This meeting was concerned with the future structure of the group. The phrase women-only has been used to refer to all self-defined women. Trans women are, as they have always been, welcome to attend.

We discussed  in particular the issue of providing women-only space. After a lengthy discussion, where we looked at the aims of the group and several different options for the group, including staying as we were (open to all), being women-only, alternating between women-only and open to all, we have decided that from now on Sheffield Fems will be primarily a women-only group, with one mixed (open to all) event around once a month. The open to all event will be either a social meeting, a discussion, a campaign or some other event, and may not always be on a Tuesday. It will be decided on an event by event basis, after consultation with members at meetings.

We talked extensively about the pros and cons of all the suggestions made and tried to find the most inclusive solution that meets the needs of as many as possible, so for example staying as we were is putting off some people who are looking for a women-only group. However, a solely women-only group also excludes a number of men who are very interested in participating in campaigns and events. We felt that becoming a primarily women-only group, with specific times for the inclusion and participation of men offers the best solution to these problems.

We are also hoping that as a result of this change a ‘Friends of Fems’ group could be developed for men and anyone else who want to take a more active role in feminism and feminist activity and support our work, while working on projects of their own. At present this is just an idea, but hopefully it will be developed further in the coming weeks, in conjunction with our meetings that are open to all. If anyone would like more information about this, send us and email and we’ll let you know what’s going on.