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Feminist Hullaballoo — Historic Reunion of the Wild Sisters, Part II, Kim Duckett and Hye Sook Hwang

Kim Duckett

This is Kim Duckett, who opened the Saturday conference with a beautiful ritual which included powerful drumming and dancing in a ceremony which included a dancer metaphorically releasing women’s oppressions, batterings, and abuses into a cauldron to be burned away. I really, really appreciated everything Kim had to say. She spoke of these times in which we are living as times of “quickening,” urging us to recognize the way, as women, we are connected by our experiences, by our love and passion for each other, and feminism. Describing her own feminism as her spirituality, she said that the Feminist Hullaballoo was a gathering of transformation, but that we are the transformation.

“I am a radical feminist. I am a radical Lesbian Feminist. I blossomed as a lesbian feminist in the 1970s. And I remain and continue and will die a lesbian feminist. It is just who and what I am and why I’m here, no matter how it is expressed; for example, my early activism regarding rape and violence against wimmin, or teaching women’s studies in university for 28 years, or in my work as Ritualist, Priestess and shamanic psychologist.

“I serve Womankind/Her/Femaleness/The Life Force. And I am honored to be part of this grand gathering, to give thanks to my incredible radical feminist foremothers and cohorts, and to ensure the continuance of our Kind into the Future.”

Hye Sook Hwang

Hye Sook Hwang is an incredible woman who describes herself as a “Native-Gyne of Korea”. She grew up in a working-class family in Seoul, Korea. She told a story of having always, from a very young age, wanted to be a cross-cultural missionary, of having become a Christian, and later joining a liberal Roman Catholic women’s missionary organization in the United States and finally traveling to the Phillipines as a missionary, believing her dream was about to be fulfilled, only to come face to face with the ugliness of patriarchal religion, nationalism and colonialism. Disillusioned, she abandoned Christianity, then discovered Mary Daly’s books, Beyond God the Father, and The Church and the Second Sex, which she has translated into Korean. Later, having returned to the university, she discovered the books, Epic of the Emblem City and the Handan Gogi (Archaic Chronicles of Han and and Dan) which introduced her to Magoism, an ancient transpatriarchal, gynocentric goddess tradition centered in East Asia (China, Korea and Japan). Her doctoral dissertation, “Seeking Mago, the Great Goddess: A Mytho-Historic-Theological Reconstruction of Magoism, an Archaically Originated Gynocentric Tradition of East Asia (Korea, China, and Japan,” embodies her work thus far.

Hwang said that nationalism, whether American, Korean, whatever nation, wherever it exists in the age of the rule of men, is a game of the patriarchal controllers, an ideology which always precludes the agency of women. She said that nationalism never acknowledges women even though it harnesses the energy of women. Quoting Virginia Woolf and others, she said that as women, we have no country, none of us does, that instead, the whole world is our country, which she calls “supra-nationalism.”

She set forth these ideas:

(1) Contemporary politics exclude the agency of women;

(2) Ethnocentric, nationalist, colonialist ideologies help no one;

(3) Culture must be acknowledged, but redefined according to gynocentric principles, gynocentric orders not based on domination, and that our understanding of these principles will deepen as we study and learn of pre-proto-patriarchal cultures from around the world, cultures which are matrilineal, matrifocal, and matrilocal.

She said that patriarchal cultures and the world’s great patriarchal religions have tried, but have not been able, to destroy or remove women’s gynocentric heritage, and that in fact, gynocentric community was responsible for maintaining whatever unity has existed among people held in the thrall of patriarchal power across the centuries. She said the first cross-cultural missionaries were women, that Magoist tradition invented the concept of cross-cultural “missionaries,” and that Magoists were dispatched throughout the world where they held intercultural meetings spoken in gynocentric languages.

This was a theme echoed throughout the conference, that the time has come for women, females, to transcend patriarchal, nationalist discourses and ideologies, together with the rhetoric and politics of the patriarchists, that it was time that we unite globally as females, as women, to transform the earth.

