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Pre-2008 Posts

Feminist Hullaballoo — Historic Reunion of the Wild Sisters, Part I


Road trip!  (This is Lucky loading up the car.)


Lucky, left, Heart, center, Uppity Biscuit, right


Stillwater, Lucky and I in front of Lucky and Stillwater’s house just before we took off.


 We’re there!


Me, holding program, and Uppity


Sonia Johnson (above):

“Control is the opposite of power.  Control comes out of weakness and it is never enough.  True power is always positive.  It cannot hurt, humiliate, debase…

The planet is fighting for her life.  It is up to us, as female persons, to heal one another, to heal the earth, to save the planet, and all beneficent life.

As women, we must embrace one another.  An embrace is not a hug.  To embrace one another is to take in one another.”


Alix Dobkin performed afterwards.  All of the performers were so wholehearted!  We  joined Alix in singing:

Loving, loving
Woman loving
So peacefully


Mary Daly spoke on Saturday.


She was amazing!

“We are in the presence of multiple, swirling presences.  I sense them here.  They are our foresisters.  We are creating the archaic future through biophilic connectedness…

The red of nemesis is here.   We can’t stop now.  We have overcome. 

And we do not need any penile injections to be effective!”


Mary refused the flowers presented to her saying she’d had a dream she’d be presented with flowers  like a little old lady.  She urged that the flowers be given to “someone better-looking” than she.  🙂

Then came Afia Walking Tree.  What a woman!  She drummed for us throughout the conference, we danced, shouted, howled, carried on, we were inspired and healed.



I spent time with Marlis, who owns 250 acres of women’s land in New Zealand and whom I met last year at Michfest.


Code Pink was there.


The weather was beautiful! Hot and sunny by day, cooler at night.

Us Four

To be continued. 




41 thoughts on “Feminist Hullaballoo — Historic Reunion of the Wild Sisters, Part I

  1. As a White Radical Feminist, (inside joke, a joke that will be unfolded at a later date and it is not actually funny at all), where is my Glamor Shot!?


    Posted by uppitybiscuit | June 27, 2007, 3:09 pm
  2. Hey, Uppity, I think all yer shots are glamour shots, including your avatar shot. 😛


    Posted by womensspace | June 27, 2007, 5:20 pm
  3. Whoa. Sonia Johnson?!? Didn’t we once have a conversation about how great it would be to find her?! I thought she was lost to us forever. How amazing you got to hear her speak and when will you be posting the transcript of her talk?? 😉

    Thanks for sharing!

    Posted by Amazon | June 27, 2007, 5:36 pm
  4. We look and dress alike, Heart! Many of us are obviously cut from the same cloth, and it’s nice to see kinfolks. Love the tattoo!

    Posted by Daisy | June 27, 2007, 5:45 pm
  5. It looks absolutely fun, other than all the lesbians everywhere. Just kidding. A little inside (my head, HAH!) heterosexual joke.

    Where’s my Pony, I’s need to talk to her. Pony, can you holla at me.

    thebasketfairy (at)

