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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 steaming 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

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