Code Pink Journals CodePINK Journals

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

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.