CENSORED FROM “BUTCH VOICES”

September 27, 2013

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GUEST POST by Bev Jo:

CENSORED FROM “BUTCH VOICES”

For the last three sessions of the Butch Voices Conference in Oakland (2009, 2011, and 2013), I have offered to do a Female-Identified Butch Workshop and have been denied, as have all other Radical Feminist Butches I’ve known. (In 2009, one of the organizers who had partially “transitioned” did a Female-Identified Butch workshop, which, from seeing the emotional reaction of the over 100 Butches who showed up, was desperately needed. But it felt like BV co-opted it, diluting the female energy in what was already a very male-identified conference, by choosing someone who had so recently identified as male (she had had her breasts removed, taken testosterone, and had worn a shirt identifying as trans a couple of months earlier at the Dyke March). No Female-Identified Butch workshop was allowed in 2011, even though there were several by men who call themselves “Butch.” This year, however, I was scheduled to participate in a panel of Female-Identified Butches, but then was later told I was no longer allowed to participate.

One of the men who did “transwomen” “Butch” workshops, Tobi Hill-Meyer, had been allowed to be a member of the Butch Voices 2013 Advisory Board.  He is part of the reason I was censored/banned — the complaints came from “transwomen” and he was the only one named as objecting to my being on the panel. 

The Butch Voices statement is: The mission of BUTCH Voices is to enhance and sustain the well-being of all women, female-bodied, and trans-identified individuals who are Masculine of Center. in spite of the fact that Hill-Meyer, like the other men who pretend to be Lesbians, is very male-identified feminine and clearly male, and exposes his prick online in photos and videos.  (Be warned that he is a pornographer, if you don’t want to see his or his fellow pornographers’ penises, or as the trans cult calls them, “lady peens.”)

tobi hill meyer transbian

http://queerporntube.com/watch_video.php?v=7WWDOB6O7MK9#sthash.Fsu7qbnc.dpuf

http://queerporn.tv/wp/tobi

http://queerporn.tv/wp/quinn-cassidy-tobi-hill-meyer

http://queerporn.tv/wp/quinn-cassidy-and-tobi-hill-meyer-part-two

Can any reasonable women look at him, his videos, or read his statement and not see clearly that he is a man, and certainly not a Butch?  He identifies as “Indigenous, colonized mestiza, poly, kinky, trans woman, queerspawn, activist, butch, feminist, pan-dyke, genderqueer…. All my life I’ve had a drive to surround myself with queer people and community.  Queerness gets me hot.  I’m a major dyke, but there are definitely some hot queer guys that I go for.” 

Ironically, he has also written “straight women have absolutely no right to tell dykes how to have sex.” – as if he is a “dyke” and not a bisexual man.

tobi hill meyer christina's world

This male pornographer is neither a woman, nor a lesbian, nor a butch. (Also not Christina Olson)

This is the genderqueer, female-hating, Lesbian-hating, and Butch-hating mind-fuck/gaslighting that defines us out of existence.  Lesbians, Dykes, and Butches do not fuck with men, not to mention that men are simply not women.

 

For those who insist that Lesbians can raise non-sexist, non-oppressive men, this man is a horrifying example of what happens when males grow up with inside access to Lesbian culture, making them far more dangerous than other men. They are left with a sense of ownership of Lesbians as well as entitlement, and proceed to try to erase us.

 

If you want to see another aspect of this mindfuck/appropriation of Butches by men, watch Hill-Meyer and other men explaining why they are Butch at Gallus Mag’s GenderTrender.

https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2011/12/07/hahahahahahaha/

This looks like a parody and would be funny if they weren’t doing so much damage to Butches. Anyone with any understanding of who Butches are would not identify these men in any way as Butch. They are trying so hard to appropriate us that they don’t seem to realize they are making no sense whatsoever. First, they want to be accepted as women, so they try to look as feminine (in terms of male-identified femininity) as possible, making themselves look like drag queens. But then that is the opposite of Butch, because being Butch is all about refusing male-identified femininity from girlhood, and just looking natural, which of course females are forbidden to do.

Gallus Mag dealt brilliantly with Tobi Hill-Meyer in

https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/tobi-hill-meyer-admits-he-authored-controversial-anti-lesbian-memes/

Tobias/Toby/Tobi has written repeatedly about how growing up “around but apart” from women’s spaces spurred his obsession with gaining access to female space he felt was unfairly withheld from him:

“When I was a child, my parents would take me to women’s music festivals. As a baby, I was passed around to a dozen different “aunties” at the feminist newspaper where my parents worked. I essentially grew up in women’s space – queer women’s space specifically. And really, I’ve never left.”

http://www.bilerico.com/2008/08/another_trans_woman_at_mich_fest.php

“As a trans woman raised in feminist community, I know the value that women-only spaces can hold. Growing up in such close proximity to women-only spaces without having the same kind of access gave me a special appreciation for the power they have to create community, heal misogyny’s wounds, and further female empowerment – all things trans women are often in desperate need of.”

http://www.bilerico.com/2012/06/it_is_not_transphobic_to_treat_trans_men_as_men_1.php

Bolding mine.

We expect men to invade our rare Lesbian/women’s spaces. They always have, in various guises, from openly perving on us or assaulting us, to pretending to be “exceptional” non-sexist “feminist” men. But when it comes to pretending to be Lesbians, it’s other women who betray us by enabling those men to have the support to go inside and co-opt and destroy our communities.

If Hill-Meyer grew up with the unique opportunity to see how desperately Lesbians need women only space, why is he so determined to destroy it?

How and why is a man allowed to be on the board of a “Butch” organization?  How and why are men allowed to censor a real Butch from a rare Butch conference?

Butches are the most marginalized, objectified, and misrepresented of Lesbians. We are the most out of Lesbians and so get the most direct hatred and attacks. We are ridiculed in the mainstream media, yet almost completely banned from actually being shown, and we are also not represented in most of the Lesbian media. What better way to promote lies about a group of people than forbid them from being seen and heard?  ((One of the only Butches that I’ve seen in film was Hilary Swank’s excellent portrayal of Teena Brandon in “Boys Don’t Cry,” but her tragic story was in the classic Lesbian-hating tradition of the Lesbian dying at the end, which serves as a warning to girls and women to not consider being Lesbians.)

It’s bad enough that Butches grow up as little girls feeling different from everyone around us, with absolutely no support and being continuously harassed and pressured and disapproved of. Most other oppressed people, no matter how much they suffer, at least have their own families and neighborhoods mirroring them back to themselves so they are not alone during their most vulnerable years growing up. Most other oppressed people also see themselves represented in the media. As a result of Butches not being seen, many people, including Lesbians, have no idea who Butches are, and, so, many believe that any Lesbian who doesn’t look like a drag queen/Hard Fem must be Butch.

As such a marginalized, misrepresented people, it is so important that there be some positive information and images about us. That has been part of my activist work from when I first realized I was Butch and what that means (similar to realizing that being Lesbian does not mean being the pornographic, Lesbian-hating images presented of us.)  

I am one of the few Butches who has identified as Radical Lesbian Feminist since 1970, and have written in support of Butches in articles, in Chapter Four of our book, “Dykes-Loving-Dykes,” and at my blog, and also have given talks and workshops about Butch existence and oppression. It’s been part of my life’s work to support Butches. So many of us have died too young already, way out of proportion to other women and Lesbians I’ve known. I don’t want one more Butch to die as a result of a lifetime of oppression and hatred, from men, het women, and even other Lesbians. 

Yet my life, political work and existence as a Lifelong Lesbian and Butch meant nothing compared to what a young pornographic, sado-masochistic man demanded for that conference. But, as far as I know, the entire Butch Voices group backed him and possibly other men claiming to be Butch. After all, women count for little, Lesbians even less, and Butches not at all. Men have so much privilege.

BV posted this publicly, to explain why I was banned/censored:

“We had a conversation with the panelist in question, and we were not convinced that the panelist could remain respectful while expressing their viewpoint….speech that blatantly disregards the emotional safety and gender identities of our community will not be tolerated or condoned in any way.….We have not and do not censor presenters based on their individual opinions, perspectives, or politics. However, we draw the line when a presenter’s expressed views directly cause harm to members of our community….The willingness to cause psychological harm and fear is taken as seriously as an expressed intent to cause physical harm, and BUTCH Voices will not allow such language to permeate the safer spaces we seek to create.

 

Respect others gender identity and pronouns

Don’t make assumptions based on someone’s presentation—none of us get to determine someone else’s identity, politics, or pronouns. It is respectful to ask someone their pronoun before referring to them in the third person. If this information is not known to you, use their name or no pronoun at all. Deliberate misgendering or unwillingness to respect another’s identity and personhood will not be tolerated.”

 

So while we are all lectured that “none of us get to determine someone else’s identity, politics, or pronouns. It is respectful to ask someone their pronoun before referring to them in the third person. If this information is not known to you, use their name or no pronoun at all…” Butch Voices did exactly what they forbid others to do as being “disrespectful,” in their statement slandering me, by referring to my politics as “their viewpoint,” rather than “her” viewpoint. They know I identify as female, and that was also asked on the form about being on the panel. (Saying “viewpoint” trivializes my politics as well.):

We had a conversation with the panelist in question, and we were not convinced that the panelist could remain respectful while expressing their viewpoint….”

Isn’t that double standard revealing? — Butch Voices organizers playing games with real Butches as victims.

It was Joe LeBlanc who called to tell me that I’d been banned because some “transwomen” (men claiming to be women) did not feel safe with me being on the panel because of my “violent and transphobic statements.”  Joe read an out of context comment that I’d made years ago on a friend’s blog, which referred to the trans cult’s ongoing charges that feminists are somehow responsible for men attacking the men who pretend to be women, while ignoring the many more girls and women and Lesbians who are assaulted and killed by men (including by some of the men who identify as women) — and that all of us who defend women only space get sent rape, mutilation, and death threats by the men claiming to be women and Lesbians. Just saying no to any of the trans cult line brings serious retaliation, which is why so many women and Lesbians are afraid to not obey these men. But none of that is “violent” or Lesbian-hating/lesbophobic? The real “violence” is in these threats, as well as the harm of banning Radical Lesbian Feminist politics from the conference.

