GUEST Post from Dee Every found on on of the Michfest lists...OUR list of demands as womyn!
"Dear trans folk, especially trans activists: I have agonized for several months and years over my feelings about what I feel is the desire of many of you to erase "womanity", in the course of your seeking some semblance of civil rights. This is what I have arrived at. I no longer want to say "female woman". I don't want to say "woman-born woman". I don't want to say "cis woman", nor "AFAB woman". I am a woman, and that is final. You have created all manner of language to ensure your inclusiveness, but in doing so you have started the process of erasing my existence. I have begun to speak out about it, because I'm not going to remain silent any longer. I have been silent in the past, because I was afraid of being perceived or labeled as a bigot. But I am now convinced that your struggle is pushing mine as a woman aside, and that of all of my card- and vagina-carrying sisters. I have proudly claimed the label of lesbian for over 30 years now, but never once did I insist that non-lesbian women change their terminology to fit my worldview - I embraced my specialness with pride, as you do now. But I'm sorry. In many of the things you are demanding there is danger, not the least of which is allowing any male to claim the gender of woman and then gain instant access to traditionally safe female spaces. This is bullshit, it is misogyny (y'know, the *actual* one), it is patriarchy, and it is wrong - the emperor (assigned whatever-the-fuck at birth) has no clothes, and I'm calling you on it. Many articles and reports I have read leave me with the conclusion that surgically altering your body or changing your pronouns is a band-aid solution to what is perhaps going on in your mind. My feminist sisters have fought for years against stereotypical gender behavior or societal expectations thereof. I'm wondering what was so difficult about the kind of man you were that you felt the need to claim the label of woman? I weep for my Amazon sisters who felt so uncomfortable being the type of women they were, that they decided they must actually be men. And now you have convinced children and their well-meaning parents and doctors that, if their behavior or feelings don't fit what is stereotypically male or female, then they must be in the wrong body. I grant that this is probably true in some cases, but not in the sheer volume we are now seeing. Additionally, I'm not hearing about a whole lot of trans men (FtTs) who are insisting that biological-at-birth males change their labels and how they describe their body parts and functions. That tendency appears to come primarily from males who choose to now identify as women... Which translates, for me, as a practice borne of patriarchy whereby males are once again trying to exert power over females. And we have had just about enough of that for our lifetime and multiple generations.
So, as I've been saying for a while now, on my lonely little Facebook page: be who you want to be, have surgery or not, get therapy or not... but stop this insidious erasure of me and my sisters. Yes, Virginia (or whatever name you've chosen to adopt), we get to gather together when we want, how we want, and with whom we want. It is our choice, our power, our safety, to claim our sovereign space and how we call ourselves and our bodies - it is not yours. You had a lot of us going for a while (and still do), believing in our shared oppression. And you were able to shame a lot of us - including myself - into silence about it. But I have found my voice, shaking and all... I and many of my sisters are going to fight back, as we have for many decades now. I do truly empathize with your struggle, but you will have to fight it not at my expense.
I. Am. Woman."- Dee Every