A conference for lesbians*

Purple Sage

This year there is going to be a European Lesbian* Conference! Yeah!

…wait, what is that asterisk for?

“Our aim is to hold an inclusive European Lesbian* Conference. We insist on calling it a lesbian conference although we recognize that, as with any category or label, it may be contested and insufficient to describe the diversity of our communities. We are aware that many previous lesbian gatherings have struggled with issues about who should or should not be included at the conference. However, using the word “lesbian” is part of the political struggle for visibility, empowerment and representation. Therefore we will use “lesbian*” with an asterisk, so as to include anyone who identifies as lesbian, feminist, bi or queer, and all those who feel connected to lesbian* activism.”

Oh, for fuck sake. Just as I suspected, spelling Lesbian* with an asterisk is sorta like putting a footnote with the…

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Queer fascists attempt to ban feminist books from a women’s library

Purple Sage

Women in Vancouver have created a women’s library to promote writing by women authors and “continue the legacy of women-run bookstores.” The library is run by women volunteers. Despite the fact that they announce themselves as queer-positive right on their website, with a “queer space” sign and a notice that the library is for “all self-identified women and girls,” a group of “radical queers” have launched an attack against the library.

Guerrilla Feminist Collective reports the following intimidation tactics used at the library:

“Last night we had to push through physical intimidation and lots of verbal nonsense to enter the new Vancouver Women’s Library.

Anti-feminist protesters actually showed up for once! They were welcomed inside (snowing, cold, everyone was welcome), but asked to leave when they tried to tear down feminist posters in the space and continued their physical intimidation inside. Police had to be called for fear of destruction…

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The book on FtMs I’ve been reading lately

Purple Sage

Female-to-Male Transsexuals in Society is a huge book that details a research study on 45 female-to-male transsexuals. It was originally published in 1997 by Holly Devor, who later became Aaron Devor. I accessed the first edition of the book, published under her female name. A forward written by James Green of FtM International praises the book, calling it “a book that opens a window on FtM lives without condescending (p.ix).” Green also says that “most of what we have been able to find out about ourselves (from nontranssexuals) has been dismissive, depressing, or downright frightening” but that Devor “accepts the reality of our lives” without “postulating curative ideologies (p. ix).”

Indeed, Devor presents their stories as they were told, with only a minimal amount of interpretation or commentary. The book is organized by parts of their lives. For example, there are chapters on their childhoods, their adolescence, their relationships with family…

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A mum’s voyage through Transtopia: A tale of love and desistance


Lily Maynard (a pseudonym) lives with her husband and their family in the UK. Her daughter, Jessie, was 15 when she first began identifying as trans.

In this post, Lily chronicles her grueling journey of self education on trans issues, and her determination to share what she learned with Jessie, who at first utterly dismissed her mother’s efforts.  But after 9 months, Jessie, now 16, eventually desisted from trans identification, and, with the support of her mother and another formerly trans-identified friend, came to recognize and embrace herself as a young woman.

Jessie adds her own observations at the end of her mother’s post.

Lily and Jessie are both available to interact with readers in the comments section of this post.

by Lily Maynard

My youngest daughter Jessie was never a ‘girly’ girl. As a small child she was often mistaken for a boy, despite her long hair, because mostly…

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Liberation, or liberalism? Women, it’s time to choose!

writing by renee

A New Zealand Prostitutes Collective (NZPC) spokesperson has instigated an online pact against yours truly. That might flatter me, if it weren’t so effective. It’s titled “Against Human Rights” – appropriately, since it exists specifically to help negate an individual woman’s rights to further education, a voice, and a livelihood. The pact (below) misrepresents my concerns about women‘s safety and the medicalisation of gender, and asks signatories to collaborate in withholding study, speaking and work opportunities from none other than myself.

This pact was instigated just after I was banned from the Wellington Zinefest, a community hand-made book market; and just before I lost my job. The reason Wellington Zinefest gave me for their ban was that my work is critical of both prostitution, and gender identity politics, and this makes me “unsafe”. Supporters of this ban then trained their attention on the impressionable new manager at my work, making her nervous with allegations of “hate speech”. Her…

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Seven Sisters Festival and escape for women on Earth

stop trans chauvinism

The star Dreaming story of the Seven Sisters is one of the most widely distributed ancient stories amongst Aboriginal Australia. The songline for this story covers more than half the width of the continent, from deep in the Central Desert out to the west coast. The songline travels through many different language groups and different sections of the narrative are recognised in different parts of the country.

The story relates to the journey of the seven sisters that make up the star cluster known as the Pleiades, in the constellation Taurus.

explains this Japingka Gallery blurb, which ends “So every night the Seven Sisters launch themselves from earth into the night sky, and every night the Jampijinpa man follows after them across the sky.”

Ancient Greeks mythologised these stars as ‘The Pleiades’, seven sisters who were constantly pursued by men. Rather than deal with these men’s predation, Zeus transformed them…

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