Thursday, 26 March 2009

Network meeting - March 22nd

The place was looking great. Much more open with views over the sea and some furniture in the garden. But still with the climbing rope and the cool pole. Nevertheless a high prim bar of chocolate had to be offered to get a facilitator.

The big news was that Scylla has made a brilliant dispenser for the Survival Guide. It has a break glass and a little hammer cool.

We all think Scylla is totally wonderful for doing all this work ... henceforth she will be called Super Scylla.

We talked about some extra things we might wish to add.
Do we want to add a flight feather? What about the string of garlic that protects against vampire bites. We talked about whether it really matters if you are bitten.

We all need to help with proof reading and deciding if anything needs adding, for example something about the Gorean and BDSM ‘communities’ and a note about our group.

Ellie reported back on a conference she had attended on eco-feminism. She had been a little disappointed with some of the contributions. There had seemed to be a feeling that an eco-feminist was a feminist who recycled. Some of the contributions had failed to see the links between issues such as the war in Iraq, a feminist analysis and the environmental consequences.
She had given a presentation on SL. Particularly on the way that SL can both reduce our carbon footprint while at the same time enable us to be able to be ‘grounded’ in our own homes and communities. For example one minute we can be communicating with women from around the world while the next we can be in our gardens or visiting a neighbour.

It seems difficult to convince some women of the benefits of SL. There is of course something of a learning curve and there may be some technophobia involved. The negative publicity about some of the more salacious activities in SL may have put some women off dipping their toes in.

Another interesting point made was the impact of the rampant consumerism in SL. Does this satisfy the need to ‘shop till we drop’ or does it have the opposite effect and stokes up consumerism in rl?

(By the way one member prefers to call ‘real life’ PL i.e. physical life ... interesting distinction recognising that what happens in SL is real too)

There does seem however to be a greater recent interest in educational applications in SL with many universities and colleges wanting a presence here. There are rumours of careers being made in the facilitation of on-line meetings and educational events and there are more and more virtual conferences being organised.

One other interesting snippet from the meeting: what happens when the various elements of SL collide? For example a very young woman turns up for class wearing leathers and carrying a whip? It didn’t break the ‘no naughty bits showing’ rule. We reflected on how nudity was somehow not OK but carrying a weapon and the trimmings of BDSM was and how being in SL does make us think again about many of the moral positions we had previously adopted.

One highlight of the conference was meeting Cynthia Enlow the author of Bananas, Beaches, and Bases ( )who it was reported was most impressive.

What else did we discuss? Oh yes. More about the Gorean lifestyle, its roots and its rationale.

: My friend, the middle aged lady gorean -- she says it has been wonderful, she has "found" her sexuality

: ... well, it is always in the last place you look

: looks under her seat for her sexuality ...I know I left it somewhere

: I keep mine in my underwear drawer

Also a discussion about whether we should do some work on guidelines or ground rules for our meetings and whether or when we should encourage members of other feminist groups to join us.

Another snippet there a role for a vibes watcher, someone who lets people know if emotions are getting out of hand?

Anyway enough snippets ...back to work on finalising the Survival Guide.

: yes, it's best to do one thing well and then move to the next... multitasking is fine for less important things, but when you get more than three women multitasking on a dozen different things it can all get strange if everyone brings the potato salad to the picnic

: or people constantly saying what about the menz (from a previous conversation)

: I like potato salad . . .

: what are men?

: The ones who bring NOTHING to the picnic

: except the beer

: and way too much of that

Did we decide on a topic for next week?

We will definitely finalise the guide and talk about how best to get it in as many places as possible and we may discuss more about Gorean and BDSM from a feminist perspective. Whatever we talk about, it will be feminist, fascinating, friendly and fun ...don’t miss it!

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