women's cafe is about...
using the power of music, cooking, eating and laughter as a way of
understanding and uniting women from all backgrounds and walks of
life, dissolving or celebrating our differences of sexuality or class. A place
of mutual participation. A DIY space that is a panacea to passive
consumerism. A space to play,to be spontaneous or daring,to share creativity and
energy,and/or to bask and enjoy other women being
daring,sexy, and spontaneous. Like all places where freedom works,a structure is created and held, wherein
anything can happen. It is a friendly space where anyone is accepted.
The cafe builds a community from our often fragmented inner city lifestyles. It anchors and roots us, providing us with positive reference points for who we are, all on our own terms, which is a political feat in itself! Many friendships have been born,networks forged and a sense of identity consolidated (as well as providing the inspiration for one club,the fabulous club wotever!) Over the years many amazing women have put their time and energy into women's caff, gracing us with their performance skills, spending a good few hours cycling to south london to rummage in skips to find good free food, or lovingly chopping and washing veg for hours.The cafe has become a cherished breathing space for the women who go, and it attracts many dedicated regulars and volunteers.Some are political activists,some are feminists, other women are not political and just want to enjoy relaxing in the company of other cool and fab women.
The fact is the cafe belongs to all of us and is what we make it -something to be cherished and nurtured,somewhere to be fed on a soul level.
How we work.
– mainly by phone or email. Every month we need a chef (or two), some kitchen help, a driver and volunteers to skip vegetables. Usually there will be a slightly different team each month, which means no-one gets too exhausted. Whoever wants to volunteer will be put on a team e-list for that month, and can contact the relevant people. Some women take it on themselves to plan the menu, others the logistics of food skipping.
It you just want to turn up on the day of the cafe to lend a hand with whatever needs to be done, this is really welcomed too.
The other part of cafe work is developing the exciting themes, which are always sketched out in advance,- if someone has an idea for a theme they want to develop,or would like to chef/chop/skip etc contact Caroline, who coordinates the cafe.
All this might not be the most academic PC way of structural organization, but somehow it works pretty successfully.
By the way, we are not a trans space per se, but we happily accept and welcome trans people who want to come with an open heart and share our fun.
Why women only space?
In order to break out of alpha male defined reference points,it is invaluable to create a space where we as women can become empowered in relation to ourselves....to be able to discover our sense of self whilst not being judged by definition and reference to the dominant culture.While celebrating ourselves,and taking pride in our gender,(however we choose to define it) we weave our own cultural identity,recharge our batteries ,lift our spirits.We cease to be ‚'women' only in relation to the men around us and thus transcend limiting behavioural stereotypes, stereotypes that keep men and women distinctly estranged from themselves and each other.
This space also allows us to play out all aspects of gender dynamics without having to deal with the gender polarization that instinctively happens between men and women.