Falling through the branches of the Ladybrain Tree

Lesbian-only ‘intentional community’ outlasts others

“The Ozark Land Holding Association is an “intentional community” — a catchall term for a communal living arrangement that’s based on shared values and common interests.

Out of six known intentional communities created in Northwest Arkansas in the mid-1970s with the aim of empowering women, the 280-acre Ozark Land Holding Association is the only one that remains, and its membership has dwindled.

But Rivers and Suzanne Pharr, founder and former director of the Little Rock-based Arkansas Women’s Project, see the potential for a resurgence of such communities.

Pharr said having land set aside for women only is “one piece of self-determination and autonomy and full authority over our bodies and lives, without relying on men for our well-being.”

The Arkansas Women’s Project, a grass-roots organization founded in 1980, focused on such issues as fighting violence and rape and promoting minority rights.”

Rest of story at Arkansas Online

H/t to Gender Identity Watch

 

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.

Love From the Land

From an earlier MichFest.

 

Melissa Ferrick, “I Don’t Want You To Change.”

 

Michfest – going home, leaving home

Listening to Lesbians

I close my eyes and I am back in the Michigan woods, lying in fern and leaf litter, listening to the woods and the voices of women. I open my eyes and the shadow of leaves and voices remain while the sounds of Australian birds and the smell of Australian plants intrude. They’re not ferns, but they’re what I have and they are glorious.

Banksia Not remotely fernlike…

This year, for my first and only time, I went to Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, started by Lisa Vogel 40 years ago. I had gone with as few expectations as possible, helped by the flurry of activity in the weeks before I left and the daze I walked through the gate in.

The experience was a revelation, in expected and unexpected ways.

While listening to CC Carter sing about her hips, I realised with a rush that this is what representation might feel…

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Open Letter to MANA

Please email womancenteredmidwifery@gmail.com to sign-on to this open letter:

Open Letter to the Midwives Alliance of North America regarding the recent revisions to the organization’s standing Core Competencies Document:

August 20, 2015

Dear Midwives Alliance of North America Board of Directors and MANA Membership:

We are writing in response to your revisions of the MANA Core Competencies. MANA’s attempts at inclusivity are commendable in today’s complex world. We are concerned, however, by accelerating trends in our culture to deny material biological reality and further disconnect ourselves from nature, and the ways in which the revisions may support these trends. Midwives have long practiced the precautionary principle, counseling against the adoption of technologies and theories that have not been proven safe or beneficial to mothers and babies, and by extension, the entire human community. We respectfully ask the MANA board to reverse the 2014 revisions and consider the ways in which the attempted changes may have harmful implications for women.

Full letter at link here.

The “Equality Act” Hurts Women

On Speaking Out

By Kathy Mandigo

I have been extremely gratified by the overwhelmingly positive response I have seen to the essay I wrote, My Disservice to My Transgendered Patients, which was published on Radfem Repost.  Thank-you to all who took the time to send a comment, whether anonymously by way of a blog, or personally by other means.

A common theme that struck me was the expression of thanks for my bravery, appreciation for my courage as a health care professional to speak against the wave of transgenderism that has swept our society.

Thank You - Danke

I would say that, as I wrote and submitted the essay, I, too, thought I was taking a chance.  It took me many years to figure out my own position; when I realized that I disagreed with the prevalent medical view, it took time for me to sit with that and understand it; once I felt comfortable with what I had sorted for myself, I decided I had an obligation to make that disagreement known.  This lengthy process speaks to the pressure to conform, and to some reluctance, even fear, about going against the tide and possibly facing uncomfortable consequences.

The reality is that, to date, there have been less than a handful of negative comments, and they generally missed the points I made and were sent by anonymous people known for being professionally negative on the internet.  I have not taken such comments seriously.

That isn’t to say there isn’t cause for fear.  I know Canada is a different country than the US, that Canadians tend to yell at each other less (though we are working on reducing our civility) and we have fewer guns at large (though one of my medical school professors was murdered).

However, I believe it is important for each of us, as we can, to speak up for our beliefs, with our real names in our real lives.  If we fear losing our jobs – are those the employers we want to support with our efforts? is that an environment in which we want to spend so much of our waking hours?  If we fear losing family members – if they would leave us over this, I would venture to say they will leave us anyway, if not over this then over something else; meanwhile, we are withholding from them our true selves, our true thoughts, and our example of standing up for what we think is right.  If we fear losing our friends – are they truly friends if we can be censured for our honesty?

I suspect a big factor in people feeling afraid to speak out on transgenderism is that they see others being afraid, others using pseudonyms, and from that they assume such protection is necessary.

In my experience, to date, it is not, and, in my experience, I am standing taller and feeling more seen and validated than I ever have in my professional career.

That being said, I have not had any comments from my personal colleagues, I assume most likely because most of them haven’t seen the essay, and others already knew my thoughts.  I look forward to my colleagues whom I know to feel as I do to speak out, to increase our numbers and make our voice stronger.  I look forward to my colleagues having an honest public discussion as health care professionals about what, exactly, we are doing, and whether any of us want to continue down this path.

When we stay hidden, we give our power away.  Having seen the truth, living a lie diminishes us. Don’t all of us, when hearing of atrocities far from us in time or place, want to believe that, had we been there, we would have met the challenge and stood up for what we believed was right? Those of us who are early to see the lie have the responsibility, and honour, to light a different course and provide guidance, and perhaps, by our actions, we will bring relief to some who otherwise would have continued to suffer.

When we speak our truth, we feel our integrity expand and solidify.  We find new friends, with whom we can breath deeply.  We discover how very proud we have made some of those who love us. And then it gets easier to be a bit more courageous the next time, and the next, to the point where it no longer feels like courage, but simply doing the necessary thing, and we wonder what ever held us back in the first place.

The more of us who speak out against transgenderism, as real people with real jobs and real families and real friends, the sooner we can halt at least this faction of the gender industry and the atrocities being rendered in the name of gender dysphoria. Then we will have more energy and attention to turn to other, vital issues.

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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