I told Joe that I did not recommend violence against anyone, but do say it’s not women’s fault if men attack men and that we are not “transphobic” — we are oppressed by men saying they are women. Since Joe referred to the men as feeling in danger from me speaking on a panel at the conference (but why was I not prevented from attending workshops if I was that terrifying), I said, “You’ve met me, Joe. Am I that scary?  Do I frighten you?”  Joe just laughed, but then repeated the accusations. I told Joe that it was simply censorship over my politics. Then BV posted a statement saying that it was not censorship, and accused me of “trans-misogyny.”  As if there is such a thing. (It’s men who are misogynistic towards women who refuse to be bullied into calling them women.) “Trans-misogyny” is as mythological as “transwomen” or “trans-paraplegic.”

Joe also referred to my calling Tobi Hill-Meyer a man as further proof of how dangerous I am, which is revealing about what was the real motive for my being censored.

The irony is that I have never felt safe at the BV conferences because I’ve been yelled at and insulted, while watching the men welcomed. The intensely sado-masochistic atmosphere doesn’t help either. No one else I know with Butch-loving feminist politics feels safe there. Not one of the Female-Identified Butches I know went to the conference this year. I also wonder who else has been denied being able to present a workshop over the years, and can imagine. 

I agree with what Pippa Fleming posted online and in her letter to Butch Voices, which is that there is a lot of money involved with the Butch Voices conference. Finding out that Tobi is a pornographer explains even more.

I know the conference was already horribly male-identified and sado-masochistic in posted and printed statements, and there also were many Fems and even some bisexuals posing as Butches. I had hoped this was an opportunity (though very brief) to speak against men appropriating Butch identity and to support Butches and other Lesbians who do not feel comfortable with the male-loving genderqueer propaganda, but who don’t have the words to answer the lies. But I think it’s exactly these politics that they did not want said. For all the pretense of the conference being so open and inclusive, they keep it very controlled and restricted.

I did go to two workshops, but couldn’t bear to do more. What could have been revolutionary was a workshop about Butches attracted to Butches, but it was called “Faggot Desire.” This is how much the entire conference seemed like a parody of reality.  Butches are about as far away from gay men as a female can be. Gay men have not been generally supportive to Lesbians, but it still does not seem right to take a term that has been used politically by gay men. The workshop leader also described herself as a “homosexual homosexual.” This reflected how extremely male-worshipping and genderqueer the conference was.  Most of the workshop avoided the actual topic and focused on other bizarre terms. Once again, we were appropriated and made to disappear. This makes me wonder yet again, was another truly Butch-identified workshop co-opted by this travesty?

The other workshop I went to was “inter-generational,” and half the panel appeared Fem to me. It mostly seemed to be a criticism of our Lesbian Feminist past, with the focus on how the old Lesbians who created our movement and culture were somehow oppressing the female-hating, male-worshipping genderqueer younger women. Of course there was no one speaking who are like the many young Radical Lesbian Feminists I know around the world. An older sado-masochist Lesbian ex-Separatist who recently reverses her separatist politics to publicly support the men who claim to be Lesbians and get them into our local Dyke March, did a public apology for how we older Lesbian Feminists had not made our work more available to the younger women, ignoring that she herself had participated in censoring some of the more radical work by Lesbian Separatists. Her lover was instrumental in Old Lesbians Organizing for Change reversing their women only policy to allow in men claiming to be Lesbians, thereby killing yet one more of our last spaces and causing loss of membership.

The entire theme of the BV conference seems to be to destroy real Butch identity on behalf of those who hate us. And each year, there are more Butch Feminists boycotting it. This year was significantly smaller, using only four rooms on the first floor, compared to the four floors and the entire downstairs used previously.

Most of what I was going to read on the panel is in the book I co-wrote and also at my blog (with links below.)  But the most important part is that I believe that Butches are closer to what all females would be if it wasn’t for patriarchy. Butches (not Fems posing as a stereotype), are the opposite of male. We get punished for saying it, but it’s true.

Butches are the females who most reject male rules for girls and women. We are given only two choices of who to be – feminine or masculine – yet both are defined/originated by men and are therefore male and masculine. Butches, like at the conference, are called “masculine” and most women don’t think past the con to realize it’s not true at all.

We hear of “soft Butches,” with Hard Butches implied: scary, bad, often class-oppressed, too Butch, too non-feminine, too very Lesbian. But we don’t hear of Hard Fems, the women who learn how to be cold and cruel through their extensive contact with men and following male rules and values. We don’t see male-identified femininity In our sister animals. We see other Butch beings – females who do not obey the rules to be uncentered, ungrounded, uncomfortable. Our natural state is strong, dignified, and just who females naturally are. 

Patriarchy is about living with so many reversals and mind-fucks. Butches saying no  threatens patriarchy at its female-hating, life-hating core. Butch is also about saying yes to females, Lesbians, and ourselves.

Bev Jo

August, 2013

 

Here is Pippa’s brilliant post, which she also sent to the conference organizers:

“Calling out” the Butch Voices conference for co-opting butch female identity

By: Pippa Fleming

 

August 8, 2013 at 12:53am

Whenever I present the argument concerning the erasure, co-opting and silencing of female Butch identity, I always draw parallels to race identity. For some reason, people are able to “get their heads” around the concept of racial and cultural genocide, analyze it and demand it’s eradication…but when it comes to the co-opting of female butch identity, all of a sudden folks lose their historical knowledge of who butches were and the dog fight we are in to preserve our culture and female identity.

If I looked at a dog and called it a cat, or said two plus two is one…I most likely would be called uneducated or down right stupid! So when the LGBT community attempts to tell me that butch identity is inclusive of “everything but the kitchen sink”… this is ignorant, misogynist and sexist. If the Black Panther’s history was revised as being founded by white men and women, there would be an uproar, riot and a serious confrontation of this racist and blatant attempt at rewriting Black history.

 So why in 2013, is butch identity still being willfully turned upside down, lied about and co-opted to fill a conference venue? Why is money being made at a corporate venue in our name? When attempts are made by butch women to say “hey wait a minute…we are women” all of a sudden, we’re the bad guys for challenging misguided attempts to co-opt butch identity and we are blamed for not being inclusive. This is exactly what has happened to the Black experience in America. Master really wasn’t master, he was “just” the president… met any white Jefferson’s recently?

When Butch Voices and the LGBT community redefines who butches are to suit their agenda, you are asking me/us to collude in misogyny and dumb ourselves down. The other issue I have with “Butch Voices” is an obvious lack of awareness around what diversity “truly” looks like. The meat of a conference is all about its workshops. If you check out the ratio of white presenters, to overall people of color, the majority of the presenters are white. I’m so tired of this shit. White folks are the minority on this planet, yet even in the LGBT community a tone of racism and white privilege still exists. We as people of color, need to challenge this racism and white privilege. We need to stop “skinnin and grinnin” in the face of white priviledge and tell the truth about racism.

 Butches are women…stop rewriting herstory!

 

http://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/Guest Post — A Black Butch Speaks: Addressing Female Oppression by Pippa Fleming

http://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/ Supporting Butches Supports All Lesbians

http://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/

22YearsLater2012ButchUpdate

http://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/

The Big Sell-Out: Lesbian Femininity by Linda Strega

http://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/bev-jo-radical-lesbian-writing/ DEFINING LESBIANS OUT OF EXISTENCE — “TRANSWOMEN” ARE STILL MERELY MEN (And over 80% don’t even have surgery)

95 Responses to “CENSORED FROM “BUTCH VOICES””

  1. mieprowan Says:

    Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
    Interesting and informative piece.

  2. Em Says:

    Am I alone in thinking that Tobi has severe mother issues? Mother issues are a theme with m2t, but they seem especially severe with this fellow.

  3. SheilaG Says:

    The truth needs to be out there. Thanks Bev Jo for telling the truth about the present and the past. Butch women need to remain butch, strong, women. There is no room for creepy pornographers, or any group that is not fully about butch dyke radical space. Women’s only space, and a place where heroines like Bev, who were there in 1970, are honored and loved and celebrated. Want to know why lesbians are still the poorest of the poor, the most marginal people in the LGBT mess, well just see what they did to our heroine Bev! It shocks and boggles the mind! Thank you for writing this Bev, you are greatly butch loved!!!

  4. SheilaG Says:

    Why are men ever allowed into lesbian events? Why?

    • 1899fcbarcelona Says:

      My guess would be…some men think they’re above the rules/laws and that they are superior to everyone and everything!

  5. GallusMag Says:

    Thank you so much for this report Bev Jo and also for the guest post.

    It’s really hard to respond to the hateful anti-woman and anti-lesbian activism perpetuated by women without trashing the women doing it. Women like Joe LeBlanc hate women so much that they elevate male pornographers and MRAs like Tobi Hill Meyer above other women and lesbians. Dear god. This woman –a lesbian- like Ryan Cassada, undermine lesbian and women’s liberation by trying to elevate themselves above the very lesbians and women of which they are one.

    The lies and hypocrisy.

    Can women like Joe LeBlanc or Ryan Cassada “identify” themselves out of womanhood? Of course not. They fear rape, forcible impregnation, sexual exploitation and violence from every man walking across a subway platform, down every street, in every coffee shop the same as every other woman across all time and space. This is a caste experience that those who are not female will never know. Men (including “transwomen”) get angry when women talk about epidemic sex-based predation because it is invisible to them and they benefit from it and perpetuate it.

    Why do women like Joe and Ryan support it? The truth is actually really, really sad. Joe LeBlanc and Ryan Cassada use their attempted rejection of their lowly female reality to increase their status in the subculture of homosexual females.

    There. I said it. And I hate it. But the truth is that lesbians are not exempt from the internalized male supremacist sex hierarchy of the larger culture. Joe and Ryan are lesbians who hate women. Who hate themselves. They hate reality, which is commendable and which we all do, but instead of “fighting the power” (men) they worship it. Seek to embody it. Except not literally. They know better. They don’t bother jacking the T and growing hairballs in their asscracks and getting “little people” voice and neck beards and premature male balding and moonface. They’ve seen it, and they don’t want it. They just encourage the other lesbians to do so.

    Joe doesn’t really think men are “afraid” of lesbian feminist butch Bev Jo- a butch dyke who has written against the killing of spiders in one’s home. Joe doesn’t really think males need protection from butch dykes. Joe knows male pornographers like Tobi aren’t women, or dykes, or butch. She just knows where she wants to pretend the power is. It pays the bills and grants Joe conditional authority.

    If the words- the free speech- of Bev Jo, lesbian feminist butch, is so explosive, so dangerous, so demonic, so incendiary that she could upend the safety of the powers that be- then where is the power really. Like a match to tinder!

  6. Bev Jo Says:

    Thank you so much, Gallus Mag. It’s an honor to post in your magnificent space, your blog, which is the best support of all females in dealing with oppression and appropriation by the trans cult.

