Let’s start this conversation with what goes on in a woman’s mind when she decides to go out dancing or otherwise party the night away. Apart from having fun, relaxing or meeting new people she also looks forward to enjoying a free space away from unwanted behaviour which unfortunately is rampant in nightclubs.
The non-consensual grinding, groping, grabbing which makes women opt to move/dance in groups is a clear indication that most clubs cannot be termed in the least bit, as safe zones.
Sad is that the groping and grabbing culture is somehow tolerated and for people who would rather not suffer through it will tend to avoid nightclubs and bars altogether. After all, what is a night club if not a hot spot for sexual behaviour? This connotation further adds to the reasoning that harassment is okay, hence why some women become devoiced when they encounter this g3 (grinding, groping, grabbing) culture.
We cannot forget the distress, discomfort and disenfranchisement that accompanies these norms of nightclub sexual behaviour. On the other hand, even though some men might share this same distress, it is rare that they would open up about it. Otherwise, they risk being viewed as unmanly especially if the g3 behaviour was initiated by an attractive woman. Wouldn’t many wonder what the fuss is about for an innocent pass made by a woman? What harm can the weak gender cause?
Even though this mentality is wrong and further yields a disparity between genders, (due to double standards), research indicates that both genders are more accepting of the g3 behaviour if the perpetrator is a woman. Nonetheless, men’s nightlife behaviour is still believed to cause more harm.
Case in point women get assaulted by men in far greater numbers than men get sexually assaulted by women.
Factoring this it is inevitable that Strictly Silk would spark reactions internationally considering its the only and first exclusive all-women club. BBC News – The Kenyan dance parties where men are banned
Occasionally they will be doing a LAD's FREE night. Us men will wait at the parking lot cos it is allowed
— JackNaya 🇹🇿 🇬🇧 (@naya_jnino) August 13, 2019
Uko dawa unajitiaa wigi safi kidev unakikwanguaa ndevu zote af unazamaaa😂😂😂..
— pichichi (@chrysostom_jr) August 12, 2019
From the staff including the security officers, sound mixers, Djs, MCs and ushers to access Strictly Silk one has to be a woman.
Conceived by Njoki Ngumi, Njeri Gatungo and Akati Khasiani, all members of The Nest Collective, Strictly Silk becomes a game-changer as it protects women against unwanted experiences common in mixed clubs.
I like this thing. This shows and tells us(men) that we shouldn’t think that every lady we see into night clubs is for after men, some are there for their enjoyment. Good step
— Merves (@Merves_J) August 12, 2019
When we consider past cases which characterised femicide, rape, sexual harassment Silk couldn’t exist at a more opportune time when women have become vocal on issues to do with misogyny and violence against women.
By this fact, women from different settings and backgrounds can also appreciate the idea behind Strictly Silk as it packs autonomy, freedom and the right atmosphere for just a night of fun.
The whole concept bore other mixed reactions with some highlighting Strickly Silk as a queer hangout. But of course, trust such an assumption to meet various opinions. Take a look;
waseme tu lesbianism party basss tutaelewama
— Kamtu Ka Mbao™ (@BenBell45725386) August 12, 2019
Kenyan men: argghggh these lesbianics partying without us. AGHH This is not the Nairobbery I know and lurrrrrv. We didn’t defeat colonialism to not have the opportunity to exploit and harass our womenzzzzz. AHHH THESE LESBIANICS pic.twitter.com/okPnvGLq1d
— #freestellanyanzi (@miss_mumbz) August 13, 2019
Ms Ngumi dispels this claim by affirming that it is a space for all regardless of sexuality. Participants who appreciated the conception of the rave also highlighted that it is a place where women can dance the night away without judgement. Whether you’re in a hijab or a dress Strictly Silk doesn’t carry connotations of how a night outfit should look like.
Strictly Silk, ni klabu ya muziki iliyopo jijini Nairobi, Kenya maalum kwa ajili ya wanawake pekee, ambapo wahudumu, DJs, walinzi, washereheshaji ni wanawake. Klabu hiyo ya usiku ilianzishwa kuepuka usumbufu wa wanaume ambao wanawake walidai kuupata kwenye klabu mchanganyiko. pic.twitter.com/kDlJX8A35E
— Swahili Times (@swahilitimes) August 12, 2019
Strictly Silk is simply simple a space packed with like-minded individuals who want to have a good time without worrying about the toxicity of club culture.
Speaking of toxicity read more on rape culture in clubs. Buying drinks is not buying consent.