Category Archives: Feminist Resistance

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

This entry was posted in Feminist Resistance on by .

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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

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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