Exclusive meetings for women

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Exclusive meetings for women

Postby Sleddog75 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:02 am

hello there. I could use some insight please! We have a business meeting coming up. My home group has four meetings out of a building we affectionately call the Chapterhouse. There are meetings everyday but 4 of them out of the week are my group. The others are just drop-in meetings. Our group is the only group out of the chapterhouse and so the other meetings are under the auspice of our group. Enter crux of the problem ---> a groupie has been putting on a step series in our chapterhouse with group consent. She recently changed it to a women's only step group, before it was open to all genders, etc. Some old timers have mentioned that she either open it for everyone or she can't do it. Is there any tradition literature, service manual literature to support either or both sides. This is gonna go down at my next business meeting so I'd like to be armed with all the facts. Any insight, help, guidance, would be awesome thanks!
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby Brock » Fri Apr 29, 2016 5:41 am

Our group is the only group out of the chapterhouse and so the other meetings are under the auspice of our group.

I think it gets a bit complicated with the idea that your group is the only group, and the others sort of operating under your groups guidance, I looked up 'auspice' to check I had the meaning more or less right. If that is so then the other meetings are not independent groups, and the group conscience of yours can prevail. But as we see in today’s reflection, there is nothing stopping the members of other meetings saying they are a separate group, providing they are not also members with voting rights in your own group. And as we know as a separate group with their own group conscience, they can do pretty well as they please.

For me the only way this would not apply is if the 'groupie' running the proposed ladies only meeting is in fact a one person show, because we must have a group conscience of more than one person to have a group, just how to find out if they have more than one voting member is the other challenge. Sometimes buildings like these have a lease or rental agreement covering use, which has a clause stating that meetings which exclude others on basis of race gender and so on are not allowed, then whoever pays the rent can call the shots on this.

Of course these types of groups can't really stop others coming anyway, a man can sit down and say I have a desire to stop drinking and they can't chuck him out, but that just causes confusion and ill will. For me the bottom line is usually the group who pays the rent, or in any other way has control of the building calls the shots.
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby ezdzit247 » Fri Apr 29, 2016 10:53 am

Our group is the only group out of the chapterhouse and so the other meetings are under the auspice of our group.


Lots of smaller meeting groups who use the same facilities for meetings pool their money for convenience' sake to pay the monthly/weekly rental fee, share one coffee maker, stock one literature rack, buy supplies etc. and generally have a monthly business meeting to discuss money issues or other issues like property maintenance, janitorial issues, etc. and that arrangement works well for those issues. In this way the monthly business meeting functions as a mini intergroup or steering committee meeting but it cannot dictate formats and rules to any other AA meeting groups simply because they contribute money or share the same facilities. That would be a violation of both the spirit and the letter of AA's 4th Tradition: “Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole."

According to the same Tradition, the woman who wants to change the Step Study meeting from an open meeting to a closed meeting for women only, cannot make a unilateral decision on these changes. She must propose the changes to the AA members who have been attending the Step Study meeting and let them decide the matter by a group conscience vote. That vote is binding on that particular meeting group as well as the group that attends the business meeting.

AA publishes a pamphlet on the this issue entitled: http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/p-16_theaagroup.pdf.

And here's what Bill wrote about Tradition 4:


Editorial by Bill W.
Grapevine, March, 1948

"With respect to its own affairs, each A.A. group should be responsible to no other authority than its own conscience. But when its plans concern the welfare of neighboring groups also, those groups ought to be consulted. And no group, regional committee, or individual should ever take any action that might greatly affect A.A. as a whole without conferring with the trustees of The Alcoholic Foundation. On such issues our common welfare is paramount."

This Tradition, Number 4, is a specific application of general principles already outlined in Traditions 1 and 2.

Tradition 1 states, "Each member of Alcoholics Anonymous is but a small part of a great whole. A.A. must continue to live or most of us will surely die. Hence our common welfare comes first. But individual welfare follows close afterward."

Tradition 2 states, "For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority--a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience."

With these concepts in mind, let us look more closely at Tradition 4. The first sentence of Tradition 4 guarantees each A.A. group local autonomy. With respect to its own affairs, the group may make any decisions, adopt any attitudes that it likes. No over-all or intergroup authority should challenge this primary privilege. We feel this ought to be so, even though the group might sometimes act with complete indifference to our tradition. For example, an A.A. group could, if it wished, hire a paid preacher and support him out of the proceeds of a group night club. Though such an absurd procedure would be miles outside our tradition, the group's "right to be wrong" would be held inviolate. We are sure that each group can be granted, and safely granted, these most extreme privileges. We know that our familiar process of trial and error would summarily eliminate both the preacher and the night club. Those severe growing pains which invariably follow any radical departure from A.A. tradition can be absolutely relied upon to bring an erring group back into line. An A.A. group need not be coerced by any human government over and above its own members. Their own experience, plus A.A. opinion in surrounding groups, plus God's prompting in their group conscience would be sufficient. Much travail has already taught us this. Hence we may confidently say to each group, "You should be responsible to no other authority than your own conscience."....
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby PaigeB » Fri Apr 29, 2016 12:04 pm

I agree the Step mtg needs a group conscience - or the Women's mtg needs to be another new meeting.

Around here, the Groups do not own the buildings that clubs are in. I think only the owner of the building can say what occurs in their building. BUT if the owner is an alcoholic AND the owner and decisions are made with bias of any kind, then troubles may begin.