To be continued

Discussion

33 thoughts on “Feminist Hullaballoo — Historic Reunion of the Wild Sisters, Part II, Kim Duckett and Hye Sook Hwang

  1. Heart, do you have any idea how much this reporting means to so many of us ? I think you do …. so, thanks!

    Posted by secondwaver | June 29, 2007, 8:53 pm
  2. The whole hullaballoo idea and reality gives me goose bumps. Does it seem to anyone else that we’re reaching critical mass? Or is that just wishful thinking? Interesting to note that the radical feminists (mostly lesbians) who led us 30 years ago are stepping forward to lead again. Are there enough of us who came of age in the 60’s and 70’s and who are now becoming grandmothers (literally and figuratively) to midwife the birth of women’s liberation, 21st century? Are we at a place once again (children grown, safe & secure, bored) to stick our necks out for our daughters and granddaughters? And not just blog about it. There are enough radfems everywhere for hullaballoos everywhere! Heart: we could have one in Seattle!

    Posted by stacy | June 29, 2007, 8:59 pm
  3. Secondwaver, it is my privilege! Stacy, tell me about the goosebumps! Something is definitely happening; a quickening, as some women have called it, a paradigm shift, something.

    And YES to a hullaballoo here in the Pacific Northwest, and everywhere, in the Midwest, in New York, in Florida, in Texas, wherever women are feeling it, you know?

    I have been feeling this, feeling this for the past two years and spoke of it in my workshop at Fest last year, that it’s time for women to create communities again, intentional communities, beginning in our own homes with one or two women, on whatever basis, or out in the park or in the library, and it was *thrilling* to hear so many women at the conference saying this same thing in various ways. Just wait til I write about what Mary Daly and Sonia Johnson said!
    😀

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | June 29, 2007, 9:34 pm
  4. I have this idea that we should all get on our local craig’s list in the women-seeking-women section and send out the call. Your link to Allecto (who I surmise is a young woman in Australia) gave me the inspiration to use craiglist to set up a feminist collective but really, since I’m getting old and cranky, I don’t want to start a collective — just get together and drink wine and laugh and talk! Well, you know, collectively — that would be the collective part of it. Nothing too marxist. No rules except the wine can’t be cheap.

    Posted by stacy | June 29, 2007, 10:23 pm
  5. ***Something is definitely happening; a quickening, as some women have called it, a paradigm shift, something.***

    I knew I’d live to see it, I just knew!!!

    Posted by Branjor | June 29, 2007, 11:48 pm
  6. but think of all the trolls loose on craigslist!

    check out twisty’s new forum, she has a fairly secure section for radical womyn to find each other, geographically —

    http://easypersiflage.com/blameforum/index.php

    you have to create a profile to see that section, though, it’s called “blaming by region.”

    it’s moderated.

    Posted by secondwaver | June 30, 2007, 1:56 am
  7. Hey, Stacy, I am going to e-mail you– let’s do it! Since we’re here in Seattle and all. Monday nights are good for me, and I know some other radfems who probably will want to join us. Good wine, good talk, and bad radical feminists sounds just right to me!

    Exciting! 🙂

    Secondwaver, thanks for that idea, I will go check out that thread. 🙂

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | June 30, 2007, 4:26 am
  8. Wow, thanks for the great review.

    Any idea where I could read more about Magoism?

    Posted by Tara | June 30, 2007, 10:11 am
  9. “I have been feeling this, feeling this for the past two years and spoke of it in my workshop at Fest last year, that it’s time for women to create communities again, intentional communities, beginning in our own homes with one or two women, on whatever basis….”

    Gladys Taber is my favorite author. She was born in 1899 and passed in 1980. She was married to a man, at first, and had a couple kids but then divorced him to live with her woman-friend, Jill, on a wonderful homestead called Stillmeadow. Most of Gladys’ writings are about their beautiful life together. If women don’t read anything else from Gladys, they ought to read the book “Another Path”. It speaks of when Jill died and about their totally committed relationship to each other.

    Ever since discovering Gladys Tabers’ writings several years ago, Heart, I have always longed for what she and Jill had there on Stillmeadow. The beauty of their relationship and arrangement (co-existing together, loving common interests together, raising their children and dogs together, creating their home together) is the first thing I thought of when I read your words quoted above.

    Women living together. Sounds like a dream to me. 🙂

    Thank you for letting all of us readers attend the Feminist Hullaballoo with you, via your writings. I feel the energy!