    Posted by chasingmoksha | June 27, 2007, 6:01 pm
  6. Hey, Amazon and Daisy. 🙂 Daisy, just about everything I wore at the conference had meaning to me, for various reasons. The brown dress I’m wearing in one of those photos I bought at the 30th Anniversary of Michfest from a craftswomon who for years had tables at Fest and batiked every single one of the items she sold individually. The 35th was her last Festival, and she sold that dress to me — again, hand-batiked, not only the design on the front, but on the back and all around the hem (and it’s a long, to-the-floor t-shirt dress) for $50. This was robbery! I argued with her that it wasn’t enough but she would not be deterred. The earth-y looking thing that I’m wearing in my hair on the bottom photo was made by Ruth Barrett, partner of Falcon River; they are Dianic wiccan priestesses who present at Fest every year. I wore this during my consecration to the Mother and it includes all sorts of meaningful things, a makah feather given to me by my grandson, Judah, beads, stones, bones, shells, I’ve either found or which have been given to me by people who love me and whom I love, strands of carded wool from my sheep. Thanks for the comments on my tattoo; I like it, too. 🙂
    Amazon, you should read here more often and you’d have heard about the Feminist Hullaballoo and Sonia Johnson’s re-emergence!
    Actually, I did learn all about the reasons she went away from wimmin who had known her well at Outland — sad and unfortunate and the kind of thing that happens around charismatic, energetic leaders like Johnson. I read an article about the Hullaballoo in which the writer wrote that the reason, or one reason, Johnson and Jade DeForest, her companion, decided to organize this event (the organization “Estrogenerations” is their organization) is, they had approached Ms Magazine after Andrea Dworkin died asking whether they could write a series of articles about Second Wave feminist leaders so that young women and those new to feminism would become aware of the work these women had done other than by reading their obituaries (as with Andrea 😦 .) These wimmin are getting old, you know? Both Johnson and Mary Daly are in their 70s and there were many wimmin at the conference who were much older than that. One day there was a birthday in which a woman turned 70, a woman turned 72, a woman turned 84 and a woman turned 40-something. Ms evidently was not interested in such a series of articles. So, Estrogenerations and this event were born.
    Sonia Johnson was visibly moved throughout the weekend, over and over, tearing up, and especially at the “Grand Cauldron” at the end of the gathering when all of the “wild sisters” were drumming, dancing, hollering, singing, whooping it up like we had good sense. Afia Walking Tree drummed specifically to and in honor of Johnson at one point and she was, again, so visibly and powerfully moved. I will be writing about her presentation and all of the speakers’ presentations, though I don’t have a transcript per se. I did take good notes. And Uppity recorded everything, though we aren’t sure how well it all came through. Also, the entire conference was videoed by KPFK and will be available via Pacifica in streaming video, as I understand. I’ll post the information as I have it.
    It was funny– one afternoon I was searching for Johnson because I wanted to go and talk with her, I’m looking all around, and as it turned out, she was sitting *right next to me*! We’d talked a little and she was kind, soft-spoken, completely unpretentious, gracious.

    Posted by womensspace | June 27, 2007, 6:10 pm
  7. Here’s the article I found (Note: straw radfem alert! The article is aggravating in some ways, though there is some interesting stuff in it, which is why I’m posting it.)

    Views: Blast from the Past, A Feminist Hullaballoo

    by Micki Leventhal

    I am old.

    I cut my activist teeth in the civil rights actions of the 1960s, struck for Kent State, fought for the right to wear pants to work ( yes, really! ) , lobbied for a word change from “chairman” to “chairperson” at the national convention of the American Association of University Women and campaigned for the ERA while caring for my twins, who were conceived the old-fashioned way.

    I came out at the age of 36 in the fabulous heyday of radical feminism. I volunteered at Mountain Moving Coffeehouse, bared my middle-aged breasts in the Michigan woods and returned to graduate school at 40, earning a master’s degree in women’s studies.

    I blush now to admit that I was so steeped in feminist essentialist culture that at one time, in a perverse twist on Victorian practice, I kept my books-by-female-authors and my books-by-male-authors on separate shelves. ( Well, at least I didn’t burn the “boy books!” )

    I ultimately rejected lesbian separatism due to, primarily, my deep and abiding love for my boy-child and, secondarily, my unwillingness to deny myself the richness of men’s cultural productions—from Wolfgang Mozart, Mark Twain and William Morris to Buddha, Balanchine and the Beatles. I am glad of that.

    Fast-forward through lots of life to a post-Monica Lewinsky, post-9/11 world of new realities, virtual and otherwise. This is a world where, sadly, GLBTQ folks still do not enjoy full civil rights. It is also a world where, happily, a scrapbooking suburban housewife relates the story of herself and her aged mother going to clean out the house of her deceased uncle and discovering that “he was gay, but that’s okay, of course.” And continuing to tell, giggling and blushing but not condemning, of the wealth of bondage toys they packed up for disposal or donation. And, it’s a world where my partner’s Midwestern folks display our wedding photo on the mantle along with those of their three hetero sons.

    Working in higher education—at an arts college no less—I must continue to learn and navigate an ever-evolving reinterpretation of social constructs, emerging “memes” and “tropes” and shifting paradigms. While still celebrating the Goddess eight times a year with my Dianic circle, I grow to understand and embrace “gender queer” and struggle to accept “fuck-me feminism.” It is a rich, vital and GLBTQ-happy reality in which my friend James can come to work in a skirt and staff is developing a database-friendly code for “third sex” donors to the college.

    Into this new world swoops a reminder of a “simpler” time.

