Trans’activists’ React To Michfest End

Lisa Vogel the creatrix of Michfest has announced the end of the festival. Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival

The upcoming 40th anniversary will be the last.

She never stated the reasons but just said it was time. I suppose it’s gotten quite tiring over the last decade or so trying to keep the space female only. Getting away from males is quite tiring. All those hoops you have to jump through, endless threats of violence, pickets at the gate to get in, males exposing their dicks to little girls. You know, standard male behaviour.

The land has been a retreat for many women, a week where women don’t have to feel the weight of patriarchy on their necks and backs. It’s a healing place I am told, since I have never been. In all honestly, while parts of me wanted to attend there were other parts that told me not to.

For a long time I’ve heard talk of the ‘intention’ of the festival to be female only but it’s been invaded by males over the years. Some of these males set up booths before the entrance and just generally penetrate the safe space women so desperately need.

To me, this is patriarchy saying ‘don’t take up space ladies.’

One event, one week and males won’t let it alone. The ‘intention’ isn’t good enough for me.

I didn’t want to go and feel unsafe, as if I had nothing backing me up. That’s what worried me. I’m probably not alone in this feeling.

Each year a few months before festival time the political wrangling would start and men would get angry that females would gather for a week. One lousy week, to be with our sisters in the struggle, free.

I don’t want to ask nicely. Women have been doing this for far too long and it doesn’t matter if we ask nicely anyway. Men will want to destroy it.

I felt a deep pain in my gut after reading Vogel’s farewell. It’s like a push pull feeling but overwhelmingly sadness at something completely lost forever.

Women are unable to mourn this passing. Men ie. transactivists have already pounced on this and their reaction is disgusting. Hell, even Jack Barnes is thinking of crashing Michfest because well, he’s MALE.

So do twanzactivists.

There’s a hashtag on Twitter for women to express their feelings and mourn. It’s been taken up by transactivists and now MRA’s who HATE Lisa Vogel and all other women who need a safe space. It’s disgusting to read the seething hatred within these tweets.

There’s also the comments from transactivists on the Facebook page where Lisa wrote her farewell letter.

This male left a particularly violent comment on an article about the end of Michfest.

And the same male went onto Twitter abusing women

This gay male who would never sleep with a trans’female’ and is an LGBT program director thinks women having safe spaces is funny. I guess that ‘L’ in the LGBT is pretty worthless to the male.

So many transactivists are calling females witches and bitches and saying the festival is ‘boring’

This transactivist thinks it’s all about him

And this guy uses the word ‘womyn’ as a perjorative with more hatred

It’s all about masturbating our dicks and ending that women’s space right transworld?

Yep, taking credit for ending a female safe space is such hard work for you transactivists

Another violent male

You’re not female and you’re only scary when you don’t allow us our spaces and get violent about it

Celebrating the death of women’s space has made this man’s day

Fallon Fox weighed in threatening to ‘break our shit’. Hey, doesn’t that sound like the MRA slogan ‘Fuck Their Shit Up?’

And here’s someone who I don’t know, harassing me, mentioning me for standing up for women’s spaces


And then correctly brought out feminist theory, ah, sort of fucked it up at the end there  

Men are sodomized. It’s an important distinction, in keeping with feminist theory since rape has a very specific meaning for females. So yeah, nice try dude. You should try just a little harder, just a little bit.

And when I told him to shoo, he came back:

That’s funny since he tweeted me first. LOL. That wasn’t enough. Got his male friends to come after me too.

And more twanz coming after me b/c I blocked the first one for harassing me. This MRA-type harassment might go on all damn day. Just like males, they get royally angry when blocked for harassment.

Here’s a death threat to a radical feminist, from the Twanz


There are many good sites where women are keeping track of the twanz reaction to ‘killing’ a female space. I’ll add to this link list as time progresses.

