The upcoming conference for Butches, Butch Voices is coming up this weekend in Oakland. There is a huge controversy right now where 4 activists that were part of the Butch Voices committee have left due to the fact they were noninclusive of their language around Butch WOMEN, instead using the term 'masculine of center', which could mean ANYTHING, and anybody was welcome, specifically hetero macho bio males! Female Proud Butch Dykes are rising and taking our community back, so I want you to have the latest info.
I will probably be going to AT LEAST ONE of these workshops, if not more, to fight for our territory and our space. All three of these workshops are free, two sponsored by Butch Nation, the other one sponsored and at the heart of the controversy by Butch Voices. Female Proud Butches have sent in requests for refunds due to this issue and not feeling we are included, nor are we reflected in most of the Butch Voices workshops.
Here is my post from the Michfest list so I don't have to repeat information. You will know some of the truth around some of the players, but it is important that if you live in the Bay Area to support at least one of the two Butch Nation workshops. I will give further info in my next post when I find out EXACTLY the room number for the two Butch Nation workshops, but if you show in the lobby before the appointed times, Butch Nation/Bulldagger supporters will let you know where the discussions will take place. Again, THEY ARE FREE, so you need not register for the Butch Voices conference to attend.
Re: Breaking News–Prominent Butch Women Break with Butch Voi
It is more complicated than even that.....even amongst the Butch Nation crew. We will see what emerges, but let's put it this way: several of us Female Proud and Female Identified Butches that were locals in Oakland submitted our Female Identified Butch workshops in 2009, most of us longtime Butches from varying sectors of the community, and ALL of us had our workshops rejected and Sasha Goldberg's was the only explicit Female centered Butch workshop in Oakland in 2009 which eventually became a group, Bulldaggers supported by Butch Voices. Sasha attempted to transition to FTM years ago and has had her breasts removed as a result, so in this way she can be an almost polarizing figure having it both ways, but no longer wanting to identify as FTM. She also was very tied in with Butch Voices and it's policies until this current debacle, while many of us longterm lifelong Female identified Butches have been left on the outside. She needs to answer and be clear about her change of heart and background. However, I just talked to someone who knows her well, also a Butch very close to the situation and both feel VERY STRONGLY about having language at any conference for Butches that specifically identifies "Butch Women" AS WOMEN/Females, and Female proud!
Also, there are two workshops that Butch Nation will be putting on by and for Butch FEMALES who are Female Proud, womon identified what have you, one on Saturday from noon to 1:30pm, the other on Sunday from noon to 1:30 pm at the Oakland Marriott this weekend under "Goldberg". They don't yet know the room number. As soon as those details are worked out I will let you all know!These workshops are FREE.
Butch Voices will have a free workshop/discussion at 2pm on Sunday about the term "Masculine of Center", as I told my pal, I just got done with a job where I worked ONLY with 'masculine of center' folks and was THE ONLY WOMON ON THE JOB! "Masculine of center" meaning bio male macho construction men! The term is meaningless to me any other way. What is wrong with just the word BUTCH????? This workshop was deemed necessary because not only did the 4 members leave Butch Voices committee, when other Butches found out about the debacle, many refused to come to Butch Voices because it was NOT representative of bio female identified Butch Dykes/Women, and in fact invisibilized us, they wanted their money back as well. So that is 3 free workshops and Female Centered/Proud/Identified Butch Dykes NEED to come to these workshops in SOLIDARITY so our voices are heard! I told this individual very close to the situation that Michfest too came together in solidarity to take our community back! We are SICK of the trans movement pushing it's way into our territory with total disrespect while trying to gut OUR communities, our womyn, our Butches, our Dykes, our Lesbian herstory, ect. ect. ect while exploiting OUR resources and attempting to coopt us! Dykes of all stripes are FINALLY waking up, because if we don't do something now, we won't have a community to look back upon! This is even more so for us Female Centered/Proud/Identified Butches who feel so under siege with all this, while more and more of our brethren under this trend are pressured to transition to male, hate their female bodies, or identify closely with the male because they think that's where the power lies! And there's all too many who want them to to validate their own bodily mutilations/changes.
I don't know how much better Butch Nation will be in being more democratic, transparent and open as a result. I DO like that they INSISTED on Butch Female/woman language, even though Butch Voices rejected it. I hate that we have to continue fighting amongst ourselves and that Female Butch Identity and Pride has been so coopted and invisibilized for all the genderqueer/FTM darlings(i.e Chaz Bono, who was Grand Marshal at SF Pride this year) ect. ect. ect.
But maybe just like Michfest being revitalized and defending it's wbw territory, Female Centered and Female Proud Butches who have fought the fight for decades have chosen NOT to be invisibilized by the trans or genderqueer movements that have consumed so many Butch lives, and put so much pressure on many Butches to transition to 'fit into' the new trends while denying their very femaleness which makes us so special!
I am deciding right at this moment, after almost a week on sacred womyn's land myself, whether I want to enter this tangled web at all! I just can't stand to be around those who hate their femaleness any longer! Or to fight amongst ourselves as Butches. I will no longer stand for myself, my identity or my community being coopted! I guess I'll have to get my Warrior gear on to fight the good fight, at least that part of it that I can stomach, and hope to find some likeminded allies!
-In Butch DykeAmazon Sisterhood,