Before I relate my experience at Women's Nite, I would like to thank the women behind it. You have led the way for some women.
During the event, besides being able to be myself, I realised my reactions and opinions about various matters were very similar to those of the women around me. It gave me sense of belonging and made me realise I was not alone.
The activities put together for the night made me realise that people have similar experiences but use different ways to overcome them. In our individual groups, we spoke about the highest and lowest points in our lives, and also about fulfilment. We were given a bottle to be filled up with water to indicate how happy we were with our lives. This gave us an opportunity to examine our lives and learn how to enrich them. We learnt we had to love ourselves before wanting someone else to love us.
Yoges, who led the session, spoke about how abuse sometimes also happens in lesbian relationships. The role-play done by Petrina showed how some people live in denial. We learnt how to approach our friends and offer help tactfully if they were being abused. We also got some helpline numbers to call if needed.
Women's Nite was an avenue for me to explore and deal with my emotions. The women made me feel so comfortable that it slipped my mind that it was my first time there. I look forward to more Women's Nites and intend to actively participate in it.
by Qian Xi
The topic for August's Women's Nite -- "Loving Me" -- wasn't very specific, and I never know what to make of questions like "Who do you call when the pain gets too much to handle?", but I registered anyway, and turned up armed with four bottles of mango lassi and a vague curiosity. As it turned out, the motley collection of food was pretty scrumptious; the session itself was less easy to summarise.
One of the things I found problematic was the way the numbers were handled. There were about 30 women, and I thought it was a good idea to divide the women randomly into groups of six, but the groups were not given much time for discussion, and much of the session was conducted in a very classroom style. I suppose the aim of the event was more breadth than depth, and it worked to some extent, but sometimes I felt the discussion lapsed into "soundbites". I also found the use of dichotomies such as high/low or full/empty rather simplistic; I'm guessing that this was a way of dealing with the time limitation, but challenging the usual metaphors for life might have raised more interesting questions.
On the other hand, there were some moving moments, especially when one of the women shared her experience of leaving a violent relationship. I also enjoyed talking to the women in my group, who were all at different stages of their coming out and had a range of histories as motley as the foods served that night. Having come out as bisexual very recently, it was illuminating for me to find out a little more about what life is like for other queer women living in Singapore.