Card Making – Positive messages for girls
The first Wild & Kind workshop took place a couple of weeks ago and we are still buzzing about it!
Trudi has been hosting workshops for adults and children for years including them as part of her art degree. After a casual get together preparing for Grrrl Stuff Glasgow at her flat we were inspired to do more and now we have our very own studio to do so!
We want to create a relaxed opportunity for girls and women to socialise without some of the pressures and expectations that have become common place when trying to spend time with friends. We recognize that everyone is busy, people have jobs and partners and children as well as needing our own self-care alone time which can make it difficult to get people together. We recognize that often meeting up is going out for drinks which maybe sometimes people would rather not do all the time. We recognize that a lot of people have a form of social anxiety and it can make choosing activities a little more difficult. Our workshops will always have a craft to keep your hands busy and a theme to guide the conversation. Our hope is that people feel comfortable joining in in whatever way feels right to them and are not judged. You are welcome to come and sit in silence as much as you are welcome to sing us all a wee song!
We were both fortunate enough to grow up at a time where crafts were a big part of our play as well as hanging out in the garden or at the park without any mobile phones, really connecting and making special memories with our friends. This is definitely part of why sitting around a table making stuff has a lovely nostalgia to it and brings about a real sense of community which not everyone has access too and we certainly miss and want to encourage.
We are grateful and lucky to have the support of the Glasgow Collective providing us with a safe adaptable space to host these get togethers. So, back to the trial run!
Since taking part in the Girls Rock Glasgow summer camp Trudi has remained close with the group and when one of the mums suggested making cards for girls it became her mission to make it happen! Although not mothers ourselves we are qualified in childcare so have experience and insight into just how influential negative messages can be thus just how important and encouraging positive ones are.
We set up the craft table and invited some mums and artists to come along and quickly felt this was the beginning of something special.
We discussed how frustrated parents are at the sexism of available cards for young girls. Typically seeing gender conditioning images depicting girls in care roles pushing the patriarchal views on how girls should grow up to be the primary carers of the household. We discussed how there’s is nothing wrong with girls aspiring to this but the issue is pushing them in that direction. We also looked at examples and talked about how often cards are picturing girls doing activities associated commonly with boys as opposed to gender neutral things. For example, girls playing football, rugby and skateboarding as if to say girls can do this too or if boys can do it so can you! Which in itself is patronizing and simply not true, girls AND boys should be made aware that activities are for everyone.
We spoke about how encouraging and less scary it would be if other aspects of life were celebrated or even just acknowledged with a light hearted card – starting your period, menopause, - a reminder that these things are natural and there’s no need to add shame to the emotional roller-coaster!
We laughed at the madness of sanitary product adverts using BLUE liquid for blood! We talked about some of our own experiences and their children’s experiences of being given very specific girls toys such as makeup at a young age. One of the topics was how do we show girls that periods are normal and should be talked about openly as much as relationships, mental health & well-being and sexual health.
As we sat and debriefed the night - taking notes we rounded up the main points of discussion of the evening and the core of the message we all are striving to get across to young girls. When we made this list we were focusing on girls and after reading it out together we realized it is in fact naturally gender neutral which speaks volumes to the whole purpose of this subject!
What we also discovered is that every one of these apply now as adults and we will strive to remind each other of these truths.
We want to give a great big thank you to the wonderful inspiring ladies who attended our first workshop making it a special evening and setting us up for many more in the future!
Our next one is Thursday 9th February Zine/ collage making with a Riot Grrrl theme! Hope to see y’all there!
Reviews! – " Taking time out to make stuff with ace women is a gift, especially on a dark, January night. Even when you think you are too beat from whatever, to have ideas or draw, you get into it and that's energizing and hopeful. Making a space for that possibility is very generous, thank you x"
“It felt like a real treat to be given the time and space to work in this way with other brilliant women in a related yet supportive atmosphere. Music and biscuits also greatly appreciated. Thank you! Xx “
“ As the non-artist in the room it was just great for me to soak up the creativity at the workshop and be inspired to transform my ideas into something material. I've become more acutely aware of how important it is to celebrate simply being a girl since I had my own daughter. Exploring ways to help young women feel comfortable in their own skin and to affirm their experiences seems such a worthwhile use of a Wednesday evening “