Residents from South Philly and beyond are welcome to join House Cat Presents for its latest iteration of the Feminist Flea Market & Craft Fair at Bok on Dec. 7.
“The Feminist Flea Market is an event centered around womxn, trans, nonbinary and gender non-conforming folx,” said Rebecca Aronow, of House Cat Presents. Aronow told SPR there would be close to 120 vendors. “There’s a lot of everything,” she said, from different types of artwork like pins and embroidery, clothing made by local designers and beauty products. “It will run the gamut.”
This will be House Cat’s fourth Feminist Flea Market, and its third in Philadelphia. After having more than 1,600 people and a line down the block at their last Philadelphia market at Underground Arts back in February, the market had to be moved to a bigger space. Now at Bok, there will be room for over 40 additional vendors and many more shoppers.
The event has become a space not only for shopping, but for community and connection, said Aronow. Through this event, vendors have met, collaborated on projects together and have formed many meaningful personal bonds. Many vendors continue to come back for each market and have said that the market is not only the best in terms of how much they’re able to sell but in how nice and supportive everyone is who attends.
Aronow, who also manages local rock band Ellen Siberian Tiger, used to book DIY house concerts in college at Penn State. She raised over $1,000 at a house show she organized once, giving her the confidence to pursue similar types of events in the future.
“Since then I’ve been trying to merge feminism with music and art to support some of those causes,” she said.
The market also aims to raise awareness and funds for various feminist organizations in the community. Over the last four Feminist Fleas, over $8,700 has been raised for local women’s organizations including Women Against Abuse and and the YWCA’s Sexual Assault Response Center). Proceeds from next month’s event will go toward WOAR (Philadelphia Center Against Sexual Violence), a nonprofit based in Philadelphia whose mission is to eliminate all forms of sexual violence through specialized treatment services, comprehensive prevention education programs and advocacy for the rights of victims of sexual assault.
Women in Transition, an organization whose mission in part is to empower women to attain safety, equality and justice to build independent and self-sustaining lives for themselves, will also be leading 15-minute self-defense courses every hour at the flea market. Since this presentation will be only a brief overview of WIT’s two-hour WAVE Self-Defense course, House Cat and WIT will be offering the full two-hour self-empowerment course on Jan. 5 at 1149 Cooperative in South Philly for those interested in the full program.
“Out of all the events I do, this one definitely feels like a big community,” said Aronow. “Everybody is so friendly and eager to support one another. So many vendors have connected with attendees through the event. There’s a really tangible energy to it.”