Harassment is everywhere, and we’ve all been there. We’ll be sitting at a bar, trying to sip our wine and have a conversation with our friend or a group of friends. Whether it’s a girl’s night out or just some one-on-one time with a bestie, there is an inevitable distraction or actual interruption of that time by a man. It can be as indirect as a group of guys hollering over a recent goal or touchdown on the TV, or as in-your-face as a guy (or group of them) approaching you and your friend, asking to buy you drinks or to sit with you and essentially insert themselves into your night.
If you’re alone at a bar, minding your business, this instance is not only almost certain to occur, it’s worse, because you don’t have backup. Of course, you can always politely decline the drink offers, and move to a corner where you might not be disturbed. But what if you’re already in a corner?
Often, when women are traveling on business and trying to loosen up after a day of meetings and presentations, there is nothing they want more than some quiet time to just sit, reflect, and drink wine. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were female-friendly places to do that where you were sure you wouldn’t be interrupted or worse, harassed? Well, we’ve got good news. Those places exist. They are female-only clubs around the world — beautiful spaces to go and catch up on work, socialize, sip a cocktail, or just unwind on a comfortable couch. We did some digging and found a few to check out if you’re away from home and want to take part in a female-friendly happy hour.
The Best Female-Only Clubs Around the World
This co-working space is one of many that have begun to crop up around the country. Book clubs, presentations by famous female politicos and artists, trivia nights, and more: Wing is not just a place for women to come and sit at their laptops, but rather a space to form a community and begin dialogues that engage women on different fronts: feminism, politics, the arts, literature, etc. With three spaces in NYC and one coming up in Washington, D.C., Wing is expanding and growing, expressing a clear need for these types of women’s only spaces. Gather a group and grab a drink somewhere close by if that’s your thing. If you’d rather stay in the club, membership includes cocktails, snacks, access to a lactation room, showers and blowouts if need be. Self-described by owners/founders Audrey Gelman and Lauren Kassan as “a coven, not a sorority”, the club even has its own publication, a magazine called ‘No Man’s Land’. For intellectual inspiration without the mansplaining, check out membership options on their site.
This all-you’ll-ever-need from a club female-friendly club is all about well-being. With a medical and well-being clinic, a gym specifically designed for women, a restaurant and bar, an all-inclusive spa, and different types of memberships, (including one designed for the out of town guest) this is a perfect option for female travelers looking for a place to rest, rejuvenate and self-care during their travels. Their medical well-being center features holistic as well as mental health services, along with normal physical diagnostic services for women, and the club is known for its integrative and holistic approaches to health.
As it states on the website, ‘Men are welcome, just be aware that you might be outnumbered’. This is a group led by women and founded by Joy Lo Dico. Its mission is “to get great women speakers on stage and to build the bonds across the group.” The group is held at different venues across the city and encourages the principle of a safe place to dialogue about issues that aren’t just feminist, but humanist.
We’ve all felt lonely from time to time. But as female business travelers, being on the road a lot of the time can be particularly lonely. One of the founders of Wildflower Collective, an NYC-based brunch club, said it best when she addressed this issue of loneliness particular to females: “[We] had noticed that [our] boyfriends and brothers had core groups of friends to hang out with on a regular schedule, but [we] didn’t. “It’s funny, with Taylor Swift and all, you think the [girl] ‘squad’ is a thing,” Lowin says. “But loneliness is a real thing, too.”
The Importance of Building Female-Centric Communities
After all, we have the right to be in a place — any place — without feeling like an object. We’d also like some stimulating conversation — without having to worry about how our hair looks, or feeling anxious about how a man might either condescend or dismiss our thoughts and opinions. There is something undeniably magical that happens when women come together and start talking. We found, in our research, that it was that exact phenomenon that was so desperately needed, not just within the US, but around the world. Women want to talk. And they also want to be heard. They want to relate, and be related to. They want friends, and they want to feel safe. Many of these needs are human, but because women have been marginalized for so long, both violently and subtly, these safe, healing and joyful spaces are needed more than ever.