Author Archives: Paula Mariedaughter

Most Oppressed or Center-Staged?

Fueled by our outrage last June at the “inclusive” policy that excludes gender critical women from local Pride events we created a Lesbian Story Time event at the Fayetteville Public Library. We had learned that Northwest Arkansas Equality, Inc is exclusively authorized by the City of Fayetteville to operate the NWA Pride Parade and the associated events.

We are not an associated event. We are lesbians demanding lesbian visibility as our right to be free human females. In reading our flyer, note that the word lesbian appears fifteen times! We are women identified women who thrive in the company of other like-minded women. We invite lesbians and allies to share time meant to honor lesbian women. Our lesbian culture is our lifeline.

Our lesbian and gay liberation movement has been hijacked. The T, standing for transgender, now dominates every lesbian and/or gay organization I know about except Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC). And OLOC has been severely damaged by the controversy about including males who identify as lesbians in their membership.

Many transgender activists attempt to dictate terms of gendered politics to the rest of the world. Liberals and progressives are continually asserting that the transgender community is the most oppressed among us! Liberals and progressives see no harm in the bullying tactics used by transgendered activists to insert themselves into women only spaces and to attempt to insert themselves into lesbian only space. Radical lesbian feminists who object to the erasure of lesbians and other women are dismissed and slurred with the invented label of TERFS (Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists). Violence and threats of violence against women and lesbians are common.

My own observation is that our gay pride events no longer highlight the oppression of lesbians and gay men. The interests of male to trans persons now dominate the agenda and the funding of most major lesbian rights organizations. The needs and desires of transgendered individuals now dominate. The desires and assertions and feelings of transgendered people are now center-staged!

Pride 1974

Contrast this photo from 1974 of a grassroots Lesbian/Gay Pride Parade with the corporate sponsored glitz of today. I see “people power” here, not corporate and government controlled media events.

As I wrote last June in this column, “We who are fiercely loyal to lesbians and to the long term interests of women and girls have been demonized both locally and nationally for our carefully thought out criticisms of the trans gender movement. The symbolism of removing Gay Pride and becoming Pride events parallels the stigma now attached to gay young people. Young women who do not fit the stereotype for girls and young men who do not fit the stereotype for boys are now the prime candidates for transitioning. This generation of youths are the innocent victims of a questionable social experiment which will leave many young people sterile and hormone/drug dependent for their entire lives. The medical and pharmaceutical industries will thrive.”

Let’s talk about the history of women. Our history is one of the oppression of women by men and a history of women’s resistance to that oppression. Rain and Thunder: A Radical Feminist Journal of Discussion and Activism is a favorite place for me to study about the lives of women and girls. In reading the latest issue, I found this, “Patriarchy, or the colonization of the sex class of women by the sex class of men, is the oldest form of oppression known to the human species. Over a period of at least 6,000 years, men have established various systems by which to suppress women’s agency, exploit and control women’s bodies, and extract unpaid female labor.

Author Thain Parnell continues, “In the latest twist, the patriarchy is attempting its most ambitious feat yet, to disappear its crimes via the erosion of the sex classes themselves. Trans activism is a trojan horse designed to force Western women back in their place, and in other countries serves as a useful wedge….” Her article is “War Games:The Many Guises of Male Brutality” in the Summer 2019 issue of Rain and Thunder.

Our place, as lesbians, this weekend of “Pride Celebrations” is with other LESBIANS! If you live in Northwest Arkansas, come join us at the Fayetteville Library. Invite any allies. If you live elsewhere, call your local public library today and reserve a space for a June 15th Lesbian Pride Celebration. Keep it simple. Invite lesbians to share their stories. Last year we had several young lesbians drop in and join us for our celebration. Use our flyer as a prototype. Lesbian visibility depends on lesbians willing to be visible. We all have our stories to tell. Listening to one another is a great gift.

Atlanta, Georgia in the 1970’s. That huge Lesbian Feminist Alliance banner would not be permitted at today’s “inclusive” Pride parades which exclude radical feminist groups!

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words!

by Paula Mariedaughter

Creative actions by strong radical feminists always intrigues me! On the morning of January 29, 2019 feminist activists across the United Kingdom (Britain and Wales) and across Ireland had dressed various female statues with black t-shirts and a strong message. The t-shirts these uppity women used quoted from the dictionary: “Woman, noun, adult human female”. How simple, clear and direct.

Organizing such a coordinated action could not have been simple. Read what these determined women wrote about the action organized by ReSisters United. Here is the strong statement from the home page of their website https://resistersunited.org/
“ReSisters United was formed by women across the UK and Ireland, because we recognized the assault on our hard-won rights and freedoms that gender identity ideology could pose. Resisters United is therefore a feminist movement focused on women´s rights, centering women´s interests and experiences, and for this we make no apology.”

More than fifty cities and towns had this new chance to read the clear definition of who is a woman. Our gallery of photos was pulled from over 100 photos displayed on the ReSisters United website here: https://resistersunited.org/gallery/
One of my favorite photos showed a statue of Sappho wearing one of the ReSisters t-shirts. Sappho was a lyric poet from antiquity who wrote about love between women. Sappho lived in the Mediterranean including Lesbos during the sixth century BCE and was widely known. Her poems were performed to the accompaniment of the musical instrument called the lyre, thus she was a singer/songwriter of her day singing about love and desire between women.