    Searching for lodging for an upcoming trip to visit our daughter in Santa Fe, we virtually arrived at Casa Feminista, owned and operated by Sonia Johnson and her partner, Jade DeForest. Could it be? My inner investigative journalist kicks in and I’m hot on the trail, discovering that, yes indeed, this is THE Sonia Johnson of radical-lesbian-feminist-separatist fame. The Sonia Johnson about whom rumors of fiscal and sexual ‘improprieties’ still swirl. The Sonia Johnson who disappeared from the cultural landscape some 15 years ago and emerged last year lecturing at a meeting of a North Carolina chapter of the re-formed Congregation of the Goddess International.

    What a kick. We inquired about lodging at Casa Feminista in Ojo Caliente, N.M., and, in the process, learned that right after the summer solstice, Johnson will actually be in the city of Santa Fe, the centerpiece of an historic gathering/reunion/celebration of the Good Old Days.

    There is truly an amazing line-up planned for Feminist Hullaballoo: The Wild Women Reunite. Joining Johnson are philosopher Mary Daly; musicians Alix Dobkin and Margie Adams; writer and scholar Cherrie Moraga; Goddess priestess Kim Duckett; writer Paula Gunn Allen; drummer Afia Walking Tree; lesbian utopian novelist Sally Gearhart; and many others. The women-only event takes place at the New Mexico School for the Deaf, June 22-24. There will be speeches, music, drumming, spirit circles, commitment ceremonies and general rabble-rousing. Check out program information and reservations ( at $175 each ) at .

    Feminist Hullaballoo was born out of frustration. In an e-mail interview, Johnson explains that when activist and cultural critic Andrea Dworkin died in 2005, DeForest contacted Ms. magazine and suggested an interview with some of the well-known feminists from the 1970s through the ‘90s in order to introduce “the new generation of feminists to them through articles instead of obituaries. The editor was kind but not interested.” Jade decided to organize an event and gathered together feminist activists and academics, the collective becoming the current producing body, Estrogenerations, Inc.: “a non-profit group of womyn dedicated to the well-being and survival of all female beings.”

    Struggling and fighting and forging bonds of sisterhood for two decades, “the [ second wave ] Women’s Movement finally became comatose in the 90s, slowly devolving into the Ladies Auxiliary of the Democratic Party,” Johnson says. “The ideal of liberation died and we were back on our knees begging the men again, doing most of the hard work and getting nothing for ourselves again. This did not satisfy the hunger of our souls, just used us up and burned us out. So we retreated into our personal lives. But we were isolated from what had given our lives purpose and from the power of female energy. Many became depressed, despondent [ and ] ill. Many died, too early.”

    Johnson explains that, for a decade, she and DeForest also retreated into their private lives, surrounded by female friends, flowers and laughter. But about three years ago, they “felt a quickening” and agreed that it was time to go back to New Mexico. They bought an old place and rehabbed it into a women’s retreat center. “That was fine as far as it went but we needed a real reunion … to begin to weave the broken web back together, recommit ourselves to women again. To bring women together again.” Like any major public event, the Feminist Hullaballoo has been a huge organizational undertaking, growing and coming to reality through the efforts of many women. “The original idea,” Johnson is anxious to emphasize, “was definitely Jade’s.”

    Whether or not these cranky crones will have anything new to say remains to be seen. Can the experiences, defeats and victories of the past instruct those who will fight the battles yet to come? Will the songs and sentiments of the foremothers be perceived as quaint camp or will they serve to inspire? Certainly, this event offers a nostalgic trip through history and memory for the older generation and a once-in-a-lifetime living history lesson for the younger.See you there?



    Posted by Heart | June 27, 2007, 6:28 pm
  8. Hey, great pictures! Now I can put faces to all the names of those I’ve talked to for so long!

    And it’s great to see pictures of Sonia Johnson and Mary Daly too!

    Thanks for posting pics!

    Posted by Branjor | June 27, 2007, 6:44 pm
  9. Evidently Micki Leventhal is a budding feminist, (not) regardless of her age in life. I am not sure why she was given space for her perspective outside of demonstrating that it doesn’t take much for a person, such as Micki, to have an opinion about something she knows nothing about. That’s the beauty about writers, authors such as Micki, they can pound out the keystrokes to fill some space, but they don’t really have a clue about the subject.

