One of my favorite things to do with my time is to sit in a peer group of women. I get to do that on a pretty regular basis with the knitting group at my church. We have a ministry knitting prayer shawls. These prayer shawls are not the kind you wear for prayer, but rather shawls to envelop a person who needs to be reminded of our prayers -and God's love-for them. We give them to folks in the community who are going through rough times, physically, emotionally, or spiritually. We give them to dear friends who are moving away and leaving our fellowship, or who have lost a loved one. They are a gift of love.
Anyway, we meet on a regular basis and knit together for a few hours. The group is made up entirely of women, not because men are excluded, but none has ever shown an interest in joining. We are all middle-aged/elderly women, again, not because anyone is excluded but simply because those are the people that seem to be interested in participating. So there you have it.
Being with one's peers is freeing in a very real way. We are comfortable because we're with our peers, and we're in a "safe" place: we trust each other. The conversation is honest, free-flowing, and intimate. It's one of the few places I can go and not feel guarded or patronized. I love being with other women who aren't catty or gossipy or belittling. We support each other and encourage each other. We care about each other.
Maybe I've been in politics too long, but I find it all so refreshing.