Reading Group/Writing Group

After a couple of open meetings, some people decided that they wanted to progress by meeting among those who agreed with the principle aims of the letter. Two groups were formed; a reading group and a writing group. The reading group was set up as many felt out of their depth, creating a space for mutual learning and consciousness raising. Another attempt for consciousness raising concentrated on examining masculinity from a critical perspective and was far less successful. Following a relatively well-attended public event concentrating on the role of the military in constructing damaging forms of masculinity there was an attempt to begin a reading group which would focus on critically examining masculinity more generally. However, these meetings were very poorly attended and stopped after a few attempts. Some of the reasons for this are discussed in the section ‘Reflections – Limiting Factors’.

Furthermore, we made the decision to begin thinking about functioning in an open facing way so that the left could benefit from, what we believe are some of the useful conversations we have been having to help ourselves deal with what happened in our circles. We therefore also constituted a writing group to work on a publication of our experiences and reflections, the outcome of which is this website. Publishing this website has taken a lot longer than we had planned and the process was stuck somewhere between very high expectations towards ourselves and having other commitments as well. Further, many of us agreed that accountability couldn’t simply end at a certain defined point but were unsure how we, as a group with limited capacity who were increasingly spreading out over the country, could continue to meaningfully engage in it. This is why we agreed to find a collective closing point for at least a chapter in this accountability process by publishing this website. Those who were part of this process, but stopped for different reasons, were invited to write personal statements.