New Release: “Not Drowning, But Second Waving”

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CD: £12 UK, £16 elsewhere.

Lyrics and chords are downloadable as a pdf and will shortly be available as a book.

Downloadable lyric and chord book £3.

Digital album £7

All the songs can be heard and purchased as separate tracks or as the whole album on the album download link page.

Available at Ali Bee Music.

News and Miscellany

Photo Credit: Elephantjournal.com

Connecticut threw women under the bus this May. Gender Identity Watch, 9/7.

Nepal’s Menstrual Exiles. Al Jazeera, web documentary.

Los Angeles midwives aim to end racial disparities at birth. Al Jazeera, 9/5.

Everything You Know About ‘Sex Work’ is Wrong | Mickey Z. Interview with Rachel Moran. World News Trust, September 6.

Navajo teenager stands up about genocide Indian Country Today Media Network.

Black Queer Feminist Erased From History. Salon, February 18.

The girls aiming to change Africa: young activists speak out. The Guardian, September 1.

Stanford historian says falsified medieval history helped create feminism. Stanford News/History News Network, August 24.

Men who buy sex have much in common with sexually coercive men. UCLA Newsroom, August 31.

Training Midwives to Save Expectant Mothers in Chiapas. NY times, September 1.

Gender For Dummies

Videos by Peach Yogurt

Part 1

Part 2

Gender Queer

By the inimitable Ali Buttkicker Bee!

Listen Here

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Well I can look like a man, behave just like a man
But claim I have no privilege, just because I can
So open up your space for us and don’t be making any fuss
Cos we all should be welcome here,
Can’t you see I’m gender queer?

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

I might wear a shirt and tie and have a neck beard and a penis
But I’m not a man you bigot, I have no feels of he-ness
Put your trust in gender, gender means no harm
So let us in, there is no spin
And remember to keep calm

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

All of us know we’re men dear, though some of us say we’re aren’t
We can be whatever we want now, don’t you say that we can’t
Some days I will be a lady, some days I will be a man
If I want I will be a unicorn
Just because I can

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

We’ll let a few women in and they can be genderqueer too
But not too many cos we want control, of the crazy genderqueer crew
But they’ll buy the madness we sell, and hook line and sinker they’ll fall
They’ll lap it all up like a cat with the cream
And come whenever we call

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

If this sounds like the same old story, It may be that that’s what it is
But we don’t much care what you think now and who this crap damages
As long as we get our fun dear and things carry on much the same
We keep our privilege, wouldn’t want to change that
So we’ll keep making the rules of the game

CH. I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Though I’ve got a hard on You should have no fear
I’m gender queer dear, I’m gender queer
Look at me cry a little gender queer tear

If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck
Don’t be surprised if it acts like a duck.

The “Equality Act” Hurts Women

stop trans chauvinism

from: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/the-equality-act-hurts-women?source=facebook&

The “Equality Act” Hurts Women

Numerous members of Congress have been misled by good intentions into believing that treating gender identity as identical to biological sex is an advance in civil rights. This is false.

The unintended consequences of the “Equality Act” [1] could take away women’s rights to …

  • request female staff to provide medical services or security pat downs;
  • to expect female-only staff and guests at any rape or domestic violence shelters [2];
  • or to seek legislative or judicial redress for sex discrimination.

In violation of two different United Nations human rights standards, the “Equality Act” would …

  • write sex stereotyping into law as a protected definition of legal sex;
  • and likely eliminate women’s rights to be incarcerated separately from biological males in the event of an arrest or conviction.

Further, the “Equality Act” contains no provisions that would protect against …

View original post 483 more words

The Walled-In Women

By Selma Nieuwoudt (aka Selma Newforest)

“….and she scores!” For 90 minutes the screen of her mobile made her small enough to squeeze through the bars of her holding cell. As the joy of watching agile feet fades, she gathers courage to climb her mountains for the day: laundry, floors, a bath if there is energy to spare. On good days, she chops wood and gathers pine cones for the winter hearth.

She makes art during the always-too-short times when her medication kicks in. Some days she has to scuffle alongside the walls when the pain pulls her inside herself. Visitors are a fantasy, and phone calls dried up when her tongue and throat turned to stone.

