Geek Feminism Wiki

About this page

This page is a sample statement of purpose which can be adapted by geek women-focused communities that include male participants. See Statement of purpose for more information about what use a statement of purpose might have.

This statement of purpose can be used to explain how and why your group may restrict some hostile and even non-hostile modes of interaction to people of all genders who are not aware of how they can harm your community.

Sample statement of purpose

Our group, COMMUNITY, is a women-focused group, and our goals include:

  • allowing women in the community to meet each other
  • supporting the participation of women in LARGER COMMUNITY
  • welcoming new women participants and promoting this as a place where women will want to spend time
  • discussing and addressing issues that are hindering women's participation and enjoyment

COMMUNITY welcomes people of all genders who are interested in furthering our goals above.

Behavior of all participants

Participants in COMMUNITY are expected to be:

  • in sympathy with its goals and willing to advance them
  • respectful of other members

Additional rules of thumb include:

  • while you may not completely agree with someone now asking for help, this is not necessarily the time to raise your concerns.

Behavior that repeatedly disrupts our spaces, or hinders our goals, may result in warnings and bans. Excessive hostility or trolling from newcomers will result in an immediate ban.

Behavior of male participants

Men are welcome in COMMUNITY. However, in order to further our goal of being women-focused, we must retain the sense that most of the effort and discussion in COMMUNITY is by and about women and their role in LARGER COMMUNITY. Otherwise, women will start to find that our group does not suit their needs.

Men should particularly respect that COMMUNITY:

  • is not a place to solicit women for relationships, advice, or emotional support. You might, in time, make friends but please focus on furthering our goals rather than enlarging your social network.
  • must continue to be a place where women's voices are heard frequently and in conversation with one another. Hence, listen more than you talk.
  • Make your contributions by appreciating and asking questions about others' contributions.
  • If a woman has a problem, wait and allow other women to offer help first. If a woman is already being helped by another woman, think carefully before offering additional assistance or advice.
  • Don't explain things unless specifically requested, especially topics in the audience's areas of expertise (see "splaining").
  • Offer specific help rather than advice.
  • Don't expect special rewards or recognition for your participation as a man.
  • Be aware that some women might prefer that this was a women's only space; accept this with grace.

COMMUNITY is not designed as a place to educate men about why we exist and to argue about whether women's participation is a real issue or needs a special support group. Please take steps to educate yourself about women's participation and do not insist that other members frequently interrupt their activities to educate you. We suggest as a starting point for self-education. Men who participate in COMMUNITY but who persistently behave in ways that distract us from our goal of furthering women's participation may be warned, and, if necessary, asked to leave.


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