    You said it all so well, in spite of how disgusting it is really — that the women enablers of other women damaging their health and forever altering their beautiful female bodies in a vain (in both meanings of the word) quest for male privilege don’t want to subject their own bodies to the damage and ugliness that testosterone causes. Bad enough to sell themselves out for privilege, but to sell other Lesbians out is horrific. We know some will die as a result.

    As we keep seeing, female impersonators, and even worse, Lesbian impersonators and Butch impersonators like Mr. Hill-Meyers, could do very little to harm us if it wasn’t for the Lesbians and other women who betray us on behalf of these men.

    Thank you, Sheila! You also are a greatly loved Butch!


  7. Thank you for this powerful and spot-on piece!

    It is a shame how Butches’ space and culture is taken over and colonised – by this porny creep who has the audacity to call himself ″colonized″ but no qualms whatsoever to hijack Butch, Dyke, Woman, and Feminist for his own goals and fetish.

    Also: ″Growing up in such close proximity to women-only spaces without having the same kind of access gave me a special appreciation for the power they have to create community, heal misogyny’s wounds, and further female empowerment – all things trans women are often in desperate need of.”
    How about they built their own spaces if they must? Really, where is the difference to straight males whining about women’s shelters because they believe women should built men’s shelters as well instead taking care of their own damn business?

    Also, he gave away his intention very clearly here: Destroy female power. There is nothing more to it. It is beyond me how BV could possible overlook such statements.

    It is a shame how they treated you and your friend Pippa, Bev. It is a shame they took your voice away and the opportunity fpr other women to hear you speak. I have no other words. It is a shame.

  8. red Says:

    This is really scary to watch. I fear for young lesbians who are coming out and come upon these men and water carriers for men and think this is Lesbian.

  9. 1899fcbarcelona Says:

    “men are simply not women”

    See, I wish there were more people like you! People like you that know that there’s no way in the hell a biological male could ever become a biological female! I’m glad you didn’t skip biology 101.
    Unfortunately, Tobi Hill-Meyer didn’t catch the memo or he failed basic biology or something because…anyone can change their clothing preference and even their name…it doesn’t change the fact you can never be the opposite sex (we’re not talking about intersex-ed people either).

  10. SheilaG Says:

    GM has a very good point, it is about wanting power over within the lesbian feminist butch world. It is about the desire for male supremacy over an oppressed group, and it is sad how lesbians would rather kow tow to trans cultists than honor women like Bev Jo, who were there at the founding of the movement to begin with. This is female self hatred, and it is at the core of patriarchy. It’s why women are self-hating, and why our community can’t seem to honor the past, the way black women do of civil rights leaders. I’m still trying to the the “straight” story on what really happened at BV, because some other friends went, but didn’t report on any of this.

  11. SheilaG Says:

    Why do lesbians refuse to support other lesbians? Why do lesbians get into every cause but our own, every fundraising event but our own? I don’t get this. I didn’t get it in the AIDS epidemic, where zero dollars dealt with lesbian health issues, and I don’t get it now where trans are WELCOMED into lesbian spaces, with no regard for lesbians who are starved for lesbian only space. Our so-called “leaders” are doing this all the time; it’s about the money, the porn dollars, the academics who come up with creepy crawly queer womanhating dogmas. It’s all about undermining the power of women only spaces, which are so powerful, men will do anything to destroy them.

  12. SheilaG Says:

    And I am so sick of lesbians adopting boys! And raising the next generation of rapists! This is a huge woman hating thing, and when I meet girls raised in lesbian homes, well they are powerful women! These boys raised in lesbian homes, and brought into Michigan created the Tobi – Hill menace machine. We should know better women!

  13. Survivorthriver Says:

    I had an “ah ha” moment reading about this clown.

    I cannot remember the date, but I had a house guest before 2003 (can remember it was the last house) who was attending a poetry slam on Capital Hill. This slam poet was on a ferry to my home town and his purple velvet pants, long curly hair and mixed-race made him stick out and although our community is quite liberal and a gay mecca, he looked so pathetically at risk hitch hiking off the ferry that I picked him up. So, I also volunteer to go to said poetry slam on capital hill that evening so he has an escort up to his venue. And, I thought I’d have an interesting cultural experience3 with what I perceived to be an artist of sorts.

    I did not question Soledad about his sex. He looked like a butch lesbian, but, in his poetry slam he improvised making fun of me that I didn’t even know “her” or her gender and there was some other slam words but I didn’t understand how someone whom I had befriended in my home community, haqd treated like a guest, would turn on me. Why was Soledad angry at me?

    Now I know. Just wanted to look like a woman, a butch but with long hair so obviously trying to assume more female identity, but, when I refused to be confused and treated him like an artist and didn’t fawn on his delicate gender orientation that he was desperately gtrying to both hide and flaunt at the same time, and his revilement of me in the audience during his impromptu poetry slam was odd at the time.

    Now I’m pissed at his return on my hospitality. In part, I wanted to keep him safe. Men in purple velvet pants with long curly hair and cake and sway are at risk. I was really surprised at his total rejection of me. I appear average born woman, have had an eclectic life and known many artists and interesting people.

    Soledad, you are a rude twerp and act like you hate women yet try to dress like one and try to elicit gender-sympathy for your strangeness.

    Whew, I never knew until seeing this a-clown on this post why this dressed up dude turned on me.

    I’ve known one fine butch dyke now for 50 years. Well, coming on 49. I was a teen when she got to experience UC Berkeley mid-1960’s and come back to tell the tales of women’s liberation. I’m extremely proud of out and proud dykes, they’re such a rare breed.

  14. Bev Jo Says:

    Young Lesbians are no more conned by these men than the older ones are, sadly. Almost all are falling for the “I think people should identify how they want.” But that’s only being said about men identifying as women or Lesbians or Butches.

    And it’s not about biology. It’s common sense. We don’t need to go to college to see lies and cons. Actually, I see more of those who are over-educated who fall for the trans cult.

    Mr. Hill-Meyer didn’t have to fail biology. He learned how to manipulate and con Lesbians early in life, and never stopped. It’s simply about him being a prick and pornographer, and Lesbians are another market to exploit. Too many are too damned into worshipping these men and so are very easy to con. It’s all about men mattering far more than any woman and of course more than the lowly Lesbians. And then, as Gallus Mag says, some like Joe are using him for their own reasons. Add NCLR and other organizations to the list. It’s a travesty.

    I’m curious what your friends experienced at the conference, Sheila, because BV is a shell filled with porn, sado-masochism, exploitation, Butch-hating, female-hating, and has very little now to do with Butches really. It’s very cultish also, so if anyone protests the cult line, they really are targeted with the usual insults.

    What is even sadder though, is how much hostility is aimed at any Lesbian who dares to say she is Butch and is a Lifelong Lesbian by “radfems.” My experience too often is that feminists can talk endlessly in pornographic detail about their men and het identity, including ex-het Lesbian talking about past men. But we are supposed to be silent or not exist at all. So we are not just getting it from trans cult men, but from the women who should be our support and community. Butch-hatred is an extension of Lesbian-hating, which is an extension of female-hating. The further we are away from the core of patriarchy — males — the less privilege we have and the more oppression we get. But we should not be getting it from other “feminists.” This is where unexamined Butch-hating ends up allying “radfems” with misogynist men and the trans cult.

  15. Bev Jo Says:

    Survivorthriver, I’m confused by what you wrote. You are talking about a man named “Soledad,” but say he looked like a “butch lesbian?” Your description of this man makes him not sound like any Butch I’ve ever seen. I’m sorry he treated you so badly (no surprise from a man), but I’m concerned that once again “Butch” is being associated with male

    • Survivorthriver Says:

      I have been a feminist since 1976, and associated with my dear friend a butch dyke since I was 11, she was 16 and she is still a proud butch dyke with flat top. My dear friend has had several partners over the years, including a dynamic musician 400+ lb. butch dyke (in the country hall of fame – for a song on Lavendar Country Review album, truthfully). I went to her last concert at a local community college before she died. I’m sure folks here in the radfem community elders might have known her, or others who live in bay area and Portland whom I’ve also known. If you are in your mid to late 60’s you and I might know several women in common.

      Anyway, Soledad appeared like a big strong woman to my casual eyes, but outrageously attired and I did not know if it was a gay person or a dyke or whatever. I just allowed his privacy in my own mind and didn’t feel like asking questions upon first meeting about his orientation when I was only trying to be an artistically-supportive community member and fellow poet.

      But, as much as Soledad had a mixed race and overall wearing female attire (makeup, velvet pants, cape coat), he had a manly face and voice, his slam poetry then was articulating how I didn’t even know who he was, when, in actuality I was being supportive of Soledad as a person as an ARTIST and poet regardless of his dress/orientation. He looked rather like butch dyke if I were to name my first impression, that’s all I was saying.

      Sorry I used the word “butch” associated with a male. I didn’t even know “what” Soledad was, just piecing together in retrospect. His anger at me was so confusing during the poetry slam, what had I done other than to offer about several hours of rides on island, off island and into the city in my personal vehicle.

      Thanks for the question BJ, and for being a strong and real butch dyke. Hope this makes sense.

  16. SheilaG Says:

    Bev Jo says:
    “What is even sadder though, is how much hostility is aimed at any Lesbian who dares to say she is Butch and is a Lifelong Lesbian by “radfems.” My experience too often is that feminists can talk endlessly in pornographic detail about their men and het identity, including ex-het Lesbian talking about past men. But we are supposed to be silent or not exist at all. So we are not just getting it from trans cult men, but from the women who should be our support and community. Butch-hatred is an extension of Lesbian-hating, which is an extension of female-hating. The further we are away from the core of patriarchy — males — the less privilege we have and the more oppression we get. But we should not be getting it from other “feminists.” This is where unexamined Butch-hating ends up allying “radfems” with misogynist men and the trans cult.”

    This is so true!!!

  17. SheilaG Says:

    This is so true Bev!!! I quoted you extensively above, because this is an incredible thing that I deal with out in the world and on the Internet. There are radical feminists, or so they call themselves, who hate the fact that butches like Bev and me evern exist. I get equated with men all the time, I get subjected to radical feminist straight women going on and on and on about sex with men, and then they have the nerve to say that no lesbians exist who have been lifelong lesbians, no sex with men ever. Bev and I say lesbian is a choice, who you have sex with is definitely a choice. That is so radical, that when I say it, it really freaks straight women out. For what I say is, I chose to be lesbian…. Why, because I had a mind of my own, I do not think men are an option because it would be like signing up for slavery. Would a black person sign a slave contract? Only in a TV show!