    The fact that she chose to use to the words, “these cranky crones”, “GLBTQ” ,(she is into the ‘T’, adds it into the GLB , which by adding the ‘T’ indicates a male oriented position, backing this up with the ‘oh, look at the puppy’ position of having birthed a male. “I birthed a male, so I understand and want males in female only space, we must nurture the males, despite the fact that they murder and rape us every 10 seconds across the world.)

    She writes about the Hullaballoo as if she is in the third person, the standing apart from the topic, the “not one of them” position, so this whole little clip could have been written by Anne Coulter and meant as much. Micki should grow some ovaries or stop pretending to know and be able to write about women and feminism. I hope she didn’t get compensation for writing that drivel. That would be embarrassing for her.

    To top it off, she says, “this event offers a nostalgic trip through history”.

    So, as a feminist, when in the fuck would I describe the long fought battles to raise women from being slaves, when would I talk about women, those of us born female, as NOSTALGIC HIS-story”, (She calls it HIS-story, by accident I am sure, but we see that she is male oriented, even as we read her train wreck of an article), let alone her describing feminism as ‘nostalgic’, as if it is over, the males posing as women have won? No. Men have won? No. And she goes on to suggest that we, as women will never be treated as humans, it was all just an interesting jaunt down memory lane? “HIS-Story”?

    Ohnoyoudidnt 

    Pfft, my plate is full at the moment, but, well crap, who the hell is Micki who thinks that they can pass judgment on women, those of us born female, radical feminists no less, radical feminist who are directly associated with the improvements of childcare, spousal abuse, rape laws, you name it and many of the radical feminists are LESBIANS, we don’t have a friggin stake in the males that straight/come lately to lesbian women have relations with, but we still pushed through Laws, frigging legislation to protect women. Do the math.

    Radical Feminists are hated by men for a reason. Men find women to do their hate for them; they find women who will attack feminists. We have seen this online and anyone worth their salt can name the women who work on behalf of men and spend countless hours attacking feminists, (all the while calling themselves feminists or they used to. I think they know their gig is up, so they have changed their tune.)

    We see you, hello. We know who and what you are.

    The women who hate radical feminists have opened their throats wide and swallowed, with eyes closed. We see you and we see the men. You cannot create enough words for us to destroy female energy as we will not be brought down by your attempts to force a new language upon us.

    Next time you want to rag on a radical feminist, step back, do some research and understand what lesbians, radical feminists have done. Read a book or two, understand what happened and know, just know that females, women, radical or not are here, as feminists and we stand strong against this latest assault from any male based movement including the transgender movement to erase us.

    Yeah, let the backlash begin. Males have been pushing us under forever and we women will always push back.


    Posted by uppitybiscuit | June 27, 2007, 7:42 pm
  10. (((( Uppity !!!! ))))


    Posted by Mary Sunshine | June 27, 2007, 7:59 pm
  11. I interviewed Sonia when she ran for president in 1984! This was for the Columbus Freepress, in Ohio. It’s amazing to think of her being in her 70s, or me about to turn 50, for that matter. 😛

    Posted by Daisy | June 27, 2007, 9:57 pm
  12. shouldn’t that be “HERstoric reunion of the wild sisters”? 🙂

    sounds like i missed a buttload of good times.

    Posted by ms. jared | June 27, 2007, 9:58 pm
  13. Heart – a gentle reminder – 2005 was the 30th anniversary of Michigan, this year is the 32nd.

    I cried and cried when I finally had to accept that there was no way I could attend the Hullaballoo. I so appreciate your commitment to blogging about it and sharing with the sisters who couldn’t make it. THANK YOU!

    Also, maybe not the best place to ask this, but, are you planning on facilitating any workshops this year? I had a dream last night that I was at an amazing workshop with you, Char and Falcon; I’ve decided it means I need to seek out anything you or Falcon present at fest. (I don’t know if Char will even be there.)

    Uppity – Thank you for putting words to the angry sputtering I was doing after reading that article.

    Posted by weezie | June 28, 2007, 4:20 pm
  14. Weezie, fixed, and thanks for your gentle reminder. Off Our Backs just had its 35th anniversary (I think! :/) and I think I get the two (beloved organizations/events!) confused!

    Oh, Weezie, I know exactly what you mean about crying and crying because you couldn’t go! I ended up asking for help, very hard for me, because I wanted to go so badly!

