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Anyone going to Michigan this year? - Page 2

post #21 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatgirlmom

our oppressions make us who they are. as women, as queers: we are women of color, we are fat, skinny, we are white, we are trans. i'm not willing for myself or my daugher to become a homogenized "woman." i honor my lived experiences, my differences and out of basic respect i would hope others would honor it too.
I agree. That's why I think it's wrong to exclude ONE type of woman. Just one type. It's not a festival for just one select group of women. It's for every group, every type of ability, every culture, every brand of sexuality EXCEPT transwomen. I have a huge problem with that.

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oh, and as for F2Ms, why would a man want to go to a women's festival?!? that's not about "letting them in" that's about self-selecting. and if someone self selects to go to a women's festival, they clearly don't consider themselves a man.
I don't think that wanting to go to a festival defines a person's gender.
I have transsexual (FtM) friends who would not go into a woman's only space.
In fact I personally don't know any who would. They are all men who truly understand the need for women to have a safe space. But if one of them were to want to go to a women's festival, I wouldn't for a minute think that means they're not men!! I can think of lots of men who would looove to go a to a beautiful feild, listen to awsome music, and be surrounded by thousands of beautiful women. Come to think of it, I can't think of many who wouldn't.
Heck *I* would want to go to if ALL my sisters were welcome.
post #22 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatgirlmom
i mean, on that note, are you against MWMF's Women of Color tent? shouldn't white women be able to go to that tent because they are women too?
Not at all. I see a big difference between providing a safe space WITHIN a womenspace for a certain kind of women, and excluding one kind of woman entirely from the festival. Yes, I'd love to see a TransWoman tent at Michigan!

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Would you be cool with all women attending a space for trans-women only because we are all women?
I don't know of any spaces for transwomen only.

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oh, and as for F2Ms, why would a man want to go to a women's festival?!? that's not about "letting them in" that's about self-selecting. and if someone self selects to go to a women's festival, they clearly don't consider themselves a man.
No, you don't understand -- F2Ms *would* be allowed into the festival. Because, according to the policy, they were "born womyn." On the other hand, a transwoman who has lived 20 years of her life or more as a woman would *not* be allowed in. This bizzare reasoning was what convinced me to stay away after 5 years of joyful attendance.

I want to allow all women to define themselves, not to allow anyone else to define who they are.
post #23 of 77
Also saying "born womyn" and then excluding MTF is in fact, denouncing transsexuality. MTF people *are* born womyn. Hence the whole transitioning thing, y'know?
post #24 of 77

Fatgirlmama rocks

I love the view you are bringing to this. You offer a fresh perspective that I have thought myself but not verbalized/written.

I hope we can meet at fest this year.

Hurray.
post #25 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Denise
I love the view you are bringing to this. You offer a fresh perspective that I have thought myself but not verbalized/written.

I hope we can meet at fest this year.

Hurray.
I'm curious about how easy it is to dismiss what I and other posters have written about this.
post #26 of 77

brother sun

I was always a little unsure how I felt about the boy child policy at Michigan. I have read the notes from little girls that were terrorized and tortured by boys too old to be on the grounds. I also can't imagine having a boy and not being with him, but we went to see it all first hand. My partner and I have both done workshifts there and it changed my view forever. First off, walking there was surprising to me. I didn't know where it was, and yes it is away from everything. Then I got there only to see the boys having lots and lots of fun. I started to realize that who was I to determine what was good for them when they were off having so much fun. My partner was there once for the 10 year old boys closing ceremony. They loved it. They loved their own camp experience. They were each given a rock/chrystal to symbolize each of them. The boys were so moved. Most of the boys had come since birth and they cried and cried that this would be their last year.

