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March 09, 2018

Women-Only Social Spaces Are The New Wave In Wellness

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In the last five years, the feminist movement has seen explosive growth as the dialogue between womanhood and wellness begins to manifest.

Audrey Gelman of The Wing, a space for "women on their way," raised $2.4 million in a short five months this past year. The female founders of super-successful SoulCycle and BBG Ventures, who require at least one female founder, participated in its seed round. The Wing is a members-only gathering space for women who are interested in connecting with other women, want a safe and quiet space to work, or who need a midday touch-up and going home isn't an option. "There is a culture in these co-working spaces that is sort of bro-centric, male-dominated," Gelman says. "There was this blind eye to amenities that were essential for women," Gelman told New York Magazine, on one of the many reasons she founded The Wing.

The idea of women-only clubs isn't new—in fact, they're pretty darn old with earliest known roots in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In the past they were either reserved for society women or born from pre-existing communities, university sororities, churches, and other locally based networks.
This modern reimagination of women's clubs doesn't require a prerequisite of belonging to a separate community to participate. The only thing you need is a desire to connect. Women are now meeting and supporting one another as a means to well-being, acknowledging that authentic community and connection to others is one of the ways we can care for ourselves. Women's circles are trending because of this open-minded approach toward communal healing, and now women's spaces give those sometimes nomadic communities a home.

While The Wing has gotten the lion's share of press, several other women's societies have cropped up on both coasts in the last year. LA-based doula Paula Mallis' WMN Space is slated to open early 2017 (in response to her women's circle gatherings), Girl Party is a Brooklyn-based community that organizes unconventional gatherings in partnership with New Women Space, and The WW Club opened this year as well.

We expect to see more physical manifestations of, until now, largely online-driven messages of female empowerment in cities across the country. Instagram will continue to be a vehicle for female empowerment messaging, and more women will start mentorships, host circles, and develop new ways to connect as a way to participate in our own and one another's well-being.
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