    VFRW

    Posted by VFRW | June 30, 2007, 10:57 am
  10. 8:08 AM 6/30/2007

    I don’t often post, it just isn’t where I’m at yet…I read, and I read, and I learn. I feel an old soul connection with the feminist women I’ve met these last few years. I went to the Hullaballoo and I want to share my point of view. Thursday am Luck and I met Uppity at the Las Vegas airport. We ate, and talked and hung out at my niece’s home until time to meet Heart’s afternoon flight. We enjoyed an evening of wine and talk and getting to know each other beyond the boards. Lucky and Heart have known one another for 7 or 8 years and never met until this trip. We left early Friday for our drive to Santa Fe. This weekend included 1500 miles of Road Trip. We arrived at the Hullaballoo! Oh, The Energy! An energy that filled me the entire weekend. This many women gathered together to laugh and dance and learn and grow. To share our thoughts, ideas, and our strength. The theme throughout the gathering would turn out to be, “Take it home with you. Go back into your live and make a change.” I followed through on a talk Uppity and I had about how uncomfortable it makes me to see the men’s mission here in our community get so much more support and attention as compared to the women and children’s shelter. I called and asked to volunteer to contact the banks and churches to focus on the DV shelter for a change. Well, I don’t think they felt too sure about this. They want to get to know me some first, I might be a lunatic or fanatic…so for now they have my name and number added to the volunteer group. I need to continue to call and meet some of the women staff in person. I’m starting my footwork and I feel good about it. Thank you Uppity for lighting a fire within me as we talked.
    Back to the Hullaballoo. We walked into a lobby and auditorium filled with feminist women. Many were over sixty, many were lesbians, and they all were beautiful women. A weekend of women, for women, lay ahead. I learned of the group OLOC for the first time this weekend. Older Lesbians Organizing Change, you have to be sixty to join. There were so many women present who have been actively involved in feminist works since the late sixties or early seventies. In that arena I felt like a babe in the woods. My feminist works got squashed out of me during my time of marriage and being under a man’s hand. I left that world in a big way twelve years ago at the age of 36. I came out as a lesbian over the next two years and left the men who were killing me…one an ex-husband, the other my daughter’s dad (as much as I could I removed myself from his power.) 21/2 years ago I met and fell in love with Lucky, I have had radical feminist learning ever since. As I said earlier, there is an old soul connection; a feeling of coming home…finally.
    The first night we heard Sonia Johnson speak of re-inventing ourselves. What I took from her words is that we must find a way to focus on ourselves and constantly renew our strength and our fire. If you are a radical feminist in this world you are up against the wall everyday; you are trying to swim upstream and you must have an inner strength to fight that fight.
    Alix Dobkin then sang and spoke. She was absolutely wonderful. Both Alix and Sonia have a lifetime of being feminist. I realize I have so much more to read and hear and learn of the women who have walked this journey before me. Alix called up Susan Abod to sing one song. She was powerful. We bought CD’s of both Alix and Susan.
    Heart and Uppity I’m thankful to have met you both and to have shared this part of our journey together. My life will never be the same after the Hullaballoo, and that is a good thing. Lucky, I love you always. I’m glad we have found each other.

    Posted by stillwater | June 30, 2007, 4:25 pm
  11. Everything Hwang said about nationalism is really resonating with me. When men destroy things (lives, countries, hope); when they perpetuate their violent, greedy machismo – it is always women who are damaged the most, while simultaneously doing all the work for the survival of their people, for keeping LIFE going, so that there is something left for the men to destroy. Am I making sense here? And it seems to me that this is true of all women, in any country. So this air of national superiority even among the lesbians and activists in my community – i.e. “that would never happen here”, “if I lived in Afganistan I would do such and such”, “we wouldn’t put up with that” (basically saying that if any of them lived in another country, this horrible oppression of women wouldn’t have happened, they would have done everything differently, so that, say, burkas wouldn’t exist) – it drives me up a wall. I just want to yell ‘WE ARE THEM! THEY ARE US!’

    Anyway, while reading about Hwang’s talk, I had this vision of radical feminist missionaries, going into the world not to preach and convert, but to listen and organize.🙂 Women rising up as a people, with no regard to the boundaries of men, what a thought! Makes me want to jump up and down.

