On Thursday, more than 1800 men and women stood on their chairs in Colston Hall, Bristol and declared that they are feminists. It’s an amazing thing to be in a room full of people who have taken a few hours out of their lives, not just for the rip snorting fun of listening to the wonderful Caitlin Moran, but also to be around like minded people. The energy in the roomed was electric. It even start before the gig started, with hundreds of women and men lining up to buy her books, mingle and meet new friends. During the interval, waiting for my husband to come back from the toilet and nursing my Amstel, it struck me that I had never seen such a wonderous and inspiring sight before… I have never seen so many women in one place. That got me thinking as to why that is? Men have their group activities. Take football for example; although there are no doubt many women in the crowds, when I go to a match or switch on the TV, the crowds are predominantly male. When I go to the gym, there are groups of men congregating around the machines, admiring each other’s muscles or encouraging each other on, yet I never see this with women. So, where are the women’s groups? Why aren’t we coming together in groups more often? Women’s ability to develop strong, nurturing relationships with each other is often cited as a virtue, but when do we really see this in practice? Apart from an occassional “night out”, there doesn’t seem to be a venue or medium for groups of women, who may not may not know each other, to congrete en masse? In the seventies, during the rise of social consciousness and mass political movement, including feminism, we had womens groups to bring us together. I’m not sure this is entirely the answer, although I would welcome a forum to meet other women and talk about the polictical and socio constructs of gender and so on. But I also think that we are feminists all the time, and to ring fence womens activities in a de facto feminist group somehow jars with me – I can’t help but feel that it needs to be broader, and occassionally fun. So I’ve decided to create a new type of womens group. I’ll name it the Muff Club. Invitations are extended to all. It will be a virtual club, so you don’t need to arrange childcare or worry about having clean jeans to put on. We will meet online. We will talk about all the shit that’s bothering us, we will celebrate each others successes, we will share information. If you are a woman, and you blog, join my Muff Club. Follow me, and I’ll follow you. If you have boobs, but don’t blog, then call in to to my blog sometimes and say hello, share your stories, argue with me. I don’t care how we do it, but let’s connect more often. Let’s have a shout out for the Muff Club!