Tag Archive | dianic

Lesbiphobia exists whether non lesbians believe it or not

It’s funny when I started this survey I was concerned about the many recent instances of transgendered women that have been attacking feminists and lesbians that goes on largely unreported in the wider world and by the attack on Z at Pantheacon and how little respect was paid to her and the Dianic tradition by outside non Dianic pagans.

But this survey is bringing back memories for me about things I had forgotten. When Comma was asked to put on the first women’s only ritual at Harvest Moon we never in the world thought it would be a big deal but it became one for some people. One gay man insisted he be allowed into the circle because a gay man was the same as a lesbian. He literally had a temper tantrum and had to be led away.

After the circle was done and before the main ritual was started and we were cleaning up one male coven leader came over and made a big deal about how noisy and disrespectful he thought we were. He is a right wing conservative pagan and he was royally pissed that his wife had gone to the circle and had had a good time. I asked the main ritual runners if they could hear us afterward and they hadn’t heard a thing. I guess he had told others that he didn’t approve of single sex rituals.

A few years later when I was on the Pallas Society board I was going around to the presenters at Harvest Moon to make sure everything was alright and Otter Zell as he was at the time, told me he didn’t approve of all the lesbians there giving workshops and doing the Women’s Ritual. He said he didn’t like us because “we weren’t available to him.” I remember standing there in front of him in shock and he did it in front of Morning Glory and she never said a word.

But I have also felt discrimination from Dianics for being too butch. At a Dianic wedding my partner and I were seated with the groom and his men. The groom wasn’t even allowed to sit with his bride and my partner was not allowed to be a priestess at the ritual with the other mostly straight or femmy women. She was only allowed to clear the space, something they said “she was really good at.” Really?

B had been a part of this large group for many years and they used to talk down to me because I wasn’t a member of their group and as far as they were concerned I couldn’t possibly be a powerful witch. I heard one of them say I wasn’t in touch with my feminine side. I never once said anything to disabuse them of this notion because most of the time it amused the hell out of me but I was regularly pissed off at the way they treated B.

I got my revenge at their 25th anniversary ritual honouring Z and the Women’s spirituality community when my coven was honoured as the third oldest Dianic coven in LA. When I showed up they wanted to seat me in the back but we were called up front to sit as honourees and it was fun to see some mouths drop open. Especially the one that had lectured me one night that all you needed to celebrate Samhain was a large pomegranate to stab to get rid of negativity. All because I mentioned to someone else in her hearing that I was planning my groups Samhain. Uh No!

The butcher women always have had a problem in any group of women. They know you aren’t men but they don’t know how to deal with someone who may look more masculine but then turn around and do something they consider feminine behaviour and some of them can’t deal instead of allowing for a full expression of a woman’s behaviour. If you look like a man you must be a man. Hell no!

And they don’t take into consideration that a lot of the women who look butcher are the ones that have suffered the most from males like being abused as children or raped. And that by acting from a position of strength and competence they find their protection and safety in the world. And some feel, the more butch they are the less safe they feel around some transgendered mtf’s because sometimes mtfs still behave like men and assume they will be accepted and welcomed in any group.

The majority of women never would assume they will be accepted in any group. Women usually have their feelers out to see what the weather is in a group. Men as a whole, do not. So when they enter groups from that socialization they get rejected because their energy is too strong. As someone who was molested when I was 6 and almost raped twice in college this does not make me feel like I’m in a safe space and other women feel the same way. This is all not helped by what Frontiers magazine used to define as the “ick factor” way before Friends in the early 80’s that is the fact that for gay men women’s genitalia is gross and vice versa for a lot of lesbians. The thought of a pre-surgical mtf is the ick factor and that is something straight or bisexuals can not or will not understand.

Not safe for work or Men to read

Witchy Girl over on her blog was asking about how and whether other women honoured their moontimes/menstrual cycle/curse. I know it’s very unfashionable in the Goddess community to call your period the curse but for me it was.