    Posted by weezie | June 30, 2007, 5:53 pm
  12. Weezie,

    You said:

    “Women rising up as a people, with no regard to the boundaries of men, what a thought! Makes me want to jump up and down.”
    😀

    Me, too !!!

    Mary

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | June 30, 2007, 6:22 pm
  13. “Older Lesbians Organizing Change, you have to be sixty to join.”

    I don’t know why but I find it thrilling to know that older women are organising and acting politically for women. Maybe it’s because I’m approaching middle age so I’ll be there sooner rather than later, maybe it’s because the focus always seems to be on young feminists (who are great too!) or maybe it’s because I’m so used to the older women I’ve come across in my life acting as agents for patriarchy and helping to squash younger women. Whatever it is, I feel a great energy reading about older feminists and knowing they exist. Maybe it’s because they portend the future, in fact I think that’s what it is.

    Posted by delphyne | June 30, 2007, 7:40 pm
  14. There was a -shirt at the Hullaballo that read:

    “Older Women Are Your Future”

    Posted by uppitybiscuit | June 30, 2007, 8:46 pm
  15. ((( Delphyne !!! )))

    You don’t know how much it means to me, and *feels* to me, to hear you say that.

    Mary

    Posted by Mary Sunshine | June 30, 2007, 8:58 pm
  16. Hey, Stillwater, I said this in my comment in the other thread:

    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!

    Just didn’t want you to miss it. 🙂

    VFRW, you’ve got to get to some of these things sometime, even Michfest. You would LOVE it! I LOVE Gladys Tabor’s writings.

    Weezie, yes! To me nationalism obscures, again, the way women are colonized. Apparently it is women and men who form the nation-state and who are “nationalists.” In fact, men have formed and dominated nation-states, after having colonized and enslaved women. This is true everywhere, throughout the world, and Hwang addressed this really well in talking about women being “supra-nationalists” and in describing the way women have held things together for everybody. Women have been and still are very good at creating often-barely-visible worlds within worlds which have little to nothing to do with the world men have created.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | June 30, 2007, 9:40 pm
  17. OLOC is quite the active group, too! Very inspiring. 🙂

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | June 30, 2007, 9:42 pm
  18. Tara, I found this online by Hye Sook Hwang– very interesting in so many ways!

    http://www.universitadelledonne.it/mago.htm

    You all should read and we can discuss. 🙂 Really interesting the idea that Mago, the great Goddess of the East, was not generally depicted as a mother or in conjunction with fertility but was depicted as a sort of original Creator and as asexual. Also interesting is Hwang’s view that Mago is the Eastern name for the Goddess with other names in other cultures and parts of the world.

    Hwang said at the conference that she has a website but so far it is in Korean language only. She says she plans to translate it and make it available in English as well.

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | July 1, 2007, 2:02 am
  19. Oh, I am so, so jealous, you have no idea. It all sounds so wonderful. Looking forward to more of your soul-nourishing accounts of the Hullaballo.

    Posted by allecto | July 2, 2007, 10:59 am
  20. secondwaver – thanks for the info. I hadn’t thought about the icky boys on craigslist and I’m forum-phobic so have avoided getting involved in twisty’s. However, I’m taking the whole month of august off and am determined to conquer that fear!

    Posted by stacy | July 2, 2007, 4:41 pm
  21. Hi, I am delighted to know our conversation here! Thanks for many sparking insights. Thanks Heart! I particularly like weezie’s idea of the radical feminist missionaries. Perhaps we do not have to go around unless you want to since we are already in Diaspora. Yes, we go around where we are listening and organizing women under the gynocentric principles of our Goddesses. That is what my foresisters did in East Asia for the period of several millennia. There used to be signs in the villages of Korea with three birds sitting in three branches of one pole, called Sotae. While the specific meaning of Sotae is lost among Koreans, I speculate that it was a symbol that acknowledged the reign of Mago. The symbol of triad is specific to the divinity of Mago, and her two daughters. My article on the origin myth of Mago is about to come in print. There I explained cosmic music as ultimate creativity, triad, and parthenogenesis, all gynocentric symbolisms that make the origin myth alive.

    I should post the image of Sotae next time for us here.

    Hye Sook

    Posted by magoism | July 4, 2007, 9:05 pm
  22. Hye Sook! What a pleasure to have you here!
    🙂

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | July 4, 2007, 10:25 pm
  23. Someone informed me of this posting!