Sappho is a Right-On Woman, Still! Do you know the book I am referring to here? Sappho Was A Right-On Woman: A Liberated View Of Lesbianism by Sidney Abbott and Barbara Love published in 1972 was a treasure for many of us who came out as a woman-loving woman in the early 1970s!

message from Liverpool ReSisters https://twitter.com/LiverpoolReSis1
“The temporary addition of t-shirts and banners to notable female statues around the UK – such as Cilla Black in Liverpool – was a coordinated effort with women on a national scale. The simple definition of “woman: adult human female” on the t-shirts was to show how diluted this word has become in recent times and our concerns about the impact this has on every woman’s life. If “woman” is not clearly defined, law and policies cannot be written or enforced to best serve women. In September 2018, one representative of Liverpool ReSisters spoke to Liverpool City Council, asking for its mayor and councillors to consult women’s groups on retaining single-sex provisions in the city. This request was denied. The women of Liverpool and in many other places across England, Wales and Scotland will not allow ourselves to be silenced.

As ReSisters United, we take to the streets to create a dialogue among our citizenry. We use peaceful means of protest in order to encourage discussion and debate, so that women’s voices can be heard and our privacy, dignity and boundaries are maintained.”

Positive newspaper responses”
Members of a Herts feminist group have joined a UK-wide campaign to “reclaim the definition of women”, which involves dressing iconic female statues in T-shirts which have a dictionary definition of ‘woman’ on the front. from The Comet https://www.thecomet.net/news/letchworth-and-harpenden-statues-campaign-1-5870335

Negative newspapers:
from Wales Online:
T-shirts labelled ‘transphobic’ left hanging on statues across Wales
They have been spotted in Newport, Cardiff, Swansea and Pembrokeshire

(see more below)

from Inews.co.uk

Here’s why some trans people have said the ‘definition of a woman’ campaign is transphobic from Inews.co.uk

A group of anti-trans activists have been condemned for spreading “transphobia” in “a desperate grab for headlines” as they vandalised statues of feminist leaders with anti-trans slogans across the UK. The group, named ReSisters United, were spotted attaching t-shirts, bags and banners to feminist statues in Sheffield, London and Liverpool with the definition of the word “woman.” The items, which were draped across the likes of Cilla Black in Liverpool, Millicent Fawcett in London and Amy Johnson in Kent on Saturday featured the words ““Woman, noun. An adult human female.”

The group tweeted: “Overnight, women all over the UK came together, organised with one purpose – to define ourselves and our boundaries. Woman is not a feeling.” The vast majority of the signage has since been removed due to its offence to the transgender community. But why does the definition evoke offence, and how have members of the transgender community responded?

‘A desperate grab for headlines’ One transgender woman, who works as a developer and whose name is not disclosed said the action was part of “a desperate grab for headlines.” “This is from a group viscerally aware of the failure of their ‘movement’,” she said. “They’re doing this because it’s one of the only ways left for the cause to get publicity.” Trans woman Natacha Kennedy said that the t-shirts are a “coded threat” to the trans community. “By sticking to the dictionary definition, these transphobes can say, ‘but it’s only the dictionary definition!’, except we know it isn’t just that. Context matters and in my opinion, these t-shirts are being used as a symbol of hate. Trans women are adult human females,” she added. Because they do not use hate speech, a lot of passersby might dismiss what they are intended to mean, she argued. “For trans women it’s a coded threat, designed to sound innocuous to most people, but designed to make trans women, who routinely face abuse for not being ‘real’ (or even human) feel intimidated,” Ms Kennedy added.

One parent of a trans male teenager has said that the offence of the t-shirts is all about context. She likened the incident to one that plagued black footballer John Barnes during his career, which saw someone from the crowd throw a banana onto a pitch during a game at Everton in 1988 in an act of racism. “A lot of people will say it’s only a dictionary definition on a t-shirt, how can you get upset over a statement of fact?” she said. “But it’s like when you say if it’s only a banana, how can you get upset over a piece of fruit?” “Context matters,” she added.

Resistance movements in action

Other members of the public who have spotted the t-shirts have updated them to include a more diverse set of definitions for what it means to be a human – and a woman. Lecturer Jane Francesca Fae is one of the people who tweeted a picture of one of a modified t-shirt. Listing “cisgender”, “trans” and other diverse identities, she questioned the “bigots” defining womanhood. “After the local bigots/fascists turned up and stuck a WomanStandUp t-shirt on our (kneeling) Sappho statue, some other folk seem to have nicked it and put this up instead…Other members of the public who have spotted the t-shirts have updated them to include a more diverse set of definitions for what it means to be a human – and a woman. Lecturer Jane Francesca Fae is one of the people who tweeted a picture of a modified t-shirt listing “cisgender”, “trans” and other diverse identities as woman, she questioned the “bigots” defining womanhood.(end of negative newspaper article)

As a woman proud to be a biological female, like the majority of the world, I’d like to add two more powerful images with clear messages!

Graffiti from an unknown Americqn feminist expressing our truth!

