RE: cohousing for older people-and were you in Women's Libe ration?
From: Forbes Jan (
Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 07:24:02 -0600 (MDT)
I attended women's liberation meetings for a while, in Sydney in the early
1970's.  I worked at a women's shelter in 1980/81 that was run as a
collective.  There were a lot of meetings and it sometimes took a long time
to reach decisions.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: C2pattee [at] [SMTP:C2pattee [at]]
> Sent: Thursday, 12 July 2001 9:25
> To:   cohousing-l [at]
> Cc:   birdeye123 [at]
> Subject:      [C-L]_cohousing for older people-and were you in Women's
> Liberation?
>       Message: 6 
>       From: Forbes Jan <jan.forbes [at]> 
>       To: "'cohousing-l [at]'" <cohousing-l [at]> 
>       Subject: RE: [C-L]_cohousing for older people 
>       Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2001 12:15:49 +1000 
>       Reply-To: cohousing-l [at] 
>       Thanks for this Christine.  I've printed it out for future
> reference.   
>       Like you I prefer intergenerational communities where there are kids
> around. 
>       It sounds like your mother had that where she lived, with the
> grandkids. 
>       Terms like aged and elderly are only perjorative if we see them that
> way. 
>       The more positive we feel about being older ourselves the less
> unpleasant 
>       the connotations.  And the research shows that older people tend to
> be 
>       happier and enjoy life more than when they were younger.  In a
> recent 
>       population survey done here in Tasmania called the Healthy
> Communities 
>       Survey retired people reported a higher quality of life and higher 
>       satisfaction with life than younger people. 
>       Have you seen the Gergens' Positive Aging web site?  It's a US site.
>       Inspiring stuff. 
>       How many older people are there in your community?   
>       Can you tell me more about Crones R Us?  How many from inside or
> outside 
>       your cohousing group? 
>       Jan 
> My community, Greater Hartford (Connecticut) Cohousing, started just two 
> years ago, and we are presently in an active land search.   
> We're an interesting configuration - six single women, none of whom have 
> biological children, and two two-parent families with young children.   
> Knowing how important the school system is to families with children, we 
> quickly and with little debate, rated the schools in our 37 town area, 
> looking for land only in those above the midline.  (For those of you who
> are 
> statistics minded, we were able to compile the ratings from the detailed 
> outcome measures-such as graduation rates and mastery test scores,
> provided 
> by the state education dept. for each school system.) 
> I'm probably the oldest person in the community (at 59 and 3/4) but
> there's 
> one other member in the same decade.  As for  Crones R Us, it's a group 
> completely separate from cohousing.  We got started a few years ago when a
> friend, then approaching 50, decided she wanted to sit around with other 
> women and share the experience we were all going through.  As most of us
> came 
> out of the Women's Movement, we found it appealing to take back ouir
> heritage 
> as 'crones' - wise women of the world. 
> This train of thought puts a question in my mind that I'd like to throw
> out 
> to the group.  How many of you were involved in the Women's Movement, or
> what 
> used to be called Women's Liberation?  I've been struck by the similarity
> of 
> coho process - emphasis on consensus, de-emphasis on leadership, strong 
> reliance on group norms - and the way our women's groups worked in the
> '70s.   
> In 1970, Jo Freeman wrote a widely reprinted article, The Tyranny of 
> Structurelessness, about it.  Here is her opening paragraph.  "During the 
> years in which the women's liberation movement has been taking shape, a
> great 
> emphasis has been placed on what are called leaderless, structureless
> groups 
> as the main form of the movement. The source of this idea was a natural 
> reaction against the overstructured society in which most of us found 
> ourselves, the inevitable control this gave others over our lives, and the
> continual elitism of the Left and similar groups among those who were 
> supposedly fighting this over-structuredness."  (The whole article can be 
> found at ) 
> It's fascinating to think about the fundamental ways our lives were
> affected 
> by women sitting around in circles, sharing the facts of our lives.  The
> next 
> article I want to track down is Pat Mainardi's "The Politics of
> Housework". 
> Christine Pattee 
> Greater Hartford CT Cohousing 
> c2pattee [at]
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