Women only clubs are gaining traction. It seems that what we used to chide men for, we now crave. Of course, women only clubs don’t have the seedie and exploitive reputation that the men’s ones do. But, regardless of the difference, in all our efforts to seek equality, we’ve found the need for gender specific sanctuaries.
Why Women Only Clubs?
It was October 2016 when I first heard about them. The Wing had just opened in Manhattan, right around the same time the world thought there was going to be a female President. My initial thoughts were not those of support and cheer. Apart from public toilets, I really dislike anything that encourages segregation (click here for more about that). We’re supposed to moving towards integration, not creating more walls. But as I began to research the exclusive clubs around the world, and read testimonials from the ladies that have memberships, my opinion changed. When I started to look at the reactions to the conversations and the actions of women around me, it became clear what these clubs offer.
I work in a female dominated environment. Our conversations vary from makeup to nutrition to childbirth to relationship issues. If someone is having a problem, the girls are more than willing to offer support and advice. It’s a safe environment, and no topic is off limits. However, when there is a man around, they laugh, try to change the subject, walk away or say something completely inappropriate.
Adapt that to a place where males out do females, and I can see the need for a “no men allowed” zone.
Women Only Clubs have been around since the 1800s, but it’s only in recent years that they have become all-around sanctuaries. Take Grace in Belgravia, London for example. This club is all about women’s health and well-being. With a medical clinic, spa and gym, women can go and work on their bodies without any awkwardness. Verity in Toronto has everything from a pool to a florist to meeting rooms to its own boutique hotel. The Women’s International Club of Paris brings together different nationalities living in Paris to share their cultures through events such as film screenings and book clubs. The most recent to make headlines is the New Woman Space in Williamsburg which holds events, talks and wellness classes.
At first glance, they may all seem like glorified gyms. But how many gyms do you know that bring together women from all different industries and actually encourages them to talk and get to know each other? How many women at regular gyms go for that type of interaction? Most people go to the gym just to work out. These women go to these clubs for more than a healthy body. They go for a sound mind too. They pay the membership fees to be able to talk freely about balancing family and work life; to talk honestly about not wanting a family and not being judged for it. They go because their schedules are crazy but being in one location that has a gym and a spa and a coworking space means that nothing gets neglected.
Here’s To More
The more I learn about the women only clubs and think about them, the more I love them. I love the idea of being in a place that wants you to thrive and that encourages networking and connections. I know that we’re supposed to want equality. And to do that men and women need to understand each other more. But realistically speaking no matter how much we try, we will never fully understand what the other goes through because our thought processes are different. Only another woman understands how we feel after a miscarriage or the fears we have about not living up to expectations. And that is why these places exist, and I’m glad they do. And here’s to a whole new generation of women only clubs.