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This year’s MORETHANMUSIC collective has been trying to plan a truly womyn-centered fest. So what does “womyn-centered” mean anyway? It’s hard to say, partly because we all have different experiences shaping our varied opinions, and partly because, well… it never just happens! Spaces that put womyn’s needs, desires, safety, comfort-level, thoughts, feelings, fears, loves, and more FIRST rarely exist. And don’t even try to tell me that punk rock is different, and that D.I.Y. community has somehow gotten past all this bullshit. Subcultures are still connected to the larger culture, which needs lots and lots and lots of work. And it’s not just the shitty corporations that must be addressed. And it’s not just the dumb politicians who are fucking everything up. The rapist is the boy next door. And the sexist, the racist, the classist, the heterosexist, the homophobe, the capitalist... that’s you, and me and your boyfriend, and dad, and teacher, and boss, and friend. And none of us are safe.

We’re trying to represent and showcase the talents and art of those who normally aren’t represented. Female perspectives are lacking in every segment of our media. Like all the marginalized groups of our society, womyn’s voices are stifled, ignored, and destroyed unless there’s a profit to be made in which case they’re commodified. For example “GIRL POWER” is a product that is bought and sold, and who do you think profits? And who owns the rights to riot grrrl these days? Because it’s not Kathleen Hanna…

Female and feminist perspectives deserve to be valued and supported, and the notion that men are not interested in hearing womyn’s voices is simply insulting, to me, feminist means egalitarian and that means open to and fair to all. An event planned around what some womyn in the D.I.Y. community are interested in, believe in, value, love, and enjoy should appeal to both womyn and men.

Having a strong presence of womyn on stage is important in creating a womyn’s focused space, so yes, we looked for bands with womyn in them to play the fest. That doesn’t mean that bands with boys in them are not playing the fest. In general, we like bands that think about stuff (interpret stuff to mean queer rights, animal rights, anti-capitalist and anarchist stances, racism, immigrant rights, the prison industry, womanism, etc.) and that always plays in our selection process. We take feminist politics (plus so much more), and we expect them to be present on stage and elsewhere. And we expect them from womyn and men.

So we’re acknowledging womyn as our priority, and we’re not apologizing for it. We are taking the time to explain all this, however, because we feel we should all be accountable for our actions. You need to understand at least the basics of why we’re planning what we and, to know where we’re coming from. It is important also to acknowledge that there’s more to D.I.Y. than bands; my life is not just music. We get excited about so much more and want to encourage you to do the same. Thus, we don’t want to overemphasize bands at the expense of workshops, discussions, speakers, or interaction.

And by the way, this is just the beginning of the dialogue….

-Amy Watson

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