Our spaces are for all self-identifying lesbian, bi, queer or questioning women, trans women, non-binary/genderfluid people wishing to access a women-centred space, and for those whose gender identity includes woman some or all of the time. Our spaces are inclusive of women of colour, older women, and disabled women.
In order to enable us to come together and celebrate ourselves, there are a few ground rules to ensure that everyone feels as welcome and comfortable as possible at all times.
If you feel unsafe at any point, or witness any problematic behaviour, please let the host know.
We must agree that no one records or takes any screenshots or pictures of the sessions as this is a serious infringement of confidentiality policy.
Age limit- Participants must be 18 years old.
Introduce yourself- If you are uncomfortable with having your face on screen you can turn video function off, or put it on to introduce yourself and then switch off.
A pronoun is how you refer to someone, for example using she or they. Please ask people what their pronouns are if you are meeting them for the first time. Use their correct pronouns, even if the words are unfamiliar to you. If you make a mistake and refer to someone with the wrong pronoun, apologise and move on.
Don’t make assumptions about someone’s identity and think about the ways that people from minority groups may be impacted in different ways by the issues you discuss. Be aware that your experiences as a lesbian, bi, queer woman or non-binary person are not necessarily the same as everybody else in the room. Be aware of any position and privileges you may bring regarding for example your race, your class, your gender identity, your ability or your age. Try not to make generalising statements such as 'All women hate X'.
Racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, ableism, fatphobia, ageism or discrimination on basis of ethnicity, immigration status, or religious, cultural, and/or spiritual beliefs, or any other kind of oppressive behaviour is unacceptable and will be challenged. Please do not use slurs that are not yours to use: e.g if you are white do not use racial slurs, even if you are being critical of them. Please give a choice for people to interact without having to talk if they don’t want to. If they are neurodivergent, do not tell people off if they want to talk or move when everybody else is seating quietly and give space to people to go at their own pace.
There is a zero tolerance policy to sexual harassment. This means no unwanted touching, including hugs, so please make sure you have consent before engaging in any physical contact with someone. This also means no wolf whistling or catcalling, and no inappropriate sexual comments or sexually based jokes, songs or taunts.
Try to use clear, uncomplicated language and to avoid any acronyms and in-jokes. If you mention a theory or person, please give a brief description of who they are, no matter how well known you believe they are.
Give people a heads up if you are going to discuss something that others might find upsetting. Sometimes upsetting things happen and we need to be able talk about how we deal with them as a community. It’s important to have a space where we feel able to do this, and we hope that this event will provide that. However, not everyone is able to talk about everything all the time, so let people know if you are going to talk about something potentially upsetting, such as mental illness or domestic abuse. During breaks and other less formal settings, you can also do this informally by asking ‘is it okay if I talk about X thing?’
Space to Speak
Please be aware that it is difficult for those belonging to marginalised groups or minority groups to participate in discussions both online and in person. Do not talk over people and try to gauge whether it is appropriate for you to speak on certain topics. Try to give less confident and quieter people a chance to speak.
Privacy and Confidentiality
We will ask everybody to respect the fact that not everybody is “out” everywhere outside of this space so if you use social media, please do not share any contact information or identifiable information of other people without their explicit consent.
Everything in this safer spaces agreement also extends to social media, including Twitter and Facebook, so keep that in mind when using social media today.