For me my period was 2-3 days of hell on earth when I had one. It was not something I choose to honour especially when the whole damn system tried its best to kill me. I didn’t start having one until I was 16 and then began my life in hell. 2-3 days every month I had such bad cramps nothing touched them and Ibuprofen wasn’t invented then. The only thing that ever caused any relief at all was hanging upside down for which my father called me the bat. Otherwise I was prone on the cool bathroom tile, trying to decide whether to throw up or let one of my other orifices evacuate. So, yes, I hated my ”monthly visitor” and “Aunt Flo from Redlands” or “The Red River Valley”. I wore two, count them, two extra large Kotex on a belt pre the kind you know stick to your chonies. And those belts were your own kind of hell if you sat on the spiky hook end wrong.

No one will ever get me to believe that having a period was a blessing. I am a lesbian who worked with children long enough to know I never wanted to have them except to spoil a friend’s kids. I always thought there should be an opt out button and in 1996 at 42 years old, I got my wish in a big way. I started having non-stop pain and non-stop periods and I looked like I was going to give birth any moment when I’d never had sex with a man. My GP at the time refused to do anything about it other than to do an ultrasound and tell me I had fibroids. I know my body and I knew something was seriously wrong. My GP said I might change my mind and want children? So I was just going to have to wait for menopause, uh, no. I called my insurance carrier on call nurse who gave me a referral on the spot and got a Dr appt the next day on a Thursday. BY then I was so big they couldn’t do a proper ultrasound. The four days later I had emergency surgery. My new gynecologist told me if I hadn’t had the surgery I would have been dead in two weeks. The fibroids were strangling my intestines and bladder and would have gone gangrenous very shortly. They had to reconstruct a lot of my innards and find an ovary that had gotten lost. An normally short surgery took four hour and many months to heal from the reconstruction.

So there will never be a love affair here with my lower female parts. I will never ever think that honouring your moon time is a fun idea. That was thought up by women who don’t get cramps and don’t pass clots the size of pieces of beef liver.

I went twice to Z Budapest Goddess 2000 camps and I enjoyed the first one enough to go back again the year she wrote her book on the Fates and everyone got divided up into Maiden, Mother and Crone. I was told I should be by virtue of my age I had to be in the Mother group. The Mother group informed me and the two other women who had been spayed that we shouldn’t even have been allowed in camp because we had allowed Western medicine to mutilate us and that we were no longer women. Really???!! Seriously??? So we went to the Crone group who didn’t give us any shit about it. It pissed me off and it still does.

There is a lot of folklore about how powerful you allegedly are when you are on your period. Somehow I never felt powerful while hanging upside down from a bedpost or yacking to the porcelain goddess. I just felt horribly ill. Being a Crone and not being prey to my cycles made me feel much more powerful than ever having a period did. So, NO! You will never hear me say worshipping or honouring moontime is a sacred thing. It was a bloody, messy, painful craptastic time. The first month after my surgery I skipped down the feminine supplies row I was so happy not to be buying $10 (1996 remember) a month on sanitary supplies.

SO NO! I will never honour my period. It isn’t necessary for ritual purity! I honour my lack thereof and now that most of my friends have joined me in Cronedom, I hear a lot of sighs of relief and I have yet to hear anyone say they miss having one. So bring on the hot flashes and power up your own personal tropical vacations! It’s power surge time!

Neanderthal males and Dianics

I, no sooner wrote that last post then some one I know posted this one: http://www.theprovocation.net/2011/12/bashing-men-in-name-of-goddess-is.html

Why is it so hard to understand women would to worship in a male free space? There are males only places everywhere. The Catholic Church priesthood that is currently on a purge against nuns for one for being uppity while denying women the chance to become priests. And then there are all the places that if a woman walks in she is treated like dirt like comic books stores, some fan conventions, sports bars like Hooters as a customer, so why is it so hard to understand that women don’t want the Neanderthal types of men around?

