We have a bunch of parties. Many of them small and informal, with basically no outreach or invitation process so if you dont know folks at the commune, or if you dont happen to be there on the right day you will miss it. We also have much larger and publicly announced events like New Years, Validation Day and Land Day. For many of the larger events we post on Facebook, send emails out to ex-member and friends of community and get the word out. And we often say something like “You need to have a host to come to this party.”
For New Years at Twin Oaks (which is a very popular party) we go further and say “If you have never been to Twin Oaks before, this party should not be your first visit.” The thinking is that we would like most of the members to have at least a little bit of experience with the people who are attending and we would like the outsiders who come to have some minimal experience with the commune, so they are not asking the most basic questions about what we are doing and how we are organized. And so they have some experience with our culture and agreements.
When i asked GPaul about what the protocol was for the upcoming Acorn’s Midsummer’s Night Reve, he said “people who have never been to Acorn before can come, but it is their hosts responsibility to make sure that they fit in”. This means if you invite a guest who is culturally out of place and there are problems associated with that guest, these problems come to you to deal with. This could include someone being intoxicated in an unpleasant way (either too rowdy or physically sick) or someone who has a poor understanding or behavior around out strong consent culture and is hitting on people in an unpleasant way or grabbing folks without their consent.
But what this rule really does is it makes the host think about their prospective guest in a more critical and selective way. “Is friend X going to act up in a way in which i will need to intervene if i invite them?” you ask yourself. And if the answer is “possibly yes”, you pause and think “perhaps another time.”
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