Michigan Womyn's Music Festival now openly admitting out trans women

On the strap-on message board the other day I read news about the détente of an old transgender discrimination issue. Several people, among them several activists for trans inclusion, rejoiced at the news in that thread and compared it to the fall of the Berlin Wall. I personally feel it’s a milestone for trans rights, yay us.

Lorraine, an out trans woman, went to admissions at the entrance to the Michigan Women’s Music Festival and bought a ticket. She stated she was a trans woman. They were cool with that. She went in. The whole time she was in she was out. Nobody interfered with her, and she got a lot of support from many of them women there for being so out while she was in. She went out, back to Camp Trans across the way… and then went back to MWMF and again Festies were cool with her being there.

Note to Dopers: I do not want to start a transboard interchange of membership. I have not registered at that board and I urge you not to also. That’s why I haven’t posted the link to it. If I did it would be presented FYI only. Read-only. This decision is from my personal understanding of how to be a good Straight Dope citizen. If you would really like to read it – for one thing they had an interesting, civil, even polite albeit pointed debate with a transphobe from the MWMF – and Lorraine the pioneer integrator also posted in that thread – I did post the link to it in a thread about the spelling womyn the other day, before I considered the transboard issues, in case a mod feels it necessary to remove the link… but that strap-on board thread with the news about MWMF has now been locked, anyway.

Well, if it’s become a generalized policy, that’s excellent news. I too have been waiting for the day when MWMF would decide that they shouldn’t be imposing their definitions of womanhood onto other women.

Blame whats-her-name…Jan Raymond? for the longstanding prior attitude.

The whole “well gee if you were born male and you don’t like [what we think of as] the artificial polarization of the sexes into constricted sex roles, why don’t you help us get rid of the fence instead of jumping over it?” shtick, coupled with a really hateful attitude towards M2F’s (“Aha, caught ya, SPY, sneaking under the fence to infiltrate us real women!”)
I’m neither female-born nor transsexual but I would have enjoyed showing up to hear Meg Christian and Holly Near sing their stuff back in the day :frowning:

And now we know that someone DOES still use the word “womyn”…

Glad to hear it! Thanks.

When I was typing the OP I got so excited, I slipped and typed the correct spelling of women by mistake.

Former copy editor

Oh I’m so glad to hear this!

Pardon my ignorance, but is an Out trans woman a man who was a woman living openly in their new sex choice?

And another question: There are tranny’s in Michigan? Really? Huh. I thought it was either rednecks or yuppies.
I, for one, welcome our tranny overlords.

I don’t personally have an opinion on this. I do, however, believe my late sister is rolling in her grave over this as I recall her being in support of the MWMF being only for “womyn-born-womyn” or however she put it.

Frankly, since I never got her brand of militant lesibianism on a visceral level I shouldn’t be surprised I could never understand her attitudes towards what she called “other perverts”. I can’t understand transsexualism on a visceral level, either, for that matter, much less why all these folks have been arguing for so many years.

But I guess, if I dared to have an opinion, I’d think it was a positive that they’ve become more inclusive.

The really strange thing is that despite being a woman (and a “born woman” at at that) I never felt I fit in with the whole crowd that attends those festivals.

No, I meant someone who was born male-bodied and is now living as a woman. In this context, “out” means she’s openly saying she was trans, i.e. hed been assigned as male at birth, and now presents female. The opposite of that is called “stealth,” i.e. letting everyone think you’ve always been presenting female since birth.

Rednecks, yuppies, doesn’t matter–anyone in any walk of life can turn out to be trans. The occurrence of transsexualism isn’t conditioned by cultural or economic influences. It has been occurring in all different cultures around the world throughout history. Although the liberalism or repression of one’s social setting can definitely affect one’s ability to come out. Anyway, attendees of MWMF come from all over the country.

Fly trans love airlines…

I was just moving some books around (new bookcases) and looking at The Transsexual Empire, which I keep on my Shelf of Oppression along with [rl=http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000DZU4XU/sr=1-2/qid=1156011792/ref=sr_1_2/104-9372097-2712753?ie=UTF8&s=books]Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex and a book on aversion shock therapy for gay men. So much hostile misinformation, so little time.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex

Huh! A friend of mine was actually there (at Camp Trans) this year, and she didn’t mention anything about this. Though I’m talking to her now and she says she knew about it…

I’m glad for the change and I hope it sticks… but I have to say, from looking at sites and stuff for both, the protest camp (Camp Trans) looked like way more fun than MWMF itself. :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the definitions… I guess my friend is a stealth, as she never publicly mentions being born a man, and I frankly never would have guessed.

Although in the GLTB community, maybe she is out.

Just curious, but what’s oppressive about this one? I only know about it through the Woody Allen movie.

I don’t understand the terminology and I know nothing about the event. But has that ever stopped a Doper from chiming in? :wink:

Is this festival a “members-only” event? Or are any women, or wymen, allowed through the gate?

If the former, all well an good. People may allow anyone they wish into their membership, given a few legal constraints that I know exist, but can’t enumerate. And they can certainly hold exclusive events for their members.

If the latter, I’d be amazed if it’s not in violation of the law. But I am not a lawyer, and I have been amazed many times before.

Rather than getting into a quandry over what a woman is. let’s just for the moment agree that it’s anyone who says they’re a woman. PS, please feel free to substitute any PC-er words you prefer for woman or women.

The policy of MWMF is/was that only “womyn-born womyn” (or possibly “womon-born womyn”, I’m not quite sure) are/were allowed in. That means people who were raised as female.

