Re: SPAM-LOW: Re: limited-access events in common space
From: Pamela Rank (
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2010 10:52:07 -0800 (PST)
I don't live in a community and so cannot respond community specific - I support the Fresno community with sales and marketing. However I have had experience with this subject recently and felt compelled to respond.

My church - has a men's reading group. The reading list is much more interesting to me than the women's reading list and the conversation at the women's group.

I would prefer I believe to attend the men's reading group, raised with more men than women in my family I prefer male energy and for me as a gay woman - (not comparing myself to other gay women) I find much of the conversation in the women's group to be of little interest to me.

However, I respect the idea that the men would like to meet to read and talk unencumbered by any concerns that they cannot speak freely, and feel comfortable. I could start my own reading group I won't likely do so - and not having this connection - well seriously it isn't going to change my life that much. So - I personally see little / no harm in an exclusive group -

NOW if a group begins to put together an agenda/plans to eliminate the blond right handed blue eyed girls... then I have a problem.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Muriel Kranowski" <murielk [at]>
To: "Cohousing-L" <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Monday, January 11, 2010 6:23 AM
Subject: SPAM-LOW: Re: [C-L]_ limited-access events in common space

No, the objection has nothing to do with competing uses of the space. There
are other spaces in the CH open for (and sometimes used for) other
gatherings during that hour, which in any case is a time of very low use of
the CH.

At 11:34 PM 1/10/2010, you wrote:

Does anyone else want to use the commonhouse at this time?  Is the
group's presence preventing anything else from happening?

On Sun, Jan 10, 2010 at 8:54 PM, Rob Sandelin <floriferous [at]> wrote:
> We define events like this as interest groups. There are several and a > few
> of them are exclusionary, for example women's gatherings. Never been a
> problem before that I know of here, the exclusion part is not malicious > or > mean, its just a particular interest and nobody seems to mind. The > person > who objects strongly should be asked about what their problem with > interest
> groups are. Sometimes its not the particular group which causes the
> it's some other thing that seems only distantly connected but when > light is > shined on it, helps everybody see what the problem really is. For > example, > sometimes political or social things might be causing the discomfort, > for > example a gay/lesbian group could cause objection. Sometimes the > assumed
> politics of a group cause people who disagree to keep quiet rather than
> their relationships, and bringing out objections over an abstraction is > how > they express their discontent while pretending to go along with the > status
> quo.
> Rob Sandelin
> Sharingwood
> Snohomish County, WA
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Muriel Kranowski [mailto:murielk [at]]
> Sent: Sunday, January 10, 2010 7:34 PM
> To: cohousing-l [at]
> Subject: [C-L]_ limited-access events in common space
> We're having an internal disagreement over an issue that is evoking > some
> strong feelings, and I very much want to hear feedback from other
> communities.
> The situation is that a subgroup of members who feel they have a lot in
> common (let's say they are "left-handed redheads" or LHR for short) > have
> been getting together once a week in the Common House, for a congenial
> snack-and-chat hour. These get-togethers are posted on the community
> calendar and everyone knows about them. The group has made it clear > that
> only left-handed redheads are welcome.
> A member who is neither left-handed nor a redhead objects strongly to > the > idea that other members can be excluded from social events that > regularly
> occur in a common space. This person would like to join in and have the
> pleasure of snacking and chatting too.
> But if these get-togethers became general y'all-come social events, > they > would no longer be of specific interest to the LHRs, who really value > being > able to talk about their own specific issues in the semi-privacy of > that CH > space. They feel entitled to this private use of the common space, > which
> doesn't appear to inconvenience anyone else.
> Other members occasionally reserve space in the CH for meetings or
events of
> external groups that they belong to, and there don't seem to be any
> objections to those events being open only to the members of that > group.
> The LHRs' gathering is the first time an internal subgroup has
> scheduled closed events in the CH and we have no norms or rules about > it.
> So, is it legitimate for a self-defined subgroup to meet in a common > space > and exclude other members? Has this come up, or does this occur, in > other > communities? And even if not, I'd like to hear your philosophical take > on
> it.
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