When I realized how much they liked their experience, I thought who am I to judge what they think is wonderful. It's just another slice of something different going on at the festival.
post #27 of 77

Huh?!

wow. we have a very different way of seeing the world.

mamajama -- um, NO, MTF women are not BORN women, hence transition, and voice training, and for some, major facial/cranial surgery. if MTFs were born female, there would be no need for surgery at all. in fact, if MTF were born female, there would be no transsexuality at all. that's ridiculous for you even to say.

there is a PROCESS to growing up. People of color know this instinctively. there is a moment that they realize they are of color. that is because they are told. through racism and through survival techniques. the same is true of being raised a girl. that is an experience that is known because it was lived.

do people ever get to gather around a self-defined lived experience? ever?

i ask you again: do you think white people should be allowed in POC only spaces because we are all people? do you think separate spaces are EVER acceptable? specifically, do you think that WBW is inherently unacceptable? do you think there is no lived experience differential between transwomen and women who have always been perceived as girls?

same is true for girls. they are told constantly they are not-boy. and they are told constantly how to be "girl." being a girl is not the same as being a transkid. and slapping those experiences together does no service to transkids who ARE suffering from the acute transphobia out there.

and nubiamama, um, yes i DO understand. i've gone to festival for over a decade, so i actually know how it works from experience and from thinking about and considering BOTH sides of this discussion from people on both sides of the issue. have you?

as for your statement that F2Ms would be allowed, the festival is for women who were born as, raised as, and currently live as women. all three. F2Ms aren't women. they are men. and if an F2M comes to a festival FOR WOMEN, they are either totally oblivious to privilege of taking up space over women's bodies or desires or they don't idenitfy as a man. it isn't the people's festival. it is a festival for WOMEN BORN WOMEN. and for a man to barge into women's space is bullshit.

also, there are loads of trans only spaces. www.strap-on.org has one. should all women be able to go there simply because we are all women?

MWMF doesn't question gender because it is the only place on earth where girls/women who DON'T conform to what girls/women are supposed to be get to celebrate their own beauty. that means bearded women, butch women, etc. being a woman who was raised her whole life being told she wasn't "acting" as she should, or being denied access to things because she is a girl is a lot different than being told to act "more" like a boy.
post #28 of 77
[QUOTE=Magic Denise] It's that I respect that it is a privately owned space and the festival owners have the right to design that event any way they want... Each of us if deciding to attend should attend the one most in line with their thinking. I love the energy of Michigan....in the end there is more I love than hate. [QUOTE]

I agree with you-after much soul searching.

The last time I went to Michigan was over 5 years ago, and I was working as a volunteer, and befriended and supported several activists at Camp Trans, the protest camp at the main gate. It chapped my hide that women were being turned away because of their biology- after all, we've fought long and hard to prove the point that biology is not destiny.

However, during the same year, I spoke to to women who had been coming for years and years and years- my foremothers. They treasured the space, and had worked extremely hard to make it the refuge that I loved. I had conversations, and a few arguments. I explained why I was pro-inclusion of women-identified-women, and I believe began the slow process of changing hearts and minds.

Discrimination is not ok, and I hate that in order to support a festival that has meant so much to me, I have to actively support discrimination against trans women. However, I also recognize that I can do more good talking to women on the inside, changing the culture of the festival, and hopefully insuring that in future generations the festival will grow and change to include all women. Michigan is such an amazing, beautiful festival- and it is built on the idea that women need space apart. Hopefully, as our culture evolves, we can grow it to include all women.


erin
post #29 of 77
as a committed anti-racist and a committed trans-activist, i just wanted to add that, for me, i don't see a clear or direct correlation between POC-only spaces and women-only spaces.

absolutely, the festival shouldn't be "race-blind." the "we're all just people" attitude erases real differences, ignores the fact that racism is alove and well, and can often be a way of coding that we're all the same as long as we agree that white culture and white experience is the "norm." it is critically important to honor WOC's individual experiences and for WOC to have honored spaces at a place like Michigan Womyn's Festival.

at the same time, i want to say that it would never be appropriate for the festival to decide who got to identify as a woman of color. interracial folks, lighter-skinned folks, etc would and shouls all be welcomed. it would be wrong to say that there's only one way to experience being a WOC. similarly, it would be wrong to say that there's only one way to experience being gendered female. this isn't just about the exclusion of my trans-women friends, but also my intersexed friends, many of whom don't feel like they were "born womyn" at all, even though they were socialized and raised as girls.

i'm not sure where i'm heading here, and i think this post is long enough, but i hope that it can be a start at breaking down the comparison of gender to race.

