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!
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.