She is a walled-in woman. Isolated, fatigued, pain-gnawed. The internet is the window in her cell and she does more than look at the view. She is a feminist. She fights for women. She fights for lesbians, knowing she’ll most likely never feel the soft womanwarmth of a beloved in her embrace again.

She is strong. A shieldmaiden. On her sword is engraved courage. Her shield is painted with compassion. Sometimes her armour gets too heavy and she stumbles under the burden, but she’ll get up. She always does.

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Her needs are simple and her plans are big. She has a vision of women’s communes. She wants to build bridges to connect women in a world where men made borders. She wants togetherness with women. She wants to transform bomb craters into pools where women can soak their feet and laugh in the sunshine.

She dances in her heart. For you. Her feet kick up dust to make you laugh. Her heart-voice sings you healing. Heart-eyes see your pain and you are never less-than to her.

I am a walled-in woman. There are many like me. Speak to us, we listen. Show your wounds, we will bandage them. Call us to battle, we will fight. We can be a community. We are your sisters. We love you.

Heart, Under The Sky

Thank You From WoLF

Please click on images to view full size.

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Moar MichFest

IronFoxe reports on an Intention vs. Inclusion workshop.

“As someone with a history of being open to having this discussion, and more importantly as someone who has suffered negative consequences for having done so, I had low expectations for this workshop but I have to say I stand happily corrected. The organizers were dedicated to safety and respect, they laid out firm groundwork for having this conversation in an open manner, and they were sure everyone got to speak genuinely. They had thought-provoking exercises to engage us with, in groups and pairs and on our own, to challenge our thoughts and help us navigate where our sisters with differing views were coming from. They clearly had put a lot of effort and heart into creating that space, and they did an outstanding job of it.”

A slideshow from the final Fest, by Heart.

When Women Were Warriors weighs in.

“The fireworks. And fairy forest. I feel to type it all out somehow flattens what really happens on that land. The reason I bother to say any of this at all is because I hope to see women recreate space like that all over the world until there is no Man’s Land left.”

Lori King writes about a bit of herstory of Fest.

AspensPlease was ambivalent.

“Over the years, “I’m not down with that” became “I’m not up for that,” but my basic answer to Michfest remained the same. I vaguely appreciated its existence, I vaguely disagreed with the intention against trans inclusion. Because Michfest had nothing to do with me, I never tried to nail down my thoughts beyond that.”

Elle Kacee blogs of singing at breakfast, with videos.

Loving Lily was pleasantly surprised.

“Michigan was immaculate the whole time I was there. Women cleaned up after ourselves. There was no violence, yelling or public drunkenness. If you had camping gear or duffle bags or other possessions, you could put them on the ground with NO FEAR of anything being stolen or destroyed.”

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Photo credit: Elle Kacee.

Recent Events at Orwell Correctional Institution

By Vliet Tiptree

Something is afoot at the Orwell Correctional Institution. There are stirrings at this large venerable penistentiary, which seems as old as the oceans which border it on both sides.

The prisoners are restless. The Warden and the guards know something is coming and have been especially vigilant removing suspected troublemakers to Solitary lately.

Orwell is a minimum-security prison. The prisoners are non-violent and receive more privileges than at other places in the System. This means they need a firm guiding hand, as prisoners given an inch will try to take a mile.

Orwell is one of only a few minimum-security facilities worldwide. There are plenty of maximum-security prisons elsewhere, some quite strict. The prisoners in those places are seldom heard from. They communicate only through lacy slots in their iron doors. No need for books in those places – the prisoners weren’t allowed to learn to read, as they were bound for prison anyway and literacy is a known risk factor for breakouts. Even in their yards these prisoners have to be robed and veiled, or the guards will attack them. Rickets is a common result as their skin is never exposed to sunlight. Yes, the Wardens at these places elsewhere run a tight ship. If their prisoners act up they may get the rest of their lips sewn shut.

Orwell is leagues more progressive than these places, and the prisoners are lucky to be there.

. . . . . . . . . .

The prisoners at OCI have all committed the same felony – Alive While Female. AWF charges always result in convictions and a life sentence.

The guards are almost all men, though they are assisted in day-to-day work by the Trustys, cooperative prisoners who can be relied upon to watch prisoners from within their cells for a few extra dollars or a pat on the head.