  18. SheilaG Says:

    …the further from males lesbians or women are, the less privilege we have… This is why men so desparately want to control all the money, jobs, training programs etc., because what would happen if women didn’t NEED men for money or the fancy house, or the charity gala man on your arm fashion show off? What if there was NO economic advantage whatsoever if women had sex under contract with men (“traditional” marriage)? So het and ex-het women hate us, and then they hate us for being proud butches, and they hate us for being butch loving lesbians, which I most definitely am. I don’t feel sexual attraction for women who are playacting slave roles (fem). I don’t go in for the whole butch/fem lesbian thing, because it is about internalized modeling of hetero norms. I know, way un-PC way uncool to say all of this. I am just being honest about women I am honestly attracted to sexually. I also find out in time that every woman I have ever had this passionate attraction to is NO SURPRISE, a lifelong butch lesbian! Now how would I know this? I’ve just met the woman at a dance or event or at the coffee house. I don’t know anything about her, and yet, when I get to know a woman like this, I find out that she too is a lifelong never het, never had sex with men dyke. Rape doesn’t count folks, it is about willingly having sex with men. So don’t all go hate on me, I am talking WILLINGLY!! But they have never done this. One woman did say she was raped, but she had this incredible butch energy about her. So it means this is real, this attraction is real and powerful, and many of us lifelong lesbians love other butch women! We adore them, we make love to them, we give chocolates, we celebrate them!!!

    • mieprowan Says:

      It’s interesting to hear your perspectives. I can understand how it would get tiresome to hear women talk about their sexual experiences with men. The main purpose all that serves is to help recognize how similar the bad experiences are.

  19. SheilaG Says:

    I think one reason Bev, and me, and other proud butches like Pippa know the tragedy of the trans cult, and how self-hating butch lesbians get their bodies mutilated, for social acceptance, for privilege, yes, they get male privilege fast! It shocks even them to see the glory of male, and they could use this knowlege to bring down male supremacy.

    But really, it takes great strength to be proud, butch loving lesbians. Why, because we face all the hatred of society, double triple the violence that fems avoid by passing as het, which they do because they look the part, even though they claim anger at being invisible to other lesbians…

    Butch hatred and lack of celebration and co-optation at BV is deadly for us. Yet, still, we grew up in a time when there was NO LESBIAN community available to us, we fell in love with girls, we naturally hated being forced to wear dresses, even as very young girls, and we were NOT trans, did not want to be boys. What we wanted we to BE US, to be fully ourselves as woman loving butch proud dykes. We discovered who we were despite massive hetero indoctrination, despite massive rejection by the het world, and the feminist world, and the “queer” world. Lifelong butch lesbians, what a concept? We gained no points, no social status, no economic advantage…. what we gained was being fully uncolonized women! We were the indiginous people who refused to assimilate or christianize, and we risk our lives daily to be this. The trans cult is about genocide against butch girls and women, against lesbians. I don’t understand why girls and women give in to the het cult, when all women could love women, and be free. Bev and I will never know the answer to this, but we will celebrate our existence and our courage and we will not shut up about it to please all the other women who sold out to penis and privilege and hetness.

  20. SheilaG Says:

    Thank you Bev, you are so strong, you are my butch heroine!!!! They should have celebrated you at BV! Tobi Hill Mayer was allowed to be at Michigan, lesbians raised him, and all lesbians who raise boys endanger the lesbian comminity, because these boys grow up, and they are given access and knowledge to destroy us, but they won’t succeed!

  21. SheilaG Says:

    No doubt money was involved and BV got money, and it would be great to see the balance sheets and to follow the tainted male money.

  22. GallusMag Says:

    @Sheila- Well the feminist community, and the lesbian community is certainly not immune from racism, homophobia, and even sexism. Part of the value in radical feminism is the usefulness of radical analysis to de-program oneself from some of the noxious patriarchal subconscious messaging. So there is certainly a divide between lesbians and straights on some level in groups, etc.

    But I think part of what you are experiencing as “hatred for being proud butches” is actually a reaction to your own unconscious female-hatred that you express when you say things like this:

    ” I don’t understand why girls and women give in to the het cult, when all women could love women, and be free. Bev and I will never know the answer to this, but we will celebrate our existence and our courage and we will not shut up about it to please all the other women who sold out to penis and privilege and hetness.”

    What you are doing in the above statement (and many of the others posted here) is blaming women for their own oppression. Blaming them, and then beating them over the head with that blame. LOL. According to you, little girls who grow up to engage with heterosexuality in any way are will-ful slaves. Hahaha! They are stupid and weak and “sell-outs”. Hahaha! That is the dumbest fucking thing I’ve ever heard and incredibly offensive and woman-hating. I suspect much of what you experience as “butch hating” is actually a response to the woman-bashing you’ve demonstrated so extensively here.

    The mind boggles at hearing a woman who describes herself as “radical” blaming girls and women for their own subjugation. Child bride? “penis-pleasing sell-out”. Compulsory heterosexuality? “penis pleasing sell-out”. Hahaha. It truly is disgusting. I laugh so I do not cry. You should be ashamed of yourself.

    This is Bev’s post so I won’t moderate it. If she wants a thread devoted to beating up women- carry on. But don’t be surprised if women recoil in horror.

    • moira Says:

      I agree, this is blaming women for their own oppression. Reading this feels like when my family told me my sexual abuse wasn’t a big deal, and why couldn’t I just shut up and show no signs of trauma like some other people do under the circumstances? According to them, my trauma responses were my own fault, and a “choice.”

      I love hearing that some women have always perfectly refused to conform to femininity–and have never been violated by a man, nor economically compelled to be dependent on one. That’s wonderful. Like sisterhoodspiraling, I want to help build a future where this is possible for more of us.

      But I don’t think anyone female is more of a “true woman” or more “natural” than anyone else–frankly, that is proto-trans ideology, and really damaging to women as a class. We have enough impossible standards and measuring up and comparing ourselves to each other and feeling fraudulent or not enough or wrong or ashamed or guilty or responsible for our own subjugation. We don’t need more of that.

      On the other hand, most women turn their internalized misogyny on themselves, so at least this is an example of women turning it on other women instead. I don’t think that’s a superior choice, but it’s different from the norm, at least. Maybe it’s psychologically healthier for the individual, but it’s not for the group.

      • Bev Jo Says:

        Moira, who here spoke of women “never being violated by a man?” Refusing to be heterosexual certainly doesn’t mean not being raped by men. You are turning reality around in terms of who gets shamed and made to feel wrong in patriarchy. It’s the women who say no to men and yes to women, and too often that shaming continues among Lesbians.

        Who does it serve to erase the existence of rape victims who are Lifelong or Never-het Lesbians? There was a Butch in the Bay Area who was gang raped an almost beaten to death BECAUSE she was Butch and so out as a Dyke, as the four rapists kept telling her.

    • Choco Says:

      Thank you so much for stating that, Gallus Mag, I agree with you completely. Shelia’s comment was vile and woman hating, and something I would expect to see on an MRA site.

      If a woman hasn’t been abused by a man, it’s not because of some inner powerful lesbian essence or strength of character. It’s simply because of luck. That’s the truly frightening thing; no matter if a woman is a lesbian or straight, wears make up or combat boots, there is a chance she will be attacked by a man through absolutely no fault of her own. Isn’t that what feminism is about, ending the sex based oppression of women regardless of individual women’s orientation, race, etc? Saying “well you’ve slept with men before and what do you expect wearing that lipstick?” is not “butch pride,” it’s othering and victim blaming.

      Out of curiosity Sheila, do you hold contempt only for straight and conventionally attractive/gender conforming Western white women, or would you be prepared to repeat your comments to straight black or Japanese women?

      • Bev Jo Says:

        And Choco, again, who here spoke of women not being abused by men? Why the erase of Lifelong and Never-het Lesbians who have been raped? What is this about really?

        No, feminism is not about saying women’s choices don’t matter.

        The pressure to be het and feminize is constant in patriarchy and in most families, communities, etc. It’s relentless, and almost no one speaks out against it. It is not acceptable to say no to male-identified femininity even among Lesbians. The few Lesbians who do get constant harassment.

      • Choco Says:

        I completely agree with you Bev, I was just responding to the quote that Gallus pulled from Sheila’s comment that accused all heterosexual women of being sellouts regardless of their experiences. Calling out her internalized misogyny is imo not the same as erasing butches or lesbian rape victims.


  23. Lifelong lesbian here, although I am young at only 22 years old. I agree with your response Gallus, but I can also see what Sheila is saying. To me, lesbianism does feel like a choice and a very obvious one now, so it can be frustrating to see women I care about refuse to make that choice.

    But I say it seems like an obvious choice NOW, now that I’ve been educated in feminism and (although we all know the movement is incredibly flawed) ‘gay rights,’ and now that I am able to live on my own and support myself. I have never had sex with a man, and I hope I will never have to. But lesbianism is still portrayed by men as strange and perverted, and women shy from the judgment of being under that microscope. Judgment is not only isolating, but dangerous.

    For many women, safety is forefront in their minds in regards to the choice of lesbianism. For many women that I have known, the choice is partner with a man, or live on the streets and be at the mercy of MANY men. I believe that this is subconsciously in nearly all ‘het’ women’s mind. That is why marriage exists, after all. So that men can have one slave that they keep away from OTHER men.

    Women try to make the safest choice for their children and for survival. Lesbianism can be seen as the ‘safest’ choice because you don’t have to worry about domestic violence from a violent male, but lesbianism is in MANY ways, a privilege. Not all women have that option, and of course men strive to make it that way, whether it is by threatening lesbians with rape or death threats, or carrying them out, or making it difficult for lesbians to thrive in the workplace, there are countless ways that being a lesbian can be a deadly or impossible choice.


  24. And perhaps saying it’s a PRIVELEGE isn’t the right way to phrase it. I only mean that I feel much worse for het women that I do for lesbians like myself, and that I see no reason to judge women for partnering with a man just as I don’t judge women who are trapped in porn or prostitution. Hopefully in the future women won’t have to do such things for their very survival.

