Big Tent Blues… hitting pause

In my last post I acknowledged that I didn’t know much about the accusations of ageism, sexism and misogyny being leveled at the Butch Voices organizers by people who have left the organization.  I asked for more information.  In response, Sasha T. Goldberg very generously reposted a comment and response from her own blog (thank you, Sasha, I really appreciate you taking the time).  Others chimed in with their opinions and some other blog links.  Some took the time to bash me for speaking up before I knew everything.  Oh well, I guess haters gotta hate.

So here’s where I am on this:  hitting pause.  There was already a lot to read, and I just discovered a pertinent thread on ButchFemmePlanet as well.  I don’t have the time right now to do this justice.  I’ve got a new job and I’m getting ready to travel to Butch Voices.  I’ll be making my contribution to the conversation via a workshop called Intentional Masculinity.  And, yes, that may not be a compelling topic to those who are chafing at what they see as a emphasis on masculinity in BV.  But that’s where I am.  I am masculine-of-center, not feminine-of-center.  I’m not wholly female identified.  So this is a topic that concerns and fascinates me.

I have seen and witnessed sexism, misogyny and the marginalization of female identified people around Butch Voices.  I have a sense of the ageism, though I think I’m less sensitive to that than I should be (and I know it goes both ways, from elder to younger, younger to elder).   I know these problems exist, I know I don’t like it, I know I have a long way to go before I am the feminist and human I want to be.  It’s not going to happen this week, I can’t do the topic justice and still take care of the things in my life that have priority.

I don’t like the divisiveness that’s come up around the Butch Voices / Butch Nation split.  I’d much rather see more mutual investment in finding common ground.  I believe others are also interested in bringing people together, and I also know that there are people who thrive on exposing differences.  Some just love picking and perpetuating fights.  When I have the time to really read and absorb and understand what is being said by all sides, I’ll need to keep that in mind.

I’m looking forward to Butch Voices, a space where my genderqueer male and female identified masculine cafab self can be welcomed and celebrated.  I hope to find constructive conversation and discussion about these issues among those who have decided to attend.   And when I get back, I hope to tell y’all what I’ve seen and learned.


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