Consciousness raising (also called awareness raising) is a form of activism, popularized by United States feminists in the late 1960s. (Wikipedia)
Consciousness-Raising Rules (1972)
from WEB: West-East Coast Bag, newsletter (June 1972), p1
1 Select a topic.
2 Go around the room, each woman speaking in turn. Don't interrupt, let each woman speak up to 15 minutes and then ask questions only for clarification.
3 Don't give advice, don't chastise, don't be critical.
4 Draw generalisations after everyone has spoken or, before that, go around the room and talk again.
5 Draw political conclusions - if you can.
6 Keep the group below 10 women.
7 In order to develop trust and confidence, don't repeat what has been said in the meeting or talk about members outside of the group.
8 This is not a therapy, encounter, or sensitivity group situation.
TOPICS (abridged - my selection)
How do you feel about other women? Why did you become an artist? How do you feel about being a mother? How do you feel about your own mother? father? about passivity? about your body? about growing older? about dividing the housework, if you live with a man? .....
Do you think of yourself as a woman artist or an artist who happens to be a woman? Do you think the woman artist has any degree of responsibility to commit her art to fight against women's oppression? If so, in what way? If not, why not? Does the feminist artist have something to offer that no other artist has?....
Are you a male-oriented woman or a female-orientated woman? What does this mean?...
How was your education affected by your sex?...
Are you competitive with other women? With men?...
How does male supremacy poison communication between men and men? Women and men? Women and women? Children and adults? What are the problems between married women and single women which make close relationships difficult? ...
From: Feminism Art Theory: An anthology 1968-2014, edited by Hilary Robinson (2015), p66
- Do we feel we need this discussion?
- Do we need to meet in an all female group?
- Do we need political conclusions?
- How do current attitudes to parenting affect the relationship with your child? With your own mother? How might it be different in the past?
- Do women put too much into parenting at the expense of their own selves?
- Why do educated women stagnate or become stunted in their growth?
- What sense of purpose could women be given to continue their growth?