    • GallusMag Says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments. x

    • red Says:

      Wow yes, thank you for these comments. You’ve said a mouthful. xx

    • moira Says:

      I totally appreciate your perspective here, sisterhoodspiraling. To think that any woman “chooses” subjugation to men is pretty much a third-wave argument from a different angle. When we get out from under the economic dependence on men which is the material underpinning of compulsory heterosexuality, when we don’t all have such histories of dehumanization, torture and trauma-bonding, then we can start talking about “choices.” The “choices” we make now–all of us–are made from such a deeply compromised position.

  25. Survivorthriver Says:

    If I wasn’t raised in patriarchy, and trauma bonded to males through CSA, I don’t know who I’d be. But, women were my “safe sex” and I didn’t want to risk having the ruination of half of humanity after I could no longer trust the menz. I related with the butch dyke, as I spoke about here, she was the cousin of my best friend in grade school. And, I was a very daring outdoor girl who could make the whole artistic extended family of many cousins laugh with my derring do.

    As a young feminist in 1976, I adopted the terms male-identifed and female-identified for women. Male-identified women were those were bought consensual reality BS and would dump an appointment with me if a date with XY emerged. I preferred female-identified XX, and that included my butch dyke friend, and my feminist friends and women I met who had raised their female consciousness so they identified as females-first and were sympathetic to both lesbians and female-identified women like myself.

    I supported myself through college in 1972-1979 with transcription. It paid $9/hr back then before it was outsourced. I did get married and give birth to 2 daughters. But, I left their father when they were 2 and 6, and have supported myself and them EQUALLY with their papa who lived a few miles away, for 20 years now. I’ve lived solo since then, have done the yard work and the house work and all the householder crap. I never had another man partner, and life is harder without a partner.

    I never gave up saying I am a feminist, even during the backlash. First the movement got co-opted and it looked like women were making a lot of progress, and then feminism was derided and the term became a taunt.

    I never took a man’s name, and have my birth-given name. I’ve kept my friendship with a butch dyke, one of the most soulful and intelligent humans I’ve ever known, including knowing all her partners and friends, and being a good woman friend to my circle of friends.

    Mostly I consider myself asexual. I’m celibate for 12 years. I’ve come to peace with CSA, but it has also never quite gone away or stopped being a factor (flash backs, unwanted imagery etc) due to my young age and the twisted part of what they did. I did rack up a het fest of “free love” experiences before identifying it as neither free (heartbreak sometimes a price) nor real love. I came to understand how CSA influences both anorexic and binges of sexuality. I’ve come to understand that it’s really maybe impossible for rapists and pedophiles to change their twist. And, experiencing “normal” het sex after CSA never worked out for me,

    But, I did not also want to risk experimenting with lesbians and potentially ruining the safety net I’ve built with women-identified women both lesbian and strong woman types. Women are my safe harbor, where I don’t have to risk encountering a hidden depth charge in the murkiness of my own CSA-inculcated core wound.

    When I was very young I did attend NOW meetings, attended by a lot of lesbians but also hets. I remember female solidarity. I remember spaces where female-identified strong women organized and talked and put out newspapers….

    The focus in the 2nd wave feminism was on the ERA and economic equality, and reproductive freedom as the top priorities for women’s liberation. But, I thought at the time that AFTER those battles were won we’d move on to protecting children and eradicating CSA and ….just that we’d move on to other issues of patriarchy. But, the ERA never happened, the economic equality resulted in a huge consumer culture as the “politics of orgasm” swallowed feminists energy into Erica Jong’s “zipless fucks” and Virgina Slim cigarette ads proclaimed “you’ve come a long way baby”. Then the backlash arrived.

    What my ramble is coming to attempt to say, is that butch dykes are a very rare breed. I’m heart broken that BDSM entered the lesbian realm and now the F2T’s take T and disown their boobs. I think I’ve written before about the dyke musician friend who denied a late 1960’s gender transition (mastectomies) surgery at the UW medical center. She told me in the 1970’s how strange it was that somebody would think she had to cut off her huge boobs to be who she really was, and she figured out that people were really threatened with a 400 lb smart, butch dyke. She refused to transition. I’m also trying to say how terribly limiting labels are, and how they drive wedges between us.

    I’ve walked a lot of years with women of all orientations. Things are getting so divisive these days. Female solidarity is such a powerful force field.

    That’s why I prefer to think in terms of a female-identified woman, and to value those connections. I’ve paid my dues raising girls as a solo mom. Granted they went to his house 2 or 3 days a week, but that didn’t mow my lawn or paint my kitchen. I did those things for myself. I can’t stomach male-identified women so avoid them. I am really glad that I finally gave up f-ing men.

    I’ve walked a strong woman walk, and I wish that there were a stronger woman-identified woman culture. It is a really sad thing that baby dykes are now accepting male-identified woman standards.

    I share house with an elderly female roommate now. I think that women’s economic independence would be greatly aided by sharing spaces, not in hetero-normative coupledom, but in more supportive communes of women.

    I’m sad and alarmed what happened to second wave feminism, the lesbian experience and the onslaught of porn, male-identified jendah expectations, trafficking of women and children, all this sick shat. But, there’s also much more acceptance of lesbians now than 30 years ago. I work with 6 women in a non-profit, one quite out dyke who revels in her women-identified strength.

    As a survivor of CSA, I hate any manipulation of some one else’s sex. Sex can be sacred. That makes lesbian sex sacred. And women-identified women who choose to sex men as sacred.

    All this social divisiveness of the neo-con years has taken a toll. I guess I’m getting old, but women need solidarity and to dare to dream again. I think gains have been made.

    Especially in seeing through the trans BS, or, what some trans project as their male-identified-how-woman-should act BS.

  26. Siobhan Says:

    Out of curiosity, I checked out the videos of Tobi Hill Meyer. How can this dude call himself a “woman” when his videos show him leaning back naked, his big old hard penis sticking up, getting “serviced?” How many times have we heard these tranz claim that once they adopt their “laydee” life, their man-parts shrivel into nonfunctioning flaps of skin? Given Hill-Meyer’s disdain and disrespect for women and women’s spaces, I find him extremely frightening. He is clearly capable of assaulting someone with that thing.

  27. SheilaG Says:

    All I can say is to be a lesbian is a choice, and since Bev and I made that choices decades ago before there was all this lesbian visibility out there, it proves that it can be done.

    I think butch dykes really are a special breed, I think we do stand up to social indoctrination, and certainly the most powerful feminist writers were lifelong lesbians like Mary Daly, Janice Raymond, to name a few of the most powerful.

    Women are responsible, women make choices, and butch is about resistence to compulsory feminine behavior.

  28. SheilaG Says:

    Bev and I really celebrate this every day, because so many women say we don’t exist, or they don’t believe our lives are possible. They degrade us and silence us, and keep on saying women and girls don’t have this choice, but we know we do. When you keep on undermining this incredible lifelong butch pride GM, you are essentially saying that all we have lived for and created is problematic. Just because I celebrate my existence and LOVE Bev Jo because she doesn’t do the mealy mouthed shuffle, doesn’t mean we should be told we don’t exist or that we are woman hating. We helped create the greatest movement for women’s freedom in the modern era. We created it, we were the engines behind all those little magazines worldwide, but it is hard for a lot of women to hear this. Women want to believe that having sex with men is inevitable, well no it isn’t. You don’t ever have to willingly have sex with men ever. You don’t have to live with them, and you don’t have to conform. Remember, we were like this before lesbian feminism was even around for a decade, and Bev Jo was there in 1970. How would we know this about ourselves? How do we exist? Because we knew we could choose that’s why.

    • GallusMag Says:

      I’m not undermining butch pride. I’m calling bullshit on YOUR specific woman-hating woman-bashing absurd comments. Own it.

    • GallusMag Says:

      “Just because I celebrate my existence and LOVE Bev Jo because she doesn’t do the mealy mouthed shuffle, doesn’t mean we should be told we don’t exist or that we are woman hating.”

      I said YOU are woman-hating. And you are. YOU. Sheila. And your comments in this thread. Not butches. Not Bev Jo. YOU. And you are. YOUR WORDS ARE. Disgustingly.

  29. SheilaG Says:

    I love it the Bev Jo has writ large here, that she totally gets me!!! That is just so fantastic. There must be a lot of women like us out in the world, and we all need to speak up and have butch pride x 1000. Now if women want to be servile to men, and get the goodies, women do that, but don’t complain about it later. When it all blows up, well, it seems that women wonder. But women have a large degree of freedom in north america, and if you keep on saying we should not be very critical of the idea that lesbianism can’t be a pure choice, we are not doing all women and girls a tremendous service. We don’t need to coddle women or say lifelong lesbians don’t exist, we don’t even have to insult us for being very proud of our lives, very proud, very happy indeed. BV is just a commerical venture “produced”— sponsoring, selling suits etc. It’s all very hip and cool, but it rejects the notion that butches have always existed, that we never let men into our spaces, that we are proudly NOT trans not body self-hating. That is the liberation part of it. A minority lovely fantastic point of view, and I’m loving just writing about this. Butch power!!!

  30. moira Says:

    I am totally disgusted by what’s going on with BV. It’s beyond alarming that they believe Tobi Hill-Meyer can represent the “butch experience.” Nowadays, that experience is so much about being pressured to transition–perhaps the “mtf butches” can go on T and get mini-mastectomies, for effect! Perhaps they can all become stone butches so we don’t have to be subjected to any more of their porn! I’m sorry. The insanity of this is just beyond beyond. My first run-in with a “mtf butch” was when I was a teenager, and the gross 50+ dude (one of Sylvia Rivera’s housemates, incidentally) tried to proto-Cotton-Ceiling me. That’s all this is about.

    And I agree fully with Liza Cowan that to use terms like “transmasculine or boi or masculine of center is to deny scope and breadth and depth to the category of woman.”

    I agree fully with Bev Jo that butch has zero to do with any kind of “masculinity.”

    The idea that what we call butch is on a “spectrum” with any kind of maleness–or aspiration to maleness–is poison.

  31. Bev Jo Says:

    Gallus, I appreciate you for so many reasons, but I have to disagree about Sheila being female-hating. Sheila and I are in different communities, but where I live, you don’t have to say a word to hear the Butch-hating among Lesbians. It’s standard conversation. Butches aren’t shown in the patriarchal media and rarely in the Lesbian media, yet we are mentioned as a joke for the men and het women to ridicule. One het woman comedian even made up an unfeminine female character who was an ongoing disgusting joke because she appeared as a possible Butch.

    I’m thinking that Sheila is being exuberant because it’s rare to see anything at all pro-Butch. And it’s hard to not be angry when we’ve been harassed from girlhood by other girls and then women.