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“Ain’t I a Woman?” No, Males are Not Women!

by Paula Mariedaughter

Challenging Extremist Views

Challenging the extremist views present in our woman-hating culture is never easy! A handful of brave women handed out educational leaflets on Wednesday night, October 3,2018 in front of the Town Center auditorium. The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville was hosting its first distinguished lecturer event of the school year. We wanted to express our own point of view about men who claim to be women. We are not criminals or bigots for expressing our constitutional rights to free speech. The trans activists held the stage (literally) that night. The U of A invited this person who is a trans-activist as their “Distinguished Lecturer” –certainly not an invitation extended to anyone with a trans critical voice. See the press release from the university below this article.

The trans voice is now the dominate voice, and that is what they want to protect. Those of us who have concerns for all the unexpected consequences of permitting males to claim womanhood for themselves have every right to express our legitimate concerns. People who are trans activists and some trans supporters do not want our critical thinking views to be expressed in public and have gone to extremes across the country to silence our voices.

Deplatforming of feminist events

Deplatforming of feminist events is a favored way to silence our voices. Tactics often use to target women only events include threats of physical violence, verbal harassment, pressure on employers of our speakers/performers, or pressure on organizations that rent to us. Read about our own experience in Fayetteville when we were deplatformed at the 2017 Goddess Festival by trans activists pressuring and threatening the venue and the organizers of the Goddess Festival. https://xxamazons.org/story-of-the-goddess-festival/

That male celebrity, invited by the university, has stolen Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I a Woman” speech from 1851 at the Women’s Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio! He is being paid to do a presentation he calls, “Ain’t I A Woman: My Journey to Womanhood”. Sojourner Truth’s passion was about women’s rights! He chooses that incredible speech by an incredible woman, then twists it into a pro-trans thing. I still feel violated by his decision–that is why I was out there at town center last Wednesday!

Our handout and our approach to people at town center that night was respectful and polite. We are acting not only for ourselves, but for women and girls everywhere, including those women who so strongly criticize us. Free speech is central to our freedoms. We may loose our legal right to freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, if we do not resist now.

Inspired by Mary McLeod Bethune

Here are the words from Mary McLeod Bethune, famed civil right activist, that I took to heart when I read them this week: “[I urge] you to fight until it’s over. Never stop. If you stop now, it might be a generation before somebody else comes along to take up the fight. Why not this generation?” She was referring to implementation of equal education opportunities for all as required by the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling declaring racial segregation in public schools to be unconstitutional.

It seems to me there is a parallel here–doing all we can to protect women and girls. We, in this generation of women, must not give up our voices. When the university creates an atmosphere for young scholars where even to ask questions about the claims of the trans voices is dismissed as “hate speech”, clarity will not come from those in that generation. Unless, of course, we listen to the voices of the many brave de-transistioners or other young people who somehow escape the indoctrination. These are the people who have seen the inside story of the mass movement to eliminate young lesbians and gay men! These are the people who can testify to the pressures to conform to the feminine and masculine stereotypes that dominate the mainstream culture in 2018.

Our carefully crafted flyer

Here is our carefully crafted flyer–feel free to duplicate our efforts in your own community using this flyer!

My thoughts about the university press release

The provocative, sexualized poster that the university chose to use, is itself, a message about stereotypes proscribed for females. The large photo accompanied the press release. The press release from the University of Arkansas became a messenger for “the dominate forces of the dominate culture”. As radical feminists, we are always seeking the root/radical source of oppressions. We have long named the educational institutions as distributing the propaganda serving the patriarchs. Here is an excellent example–the university is “thrilled” to indoctrinate young people with the current assertion that men can be women should they so choose. In fact, it is fees extracted from young people and their parents that paid for this message!

Actual university press release

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Emmy Award-winning actress, documentary film producer and civil rights advocate Laverne Cox will open the 2018-19 student-sponsored Distinguished Lecture Series with “Ain’t I A Woman: My Journey to Womanhood” at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at the Fayetteville Town Center.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and tickets are required. The event is free and open to the public. Because students fund the lecture series, tickets will be made available to students first who will be able to reserve tickets starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, by going to osa.uark.edu. Tickets are limited to one per student.

“We are thrilled to be able to bring such an accomplished woman to campus this early in the school year,” said Christine Carroll, chair of the student Distinguished Lecture committee. “The committee has planned a slate of excellent and diverse speakers, and we look forward to kicking off the series with this dynamic presenter.”
Darinda Sharp, director of communications
School of Law
479-575-7417, dsharp@uark.edu

article by Paula Mariedaughter

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Amelia Earhart imagined this shop: “Tinkering: For Girls Only”

by Paula Mariedaughter
When Amelia Earhart imagined “Tinkering: For Girls Only”, she planned a fully-equipped workshop for girls to “tinker to their hearts content”. She wrote about this shortly before her disappearance. These thoughts were published in the book Last Flight by Amelia Earhart, 1937.

Amelia wrote:
For a couple of years I had been pleasantly associated with Purdue University of Lafayette, Indiana, as a periodic and rather peripatetic faculty member. Purdue is a forward-looking institution building an important aviation department. It is one of the few universities in the world with its own landing field.

