On Gathering

My friends will tell you I have a habit of gathering people, of forming groups. It comes naturally to me and I kind-of can’t help myself. Last fall I gathered this group of female writers because the idea of hosting a place for women’s voices sounded fun and exciting. As the months have gone by, I’ve realized that elevating women’s voices is not only something I’m passionate about but something that is important. What started as my own experiment has become a participation in a social movement and artform.

Have you ever introduced your separate groups of friends to each other only to find that it’s a disaster? I’ve made the mistake of assuming that because I enjoy all of my separate friend groups, that naturally they will all enjoy each other too. I’ve thrown some really great dinner parties and I’ve thrown some awkward ones.

This collective might have the guest list of an awkward dinner party, but instead of making everyone count down the minutes until they can leave, it will be beautiful instead.

At first I could have sworn that I recruited like-minded people. And it felt comfy and safe and warm. As I started receiving submissions, I realized I had made a huge mistake. We don’t all agree on everything! For a few weeks I panicked. How do I balance this? How do I make sure readers understand that we each don’t necessarily endorse all the opinions of the others?

And then the women’s march happened. I witnessed both the approval and the outrage. More importantly, I saw women march together who didn’t agree on every policy or candidate, but it somehow didn’t matter, because what had brought them together was more important. I saw my pro-life friends march along side of my pro-choice friends. And I felt peace about this collective. I realized this shared space will be better off because of our differences, not in spite of them.

This collective consists of women from around the world. We have many differences and some similarities, but all of us have one thing in common: we are zealous women. We’ve had powerful experiences, and we are willing to share our stories.  Whatever your perspective, we invite you to join us – to listen, agree, disagree, contemplate, cry, laugh.

Check back every Monday for a new post, and be surprised by occasional Friday posts.

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2 thoughts on “On Gathering

  1. Beautiful introduction. We can celebrate each others differences while embracing our likeness as women. I am excited to read, share and learn. Congrats’ Emily Anne on your new journey of letting voices be heard.

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