in the meantime, i know that there's lots of change happening from within, and i commend the trans-friendly folks who are creating change at the festival every year. i can't wait to attend a festival in michigan where all women are welcome!
post #30 of 77
schess,
We share the same viewpoint on this exactly. You said it much better than I could right now because I'm running on way too little sleep.
Just wanted to say thanks for that post.
post #31 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatgirlmom
mamajama -- um, NO, MTF women are not BORN women, hence transition, and voice training, and for some, major facial/cranial surgery. if MTFs were born female, there would be no need for surgery at all. in fact, if MTF were born female, there would be no transsexuality at all. that's ridiculous for you even to say.
I do not believe it's ridiculous to suggest that transsexual people are born a sex that doesn't match their gender. Surgery etc for transsexual people is required in order to MATCH their sex and gender. I think you are confusing the use of the terms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatgirlmom
there is a PROCESS to growing up. People of color know this instinctively. there is a moment that they realize they are of color. that is because they are told. through racism and through survival techniques. the same is true of being raised a girl. that is an experience that is known because it was lived.
I'm a bit confused about the correlation you're describing here. Would you be able to clarify it a bit?.


Quote:
i ask you again: do you think white people should be allowed in POC only spaces because we are all people?
No I think it's acceptable to create POC only spaces. I would not, however think it was ok to make those spaces exclusive to every POC except one particular group. Does this make sense? I think it's fine, for example to create a space for POC in general. I also think it's fine to make a space for people of one specific cultural-minority group. But I don't think it's cool to have a space for every cultural-minority group *except* one.
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do you think separate spaces are EVER acceptable?
yes...see above.

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specifically, do you think that WBW is inherently unacceptable?
It is to me personally.

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do you think there is no lived experience differential between transwomen and women who have always been perceived as girls?
I think to say so would be a massive sweeping generalization. The population-base you're asking about is HUGE. How could anyone possibly answer that question?

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same is true for girls. they are told constantly they are not-boy. and they are told constantly how to be "girl." being a girl is not the same as being a transkid. and slapping those experiences together does no service to transkids who ARE suffering from the acute transphobia out there.
I think *excluding* transsexual people from a festival is perpetuating a climate of transphobia.
Not to mention intersexed people.


Quote:
as for your statement that F2Ms would be allowed, the festival is for women who were born as, raised as, and currently live as women.
(bolding mine) how exactly does one 1)define "raised as" and 2) prove this?


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also, there are loads of trans only spaces. www.strap-on.org has one. should all women be able to go there simply because we are all women
?

Well, I rarely have come across a trans-only space. But I think a trans-only space should be respected.


Quote:
MWMF doesn't question gender because it is the only place on earth where girls/women who DON'T conform to what girls/women are supposed to be get to celebrate their own beauty. that means bearded women, butch women, etc.
I think that's wonderful, I truly do.

Quote:
being a woman who was raised her whole life being told she wasn't "acting" as she should, or being denied access to things because she is a girl is a lot different than being told to act "more" like a boy.
Again, I see a lot of assumptions being made here. What about a M2F woman who was raised to act "girly"? What about a girl who was raised to act "butchy". It does happen. What about intersexed folks who have penises? It could go on and on.
post #32 of 77
thanks, mamajama. i do think we're on the same page. fatgirlmom, i hope you don't feel attacked, because i know that's certainly not my intent. it sounds like Michigan has been an incredible place for you, as it is for many people that i know.

I guess that's part of what makes it so sad for me, that such an amazing and positive space is closed off to some very important women in my life. The trans women that i know have had to fight really really hard with themselves, with their families, with their employers, with the medical and psychological establishments, and with society as whole, just to be able to live as the women they know they are. I don't think any of them would go through all of that just to sneak into women's spaces. rather, i wish we could find better ways to honor their identities and choice.

also, while i'm at it, let's not foget genderqueer folks, who don't feel like either/or is enough of an option when it comes to gender...

ultimately, it seems like this comes down to a difference between biology (sex) and identity (gender). and, for me, identity has to be the place we work from.

can you tell i'm avoiding grading papers? thanks for listening.
post #33 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatgirlmom
mamajama -- um, NO, MTF women are not BORN women, hence transition, and voice training, and for some, major facial/cranial surgery. if MTFs were born female, there would be no need for surgery at all. in fact, if MTF were born female, there would be no transsexuality at all. that's ridiculous for you even to say.
My interpretation of what mamajama said was that MTF women feel like they need to go through all the surgery and outside changes to get the world to see them the way they have always seen themselves on the inside.