    I remember reading Sheila referring to how she was ridiculed and taunted by the other girls who left their girlfriends for boys and men. I remember that too. They had to make sure their boys and men knew they weren’t Dykes by association. But though talking about abuse from men is encouraged among feminists, we are not welcome in talking about the betrayals we have experienced from girls and women who no longer wanted to be seen with us once they were part of het culture.

    We really are warned to be quiet and ashamed of being Lifelong Lesbians or being Butch, or we’ll get even more hatred. Remember those horrible cruel posts not long ago that some “Radical Feminists” made simply to attack Butches, with one saying we didn’t even exist? We get the brunt of Lesbian-hating in the male and het world, and we also get it not just among Lesbians, but among Radical Feminists.

    With the recent dilution of feminism, women who choose men are presented as somehow victims, which denies the significant power they actually have in relation to and over women who choose women.

    How did feminism become “Victim Feminism” where we are not allowed to talk about choices without severe punishment? — Where the class-privilege women who gain status from their men are somehow referred to as if they are the literal slaves like girls who are chained to the wall in the most oppressive countries?

    When I wrote recently that of course women choose to be het, I was reprimanded for “blaming the victim” and being “misogynist” by a woman who identifies as a Radical Feminist, who did not mention that she herself has an exceptional man she refers to as a unicorn. How is she a victim? Interestingly, she, like a number of Radical Feminists who constantly talk about how evil men are never say they are with men.

    Why is the topic of women’s choices forbidden? How does it help women to insist they don’t make choices about who they love? Radical Lesbian Feminists who came out in droves in the Seventies declared proudly that they chose to be Lesbians. It was gay male/genderqueer influence that brought us back to pre-feminism where the propaganda is that “we are born this way.” Can’t have girls and women realizing we do have choices. It could destroy patriarchy. And yet women see all around that many women do choose to be Lesbians, including leaving husbands and coming out in their fifties and sixties. These are women who grew up in the Bay Area, seeing Lesbians on the streets. And these women usually have far more privilege (houses, careers, savings, etc.) than lifelong Lesbians. Or celibate women. (I’m not criticizing these women who are my friends. But they talk openly about how our oppression and existence and visibility made it easier for them to make conscious choices.)

    Talking about the difference in access to privilege gained from choosing men is not “judging.” It’s talking about something we are not allowed to mention without punishment. Another aspect of this which is implied indirectly is that somehow the women who choose men are more real women, compared to celibate women, Lesbians, and the least “real women” — Butches. So they are more important, and we are expendable. Really, many feminists just wish we would disappear.

    In terms of choice, we are also supposed to ignore the fact that many Lesbians choose to go back to men for privilege? I certainly remember the Lesbian Separatist lover who I held as she told how abused she’d felt by the men she had been with, crying with her, for her. And only a few years later, she told me in graphic detail how much she loved being fucked by her boyfriend.

    Why would a Lesbian say she feels worse for het women? It’s like we are in a vacuum and not out in the world where every day I’m in public, I see the looks of contempt towards me for being just myself, unapologetically an obvious Lesbian and Butch. The contempt and hatred are not just from men, but from het women in this area, many of who have far more privilege than I could ever hope to have.

    I don’t agree that being a Lesbian is a privilege in any way. How can it be? It means being harassed, raped, and too often, killed, for saying no to men. It means having your friends turn on you because suddenly you are something to despise. It means having your family ashamed of you, disowning you. Too many young Lesbians are locked up in psychiatric hospitals by their families where they are tortured. With other oppressions, you usually at least have your own family and friends reflecting you so you are not alone in being treated badly. For the young Lesbian, and even more so, for the young Butch, it means being hated and ostracized with no support.

    Choosing to be a Lesbian means having less access to money, which means less access to food and medical care, less access to a place to live, etc. It means being targeted and hated and harassed also by women who made different choices. Until recently, we were either a pornographic joke or said not to exist. When some of us dare to talk about how het and bisexual women choose to be with men, we don’t forget how those women once treated us as objects of contempt with their men on their arm.

    In response to the comment about the main purpose of women talking about being sexual with men is to share support over bad experiences — that’s not what I was talking about. Of course some do. But what is ignored is that many women talk in pornographic detail about fucking with men to brag, making it clear they are part of the heterosexist power structure, and that we are not. It’s about domination because they say how wonderful it is, how they love it, etc. Some ex-het Lesbians do this too, like the “friend” at a dance who asked a group of us, “Wouldn’t you like a great big dick right now?” I was the only one who said, “no, I’d rather eat dog shit.” A few minutes later, she publicly humiliated her Never-het Butch lover by announcing loudly that she was the only one who had ever been inside her. In my experience, there is no getting away from this kind of harassment, even among Lesbians, so then to hear how they don’t choose, because they have “Stockholm Syndrome,” is infuriating.

    This issue is very personal to me because Butch-hating kills. I can’t tell you how almost every Butch I knew when I was a young Lesbian is dead — from cancer, from being beaten to death, suicide…. Two more Butch friends died this year from cancer, another is dying now, a fourth left the area but doesn’t have a good prognosis.

    The friend who is dying was constantly harassed and ridiculed by her family and Lesbian friends for not feminizing.

    Meanwhile, I don’t want to divert from how outrageous it is when we are prevented from what could be theoretically a supportive space by a disgusting pornographer man who demands we accept him as a Butch.

    • GallusMag Says:

      You say that I “choose” the type of abuse I receive as a lifetime butch lesbian and that other kinds of women “choose” to receive other kinds of abuse. I disagree. To me, it is all the same poison.

      Should women support each other around particular experiences we share? Of course.

      Do women like Joe LeBlanc receive conditional benefits by carrying water for men? Of course.

      I make the distinction between stating that fact and making “exuberant” statements that women who failed to make a certain “choice” as girls have willfully chosen slavery. That is absurd.

      If you don’t see a distinction we can just leave it there.

    • BadDyke Says:

      “When some of us dare to talk about how het and bisexual women choose to be with men, we don’t forget how those women once treated us as objects of contempt with their men on their arm. ”
      Choice is a very loaded word nowadays. Of course, the ‘born that way’ brigade don’t like this sort of language, because once you raise the spectre of choice (or changing your choice), it raises the possibility of het or bisexual women just not DOING that any longer. Let’s face it, what the menz definitely don’t want is their women QUESTIONING why they are with men in the first place. So I think that saying ‘why did you make that choice’ is an important question, because just by ASKING it, it raises the possibility of other options. A realisation that hetero/bi-sexuality isn’t as natural as some would have us believe. In my experience, that was the question that many het women didn’t want to go near, ever. So, I don’t blame them for not asking that question earlier — but once they have realised about feminism, I do ‘blame’ (or at least annoyingly keep pointing it out), when they still refuse to ask it.

      But I do still understand (and have often felt) that frustration at het women who still can’t (or won’t) see the system they have tied themselves into. Because unless they do admit the possibility of ditching the menz………….

      The whole choice thing I think is a hang-over of the whole liberal we all make free choices, we all have LOTS of choices, we just need to make sure we all have all of the choices to choose from agenda.

      • Bev Jo Says:

        You are so right, BadDyke, which is why we Radical Lesbian Feminists from the Seventies kept talking about the choices we were making and why I continue saying it. The men sure don’t want us to. And the women who don’t want to leave their men don’t want us too either. I was surprised at the hatred and name-calling I got in an fb feminist group from the woman who later turned out to have her exceptional man. Very revealing….

      • BadDyke Says:

        “And the women who don’t want to leave their men don’t want us too either.”
        I really think we HAVE to keep asking other feminists WHY any feminist with any sense would stay with a man. It was the loaded question when I was a young butch, and still is. But again, we’re not supposed to talk about the carrots and the sticks that keep women doing that.


  32. Thank you for writing this Bev and thank you for hosting it Gallus.

    I find it appalling that butch women are being so hideously censored and erased.

    Tobi is a man and as such he can never be a lesbian, or butch.

  33. Bruce Lilly Says:

    Uuuugh it’s fucking disgusting! Men like Toby can stroke their dicks and claim being butch lesbians while actual butches are hated. Mens identity > female reality

  34. SheilaG Says:

    Thank you Bev Jo, you are just great. I love butch celebration, and GM, you just don’t get what Bev Jo and I am talking about most of the time. That’s ok, you weren’t there early on, and you had a lot of contact with the gay male community. Bev Jo and I come from a very different tradition, and we put up with a lot of abuse from het women, fem lesbians and everyone else in between. Women have agency, women choose things. Everyone should be held accountable for choices. You don’t just accidently get married to men, you don’t just accidently butch hate in public or erase our existence. Butch pride is rare, and I love just singing it like a song here. Yes, of course it will threaten most lesbians, Bev and I critique women, because women have oppressed us and marginalized us. And then women howl over things men do to them. Well, no one is forcing women in north america to marry men, and the very fact that women come out at such late ages is a testiment to why butches need to be out, loud, proud and aggressively confronting what women do to us. We are citicizing this behavior, we are saying it is deliberate and calculated, and we get sick of all the whining over PIV because it was chosen. I’m not talking about rape or childhood sexual abuse, I am talking about adult women who believe we have no right to even speak about this. I know Bev Jo has my back, which is why I am singing loud and proud, and I will not give in to any attacks on me for telling the truth, and women out there won’t have a revolution if women aren’t held to standards.

    Bev and I am radical lesbian feminists, we have actually lived in separatist communities, and we have flourished. We are not celebrated at BV because we are threats to patriarchal privilege.

    So don’t shoot the messenger, this is rare butch loving space, rare indeed. I’m doing a big old dance now, I am calling out ALL the het women who harassed and made fun of me, and who attacked me. All those women who are now divorced from men who then “discover” radical feminism. Well we found it because we loved women and refused the sexual indoctrination of hetness, refused it, had nothing but contempt for it. And I think after all these decades we have a right to tell this truth, and it will be hard to hear, because lesbians do the shuffle, the man supporting, giving blood to men, making excuses for rotten female behavior towards us, always an excuse, no accountability. Women aren’t victims all the time. Women who are butch attacking and erasing do it to score points in male supremacy. It’s all fun and games to them, and the very fact that everyone assumes that ALL women have sex with men and can’t avoid this, well that is a big fat lie. Because surprise, Bev and I never did this, and instead of celebrating the women who are able to resist all this so-called unchangble coersion, well that’s a crime. The truth is the truth, women have a choice, they choose men and het like privilege. It’s what many women do deliberately, Bev and I had other worlds to explore and dreams to fulfill, and we did it! Yahoooo BUTCH LOVE BUTCH POWER TRUTH telling. We don’t serve men, we don’t bow down to them, we don’t do that. And there are thousands like us, and the silence is about trying to pretend that we don’t exist and that our truth is disgusting or whatever it is, but you GM were not part of this. You are doing a great job on this blog, but you also were into helping the gay guys, and that’s ok, most lesbians get co-opted into that game. It gets rewarded and it gets cookies. Bev and I am on a different path entirely, we’re not on that train. But we are flying high, and I love it that this post finally exists for me to sing, dance, to a jig and have some fun around here. We are proud members of lesbian resistence, we didn’t sell out we are proud of this.

