PHASE I: SETTING THE CLIMATE
This phase takes place in a large group session and involves a brainstorming. The participants are asked to name general attitudes about women, both their own and those of others. The participants are asked to make judgments, positive or negative, about these attitudes which are then recorded on charts.
The task of coming to grips with these judgments are a good climate setting exercise. Such attitudes as selfish, money-grabbing, sex objects are not difficult to label as negative; either are the attitudes like kind, generous, or loving, difficult to list as positive; but such attitudes as emotional, aggressive, demanding, become more difficult to categorize as either/ or. The participants find themselves becoming critically aware of these words, the attitudes they convey, and what these attitudes really mean. By relating these attitudes to particular situations, these words begin to take on different meanings; e.g., the word "demanding" might be judged as negative, if it refers to getting more than one deserves. On the other hand, it might be considered a very positive attitude if it refers to an issue like demanding equal pay for equal work.
PHASE II: THE WAY I SEE MYSELF & OTHERS
This phase follows logically from the brainstorming exercise. The participants are given a paper and are asked to reflect on the following three questions:
The purpose of this exercise is to get the participants to reflect on present attitudes toward women and then to identify those factors/events/people in their lives that influenced the present vision they now hold.
Participants then form dyads. They take time to share and discuss their reflections and to identify common influences in their lives that helped facilitate a positive attitude toward women. Then, in light of their own experience and their knowledge of other women, they are asked to look at the shadow side of women's existence and to identify those chains people, events, other influences, etc. that perpetuate negative attitudes in women which keep them stuck in the past. These observations/ideas are then shared in a large group.
The introduction of the terms, shadow-side and chains, implies the need to free women from some kind of bondage, the need to help them affect change in themselves and others.
PHASE III: THE WAY CHANGE OCCURS IN ME AND OTHERS
The purpose of this phase is to identify steps/events in the change process. The participants begin with a reflective exercise. They are asked to select one change situation in which they were personally involved, e.g., marriage, job transfer, weight-watchers; to make a list of all the steps they took during this change process; and, to "arrange these steps in chronological sequence. Following this exercise, they were asked to compare these findings in small groups. The large group is then assembled for a lecture and the dynamics of perspective transformation (Mezirow, 1981) are presented. Participants are encouraged to compare their findings with the information presented. This exercise is followed by a general discussion of the dynamics of change.
PHASE IV: THE CASE STUDY
A case study is usually a powerful tool because it allows the participants to deal with important issues as outsiders thus removing the threatening aspect of being too Personally involved. Since it allows the person to relate to a situation with a rational frame of mind, it is an appropriate instrument for this type of process.