DEAR HARRIETTE: I recently joined a feminist club that meets once a week. I've been to one meeting so far, and I was truly enlightened by the conversation.
The meeting started with a presentation about the term "Boys will be boys" and the harmful repercussions it can have on both genders. Then it got very personal. Childhood abuse survivors began to speak about their stories. I didn't have anything I wanted to share, so I stayed silent for the majority of the meeting. I don't want to feel uncomfortable speaking and sharing my stories, but I feel like mine don't have the same weight as survivors'. Is this a sign I should leave the club? I don't want to seem like an imposter. -- Feminist, Denver
DEAR FEMINIST: Don't let one meeting sway you. Give the club a chance so that you get a clear sense of its objectives, its values and the range of conversations that members have when they are gathered. Attend a few more meetings, and observe carefully. If you feel comfortable speaking up in the group, do so. Talk to some of the women one-on-one to see how well you connect with them individually.
It can feel awkward to talk about less traumatic issues if the group is focused on topics like abuse. In time, you will see whether the conversation broadens to other topics and if you feel like you will fit in.