More self selecting, mostly women spaces/events?
March 19, 2019 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Went to a wool and fiber show the other week with my bestie, and found I really loved the atmosphere. A large majority of the vendors were women, and the same for the punters, which got me wondering, what are some other kind of gatherings/spaces/events which attract (mostly) women?

I'm not looking for stuff that is specifically for women, such as a women's music festival. I just want to go to places where self selection brings a lot more women in than men.

What I liked: a great atmosphere, low to no competition, good conversations esp. with vendors, knowledge sharing, laid back. (Also I got to pet an Angora bunny, but bunnies of any kind need not be present).
posted by Archipelago to Grab Bag (31 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Church choirs have a really, really hard time getting more than two tenors or basses. Come to think of it, most church groups that I know of are like this.
posted by Melismata at 12:23 PM on March 19, 2019 [4 favorites]

In a similar vein, other crafting shows like sewing festivals, scrapbooking conventions, etc. I used to go to an annual conference and show floor for sewing, knitting, jewelry making, scrapbooking and other crafts and it was a great, fun space to be in.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:32 PM on March 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Any birth-related conference, as well as anything related to homeschooling. But the gender essentialism at those events can be super off-putting (she says, as both a birth worker and a homeschooling mom).
posted by linettasky at 12:38 PM on March 19, 2019

Seconding religious groups and events--I've seen it in Pagan and Jewish communities as well as Christian.
posted by carrioncomfort at 12:38 PM on March 19, 2019

Yarn con! Held annually in Chicago. Lots of fun. Be aware that your credit card may think something went wrong when you charge $50 at multiple vendors in a short amount of time.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 12:46 PM on March 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Most crafting things that aren't wood or welding will have more women at it. Dance classes. Aerobics. Weightlifting (at my gym, the guys lift weights on their own, the girls are the ones who take classes in it).

Hah, Ms. Vegetable, I had that happen to me at Stitches West.
posted by jenfullmoon at 12:51 PM on March 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

Events related to bodywork, holistic healing, energetic healing or yoga/Pilates are likely to have a large majority of women attending.
posted by zdravo at 12:52 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Book groups, usually. Library events. Every book group I've been to that was not coded male in some way ("Golden Age science fiction only", "Very Serious Marxist Theory Taken Very Seriously By People Who Have Definite Opinions About The Second International", etc) has been majority women.
posted by Frowner at 12:59 PM on March 19, 2019 [7 favorites]

posted by Enid Lareg at 1:01 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

OK, so this is going to make me sound like I'm a horrible person, and if it makes me sound less horrible, I'll note that I never actually went through on this plan. But the last time I was single, I came to the realization that most of my hobbies (I'm a man) are actually quite terrible in terms of meeting single women. Things like playing rec league hockey and woodworking, or sitting at home reading. It occurred to me that, if I wanted to meet women in hopes of dating them, I'd probably have to go where single women go, and so I started brainstorming where that was. The two best ideas I had were pet-related functions (like volunteering at shelters) and yoga. Yoga is becoming more mixed gender than in the past, but the ratio is still heavily in favor of females. In more recent years, I've also become aware of gender imbalances in book clubs - they tend to skew female as well.

Easy but sad way to think about this: Imagine a douchebro telling his douchebro friend that he was going to _______. If it prompts the second douchebro makes a joke about the first one's sexuality, it's probably something that's majority-female.
posted by kevinbelt at 1:05 PM on March 19, 2019 [10 favorites]

To be honest I can't think of any volunteer or activist environment I've been in, ranging from mainstream liberal to left, that wasn't majority women.
posted by dusty potato at 1:11 PM on March 19, 2019 [16 favorites]

Yoga, ballet, pilates.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 1:19 PM on March 19, 2019

A fair number of gardening groups are like this, though definitely not all.
posted by clew at 1:38 PM on March 19, 2019

Every ceramics course or workshop I have taken has been almost entirely women - taught and attended.
posted by urbanlenny at 1:44 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Women-only choruses exist, as well as women-mostly choirs and groups. I sang women's barbershop for a few years and really enjoyed it.
posted by terretu at 1:46 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Not just bookclubs and lectures about books, but also BookCrossing meetups.
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:15 PM on March 19, 2019

Outdoor swimming and recreational running groups (those which emphasise the social aspect over serious competition) are about 80% female in my experience. And yes, singing: Also drama - am dram and evening classes.
posted by penguin pie at 2:58 PM on March 19, 2019