Additionally, it is co-educational. Of its 6,000 students approximately 1,000 are women. The problems and opportunities of these girls were quite as much my concern as aviation matters. Perhaps I have something of a chip on my shoulder when it comes to modern feminine education. Often youngsters are sadly miscast. I have known girls who should be tinkering with mechanical things instead of making dresses, and boys who would do better at cooking than engineering.

One of my favorite phobias is that girls, especially those whose tastes aren’t routine, often don’t get a fair break. The situation is not new. It has come down through the generations, an inheritance of age-old customs which produce the corollary that women are bred to timidity.

No timid girl here!

The mechanical-minded boy may have a field-day from the time his legs are long enough to toddle down to the corner garage. For all anyone cares, he may be weaned on piston rings and carburetors, and may remain beautifully grimy for indefinite periods. But with his sister it is different. With rare exceptions, the delights of finding out what makes a motor go, or batting the bumps out of a fender, are joys reserved for masculinity.

The girl who wants to do that sort of thing has such a hard time finding a place to do it that for long I have harbored a very special pet ambition. Among my other somewhat suppressed desires it is classified under the letter “T”. The imaginary file card reads, “Tinkering: For Girls Only.” The plan is to endow a catch-as-catch-can machine shop, where girls may tinker to their heart’s content with motors, lathes, jigsaws, gadgets, and diverse hickies of their own creation. Where they may sprawl on their back, peering up into the innards of engines, and likely as not get oil in their hair. Where they can make engines perk, clocks tick, radios yowl, and something of the everyday mechanical marvels which –given the chance—many of them would master quite as well as Brother Bill. And emerge somewhere in the scale between grease-moneys and inventors. Or, negatively, with at least their lack of aptitude revealed.
(Quote from page 25-26 of Final Flight)

According to HistoryNet, Earhart “kept a scrapbook of newspaper clippings that highlighted women entering occupations in motion-picture directing, law, advertising, management and automobile mechanics.” Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, and was considered one of the most famous women in the world, yet she was fully aware of the limitations placed on girls and women. Once flying became her passion, it was her mother who helped her buy her first airplane.

left photo: Amelia Earhart visiting her mother, Amy Otis Earhart, at home in Hollywood, Calif., on Jan. 14, 1935. Just days prior, the pioneering aviator had completed the first solo flight from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California; the 2,400-mile flight took her 18 hours, and she collected a reward of $10,000 for the feat…… Childhood portrait photo of Amelia

Her first flight instructor was Neta Hook in the early 1920s. Later, Earhart was instrumental in the formation of The Ninety-Nines, an organization for female pilots and was chosen its first president in 1930. As she wrote above, Earhart became a visiting faculty member at Purdue University as an advisor to aeronautical engineering and a career counselor to women students. Girls and women were a priority in her life. She was a member of the National Woman’s Party and an early supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment.

left: Flight instructor Neta Snook with her student Amelia Earhart at Kinner Field, Los Angeles, in 1921. (Smithsonian Institution) right: Rare photo of Amelia (far left) at play.

Yes, Amelia Earhart (born July 24, 1897; disappeared July 2, 1937) and her navigator were lost at sea after nearly completing their round the world trip. Her legacy as a woman who lived her life with zest and courage is not forgotten. She was truly “one-unto-herself” in my mind.

Amelia demonstrating the mechanics of flight to an interested girl.

by Paula Mariedaughter

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Lesbians Not Welcome at a Women’s Center started by Lesbian Feminists!

by Paula Mariedaughter
Lesbians Not Welcome at a Women’s Center started by Lesbian Feminists! How could this be? This local women’s center in Fayetteville, AR began three decades ago. It was funded, in part by a lesbian organization, the Lesbian Natural Resources.

Here is an excerpt from the Fayetteville public radio program describing the organization in an interview on June 3, 2015. The “intentional retirement village for elder lesbians and women in rural Madison County, conceptualized thirty years ago, is finally being established–but as a senior women’s community center in Fayetteville.”

Two years later, The Gayly newspaper on October 1, 2017 in an interview with the manager of that community center declared that the organization “has come to be an inclusive retreat for people of varying genders/orientations”.

However, lesbians and feminists who wish to have women only meetings or events are rejected based on our desire to experience women only groups. For over a year, many of us have tried to work with the board of directors. We are denied meeting space because we do not wish to include male to trans persons as women. We are considered noninclusive and our position is considered unacceptable. Therefore the board of directors continues to deny us women only meetings. The lesbians and women who support the claims of men to be women refuse to see our stance as a legitimate political disagreement.

In Female Erasure, edited by Ruth Barrett, she wrote, “Political disagreement is an opportunity for discourse that is part of a free society, and should be encouraged. When any questions or concerns are written off as hate speech, bigotry or ‘transphobia’, discourse cannot take place.” This is the situation we are facing as members of that un-named organization here in Fayetteville, Arkansas!

Early last February, several member women who want space for women only events spoke about our strong desire to use this facility to meet with like-minded women. We attended the organization’s annual meeting, but we entered a hostile environment that night.

Proud to be women identified and women centered!


This is my statement to the board and the members at the annual meeting:

Discrimination as Boundaries
I am a lesbian. I came out in 1973. Choosing to be with women is the best decision I have ever made. Being a lesbian means I discriminate against men every day of my life. I do not wish my life to be dominated by the needs and desires of men.