Minnie Menarche has a lot of screen shots of the twanz male violence

Here’s a great article on males sneaking into Michfest over the years

Who Are The Males Who Sneak Into Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival? | GenderTrender

More on males invading the space

Letter From Michfest 2012: “Man On The Land!” | GenderTrender

An excellent and ironic twist by Dirt

The dirt from Dirt: Trans (Male) Violence-Camp Trans and Michfest 2010 (Part 1)

An excellent breakdown of what’s going on inside our heads at this moment

Some thoughts on MichFest | Hypotaxis

Victoria Brownsworth’s piece explains the need for female only space and why Michfest was so important for women

Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival to End after 40 Years


22 thoughts on “Trans’activists’ React To Michfest End

  1. It really is a radical act these days to state your space is woman-only. For all the liberals talk of consent they cannot take no for an answer when women want to be free of men for once. If I ever create a charity, NGO or feminist group I will make sure it’s firmly woman-only. Laydee feels not included.

  2. Not sure that there is anything for trans activists to celebrate. If they really wanted to win hearts and minds and be welcome at this festival then that option is now gone forever. If they wanted to reduce the violence and oppression they claim to suffer under, nothing has changed. The majority of people who commit real violence against trans folk are mostly men who would also be glad to run over any type of feminist with a truck. The other big source of actual physical injury and death to trans folks is what they do to themselves with attempts at suicides and completed suicides. Can’t see how being mad at real feminists is going to change that behavior.

  3. @southwest88, quoting from you,

    “The majority of people who commit real violence against trans folk are mostly men who would also be glad to run over any type of feminist with a truck. The other big source of actual physical injury and death to trans folks is what they do to themselves with attempts at suicides and completed suicides. Can’t see how being mad at real feminists is going to change that behavior.”

    I used to shake my head in puzzlement over this and have asked many times along the same lines why radfems are the main focus of transactivism, when the obvious danger to trans people is from the male mainstream.

    The answer I’ve arrived at after a lot of research is that I couldn’t see the missing link. Radfems are the only group that hold the line against the preposterous fantasy that men can become women. We all know that. But what many of us don’t know, the missing link, is that civil rights laws at least in the U.S. are based on the principle of immutability,

    In other words, the only way to get civil rights law protection for trans people, which will gain the object of giving them all kinds of crucial legal resources protecting them from the male mainstream, is to persuade the courts and public that transgenderism is born, not made. This can be done using either of two fantasies, both of which are promoted when convenient: that “gender”, meaning feminine behavior expressed in current gender roles, is immutable; and/or that the biological material basis of the oppressed caste of women doesn’t exist – that a man can be a woman simply by announcing that he is one today.

    To say that this legal strategy has been flown under the radar is an understatement. I doubt the rank and file of transgender people who adopt the hostility and fantasies understand the Realpolitik agenda of their own lawyers. Certainly the softened-up third wave feminists and the general public are clueless as to the real reasons these fantasies must be promulgated.

    But here we radfems stand, directly in the path of their most important goal. We must be discredited and shouted out of existence while the project of subverting this legal principle of immutability goes on.

    The fact that this project also undercuts basic feminist principles, scientific truths, and the efforts to remedy historic oppression of females, is of no concern to them. Our struggle is not the trans struggle. Their goal is seen as vital to their survival. This explains the lack of concern for the damage they are trying to do to feminism, and the viciousness and all-out hostile quality of the attack on radfems specifically.

    It is up to us to develop a full and firm understanding of the transactivist agenda and deal with it from a non-naive point of view.

    One can speculate what our reaction as radfems have been, and what could have been done, if trans activists had approached radfems honestly, shared their problem, and asked us to cooperate in getting them the protection they needed without undercutting the protections of biological women. Instead they have chosen to make war on us, maybe because they judged we were weak enough to steamroller easily. It must cause them a lot of consternation now that they have seen our tenacity and fierceness and strength in fighting back.

    • I don’t agree that that’s the only way to gain civil rights protections for trans people. Trans people already officially have employment protections at the federal level due to *sex*-based protections. Laws that prevent discrimination against employees for their sex also protect people who would be discriminated against for defying stereotypes about their sex. A woman can’t be fired for wearing pants; a man can’t be fired for wearing a dress, at least in theory. A number of cases have already been litigated to this effect with trans women getting compensation for being illegally fired.