Quote:
i ask you again: do you think white people should be allowed in POC only spaces because we are all people? do you think separate spaces are EVER acceptable?
Well, I appreciate that Womyn's Fest is a women-only space. It would be a very different experience if men were invited. I just have a hard time with the festi-planners' attitudes about transwomen.

Quote:
specifically, do you think that WBW is inherently unacceptable? do you think there is no lived experience differential between transwomen and women who have always been perceived as girls?
I agree it is different from being raised a girl. But I think there are more differences among the experience of girls than there are between girls and transgendered women. I would rather we find the commonalities among all women than make divisions and say, You are not a "real" woman simply because you were not raised as a girl. Transwomen who pass as women are experiencing the same sexism every day as you or I are.

Quote:
and nubiamama, um, yes i DO understand. i've gone to festival for over a decade, so i actually know how it works from experience and from thinking about and considering BOTH sides of this discussion from people on both sides of the issue. have you?
I went to festival for 5 joyous years, starting in 1994. I stopped going because my partner was beginning to deal with her own trans identity, and she felt excluded by the women who had always accepted her before. I also heard a lot of negative talk about bi women and this bothered me (as a bi woman).

Quote:
as for your statement that F2Ms would be allowed, the festival is for women who were born as, raised as, and currently live as women. all three. F2Ms aren't women. they are men. and if an F2M comes to a festival FOR WOMEN, they are either totally oblivious to privilege of taking up space over women's bodies or desires or they don't idenitfy as a man. it isn't the people's festival. it is a festival for WOMEN BORN WOMEN. and for a man to barge into women's space is bullshit.
I don't know any FTMs who would want to be at Festival. I'm just saying that FTMs were "born women," according to your definition. And this angry reaction I'm hearing from you is exactly the reason I don't feel comfortable supporting MWMF.

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also, there are loads of trans only spaces. www.strap-on.org has one. should all women be able to go there simply because we are all women?
I was considering physical spaces, not virtual ones.

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MWMF doesn't question gender because it is the only place on earth where girls/women who DON'T conform to what girls/women are supposed to be get to celebrate their own beauty. that means bearded women, butch women, etc. being a woman who was raised her whole life being told she wasn't "acting" as she should, or being denied access to things because she is a girl is a lot different than being told to act "more" like a boy.
So, then, what about the girls who decide, as adults, they want to be outside the dual gender paradigm and be trans-gender? Are they not welcome because they go "a little too far?"

I'm really glad Festival meets your needs. But it doesn't meet mine.
post #34 of 77
Thank you for your input, Maggi.
post #35 of 77
FTR--the original poster asked how many womyn are going to festival this year? And instead it became a referendum on the WBW policy. Why does this controversy predominate discussions of this magical, glorious festival?

There are approx. 74 women's music festivals in the US today, and 72 of them accept transwomen. 2 chose not to--one of them is Michigan. So?

If it were my fest, would I let in transwomen? Yep, I sure would. I would also serve meat, build some cabins, not honor S/M and do a lot of other things the Michfest organizers don't do--but that doesn't mean I am going to deny support to one of the most amazing places on god/dess' green earth.

Part of feminism is allowing others to self-define their spaces and honoring their rules--that's what I do for the Michfest organizers. If I were to say "S/M degrades womyn, I'm against it, I can't support a fest that provides a safe place for womyn who chose this lifestyle" that of course is my choice--but I would be cutting myself off from the amazing benefits of this unique group of women. I would be the one who suffered. Why would I do this? Why can't I just tolerate instead the different viewpoint of the organizers, my sisters, and respect their choice?

I have a lot of male friends. Do I skip festival b/c they're not welcome?

And BTW Brother Sun is not some segregated concentration camp; it is one of the most amazing places on the planet for little boys.

