So some of us are setting up a women's discussion group in Newcastle, and would love any tips and tricks any of you might have. I have just sent out this message to the members of our fb group, just to give you an idea of what we are doing:
OK, enough faffing. If it is ok with everyone else, I'll nip into tilleys after work tomorrow and try and book the little room there for our meetings. Or would a place like star and shadow be better?
For now, my idea is once a week, from 8.30 to 9.30 on a weeknight, women only. (but with socialising afterwards for any gender) Topics set in advance in six weekly blocks to give us chance to read up, and discussions can be continued and resources shared on here. I propose us nominating a discussion leader each week who can do a little bit of research (not huge amounts, just the key facts) and also try to make sure the discussion stays vaguely on topic.
Topics could be anything, serious or silly, worldwide or local, personal or theorectical. All we are trying to do is thrash out what we think, and listen to what some other women think along the way No political, religious or other affiliations (although by it's nature it will probably end up quite feminist)
PROPOSED GROUND RULES What is discussed in the group stays in the group, and abusive behavior will not be tolerated- if you disagree, fine, but try to express it in a reasoned and thoughtful way please. That said, for the group to be useful, we may have to touch on sensitive issues and opinions may be expressed that people don't like. If you find the topic of a certain meeting particulary worrying for whatever reason, feel free to either not attend, or leave at any point, and we will get together a list of useful websites and helplines round sensitive subjects.
Please invite along any women you know who may like to join in, and don't feel that you have to be an expert or even know anything about the subject. It would be useful if people could have a quick read up before a meeting, but it isn't compulsary, as the group exists for us to explore the subjects and learn, both about the world and our own opinions.
This is a friendly and informal group, so please try to make other women feel welcome and valued, even if you disagree
Everything in this message is up for debate, and I will post it on the group too (I will also post it on the women's rights section of mumsnet, under a name change, to see if any of the more seasoned feminists can offer advice). If I don't hear any objections, I will go ahead and book the first meeting for next week (I personally prefer midweek, but again, please let me know if you have any problems with any days)
Please invite women to the group and spread the word!