Michfest (1981)

“Eight thousand women descended upon the wooded expanse of Hesperia, Michigan for the 6th Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (MWMF) on Auqust 13-16. Although the festival eschews “star” billings, the performers most familiar were Meg Christian, Alix Dobkin, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Terry Garthwaithe, and Alive! In all, 16 groups performed. Face the Music, who handled interpretation for the hearing-impaired, gave a graceful and sensitive performance that enhanced the
The festival, which has grown steadily in attendance since its inception in 1976, was characterized by a spirit of cooperation
and respect for the property and its temporary inhabitants. A great deal of credit is due the eighty or more organizers for their smooth coordination of an undertaking of this magnitude.
To the uninitiated MWMF spectator (which I was)…”

Author(s): nancy fithian
Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 11, No. 9 (October 1981), p. 15

Michfest (1981) (link)

Please consider a donation to the Off Our Backs Collective (details on ‘about’ page)


‘Michigan Moments’ – from Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival (2000)

“This year’s coverage is a collection of women from around the country describing the profound ways the festival impacts their lives. The women’s words show the truth in Audrey’s words, “Michigan is a dream reality. It’s ancient, futuristic, and present-tense real all at the same time. ‘Every woman should experience this!'”

Author(s): audrey wells, karla mantilla, jennie ruby, carol comerford, janel brooks, susan dunn, madeline davidson, jenn smith, sherri umanski, kelly, anonymous and laura butterbaugh
Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 30, No. 9 (october 2000), pp. 10-12

Festival, Michigan Moments (link)

‘WE’VE COME A WRONG WAY BAY-BEE’ – by Alix Dobkin (1999)

“As I was saying, the phrase,
‘This may be politically incorrect, but…’, makes me reach for the “delete” key. Why? Because it almost always precedes, a mindless bit of racism or a snotty put-down of women. The cutesy idiom masquerades as disobedience but in fact dismisses consciousness and justifies meanspirited conformity. So-called “political correctness” didn’t weaken feminism, but fear of that label did. Excusing the perpetrator from taking on tough issues, this phobic umbrella shelters a multitude of retreats…”

Author(s): alix dobkin

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 29, No. 8 (august-september 1999), p. 15

We’ve Come a Wrong Way Bay-Bee – AD (link)

‘There Was a Dyke March?’ (1994)

“On June 25, over 20,000 lesbians marched down Fifth Avenue in the International Dyke March in New York City according to the Lesbian Avengers, the organizers of the event. The police estimated that between 5,000 and 6,000 people attended. On June 26, nine lines about the event appeared in the New York Times. Nothing was mentioned in the W ashington Post…or the Chicago Tribune…or the Los Angeles Times…”

Author(s): Amy C. Branner, Laura Butterbaugh, and April Jackson

Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 24, No. 8 (august/september 1994), pp. 1-2, 16-17, 20

Lesbian Avengers Handbook cover – designed by Amy Walker, photograph by Caroline Kroon. Further designs created by Carrie Moyer.

There Was a Dyke March (1994) (link)

How Transgenderism Is Real and Transracialism Isn’t

Root Veg

No sooner had we recovered from the ubiquitous and nauseating coverage of Bruce Jenner’s public ladypersona transgender identity reveal than the story broke of Rachel Dolezal, a self-identified black woman, Africana Studies professor and Spokane NAACP president who was in fact secretly white. lmao. Social media was predictably all over it like cat hair on my best jeans. Just as the collective cogs started slowly, rustily screeching into an unfavourable comparison between transgenderism and transracialism, the hivemind stepped in to prohibit thinking about it, for compelling reasons like “welp nope“, “nope stop” and “shut up“. The claim that one can identify their way into a group on the basis of its social construction, regardless of the fact that the construct itself is predicated on the physical features of those it’s designed to oppress, is obviously strikingly similar for both Bruce Jenner’s transgenderism…

View original post 1,994 more words

‘Lesbians: The Invisible Torture’ – by Susan Hawthorne (2006)