    An amazing workshop with me, Char and Falcon?! Count me in!! 😀 I was not going to facilitate any workshops this year but at the last minute I decided to facilitate a Radical Feminist Meet-Up workshop, inviting all the lovers of Andrea Dworkin, Robin Morgan, Marilyn Frye, Mary Daly, etc., to get together and talk about our movement, our thoughts, and just to meet and talk, period. I asked that it be scheduled Thursday or Friday so we’d have a couple days to get together afterwards if we wanted to.

    One reason I planned not to do a workshop this year is, I want to be free to go to some of Falcon’s, which I’ve never been able to attend because I’ve had my own scheduled at the same time!

    I *think* Char is going to be there this year, last time I heard it seemed like she was inclined that way. 🙂 I know that Karla Mantilla, Jenni Ruby of Off Our Backs will be there with the OOB table, so I’m excited about that.

    Let’s make sure to meet this year, Weezie!

    Re the article, yeah, Uppity, that was GREAT! I know articles like that are very frustrating. Mostly I posted it to preserve the history around this event. I think that writer will live to regret having published that particular article.


    Posted by womensspace | June 28, 2007, 4:54 pm
  15. Ohhhh!!

    I haven’t been to Michigan for 20 years.

    How can I endure to miss this?

    But I don’t have a car, and can’t handle the primitive conditions anymore. 😦

    Oh, I was there the year that shigella ripped through the place. I ended up in the hospital in Ohio while driving home. I know that into every life a little rain must fall, but still …


    Posted by Mary Sunshine | June 28, 2007, 5:13 pm
  16. Hey, Mary. 🙂 I heard all about the shigella thing last year in the Over 40s tent where they were having some of the Fest herstorians answer questions. I’m sorry you ended up in the hospital! Evidently after the shigella thing happened, Fest did such a good job of remedying the causes (which as I understand had to do with the Janes, flies, etc.) that Fest had already done everything the Health Department recommended before the recommendations even came down! I also learned that Fest does such a good job of preparing a LOT of food quickly and safely that the military has sent people in to learn from the Fest kitchen!




    Posted by womensspace | June 28, 2007, 7:24 pm
  17. “The ‘Oh, look at the puppy’ position.”

    I LOVE THAT. And you, uppitybiscuit.

    Posted by Goldfish | June 29, 2007, 1:02 am
  18. Oh, exciting! 🙂 A radfem meet-up sounds like exactly where I need to be. Yes, we should definitely meet this year. I am so looking forward to fest.

    Posted by weezie | June 29, 2007, 2:01 am
  19. Heart, your picture reminds me of my mom, which, believe me, is the greatest compliment I could possibly give.

    My mother and I live 9 time zones apart and still talk – often for much too long – almost every day by phone, text messaging or email. Mother/daughterhood is a blessing.

    Mary Daly is one of my favorite writers. Thanks for this post.

    Posted by maja | June 29, 2007, 6:15 am
  20. I love the photos! 🙂 And, yes, UppityBiscuit does look just like her avatar. :b

    Posted by CoolAunt | June 29, 2007, 2:45 pm
  21. Hmmm… these people kinda look familiar… 😛

    I had to return to work right after we got back so I haven’t had time to add my nickel’s worth. All I can say is… Hellaballoooooo!

    After picking up Uppity & Heart at the airport and a shot or two of Heart’s home-made vino, Stillwater & I shortly afterwards stuffed Heart & Uppity in the trunk and headed off to Santa Fe.

    I had a jolly good time and met all sorts of awesome women. Meeting Mary Daly was definitely a treat. She remembered me and said, “Lucky!” and then shook my hand. Old woman, my ass. She had a handshake like a vise-grip. She thoroughly amused us all when she skipped onto stage. As an added bonus, she gave us all a copy of “Pure Lust” and signed it for us. Except I’m more partial to Gyn/Ecology and had her sign that instead.

    Sonia Johnson was a pleasant surprise for me. When she took my hand, an electrifying energy began to flow between us. The hugs were even warmer. The warmth just radiates from her. She was definitely one of my favorites there.

    Afia Walking Tree just knocked my socks off with her drumming. She was nothing short of incredible. Stillwater was so impressed that she bought a drum. Now she expects me to drum for her. But Afia Walking Tree, I’m not. She’ll just have to settle for Lucky Running Mouth.

