The Wing is not the first women’s-only club in the world, and now the rapidly expanding network of coworking spaces and social clubs will share stories about all the clubs that came before it. No Man’s Land is a new podcast that will celebrate the women who “were too bad for your textbooks,” stories full of murder, gangsters, mysterious disappearances, and untimely demises dug up by Alexis Coe, The Wing’s in-house historian, who also hosts the show.
In New York, women-only social clubs started out of necessity. “In the 1860s, Jane Croly and other women journalists in New York were excluded from the New York Press Club dinner honoring Charles Dickens. They were told they could listen to the speeches, but they had to do it from the kitchen with the rest of the servants, which they weren’t too happy about,” explains Coe. “They went and started their own club, which is Sorosis, which is very different now.”
Women’s clubs spread across the United States with westward expansion, providing healthcare, child care, libraries, or whatever communities needed. “Women’s social clubs founded 70% to 80% of the public library system and that has gone completely uncelebrated,” says Coe. In the new podcast, Coe works to draw a spotlight on these untold stories, celebrating women who never quite made it into the history books.
First up is the tale of Stephanie St. Clair, aka Queenie, a 1920s Harlem gangster and enterprising multitasker. Not only did she run a wildly successful organized crime syndicate, which took on a legendary Italian mobster over a numbers game, but she also mobilized her community–writing editorials on legal rights, the importance of voting, and how to fight back against police brutality.
Podcast nerds will be interested to know that No Man’s Land’s presenting sponsor is SAP, which will be integrating interviews with real fearless women into each episode, and Amazon Prime Video is promoting Season Two of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel by having The Wing’s CEO and cofounder, Audrey Gelman, divulge a different tidbit about the show each week.
The best part is you don’t even need to be a member of The Wing or a female-identifying human to enjoy the show. Simply hit subscribe here and get to know the territory known as No Man’s Land.