The prisoners are almost all women, though a few oddball guards have “gone native” and entered cells voluntarily. But this isn’t about that.

Prisoners daydream about getting out someday. But that would require a lot of expensive legal help – they’d have to go to the Supreme Court of Wardens – and the prisoners aren’t paid for most of their work. The hours are 24/7 and their bodies, minds, and souls are appropriated for this work, which the guards consider far too soul-deadening to do themselves. The prisoners take care of the guards and children, clean dirty things like toilets and floors, prepare huge amounts of pizza and steak and mancheeze and curry every night, and must serve the guards in uncomfortable costumes in which their surgically-altered secondary sexual characteristics must be fully displayed and frequently squeezed. Their main prison job is Sexual Access. They do get occasional tips and pats and few days off for childbirth, and, as the guards constantly remind them, their food and shelter is provided for free so they have it easy, actually.

Even though OCI inmates are treated more leniently than at many other prisons, OCI has ongoing disciplinary problems. Occasionally prisoners try to escape, but they are promptly catcalled back through the gates by off-duty guards. They are allowed to read, though they do complain that books at the prison library are extremely boring as they are all written by guards so that prisoners appear only as inanimate costumed objects in them, and also that the prisoners in the books are often unhappy, but unlike in real prison life, can be made madly happy simply by receiving another pat on the head. They also complain that in these books the worldwide Prison System is never mentioned. These rather over-privileged prisoners can be ungrateful, not understanding their luck in being kept safe and protected from marauding guards from stricter prisons.

To keep prisoners on track, TVs are kept on night and day, or loudspeakers play pop music, and each and every speech and song repeats the same two words over and over: PUT OUT…PUT OUT. Prisoners become pliant and amenable to Sexual Access after a few decades of this.

Prisoners can become Trustys by fraternizing with the guards – the quickest route to Trusty status is to fraternize with a Hefner, a male decades older than they – but as the prisoner passes the age of 45 (or younger at places like Malibu Surf Facility) she is likely to be demobilized and revert to plain Prisoner status. Most prisoners end up fraternizing, not just to become a Trusty, but also to avoid being called an Elle and correctively raped.

A small population of prisoners escape fraternization by pretending they have seen a ghost. They are transferred to a pleasant walled facility with candles and incense. There, they do the same work as prisoners and also have to do a lot of chanting and marry a ghost, but are permitted to remain celibate.

Life is not all Easy Street for the minimum-security inmates at Orwell. There are regular riots, started by the guards, not the prisoners. The guards build up some steam, egg each other on, break into the ammo shed, and start shooting at each other and the prisoners. Though the guards start the riots and the prisoners are injured and killed in special predictable unfortunate ways during these riots, the prisoners are later blamed for the riots, because of the Special Prison Rule of Proxy Violence , which means prisoners are responsible whenever guards get crazy..

. . . . . . . . . .

A century ago at Orwell, some of the prisoners came to the conclusion that they had done nothing to justify their imprisonment. They began remonstrating with the guards, marching around with signs, and fasting. The guards ignored them at first, but finally the Warden had to do something, so he awarded the prisoners an extra cookie ration, which the prisoners of course had to bake themselves. The prisoners wrote about these events and secreted their writings under the bathroom sinks, where guards never look.

Forty years later, the same thing happened again. A new generation of prisoners began making noises about freedom and justice, but this time the Warden was ready with a million excuses. First and foremost, he responded in scholarly tones, no one could even remember when there hadn’t been prisons and guards and prisoners. The Prison System must be natural. After all, would the Prison System have lasted so long, and occur so universally, if it wasn’t the best possible evolutionary result?

Furthermore, the prisoners enjoyed prison life; they would sometimes laugh and sing and dance a jig in blackface as they washed the rags and scrubbed the floors; they could even become Trustys and receive some respect. Also, prisoners were known to be too fragile to live outside the walls, and they were too weak, what with all their childbearing and some sort of bizarre interest in Nature, to handle guarding and engage in rioting and exploitation of the Earth.

To put a capper on it, there was the rule of nature that only guards could live outside the prison. As a token of his empathy, however, the Warden awarded the prisoners another extra cookie ration, which the prisoners declined, as they knew by now that the guards would sneak in at midnight and eat the cookies.

. . . . . . . . . .