    I ran into Afia several times. Her eyes and smile are mesmerizing and beautiful. So I had to tease her so she’d light them up for me. She’d just laugh and swat at me.

    I wanted to bring Connie Kurtz and Ruthie Berman home with me and have them be my next door neighbors. They were absolutely hilarious. Connie put the mike to me and asked me a few questions. I suspect that’s what alerted some people to my presence there. I didn’t know whether to be flattered or worried when I was approached and told that I had been pointed out to them and they were told, “See her? That is one radical dyke.” They wanted to know if it was true. LOL. How do you answer something like that? I just laughed and said I guess I could be kinda controversial at times. They just told me how awesome they thought that was and shook my hand. That graduated to arms around me and hugs. What a nice change of pace from those that would like to burn me at the stake.

    Speaking of which, I’m sure Sally Gearhart wouldn’t mind putting the torch to me. I booed her and told her she had her head up her ass and walked out on her in disgust and protest when she took the stage and tried to inject penis-cillan into us with her crap about how we needed to be inclusive of da menz and trans in women-only space. I guess she got to missing patriarchy or something over the weekend.

    Oh, come now. Did you really have to wonder who caused a bit of commotion there? Fran Day of “Sinister Wisdom” turned around and gave me a big thumb’s up and a number of women followed in suit and walked out the door after me. Including our very own Uppity Biscuit. Afterwards, I had many women come up to me and shake my hand and say how glad they were that someone had the huevos to stand up and protest all that bullshit. But for the most part, I did behave myself most of the weekend. I didn’t even say anything to the trans boy among us trying to suck off of our gyn energy. I was having way too good of a time celebrating women’s space and sisterhood to let any male-born asshole and his delusional sense of entitlement to women take away from any of it.

    On a brighter note, I had the privilege of meeting up with Marine Amy and her friend Darcy. It was indeed love at first sight as she states on her blog. Her eyes just twinkled when I introduced myself and the warmth of her smile made me feel as tho I had known her all of my life. I can’t say enough good things about her. She’s just totally awesome.

    So much more to say, but it’s 3:00 am and I’m starting to nod off on my keyboard. Perhaps I’ll find time tomorrow to comment some more.

    Goodnight Heart. Goodnight Uppity. Goodnight John Boy.

    Posted by Luckynkl | June 30, 2007, 10:16 am
  22. Hi Lucky,

    Thanks for that!

    I had a hunch it wouldn’t be a female-born event.

    When the steadfastly separatist events start showing up again, “I’ll* start showing up again. I’ve been used too many times.

    Until then, I continue to watch all these reports like a hawk.


    Posted by Mary Sunshine | June 30, 2007, 4:29 pm
  23. HA~! Lucky spilled the beans. I hoped the curiousity level would increase as I worked up to writing about who it was who got booed and walked-out on! Ah, well, it’s only fair, since it was Lucky who booed! :p And walked out. Also Uppity and a lot of other women who were also really pissed off over Sally Gearhart’s presentation.

    I cannot tell you how disappointing that presentation was! Not only because Gearhart made it about the menz and the transgender persons, or tried to, but because her presentation itself was (1) not remotely feminist; (2) not remotely progressive; (3) absolutely nonsensical. I have no idea what’s up with her or has been over the past couple of decades, but I know it is really not good.

    As you’ll see, because I’m going to write about it now, since the beanz iz spilled. 🙂

    I counted three MTF transgender persons over the weekend, one who was there throughout, one who was there only on Sunday, and one who was there on Saturday. This last person stuck out like a sore thumb proudly attired in all of the straitjackets of femininity in a crowd composed almost entirely of gender nonconforming women, unshaven women, women wearing zero makeup, women who have resisted and rejected the feminine for all of their lives or most of their lives or, for that matter, for some of their lives. Yet here is this transperson, all about the feminine. Whatever.

    But this is why I say I think we’ve got to get back to grassroots, snail mail, phone calls, kinds of gatherings, and forget these all points bulletins over the internet. That is the only way we will be able to have female-only gatherings again.

    Stillwater, such beautiful words! It was a pleasure to meet you and Lucky and Uppity and to spend that time together. I will never forget it or your amazing hospitality! It was such a blast!


