The Older Women's Network is an e-mail list created for lesbians 35+ to have fun, to give and receive support, to network, or simply chat by sharing thoughts, feelings and events of interest with other lesbians. The definition of a lesbian, for the purposes of this list, is a woman who is self-identified as a lesbian.

Please read the information below and complete the next step in the process by replying "OK," if you agree to abide by the guidelines. I'd also like to know your real name (if it isn't part of your address), your age, and how you discovered OWN.

OWN Guidelines - PART I

Consider the following points when posting to OWN. They are particularly important when communicating with strangers, who will, hopefully, become your friends in OWN.

  1. Give your message a meaningful and accurate subject line.

  2. Regarding your posts:

    Think about the content but don't worry about your spelling and punctuation, or that of others on the list. Brief messages are more likely to be read, but you may also choose not to be brief in order to say what is on your mind. One-lines are ok, too. :)

    If you mean the message for just one person, try to send it individually instead of posting it to the list. If you are unsure whether the message would be of interest to others on the list, feel free to post it to the list. If a topic is of interest to you and one other person, it will probably be of interest to other OWN-ers, as well, so feel free to post to the list. So that all OWNers will be able to read your posts, please be sure that your mail program is set to "text" and not "HTML".

  3. Be careful with humor and sarcasm; they are not communicated well by computer. Symbols may be used to indicate intent:
    :) smile; <g> grin; <l> laugh; <h> hugs; IMHO in my humble opinion ...

  4. If it occurs, any flames (private posts) *should* be forwarded, immediately, to the list owner OR to the list, directly. Flaming is not acceptable behavior for members of OWN and will be grounds for removal from the list. A flame, for the purpose of clarification, is any e-mail message that feels threatening or abusive to the recipient. Verbal abuse can, sometimes, be just as damaging as physical abuse.

  5. Discussion, debate and disagreements will, no doubt, occur. However, name calling and flaming will not be tolerated. As OWN-ers, it is the responsibility of each list member to show respect, even when disagreeing with another's comments.

  6. No posts from OWN are to be forwarded to anyone, without the specific permission of the author.

  7. There is a competitive communication style seen on some internet lists and groups that reflects "gratuitous one-upmanship, insult and posturing." An atmosphere of trust is hard to create and easy to lose. The intent of the Older Women's Network is to have members communicate with respect and acceptance. Active participation is encouraged for all OWN-ers.

  8. OWN, as stated above, it a list for discussion of any topics of interest to lesbians 35 and older, including sexuality. However, sexually explicit or graphic material is neither acceptable nor appropriate for OWN.

  9. In reviewing the guidelines and agreeing to them, it is understood that lack of adherence to the guidelines is reason for removal from OWN. One warning will be given by the list administrator. With a second occurrence, the offending member will automatically be removed from the list. The list administrator will be fair but will not allow one individual to negatively affect the entire OWN community.

  10. An extension of the Older Women's Network is #OWN, an IRC channel located on q.net. The guidelines for the OWN mailing list also apply to #OWN. For more information on #OWN, write to one of the list owners.

    OWN Guidelines - PART II

    When replying:

    1. If changing subjects, edit the subject header to keep it relevant to the message content.

    2. Include the points to which you are responding in the text of your reply by quoting a little with your mail reader or summarizing. Your comments are then in context, and the receiver doesn't have to try to remember what the original said.

    3. Try to keep things in perspective:

      Do not say anything to others in a post that you would not say to them, personally, in a room full of people.

      Think about *not* replying immediately to something that annoys, upsets, or outrages you.

      Consider that others may have imperfect communication skills.

      Be aware and tolerant of other people's needs, ideas, triggers and expressions of feelings. (What is a trigger? Well it can be almost anything: sights, sounds, smells, certain types of language, repetitive phrases, overly graphic descriptions, etc.)

      Sometimes, when your own ego gets smashed, it is hard to remember that the other person's ego is just as fragile.

    4. A suggestion about who has the last word:

      the initiator of a post has the first word,
      the responder the last word,
      for however many rounds the exchange goes.

      Please note that, as OWN grows and changes, these guidelines may be amended or further clarified. OWN standards on flaming, sexual or graphic content, however, will never be lowered. We look forward to having you participate in the Older Women's Network!

      List Owner - Carol Jade <jade@sonic.net>