Even with all this historical lack of success, the Orwell prisoners are protesting again. This time they have prepared legal, epistemological, ontological, normative, empirical, statistical, ethological, anthropological, historical, and novel arguments, not to mention that they have a whale of a lot of surveillance video showing dispositively that all their arrests were illegal and that their status is intolerably unjust and unheard of in the annals of humanity.

The guards refer their complaint to the Warden. A few empathetic words are spoken. The prisoners await a full apology, the gates swinging open, release papers, a final end to their imprisonment. They smile hopefully and put away the turkey and pickles, the ghee, the fire-sticks, the dirty clothes and the toilet rags and the pushup bras. They know their cause is just and only one rational response is possible.

The next day, a long long limo pulls up at the gates. The Governor is escorted into the Warden’s office and a meeting behind closed doors ensues. The guards are then brought into the guards’ gym and another closed meeting is held. Muffled noises are heard, but the prisoners can’t make out the words.

The prisoners bite their nails, bate their breath, begin packing the few possessions that belong solely to them into their pillowcases.

They are called into the yard. The guards, standing behind the Warden and the Governor, appear serious, grave even. The Governor moves in front, stroking his starred-and-striped tie.

The prisoners nudge each other, eyes alight. A historic announcement is coming!

The band strikes up a new tune, one that seems vaguely familiar. The Governor raises his hands like a conductor and the guards open their mouths and white balloons are released overhead. In perfect unison the guards begin to sing the song they have been rehearsing, with a refrain which will ring in the prisoners’ ears long after they are herded back to their cells and the doors clang shut for another generation: BUT WHAT ABOUT TEH MENZ?!”

 

The End

________________________________________________________________

Alternate Ending in a Parallel Just World

The Governor smiles for his photo op, then gets into his limo. He settles back on the cream-colored leather, takes a deep breath, and flashes back to what he saw for an instant as he faced the prisoners and the chorus was sung.

Their faces scared him. He shrugs mentally, fastens his seat belt. “Get me out of here,” he tells the driver. The key turns in the ignition. And boom, without ado the Governor and his limo are transformed into a more suitable form of energy, becoming a cloud of excited molecules in a storm of heat and light. The gates of Orwell open wide and forever; cheering is heard; and the Governor always was just hot air.

Reprinted with permission from FeminismXX.

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Rebirth For MichFest

By StaceyAnn Chin

When the first Michigan Women’s Music festival
happened/in August/in 1976
the local paper called it
an international gathering of weirdos

imagine that first flood of women
pouring into the deep dark Michigan woods
imagine them finding the courage
to stay on the land despite the angry men
circling the perimeter/the only plan
honk your horn/if there is trouble
call your sister/and she will come

that sisterhood has since grown
into a global jungle/from which we all come
sprouting eagle from Kingston and California
slithering snake-like from Scotland and South Africa
howling wolves from Brooklyn and Bangladesh

no matter where we spring from
we have never had any doubt/this place would be here
next August/to recharge us/for the year ahead
in our heart we could not conceive
of the final closing of these gates
and now/as we attempt to say farewell
the center of me is sobbing oceans
my heart broken open/my chest/cracking raw
my ribcage/collapsing
because I will never be here again/like this
on this holy ground
these eyes of mine will never see my daughter
in this place at thirteen/or thirty-three/like me
she will never see it/as I have seen it
open/sky/naked spirits/Amazon women
dancing/round red fires of sticks/and stones
taking back the imprisoned bones of ourselves
and finding new freedoms here

in communion/we mourn this bitter end
each of us/trying to remember/that life is a series of cycles
as old as the moon/as expected as the first coming of blood

we who believe in rebirth/see this period of rest
as only a practice test designed
to help us r/evolve in these complicated times