    Posted by womensspace | June 30, 2007, 4:58 pm
  24. Oh, yeah, Sally Gearhart went way ga-ga for S&M back in the 70’s.

    When the day comes that *all* the other feminists in the room leave, leaving Sally & the trannie in their glorious “women’s space”, we’ll know we’re on the road.

    Taxi-ing for take-off.

    Or something.


    Posted by Mary Sunshine | June 30, 2007, 5:00 pm
  25. Well, that makes sense, Mary. That makes total sense. I didn’t realize she went that direction in the 70s, but it sure fits with what she said! Does it ever!


    Posted by womensspace | June 30, 2007, 5:03 pm
  26. Well, shoot, I hope I didn’t spoil the suspense too much, Heart. I only touched on some of the highlights of the weekend for me. I left quite a bit out. I know people often skip over comments, so I figure there’s still a whole lot of people out there waiting to hear you report what happened. Besides, I only touched on it. There’s a whole lot more to be said. I’ll try to put a lid on it until you let the cat completely out of the bag tho, ok?

    Posted by Luckynkl | July 1, 2007, 12:15 am
  27. HA! No problem, Lucky. 🙂 You have a right, given that you are the Boo-er and all.

    I hope you keep remembering and writing, you too, Stillwater and Freida and anyone else who was there. We have to preserve our herstory. We’ve lost too much of it already.


    Posted by womensspace | July 1, 2007, 12:25 am
  28. At the risk of having my dignity trampled by my sisters in feminism, I would like to offer a perspective on the Hullaballoo.

    I was a member of the organizing committee of the Hullaballoo. The Hullaballoo organizing committee was not made up of lesbian separatists only. It was made up of feminist women of every stripe who worked to bring women’s voices back to a public forum.

    I am dismayed to be hearing women proudly trash other women who do not share their separatist ideals. I would like to point out that the Hullaballoo was a Feminist Hullaballoo, not a Separatist Hullaballoo. To me, feminism has a great deal to do with women having choice in their lives and it is not asking too much to respectfully listen when women are speaking their truth, even if I don’t agree with it.

    There is no reason to pour poison into the happiness that welled up at the Hullaballoo. Let’s get trashing out of our feminist culture; it has as much to do with the slowdown of feminism as patriarchal politics does.

    Posted by Sequoia | July 4, 2007, 9:15 pm
  29. Welcome, Sequoia. Thank you for your hard work in organizing what turned out to be an amazing, wonderful, thrilling event for me and for so many others!

    I don’t think the issue here is separatism, or lesbian separatism vs. feminist non-separatism, with all due respect, and I mean that sincerely. The issue with Sally Gearhart’s presentation had to do, in my mind at least, with a presentation of views which, in mine and others’ minds, are simply not consistent with love for the earth, love for women, with feminism. I think we have to be able to talk about that freely. I don’t like trashing — I have experienced a lot of it, and I know how difficult it is and have found it quite painful. But I also do not like women’s voices to be silenced. Sometimes women are going to challenge what other women say and do, and that’s going to be difficult, but it’s not optional, I don’t think, it’s absolutely necessary. I think everything we say to one another — and particularly publicly — has to be open to feminist analysis, feedback, response, critique.

    I will be writing specifically, and as kindly and respectfully as I can, about Gearhart’s presentation.

    The other thought that came to my mind reading your comment was, “Well, off we go…”



    Posted by womensspace | July 4, 2007, 10:31 pm
  30. I linked to Wikipedia’s entry on Sonja Johnson in my latest blog post and while I was perusing the Wiki entry, found the link that got me here 🙂 I am interested in the “trashing” issue discussed above. I am not a separatist. It’s not the “patriarchy” that trashes, it’s a way of thinking that women also participate in. The embracing mentioned is, in my opinion, a spiritual one, and can encompass all people. I hope to learn about other Hullabaloos and events where thinking, feeling people will be gathering. I hope to learn about such events in advance rather than after the fact! I’ll be perusing Wiki entry for how to sign up on mailing lists when I next have time 🙂

