Friday Night Fun and Culture: Paul Butterfield

I Don’t Care About MichFest’s Trans Exclusion, You Shouldn’t Either

I really never gave a fuck about a bunch of elitist dyke c*nts hate fest in the forest.

Indeed it always struck me as being sort of like a Storm Front Music Festival for people who would cheerfully have others put me and my kind in the gas chambers.

While I am a lesbian I actually don’t much like the “Lesbian Community.”

When it comes to music my likes are way too eclectic to be contained within “Woxxmyn’z Muzack.

So Fuck the Michigan Woxxmyon’z Muzack Festival and all who give their hard earned money to perpetuating the Rad Fem version of Storm Front.

From Jezebel:

Kat Callahan

Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is currently wrapped up, and I guess it’s that time of the year where we all wring our hands over MichFest’s womyn-born-womyn (read: trans exclusionary) policy. Again. Like we have been doing every summer, apparently, since I was 10 years old. And once again, I just can’t seem to summon the requisite amount of outrage.

Weren’t we just here three months ago? Oh, right, we were. With major queer organisations like Michigan Equality, Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force jumping on the bandwagon calling for Fest to change its tune (yes, that was a music pun, deal with it), there has been a flurry of written commentary on how Fest needs to change, could change, and would be a major positive force if only it would change.

Given Fest’s decreasing profile, it might be important here to refresh just exactly what Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival is. There is, of course, the obvious—it’s a music festival in Michigan focused on women (or womyn, for those who have historically opposed the use of the “e” because of the visual connection to “men,” and it is the event’s “intention” that anyone not assigned female at birth and who has not always been perceived as a girl and a woman, including in the present, and conceivably in the future should not attend), but how does Fest see itself?

In those woods you will find diverse and dynamic performances, interactive workshops, healthy foods, clean air and the most amazing sense of community, friendship and fun. Part music festival, part community happening – the experience of Michigan is based upon an essential participatory ethic that enriches the experience of cooperative living. Community. Celebration. Common Ground.

Which is all true. I don’t know this from personal experience, of course, but I have heard it and read it from others. Those who have gone, cisgender and transgender, and those who continue to go. I’ve had commenters show up to speak about the value of their personal experiences with Fest, and I really have no reason to disbelieve them. The fact that there are trans women who have attended and felt that Fest was an amazing experience certainly seems to be strong evidence that characterisations of The Land as run by the last vestiges of the the trans exclusionary radical feminist movement are complete malarky.

The commentary to sprout up around the controversy this summer includes the heartfelt plea for “saving The Land” from transgender attendee Kayley Whalen. And over at Autostraddle, Marie Lyn Bernard has written a wonderful piece on how Fest could change its policy rather easily, if only it were willing to do so. Beautifully written, wonderfully argued… but for me, ultimately not compelling. Even Whalen’s, whose love for Fest is obvious.

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Non-Jewish spouses of Israeli gays can get nationality

From Raw Story:

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Non-Jewish spouses of Israeli homosexuals can now obtain citizenship under an interior ministry decision applicable since Tuesday.

“The same-sex partner of a person eligible for the law of return, and who does not live in Israel, may also become Israeli,” a ministry statement said, adding that the ruling applies only to married same-sex couples.

Under the law of return, any Jew has the right to ask for, and to be granted, Israeli citizenship.

That right also extends to the partner of the applicant, but had previously been granted only to heterosexual couples.

“Israel’s doors are now open to any Jew and his family, without discrimination based on lifestyle,” Interior Minister Gideon Saar said in a statement.

The Jewish state is considered a trailblazer in the promotion of and respect for gay rights, especially in terms of adoption for same-sex couples.

However, civil marriage does not exist in Israel, where the solemnisation of marriage is entirely controlled by the state rabbinate, and homosexual unions are not in themselves recognised.

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Women Stoned To Death In Syria For Adultery

Tell me again how wonderful Islam is.

From Huffington Post:

By Bassem Mroue

BEIRUT (AP) — A cleric read the verdict before the truck came and dumped a large pile of stones near the municipal garden. Jihadi fighters then brought in the woman, clad head to toe in black, and put her in a small hole in the ground. When residents gathered, the fighters told them to carry out the sentence: Stoning to death for the alleged adulteress.

None in the crowd stepped forward, said a witness to the event in a northern Syrian city. So the jihadi fighters, mostly foreign extremists, did it themselves, pelting Faddah Ahmad with stones until her body was dragged away.

“Even when she was hit with stones she did not scream or move,” said an opposition activist who said he witnessed the stoning near the football stadium and the Bajaa garden in the city of Raqqa, the main Syrian stronghold of the Islamic State group.

The July 18 stoning was the second in a span of 24 hours. A day earlier, 26-year-old Shamseh Abdullah was killed in a similar way in the nearby town of Tabqa by Islamic State fighters. Both were accused of having sex outside marriage.

The killings were the first of their kind in rebel-held northern Syria, where jihadis from the Islamic State group have seized large swaths of territory, terrorizing residents with their strict interpretation of Islamic law, including beheadings and cutting off the hands of thieves. The jihadis recently tied a 14-year-old boy to a cross-like structure and left him for several hours in the scorching summer sun before bringing him down — punishment for not fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The group has also brutalized Shiite Muslims and others whom it views as apostates. In neighboring Iraq, Islamic State militants have driven members of the Yazidi religious minority out of a string of towns and villages. Thousands of the fleeing Yazidis have been stranded on a mountaintop for days, a humanitarian crisis that prompted the U.S. to airlift aid to them this week.

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