“An empowered woman can be selfish or selfless. That’s the beauty of being female.”
Holler. Clap. Whistle. Fuck yes.
Those were a few of the reactions given over and over as I sat with 100+ young women on Wednesday night, gathered in the light-filled, lofty Free Space on Claremont St. to chat about everything it means to be a female in the modern age. It was the first meeting of Bad Girls Collective, a new kind of book club that brings like-minded women together to celebrate all things female. And sitting there amongst those women, good energy radiating throughout the space, I knew I was part of something that was about to become very big.
The thing is, it actually did start as a regular book club – the Bad Girls Book Club to be exact. Just a few friends getting together to talk about a book, share ideas and talk shit. But as it started to grow and they found themselves at 25 women, founding members Kara Lynne Wark, Kate Chippindale and Ellen Micallef saw it as an opportunity to make it something bigger. Instead of constricting thoughts and ideas (and wine and cheese) to a living room, what if they could expand it to become an interactive event with more women and special guests and giveaways (and even more wine and cheese)?
And so Bad Girls Collective was born.
I found out about the gathering a few weeks back, as I sat on the couch and got lost in the labyrinth that is Instagram. Amidst all of the posts of lattes, OOTDs and #blessed, I stumbled upon a post that simply read: “Meet all of the bad gals.” Oooooh, consider interest officially piqued.
When I checked out the page and learned that it was a new book club that anyone could join, I got an immediate feeling of “Holy shit, I need to be a part of this.” And I’d like to point out that this is a VERY RARE reaction for me, because I’ve gone to a million blogger events in my day and about 0.0001% excite me. They’re lovely and all, but it’s the same format, the same people, and not enough for me to want to leave the house and Netflix.
In the car ride over to the first gathering (where we discussed the book ‘All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women & the Rise of an Independent Nation’), I had been telling my friend Bettina about how shitty a day I’d been having. You know, just one of those days where you get inside your own head and fall under the weight of stress that comes with working for yourself. I was looking forward to the event, but was also wondering if it would be like all the other ones I’ve been to… and I was just NOT in the mood for that.
But moments after stepping through the door, I felt all the bullshit melt away.
The energy inside was infectious – that’s the only way I can describe it. The room was buzzing with women, laughter and new connections. Attitudes were left at the door. The founding bad girls kicked it off and introduced us to the rest of the original members before Ashley Moffatt took the stage for one of the funniest stand-up acts I’d ever seen. We talked about the book, too, but in a bigger picture discussion, so that even those who hadn’t finished reading it (ahem) could be part of the conversation too. Breaks for wine were included (my kinda gals), and then we got the chance to hear keynote speaker, chef Christine Flynn, talk about her anonymous Instagram account (and how interesting it is to not have people make judgments based on gender).
As Bettina and I left, I was on a high (and I’m still buzzing as I sit here and write this). The idea of a book club isn’t ground-breaking. People have been doing that shit for years. But turning that tradition into a bigger event with an even bigger purpose of connecting women who love to support other women?
Well, that’s just fucking amazing.
Here’s to all the bad girls past, present and future – hope to see you at the next event (I’ll be by the wine and cheese).
The next Bad Girls meeting is June 28th, so sign up for the mailing list and Instagram for updates on tickets!