Drumming Amazon

Drumming Amazon
Drumming DykeAmazon

Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Big Dyke from SF Dyke March

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Here is Luisah Teish's response about Michfest remaining WBW space

  • Passed along from anothers page

    Luisah Teish
    Alafia good people: My guidance from Yemaya has always been to reserve my opinion on issues until asked. Further when asked I am required to affirm that the person asking the question really wants to hear what I have to say. I have been asked to comment on the debate about the Michigan Women's Music Festival. So I am posting my statement here.

    "I Chief Luisah Teish, author of Jambalaya: The Natural Woman's Book of Personal Charms and Practical Rituals, stand in support of the Mothers of the Michigan Women's Music Festival to maintain it as Space and Time for Woman Born Women. It was born for this purpose and over the decades has grown into a "social-spiritual" tradition.

    It is totally consistent with the tenets of African Spirituality to have (Egbe) spaces, practices, and prayers for Woman born Women, exclusively . In the culture ,Men also have their own societies.

    Those who see themselves as Transwoman have a unique identity and must take responsibility for creating their own traditions. Perhaps the Festival can provide space for this on another date, at another time.

    While it is clear that we are all human, pretending that we are all already the same is a selective blindness.

    Woman Born Women and Transwomen may consult and consort with each other. But it can only be done in an atmosphere of mutual respect, willing cooperation, honest expression, and most of all, humility in the face of what Spirit is allowing to evolve between us.

    In Light and Progress

    Luisah Teish, Iyanifa

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ruth Barrett's response to those who call for the boycott of Michfest

This is just too important to have a mere link to which could be deleted or broken. Hear Dianic Elder Ruth Barrett speak to WHY our WBW space, both at Michfest and in Dianic Ritual is so important to us! As a DykeAmazon I support her wholeheartedly.-M.A.

My response to the request to boycott the Michigan Festival.

April 11, 2013
Dear Community Sisters and Performers of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival,

I want to give Alyson Palmer a standing ovation for her brilliant and eloquently crafted letter in response to the trans-activist’s call to the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival performers to boycott the Festival. Alyson speaks to my own sentiments and I could not have said it better. In sisterhood and solidarity, I am writing to add my voice in support of Lisa Vogel and the women who honor and respect the Festival’s women-born-women (WBW) intention.

My friend Kathy, who has attended the Michigan Festival for well over 30 years, said to me last night, “How is it that “women” with penises are given more rights and compassion than female-born women? Why is my right to self determination being challenged by others who at the same time ask me to accept their self determination?” I echo her questions.

For 51 weeks a year I have unlimited opportunities to engage with male-born men and trans-people. For one week out of the year I want to be with my female-born sisters, girls and women. I come to Festival to help create, contribute and experience an embodied female reality. I come to take in the joyous expressions on our young daughter’s faces who can run free on the land, and experience this freedom in a safe space. My need, and the need of other WBW, to spend time solely with WBW is not trans-phobic. We are not AGAINST trans-women. This accusation of trans-phobia is a distraction from what we are actually saying and asking for. I have great difficulty with those trans-women and their allies who refuse to honor the intention of Fest as a healing space for WBW and the boundaries we have set. I am heart sick and exhausted by their bullying tactics, their threats to my personal safety, my wife’s safety, the safety of our home and our livelihood. Over the past years we have ignored death threats as we choose to stand for sacred space for WBW and girls. Trans-women and their allies can’t seem to accept being told “no” by women. Why can you not respect our need to gather with our own kind to heal, to rest, to nurture and restore ourselves? What possible threat are we to you?

Two of my very close friends, one who is a survivor of multiple sexual assaults, were traumatized when they individually encountered fully naked adult males in the shower at Fest. When my friends asked in stunned voices, “What are you doing here?” They were told by the trans-women, that they were “women” and had a right to shower there, penis and all.