All 3 clubs in my town have boards and members of the club and it runs like a business and is separate from AA and AA groups. Members pay dues to be a club member (& get a coffee cup) and AA groups merely rent space in the building, perhaps paying rent out of their 7th Tradition basket.
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby avaneesh912 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:39 am

4. Each group should be autonomous except in matters affecting other groups or A.A. as a whole.



Tradition 4 is about autonomous conduct for each group. If the "other group" switched women only, perhaps there was some collective decision made among some women in the "other group". If some male members of that "other group" have an issue, they can bring this up in the group conscience if they have one. I doubt if they will have one.
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby Roberth » Fri May 27, 2016 11:30 am

Hello Sleddog, It’s not that complicated at all. To me it’s about a group conscience. Personally I have a problem with anyone secretly changing anything without talking to the group about it. Just because I have been around for a while doesn’t mean I know better than everyone else.
I have than a chance to see the 12 concepts in action. Wilson knew what he was doing when he came up with them. The 12 concepts coupled with the 12 Traditions has kept AA on solid ground since it was turned to the conference. I think it can do the same for your group.
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby PaigeB » Fri May 27, 2016 12:00 pm

I doubt if they will have one.

Puzzling. I don't know why you would doubt that out of hand. Perhaps only the women were showing up for the business meeting and for the Group service jobs and decided in one of those business meetings that if they were going to be an all female GC then maybe they should be an all female meeting too.

But I am just making that up in my head. We just don't know.

I think our esteemed elders knew these types of differences would occur and therefore the Tradition that allows each group to be autonomous. If you don't like what your group is doing, let the minority voice speak. That does not always change the GC. If a few still have a problem, start your own meeting. Or take your voice to the District ~ But the District cannot impose anything on the Group either.
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby joyless » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:07 pm

hello everyone....
i can't seem to find the forum for women only. I will keep looking but can someone tell me where it is on the list of forums?
I am desperate to quit drinking. Counting my first sober days since May 27, 2016. Lord, let this be true for the rest of my life!
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby Brock » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:34 pm

The woman’s forum is something you need to be registered to enter, I expect someone who can do that will be along soon.
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby joyless » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:36 pm

thanks @Brock I am desperate to get started. Can you recommend some other threads that is good for a newcomer? I'm almost at 2 weeks without a drink. Struggling with shakes, anxiety and fearfulness.
I am desperate to quit drinking. Counting my first sober days since May 27, 2016. Lord, let this be true for the rest of my life!
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby Brock » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:46 pm

There is a section called 'for the newcomer,' however I believe most of us click on one of the links you see at the top where it says “View unanswered posts” etc. My shortcut is straight to “View active topics.”

I am sorry you are having a hard time, it is something we have all been through. Many find drinking sweet things soda and so forth helps and also candy, if you can, a visit to a doctor may be of value to get something to assist with the anxiety and shakes. The forums seem a little slow right now, but I am sure others will be along, have faith the Joy in your life will return, I can't believe how much it has in mine.
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Jun 08, 2016 3:51 pm

joyless wrote:hello everyone....
i can't seem to find the forum for women only. I will keep looking but can someone tell me where it is on the list of forums?

Instructions for joning closed forums

viewtopic.php?f=10&t=14077
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby Lali » Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:00 pm

Welcome, joyless! I see that Spirit Flower has given you the link to get to the women's discussion forum. I look forward to "reading" you there. Please feel free to post in the main forum as well. I no longer had the shakes after 2 weeks but everyone is different. Are you staying away from caffeine? Drink lots and lots of water! That will keep you hydrated and will help with the shakes. If you continue with the shakes and it is causing you much discomfort, your doctor may be able to prescribe something mild for it
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby D'oh » Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:29 pm

Hi Joyless, Welcome.

You are in a very safe place. Very few of us Bite, well hard anyways.

I had the Shakes terribly, as well as bed sweats, fear, and lack of focus. From my very first F2F meeting, I had Hope that this thing would work. I did a Meeting a night for 90 days, and here on the side, but a Sponsor helped the most.

Possibly why I did so many meetings, to find the right one, you know the one that had the Car/House/Job that I wanted (JK). It turned out the one I talked to the very first night wound up being the right one.

Good Luck and Keep Coming Back! It does work.
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Re: Exclusive meetings for women

Postby Patsy© » Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:22 am

Our group is the only group out of the chapterhouse and so the other meetings are under the auspice of our group.


The AA group rents space from the Chapterhouse, they are completely separate entities. An AA Group can bind itself to no one. The AA group is the tenant and the Chaperhouse is the landlord. One AA group doesn't own another AA group. And if two or three AA members choose too, they can start their own AA group, anytime they choose to. They do not need permission from another AA group to do that.

This Womans Step Group sounds as if it started its own AA group. That meeting may have been under the auspice of another AA group and now have begun their own AA Group. There is a major difference between an AA Meeting and an AA Group.


http://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/starting-a-new-aa-group
Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group they have no other affiliation.


http://www.aa.org/assets/en_US/e_infchan.pdf
“Our membership ought to include all who suffer from alcoholism. Hence we may refuse none who wish to recover. Nor ought A.A. Membership ever depend upon money or conformity. Any two or three alcoholics gathered together for sobriety may call themselves an A.A. group, provided that, as a group they have no other affiliation.” — Tradition Three (the long form)

“Each Alcoholics Anonymous group ought to be a spiritual entity having but one primary purpose — that of carrying its message to the alcoholic who still suffers.” — Tradition Five (the long form)

“Unless there is approximate conformity to A.A.’s Twelve Traditions, the group... can deteriorate and die.” — Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 174
Failed 12 Step Call? Not if we walk away sober!
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