As I wrote the other day, I recently attended the Gaea Goddess Gathering. One of the exciting things leading up to the festivals was their tagline, “a festival for ALL women”. And that is indeed exciting with things like the The Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, which excludes women who don’t have vaginas. And even the “womyn” tends to denote that. Ugh. Just very icky.
But as I went through the weekend, I noticed that the weekend wasn’t for all women.
With performers who praised Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival, it wasn’t for all women. With passages of life being tied to fertility, it wasn’t for all women. With people praising the amount of estrogen there, it wasn’t for all women.
All women would be a program for women who didn’t have uteruses. All women would be understanding that not every women is dripping in estrogen. All women would be supporting women who dislike or even loathe their periods. All women would be marking womanhood by things other than reproductive value. All women would be for all women–for any and all women who identify as such.
And I didn’t get that vibe from the festival.
I wouldn’t recommend the festival to my women friends who lost their uteruses due to surgery. I wouldn’t recommend the festival to my women friends who were triggered or loathed their periods. I wouldn’t recommend this festival to my women friends who never want children. And I definitely wouldn’t recommend this festival to my women friends who have penises.
How should they become more accepting to all women? Losing the life passages tied to the reproductive organs would be a start, but I wonder if that could happen with how vital it seemed to the festival. Otherwise, bringing awareness to other aspects of womanhood that isn’t reproductive would be useful. Talking about how not all women have periods would be helpful. Talking about how all women don’t want or need children would be helpful. Which it’s starting to do, so that’s good. I have hopes for this festival to grow and become better. It can be. It just needs to reexamine how it views women.
If you identify as a woman and went to an all women’s pagan festival, what other ways could it work towards being inclusive towards all women?