I quote a recent letter I received from Alyson Palmer, director of “Chixlix” written to the Michfest Performers of 2013 concerning the online petition to boycott Michfest:
“ Anyone who truly understands the suffering of sexual harassment and abuse; the constant small violations and dark steady threat of even larger ones; the savage horror of rape or any of the sick tortures that the penis-proud wield so easily against women and girls of every age, would rise up and DEMAND that WBW have earned the right to a place in which to cling to one another and heal. To parade the dangling tool of the oppressor in the face of a woman who has been debased is unconscionable. The insensitivity of trying to force the victimized to get over it already so someone else can party woot woot is an insulting layer of fresh misogyny. It is selfish, it reeks of entitlement and it is cruel.”
I and other womyn like me stand for the original intention of the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. We need and deserve a week set apart for female-born women and girls to celebrate our mysteries, our creativity, ourselves, without fear.
The boycott demand of MWMF performers is patriarchal in its bullying tactics, and only demonstrates further a power-over mind set by trans-activists who would destroy the Michigan Festival rather than respectfully help to protect and preserve the now rare female spaces left to us WBW. We need the respite of Michfest for our healing, to create and celebrate the swirling cauldron of music, arts, dance, theatre, ritual, and comedy, that enriches us and empowers us to return to the patriarchial, penis-ruled world where female WBW continue to be defiled en masse, worldwide. The self-centered actions of those who seek to bully their way into the Festival, threaten the performers, and plan to create a drama-filled Festival, clearly demonstrate their utter disrespect for the needs of female-born women. Their actions also clearly demonstrate their unexamined, undiagnosed and unchallenged misogyny. I speak directly to all trans activists, Female-born sisters are not your enemy, and never have been. The feminist vision, intention, and work of creating Michfest solely for female born WBW simply does not include you because the festival was not created to address and is not intended to serve your needs.

As a Priestess and elder of Women’s Mysteries for over 35 years, I understand and value the importance of female-only space. This kind of sacred space has literally saved women’s lives, and continues to do so. The Michigan Festival has provided this sacred space for female born WBW for decades, because our life experiences matter. This is why so many of us have been planning our lives around Michfest for decades, travel great distances, spend hard earned money, and make sacrifices too numerous to mention, in order to participate.

I choose to give my goddess-given energy to female-born women and girls. I will continue to defend the right of females to gather, the right to define ourselves as female-born girls and women, and will not be bullied into submission by anyone. I seek no war with anyone. I stand in my truth and for whom I love. I love women and our children. May we, and the Festival survive to tell our stories of Festival to our great grandchildren.

Should the Festival intention change, or the Festival be destroyed (as is clearly an acceptable intention/option of some trans-inclusion supporters), I and many Festival performers and elders, will not return. To trans activists I say, the Festival that you have forcibly inserted yourself into will no longer exist, there will be no Michigan Festival left as we have known it. Trans-women and their supporters may stand on what was once our sacred space, now become a battleground, and insert their flag into the ground. The taste of victory will turn bitter as wars on women and girls always are. Will their victory be that there be no place left for us to celebrate ourselves as female beings in all of our diversity, power, and beauty? The thought of this sickens me in my gut and heart. I feel sadness, anger and frustration.

To trans-women who choose to violate the intention of the Festival, and the women who support their inclusion I say, “Stop. Stop. Stop!” May you learn respect for the needs of women and girls to have our time together. Stop making women who support the Festival your perpetrators and oppressors. We are not your oppressors. You are not our victims. If you really love and respect women, let yourself feel the needs we have. May you come to understand our need to have our time together once a year, on women’s sacred land. May those who have made the Festival their battleground, wake up. May they learn to respect the needs of women and girls that the festival has provided for 38 years.

It has been a sacred honor to contribute my own gifts to the miraculous vision of the Michigan Festival for the past 29 years. I stand for the festival’s intention with my body, my heart and spirit. It is my hope and prayer that I may contribute for many years to come.

Blessed be!"
Ruth Barrett
Director of the MWMF Candlelight Concert,
MWMF performer, and workshop presenter.

Monday, May 27, 2013

In Response to: A Butch Feminist Responds: Jeanne Cordova in wanting Michfest to be inclusive of MTF's and a possible boycott against Michfest

Blogger MasterAmazon said...
Makes total sense to me{keeping Michfest for WBW/born female women only}. Those who were born female, bio female, WBW whatever you want to call it. No matter how you were raised, as you say, partly as a boy/tomboy, partly as a girl, you're STILL a Female. All of us Butches pretty much rejected female role stereotyping at young ages, I did, as a hardcore tomboy. I rejected dolls, dresses and most girly things. I also rejected being a girl, because it made me 'less than' and the boys did all the fun exciting things like have fun adventures, explore, play baseball, ice hockey, karate ect...some of which I got to do, the martial arts for a lifetime, starting the tender age of 14, and ice hockey for two years as the ONLY girl in the entire league.

So as Butches we BROKE ground, Feminism is about women breaking ground doing things women were not allowed to do, go into fields women were not allowed to go into, whether it be the trades, being an astronaut, a physicist, an engineer, a cop(love my butch womon cops), firefighter(such hotties) or anything ELSE.

Michfest is FAR MORE INCLUSIVE of EVERY flavor of bio female womonhood than I've EVER seen on the planet. From naturally hirsute women NOT on hormones to get them that way, but still acknowledging of their FEMALE bodies, minds and spirits, to the extremely Butch to high femmes and radical Dykes. FTMS going to Michfest are GATE CRASHERS, not identifying as Female anymore, and put BUTCHES at risk that are farther down the line of Femaleness in acceptability.