      I think the trans movement is pushing for the concept of immutable characteristics because the majority wants to be treated as though they belong to their preferred sex. Protections preventing discrimination based on sex stereotypes aren’t enough because they won’t allow a 50-something arthritic trans woman to play on a woman’s college basketball team:

      The current line of the trans movement is that trans women are real women and trans men are real men. The only way to make the public and the state take this claim seriously is by pushing the idea that it’s an immutable characteristic. Although given that the trans movement is moving in the direction of considering a part-time crossdresser a “real” woman, I’m skeptical that they’ll be successful.

      • Hi Keshmeshi, thanks for your response. I know this isn’t a place for a long discussion so I can only respond briefly.

        Quoting you, “I don’t agree that that’s the only way to gain civil rights protections for trans people.” We are in agreement that transactivist lobby lawyers have already pushed through many legal protections under other theories, especially in states. They began with these easier theories.

        I agree that their work isn’t finished yet, though, and that is because “Protections preventing discrimination based on sex stereotypes aren’t enough…”

        The holy grail is the full protection of all federal civil rights laws under a theory that transgenderism is a new protected category like race or sex. That would bring in the strict scrutiny standard and require (except for religion, as southwest88 points out) that the group of persons is born with the immutable characteristic that subjects them to discrimination.

        I would hazard that the lawyers have taken a long hard look at that holy grail and judged that they can’t get it, for a number of reasons, a few of which probably are that the federal courts will be highly reluctant to open the floodgates with a new category, that popular sentiment doesn’t support it, that the category is vanishingly tiny compared to the existing categories, and most importantly, that there is little to no evidence that one is born “trans”.

        But the objections would soften if the “new category” is subsumed under an existing category– “we’re just slightly expanding the scope of the existing sex category, Yer Honor.”

        The huge block to that way of proceeding is that you’d have to convince courts and legislators that, exactly as you say: “The current line of the trans movement is that trans women are real women and trans men are real men.”

        And you are very right that their “category” includes any man who wants to cross-dress today and go look at women in a locker room. I would think this complete lack of boundaries comes from the chaotic trans rank and file and that it’s a major headache for the lawyers.

  4. Correction to my comment above: The second fantasy is not that the biological materiality of women doesn’t exist, but that any man can join that class of people with that immutable characteristic any time. The object is to appropriate the immutable characteristic “female”, not to get rid of it.

      • Right, it’s a cold and calculated co-optation, House Mouse Queen. And it starts with definitions.

        Getting back to whether we should call ourselves “Women” or “Females”, remember we were talking about how we are using “female” a lot, in an earlier post?

        Here’s the thing, We have to beware about shrinking our definition of ourselves back to pure biology (as the use of “Female” does, IMO).

        Yes, we must reiterate constantly that we are at base a biological category.

        And yes, we reject our current social definition as “Woman”, that is, our current gender roles — those definitions of “Woman” are a product of oppression, not part of our definition.

        BUT there is something else, another great source of our commonality and our definition. That is our common, global, history of exploitation and subjugation.

        Put in other ways, “Women/Female” includes the vast category of people over the millennia and in every state who have been subject to male domination that varies only in its details. This very specific category is based on biology and the male domination has always included co-optation of the same four resources: our (unpaid or low-paid) labor, our reproductive capacities, our sexual utility to men, and our eternal servitude as the caretakers and cleaners of the culture.

        This is why the attempt to co-opt the category “Woman” by male transgenders is so invidious. They now claim that they are the same, at least for legal fiction purposes, as biological females. They seem to think it is enough to get this fantasy past the public. They use lexicographical confusion as one tactic.

        We must not allow them, as a necessary part of their legal fictionalizing, to ignore, minimize, and erase women’s other great commonality, our common history and eternal oppression. That is what is at stake here.

        The word we use, whether “Woman” or “Female”, must adequately reflect our common biology AND our specific common historical oppression.

        The trans lobby must be required to convince the public, not just that transgender men are biological women, but that they have suffered and do suffer the same degree of oppression that women have suffered and do suffer.

