Several days after the 2016 presidential election, I received an email that gave me my first glimmer of hope — the subject line read, “Feminist support group.” A couple of very cool ladies I knew had an idea: let’s get together, talk about what’s going on, and figure out ways to make a difference. Since then, that’s exactly what we’ve done. Here’s how you can do it, too.
SEND AN EMAIL – Take five minutes and reach out to a handful of feminist-y women who might be interested in getting together on a regular basis to talk issues and take action.
ORGANIZE – Decide how often you want to meet. Rotate locations. Bring snacks. In our group, which meets monthly, there’s no hierarchy, but there are roles—one person takes meeting notes, so we have a record of what was discussed and what needs to be done, another is in charge of scheduling. Take advantage of things like Google Cal, Google Docs, and Doodle.com, a site that simplifies meeting coor-dination. For extra girl gang vibes, come up with a name and make some T-shirts or pins.
CREATE A STRUCTURE – Consider what you want to accomplish. At our first meeting, we decided on four main components.
1) Education: we keep our eyes peeled for lectures, events, and protests that up our intersectionality, feed our brains, and keep us motivated. They’re added to our shared calendar and we buddy up when attending.
2) Volunteering: each month we choose an organization to volunteer with, and whoever can make it goes.
3) Fundraising: conceive and execute events, with proceeds going to an agreed upon organization.
4) Reading: basically a feminist book club. Aim high; it’s OK if you don’t get to everything right away (I’m pretty sure no one’s read Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s, the first book we chose way back in November).
GET SHIT DONE – This is the fun part. It’s amazing what happens when you get a room full of smart, creative, resourceful women together (and how willing friends and partners are to donate goods, time, and talent when asked). Our first event — a full-on flea market with sick vintage, baked goods, and even custom embroidery —raised more than $3,000 for the Texas Equal Access fund, which helps low-income women in that notoriously anti-choice state find reproductive health care. Other events we’ve got in the works include an art show, a mini music fest, and a night of speakers focused on female filmmaking. Utilize the varied expertise of the women in your group when brainstorming events, and divvy up tasks and planning responsibilities so that no one feels burdened. I’m telling you, creating a feminist support group makes resisting fun as hell.
By Lisa Butterworth
Illustration by Kimberly Salt
This article originally appeared in the June/July 2017 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
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