For forty-five years I’ve lived as a dyke. I am a gender non-conforming woman! I am proud to call myself a Radical Lesbian Feminist. At times, I have been considered too “femme” by some of my dyke friends. At the same time, I have been considered too “butch” by the straight world. My desire is to live as my authentic self. I want this for everyone. Socially enforced “femininity” and “masculinity” are straight-jackets meant to restrict all of us.

I cannot accept the view that there are people born in the wrong body. The biological fact of being born female or being born male is based in physical reality. Discomfort with the roles assigned to each sex is a healthy rebellion to sex role stereotypes, otherwise known as “gender.” The world view of people pushing transgendering as a solution to the oppression of sex roles is a dangerous concept — especially for young people.

I understand that others have embraced another world view. I do not condemn those people. I am an advocate for peaceful coexistence. Women like me, who want to meet in women only space, must be respected. We will resist every effort to allow men to claim womanhood for themselves. Male domination is central to patriarchy. Men claiming to be women is stealing our birthright.

I want women like me to have equal access to the use of the space since we are members. I want young women to experience the reality of women supporting each other in women-only space. I welcome male allies to all open events. We all need for this women’s center to thrive as a unique community resource.

I have a right to set my boundaries. Yes, I am willing to discriminate against men. As I said earlier, I do not wish my life to be dominated by the needs and desires of men, especially the men who call themselves women.

I left that meeting depressed and numb. I walked alone, in the dark, to find our car parked a block away. I could not tolerate another moment in that threatening space.

In trying to comprehend how exactly this disregard of women’s and lesbians’ strong desire to meet together has become illegitimate, I found understanding in these words from Pelican Lee: “In response to the conservative backlash, segments of the left [including women, my addition] have shifted away from political and structural analysis of oppression and injustice, towards an individualistic politics whose primary demand is for recognition and validation of individual identities.” Full article: https://xxamazons.org/emperors-clothes-radical-feminist-view-gender-transgender/

Women and girls are victimized daily by men and by the male dominated institutions of patriarchy. By refusing to acknowledge this reality, many on the left and many liberal lesbians deny the oppression of women and name women and lesbians as oppressors when we refuse to accept the notion that men can be women if they so choose.

In reading and thinking and feeling about all these events and my own experiences, I’ve often encountered a disdain or dismissal of those of us who have lived as lesbians for decades and powered the lesbian feminist rebellion of the 1960s, 70s ad 80s. How did this happen?

Jocelyn Macdonald helped me see into today’s queer culture in her article, “Today’s Shameless Lesbians Won’t Be Queered”. Macdonald provided me with vital information about myself as one of those lesbians who will not even consider being “queered”!

She explained in that Feminist Current article that, “In queer circles, ‘lesbian’ is synonymous with second wave feminism. In a way, this is right on, as it was during the second wave that women fearlessly occupied what it meant to be woman-loving and many of radical feminism’s fiercest sisters are members of the “lavender menace.’ Queer women owe their rights to the radical resistance and separatism of their lesbian foremothers, but are embarrassed by lesbian culture and history.” Read the full article on Feminist Current here: https://www.feministcurrent.com/2017/01/13/todays-shameless-lesbians-wont-queered/

I’m going to close with a favorite photo sure to embarrass those young and middle-aged queer women who have turned their backs on lesbians like me who choose women, not men, as the center of our lives. To be embarrassed by us and to dismiss our radical feminist analysis of the oppression of women is directly related to their attitudes of ageism, misogyny, lesbian-hating and especially to their worship of pop culture! We are led to believe that, as old dykes with our unfashionable dress and generally uncool image, our determined loyalty to women and girls is outmoded. However, we are the dykes who can boldly testify to the rich connections we have built with other women in our woman-loving lives. Queer women have no idea what they are missing. Come join us! We need all the lesbian energy we can get!

Paula (on left) and Martha carrying our Lesbians Unite sign at the Anita Bryant protest in downtown Kansas City MO, 1977.

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Liars Need Silence to Support Their Lies!

By Paula Mariedaughter. New Flash from Feminist Current! On July 18 Max Dashu, feminist historian, was deplatformed (due to complaints by trans activists and allies) by the Modern Witches Confluence to be held this fall near San Francisco, CA! Many of the ancient female goddess images on our site come from Max Dashu, so you are familiar with her powerful work. Additionally, an event showcasing the work of artist Nina Paley has been cancelled after complaints about her feminist politics by trans activists.

This feminist news source, with a variety of up-to-date articles, can provide you with more details. Visit here:https://www.feministcurrent.com/

As an investigating blogger, I went to the Modern Witches website and found their description of their organization and of their event called the Confluence.
The Modern Witches Confluence is an educational gathering that honors all walks of the witch. The witch is our spirit and our soul. The witch is awakening and leading us on our healing journey. She invites you to join us…
Our circle is founded upon inclusion, and in order to foster inclusion we must be willing to share and be willing to listen to experiences that are different from our own.
Our circle is created by a diversity of voices and beliefs.
(The entire text appears below.)

