In the wake of the recent and, to many, traumatizing presidential election, people who have been threatened by the president-elect’s racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic comments have been trying to come to terms with the results. They’ve been turning to cathartic media, planning marches, and in some cases, gathering with like-minded individuals to simply try to heal and de-stress.
The #WeAreHer Night of Women’s Empowerment at the Hudson Terrace on November 30th provided a venue for the third option. Women of all professional walks headed to Midtown West to drink champagne, eat hors d’oeuvres, and get calming crystals placed in their ears (no, I was not aware of that practice, either), thanks to the efforts of Erika London, a hospitality VP (whose company, FB Hospitality Group, owns Hudson Terrace) who noticed disillusionment amongst her female friends since the election. The message was that women must continue to harness their power and work together even though Hillary Clinton will not be the 45th president of the United States.
Proceeds from the event went to Planned Parenthood and StepUp, an organization that pairs teenage girls with professional female mentors. With the former imperiled by the president-elect’s pro-life policies and the latter a wonderful resource for empowering young women even when the nation’s future leader isn’t an outspoken misogynist, attendees appeared happy to donate.
They were also happy to partake in the event’s vendors’ offerings, from the ear crystals to massages from Clay Gym, manicures from Pretty Please Nail Polish, and a meditation room from BoHo Yoga. Some took advantage of the beginner jujitsu lessons taking place in the corner behind a pillar covered in post-its akin to the “subway therapy” cropping up in busy stations around Manhattan. Though the waiting list for massages was prohibitively long by the time I arrived at the event, champagne and being part of a sea of impassioned women (plus approximately three men) served as adequate de-stressors.
An hour or two into the event, someone turned down the background clubbing music to introduce the evening’s several speakers. They included Elissa Weinzimmer, co-founder of Voice Body Connection and a “movement” named Speak From Your Vagina, and Adrienne Verrilli, the associate vice president for communications at Planned Parenthood in the city, among other inspirational female movers and shakers.
Overall, the event seemed to be put on by professional women for professional women, focusing the frustrations of the election results on continuing to empower women in the workplace. The rallying cry: As stressed out, working New Yorkers who just need a massage and manicure, we can break that glass ceiling yet.