The purpose of our Consciousness Raising (C.R.) group is understanding what it is to be a woman-loving woman in a patriarchal society that oppresses women and to connect with each other. While we acknowledge commonalities with gay men and transgendered people, and value their experiences, this group is designed as a place for lesbians who were brought up as women in patriarchal society to connect with each other. Through that shared experience, we offer a safe place to share perspective and explore the intersectional differences within our lesbian femaleness.
As modern culture gradually accepts and affirms us, the feminist/lesbian bookstores, lesbian bars and other meaningful ways lesbians could traditionally find each other in all-lesbian community are disappearing. We think we still need those spaces! This group provides a space. We meet each month to discuss various topics, such as lesbians from history, and from today, discuss a book or excerpt of one, and/or talk about a topic related to personal experience or the greater culture. We allow the discovery of creative and social possibilities of meeting as a community -- community that could lead to action and connection we can't even foresee. . . We also like to meet up socially between meetings for a gathering, such as dining out on occasion.
WHAT IS A CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING GROUP?
In the 1960s and 1970s, women gathered in "consciousness-raising" groups (C.R. groups, for short) in each other's houses. The purpose of the C.R. groups was to share stories and information, to celebrate creative action, to ask questions, and to connect with each other in a safe and supportive space.
GUIDELINES FOR OUR C.R. GROUP
· This consciousness-raising group is a safe place for lesbians to examine and share their own experiences, and to come to understand what is common/different/intersectional in their experiences and those of others in the group.
· We strive for balanced, inclusive discussions in which all who wish to talk are given the opportunity, but no one is required to speak.
· Each lesbian is the judge of her own experience. While you have the right to disagree respectfully, please refrain from personal attacks and criticism of another's experience/views.
· Anyone may address any of the questions or none of them and anyone may raise other questions related to the topic.
GOALS OF CONSCIOUSNESS-RAISING
1. Understanding one’s self in relation to one’s society.
2. Specifically for this group, understanding what it is to be a lesbian in a patriarchal society that oppresses women.