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Work 4 Peace,Hold All Life Sacred,Eliminate Violence! I am on my mobile version of the door-to-door, going town-to-town holding readings/gatherings/discussions of my book "But What Can I Do?" This is my often neglected blog mostly about my travels since 9/11 as I engage in dialogue and actions. It is froth with my opinions, insights, analyses toward that end of holding all life sacred, dismantling the empire and eliminating violence while creating the society we want all to thrive in

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Magick Empowerment born of Womyn-only everything & The Orwellian Backlash


Last week an older white womon business acquaintance, a strate professional I’ve known for several decades, asked, the first time ever, to meet for coffee. She wanted to talk with me about feminism and the transiarchy (I’m using this play on patriarchy as it is more accurate than transdomination). In the course of our three hour conversation, she got that hallowed shining glaze, misted in wistfulness, (she wasn’t one of the lucky ones who came out) we all get when remembering our empowering connection with womyn (beginning with our own selves) in womyn-only spaces. She literally pulsated deep vibrant joy as she confessed that the times she went to a womyn-only conference were the very best times of her whole entire seven plus decades of life.

This past February, at a meeting of a larger group of womyn, I heard the same passionate declaration and fervored acknowledgement of what some of these womyn had personally gained, that all womyn know and receive, from gathering together over the decades as womyn! Yet those same voices who had reaped so much in the past were now not just challenging the validity and sanctity of womyn-only spaces but were helping to destroy them.

It kinda felt to me like those womyn who are soooooo grateful they had earlier access to a legal abortion but are now suddenly undermining that access by being pro-fetus and anti-womyn’s rights. Or people who are soooooo grateful they are strong and healthy after decades of eating organic but are now suddenly weakening that health by becoming pro-monsanto adding gmo food to their diet.

One of the womyn, who was present at this February meeting, later attended the ensuing May conference where we were committed to finalizing the division into two groups in order to meet the incompatible needs of those womyn who value womon-only space and those who value including men who identify as womyn.

The conference over, the details of the split finalized, we were preparing to leave when this womon approached me in the parking lot, asking me if she could tell me something. I don’t recall ever having a conversation with her previously although I had learned her name earlier in the week. I was in the process of loading my truck, soaking in the hot Georgia sun, but paused to smile openly, listen, curious.

She asked me if I knew what she appreciated about me. Of course, delightfully, my ego sent me right to my truck, pondering which one of the messages I’ve chosen, painted on my truck, and worked so hard to spread around the country does she appreciate.

My mind then flies to maybe she appreciates the fact that I’m brilliant, out-spoken, beautiful, fierce, kind, able to negotiate and communicate with the ‘other’ as well as everyone in-between. Or sexy – we are at a formerly lesbian conference after all. Or that I’ve done such an excellent job raising my daughter (although I had good material to work with!). Or how skilled I am at so many things.

Or maybe, as we are at a writers’ conference, what a great inspiring writer I am.

So I meet her, smiling and let her know I’d love to hear what she appreciates about me.

“I appreciate that you were peaceful.”

What the fuck? Are you fucking kidding me? I felt like I was sucker punched. At the time I could only tell her how insulting she was being, how angry that made me.

Me, peaceful – as if I haven’t spent my life conflict-solving, using my words, walking away when I felt like beating the shit outta somebody, figuring out how to speak many complicated languages so I can competently communicate with others. As if I haven’t spent decades learning how to see clearly, my biases, my failings, my strengths – and those of others – so I can successfully mediate, arbitrate, problem-solve.

I asked into her stony silence, why would she ever think I would not be ‘peaceful’?

But ‘peaceful’ is like ‘inclusion’ – these terms used for and laced with not-so hidden values of control over and silencing others.

She claimed I wasn’t ‘peaceful’ at the previous planning meeting. Really, fuckin REALLY! I wouldn’t and couldn’t ask her what the hell I did that she interpreted as violent. I knew. I didn’t throw any chairs, I didn’t shout, I didn’t punch anyone or threaten any of those anti-peaceful behaviors like rape and death. My mere verbal opposition to including men who identify as womyn was interpreted by her as ‘violence.’ Not a surprise as womyn who have the nerve to embrace biology are framed by transiarchy as ‘more violent than men’, including the men who are killing them. (Of course their murders are our fault.)

