I know you’ve heard me talk about The Unspeakeasy a lot. I also know that since it’s a women’s community, approximately half of you receiving this email are ineligible for membership. But I’m writing today to say two things.
First, because the community is private and therefore we can’t let people test drive it before signing up, we’ve whipped up an explainer with some FAQs about what’s inside. It’s all spelled out in the second half of this email (scroll down) and it’s also on the main Unspeakeasy site, which is separate from the community itself, so you can easily share it.
Second, if you are in the Currently Ineligible camp, know this: the soul of The Unspeakeasy is our women’s community and retreats, but I have plans to make this thing much bigger. What that means exactly, I’m not yet sure. Maybe it means larger-scale retreats or conferences. Maybe it means building a version of the online community that’s “coed,” so to speak. Maybe it means local Unspeakeasy chapters in your cities and neighborhoods, places where you can form your own groups to fight groupthink. (#NuancedAF!) I’ve even been dreaming of starting a book publishing imprint. (That’s a giant undertaking that would be a long way off. Please don’t send me your manuscript.)
Right now, the best way to help me grow this thing is to support the women’s community. You can do that by recommending it to female friends and family members who you suspect or know to be secret thought criminals. You can also always make a financial contribution, either now or down the road when we set up a nonprofit arm.
In the meantime, here is more about what’s inside the online community — which is thriving, by the way. Seriously, it’s awesome. I can’t believe I tore myself away long enough to write this post.
What's the format exactly?
The Unspeakeasy online community is a private social platform with a focus on viewpoint diversity and resistance to groupthink. Think of it as a mini-Facebook filled with smart, thoughtful women who won’t lose their minds if you utter names like Jordan Peterson or JK Rowling. When you come in, you’ll be able to introduce yourself (though you don’t have to) and see all the different discussion forums and what’s happening within them. Within those forums, you can start a new conversation or jump into an existing one. You can share articles, videos, photos, documents, and social media links, but you can’t put anything from the community on social media.
How many are in the community?
Let’s just say . . . in the hundreds. And we’re just getting started.
Why do I pay for the whole year upfront?
A private community is all about trust. By asking members to commit to a year upon signing up, we help ensure that everyone who joins is there in good faith and out of genuine interest.
Do you offer gift memberships?
We sure do! Once you join the community, you can purchase a membership for a friend.
How old are most of the women?
All ages. We might skew more toward older millennials and Gen X, but Unspeakeasy members range in age from their mid-20s to their late 70s.
Where do they come from?
Unspeakeasy members from everywhere in the United States and Canada have joined. And we have growing numbers from other countries.
Are they all badass #girlbosses? Will I feel intimidated?
No and no! As with the retreats, the beauty of The Unspeakeasy online community is that it brings together women from all backgrounds. Here you will find stay-at-home moms, corporate professionals, creative artists, students, teachers, journalists, scientists, tech workers, physicians, therapists, librarians, electricians, farmers . . . on and on!
Will this remain for women only? What about the guys?
The Unspeakeasy’s online community and retreats are currently for women only, as explained here. Periodically, we offer “Unspeakeasy For All” hangouts, which we’ll announce in the community and elsewhere. We know that lots of men want in on this. As we grow, we’ll explore ways to add events and community-building opportunities for everyone.
(And, guys, an Unspeakeasy membership makes a great gift for that special freethinking lady in your life.)
What about politics? Are people conservative or liberal?
Both and everything in between. Here you might find a committed socialist having a friendly conversation with someone who voted for Trump. Or a person of deep religious faith finding common ground with an atheist. Mostly, these are women who are tired of having to fit their opinions into a single ideological box. It’s possible to think one way about abortion and another way about immigration. Or to listen to NPR and also Bari Weiss’s podcast. Who knew?!
I’m sick of talking about politics. Should I still join?
That’s exactly why you should join! As much as we talk about politics and culture war issues, we also talk about books, movies, parenting, cooking, sports, health, the new season of Succession, and all the usual things people talk about. There’s an advice forum if you need help with a touchy subject, and a book club with a new title selection every three months. Once a week for the first few months, Meghan will host a Zoom meeting where people can talk about whatever is on their minds.
So come on in!
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To be clear (in case I wasn't, even though I think I was): The Unspeakeasy will ALWAYS offer women-only retreats and the online community we just launched will always be women-only. Any expansion we do for coed events will be additional offerings. Like, if we had an online community for everyone, we'd build a whole new separate one. Which I can assure you we're not doing anytime soon.
I just joined. I’ve been thinking about it for a while. It’s been like ten whole minutes so far, but it seems like an active place to discuss things in a civil fashion.