Denying our Reality as Women by Deplatforming Us One by One!
Deplatforming is a political tactic favored by transgender activists and their allies on the left. Pressuring groups and venues to cancel contracts with speakers, artists and musicians who advocate for women-only space is the central strategy for silencing our dissenting voices. Women who express any trans-critical opinions are labeled terfs, a derogatory term meaning trans exclusionary radical feminists. We, who resist male intrusions into women-only space, are now labeled a “hate group”. We see ourselves as “resistance fighters” and claim the right to female centered culture that existed for thousands of years before the violent patriarchies destroyed our communities and, during the so-called Renaissance, burned 11 million women as witches.

Please note the use of both “inclusion ” and “diversity” used by the organizers of the Modern Witches Confluence event in describing their purpose. These two words are now understood to mean that any “trans critical voice”, especially from lesbians, will swiftly be excluded from any participation. It reminds me of a loyalty oath that might read, “I assert my undying loyalty to men and any harebrain idea they truly identify with. Therefore, men must be women because they say they are women!”

Paula in a pointed witch's hat with many of her political quilts behind her.

Witchy Paula during her presentation at the 2016 Fayetteville Goddess festival before she was part of the group deplatformed there in 2017 and refused entry in 2018.
The organizers declared the Goddess Festival was inclusive, but not of anyone who desires women only space!

Pelican Lee has responded to our silencing. “Demanding that we remain silent about our own bodies and our place in this world is unconscionable, especially during the backlash that we are experiencing. Women are not born with a female gender identity – we are born with female reproductive biology.” Pelican Lee wrote this strong statement in her recent article, The Emperor’s New Clothes: A Radical Feminist View of Gender and Transgender. Read the full article here: https://xxamazons.org/emperors-clothes-radical-feminist-view-gender-transgender/

Once I read that Starhawk was still invited to be the keynote speaker at the Confluence, I decided that writing Starhawk could be helpful. As a well know writer about feminist witchcraft and as an earth activist, perhaps she could work some magic, or at least accomplish some diplomacy that would enable co-existence. I’d already written to the Confluence giving my opinion. Below is my letter to Starhawk:
Here is the link, https://starhawk.org/contact/to send Starhawk a message about using her keynote address at the “confluence” this fall that just deplatformed Max Dashu.

Starhawk,
Please know that your readers are expecting that you will take the initiative as keynote speaker at the Confluence this fall to address the current attempts by witches there and at other witchy gatherings to silence women and lesbians because of our beliefs in the rights of women to hold women only gatherings.

How can this be seen as anything but a new form of woman-hating? How about brewing up some dialogue at the Confluence about this conflict between several oppressed groups? Of course if you do bring this up, you will face the same punishment–threats of being deplatformed yourself. Your silence will not protect you.

Excluding those of us with unpopular opinions, ie something as radical as “men are not women” is clearly unacceptable. This policy is a policy of appeasement–men must have whatever they want–even women’s identity!

We must look for solutions instead of bowing to the pressure of trans extremists.

Blessed be, Paula Mariedaughter

Perhaps every woman reading this account could write to one or both places to add your opinions and preferences. Please use your voices! Here is the link, https://starhawk.org/contact/to send Starhawk a message about using her keynote address at the “confluence” this fall that just deplatformed Max Dashu.

Honor the female-centered life cycle that follows the moon: birth, death, and regeneration. Blessed be.

from the Modern Witches Confluence on July 18, 2018 declaring their intent to deplatform Max Dashu
Dear Community,
We sincerely apologize for involving Max Dashu in our workshop line-up. Since your community concerns have been raised regarding Dashu’s trans-exclusionary views, we have removed Max Dashu from our teaching line-up, and she will no longer be an influence on the Modern Witches Confluence. We appreciate you voicing your concerns, and we apologize for not responding to them sooner.
We should have done our research before asking Dashu to join us for our event, and after this incident, we know to do our due-diligence. We do not support or endorse those who shame, oppress, or exclude others. The success of our gathering will be built on a shared vision of inclusion, and the collective desire to liberate ourselves from societal rigidity, hatred, and separatist categorization.
We hope that by righting this wrong, the LGBTQ community and beyond will feel safe and welcomed to join us for our event in October. Please keep letting us know how we can do better. This is a community of many diverse voices, and we will need to keep voicing concerns, and listening, in order to grow and evolve.
Contact us at: info@witchesconfluence.org
with Love,
MWCfrom the Modern Witches Confluence on July 18

Three days later, more information from The Modern Witches to their membership about this issue:
July, 21, 2018
We would like everyone to know that we are working with Starhawk and others to facilitate a community dialogue in the hopes of catalyzing healing for all involved in the Modern Witches Community and beyond.
This page is for honoring and loving the lives of witches ~ in all of their multifaceted manifestations.