This gentleman, I can tell by reading his column and profile I can make some assumptions about, however. He names his blog “Provocations”. The word indicates he may want and expect a hostile response. I found however he screens his comments and the ones left are the ones that agree with him. Mine never posted. My blog is named “Rantings” and it’s the basic difference between men and women. Sometimes women just want to say something and not have someone tell you ninety-two reasons why you’re wrong but when you want to “provoke” a response you are trying to pick a fight. A rant just needs to be said. By the way that is only one of the meanings of rant, the original meant to express joy or good will.

Obviously this is the kind of male that hates being told “no” and wants to be able to go every where and has, by his boys club, felt that way from an early age. He wants everyone to pay attention to HIM and sadly no girl did. His bio doesn’t mention he’s married so I guess the status is still the same. His choice of movies on his bio tells me he likes male action and very little female interference and because one of them his Braveheart I’d also guess he isn’t really a student of history unless it goes his way. If he’d included “Lord of the Rings” I might have felt differently since its major themes are love and friendship.

I can also tell his general attitude towards life and his place in it by the title of his other blog, “My Writeful Place”. I think he must be awfully insecure to make his writes/rights the name of his blog. I think it indicates doubts that he really does have any rights so he has to assert them.

Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of men I love in my life. They’re wonderful people. Not a knuckle dragger in the bunch. I like intelligent, artistic cooperative people of both sexes and those are the ones I choose to do Circle with in public but I still belong to a basically Dianic coven of all women. They are my friends but occasionally I do go to a Dianic event. Sometimes women don’t want male energy around and there is such a thing as male and female energy. All women have at least some shorthand they can agree on to get along as a group. Men don’t always understand this.

I remember the ROTC guy that was an emergency hire one summer at camp. He ended up getting fired because he just could not get along with us. One night he came having a tantrum about it to me because I was one of the only women that would put up with him out of politeness. It was in the kitchen what he didn’t know was there was a bunch of the staff outside the kitchen listening to this rant about how awful women were when they weren’t behaving like they “normally” did around men. (And laughing their asses off)

I had to admit I had a bit of nasty fun with him once without really intending to be mean. I had a rattlesnake in my Arts and Crafts building and I needed to kill it and wanted some back up from the women staff down by the lake and here he came to my rescue. I didn’t want rescue. I wanted back up and there is a huge difference between the two that he never did get and the conversation went like this.

“Jeep!’ This was our code for rattlesnake. Need some help or at least a warning to keep the kids away if you couldn’t help.

Here comes “Hercules” to the rescue. He literally said he’d save me. I laughed.

My reply, “Have you done this before?”

“No,”

“Then get out of my way!” and I proceeded to put the fire hose down the squirrel hole the snake had disappeared down in and turned it on full blast and went to the other exit with my sharpened shovel and killed the rattler when it came up.

He could not stop talking about it the rest of the night. He never understood it wasn’t bravery being displayed. Snakes are territorial therefore if a snake is around children it needs to be killed so it doesn’t strike a child. Therefore, some one with a brain and common sense needs to kill said snake. In a Girl Scout camp this generally means one of the women is going to have to do it and if you are the nearest and know how you do it. Not because you are brave but because it has to be done and you are there.

He could not get that concept for women. He also couldn’t understand why women wanted to join the ROTC even after seeing us do what needed to be done. But then when he was given the choice to quit he wouldn’t and ended up getting fired. I forgot what the straw was that broke the camel’s back up he just couldn’t figure out how to get along with us. On the other hand the first two years I was there we had Phil the maintenance guy and he got a long fine and we loved him for it. He expected us to do our jobs and he did is and we all got along.

Some men don’t get that women want their own sacred space. We meet together most of the time in perfect love and perfect trust in all the other women doing circle. It’s a safe space. For some women if a man is anywhere near there is no safe space. If a woman has been molested, raped or hurt in anyway by a man she will often times not feel safe unless it is all women. And yes, there are understanding men in the world but the fact is they are still male and to some women a male is unsafe period and she will not feel able to open to the divine with any male energy around. And this is just the kind of guy Dianics are trying to keep out.

