Sisters of the leaf unite!
Cigar smoking is becoming a lot more visable these days. There are clubs at regional, national and international levels where both brothers and sisters of the leaf can join over the passion for cigars that they share.
When I started taking cigar smoking seriously, I was very much a lone wolf. It was a solitary hobby and my way to unwind and tune out from the world at large. I was aware of other cigar smokers, but unfortunately I didn’t live near any cigar friendly places to go out and meet other brothers let alone sisters of the leaf. All that started to change as the years past and I wanted to start sharing my love of cigars with other people.
With my nearest cigar lounge being nearly 2 hours drive away, it wasn’t realistic to spend 4 hours travelling to smoke a cigar that might take two to three hours, so I turned my attention to social media. Enter Instagram. I started posting pictures and short reviews about the cigars I was smoking and looking out for other folk to chat to about cigar smoking. The more I looked, the more I realised that there were other cigar smoking women out there and I wasn’t alone.
Back in late April 2020 a group of us came together and had some fun making a short “pass the lighter” video. It was an absolute hoot and we got chatting about being a cigar smoking woman in the UK. Not long after that, I decided to start doing some live streams on Instagram and one fateful Friday night, I went live with Syafiera and we became firm friends and smoking buddies.
Not so long ago, I went live with Syafiera again and we enjoyed the Hiram and Solomon Master Mason together. During the course of our smoke, we did occasionally chat about the cigar and my full review can be found here, but we mostly talked about cigar culture here in the UK.
Both of us being lasses from the North of England, we have had similar experiences regarding our passion for cigars. Cigar smoking has long been a bastion of privilaged white men, not least because it is not a cheap hobby. You only need go to one of the amazing country houses here in the UK to realise just how exculded women were from smoking good cigars and drinking fine spirits. Since then, there have been a lot of changes and a seizmic move towards equality, but there are still, perceptually at least, there are still areas that seem less welcoming of women.
As a consumer of cigars, I have often gone into a humidor to stock up and been faced with the question “Who are you buying for? Your father? Husband? Boyfriend?” and it has been a bit of an uphill battle to be accepted as a serious cigar smoker. Being involved in cigar hospitality, Syafiera has often had her opinion of a cigar overlooked for very similar reasons.
Luckily, with the masive uptake in social media as a result of Covid, sisters of the leaf are becoming a lot more visable and thus, more widely accepted. Both Syafiera and I are both part of a weekly virtual herf, and the male to female split is just about 50:50. I know that there are a lot of closet sotl’s out there in the UK. Perhaps we chould start our own club?
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It isn’t just cigar smoking women that could do with normalising though. What about cocktail and white wine drinking men? Why should a hobby or enjoyment of something be divided by gender? If us sisters of the leaf are wanting to make ourselves more visiable, then shouldn’t we also encourage everyone else to enjoy what they enjoy without fear of others passing negative judgement? I for one am going raise a glass to all of my brothers and sisters of the leaf and toast equality for everyone in all aspects of life and pleasure.
If you want to read more about the Hiram and Soloman Master Mason, click here. To watch live ramblings of two UK sisters of the leaf, click here.