Tag Archives: Paula Mariedaughter

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.

This entry was posted in Trans Gender Critical, Women Only Space and tagged , 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

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.
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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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