"But we need a SPACE just for women who experienced sexism during childhood, and this is no different from having a space for Black women, queer women, trans women, working-class women, women with disabilities, etc."
Okay then, let’s play this game. How many well-funded, well-publicized, private, week-long events are out there that are actually just for women of color, queer women, trans women, working-class women, or women with disabilities? With concerts from platinum-winning bands, on hundreds of acres of privately-owned land?
Even if any such event actually did exist, do you think that it would stay restricted to women of color, queer women, trans women, working-class women, or women with disabilities, etc. if only one-third of all attendees actively wanted that restriction and just as many actively opposed it? And given the strikingly low support for keeping those restrictions, do you think that the vast majority of white women, straight women, cis women, class-privileged women, women without disabilities, etc. would actually consider themselves meaningfully excluded or deterred from just showing up?
Because you can’t invoke the hypothetical legitimacy of a comparable week-long retreat for thousands of marginalized women when there is no such thing. Because the fact that there is no such thing means something. It means that there’s some difference between “women-born-women” policies and “marginalized-women-only” policies that’s allowing the spaces with the former policy to exist on a mass scale, while spaces with the latter policy only end up applying to small events and mini-workshops within larger events. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it’s because cis women have a lot more social power to exclude trans women than women with disabilities, women of color, trans women, queer women, etc. have to exclude anyone.
This is why the “start your own festival” line is so pernicious. When actual marginalized groups create their own space and exclude non-marginalized people, you can tell who has the relative privilege because there usually literally dozens of similar spaces that are not only inclusive of, but dominated by non-marginalized people. If the supposedly non-marginalized group actually doesn’t manage over the course of more than two decades to come up with an alternative to your exclusionary thing that’s even better-funded and well-attended, maybe you’re mis-identifying which group is actually the underdog.