I wasn’t a member of a sorority when I went to college. Unless, of course, you count going to an all-women’s college being part of one giant sorority. Even though it never felt the way most would consider a typical sorority to be like, going to Simmons College did contribute largely to the independent woman and feminist that I am today. But what happens when you leave college and you’re out in the real world, where there aren’t official sororities?
In this recent article from The Cut (part of New York Magazine), the author writes about a new social club in New York City called The Wing. It is a women’s-only club with the intent of bringing like-minded women together in a safe space. This got me thinking. Aside from sororities at universities, most social clubs began as a gentleman’s-only club. Most seem to have opened their doors to women as well now but it doesn’t change the fact that they originally denied women entry. And there still exist many men’s-only clubs in most major cities.
The Wing’s mission is to “[enable] fellowship with women from different backgrounds, but [ones with] similar values and passions.”It gives them a comfortable place to be themselves. It’s a place where women can connect and network in order to encourage each other to work their way up in a male-dominated world. This reminds me of the female staffers in Obama’s administration who used a specific tactic in order to ensure women’s ideas were heard and acknowledged by the men in the room. When one woman would present a new idea, another woman would repeat it, not allowing their male counterparts the opportunity to assume the idea as their own.
Founders of other women’s-only social clubs feel that The Wing is too one-sided and that it is more important to be with women who aren’t like-minded, to open people’s minds to different viewpoints. I feel that as women, now more than ever, we need to stick together whether we have differences or not. Because we may need to fight for our rights as women in the near future. Being at Simmons, in classrooms with only female classmates and (mostly) female professors, it gave me the confidence to speak my mind and to communicate more effectively with men in the “real world”. I sometimes miss that feeling of camaraderie and comfort that I had at school. So, I can appreciate the idea of a place where women can be themselves and whose goal is to empower them to be more confident in their own personal and professional lives.
As a side note, The Wing is very expensive to join (up to ~$2000 per year) so it is not feasible for many women. But I hope to find more of these types of clubs and especially those that are more accessible for the majority of women. For other women out there, what do you think? Would you want to join a club like this?