Things We Don't Talk About -- Womens Stories From the Red Tent

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For my birth month (February), I feel compelled to celebrate with the women of our community. I hope to screen The Red Tent film for you ladies. After the film, we will have fellowship and a meal together, as well as doing a release ritual and brief meditation. This event is for women only.

*This is an alcohol free event
*Ticket cost helps to cover our one time screening license for the film, and to further support the growth of Evansville Goddess Circles (based on Red Tent gatherings)

It is important to define what the Red Tent is. First and foremost, The Red Tent (1997) is a novel by Anita Diamant that retells the biblical rape story of Dinah. “The Rape of Dinah” (Genesis, chapter 34) was recounted not by Dinah, but by her brothers. Diamant provided a fictional feminist retelling of the tale, giving Dinah her own voice. She also gave the women a menstrual hut, a form of women’s community. The book is presented through Dinah’s eyes and those of the women around her. The Red Tent is rooted in its feminist retelling of this ancient biblical story, in which the idea of a menstrual hut has struck a cord with modern women.

The Red Tent novel originally did not have a great impact on women’s lives. This began to change when the author herself initiated a word-of-mouth campaign by giving copies away to Rabbis, female Christian leaders, and independent booksellers. This approach proved successful, and by 2002 The Red Tent had become a New York Times bestseller and a publishing phenomenon. The book has since been published in twenty-five countries and translated into twenty languages.

What is a "Red Tent" movement?

The “Red Tent” is many things to many people. It is a womb-like red fabric space, it is a place where women gather, it is an icon, and it is a state of mind—all concepts inspired by Diamant's book. Some women create red fabric spaces specifically to honor their menstruation. Others create spaces where they can take care of themselves, promote women’s conversations, and/or hold workshops and other events for women.

There were several women's groups worldwide that started hosting Red Tents in their communties as early as 1997, but most accounts that I have found date to around 2002, after Diamant's book become popular. There is no official founder of the Red Tent Movement. The “Red Tent Temple” is both a place and a grassroots movement founded by ALisa Starkweather in November 2006 and officially launched in April 2007. ALisa wanted the Red Tent Temple to be a place where women gather to honor all stages of womanhood. These spaces are technically Red Tent Temples, but they share many similar functions with other Red Tents. Many participants use the terms Red Tent and Red Tent Temple interchangeably. DeAnna L'am is another contributor to the Red Tent movement. She founded "Red Tents in Every Neighborhood." The first public Red Tent hosted by DeAnna L'am was in 2008. Although she hosted several private Red Tents at her home since April 2007.

For many women the Red Tent is a sacred space, but it does not proclaim any one spiritual or religious practice. It is important to note, however, Starkweather’s Red Tent Temple Movement was established within the Women’s Spirituality movement, so many women who have created Red Tent Temples in their communities have incorporated elements of their goddess or pagan spiritual practices. A sacred space can be defined as a natural or human-made environment where religious or spiritual experiences take place and where rituals are performed. They are also places where one can go to meditate or pray and they may be considered personally special or profound. Susan Hale (Sacred Space, Sacred Sound, 2007) said, “a sacred space is temenos, a Greek word meaning an enclosure that makes it possible to enter into a relationship with a greater reality. Entering into sacred space, one crosses a threshold and moves from chronos, human time and space, into kairos, eternal time.” Through my own observations of Red Tents, it is apparent to me that when women enter, they enter sacred space.

While the original function of the biblical Red Tent in Diamant’s book had to do with women gathering following pregnancy and during menstruation, the contemporary practice of creating a separate space is not about ostracism. It is a spiritual practice, a sacred woman’s place, an enjoyable and non-judgmental space, and part of a women’s movement. The book was a tool that helped women reshape their relationships with each other and gave them a specific vehicle for coming together.


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?

This screen is for women only.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Please try to car pool with a friend or two.

What can I bring into the event?

Please bring a comfy pillow to sit upon, blanket, etc.
Guests are also encouraged to bring a light snack/dish to share.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email me at abbynalin@gmail.com, or text me with questions at 812.455.0534

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