Meet GRLCVLT: The Secret Society For Feminists
"This group has really reset my views on friendships with women"
Photo by Olivia Jane
Why choose to not have an online presence and be a secret society?
Remy Holwick: So GRLCVLT started because an even larger group of women—which was also secret—didn't feel intimate enough. We wanted a chance to be able to talk about all these varied aspects of our lives without people like parents, employers, and friends, necessarily seeing it.
Jenny Pien: Also, being secret means that the pool of women that are suggested have previous relationships with the ladies in the group and are vouched for. I think it provides more of a safe space.
RH: Because we don't have a "topic" and we aren't an interest group, there's a huge array of discussions going on concurrently, and you don't want the world to see if you're asking about a yeast infection or how to leave your job or why your pee smells. It's a culture of "Thank god I didn't post that on normal Facebook!"
JP: It's more of a girls' chat... I didn't have a lot of girlfriends before these groups, to be honest, and I've never been able to share things and be a part of things that I may have ignored previously.
RH: It has become topical in the media for sure. We band together to do things, like Fuck Rape Culture, we all got behind the idea of "Let's talk about rape and start working to undo some of the societal garbage around it." When you are in the group, it's a hugely mixed bag. We have underpinnings—we're founded on intersectional feminism and undoing the belief that you have to put other women down to bring yourself up—but topically, we go everywhere from "Look at my boobs, I love them!" to "Let's talk about the time I was sexually assaulted" to "I need a new job" to "Is my mom weird?"
JP: Like in any group, some important social issues will arise in conversation with friends, but within a group like ours, we have a lot of resources and dedication.
JP: Oh, yes. I had a hard time making friends because I had been moving a lot in the span of five years. A lot of my core friends had dissipated due to careers and life. Finding a group like this really opened my life up.
RH: Same. I had also learned to be competitive with other women, that being "not like all those other girls" was something I was supposed to strive for.
JP: Maybe six years ago, I was very "Oh, girls are so drama." And now I hate myself for that.
RH: Me too. And that's so not true. We're exhausted by a society that teaches us to compete with each other, but we aren't drama. A lot of the group teaches us to undo that and trust each other. I hated that when I was little, I genuinely learned from the media that girls were boring. I dreaded being a woman.
RH: I thought women were embarrassing.