I understand more now. She fears my womon’s fierce rage and is shamed by my challenging the injustice of destroying womyn’s sovereignty. Thus she experiences me as ‘violent’.

But her choosing to fling this ‘peaceful’ charge at me is worse than just an attempt at control. It is the Orwellian fabrication of who is really violent and who is the target of that violence.

I have never threatened to rape anyone, yet I’ve been raped in the past and recently threatened by transiarchy minions with rape. I have never threatened to beat up anyone, yet I’ve been beaten up in the past and again threatened by transiarchy minions in the present with male violence. I have never told anyone to shut up, yet I’ve been silenced by those of the transiarchy who have more power than my singular voice.

I have never doused my t-shirt with blood and painted on it “KILL ALL TRANS”. I’ve never promoted any kind of violence against trans people or their allies, yet the reality is that the transiarchy segment at the top of the trans community has both threatened and perpetrated violence against lesbians and womyn who refuse to capitulate to transiarchy, who believe biology and know gender is a tool of the racist, sexist patriarchy.

Her ‘peaceful’ statement hit me hard and I wondered if she would approach a womon battered and beaten, then praise her for her ‘peaceful’ silence; or approach an imprisoned bloodied person and praise her for her ‘peaceful’ cooperation with her jailer.

I’ve never hit anyone, not even when angry or frustrated raising my child, goddess children, or anyone’s children. I’ve never threatened anyone with a gun, a broken bottle, a fist – as I have been threatened with and more, hurt.

I’ve spoken my truth – and this womon who has claimed she has grown so much, has been given so much from female sovereign spaces, has experienced my truth as violence.

But worse, she is incapable of seeing the true life perpetrators of transiarchy violence. Not just against me and not just recently. Only more Orwellian and frequent recently.


Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The backlash against womyn’s liberation - especially against lesbian womyn - intensifies


The vile assault against the liberation and sovereignty of womyn raged recently at Womonwrites, a lesbian womyn’s grassroots institution, where womyn gathered for a conference twice a year for over 40 years in the secluded lush forested rolling hills of Georgia.

A liberation so valiantly and fiercely fought for and secured, and firmly in place over all these many decades.

This pervasive battering of womyn, especially lesbians, has been intensifying all over the country at almost every institution, organization, event that grew out of the womyn’s liberation movement determined to empower womyn and girls and to smash racist, sexist patriarchy.

Make no mistake: this transdomination thrust to put womyn back into our place of silence, of invisibility, of subjugation is nothing new. Only the words have changed. And the power of the ‘oppressed’ group has greatly intensified.

Often this capitulation of female sovereignty is due to 1) the insistence of a vocal few to change the definition of womyn to include their spouses or partners who are transgendered, because of 2) the fear on the part of others of being labeled ‘transphobic’ or ‘terf’, 3) that fear trumping the determination and commitment to protect womyn’s sovereignty, and because of 4) the reality of the violence presently aimed at womyn who strive to defend womyn and our sovereignty.

Due to all four of these factors present at a Womonwrites planning meeting in 2018 with less than 20 womyn present, a vote was taken and the decision made to invite to our lesbian conference everyone and anyone who feels like they “belong”, yonis present or lacking.

At the insistence of lesbians fighting against the erasure of lesbian and womyn’s space at Womonwrites, last month the issue of whether to ‘include’ men who now ‘identify’ as womyn was put to a vote within  the entire community. With over 180 votes cast, the decision was made to expand Womonwrites into two separate conferences: a female-lesbian only conference (voted for by 48% of participants) and a trans-inclusive conference (voted for by 52% of participants).

Those of us voting in support of a lesbian-only conference came to the conference last week with the expectation of honoring our vote and planned on spending our last days together figuring out how to distribute resources, as well as to grieve and to get closure.

But instead, we found ourselves having to struggle for recognition of this split, to fight to prevent a handful of womyn who were working hard to override the vote, and to work once again to maintain the gains we had thought secure.

