“No boys allowed. Suckers. Invite any girls you know.”
That’s what the invite said for the event page of the first ever Femme Friday. A few girls on the college radio station here at IU decided they were tired of attending house shows, concerts, and other social get-togethers where boys would make them feel uncomfortable.
At first, I was just a little skeptical. Mainly I was just afraid it wouldn’t have that big of a turnout.
Then the collaborative Spotify playlist was unleashed on the page and girls started getting into it.
The first song posted was, appropriately enough, “G.N.O.” by good old Hannah Montana. Then more femme related tunes were added like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “Flawless.” Rightly so.
I was pumped up. I really didn’t know why I was nervous about people not showing up. Part of me just thought other girls wouldn’t get into it, but I was wrong.
And the thing is, it brought a lot of girls I never really spoke to together and created a greater sense of community. Girls started flooding the event page with cute little comments that made my heart soar.
“Currently getting/downloading movies for people who want to stay late.
I have: Sleepover, clueless, mean girls
Any other suggestions?”
“what if this was a pj party?”
“I’ll be the one leading the group cry”
“this is the best thing that’s ever happened to me”
“I’m gonna send u a cardboard cut out of me w some speech bubbles that say things like, ‘you go girl!’ and ‘you don’t need anyone but yourself!!!’ and ‘pass the franzia!!’ so that I can pretend to be there also can this pls happen more than once luv u”
Then the night finally arrived. The place was completely packed with all sorts of girls and was very inclusive of trans women and non-binary gender femmes, which I am always here for. On the walls were feminist quotes like “I am woman, hear me roar” which was corny, but also perfect.
I made my way to the back of the house and came upon an entire room filled with food. Cakes- drinks- desserts. Actually, two cakes. This party exceeded all of my expectations. These girls knew how to eat.
Finally, a college party centered around something everyone loves – food. Not just shots. and shots. and more shots.
I spoke to a lot of the girls at the party, and was happy to find that they were thrilled to be there. Finally, they said, there was a party where they didn’t have to worry about their outfits, or their makeup, or dancing in a room where they would attract some unwanted hands on their bodies. They could go to a party and feel comfortable.
A lot of them also said they were nervous about being around this many girls in one room. I pressed them on this issue because I was a little confused. One girl said she didn’t want to feel insecure or have other girls judging her. She quickly realized how wrong she was.
My friends and I rallied behind her saying that girls have to support other girls. We are all we’ve got. And that was the fortunate thing about this girl bash. Everyone was so nice and supportive of each other. Girls were offering each other rides home so they wouldn’t have to walk home alone. Girls were introducing themselves to each other and making new friends. There was no competition. In this safe space we really could just be ourselves and have a genuinely fun time.
For hours we ate food and danced in the living room with The Lizzie McGuire Movie playing in the background. I was a part of several self-love pow wows and posed for a lot of pictures. I wondered to myself why hadn’t this happened before? And I realized it was probably because the music scene and house show scene in Bloomington is pretty male-dominated.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with having big parties with lots of guys and drinks or whatever. But it was even more fun to break out of the mold of what we thought college nightlife had to be like. Having an all-girls bash allowed the opportunity to see the social dynamic of college parties change in a way I hadn’t seen…well, ever.