I have NEVER seen the diversity of bio female womonhood or Lesbian Nation that I've seen at Michfest. I LOVED it, support it and would go back as soon as I can afford it again. IF you are Feminist as you claim Jeanne, you would understand our need for bio female space that honors Lesbians and ALL bio female womyn proud to be womyn for one week a year, or two months for those on long crew. It is part of our Female Souls and herstory, our Dyke energies to revel in these Female environments where we don't have to explain ourselves or be hassled by men of any stripe, past present or future.
May 27, 2013 at 9:00 PM
Blogger MasterAmazon said...
And it wasn't till I came out AS a Lesbian and met other Butches in 1981, that FINALLY I got to own my Femaleness and BE PROUD to be Female, as well as loving other women...those Butches did NOT want to be men, but had also resisted and defied femininity, they were strong, powerful and Feminist groundbreakers in their own right. Not on the treadmill to transition like so many are these days. They taught me to be PROUD to be Female, proud to be Butch and proud to be a modern day DykeAmazon, hearkening back to those powerful women during ancient times defending the ancient matriarchies with their lives in tribal solidarity!

I see very little of that these days, when so many Butches are being told they just want to be dudes, not just by hets, but by their contemporaries in queer culture, and instead of learning to be PROUD of the kind of Female they are, as I was taught, they taught to overcome their Femaleness by going on hormones and eventually surgery to 'cure' their Female condition and oppression....

Michfest is one such place they can learn the opposite, and learn that they too have place amongst all flavors of bio female womonhoood, and just how large and extensive those flavors are....this is why it must stay for WBW ONLY. It's also the last Crown Jewel of what's left of Lesbian Nation.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Why do women fool us Lesbians, more than men? Are we on a Lesbian Ship of Fools?

This guest post below is by Chazz Therev in response to L.B.'s statement. I found it poetic and beautiful. I'm right on that Ship with her! It spoke to my Butch Dyke Lesbian Soul.....
Chazz Therev L.B.: "I think women can fool me more now than men."

Women have always fooled me the most, Lisa.

I've tried to logic out why this is and the only thing I've come up with is: I'm a lesbian. I have an innate need to love and trust women. Th
at I have loved untrustworthy and undeserving women is something I am wrestling with even as I write this.

I am of two minds about this, but neither is acceptable to me on a spiritual level. On the one hand, I think that many women are so damaged by circumstances beyond their control, it's advisable to never completely trust them. On the other hand, I want to love women - and, a woman - with complete abandon. For no other reason than because I can. Neither option has worked out well for me.

Perhaps there is some middle ground I've yet to find, though I've heard rumors about it. What do I know? I'm a passionate Irish butch, with little or no sense, who has made every mistake in the "book". You know, the "book" - the mythical lesbian "book" of solidarity, unified purpose, mutual devotion, and such. The one I read in my head but can never find in the lesbian libraries so filled with theory, praxis and heuristics. Damn.... I fear I'm a permanent voyager on the lesbian ship of fools.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Amazon Warrior/Amazon Witch

Proud to be an Amazon Warrior and Amazon Witch, which for me also gives me the opportunity at times to be an Amazon High Priestess, at my Witchly best..otherwise it's an intensely personal Path in connection with Goddess in Her many emanations, the Seasons and Cycles and connection with Mother Earth, the Moon, the Sun and the Stars.....and fully psychically, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually sexually and physically empowered, charting my OWN destiny, in connection with Goddess....no patriarchal religion rules my destiny, as a Witch and Magic worker...when I get that opportunity. But sometimes it's much more humble than all that...just a connection with Mother Earth on a beautiful green and sunny spring day.....smelling the clouds heavy with rain on other days, before it rains....connecting with the intensity of lightening or a rainstorm, the beautiful limitless of the ocean, and the Full Moon streaming down in Her glory and singing to Her while standing upon Mother Earth and asking Her for what I want and need in my life...and for those I love, and for the Earth Herself....and working towards the full empowerment spiritually, sexually and on all other levels of womonkind and the Sacred FEmale...rebirthing the Goddess energy back...all these things denotes Witch and the power of Witchcraft to me. Whether personally or in group ritual....and most of all: moving and channeling energy.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Working for corporate america in retail

I've been working a job as a sales associate for a huge company at one of their local stores.
It's  a parttime job because they no longer offer fulltime. They schedule us whenever it's convenient for them, at times we designate. You can end up working any day or hours you allow them to put you, and it's entirely unpredictable. The same goes for the hours, anything under 29 to down to 8...

