vocal opponents of trans womyn's inclusion at Michfest, but she has been concerned for the future of the Ohio Lesbian Festival: http://michfest.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=7028&sid=83ea9bdbad9f7ee3840c8a76ad6c0275

I hope that regardless of how we may divide over Michfest, we can work together to keep Ohio going through this year, and then to create a contingent of trans womyn and allies at Ohio next year: http://valeriekeefe.livejournal.com/37897.html

If you can attend Ohio this year that would also be good.

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