The second year of the Harvest Moon festival eons ago COMMA was asked to do a women’s ritual. Actually we were asked to help with the Main ritual we said no but we could do a women’s ritual and they thought this was a good idea and we did. I still remember the look in some of the men’s faces who tried to enter. One has never forgiven us for allowing his wife in and not him and heaven forbid! She had a good time. One guy told is he was gay and should therefore be let in because he was almost the same as women. Uh no! He had a lot in common with this dude who wrote the blog. We had a head to head battle at another point over me being prochoice. He couldn’t understand why a lesbian would want control over he own body. He ended up leaving the community and becoming a monk in a monastery. He said he wasn’t appreciated enough.

Anyway, what I can’t figure out is why these guys feel the need to stick their oar or other pointed body part into a women’s space? How does our doing something with out a man harm men? If you don’t like it don’t try to go.

I notice he isn’t rabidly trying to join the Radical Fairies but he doesn’t write about them???

Women born women and Dianics

I have to take back a position I’ve had for awhile after some thinking and a good logical argument. I have thought for a while that there was nothing wrong with a transgendered female participating in Dianic circles but after reading Jade who is the head of RCGI and doing some thinking on it I find I’m changing my mind and I think I have some good reasoning behind it.

Jade based her reasoning on blood mysteries and she is right. A transgendered woman will never ever know the mysteries of a woman’s blood and the Dianic tradition is firmly based on women’s menstrual cycle, and quite frankly, that should be enough. Being Dianic is not about appearing or feeling to be female. It is about the fact that women bleed and then create life from that blood and in knowing the power of menopause when the bleeding stops. There are even Dianics that will get in your face if you have had a hysterectomy and tell you that surgery lost you your rights to belong. I know because some fools tried to tell me and some other women that when I was at Z’s Goddess 2000 camp several years ago and one of the reasons I haven’t been back. I do wonder if those women had had to have an emergency hysterectomy since then whether they have changed their minds.

And it comes straight out of the Charge of the Goddess, If you don’t know the mystery within you will never find it without. A transgendered woman even if she was born in the wrong body will never have a period. They will never have cramps and lie on the floor of a bathroom in their teens hoping desperately to die. They will never give birth. They will never have to choose whether to have an abortion or not. They have to worry about being raped after they make the choice to change but they won’t have feared it from the time they realize what rape is.

But there are also some other mysteries and realities of being a woman they will never face and it has to do with male privilege. Men who become transgendered women have known male privilege at least unconsciously from birth and little girls learn about it very early on. It is unfortunately taught to us by our women teachers and our mothers as a default and as much as we can deny it exists, it does.

The first lesson most little girls win is that in a straight on conflict, the boy wins. You can be playing quite happily with a toy and if a boy takes it and you object. The girl is told, “you should share.” The boy is almost never told to give it back. So the girls learn what I have can be taken and the boys learn, I can take what I want. A lot of men overcome this conditioning but some don’t. It’s where the phenomenon of men shooting their family if a wife leaves them comes from. It’s where date rape comes from. Boys are taught if I see and I want it I will take it. Girls learn submission is sometimes easier than fighting.

It doesn’t have to be that violent. It can be much more subtle. It can be as little as walking into a room and expecting to be paid attention to. I see it working in the library all the time. I can be working at the computer and the man next to me with start fidgeting and moving around to get my attention and if I ignore it, the fidgeting and whacking a pencil or tapping a finger will get louder because they are bored and, heaven forbid, ignored. Then the sighing starts and the mouse moves farther and farther over to your keyboard until you have to say something and they settle down because you had to say something and you paid attention to their existence. Even if you hate them, they got your attention and that’s what they wanted from a woman. If they are sitting next to a man, the same guy will sit quietly until his time is up.

