Mensa North West Events Team are keen to encourage discussion and interaction between our members, and have focused several recent events on this ambition.
Young Mensa North has been running a monthly midweek drinks in Manchester for some time now, and have recently turned this into “Midweek Drinks and Discuss”. A topic is chosen in advance for attendees to read up on if they wish, and then on the night we split into two groups who each focus on a slightly different aspect of the subject. We then regroup to merge our findings.
Our first evening’s question for discussion was “how should introversion and extraversion be measured?”. This involved whether or not one can become more or less introverted over time, and challenged traditional definitions which focus on outward attributes such as loudness and shyness, over internal attributes like how much energy we gain from being around other people. We also looked at a study which indicates that a person's introversion level is linked to their overall likelihood to be affected by stimuli; for example, introverted people are claimed to salivate more in response to lemon juice than extroverts do.
The second discussion evening focused on a more immediately relevant subject: Harvey Weinstein and the sexual harassment scandal in Hollywood. It was refreshing that so many people felt comfortable to candidly discuss this topic and to challenge the shallow #metoo and Time’s Up movements. We discussed who had been in a position to have done more to prevent the abuse; for example Gwyneth Paltrow claims to have been assaulted by Weinstein prior to filming for the 1996 film 'Emma’, before taking on another six starring roles in Miramax films between 1998 and 2005. She spoke out in 2017, saying “This way of treating women ends now”. We questioned why 2017 was the time to speak out, rather than years before.
We visited Liverpool for an afternoon of games, including everyone's favourite, ‘Mensa Connections’. I was glad to have some practice in advance of my first foray into the Mensa games championships - an attempt which I fear is futile! Another favoured game of ours is ‘Werewolves of Miller's Hollow’, which involves being assigned a character of either a villager or werewolf, and then going through several iterations of nightfall while the werewolves kill off the villagers one by one. The aim is for the group to discuss among themselves who the werewolves must be, and kill them off to protect the villagers. Suspicions quickly heighten and the logic becomes more bizarre as everyone starts to second guess each other, and attempt to uncover the bluffing werewolves. This is a fantastic way of quickly getting to really know people; we'll be organising further games afternoons, which I hope you'll come along to.
We are planning to build on this beginning and incorporate more of these events into our schedule; if you have any ideas then get in touch with the Events Team. Already lined up are escape rooms and pub quizzes - hopefully reports will follow of our success!