This is a safe space: a space for women+ to come together as we are. All of our wants, needs, thoughts, feelings, experiences, losses, successes etc. are welcome. We are here to support each other during trying times and loss, as well as to celebrate each other. If you are a woman+, you belong here. Your contributions are valid and valued.
It is my utmost conviction that providing a safe space for women+ must, I say must include it being a safe space for women+’s rage. Because, damn, do we ever have reasons to be angry. I understand that our rage often feels helpless, since the world cares so little, and so often belittles our rage in ways fit to give one a veritable stroke. “You’re so cute when you’re angry!”, we hear. “Think positive!”, we’re told. I say that women+’s rage is 100% valid, and 100% justified. Is it the only feeling we have? – No! Is it the only feeling we have that is worth sharing? – HELL no!
I hear you on the concerns voiced last week, regarding a certain topic taking up a lot of space. Helpless rage feels so familiar, and it sucks, and why do we have to go through it here? Well, we shouldn’t have to. I have always shied away from becoming a mod myself, because I don’t think I have the temperament for it. BUT: The mod team is here, they are looking into it, they heard our concerns. Here’s to the voicing of our rage in this space making a difference in the bigger picture of The Avocado.
I considered creating a sub thread for venting but decided against it, because: the very last thing that women+ need are more boxes to squeeze our self-expression into. If a woman+ needs to vent here, they shall. If a woman+ wants to tell us about the incredibly heart-warming thing that their baby did this morning, or something they aced at their job, or have a question they want to ask, they shall.
A safe space for women+ must also be a safe space for quieter types to speak up. If you don’t always feel comfortable making your voice heard, or aren’t always safe to do so out there, you shouldn’t have to feel this way on the Women+ Thread.
This is the space for us to be ourselves, whatever state it may be that we find ourselves in. It is okay to be angry, happy, sad, disgusted, overjoyed, pensive. It is okay to be in need. We are here to support each other.
I have noticed that WOC+ participate less and less in the thread. I wonder if I need to take a hard look at my white self here: if despite my best intentions, my choice of topics has reflected my own whiteness/excluded POC. If so, please let me know how to do better.
It also appears that my brain-racking for new topics may have not even have the desired effect, which is to ensure that discussion happens! What do you lovely people think about traditionally making Tuesday an open thread and Thursday the one with a prompt? Some people have stated that they feel more comfortable putting themselves out there with their own topic if there isn’t a prompt. I also thought that it might be a good idea to make a prompt-collecting sub thread a fixture, since my general invitation in the header doesn’t seem to resonate much. I would like to make it so that more people’s voices go into the topic selection.
Again: If you are a woman+, you belong here. Your contributions are valid and valued. Nowhere is it written that they have to have anything to do whatsoever with Tiff Aching’s Golden Hare.
I don’t want to dominate this space even inadvertently. I took over because I thought it would be easier to organise if only one person had to remember a designated posting time. So please, tell me what I specifically can do better to make all of you feel welcome and safe. Because you rock.
• Have you refrained from posting for a specific reason lately, and why?
• Is there anything missing that you would need, in order to feel like you can speak up, be heard, be valued?
• Women+ of Colour specifically, is there anything that I and we need to do/change, in order to make you feel safe and welcome?
• Shall we implement a Potential Future Prompts sub-thread?
• Shall we make Tuesday the designated open thread day?
• Would you prefer that the thread posting go back to a rotation system?
Some guidelines to help this space be a positive experience for everyone:
As always with the Avocado, don’t feel compelled to share beyond your comfort level.
Anyone who identifies as female, or who was socialized female/AFAB/otherwise has firsthand experience with the issues being discussed, is welcome to post. If you identify as cis-male, we ask that you please set your participation to “lurk” mode, unless otherwise explicitly invited to participate further (i.e. if we did an AMA kind of thread). I’m sure there’s plenty to be gleaned just by reading! (New Guideline, please take note) This includes upvotes, we ask cis-men to keep their upvotes to commenters who voluntarily add “+up” to their comments and only those comments.
Please do your best to be mindful of others’ experiences when commenting or posing questions for the group. The female identity is Legion and contains multitudes, and not everyone who has experience with being treated as female by society identifies as female. Furthermore, racial and ethnic identities, sexual orientation, and many other factors can color how one experiences their gender identity on a day-to-day basis.
Just to reiterate, in case someone would like to post but doesn’t feel enticed by the proposed subject matter:
The prompts are entirely optional: any contribution/rant/thought experiment by a woman+ is always welcome.