INTRODUCTION: “There are small changes afoot in laws referring to asylum for gays. But it remains inordinately difficult to find examples that apply to lesbians. Four years ago, I began researching the literature on the torture of lesbians. I was confounded by a severe lack of research. The countries in which the torture of lesbians takes place adhere to very different political forms ranging from socialist to fascist, from secular to fundamentalist. Lesbians are tortured in families, in prisons and in mental asylums…”

Author(s): Susan Hawthorne
Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 36, No. 3 (2006), pp. 77-78

Lesbians – The Invisible Torture (Link)

Interview with Janice Raymond (1979)

INTRODUCTION: “I began my reading of The Transsexual Empire: The Making of the She-Male with a full deck of unexamined liberal assumptions: that the concept of a woman trapped in a man’s body was not absurd; that transsexualism was at least consistent with feminism if not essential to it; that alleviation of an individual’s pain took precedence over all else. Jan Raymond’s book prompted the questioning of all these assumptions and raised many fundamental points that I had not considered.”

Author(s): Susanna J. Sturgis and Jan Raymond
Source: Off Our Backs, Vol. 9, No. 9 (october, 1979), pp. 14-15

Interview Jan Raymond (1979)  (Link)

‘Andrea Dworkin & Me’ – by Christine Stark (2008)

“The day of my release, Sue picked me up at the hospital in her ’85 tan Volvo. I felt shame: psych ward, raped, welfare, waiting to get on disability shame. I’d flunked a class. But I had one thing to hold onto: I was alive. That’s it: a breathing, heart-beating animal. As bad as I felt, I still had hope. I was alive, and if I got on disability, I wouldn’t be homeless. Sue drove me to the house I shared with another survivor. I was afraid that nothing would ever be okay. I was afraid I could never overcome what I’d been through. The shrink had told me I would be in and out of the psych ward the rest of my life.

Sue dropped me off; she had to go to work. It was hot, mid-June, sunny. I walked into the entryway; my cat, Cleo, sat curled on the wooden staircase. I was alone. What would happen to me? Would I live or die? I sat down on the stairs, petted Cleo, leafed through my stack of mail piled in a mound on the bottom stair. Bills from the hospital, letters of dropped classes from the university, notifications of bounced checks, bulk mail from a real estate agent, and a Monet postcard. I turned it over.

It was from Andrea. I had written her from the hospital, sent her a poem. And she wrote back. You are a terrific writer, she said. I hope you are back from the hospital and doing okay. Best, Andrea.

I held it against my chest. She believed in me. I could make it.”

Author: Christine Stark

Source: Feminist Studies, Vol. 34, No. 3, The 1970s Issue (Fall, 2008), pp. 584-590

Andrea Dworkin & Me by Christine Stark (Link)

‘Trans-Ending Women’s Rights: The politics of trans-inclusion in the age of gender’ by Belinda Sweeney (2004)

“The prevalence of anti-discrimination legal proceedings filed by self-defined ‘‘trans-women’’ has prompted an increasingly contested question in modern sexual politics — what does transsexualism actually ‘‘transcend’’? It seems that in spite of the 1970s’ radical feminist critique of transsexualism, the phenomena of transsexualism and sex-reassignment surgery (SRS) have proliferated considerably. This increase has, through sheer magnitude, given birth to a broad-based, international movement that is rapidly expanding its fight for acceptance and rights for trans-people. In particular, trans-women are currently claiming their right to participate in, and access the assistance of, women-only events, organizations, and service provisions.

In this paper, I will argue that whereas radical feminist campaigns have sought to break down gender categories, and thus, free women from gender oppression, the protection of gender is imperative to the goals of trans-activists and their supporters…”

Author: Belinda Sweeney

Source: Women’s Studies International Forum 27 (2004) 75– 88

Trans-Ending Women’s Rights, The Politics of Trans-Inclusion, 2004, Belinda Sweeney SOCTHEORY (Link)