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.
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.