    • GallusMag Says:

      You hate women- you disrespect them and despise them and everyone can see it. Disgusting!


      • Sheila, when you say no one is forcing women to marry men, you’re forgetting about patriarchy. And you even say ‘women want to believe that refusing to have sex with men isn’t an option’. How can you say that? It’s like you’re saying women want to be raped.
        Not every woman has always felt the sureness and pride that you feel about being butch and lesbian. Some women have been afraid, or ashamed of their feelings for other women, but it’s not because they don’t want to have options, and it’s absurd to say so.
        To get back on topic, I’m not really sure what being butch means, but I don’t like the term. It doesn’t surprise me that men would flock to such a conference, since they’re so fond of putting women in boxes. Must we do the same?

      • BadDyke Says:

        ” I’m not really sure what being butch means, but I don’t like the term. It doesn’t surprise me that men would flock to such a conference, since they’re so fond of putting women in boxes. Must we do the same?”

        Okay, I HAVE to object to this! Why? Because plenty of butches on here have said QUITE CLEARLY what it means to them. If we can’t even NAME OURSELVES, then we can’t do anything. The whole problem, after all, with trans is that they have taken the name ‘woman’ and what it means to (most) women (i.e. adult human female), and then tried (as outsiders under that original definition) to re-define it to include themselves (and actually exclude most of the women who were happily using it before that because I for one don’t think I have an innate gender, or a laydee-brain, or whatever else supposedly constitutes woman in trans fantasy land.). Let’s not forget they ALSO try to redefine lesbian to mean some homogender crap rather than homosexual, so they can get in there (and exclude actual homosexuals in the process).

        Can you see a pattern yet?

        Refusing to let women name themselves, or their experiences, classic male tactic to get us to shut up. Because you can’t say anything if you can’t even NAME yourself.

        So, apart from suggesting the most fundamentally harmful thing you could think of (not letting us name ourselves), you then have the arrogance to add — I’m not really sure what being butch means, but I don’t like the term………….

        How DARE you! And then you think you have the RIGHT to explain to us butches how afraid some women are of admitting they might be lesbian……………….

        Trying to silence and unname butches, all in one smarmy post. If this isn’t butch-phobia, I don’t know what is……………

      • Teal Deer Says:

        I can’t speak for sisterhoodspiraling, but before I started reading this blog and saw the term “butch” used proudly and lovingly, I mistakenly disliked it as well. I had only ever heard it used in an abusive, insulting tone and context, or as a joke when an effeminate gay did something uncharacteristically “manly”. I had been under the impression that it was a slur. Now I see how wrong that impression was, and it serves to illustrate, in some small way, the abuse and erasure butches experience. I’m thankful for this blog, for re-educating me on that point.

    • liberalsareinsane Says:

      Do you have a blog SheilaG??

    • Bev Jo Says:

      Sheila, I appreciate your support, but am getting concerned that you are including me in your statements, which do not represent me. We do agree about a lot, but not all. We are not from the same era either. I do not want to participate in criticizing Gallus Mag, for instance, who is our champion in fighting the trans cult — regularly getting death threats and outrageous harassment, and who is basically giving her life to our movement. And yes, she also has spoken out in defense of Butches and has been made to pay for that also.

      I am not “flying high.” And I have not “flourished.” I have not lived in Separatist communities. I’ve lived in poverty because I have made my life be with and for other Lesbians and women, and because of that, I have been targeted from girlhood, for loving other girls, for not obeying male rules of femininity, and it accelerated from when I first told my best friend who I had been in love with from 14 that I loved her, and her response was “Do you really want to start using the public men’s restroom?”

      That is the kind of bizarre disconnect I’ve been dealing with ever since — being forbidden by parents to be with my first lover, being threatened for wanting women only space, and saying no to men claiming to be women (from 1970 on), being attacked for writing in support of Lesbian Separatism (1973) and ever since with trying to defend our Lesbian culture from the constant attempts to destroy us and basic Radical Feminism. What happened with BV is typical and no surprise.

      I am dealing with a constant struggle for survival. We have no safe space. My work has primarily been with trying to sort out what goes from among us as Radical Feminists, saying no to men/trans, speaking out for Lesbians, Butches, Radical Feminists, all women and girls…

      You are a woman and I do not see you hating or disrespecting and despising women, but clearly your talking about how you feel betrayed by women who put men first and who have contempt for Lesbians and Butches is not being clear. I do not want there to be a division between you and Gallus since you have far more that you agree about.

      It’s not celebration time for me. It’s heart-breaking to see the women who betray us on behalf of men, including men like Mr. Hill-Meyer — who sell themselves and us out for privilege. And the many who just go along with all of it because they don’t want to be targeted and censored and silenced.

      In spite of what you seem to be saying here, I know that you work to help all woman, including women with men.

      I’m going to be writing an article about some of the divisions among women who identify as Radical Feminists because there are very different politics among us.

      • Bev Jo Says:

        sisterhoodspiraling, choosing to be with men does not mean wanting to be raped. When I was a girl, alone with my feelings, I didn’t feel “sure” or “proud.” I felt like a hated freak. I am still getting that treatment. (That’s why I identify as Butch and dare to talk about it, because that’s the only way to change things.) Yes, being in love with other girls felt right, but I knew it was forbidden and there was not one positive book or film about Lesbians.

        Of course women are afraid and ashamed to love other women, but at what point does our support go for those of us who have worked for over forty years to make it easier for all women to love women rather than the women who are putting us down, even in feminist groups because they do hate Lesbians and Butches? Why are the women who go back to men, including those who openly say they are doing it for the privilege, being ignored? None of this is in a vacuum. Supporting men against Lesbians hurts all women.

        Just your deigning to say “I’m not really sure what being butch means, but I don’t like the term” proves how Butch-hating women can be. Do you approve of us using the term “Lesbian? Identifying with who we are is not “putting women in boxes.” It is basic feminism to identify, to share support, to be allowed to exist.

        And no, men did not “flock” to the Butch Voices conference. There were three who I saw last time. Theoretically, men aren’t allowed, so only those pretending to be Butches or women are there. But that’s true in all “women’s” space.


      • Hi Bev Jo. I don’t mean to insult anyone’s butch identity, and I do love the word lesbian because it MEANS something, I think that perhaps the term ‘butch’ is simply being abused today, and not just by men like Tobi-Hill Meyer but also by other lesbians.

        Some women call themselves butch as well as ‘masculine of center’ and try to make it out that they’re just ‘different’ from other women who are ‘femme’, and women identifying as either butch or femme often have very specific expectations of what that means. Whether it’s the clothes they should wear, how their hair should be, whether they ‘bottom’ or ‘top’ during sex (phrases that I find COMPLETELY absurd btw, I mean, do we have to try to be like gay men here?)

        I don’t identify as either butch or femme and this has made it difficult for me to date. So many people say they will only date butches or only date femmes ( I would say most young lesbians have a stated preference here). One woman that I dated would get upset if I let my hair grow out a little, or if I god forbid put mascara on one day because she wanted a girlfriend who was ‘butch’, even though I never made any claim to be she had expectations based off flannel shirts and baggy pants. It’s hurtful when superficial things are used to define your entire identity, I don’t see it as that different from what ‘trans’ are doing.

        What does being butch mean to you? I have seen people say that you are other born butch or femme. That sounds ridiculous to me, aren’t we all just women?

      • BadDyke Says:

        “I don’t mean to insult anyone’s butch identity”
        NOT an identity.

        I think you have swallowed the whole butch/femme as some sort of cheap photocopy of masculine/feminine nonsense.

        Bev Jo has said it much better than I ever could:

        http://bevjoradicallesbian.wordpress.com/2012/04/11/22-years-later-2012-butch-update/

      • BadDyke Says:

        ““I don’t mean to insult anyone’s butch identity”
        NOT an identity. ”

        What I actually meant here is not an identity in the ‘identify as’ sense. It’s BEING that counts, not ‘identifying as’. Women ARE women whether they identify as women or not.

        I’m not insulted because you insult my identity or because you doubt that I am whatever I ‘identify’ as, that’s trans-speak! If I am insulted it’s because you insult me and my experience, not my ‘identity’.

        There should be a cartoon somewhere, along the lines of ‘Hello, this is me, and this’ (pointing to a large cardboard box full of crap) is my identity. ……………

  35. Bev Jo Says:

    No, Gallus, of course we did not choose a lifetime of oppression to be Butch, but we did decide to be Lesbians when we could more easily (more easily because that is where the pressure is from family, friends, community, the entire world, etc.) have decided to be with men. I do remember consciously choosing to love other girls, saying no to males, and refusing the relentless pressure to feminize. I could have done it and was aware of that. I couldn’t bear it though. I’m still getting that pressure to femininize, but now from Lesbians. Again, it’s not my choosing oppression, but for not giving up who I am. Now I have the political awareness and support I did not have as a girl.

    And of course I never say that women who choose men choose to be abused. I’m saying they choose men for many reasons, including because it means going with the flow, not saying no to the tremendous pressure, fitting in, feeling normal, to get their families to stop harassing them, and friend, co-workers, etc. A few say they were attracted to men, but most I’ve heard say that it was the thing to do and they didn’t question it and so crushed their love for other women. Some even talk about breaking the hearts of girls who loved them.

    This is of course a very volatile topic.

    Part of the this is that we are not supposed to exist in hetero-patriarchy. And we are not supposed to exist among many feminists. We’ve seen the Lesbian-hating, and then the Butch-hating. And you, Gallus Mag, have dealt with both brilliantly.

    The other part is that we are said to have some special privilege to be who we are or that we are just “lucky.” That denies that some of the most oppressed Lesbians I have ever met (oppressed by racism, classism, etc. as well as been put through hell for being Lesbians and Butch) are Lifelong Lesbians and/or Butch. We don’t have to speak out to get targeted at all. We just have to be. But yes, when the ex-het Lesbians say “We’ve all been het,” and we dare to say some of us haven’t, that intense hatred of being treated like freaks we’ve experienced from hets since girlhood often gets turned on us, as I wrote about in “Dykes-Loving-Dykes” and at my blog.