This is the full Statement of Purpose from Modern Witches Convergence’s website https://witchesconfluence.org/our-story/
Statement of Purpose
The Modern Witches Confluence is an educational gathering that honors all walks of the witch. The witch is our spirit and our soul. The witch is awakening and leading us on our healing journey. She invites you to join us…
Our circle is founded upon inclusion, and in order to foster inclusion we must be willing to share and be willing to listen to experiences that are different from our own.
Our circle is created by a diversity of voices and beliefs.
Our circle welcomes those who are beginning their spiritual journey, and those with lineage and deep roots.
Our circle is radical, and acknowledges that spirituality and justice are interconnected.
Our circle is a safe space to explore our individual paths.
Our circle is complex and beautiful.
We do not support those whose lives and beliefs are grounded in hate and division.
We are an anti-racist, anti-fascist community.
We are showing up for collective liberation, peace, radical love, and personal growth.
The Modern Witches Confluence is a gathering that aims to heal the collective’s trauma around The Witch. The witch is our midwife, nurse, wise woman, bruja, grandmother, herbalist, empath, storyteller, and weaver of the worlds. Witches are here to help us work with our innate power, and through community, they guide us closer to collective healing.

Written by Paula Mariedaughter

Proud to be a Lesbian, Proud to be a Dyke in 2018

No More Gay Pride for Fayetteville, AR! This whole fiasco, now called “Pride Events” disappears lesbians, promotes drinking establishments, multiple drag shows, and high-priced “social events” held at an expensive downtown hotel. Fayetteville is only playing “follow the leader” in the national trend to eliminate any reference to gay men and lesbians in the title. Who benefits from this? Not lesbians or gay men!

Lesbian Pride is quite Alive!


This is a tightly controlled series of events organized by a group called Northwest Arkansas Pride. Read the statement you will find below from their website. All these requirements are carefully sanctioned by the state, or in this case the City of Fayetteville. We who are trans-critical voices are to be excluded because our political assessment of the trans philosophy is deemed “offensive”!

This “offensive language” term is the code used to silence differing political opinions like mine. Reading this text written by the organizers assured me I would not be a welcome addition to their parade highlighting “diversity”. Diversity is another code word demanding the inclusion of male to trans persons in women only or lesbian only events. Diversity is not meant to include the opinions of Radical Feminists. Our opinions and beliefs are routinely labeled “offensive” and exclusionary. Any discussion, criticism or questioning is prohibited.

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The rainbow flag has been captured by the trans activists and their allies. The online promotion for the “Pride” event features photos that I find full of stereotyping of gay people and our interests. See https://pride.nwaequality.org/ Additionally, no where did I see the word “lesbian” mentioned at all!

We who are fiercely loyal to lesbians and to the long term interests of women and girls have been demonized both locally and nationally for our carefully thought out criticisms of the trans gender movement. The symbolism of removing Gay Pride and becoming Pride events parallels the stigma now attached to gay young people. Young women who do not fit the stereotype for girls and young men who do not fit the stereotype for boys are now the prime candidates for transitioning. This generation of youths are the innocent victims of a questionable social experiment which will leave many young people sterile and hormone/drug dependent for their entire lives. The medical and pharmaceutical industries will thrive.

I refuse to be silenced.                                                                                                                                 I speak from personal experience as one who has been successfully deplatfomed locally for the last two years because of our critique of trans genderism voiced by myself and other Radical Feminists. We were ousted by the local “progressive” organization, but rented space for our workshops. Men, and those who support the interests of men, do not dare let our lesbian and feminist voices be heard! I have read of other lesbian and/or gay men who have voiced dissatisfaction with the trans-dominated national gay rights organizations like the so-called Human Rights Campaign. Read one gay man’s opinion here: https://www.queerty.com/is-it-time-to-drop-the-t-from-lgbtq-this-guy-says-yes-and-do-it-fast-20160229

After we studied studied the carefully scripted language from Northwest Arkansas Pride, a local group of lesbians and feminists decided to create a lesbian-centered event in Fayetteville for the same day as the Pride, 2018 parade. We quickly made a flyer to advertise our Lesbian Story Time held at the Fayetteville Public Library on Saturday, June 16th from 12:30 to 4:30. We welcomed lesbians and allies.

Our stories were front and center at our successful Lesbian Story Time. We provided food and cold drinks on that hot, sunny day. We decorated the room with Lesbian books, posters, tee shirts and memorabilia including my Missouri license plate from 1984 that says LABRYS. Every woman there got to tell part of her story—we laughed and sang and supported each other as strong women. And we are planning more events!

Northwest Arkansas Pride is organized and produced by the Northwest 
Arkansas Equality, Inc., which is exclusively authorized by the City of 
Fayetteville to operate the NWA Pride Parade and the associated events. 
NWA Pride is a large event, and there are a number of guidelines and 
rules for participation as a parade contingent. If you have any 
questions regarding these guidelines, please email us at info@nwapride.org.

The NWA Pride Parade is a fun, active, and friendly event. As such, 
rude, disrespectful, or obscene behavior will not be tolerated. Any 
individual or group not behaving appropriately may, at the sole 
discretion of Northwest Arkansas Equality, Inc. and its agents, be 
removed from the parade.

Northwest Arkansas Equality, Inc. reserves the right to deny the 
application of parade entry, or continuation on the parade route, to any 
individual or organization it believes would misrepresent the intentions 
of this event and/or be offensive to event attendees or affiliated 
organizations. Any applicant misrepresenting their business description 
or marketing intentions, or who displays or distributes offensive or 
obscene materials, will be required to leave the area immediately at the 
request of the event organizers.
This entry was posted in Trans Gender Critical and tagged , on by .