Librarian conferences and meetups
Local Planned Parenthood volunteer groups
posted by mostly vowels at 7:02 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Roller derby! :)
posted by theRussian at 7:08 PM on March 19, 2019 [3 favorites]

Most of the equestrian world.
posted by sepviva at 7:31 PM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Dog sports! For every man at a Barn Hunt, NADAC Agility or UpDog event there are ten women. Ditto therapy dog programs and positive-reward training. There wasn't a single man in my class training his dog for AKC Canine Good Citizen.
posted by workerant at 8:07 PM on March 19, 2019

Nursing conferences and events, although those aren’t really open to anyone for the most part.
posted by MadamM at 8:13 PM on March 19, 2019

Flutists are mostly women and girls, especially at the amateur/student level. Just about every flute choir or flute section I was in from middle school into adulthood was over 75% female, usually closer to 100%.

Some other musical instruments also have a strong gender disparity; an incredibly high proportion of harpists are women, for example (although there aren't really harp choirs or harp sections as there are for flutes).
posted by Syllepsis at 10:45 PM on March 19, 2019


Irish step dance, but at the non-competitive schools where people are hopeless and know it and come anyway because they love it. Similarly ballet, in the adult beginner classes where nobody will amount to anything and people are okay with that.

A lot of partnered social dance, like ballroom, salsa, tango, zouk, swing, etc. But this one can be hit or miss: some places with a lot of women have a strained atmosphere because the partnering is very heteronormative and the women regard themselves as in competition for the few male leads.

Occupational Therapy seems to be heavily female for some reason. (This is extra weird because the closely related field of physical therapy is not nearly as imbalanced.)

Olympic weightlifting, cyclocross, and randonneuring are not mostly women but they have way more women than you might expect, and in my limited experience very much have the atmosphere you describe.

All the Postcards to Voters groups I've seen are all-women or nearly so.
posted by meaty shoe puppet at 11:27 PM on March 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

* Damn near every hobby that doesn't deal with metal, wood, or electricity.
* Anything involving voluntary education
* Anything involving families, parenting, or health care
* Religious and church-hosted activities

Men-dominated areas: literary science fiction conventions, some kinds of music, anything involving transportation (including model cars, boats, airplanes and trains), many sports and games, conferences about money, meritocracy, "rational thought," or atheism.

Almost everything else that's social is mostly run by and for women. (See also: "epidemic of male loneliness.") If your hobby interests run to carpentry or sea shanties, you may have problems; otherwise, pick something you enjoy and look for a local group that has meetings or events about it.

No, really: Pick anything. Bookbinding, ice cream making, historical costuming, watercolor painting, learning Esperanto, beadwork, etc. If you're interested in dance, and you're willing to dance the guy's role, you can have oodles of new friends in no time.

To be honest I can't think of any volunteer or activist environment I've been in, ranging from mainstream liberal to left, that wasn't majority women.

My local DSA meetings are split about 50/50, with a disproportionate number of mid-20s/early-30s white guys in charge of subgroups. But other than the wave of Bernie Bros, that's been my experience as well.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:02 AM on March 20, 2019 [3 favorites]

If you like Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries, Miss Fisher Con and the Adventuresses' Club of the Americas.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 6:48 AM on March 20, 2019

If you can sew, volunteer at your local community theater's costume shop. They will fall down in happiness at having your help.
posted by BostonTerrier at 7:18 AM on March 20, 2019

Girl Scouts volunteer trainings. I've been to many where there were women there for their own benefit, not necessarily to take information back to their troops; some didn't even have troops.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:03 AM on March 20, 2019

To clarify: that's training in things like First Aid, outdoor cooking, running a D&D game, how to use a compass... not the trainings on "this is the paperwork you need to submit to take your troop on an overnight trip out of state."
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:04 AM on March 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

Vegan food festivals, wine festivals
posted by katinka-katinka at 3:53 PM on March 20, 2019

I'm late to this, but just wanted to add that in my area (Atlanta), a huge number of groups are female-only. This is true of many interest-based groups as well as those for general socializing. I'm a member of a shit ton of groups, and go out on average 1-2 times a week. When i met a man this week, I realized that that hadn't happened since perhaps last October.

Also, when searching for groups (or signing up to be notified of new ones) you can indicate interests like "female friends," etc.
posted by jessicapierce at 4:42 PM on March 22, 2019

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