Feminist flowers

  • Objective(s): After an intensive day of digital security training (especially true of the first day or two) lead participants through this exercise to motivate and inspire them to keep going.
  • Length: 10 minutes
  • Format: Exercise
  • Skill level: Basic
  • Required knowledge:
    • None required
  • Related sessions/exercises:
    • None
  • Needed materials:
    • Small slips of paper
    • Pen
    • SFlowers (real or paper/plastic)
  • Recommendations: This exercise can be done multiple times throughout the training – you can end the first day or two in case you do not find natural flowers here you find a simple tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eunyko9wfae

Leading the exercise

  1. Before beginning this exercise, you will need to do some preparation ahead of time:

    Write short messages of encouragement on small slips of paper – here are a few examples:

    • After this experience, I will not need a “technician” any longer.
    • There is a community of women/feminists, and they have my back.
    • I take a deep breath, and I reset my computer.
    • I can do this - I’ve done much more difficult things before.
    • My devices have no superpowers over me – I am in control.
    • The only person who can decide how I practice digital security is me.

    Once you’re done writing these out, deposit each slip of paper inside one of the flowers.

  2. Have the group sit in a circle, and ask them – How often do you feel frustrated or overwhelmed with technology? Remind everybody that this is totally normal, despite some of the challenges we face as women and human rights defenders.

  3. Go around the circle and give each of the women one of the flowers – have them hold on to these, but ask that they not open them just yet.

  4. Tell the group a story about a frustrating experience you’ve had as a trainer, or from when you first entered the digital security field. Tell them you can relate to their experiences with technology challenges, and remind them that there is nothing they cannot overcome by working together.

  5. Now, ask participants to open their flowers – go around the circle and have each woman read aloud the message they find inside. Ask if they want to share any of their feelings or takeaways from the day, and if they want to share what their message means to them.