Author Topic: Michigan Womyn's Music Festival  (Read 1649 times)

Infosaturated

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Michigan Womyn's Music Festival
« on: June 21, 2012, 12:45:34 AM »
Has anyone ever been to the festival? This year it is being held from August 7th to 12th which is way too soon for me to plan for.  Next year, I am going for sure. It sounds really wonderful.

lagatta

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13093
    • View Profile
Re: Michigan Womyn's Music Festival
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 08:46:55 AM »
No, I'm not at all interested in anything to do with womyn (as opposed to women).

While it has proven a great opportunity for lesbians to meet - especially those from small towns and conservative parts of the US - I'm opposed to the type of culturalist, essentialist feminism it represents.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Infosaturated

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Michigan Womyn's Music Festival
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2012, 03:19:13 PM »
I have to admit I don't entirely understand the "culteralist, essentialist" description of feminism. My personal brand of feminism is a lot simpler.

I know that women are every bit as capable of violence and cruelty, but in this world it's mostly men who go marauding killing women and children up close and personal as they have in Syria most recently. I know women can rape, but in this world it's mostly men doing the raping. I fear men. All men, even men I know. I do like some men individually but I don't trust them and in some ways they feel like an alien species to me.

 The primary attraction to MWMF for me is how safe women say that they feel there. I don't actually believe that I will feel it but the mere possibility acts like a powerful magnet. Is it possible to be alone outside in the dark and not be afraid? In the world I walk around in I must be alert to my own safety and protected by a man or men. At Michfest female security surrounds any man that has to be allowed on the grounds. One or two men on site to empty porta-janes are not a physical threat. A man isn't going attack a woman when he is surrounded by thousands of them. So why such heavy security? I think it's because of the psychological implications not physical safety implications. It makes me feel more secure knowing that no man can get on site without an escort. I cannot turn a corner and be surprised by one.

I think it will be emotionally powerful to be in a place where women organized and built everything themselves. I want to see this place built entirely by women for women. The jury remains out on "nature versus nurture" but the older I get the more I believe nurture is the primary determinant of male and female behavioral characteristics and roles.

I discovered the trans issue because of the VRR controversy which led to the MWMF trans issue. I have compassion for trans people. I support their fight for legal recognition. Because we live in a binary world I support their right to live as the gender they believe themselves to be without challenge or disrespect. BUT people born with slits have a right to gather together and exclude people born with dicks because being born with a slit has impacted our lives profoundly.  Being born with a slit is a valid reason to congregate just like being born a particular color is. Being assigned "female" at birth everywhere in the world puts us in an immediate subordinate position in whatever society we are born into.

None of the intellectual academic arguments in the world about the definitions of the word "female" or "woman" or "womyn" or "chick" changes the fact that people born with slits instead of dicks get treated differently from birth in profound ways that shape who we are and how we have experienced the world. It is perverse that someone with a dick is going to dictate to me what it means to be someone born with only a slit. I feel like I am being robbed of any language to even describe myself. "Woman" to me is not an abstract word that represents a malleable theoretical category of being. 

I feel like my very existence is being negated by denial of vocabulary with which to define myself. There is nothing worse than being made invisible. People born with a penis are telling me I don't exist as a category of being. I'm glad that Michfest agrees that I do exist.

lagatta

  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 13093
    • View Profile
Re: Michigan Womyn's Music Festival
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2012, 04:24:05 PM »
Well, that is fine if you find it useful. You will find a summary of different subsets of feminism at Wikipedia, with useful links. I'm not really interested in giving a feminismS 101 course, as you are every bit as competent and qualified as I am to research what I meant.

I find what is going on right here in Montréal infinitely more interesting and empowering, including in terms of how neoliberal policies disproportionally affect women and other groups suffering specific oppression and discrimination (atop general capitalist exploitation).

Reading over a leaflet by "Les Mères en colère et solidaires" - people, primarily women, taking back the streets - the real streets.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Infosaturated

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
    • View Profile
Re: Michigan Womyn's Music Festival
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2012, 07:59:44 PM »
I'm sorry if what I said came across as hostile or disrespectful because it wasn't intended to be.

I have read Wikipedia articles on different forms of feminism but not enough to memorize the different categories. I respect all the heavy work and thinking about various feminist philosophies and that all that analysis does reveal different and complex ways in which women are oppressed. The academic approach has value but I bet that like me the majority of women are not up on all the feminist theories (or oppression theory). I wasn't expecting or looking for an explanation of what "culturalist, essentialist" feminism is because I have a low threshold for the academic complexities. I was just explaining what attracts me to the fest and why the only controversy that I am aware of doesn't make me think poorly of the gathering. From what I have read there are a wide variety of women attending some of whom support trans woman inclusion. I assume that there will be women with widely different views on feminism and different depths of knowledge attending.

I can understand why some women might choose to boycott it based on their take on the political implications of the gathering. I also think it should be respected as a feminist event that is cherished by many women even if some feminists can't understand why others value it so much.

I don't see it as an either or situation. That is, I don't see going to Michfest for six days as taking away from my desire or ability to participate in supporting the woman's movement in other ways too. It certainly doesn't prevent me from taking part in marches to support the students and/or democracy in general.

For me Michfest is not a political act. I'm not going there to make a political statement. It is simply a vacation away from the man's world I was born into.

I didn't start the thread to create a debate. Even if various feminists feel differently about the festival I still thought this would be a natural and appropriate place to discuss it and to see if any other women were interested in going or had already been.

 

Return To TAT