    Posted by Mary Ann Vorasky | May 1, 2008, 4:06 pm
  31. Sonia, I would like to contact you. will you please send me an email. I helped you ‘clean up’ the Energy Soup blender recipe which you were having trouble because the almond soaking water was not being thrown away and it caused you to have arthritis like pains, remember? I remember the loving atmosphere of the campaign ‘headquarters’ and when I came out of my sleeping space under the stairs and told you, after you asked me where I had been, and I said I had just come out of the closet, that everyone in the room cracked up! I looked around and didn’t even realize what that meant other than the meaning I had just put forth! I was so naive! Thank you for what you have been doing. Thank you for what you will do in the future. I am down south of the Miami area teaching yoga to 4 and 5 year olds at the YWCA day care centers and I love my job. I also love teaching English as a Second Language to Haitians and Spanish speaking workers. I still drink the Energy Soup of Dr. Wigmore’s, my teacher for over 22 years, and doing pretty well at 71. I love this tropical weather and wonder if you have any of your books you would like to share with me to read and return. I hand out things for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine ( an organization of over 5,000 vegan medical doctors and teach people how to get well using my co-doctors’ methods: Dr. Esselstyn’s “Reverse and Prevent Heart Disease”, Dr. Jane Plant’s “The No Dairy Anti-Breast Cancer Program”, Dr. Barnard’s “Reversing and Preventing Diabetes”, etc. Mainly, it’s just getting rid of all forms of dairy and clarified oils and becoming a vegan who eats no processed grains. My PO Box is [withheld but saved for forwarding on by me, Heart] and if you would like to visit to rest in the Biscayne Bay waters, I would love to have you.

    Posted by Dr. Flora Van Orden | May 20, 2008, 1:06 am
  32. PS. I will also be at the Raw Spirit Celebration in Sedona, Arizona on the 13th and 14th of September. To your good health!

    Posted by Dr. Flora Van Orden | May 20, 2008, 1:09 am
  33. It’s a pleasure to read your words, Dr. Van Orden. I will forward them on to Sonia Johnson but approved your comments here, since I know all the womyn who read will enjoy them.

    I will definitely be taking a look at the website! I am also going to try to look up Dr. Wigmore’s Energy Soup!

    Thanks so much for your comments. 🙂


    Posted by womensspace | May 20, 2008, 3:28 am
  34. How interesting to find this site (via Wikipedia) and see a posting about Sonia Johnson moments after I had emailed a friend about Sonia’s effect on my life in the 1980s.
    An active feminist in the 70s and 80s, I had worked to secure the ERA in Washington state. And, I was born and raised Mormon. I had not been active for years when I came upon a copy of “From Housewife to Heretic” on the shelf of the university library where I worked. I was totally fascinated and moved by her book, and wrote to her. This morning I found the card she sent me in reply (May of 1985) tucked into the copy of her book I had later purchased.
    I was moved to promote her appearance and talk at our university in 1987, sponsored by the Women’s Center. Sonia stayed at my house during her visit, and it was quite exciting to be around her ideas and energy. I still have the copy of “Going Out of Our Minds” that she inscribed to me then.
    After 30+ years I had forgotten much of this experience until Sunday when I was visiting with a feminist friend who was also at the university at that time, and the topic of Mormonism and Sonia Johnson came up.
    It’s been great to remember and honor that important time in my life . . .

    Posted by Dawn Holladay | May 20, 2008, 6:56 pm
  35. Does anyone know if there will be another Feminist Hullaballoo this year or ever again? Also, someone mentioned that the 2007 event had been recorded on streaming video; does one know where that is playing?

    Posted by Penni | May 31, 2008, 10:56 pm
  36. I loved the photos of this event! How could I have missed them the last time I was on this thread!!! Mary Daly still has that same vest! You gotta love her!!!

    Posted by Satsuma | June 1, 2008, 2:42 am
  37. How are you, Sonia. This is Marlene Loisdotter from Mt. Hood Community College where you spoke on Women in the Year 2000. I interview you for cable TV and send you a video of our talk. I’ve thought about you many times since then, and would like to know what you are doing. Do you still have the B&B? Thinking of retiring from Women’s Studies, I hope to visit New Mexico some day, and would love to say hello, if you welcome admiring guests.

    Posted by Marlene Loisdotter | June 3, 2012, 1:07 pm
  38. Here is the link to an article I stumbled across on the Internet where a relative of Sonia Johnson’s states that her family believes Sonia is now living in Costa Rica. Also, her B&B, Casa Feminista, is no more.

    Posted by Laila Morgaine | October 7, 2012, 2:27 pm

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The Farm at Huge Creek, Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, The Feminist Hullaballoo