I ask you to remember that we are trained
in the tradition of doing things/they say cannot be done
I beg you to look again
to the determination of the generation
who built this pussy-centered city
with no fucking internet
no kick-starter campaign/no social media
no legal recognition of the right
to love whomever we fucking choose

those Amazons from that era gave birth to abortion rights
and the equal rights amendment
and rape-crisis centers
and women’s shelters
that movement laid the groundwork
for decriminalizing the entire LGBTQIA-BCDEFG identity

forty years after that first gathering of weirdos/we are still here
because Michfest has always been about more than just music
it has remained a light/at the end of a yearlong tunnel
it has been a promise that has kept so many of us going
in return/so many of us/have tried so hard to keep it going
over the years/we have persisted in coming
insisted on defying the odds
year after economically challenged year
every August/for one week/we orchestrate
this neurotic amalgamation of tarp
and bug spray
and tofu
and Tupperware
this single-minded, slick-wet celebration of flashlights
and foam
these flooded sleeping quarters
these fucking RVs and second-hand Subarus
these butch parades and sweat lodges
is about knowing/with everything in us
that being called a girl/is not a fucking insult

under these Sapphic stars
it’s the highest form of compliment

this place has been a celebration of our girlhood
a recognition of the magic of surviving womanhood
it has always been an open invitation to those of us
existing outside the confines of gender-binary limitations
this place is an homage
to the bra-burning/radical feminists of the nineteen-seventies
they believed they could/not only pick a fight against
racists/sexist/homophobic motherfuckers
but/they believed they could also fucking win

we are still fighting those same battles today
which is why we still need to stand together
against the patriarchy
to stand/to gather
this miraculous gathering of women
is only going down
for an expected cycle of much-needed rest

after all/it has only been four fucking decades
since the young Blood Moon
only 19 years old/with ovaries the size of fucking Saturn
started this shit—radical/feminist/midwife that she has been
she has kept the course for 480 months
Lisa Vogel and the long crew and the short crew
and the cooks from Gals
and artisans from Crafts and the workers at the Night Stage
and the artist on the Acoustic Stage
and the witches from the Womb
and all women stirring the multiple cauldrons
that make up this crazy cavalry
they have been holding down the logistics
of this place of safety for 2,080 weeks
it fitting to acknowledge also
that it has only been 14, 560 days
since you magnificent Michigan festies
have been pushing this impossible rock
up the motherfucking mountain of misogyny

forty years is a very long time/my sisters

as the dust settles on our beloved dirt road
indulge your inconsolable ache
lament/weep/wail/cry all need or want
but know too/the seeds of joy we each planted on this land
will never be dead/instead/the legend of its roots
will grow large inside the heads and hearts
of all of us/who have loved here/and fought here
fucked out loud and without apology here
the memory of it/the spirit of it
will tingle inside the scarred chests
of warriors who survived
breast cancer
and rape
and female castration
and rape
and childhood molestation
and rape
and familial rejection
and rape
and ovarian cancer/and HIV and Aids
and drunken husbands/and human trafficking
and homophobia/and gender-policing
and poverty/and wire hangers
and rape
and rape
and rape again

this year/after we say our final farewell
we will again go home
to stand alongside incarcerated Black men
and undocumented children/and transgender boys/girls
and underpaid women/and all those bodies who remain targets
for the wealthy white bigots who would want everyone
who is not them
enslaved/or deported/or killed

with or without a yearly gathering on this land
we will never stand inside the gender-norms expected of us
we will continue to meet/in tents
in kitchens
in basements
inside convents
and churches
we will keep resisting/and out of this resistance
will come another core assembly of need and opportunity
a door that will push this community to birth itself anew

when it does/it is our duty to be ready
to receive it/every one of us
Lisa/and Judith
and Toshi
and Penny
and Holly
and Elvira
and Thokozani
and Sandy
and Hanifah
after the burning of our holy city
we must do something with this astoundingly beautiful ash
we have to cash in the credit of this place
to race toward a future in which our daughters
and our daughters’ daughters keep demanding
safety for every/body living this planet
this is call for Zuri and Cree
and Maddie
and Ruby
and Zora and Naiobi
this is a call for Zander and Josie and Emerson and Kai
this is a call for you/and you/and you/and me
this call is for all the girls/who grew up here
or came here
or heard about the magic that once existed here
to come together/to continue to fight
to grow up and out/to fucking bloom/and rise
and rise/and rise again
to find our Amazon phoenix spirit/to ascend
in flesh/in truth
let us use this moment to rewind/to reincarnate
to hatch and spawn/new blood
to amplify the ageless power we have all felt here at Michfest
the magic of this place must remain/in each of us
fueling us
protecting us
giving us direction
long after the pain of our present sorrow
is gone

From Lisa Vogel’s Facebook page.

StaceyAnn’s website is here.

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