        I don’t believe the trans rank and file has any interest in making that argument. They aren’t interested in being “Woman” (our cleaners, old-folk tenders, baby-tenders, housewives). Their commonality with “Woman” is that they like certain gender roles they consider attractive and fun, but they wouldn’t dream of demanding to become the caretakers of our society or to suffer the restrictions on their freedoms that women globally suffer.

        So a big question for us is whether to emphasize our shared oppression through the use of the word “Woman” or the use of the word “Female”. I still don’t know which is more useful. These words, and also the double-meaning word “Sex” as opposed to “Gender”, have been obfuscated by our opponents.

        Whichever terms we use, though, we must never let it be forgotten that we are female-historically-defined, as well- as female-bodily-defined, people.

        • Yes, it’s a tough question to be sure, not in the sense that we don’t know experientially that we are class women (gender) and class female (sex) and that those two are interwoven.

          The question here is the language and the definition of those terms in the light of the fact we live in a liberal world where words like ‘choice’ and ‘agency’ have no real meaning for us as a class.

          We don’t have to convince ourselves of these facts. We have to convince them.

          • HMQ,

            You got it right when you said this is another method of colonization.

            Personally, I prefer woman to female. I watch a lot of old movies and “female” is often used in slurring, derogatory, and sexist ways. There’s a time for that word, but I don’t think we should call ourselves “females” in general conversation. We are women.

            I tried to read some crazy article over at Jezebel a few days ago on the subject of Michfest, but I couldn’t get through it. I couldn’t even begin to tell you what the author’s point was because the article was littered with this tranny jargon. I don’t understand it all, but what I do understand about it is very insulting to me as a woman and a feminist. I don’t think these liberals are going to be able to bring this their lingo or their twisted ways of thinking into the mainstream very easily. Women are women and calling us other names is just that – name calling! It’s not a way to win support.

  5. That makes great sense, brylliant. Trying to make their issue one of Immutable characteristics does make sense in the frame work of how many societies see human rights issues. If somebody is “born that way” then more people are willing to say that this person should have the same rights as everybody else since we can’t help the things we are born with.

    The trouble is, as you stated, that biological men are not born with a certain set of complex and adaptable behaviors (like having such an uncontrollable temper around the wife but not the boss) just as biological women are not born with an innate desire to paint multi-colored greases around our eyes. We have to be endlessly taught what is desired and allowed of us depending on our culture, particular family and the times we live in.

    My personal opinion is that our culture damages men and women in different ways with most (not all) women getting the short end of the stick compared to most (not all) men. No two people are the same but there are many different ways in which we will be treated by the larger culture due being men or women.

    I wonder if trans people damaged by the culture think that believing/feeling/wanting to be “opposite” will make things better. And then that will become what is fixated on and might even have the power of a placebo pill. If a problem is defined as X and the person with it decides Y is the answer, then some people will feel better if they get Y.

    OK, on re-reading above paragraph, I better clear up that I am using X and Y like algebra, not biology.

    The trans activists and the far right wing seem to agree on this “manbrain” and “ladybrain” nonsense and both groups are fine with throwing biological facts out. Both groups would destroy the rights of women to live in freedom and to make our own real choices about how to live our lives.

    So, going along with this immutable characteristic nonsense is not going to happen with real feminists. The people of liberal feminism or feminism-lite or feminism only if the men approve are not going to change any time soon. Some of them will as they live longer and see more or when this anti-woman philosophy comes around to bite them personally.

    Where do we go from here? Real feminists have to be firm about holding to the truth while pointing out that all the real or imagined miseries of trans people are not being caused by us. Keep pointing out who their real enemies are and that most of those folks are also enemies of real feminism.

    Maybe some trans activists will be able to concede that biological women should have their own spaces when needed. We can also point out that human rights and protection under the law DO NOT HAVE TO BE based on immutable characteristics. Certainly we protect religious belief under law and nobody is born chanting the words of a particular faith.

    Yes, it is too bad that some of the trans activists decided to attack real feminists instead of their real enemies. Now people who are not sure about trans people will see them as more aggressive and unbalanced due to their behavior against women who have no history of harming them.

