14 Comments

Event: MichFest Halfway Soiree (and a way to promote and organise feminist meetings)

Another event landed in my mailbox:

Third Annual MichFest Half-Way Soirée party on March 1st in honor of the six month mark to the famed Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival. All are welcome to join us at Cattyshack, Brooklyn, (249 4th Avenue between President & Carroli St.) at 6:30 pm-3:00 am, pre-party drumming circle 5:30-6:30 pm.

You can read more at Paradigm Shift‘s website.


Addendum: I should have included this when I first posted this promo, and my apologies for not doing so. There is a longstanding controversy regarding MichFest and a practice endorsed by the MichFest organisers of exluding transwomen as not welcome in their advertised “women-only space”. You can read more about it at this Camp Trans website (from 2006 – more up to date links would be appreciated). I particularly like the distinction they make, which is an important one:

We make a distinction between the festival community, an amazing and positive community created by thousands of women, and the handful of organizers who are in control of its discriminatory policies.


This email also introduced me to http://feminism.meetup.com/, where you can

Meet other local women who are interested in the topic of Feminism. Discuss current issues, such as equal rights, politics, and standing up for what you believe in!

If there’s not a group in your area, you can start one and promote it on meetup.com.

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About tigtog

writer, singer, webwrangler, blogger, comedy tragic | about.me/vivsmythe

14 comments on “Event: MichFest Halfway Soiree (and a way to promote and organise feminist meetings)

  1. Gotta wonder if trans women would be welcome. If they actually wanted to go, of course.

  2. I’m not sure of the current status of the longstanding Michfest ban on transwomen attending.

    This blog attempts to be an inclusive place for all feminists and womanists, attempting to provide a glimpse of the broad range of feminisms, which includes the womensspace-for-women-born-women faction. Controversies and conflicts exist, and they are part of a living, growing movement.

    I don’t intend to censor any mention of a feminist group or event simply because their feminisms may not be my feminisms.

  3. Hello Finally Feminism 101,

    My name is Lisa, I am the Co-Founder of ParadigmShiftNYC.com.

    To report, we spoke with MichFest – They do not have a written policy, or any policy for that matter on Trans.

    Trans womyn are welcome to the party.

    If you are interested in getting more facts, please contact MichFest – 231.757.4766

    For more info on our party, check out the article in this week’s Time Out New York (Print and Web):

    http://www.timeout.com/newyork/articles/lgbt/26939/mich-mosh

    My Best,

    Lisa A. Snyder
    Co-Founder
    Paradigm Shift: New York City’s Feminist Community

  4. So they’ve changed their policy that all attendees must be Womyn-Born-Womyn? Because as late as 2006 Lisa Vogel was still maintaining that that policy was in effect.

    The fact that it’s not in writing doesn’t mean much either – after all the WBW policy wasn’t in writing in 1992 when a womon was expelled for being a suspected transsexual.

    Is there actually a positive statement anywhere that transsexuals are actively welcomed? Because the previous disingenuous equivocation about not checking what people are packing in their underwear is simply cowardice: make a stand or not.

  5. Why does this site claim to be feminist and promote a trans misogynistic festival that celebrates exclusion of the most marginaliized women?

    Please explain this one to me… Really.

    Or is this site in agreement that transwomen’s identites are to be openly disrespected, or up for “debate” by gender privileged feminists at the expense of trans women?

  6. Please do not use transsexual as a noun… it is dehumanizing, and negates the identities of FtM spectrum folk. Also, I am a trans woman, not a transsexual. I am not a condition, and more than an African-american person is a “black.”

    Not all transsexual people are trans women.

    Perhaps you should confine yourself to just trans women and trans men. Reducing us to a condition is kinda creepy and objectifying.

  7. As I said above, I don’t intend to censor any mention of a feminist group or event simply because their feminisms may not be my feminisms. If I only mentioned Perfectly Pure women’s events, not many would qualify, would they?

    What better way to generate a discussion of the MichFest policies regarding transwomen than to actually mention that the festival continues to exist? Do you see me there in the comment right above yours challenging them for more information about trans-inclusion?

    I was really happy that the first comment out of the blocks was about the trans-inclusion issue, because it certainly needs to be discussed. Many transwomen and the people who love them are very hurt by this exclusion from a venerable festival, many women who embrace the WBW philosophy are very threatened by the thought of trans-inclusion: does pretending the impasse doesn’t exist help move the debate forward?

  8. Alyssa, your second comment above came in as I was composing my response above. Thank you for picking me up on my terminology. Noted and accepted.

  9. Thank you. I am NOT asking you to censor. Ylou already made that very clear above.

    What I would LOVE to have seen here…

    An editors note saying that this festival was problematic. Very simple, and beyond fair, methinks.
    As in

    Note: This festival excludes a highly marginalized group of women, and is considered by some as problematic.

    As much as I loathe the actions of this crowd, they too have a right to be part of the plurality of feminisms… even at the cost of trans women’s lives (as in dead from lack of services) that have been lost to the atmosphere of exclusion
    promoted by their transphobic ideas.

    Beyond that, you seem to have a high clue level about the issues, and a willingness to pursue tough questions that I find commendable.
    [Kudos!]
    One thing that troubles me, though, is the parenthetical nature of it. It dilutes the otherwise fine reasoning and sensitivity that you show in your earlier posts.
    Adding the suggested editorial to the POST part of this article would help, by graphically displaying inclusion of trans women’s issues as an intentionally “designed in” part of this discussion. This would change your position from promoter to expositor. Which is a big step in the right direction.
    (yes, I am a graphic designer, and sensitive to how use of space on a page affects mental groupings of concepts)

    Thanks for your swift and sensitive reply.

    Oh, I have a comment for Lisa later, but have reached my 3 post limit here today.

  10. many women who embrace the WBW philosophy are very threatened by the thought of trans-inclusion: does pretending the impasse doesn’t exist help move the debate forward

    Well, not. But… maybe it’s my own moral-set on things, but a neutral take on this festival isn’t helping to the trans-women cause.

    Hey, maybe you don’t agree with me, but feminism doesn’t excuse discrimination.

  11. Ouch, I posted before seeing Alyssa’s reply. And my quoting sucks.

  12. Alyssa, as you suggested I have added an editorial advisory to the post regarding the exclusion controversy. You are right that it would have been a better post if I had done so from the start.

  13. [...] apology and a promise Posted on August 19, 2008 by tigtog A few months ago I posted an events notice for a MichFest Women’s Festival event in NYC. I screwed up big time in that original post by not including any text noting the trans-exclusionary [...]

  14. [...] just wonderful. Take this post from the site Finally, a feminism 101 blog: An Apology and a Promise A few months ago I posted an events notice for a MichFest Women’s Festival event in NYC. I screwed up big time in that original post by not including any text noting the trans-exclusionary [...]

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