All of you people who refuse to go to Michfest b/c it "excludes transwomen" -- honestly--do you think you are doing anything beneficial for the people of women by withholding your support?

If you believe this, let me ask you:

-Do you buy fashion magazines? (hugs exploiters of women and pushers of misogyny)
-Do you watch Desperate Housewives, or any of the other misogynistic crap that passes for entertainment on the idiot box?
-Do you buy clothes from foreign markets (where womyn and gyrls work in sweatshops for 18 hours/day for meager wages)
etc etc etc

My point is if you do ANY of these things (and more-I could go on for an hour with a list like this) you are acting to deny power to all women, not just the minor number of transwomen who are sad b/c they can't go to Michfest. If you do any of these things, you have no business telling anyone that they should EVER deny Michfest their money and their support.

~maribelle~ climbing off her soapbox --patchouli scented of course
post #36 of 77
hi, nubianamy-- some thoughts on your post.

Quote:
I would rather we find the commonalities among all women than make divisions and say, You are not a "real" woman simply because you were not raised as a girl.
1. I too search for the commonality I share with transwomen--just not at festival. Why? Because those are the rules of the organizers,and I honor their work even if I dont' agree with every policy.
2. Organizers are NOT saying anyone isn't a "real" woman; they are saying their festival is for WBW, in part because the experience of being WBW and WBT are totally different. That is their choice, and I support their right to make that choice.

Quote:
I went to festival for 5 joyous years, starting in 1994. I stopped going because my partner was beginning to deal with her own trans identity, and she felt excluded by the women who had always accepted her before.
I'm sorry this happened to you two. That must have been very hurtful.

Quote:
I also heard a lot of negative talk about bi women and this bothered me (as a bi woman).
FWIW, I hear a lot of negative talk about a lot of things at Michfest that I find hard to deal with. There are anti-CHristian views, anti-bi views, anti-married women views and anti-men views, all of which can be hard for me to deal with. These come from festival women, not the organizers--women that are flawed and damaged and complicated, just like I am. I love them and they drive me nuts sometimes---just like family!

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I'm really glad Festival meets your needs. But it doesn't meet mine.
I'm sorry to hear that, after you enjoyed fest of many years. Maybe you will find someday that you might return; festival women are not all the same, and the culture changes over time. Best wishes to you and your family.

~Maribelle~
post #37 of 77

right on Maribelle

Maribelle - I agree. I had really hoped to discuss the festival fun here not debate the policy again and again. I am working today on a quilt square - the woman and child square for the festival quilt. I may not even go to the festival this year but my spirit will be there. I am pregnant and being out of air-conditioning is really hard for me lately. I am not sure I can go to the festival this year because I don't know if I can handle being in the elements. Now that is always something I love about Michigan and this year, I start to pass out when I get even slightly warm. I have dreamed of being at Michigan pregnant. I even thought of doing a workshop or two this year. I did two last year and really enjoyed the experience. The concert line-up is amazing and I can't decide if I can be there or not. Maybe closer to the date we can go or maybe i will feel different then.
post #38 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magic Denise
Maribelle - I agree. I had really hoped to discuss the festival fun here not debate the policy again and again.
I can think of a way for that to be rectified. The policy could be changed.

I think it's interesting (if slightly infuriating) that this incredibly important aspect can so easily be tossed aside for the sake of 'fun'.
I will pose one more question before I give up (again). What if the festival excluded Fat Womyn. Surely the experience of growing up not fitting into society's expectations is different from a woman who grows up fitting in.

So policy changed: Every womyn is allowed in, excpet fat womyn.

It's shocking and awful for me to even type that. Why is it so easy then to exclude another type of womyn because of her physical characteristics?
I'm wrestling with finding even a drop of understanding as to how this is considered acceptable. Where's the outrage?
post #39 of 77
mamajama, the analogy is faulty, because fat womyn are, in fact, womyn.

I know you'll hate that answer. I'm okay with that.
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by frog
I know you'll hate that answer. I'm okay with that.
well I'm glad you're ok with that.

:sighsasthefeministmovementslipsback30yearsandtole ranceandeducationlosetheremeaning
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