    I searched some image of Sotae, dreaming once again about how to re-enlivening the gynocentric symbols. BTW, I guess image function is not available here.

    We have no country, the whole world is our country!!!

    Hye Sook

    Posted by magoism | July 5, 2007, 5:19 pm
  24. How great to keep coming back and seeing more and more posts on the Hullaballoo. Heart you are a wonder! Hye Sook! I so enjoyed our connection. it was first in the van from the airport and then before you spoke, as well throughou the Hullaballoo. I’d love to be in touch if there’s a way we can connect. Maybe Heart will graciously share my email with you since i’ts hidden in the posts here. -Kim

    p.s. the forum talked about at the Feminist Hullaballoo is up and running! (hullaballo.net) You need to have the username and password that was shared at the Hullaballoo, then register on the forum with your own.

    Posted by Kim Rivers | September 5, 2007, 4:17 am
  25. Kim! How have you been?! (Hey, that rhymes! Oh well, my poet friends always did tell me I was a closet poet :P).

    I don’t know if you remember meeting me at the Hullaballoo, but I remember meeting you (tho I don’t recall sharing any secret handshakes or passwords). Here, let me refresh your memory. I was the 7 ft tall fire-breathing dragon. Remember yet? 😛

    I vaguely remember a future forum being mentioned, but I confess I didn’t pay much attention to it. I figured once everyone went home, that would be the end of it. I’m pleased to see that it wasn’t.

    But hullaballoo.net? Balloons and party goods for weddings and other special occasions? Somehow I don’t think this is the right url. **chuckle**

    We have no country, the whole world is our country!!!

    I guess I see things a little differently. This is a female planet. Males are only visitors here. We can show them the door any time we like. Always could. But I guess there’s still a few women around that continue to find them amusing and insist on keeping them as pets.

    Posted by Luckynkl | September 5, 2007, 7:31 am
  26. Hey, Lucky, the Hullaballoo site really is where Kim says, but you have to leave out the last o, otherwise you get the balloon site.

    Posted by Aletha | September 6, 2007, 3:08 am
  27. Ok, got it. I did indeed read it too fast and missed that there was only one “o.” Thanx, Aletha!

    But I still can’t get in.😦 I do recall the username and password being announced and remember thinking I’d remember it. But guess what? I didn’t! I guess the hard drive in my brain is about full, even despite the millions of gigabytes of patriarchal horseshit I’ve purged. So can someone e-me with it?

    Posted by Luckynkl | September 6, 2007, 10:37 am
  28. So only those who were actually at the Hullaballoo can get onto the forum?

    Posted by Branjor | September 6, 2007, 11:59 am
  29. Never mind about the email. Stillwater wrote the username and password down in her program booklet so I have it now and am in.

    Branjor, I don’t know the answer to your question. I don’t imagine it would be that exclusive, but it’s not my forum and I can’t make that call. I’ll ask at the forums, ok? I’m running late for work right now so I’ll have to do it after work.

    Posted by Luckynkl | September 6, 2007, 2:16 pm
  30. Hi all and Kim,

    Good to hear from you, Kim. I can be reached at magoism@gmail.com.

    I am writing a book at the moment and found more supporting materials on supranationalism of ancient Korean Magoists. I would like to contribute to any form of publication or communication about this.

    “We have no country but the whole world is our country.” I can prove this consciousness not unique to us, modern feminists.

    Best wishes to all,
    Hye Sook

    Posted by magoism | September 25, 2007, 8:44 pm
  31. Magoism, so great to read you! I am so looking forward to your book!

    Heart

    Posted by womensspace | September 25, 2007, 9:16 pm
  32. Thanks Heart!

    By the say, did you see the sotae image in my article published in Trivia: Voices of Feminism?

    If not, here it is: http://www.triviavoices.net/current/index.html

    Hye Sook

    Posted by magoism | September 26, 2007, 2:46 am
  33. Oh, another recent article of mine on the Magoist Cosmongy:

    http://www.ciis.edu/ochrejournal/2007/scholarship/hwang1.html

    So long!

    Hye Sook

    Posted by magoism | September 26, 2007, 2:48 am

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