    We may just have to decide to refuse to engage with the super drama some of the trans activists feed on. Like many of us have had to stop providing “Feminism 101” to people who will suck away every minute of the day with insincere requests to be educated. Work with who we can but mostly keep to fighting our good fight.

    By the way, thank you to House Mouse Queen of Doom for giving us a place to read up on our enemies and get information to keep safe.

    • You’re welcome.

      This space is for women. I reckon I’ve gone through enough male violence in the last year trying to keep this blog to know that once you give a little, they continue to take.

      I’m well aware that males will attempt to shut me down, they’ve tried many times.

      Hell, women collude with them just to get the scraps from the master’s plate.

      I can only hope fauxminists wise up but I won’t hold my breath. I’ll keep this lil corner of the internet going strong.

  6. It is tough to watch women fight for scraps from the tables of men who will discard those women at the slightest whim. I also don’t hold my breath waiting for anybody to make the jump to the reality based community but it does happen.

    There exists a pre-internet photo of me in a t-shirt that says “why waltz when you can rock n roll” with a picture of an automatic weapon under the words. I used to be such a little gun nut but that was the culture I was raised in and I thought it made me such a tough little chick who would out shoot and kick the butt of any man who gave me guff, LOL!

    Being able to take on any ONE man and win is a bit different from hacking away at the big cruel centuries old patriarchy, though! It takes some of us hardheaded types years to learn that.

    Still own guns but would gladly see guns even more highly regulated and restricted than cars. Training, written tests, practical tests, registration, insurance, notification when guns change hands, lose the rights to own guns for some crimes, etc. should all be required. Sport shooters and hunters in some other countries go thru this type of thing and don’t feel oppressed. So people can change.

    It has to be tough for lots women now to get to real feminist level. I remember the first time I read somebody claiming to be a “sex positive feminist” and wondered what the heck does that mean? That was when the porn and rape for pay folks were getting into the social media and young women did not want to labeled man-hating, sex-hating prudes.

    Then there came (fake) empowerment. And it was only us horrible feminazis that could object when women claimed to be choosing their choice to pose nude in Playboy or Penthouse even if they got chump change for it and the porno pimps made millions.

    Now it is TERF which I don’t think is going to catch on quite like feminazi but, hey, at least it is newer.

    The thing that does not change is the REASON for the slurs and that is because woman-haters are as wrong now as they were at any time in the past and as wrong as they will always be. Logic, reason and facts are not on their side. Threats and violence will fail to shut us up. Real women grow up in a world with the game rigged against us and we have to learn how to adapt to challenges all the time so any temporary victory by the woman-haters will be worked around or defeated eventually.

    • Not your main point, but the guy that does the qualifying for conceal carry here where I live used to frequent the strip club I had to work at after my divorce. It’s completely unreasonable that I should have to go to this guy and probably get felt up during a government-mandated gun course and to learn what? It’s not that hard to shoot a gun or to learn basic safety – it ain’t rocket science. Several years ago, the gun laws here were much stiffer and I went through hell trying to acquire one to defend myself against my ex. Patriarchal authorities restricting access to women’s basic, common, ordinary self-defense items does not help women in my experience. Fortunately, the gun laws here are now very liberal and are becoming increasingly so. We have very little crime and no street harassment.

      What we need is fewer male perps and fewer males, in general.

      But, I certainly agree with your main point and it’s a very good one. It’s one thing to overcome a single man in a combat situation in our homes or on the street, but our biggest problem is the mob of men that control it all. Overcoming that is a whole other matter.

    • TerriStrange did a nice YT vid talking about Michfest, too.

      I’ve only heard of Michfest in the past couple of years mainly in the context of male harassment. It doesn’t sound like my kind of thing, but I like the idea of it and it’s sad that it’s the last year.

      She makes a good point that it’s better that it ended than opening the door to men. I don’t think it *could* have gone on with men there, though. I’m wondering how they kept them out in the past. They must have had massive security! My experience is that anywhere there is a grouping of women, especially possibly unclothed or semi-clothed women, you have to have lots and lots of security.

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  8. Pingback: The battle over MichFest and women’s spaces | The Politics of Gender


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