Toronto Feminists

Posts Tagged ‘post-meetup

Post-meetup: You Go, Girl!

travelWe met in a nifty lefty coffee shop to talk about ‘women and travel’ in the spirit of celebrating ourselves as accomplished and experienced women.  No big surprise, everybody’s got lots to tell about their adventures.

Now, looking back on my own travels and thinking about what other people said yesterday, it seems to me that human relations are a big part of what we value about travel.  Of course, women are characterized as placing a special value on relationships.  So, big thanks to the meetup crew for reminding me that we need to celebrate traits that are slighted as being ‘feminine’.    Here’s to our traveling companions, encounters and being by ourselves, too!

Every time I go away, who I go with is really important.  I’ve gone to Montreal with a stranger, to Ireland with my sibs, mum, her husband, my boyfriend, his dad and my brother’s girlfriend, on road trips with good friends, to Arizona with a meetup group.  In choosing to travel with somebody, you’re accepting them into your life and in the time you spend there, you make them a stronger part of it.  Spending a hunk of time with anyone is just an intimate thing to do, and it really intensifies relationships. 

You can pretty much anticipate interpersonal issues when you travel with anybody.  Really, you can anticipate flat-out blow-ups with them.  Negotiating that is part of developing relationships.  You have to express your desires and recognize others’.  You have to know when you need some time to yourself.   Maybe you learn not to travel together again, too. 

You can anticipate that there are going to be good laughs, too, though and finding commonalities and enjoying downtime where someone’s just around while you’re being your off-stage self. 

Now, the people I’ve met along the way have been really important, too.  The other Ontario girls I lived with in Wisconsin, the gang of dormmates from the French course in New Brunswick, my family in California and the crazy hippy community in the woods come to mind.  There are chance encounters, too, like the old man in the pub in Derry who came over to us with a list of places we ought to see while we were there, the girl who put makeup on me in a little dive in L.A., or the Francophone gals who led me through the Montreal subway while we mangled each others’ languages.   There’s a lot to be learned from people along the way, about how people are the same and different, and connecting with people.

Hooray for the folks who are part of our adventures, for valuing relationships and for you meetuppers who get me thinking about this stuff:)



Written by torontofeminists

October 29, 2009 at 2:37 am

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Post-meetup: Elector Set

Hey, so in the wake of a lot of emails we had an evening of discussion about the upcoming federal election.  We each spoke a bit about where we’re at re:  the big decision and then we perused Fiona’s lovely handouts of the big parties platform info that’s available on the internet, admitted the flaws but pragmatism in identifying as ‘left’ or ‘right’, instead of taking each issue separately, explored the realities of websites that advocate strategic voting, fleshed out the GINI-coefficient and some of the tax cut issues, and bemoaned the lack of breakfast table political discussion (in Canada specifically).

Anyway, looking back on the talk I’m struck by a couple of topics that highlighted the intersections of different issues.  Intersections are big in feminism, right?

I’d say it was our first discussion as a group that really didn’t feature women’s issues in particular, but of course we wanted to hear about those issues if anyone could enlighten us.  Fiona made this really great observation:  look at the issues that make up these platforms, and you’ll see that even though ‘women’s issues’ per se isn’t on the agenda, most of the issues that are featured affect women differently.  Let’s take a couple of obvious ones for example.  Poverty.  Affects women disproportionately.  Child care.  Well, duh, right?  Women’s issues are there, you just have to do a little interpreting.

We discussed the Green Party a fair bit.  Other parties are starting to feature things in their platforms that look pretty reminiscent of the Green’s.  The Greens are all for it, and if they’ve exerted some influence toward environmental initiatives by their quick rise in popularity, more’s the better.  The question arose, though, whether you can really envision them as a leading national party.  You know, they come across as pretty one-issue.    An interesting response to this was again, that this one issue can be interpreted to intersect with all kinds of other issues.  Agriculture with a green hand, taxes with a green hand, job creation with a green hand.  You get the picture.

Interesting stuff to consider as we all (I hope) head off to the election booth!

Written by torontofeminists

October 10, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Post-meetup: IWD Brainstorming

Hrm, let’s blame that one on the weather, shall we?  The meeting last night to plan for International Women’s Day was attended by all of two of us, and plan that took shape as we talked it out is very loose.  We’ll get together again in a few weeks, bring whatever you can contribute to making signs (brushes, bristol board, an old sheet for a banner, tape, etc.), and everyone will paint a sign that says whatever they want it to.  The best choice for a group like ours right now is just to play it loose.  We’re a group of friends (though we may not have met each other yet!) and we’re going to an event together.

We talked about the theme of IWD this year, “The Raising of Women is the Raising of us All,”  and what kinds of slogans might go on our signs that reflect (or don’t reflect) that.  It’s funny how you have to think about details like keeping it brief, because it’s hard to paint a long sentence;P  We’re scoping out a place that can accommodate painting craziness for that next step, so if you have any connections or suggestions, speak up!

Written by torontofeminists

January 31, 2008 at 9:54 pm