It's very hard to have a set schedule, and most employees are required to work weekends as a condition of employment. Could be weekend days or weekend nights. There's no breaking even on this job....the wages are fairly low, the same wages most of us received in the '80's....WHAT is corporate Amerikkka demanding of us? The longterm ones put up with it. I notice most are stratified on either side of the divide, either retirement age where they just need a job to supplement retirement, or young kids in their 20's. There aren't many on the sales floor who are in the middle age ranges of mid 30's or 40's...all those types are managers, with far steadier hours and salaries.

I've never worked for an employer this big. I do appreciate the diversity of the employees and working around other women, having come from construction where I've worked mostly with men. The employees themselves are pretty personable, especially the regulars. 

I look at it getting me in shape to go back to construction having been on unemployment for far too long in this horrible economy. But our salaries aren't going up, and most jobs these days are parttime work with little pay and ALOT of responsibility. Most of the training is pretty impersonable on the computer, but very little 'hands on' training or communication between salesstaff and managers. Maybe because turnover is DELIBERATELY built into this system. Working hard doesn't mean a whole lot when you can't secure full time hours or liveable pay and a fairly PREDICTABLE schedule.

I like working for this company in what I do, and it taps into the knowledge of my field, so I've actually learned alot on this job by answering customers' questions, and wow, do they have ALOT of them, I've had to dredge up my training from deep inside my brain to answer them intelligently...so it's kept me on my toes.

The only thing is I wish there were more out Dykes on the job. There's one I suspect, and she's always fairly friendly to me, but no personal conversations. And while it's racially and sexually integrated there are almost NO Lesbian or Gay folks on this job other than me and her....so I miss that.  I am completely out. Being married to my partner has given me this luxury, because I am PROUD to have her as my wife, and I make no bones about HAVING a wife.  I don't get into political conversations or anything too personal. I'm still in the probationary period. But, I feel my loyalty waning, having found my hours going down, after working on two crews, to supplement them. And all the different hours and days I've worked is exhausting me, not to have a schedule with predictability, to give them complete license to add and subtract hours and times for 'business convenience'. Probably what infuriates me the most is their 'union free' policy. It is at odds with having been Union and still Union for the last 20 years. "Union Free" means total control, and that NOBODY is an hourly employee's advocate. No, I'm not talking Walmart here. There are MANY other companies with that same philosophy. The managers don't sit with us or have lunch with us in the lunchroom. They retreat to their own offices. This is so unlike that at least the foremen would have lunch with us daily, but above that the General Foreman and classifications above had their own construction trailer/rooms just for them and mostly never ate with us either.

So the stratification is so obvious. It saddens me what's happening to our Nation as the 1%ers don't pay their fair share of taxes, they heavily influence the electoral cycles and especially since the US Supreme Court has removed all barriers from their donations to candidates and political causes in 'Citizens' United'. THIS is corporate Amerikka, feeding on it's people, and giving back as little as possible in return.
                                            -In Sisterhood,

Response to Dirt over 'Breast Ironing' and connection between mutilation of female bodies in African/Middle Eastern and Western cultures

THIS I agree with: "It doesn't seem that far of a stretch to me
It's all about others' perception of one's gender
Specifically what it means to be female
What is has meant culturally in many times, many places
And methods of escaping that stereotypical meaning
Since nobody is ever born in any kind of wrong body
It's escaping from its perceived constraints
Not dismantling the systems that shame and abuse the female."

I so agree with that. Mary Daly in Gyn/Ecology one of her greatest works critiqued Female Genital Mutilation, whether practiced by Western doctors on females who were Butch or had strong sexual desires OR by African women on their female children so they would be 'acceptable' to men. She critiqued Chinese footbinding hobbling women for life, so they would be more attractive to men, she criticized women overly made up as 'painted birds', all those things women do to themselves or to young girls to make them acceptable to men.

In this case, it's the reverse: it's to 'protect' them from the male gaze, but it damages and tortures the young girl they are doing it to. So she doesn't get pregnant at a young age, through sexual assault(and it'll be her fault of course, being 'tempting'), or submitting to his attentions for her.

When Dirt posted her video of Female to male genital surgery I could only watch half of it, because I got so disgusted by the process, and also the removal of major amounts of skin from the arm, and the destruction of her vagina that it hit me hard it was NOTHING DIFFERENT THAN FEMALE MUTILATION done to women from Islamic and African cultures. This is still a very serious problem.

These practices, whether the breast binding, the breast flattening, the female genital mutilations from surgeries in the West or in Africa or Middle East ALL COME FROM DEEP DEEP MISOGYNY, TORTURE AND FEMALE HATRED. It's all control over the female body. Whether to distance one's self from the PAIN of being Female, in the case of FTM's, or to control a female to make her more acceptable to men, or less acceptable so she'll be left alone. Patriarchy and female hatred lives behind ALL these practices. Period.
        -Labryis Swinging,