Why Women Only Spaces Still Matter

And how to applaud your feminine power.

For Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting ladies who are shifting the culture and using their identity as a tool to propel them forward, not hold them back. Meet the BK-based collective Applauding Power.

How many ideas have you had come out of a mimosa filled brunch? Maybe a lot, maybe none at all. After chatting with an employee at AP Cafe in Brooklyn during a brunch session, Bridget Kyeremateng learned that the space was looking to host more events catered towards women and was struck with the idea that is today Applauding Power. “Having a background in cultivating spaces for women, I automatically thought of Erika Cardona and Sea Harris as a perfect addition to the team and now here we are,” said Kyeremateng.

Fast forward to today and the ladies have formed the collective, Applauding Power to encourage women to tap into their divine feminine being through a knowledge-exchange of topics ranging from finances to sexuality.

We chatted with the ladies behind Applauding Power to learn more about their mission, the beauty of womanhood and how to unlearn what society has forced us to believe. Meet Bridget, Erika and Sea:

Pictured above: Bridget on far left, Sea third from left and Erika fourth from left.

Define the “divine Feminine.” How did this term come about?

Bridget: Divine Feminine really means pushing any current boundary that you’ve been used to or taught to and re-learning the best practices that will help achieve your highest self. For example, we had an event about sustenance and we had brands such as Femmy Cycle that provided menstrual cups as an alternative option to use instead of tampons since tampons include toxins and promote blood clotting. We want to show our collective that there are many different ways of thinking and living your life in ways that society has refused to teach us.

Erika: It is simply the beauty and power women embody. Due to societal norms, race, inequality and all injustices we, as women, may sometimes forget or haven’t been taught about how powerful we really are and could be.

Sea: Both masculine and feminine energy make-up all of us. The Divine Feminine specifically, is the energy within us that is associated with creation, intuition, community, sensuality and collaboration. The term divine feminine is a reference that our great friend Nellie (the former-manager of AP Cafe, where we hold most of the Applauding Power events) used often when describing the Applauding Power collective and we believed it was the perfect reference in relation to the spirit we wanted these events to embrace.

Why are creating spaces like these important today?

Bridget: Women have been creating spaces of gathering since the dawn of time. This honestly isn’t new. We always create them when we feel as if we are unsatisfied with the current space. For Applauding Power, we’re taking away the pressure of having to come to an event and network. We’re taking away the pressure of having to come with an agenda. We just want to create a space where you can come a couple times during the year and connect, dance, eat, support, learn and hopefully walk out with new ideas of how to be the best version of yourself.

Erika: Today we see a variety of different events ranging from brunches to panels and open conversations which are all beautiful. We wanted to differentiate Applauding Power as an event that keeps all of these conversations going by having certain themes and already planning ahead for upcoming events.

Sea: There is a ton of learning and unlearning that women in today’s society are going through in regards to their upbringings, their experiences, and their conversations with themselves. Applauding Power is shedding light to this shift and allowing a safe space for release.

What does being a woman today mean to you?

Bridget: If my feminism isn’t intersectional then I’m not helping society. It has taken me a long time to understand and fully be comfortable being a woman. I still have a lot of experiences that will continue to shape me but my main goal is to help support all women. Women of color, trans women, immigrants, refugees, and more.

Erika: Being a woman today, especially a woman of color is simply empowering to me. I have learned so much about myself over the past two years that have enlightened me so much. I truly believe that by bettering yourself first you can truly make a difference for others and continue inspiring. Something that I myself take pride in because Applauding Power showcases that.

Sea: Being a woman every day, means being a deity, a vessel, an 8th world wonder- and there is no rank of that royalty. I believe every woman is powerful, regardless of her journey. Today, we are more aware and vulnerable. We are more open to humility and unlearning. We are rejecting cattiness and baseless judgement. We are embracing and applauding each other. It’s really beautiful to be a woman always, but I am especially honored to be one today.

What’s one thing you want people to take away from Applauding Power?

Bridget: It’s your space to be who you are. We want you to feel safe in our community and excited to come learn something new. Even though our collective is targeted towards femme people, we encourage men and allies to come learn and grow with our community.

Erika: Besides knowing that is an actual safe space. I want people to take away growth. Everyone has the ability to keep learning and growing and Applauding Power wants to push everyone to continue striving to be their best selves!

Sea: I want people to feel like they were just given the biggest hug and an emotional cleanse they haven’t felt in awhile. At our last Applauding Power, almost all of our guests (and participants) cried! There is a level of vulnerability and openness at these events, that we couldn’t have imagined in our wildest dreams. It’s a truly beautiful experience.

*Responses have been condensed for clarity

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