This is my response:
I AM an Amazon Warrior and a Butch Dyke. I circle in mostly Dianic circles and certainly women only ones. I also teach Amazon mysteries and for me, they are meant to be for bio female women born women only…the womb is a part of it, but there is also an energy between women that stems from our bodies since birth, and for those retaining their Female proud identity. While Z spoke perhaps unskillfully about the Dianic tradition, and it’s unfortunate that Rabbit didn’t make it clearer that the Amazon workshop was exclusively for born females only, there has been an onslaught against not just women born women space, i.e Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival both by those born male living as transfemales, but also those born female living as male/genderqueer. I’ve heard all the trans rhetoric before, have known my fair share of trans of either gender, ect. ect. ect. There is an impasse. In many folks mind there is NO reason why we should defend born female space, by and for those born as females, whether you’re Butch, Femme, androgynous, Amazon, whatever, living in a Female body AS a Female. And Females come in many stripes.
Those born male have had privileges they won’t own up to, especially autogynophilic transsexuals/transgenders who had successful careers as powerful men, married to women AS A MAN, with very male privilege, then come into the Lesbian community and expecting us to kowtow to them and their needs in the same manner as straight women kowtowed to them in the straight world. A stridency and assumption of privilege NEVER taking ‘no’ for an answer.
Those transitioning or considering themselves male or some version of male don’t belong in women born women space either because they are not Female Proud. They reject their female identity. I understand the pain being a Butch Lesbian of the discrimination in the work world, out on the street and in my own family of what it is like not to be ‘feminine’ and rejecting of femininity WHICH DOES NOT EQUAL WOMONHOOD OR FEMALENESS, ANY MORE THAN MASCULINITY EQUALS MALENESS, both are social constructs, and NOT physical or sexual realities, and the discrimination for not fitting into society’s boxes. This I do thoroughly understand and have my OWN incidents on the streets and with folks in the world for not being ‘gender conforming’.
And yet Dianic Wicca has given me immense pride in being Female, in being a Lesbian(the Dyke Witches brought me out)and in the POWER of bio Females of all stripes coming together to worship Goddess. There is a special magic to it that goes beyond words, but to pure energy. I have felt it particularly in Amazon rituals I have led where there are more Butch Females present, many Lesbians and very strong Femmes. It IS a bio-female Mystery. And the Amazon Traditions are somewhat different and even a bit wilder than strictly Dianic Wicca….but very parallel to that Tradition in many ways. AND WBW ONLY!
Trans individuals HAVE THEIR OWN MYSTERIES to explore rather than riding the coattails of Lesbians, Lesbian and Female Traditions, communities or spaces, and it goes back to the Castrati of the Goddess Kybele, who removed their male members(penises) in ecstatic rites to the Goddess Kybele, and lived as eunuchs and/or MTFs the rest of their lives. Janus was another bi-gendered Diety as well that could be honored, and there’s NOBODY saying that ANY individual cannot invoke ANY Diety, Male or Female or Both or Inbetween that Calls to them.
What we are saying is that we have our OWN Rites and it is just as discriminatory to INSIST on having access to them, as it would be if I INSISTED on attending Native American ceremonies without permission by actual Natives because I ‘vibe’ with Native Traditions and identify hugely with their people and energies….OR I ‘vibe’ with African American folks and insist on being part of THEIR rites, whether invited or not, because I have a right to, and they’re being discriminatory if they don’t allow me….that is cooptation at it’s very worst, and the trans community in either direction have particularly focussed on the bio female women’s communities and Lesbian communities and INSISTED on their ‘rights’ to be in our spaces, whether we agree to it or not.
There is an integrity to the Female body, from birth, from coming outside our Mother’s wombs as born Females, being raised as Females whether we conformed to appropiate ‘gender roles’ or not, or resisted feminization like so many Butches have, went through puberty AS FEMALES, came into menarche AS FEMALES, and chose whether to have children or not, come out as Lesbians and be free from childbearing, or practiced a lifetime of birth control, and looked to all of the world for a place to find home, as I have with Amazon mysteries, from the age of 10, in 5th Grade, when the Goddess first Called to me through studying the Greek religion and myths in school, searching for a Female Diety that more reflected my Female body, and a people that reflected my tomboy sensibilities that WAS NOT MALE…the Amazons, and the Maidens of Artemis. To get into the martial arts in the mid ’70′s when few girls or women were doing martial arts, and even full contact, that grew my Amazon capabilities; and to see that same Amazonian energy in other bio Female women I sparred; and to eventually come out as a Dyke and to meet Dyke Witches in my Feminism and Philosophy Class and go to my first women only rituals and wake up something that has stirred inside me lifelong.
This is a VERY DIFFERENT Path than what those born male, or even intersex have gone through, and later decide to transition to female; and certainly those who decide they really are male and that Lesbian or Butch identity is not enough for them and they really feel they are males.
-To my Sister Amazons, Female proud Butches and Dianics stay strong,