A platform for voices supporting women's rights
Thanks to popular TV shows that have turned dull domestic duties like baking, sewing and housekeeping into hip pastimes for the young generation, the famous British women’s only club, the Women’s Institute, has seen a surge in demand. On the opening night of its latest chapter in Bristol, 350 women queued around the block to register, but the unexpected turn out caught organisers by surprise, evident by the capacity 220 capacity of the venue. But is the new found popularity of this once flailing British institution entirely credited to the rise of “shabby-chic” DIY interiors, bunting and baking?
Once upon a time, it was men seeking escape from the family household. Taking refuge in the garden, the bar down the road or the local gentleman’s club, it seemed the norm for a man to work a full day, return for his evening meal and then find solace in his own space away from the home. But times have changed, women work too, men work from home, men stay home with the kids, the household is no longer an overwhelmingly female domain. As a result, it could well mean our women are the ones escaping from the family home, females could be looking for that “me time” and finding it in the company of a group of like-minded women.
According to the article “a woman could always get away from her husband and find exclusively female companionship by going to the gym or joining a book club, but these have their drawbacks – they are competitive and offer too much scope to feel inadequate.” As a result it seems the Women’ institute has become the elusive refuge for women looking to escape the family home without feeling the pressure to outperform one another. One WI member, Julia says “There are lectures, talks, holistic medical opportunities – and “women’s food…It is so lovely to eat things like pomegranate seeds and tiny healthy things and not have men asking for steak béarnaise.”