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    Over 3.6 Million People Watched This Woman's Video Sharing Why She Created An All-Female Nightclub, And There Need To Be More Spaces Like This

    "Men need to become better allies by educating themselves and the other men around them by speaking up when something isn’t right. The only people that can change the issue with men, are men."

    If you're a woman who's spent a night out on the town, then you've probably experienced some kind of harassment from men — whether it be catcalling, unwanted touching, or strangers being all up in your personal space when you'd rather them just leave you TF alone so you can have a good time with your friends.

    It was this exact kind of scenario that inspired Teddy Edwardes to create LICK, a female-only nightclub venue with a focus on LGTBQ+, based in London, England. Teddy — who's both LICK's founder and director — shared her story on TikTok, where it immediately went viral and amassed over 3.6 million views.

    Creating a safe space for women to freely be themselves without any fear for their safety? We LOVE to see it.

    And, unsurprisingly, plenty of people agree! Thousands commented on Teddy's video to voice their support and share how they'd love to attend:

    Because I'm still searching for a night out where men don't talk to me, I reached out to Teddy for more info on how LICK came about. She told BuzzFeed that her own experiences with men on the nightclub scene were the main inspiration for LICK. "I started LICK because I just had enough of going to straight clubs and every single time having some sort of issue with men. The final straw that broke the camel's back was: I walked into my friend's album label launch in Shoreditch and within seconds, a man grabbed my ponytail and pulled me backwards across the club all the way to the bar because he 'wanted to buy me a drink.'"

    Since its inception, LICK has grown into a huge staple in the London club scene, where it sells out 2,000 tickets every time it holds an event. It's also launched in 10 new cities, and Teddy said they often receive messages from attendees sharing how LICK has changed their lives, "either via feeling safe, representation, finding partners, new friends."

    However, this wasn't always the case. "Although LICK is highly successful now," Teddy told BuzzFeed, "it wasn’t easy to get here. For the first three years, I barely made a penny. I did it out of pure passion. My partner at the time told me I’d never make any money from it and I should get a normal job in a café. No venues wanted to work with us, the one venue we did have would often cancel last minute, and I personally was banned from most venues in Soho because they collectively agreed I was 'bringing the wrong crowd to the area.' It was £2 entry and I’d have to just hope on the night that people would come. They always did, and even though the maximum capacity was 50 people, it was the BEST night of our lives every single Tuesday."

    When asked what she thinks LICK's success says about the nightlife setting in general for women and LGBTQ+ folks, Teddy responded, "Everyone is sick of how men behave on nights out at this point, and the gay bars are no better either…most queer women I know have been questioned or denied entry to most gay bars in London. We’ve been told before that it’s because we just 'don’t spend money' and 'cause trouble' — which leaves queer women very few options for where to go in London."

    And in case there's anyone out there who still doubts the power and importance of event spaces like this, a 2017 survey from Drinkaware found that 63% of women aged 18–24 have experienced some kind of harassment on a night out, and 79% actually expect it to happen to them or their female friends. Also, a systemic review of sexual assault against LGBTQ+ members in the US suggests that people who identify as LGBTQ+ are at an increased risk for sexual violence compared to heterosexual individuals.

    Teddy told BuzzFeed that she believes there should definitely be more places like LICK, but only if they're made with the right intentions. "Since LICK has blown up, there have been multiple new events starting for queer women, but the problem is when people start doing it for money rather than care and passion, things go wrong quickly. Your most important priority needs to be the welfare and comfort of the people you are now responsible for, and who are relying on you for some level of safety."

    And finally, when it comes to what needs to change in order for anyone and everyone to feel safer on their nights out, Teddy had this to say: "Men need to become better allies by educating themselves and the other men around them by speaking up when something isn’t right. The only people that can change the issue with men, are men."

    BRB, booking a ticket to London so I can attend my first LICK event! To keep up with Teddy, you can follow her on Instagram and TikTok. And to learn more about LICK, you can visit their website or Instagram.