Last week we had our last Gals, Becoming book club meetup for 2021. It’s crazy to think that we have already gotten through six months worth of books, two meetups of which were held in the confines of a zoom-room. You know how it goes.
Luckily, the last one of the year got a little more festive and fun. We were able to meet in-person, in a private room at Queenies, Kingston. The space was one of ambience, creative drinks, and delicious platters.
In this charmingly quaint room, however, we spoke about a topic that was much less cozy — economic abuse. But at CBR Gals, hard conversations don’t have to be saved for hard places. In fact, the more we stretch ourselves and make our “cozy” settings uncomfortable, the more we can grow as people and feminists, grapple with new ideas, and have rich discussions.
The book of this month was, “Only Cry On Fridays”, a true story about escaping Coercive Control self-published by Alice Waite. The book details Alice’s experiences with an abusive husband, in what seemed like a “perfect marriage” to the outside world. It was a terribly jarring book. But necessitated. We chose this book to mark Australia’s first ever Economic Abuse Awareness Day on the 26th of November.
Our discussion stemmed from the scenarios outlined in the book and evolved into an incredibly insightful, honest conversation about sharing the load and finances in partnerships, the importance of friendships and support systems, how to navigate marriage as feminists, and the meanings we hold for gender equality.
By the end, some of these definitions had even shifted, and in my opinion, that’s when you know it’s important discourse.
I also think that not shy-ing away from these important discussions helps us reduce stigma, and makes others feel more comfortable sharing their experiences. Or it might even enable you to have more empathy for, or be able to help, anyone going through a similar situation. But ultimately, if reading and discussing penned experiences can even help expose someone to the hard topics of coercive control and economic abuse, it’s already a good feat.
If you would like to join us for the next one, we’d love to see you after the holidays. Keep an eye on our events page to join us for the next one!