More info (not updated to include recent developments) is available at the Camp Trans website, particularly at http://camptrans.squarespace.com/trans-inclusion-and-michfest/

[small]Note that the Camp Trans people spell it “women”. Ha![/small]

Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Sex… was, even at time of publication, full of misinformation, medically incorrect statements, and highly biased, snarky commentary. There were numerous double standards (e.g., sexual act X is great if performed by heterosexuals, but an inadequate act if performed by homosexuals).

It was published in 1969. My copy is the paperback edition of 1971.

The section on lesbians is under 3 pages. It asserts that

“the majority of prostitutes are female homosexuals in their private lives…” (269)

“Like their male counterparts, lesbians are handicapped by having only half the pieces of the anatomical jigsaw puzzle.” (269).

“Just as one penis plus one penis equals nothing, one vagina plus another vagina still equals zero.” (269)

“Lesbians with this anatomical quirk [a clitoris of 2+ inches] are in great demand.” (270)

A dildo permits “an unreasonable facimile of heterosexual intercourse” (270).

“No matter how ingenious they [homosexuals] are, their sexual practices must always be some sort of imitation of heterosexual intercourse.” (270)

Taking turns with a dildo is “too dull for the one who has already had her turn.” (270)

Describing a double-headed dildo, he says, “The unanswered question at this point then becomes why they need each other. If they snip the harigata in the middle, both girls (sic) can go home and enjoy themselves at leisure.” (270-271)

“Female homosexual relationships also seem to last a little longer than the male equivalent, but their course is no less stormy; the girls betray and deceive each other with monotonous regularity.” (271-272)

Now, some of this would make sense as an opinion (albeit, IMHO, a stupid one) if he did not assert elsewhere in the book that, for example, “As a form of heterosexual activity incidental to penis-vagina intercourse, mouth-genital stimulation is not only perfectly all right to practice, but in many situations desirable” (64) because it causes the woman to have an orgasm “rapidly and vigorously” (64), but if we were to do this all the time, “the birth rate would quickly fall to zero” (65)

Male homosexuality warrants its own chapter of 28 pages. This extended coverage isn’t a good thing. Here are some tidbits:

“they often transform themselves into part-time women. They don women’s clothes, wear makeup, adopt feminine mannerisms, and occasionally even try to rearrange their bodies along feminine lines.” (159)

“most homosexuals at one time or another in their lives act out some aspect of the female role.” (159)

Homosexual men given estrogen “developed enlarged breasts and loss of body hair–they were delighted.” (162)

“A lot of homosexuals would like to think [that they were born gay and that]… their problem [is]the equivalent of a club foot or birthmark… This explanation is a little tragic. It implies that all homosexuals are condemned without appeal to a life some of them say they enjoy so much.” (162)

As to homosexual sex, "Three to five minutes should be enough for the entire operation (163).

“No feeling, no sentiment, no nothing.” (164)

“No names, no faces, no emotions.” (164)

“Homosexuals thrive on danger.” (165)

He then has a multi-page description of “S and M” (165-167).

“Mother Nature didn’t see fit to provide him with a vagina so he gets his fun where he finds it.” (168)

He then goes into a long description of drag, understood as trying to look like a woman on the part of the receptive partner, including artificial vaginas (169-171).
Then a section on how more “masculine” homosexuals wear tight underwear to display their genitals. Then on to transvestites (173-175).

Then he asserts that homosexuals aren’t concerned about the consequences of their behavior (175), stating categorically in response to the question ‘But all homosexuals aren’t like that, are they?’, “Unfortunately, they are just like that.” (176)

“Homosexuals are trying the impossible: solving the problem with only half the pieces” (176), which is why they are so promiscuous. Again, “One penis plus one penis equals nothing” (176).

“Homosexuals who live together for years” are “mighty rare birds among the homosexual flock.” Moreover, the ‘happy’ part remains to be seen… Live together? Yes. Happily? Hardly." (176-177)

There is then a short segment about how the only thing homosexual men and women have in common is their contempt for “straight arrows” and how they dislike the other sex (177), then a description of finding partners at a gay bar, then gay slang. Then a section that’s highly psychoanalytic in nature about why so much gay slang is food oriented (181) that leads in turn into a harrowing emergency room account of what homosexuals put in themselves and what they put themselves into (182-185).

Then, still in this chapter, what passes for a trans section (185-187). The gist is that getting a “male vagina” is the “consuming wish of some homosexuals” (185). This is a “bizarre” surgery, resulting in “simply a man who has lost his external genitalia” (186), who are “actually castrated and mutilated female impersonators” (186), two of whom “ironically” died of breast cancer (186).

If you think the heterosexual sections are less opinionated or incorrect, you’d be mistaken. For example, he had the phases of the female sexual response cycle in te wrong order. And this was the liberal, swingin’, sex-positive, revolutionary book. From today’s vantage, it’s not much better than a Victorian marriage manual.

This book was how I learned about homosexuality in 1974. It was actually more positive than some of the other “scientific” books available, if you can believe it (though there was reasonable sociomedical information available that contradicted many of his assertions) There was a 2000 revision; I haven’t read it.

The Transsexual Empire, by the way, is a long rant based on the idea that by having a sex change operation, men are trying to steal the womyn-energy.

Good to hear. Just curious, though-- Is the Michigan’s Womyn’s Music Festival, like, significant? Can’t say I know much about the women’s music festival circuit.

Wow, I was just expecting, “It says dumb stuff about gays.” Thanks for typing out all the quotes, Shoshana!