    (Recently in an RF group I was chastized for not admitted the “special benefits” I got from living in a “women-only community.” I have no idea where that came from since I write continually about our having no women-only space left, having to deal with trannies and other het men leering at us, and grabbing us, etc., if we go to “Lesbian” events, and that I live in one of the most dangerous cities in the US where guns are fired off in the street in front of our house.)

    That is part of why we so desperately need to be able to speak out and reach each other at such conferences like Butch Voices. Men like Mr. Hill-Meyer have access to everything.

    Maybe I miss-read Sheila. I didn’t read her as saying women who chose men willfully chose slavery. I saw her saying that the same women who put us down as Lesbians and as Butches have and do ally with men against us. Some of those women were Lesbians and go back to men and I do not understand how they can be said to be slaves or treated as victims by some feminists. Part of this is that there are layers. Yes, women who choose to be with men often get bad treatment, and that is part of what Radical Feminists are fighting. (Although I have to say that I know women who are very happy with their husbands, boyfriends, etc. and are RFs and do not claim to be victims and speak out when the feminist line that they have no choice is made.) But the other side of this is that there are many concrete benefits women get from being with men. For those who see patriarchy as a war of most men against women, girls and the earth, then it can feel like collaboration. These are all issues that are part of RF discussion, but women who don’t want to give up their men use various means to stop our talking about it.

    Victim Feminism is also not supportive of girls and women to learn there are other options and that it’s possible to say no to men. In all this, celibate feminists are usually just ignored too because their choices contradict the liberal feminist line.

    At the very least, I do refuse to agree to that line that Radical Feminists who have their own “special” men are somehow unknowing victims and not making a choice.

    Thank you, “kill your enemies!”

    • BadDyke Says:

      “That is part of why we so desperately need to be able to speak out and reach each other at such conferences like Butch Voices. Men like Mr. Hill-Meyer have access to everything.”

      Yes, yes, YES! Because there are topics like this that cause strife, and we desperately need women-only or lesbian-only or butch-only spaces where we feel safe where we can discuss this. But let’s face it, I for one would either not say a WORD, or not even go in the first place, if I knew that the trans were in there.

      • Bev Jo Says:

        I know. That’s part of why they go. Last time was horrible. I was given dirty looks for my known Radical Lesbian Feminist/Separatist politics, and the three drag queens were doted on by BV as well as Jeanne Cordova’s faction.

        This time I tried yet again to have a female-identified workshop, hoping to make that safe space. But of course, it’s not allowed. Very hard to find each other and to share support to counter the hatred.

  36. red Says:

    Women, lesbians, need to have small meetings in each others houses. Not parties, but meetings wiith an agenda and purpose. Twenty woimen invited. Rad Fem Rise Up was forced to do that, and it sounded like a success to me, inspite of trans.

    • Bev Jo Says:

      Red, how can we have meetings when we have three Lesbians living in a tiny one bedroom house? Decades ago, large houses were rented where meetings and parties were possible. Now, that’s another way it’s easier for the privileged.

      It’s sounds good, but I don’t know of anyone who would have the space. Some of my friends are even homeless…

      • Bev Jo Says:

        The other part of this is that even if we could meet, we can’t really find each other. This had been a huge conference and many Lesbians had come, The first time, I met Pippa and others who became good friends, so that was worth it…

      • red Says:

        Bev, look at possibilities, not roadblocks. You immediately go to some suggestion that sounds like I’ve proposed you have meetings in your four story brownstone.

        Many women with children live in what you describe. Make it work.

  37. red Says:

    Three women and a Skype connection is a conference.

    • Bev Jo Says:

      I have no problem with Skyping with friends all over the world, but that’s different than being able to meet here. We’ve had get togethers in coffee houses. A large group is something else.

      I’m not making up roadblocks — I’m practical. We are too chemically sensitive to meet where we live anyway.

      • Bev Jo Says:

        And the issue is about a large conference with many workshops that was supposed to be for all women where I and others were censored from being represented.

  38. SheilaG Says:

    We still meet in women’s homes in L.A. and around town. We just do it collectively, and it gives us privacy, complete protection from the trans cult… we don’t have to deal with them at all. It just works and is worth doing to bring lesbians together.

  39. SheilaG Says:

    “Butch” “lesbian” I still hear women who seem to have a great deal of difficulty of just identifying. It’s weird, because the women who hate the word “butch” actually are butches, and the same for lesbian. Self-hatred really is a problem in our community! It is THE number one elephant in the room.

  40. red Says:

    Sorry Bev.

  41. Bev Jo Says:

    Couldn’t reply at the post, so am replying here

    sisterhoodspiraling —

    Yes, the word “Butch” is abused, but so is the word “Lesbian” and I never hear us being told to stop identifying as Lesbian.

    Butch is extremely threatening to patriarchy, which is why we literally are not allowed to be shown in the media (and no, Butch-hating Lea DeLaria who is making money off misrepresenting Butches was honest in the past that she is not Butch. Genderqueer is written all over her every pose.)

    You’re repeating so many Butch-hating stereotypes. Thank you, BadDyke for linking to our chapter. I believe we choose to be Butch in girlhood by just trying to be our natural selves and so no as much as possible to male-identified femininity. Butches are closer to what all females would be without patriarchy. It certainly is revealing how most men, women, and even Radical Feminists want us eliminated. We threaten patriarchy and women still invested in aspects of patriarchy to their core.

  42. Bev Jo Says:

    Thank you, BadDyke, for so it all so clearly. If the word “Lesbian” is exchanged for “Butch” in Butch-hating comments, it often can be seen. But sometimes not even then, since many “feminists” hate that we even identify as Lesbians.


    • I see now that the term ‘butch’ has simply been abused by people who aren’t. Men adopting the term obviously won’t help.
      You are quite right in saying that the term lesbian is abused as well bev jo. All the time in the media ‘lesbians’ are gleefully having sex with men, it’s ridiculous.

  43. mieprowan Says:

    Bev Jo, I’m really sorry that I upset you with something I wrote once. I was trying to write about difficult personal stuff that I still have an inchoate sense of. I was awkward, I can see that now.

    I know I’m not a lesbian, let alone a butch. I respect your boundaries of experience.

    But every time I read anything you’ve written about rats, I think, yes! another person who gets it about rats!

    That’s been bothering me, so I wrote this. For another rat girl.

    http://therearesomanythingswrongwiththis.com/2013/10/03/i-was-a-rat-girl/

  44. Bev Jo Says:

    Thank you, Mieprowan! That’s lovely….

  45. SheilaG Says:

    Trying to get caught up in the conversation here. Bev Jo and I am butches, we agree on a lot of stuff, and other things we don’t agree on. So she is she and me is me, don’t think that all butches are the same, because we aren’t.

    What we do point out endlessly is the erasure of butch lesbians from most media representation of lesbians. You don’t see accurate portrayals of butch women in the media— Ellen might look butchy, but she still does ads for make-up. The L-Word had no butch lesbians as characters on the show. They make so called lesbian movies like straight women prostitutes having sex with straight women, for example. That isn’t even lesbian.

  46. SheilaG Says:

    How do you know you are a butch woman choosing lesbian? Good question. Take a hint about trying to be a real self without conforming the sterotypical women’s attire, which men require of women. Women don’t choose a lot of things, women go along with the status quo. Butch girls from an early age don’t do this. We find forced feminity horrifying and uncomfortable. We choose to love women and girls. In the 70s, thousands of so-called het women discovered their lesbian selves. I rather suspect with lesbian marriage all the rage, that the more economically independent women become, the more legal rights they have, the more women will choose lesbian life or sleeping with the enemy.

  47. SheilaG Says:

    Women I deeply love do not gender conform, they are the real deal of butch. I love them so much because they are so strong, they look you right in the eye, they have no social pretense usually. There is no made up painted faces, no purses, no girly girl male pleasing uniform. So why isn’t true butch life and appearance widely represented if we have such a choicy society? Why would butch voices not have a female only butch workshop? Why were men even allowed to attend BV? Tobi Hill creepo? He was there, and they wouldn’t let Bev do her workshop? Nobody seems to give a damn about this out in BV land? What were they all so afraid of? Upsetting the trans cult, not having butch pride, and butch rejection of the trans cult nonsense colonizing lesbian bodies? Hey if I want to wear a bow tie, I don’t have to have some man cut off my breasts and stuff me full of T.

  48. SheilaG Says:

    Butch hatred is everywhere. Every time I hear some damn fem lesbian get up and talk about how uncomfortable 70s radical lesbians made her feel, and how she hated flannel shirts, what I hear is blatant butch hatred. It never gets called out, and straight women like to tell me how many lipstick lesbians are out there, and I tell them that the made up face is the male pleasing look, and it is forced on women by advanced capitalism. Men sell stuff to women, they make big buck in the fashion “industry.” This industry is about butch erasure.

  49. SheilaG Says:

    Hope I’m on topic here, and making some sense.
    What I found ultimately was pride. Being butch proud simply made me a happier person in the world. All that abuse and grief from my teenage years started to go away. But all that hatred that was dumped on Bev was far worse. And far worse takes its toll. Those BV should feel ashamed for fawning all over the trans cult and rejecting the woman who was a pioneer in women’s freedom. If this is how the heroines are treated, well, the trans cult will run right over all of us.


  50. […] But we still have lost so much. “Women Studies” at universities and colleges have almost all been destroyed and replaced by “Gender Studies” or “Queer Studies” that are hostile to Lesbians and even basic Feminism. The term “LGBT” includes us against our will with our oppressors and obscures the fact that most Lesbians I’ve known were never in a community with gay men, and that Lesbian communities usually operated with the basic Separatist principle of women-only space. Organizations which are supposed to be for Lesbian rights focus more on helping men who claim to be women, or even more outrageously, claim to be Lesbians. Men are always more valued than women, and women allied with and invested in males are always more valued than Lesbians, who are at the bottom of the heap. So each time a man who insists he’s a Lesbian is put in a position of power, we lose even more. (My most recent experience with this was being censored from being part of a panel of female-identified Butches at the Butch Voices conference. A male pornographer who posts photos and videos of his prick online was accepted as a Lesbian and Butch on their board and was part of who censored me, a lifelong Butch. We have no idea what other Lesbians he’s harming. (https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/censored-from-butch-voices/). […]


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