There is some of that male expectance when a transgendered woman wants into a Dianic circle. And it’s one of the reasons they get very angry. And they don’t even know why they are angry. They feel left out and discriminated against and hurt. Well, welcome to the world of women because that is the unspoken mystery.

One of the reasons women get along or do not get along is we know when to listen, when to submit and where the lines are and most transgendered men never learn those lines because they haven’t learned those mysteries that are socialized into women and their subconscious minds from birth. It starts with the pink and blue shit and goes from there. My sister and I had to teach my mother about the hatred of pink and she never gave up trying to get up into pink until the day she died. It’s the gifting of dolls when you hate them and she knows it. Thank heavens, she had enough sense to also buy the microscope I wanted for Christmas. Oddly enough it was my dad that was less gender stereotyped. He took care of us when we were sick. Felt free enough to teach Cam and I to cook the things Mom wouldn’t. He taught Cam to sew on buttons and make repairs to pant hems. He was also the brave man that shopped for huge purple boxes of Kotex and just stared back and was secure enough to find it funny. Maybe because he was raised by his grandmother and his dad was in the Panama Canal when he was growing up or he was just more sensitive. But he still walked into any group and knew he belonged. He had that assumption and the assumption that if he saw something he was allowed to say something about it no matter the company that men do until they have to take sensitivity classes. My mom was a very large woman but dad didn’t see anything wrong with walking into a group of my camp friends when he went to pick me up at camp and remarking that they were a lot of cows there. Meaning large women. I about died right there. It was his privilege to call them as he saw them. No woman would have done that, at least not out loud.

But I think it’s the expectation of being included that grates on women the most. No woman goes into any group expected to be a member but men do and transgendered women often present themselves that way and they make it worse by saying that they will force their way in if they aren’t accepted as some transgendered women did and the Women’s Music Festival. When that happens it just confirms cis women’s fears of a safe place and being whole because the transgendered women are then behaving as if they were men and still have the expectation of privilege that they need to give up to be women.

So we are back to women born women are Dianics and I have to admit I might not have changed my mind on that if I hadn’t read some more on it. Women’s mysteries should remain women’s mysteries.

Guardian

I’m glad I didn’t go to the COA circle for a lot of reasons. Number 1 is that my home is TOILA first and foremost but number two is that I have a really hard time not getting bored in their circles and number 3 is that if they have that stupid Guardian program going I get furious.

The Guardian program supposedly gave a place to the more butch women that wanted to be priestesses in the Dianic tradition but what it really did was finish off the process of marginalizing the butch women that made all the little fems and straight women uncomfortable instead of growing up and pulling on their big girl panties. The first time I saw that in action was when I was with Becky and watched what COA did to her. It made me mad then and it still makes me mad.

Among other things, we went to a wedding and they “allowed” Becky to cleanse the ritual space but not be part of the wedding of her friend. I know that it hurt her immensely to tell her she wasn’t a real priestess and was only good for clearing the space of negative energy. And then they topped us off by “letting” us butch dykes sit with the groom and the other groom’s men and the bride and her priestesses sat together in femmy splendour.

The whole idea that a dykey woman can’t hold ritual energy as a priestess from the center is homophobic and exceptionally stupid. Now the Guardians aren’t even allowed in the Circle. They have to be outside it. I’m sorry if you aren’t a strong enough priestess to hold the energy of the circle from the center you have no business even being a priestess. And if it was to give the butches something to do out of the way that is even more heinous.

A woman and a priestess is just that a woman and a priestess. Neither butch nor fem nor straight or gay or bi or pink with green spots should matter. You raise the energy of the circle and the people within it to create sacred space and it doesn’t need people on the outside to guard it unless you are trying to conduct a Circle in the midst of a Mongol hoard’s battle and then your are both stupid and you need battle axes and not of the old bat variety either.

Anyway, since it does make me pissed off and the older I get the more likely I am to say how stupid it is, and this battleaxe is glad she chose to turn down the invitation.