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Divide and Conquer

A multitude of breasts on this goddess figure from Crete was shaped by human hands over 3,000 years ago. Her head has been destroyed, but the respect for the nurturing powers of our female bodies remains for us to ponder. photo by Paula Mariedaughter, October, 2017 Heraklion Archeological Museum, Crete, Greece

Lesbians, feminists, and strong women have long been labeled as man haters. Loving women and supporting women has nothing to do with men. We who advocate for women and for women only groups are targets because we look toward each other for our primary bonds. This loyalty to girls and women is unacceptable to patriarchy and to those who support patriarchy. We understand from our own life experience that the bonding of girls and women is vital to our growing and thriving. We know our connections are essential for our survival.

Yet trans activists and their supporters label our words hate speech. Our groups are labeled hate groups because we advocate for women and for women only spaces like Michigan Women’s Music Festival. Women, like us, who will set boundaries denying men something they want – in this case calling themselves women – must be stopped from setting boundaries. We must be silenced and deplatformed by any means including intimidation and threats of violence. We are accused of being “transphobic” a term invented by trans activists to obscure the fact that we hold a vastly different view of sex and gender.

The accusation of transphobia is useful in gathering allies among so-called progressive communities ready to champion any underdog group except women. The transgender world view of oppression eliminates the oppression of women by men. This is a new twist on woman hating! In that world view the trans population is oppressed by all who are not transgender. We who are not transgender are labeled “cisgender”, the term they coined to describe all others in the world who are not transgender.

We who love women, must by definition be a hate group because we refuse to see men as the center of everything. Radical feminists are women who look to the roots of patriarchy and woman hating. Remember, radical means roots, as in radish. We Radical Feminists are the named enemy in the eyes of trans activists! We, Radical Feminists, have been renamed by trans activists as “TERFS” or Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists.

We are angry women! We are angry at the women who disregard our intense desire for women only space in favor of male to transgender persons who insist on claiming all the prerogatives of womanhood without the biological reality of breasts, ovaries, vaginas, and menstruation. We are angry at the extremist transgender activists who refuse the needs of girls and women to protect ourselves from predatory males.

We are informed women. We are women who want to look at the “big picture”. We have a clear point of view. Sex is a biological fact beginning with our gestation and exit from our mother’s body. Gender refers to the social stereotypes of interests, behaviors and clothing assigned to feminine and masculine, a strict binary system. For forty years we feminists have advocated abolishing these socially constructed, rigid roles.

We want to free males to take on “feminine” behaviors or females to act out “masculine” behaviors without resorting to extreme measures like invasive surgery or life-altering hormones. As lesbian blogger Parker Wolf declares, “Transgenderism is, at it’s very core, conformity. That is the number one goal of transgenderism: conforming to the binary. Butches and non-conforming dykes and lesbians want the very opposite.” *

As feminists we are willing to set boundaries. We are willing to say “no” to men. The “nice” women will let men do as they will. These women refuse to discriminate against any male who “feels like a woman”, and want to welcome them, as women, into women only spaces. Those women who welcome men into women only spaces hold radically different opinions and worldviews. We want to expose this divide and conquer technique as a tool of patriarchy. Our esteemed radical dyke thinker, Mary Daly, noted four “male methods of mystification” in Gyn Ecology (written in 1978, page 8) including: erasure, reversal, false polarization and the effort to divide and conquer. Daly then declares, “As we move further on the metapatriarchal journey, we find deeper and deeper layers of these demonic patterns embedded in the culture, implanted in our souls.”

We want to hold open discussions about all the issues here. Our views are valuable and necessary for a full understanding of how the transgender worldview is affecting the lives of children and young people. Silencing and discrediting anyone, whether parent, social worker, or medical professional, who questions the trans narrative is the norm for the trans activists.

The worldview of trans activists places trans oppression front and center rarely focusing on the oppression and safety of girls or the oppression of women as women. In my personal conversations with women who identify as trans supporters, that is, those who want to include male to transgender persons in women only space, I’ve heard comments about the extreme victimization of male to transgender persons given as a reason to accept these men as women. Then the small number of murders of transpeople is elevated in importance above the huge number of women murdered hourly. We do not want to be trapped by a false polarization of trans against rest of the world.

Loving women and supporting women is central to the life cycle of birth, death and regeneration. Patriarchy has the goal of destroying those bonds. One method used to accomplish this is to insert themselves into our sacred spaces. The reality of a women’s communities being divided about the inclusion of men-as-women in our events and our private spaces has divided us since the 1980s. This is a false polarization that could only exist in a patriarchy. Women only space is so powerful that the patriarchy and its allies must destroy our time together. As feminists we need to claim our anger at this injustice and seek solutions. When we set boundaries, we must be respected. Sometimes our anger protects us from despair–especially if it fuels creative solutions.

Biological women constitute the majority of people on the planet. We need to unite to end patriarchy and begin building our woman-centered, earth-honoring egalitarian matriarchies. Will you join us? You can join us as like-minded women or as male allies. Both are welcome. Your biological mother needs your support.

*Parker Wolf aka: BigBooButch, from “Lesbians, Dykes, and Butches: The Real Gender Non-Conformist” on BigBooButch.com, October 10, 2013

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