Herstory 3 – Getting into groups

It’s sounds so easy somehow, when I talk about it. Of course, going through all that self discovery within a group, dealing with own insecurities, infatuations, disappointments, not fitting in etc, was something that deeply affected me at the time. Especially since I’m kind of a loner here in this country, I haven’t managed to find and create the kind of community I need. So, yes. This experience was painful. As well as developing.

The text I made (copy paste / wrote) explains some of the basics that I would find useful sharing with others engaging in this kind of group activity. There are different ideas about how openly information about women’s self defense should be shared. Some say that it should only be shared between women, and not put in mixed environments, like for instance the internet. I choose to share information this way, in order to reach as many as possible. But also pointing out, that there have been cases where men (partners etc) have been using the information against the women they are close. This happens, and there should be an awareness that this is possible. Then it’s up to each and every woman to share this or not. If something would happen to her, of course it’s still not her fault. It’s always the aggressors own responsibility how they choose to act.

Anyways. The main point for me today, is that I really believe that it is possible to have groups where everybody feels included. And me “not fitting in” is something I see as having a lot to do with group dynamics, and lack of openness. Lack of compromise from all sides. Lack of sincere communication.

How can we make everybody feel safe? This should be asked continuously.

Additional note: When I’m talking about the first group ever being created in 2004, I’m referring to the specific anti-authoritarian form of organizing that was brought in from Sweden (originating in the USA).

From a Finnish feminist self defense network‘s web pages; In Finland it was a woman called Sunniva Drake who started up the feminist self defense movement in the 70’s and 80’s. The igniting spark came from attending a lecture by the american feminist Patricia Baker during the Days of Women’s Culture 1979. According to Sunniva, nobody in Finland could have imagined that women could have their own ways of defending themselves. The first courses in feminist self defense was performed in Sunniva’s own backyard in Espoo, in the beginning of the 80’s. Initially it was mainly courses held by instructors from Sweden, but after some years Sunniva started sharing her knowledge herself. 1989 Sunniva Drake wrote the book “Take Back the Night”, which is the first Finnish book on self defense for women.


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