After a community meeting of all attendees and much negotiating, both sides finally came together and through a subcommittee of equal representatives, agreed that indeed we are two separate conferences with different and incongruous goals, and the remaining resources will be doled out according to the vote percentages.

Around the country and world, dykes are being kicked out of Dyke Marches; lesbians are being removed from LGBT organizations; womyn’s words are being drowned out by male droning; men and boys are being given free access to formerly ‘safe’ womyn and girl spaces.

At Womonwrites, a different solution was created and upheld: the mighty four decade old tree grew into two separate branches. This process could and should be a embraced as the feminist alternative rightfully honoring and providing sovereignty for females, as well as allowing for a separate autonomous space for trans people and their allies.

Liberal allies who have been blitzed by media and academics to ramrod the needs and goals of the transgender community must see that this does not and should not ever be promoted at the expense of the womyn and lesbian community, but independently for the transgender community. Both can and should co-exist as exclusive entities as exemplified by the courageous lesbians of Womonwrites.

In love and rage

Monday, May 20, 2019

When “white” is understood…


When “white” is understood…

I rushed to attend Womonwrites this past week because I knew this four decade old lesbian icon of Southern Womyn Writers was coming under attack by the transdomination community and their allies.

I also knew that the overriding purpose of this session of Womonwrites was to hold high and act from womonist/feminist values while formalizing the division into two separate conferences: one that honors female sovereignty and magnifies womon words; and one that strives to be “inclusive” of everyone who feels they “belong”.

In those early Womonwrites days forty years ago, the voice of womyn – especially lesbians – was not just barely heard in u.s.ofa. life but it was unheard of for womyn to gather together to write, to stand up on a stage behind a microphone and read, to amplify their voice, their thought, their value with and among solely other womyn.

Today with still less than .09% of the published written word – including news sources – penned by females (the ‘of color’ understood) and 17% by their white female peers, womyn’s voices are once again being intentionally silenced in favor of boosting the voice of men who now ‘identify’ as womyn under the liberal guise of being “inclusive”.

But it is not this current method of vile misogynist attack against girls and womyn that is driving me to write this morning: it is the horrific continuation of racism that ignited into violence against the one Black womon who was not only present at this conference but working non-stop to provide sustenance that was healthy, beautiful, scrumptious. Meals that also brilliantly accommodated a long list of dietary restrictions or desires.

Although it is not nearly enough, I want to very publically and emphatically apologize to this young womon – and all womyn of color present or not – for this latest egregious assault: I am so very sorry. It should have NEVER happened especially at Womonwrites where it should have been a safe, loving community for  all womyn of Black and brown womyn.

I want to call out this overt act of a white individual’s racism that hurt another womon and also consumed the good will of all white womyn on this land, tainting their very presence and actions as well as lack of action. But it is also crucial to acknowledge the overriding whiteness of the structure of this conference that allowed and fed personal racism.

I want to promise Black and brown womyn I will organize and work very very hard to smash the racism that is inherent but certainly not unexpected in the structure of this old Womonwrites: for to be white in the u.s.ofa. is to naturally be racist; for white womyn to build community in the u.s.ofa. is to naturally build a white community.

White womyn attending Womonwrites could have looked around, felt their ‘natural’ comfort when slipping into an all or predominantly white space, stepped back and realized this racial segregation reflected that of society – and this acknowledgement should have made them very uncomfortable.

This is not to say that over the decades white womyn did not at times see and attempt to rectify this blatant racism that lead to the ‘white’ being understood at this conference. But the commitment did not include the longevity and intensity necessary to truly combat centuries of racism.

In the past, efforts extended on the part of white womyn were rendered feeble at best due to underestimating the monster racism is and the extended commitment required to abolish racism on the part of white womyn. Most efforts that were designed  to “include” womyn of color failed, as white womyn hopefully learned quickly that this approach is itself born of racism.

Tragically, white womyn committing themselves to prioritize anti-racism instead has NOT been a path constructed let alone well-traveled.

Not yet at least.

I want to invite any other white womon who wants to  work together to institutionalize anti-racism as a priority and commitment of the new female sovereign Womonwrites branch to join me in this journey.







