CHANGES COMING TO MAKING WAVES

The Making Waves (Fat Swim) Coordinating Committee extends our deepest thanks to the many community members who gave ideas and input about who the swim should be for. As the shepherds of a 30+ year community resource we wanted to meet the (conflicting) needs of the swim community. We have decided that Making Waves should have a pilot, from November through March, where the swim is sometimes open to self-identified fat women only and sometimes open to fat people of all gender identities. The specific schedule is below and will be posted to our website (https://makingwavesswim.com/). Quick tip: weeks 1 & 3 are fat women only, weeks 2 & 4 are for fat people of all gender identities.

Our hope is that this pilot will be effective in making Making Waves a more inclusive community and in generating more attendance at the swims. We will be very interested in your feedback throughout the pilot so that our decision to continue or change this schedule will, as much as possible, reflect the community’s interests.

We talked a lot about what makes the Fat Swim so special – a supportive and respectful community that comes together without judgement to exercise, swim or play in the water. We want the swim to continue to be a fat-positive environment, without diet talk or focus on weight loss. We need the swim to be supported – with both energy and money – by the swim community. We will continue to have a sliding scale ($6.50 — $XXX per swim) with money collected on the honor system.

Please – come swim with us at the Albany Pool as much as you can. And please do share your thoughts and ideas with any member of the Making Waves Coordinating Committee.

Lin Wilkerson (lwilkerson75@yahoo.com
Lynn Ellen Marcus (lemarcus@lynnellen.com)
Christine Ianieri (cmipele@sbcglobal.net)
Judith Stein (Judith_stein@comcast.net)

MAKING WAVES PILOT SWIM SCHEDULE

Week #1 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
Week #2 People of all gender identities (over 200 pounds)
Week #3 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
Week #4 People of all gender identities (over 200 pounds)
Week #5 when occurs Friends and family swim – any gender, any size welcome to come with a fat swimmer

DATE WEEK # MAKING WAVES SWIM OPEN TO
11/6/2016 1 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
11/13/2016 2 People of all gender identities (over 200 pounds)
11/20/2016 3 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
11/27/2016 4 NO SWIM – pool closed
12/4/2016 1 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
12/11/2016 2 People of all gender identities (over 200 pounds)
12/18/2016 3 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
12/25/2016 4 NO SWIM – pool closed
1/1/2017 1 NO SWIM – pool closed
1/8/2017 2 People of all gender identities (over 200 pounds)
1/15/2017 3 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
1/22/2017 4 People of all gender identities (over 200 pounds)
1/29/2017 5 Friends and family swim – any gender, any size welcome to come with a fat swimmer
2/5/2017 1 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
2/12/2017 2 People of all gender identities (over 200 pounds)
2/19/2017 3 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
2/26/2017 4 People of all gender identities (over 200 pounds)
3/5/2017 1 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
3/12/2017 2 People of all gender identities (over 200 pounds)
3/19/2017 3 Self-identified fat women only (over 200 pounds)
3/26/2017 4 NO SWIM

This entry was posted in Community Forum, Coordinating Committee, Updates. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to CHANGES COMING TO MAKING WAVES

  1. Thank you for this email. The decision is a good one.

  2. susan goldberg says:

    I was extremely upset, angry and disappointed to get your email. While I appreciate the committee’s work (collecting money, dealing with the pool administration, emailing updates), I don’t know where you think you got the authority or power to unilaterally make changes to the swim, or who designated you the “shepherds.” Did I miss a vote? I consider myself a shepherd as well, and have an equal amount of authority and power. So I say no, the swim is not going to have a pilot.

    The swim has been a safe place for fat women for over 30 years. I’ve been coming since 1986. I consider myself a member of the “swim community” whose needs would not be met if the swim changed. My need is to feel safe, which I most definitely would not if the swim were opened to men. I’m glad to hear that the committee talked a lot about what makes the fat swim so special, but how about everybody getting to talk about this? One of the most important things that makes it special that you didn’t mention is that it’s a safe, women-only space.

    And by the way, what is the “swim community”? Is it the 49 people who responded to the survey, most of whom do not attend the swim? Is it the women who regularly or semi-regularly attend the swim? Is it all fat people who want to swim?

    Who decides if making the swim a more inclusive community outweighs (pun not really intentional) the need for a safe space? Doesn’t it seem like there should be a discussion about this before any change gets implemented? The last I knew was the committee’s statement at the end of August:

    We find ourselves on the horns of a dilemma – how to respect the desires for some community members to hold onto the comfort and community as women-only space and how to respect the desires of some community members to reflect more current gender-fluid views to create a space inclusive to all fat people. For the time being we will not be making changes.The swim is open to any self-identified fat woman. We will continue to discuss at our next Coordinating Committee meeting. Again, did I miss a vote?

    And while we’re on the subject of being inclusive, why is this a goal for the fat swim? Women’s space has been eroded almost to the point of non-existence. If fat people of all gender identities want a fat swim, why can’t they create their own and leave this one to those of us who want it to continue as an all-women’s swim? It sounds like a really old story to me, that women are always supposed to take care of everybody.

    And in terms of generating more attendance? Come on, do you think that having men come is the answer? There are plenty of options that haven’t yet been explored or implemented (handing out postcards, putting the word out on social media, etc.). And what about the fact that attendance would immediately drop off because some women, myself included, will not come any more?

    Susan Goldberg

  3. Susan says:

    Any updates for the May and June 2017 swim schedule. I just found this site and would love to join in the fun.

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