 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

(Hell no, I’m not) Transphobic and proud! Or should I call this “Fuck transdominant transgenderism”


 If transphobic means I harbor any kind of prejudice, emotional disgust, fear, anger or discomfort felt or expressed towards trans people, then hell no, I’m not transphobic.

If transphobic means I promote, encourage, condone any form of violence, harassment, or discrimination against trans people, then hell no, I’m not transphobic.

If transphobic means I embrace bigoted fundamentalist xian beliefs that trans people are perverted, inferior, deserving of hatred and violence, then hell no, I’m not transphobic.

If transphobic means I dare call myself a Lesbian, a Dyke, a Bulldagger and proud, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I prioritize protecting girls and womxxn from males, male dominance, including males who want to claim for themselves society’s gender box created to oppress females, then call me transphobic & proud!

If transphobic means I dare to call out the tragic mutilations you choose to inflict against your sacred body while I fight for your individual right to do whatever the hell you want to do with your body, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I know the only thing ‘assigned’ at birth is gender, not sex, then call me transphobic and proud.

If transphobic means I refuse to be subjugated, disappeared, vanished into the category of “queer” because my Lesbian or radical feminist or female/womon identity makes trans folks & their allies feel ‘oppressed’, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I strive for the difficult dialogue and I refuse to be silenced by the threat of being labeled “transphobic”, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I refuse to have my words shoved back down my throat because I am excluding someone who exploits their male privilege to force me to ‘include’ them, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I call out internalized misogyny, womon-hating, lesbian-bashing, feminist-attacking, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I will not deny or diminish but hold supreme our ability to choose to create and sustain life – or not – as the core of womxxn, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I identify and deflect bullying, male dominance, superiority behaviors, internalized misogyny, radical feminist/lesbophobia, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I decide who I gather with, who I make love with, who I invite to organize with, to read and write with, to sing and struggle with, to dance and fight with, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I refuse to ignore or minimize the power and sacred wonder of my body, to eliminate my cunt, to cut my bleeding from my identity, to know of what this means to be a womon, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I revere the sanctity of womxxn is the power to create life, should I choose; the power to give life, should I want;  the power to sustain life and protect life, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I refuse to ignore or deny the external and internalized impact of patriarchal conditioning enforced by the privileges/oppressions accorded to sex, since swaddled in assigned pink or blue, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I repudiate the pretense alls it takes to be a womon is hiding or carving down one’s dick, consuming fake hormones, and painting your fingernails, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I joyfully embrace the power, the sacredness of my cunt, my womb, bleeding from my identity, my breasts, my wide hips, my thousands-of-nerve-beginnings-clit, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I refuse to silently swallow the fact that hatred of a womon’s body is such a carefully force-fed given in our society, so much that at least 77% of 17 year old young womxxn HATE their bodies, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means if I dispute the absurd theory of the transgender dominant claim that sex is not biological while they attempt to biologically change their sex, then call me transphobic and proud.

If transphobic means I choose not to spend my energy making transpeople feel accepted, comfortable, okay with their own personal decisions, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I claim the right to gather with womxxn who have survived girlhood, who are striving to love womxxn (especially their own womon selves), then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I block your society- and god-given male access to womxxn, with or without your original dick, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means I refuse to make room in my special community of womxxn to ‘include’ trans folks, then call me transphobic and proud!

If transphobic means knowing you will NEVER be a womon when you are biologically a male no matter how many operations you have or drugs you take, then call me transphobic and proud.

If transphobic means, even in this consumer-based society where everything is for sale, I know an individual cannot buy a body of the opposite sex, then call me transphobic and proud.

If transphobic means my experience, wisdom, power, knowledge gained from spending at least 45 years of my life identifying, studying, engaging, living and loving with hundreds if not hundreds of thousands of womxxn has preeminence to the infant transgenderism, then call me transphobic and proud.

If transphobic means I know womxxn are the sole authority on womxxn, not the males who want to jump out of their gender box, which I applaud, but then into the gender box the racist, sexist, misogynist dominant society created, built, sustains for womxxn, then call me transphobic and proud.

Get off my back and out of my yoni, you trans-dominant, transgender, transdomineering and liberal allied folks and take responsibility for your own choices, build your own communities, find your own acceptance – and leave me to mine, and us to ours.