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January 04, 2017

Of Course: Hot New Trend is Offering No-Boys-Allowed "Co-Working Spaces" for Women

Sexual segregation is cool, so long as the right sex is being excluded.

Before we get into this, I guess people need to know what a "co-working space" is, which I personally don't. It seems to be some kind of social club you pay a yearly fee to belong to, which is... I don't know. I don't know how "working" figures in here. I guess it's like Starbucks -- it's a place to hang out with your laptop open so you can pretend you're "working on your screenplay and/or novel" as you gab and gossip.

No Boys Allowed: The New Rule of Co-Working Spaces

"Women are craving community, connection, and confidence, and that's what we're going to give them."

by Ariana Igneri
January 4, 2017, 7:30 AM EST

I want everyone to get ready for a sentence that will surprise you, but will, in immediate hindsight, seem completely inevitable.

It's 11 a.m. on a recent Friday, and 29-year-old Audrey Gelman--public-relations powerhouse, former Hillary Clinton press aide, longtime friend of Lena Dunham's -- is sitting on a pink couch at the Wing, the co-working space and social club she co-founded this October in New York. A man walks through the elevator doors, and Gelman throws him a friendly wave. "That's our AV guy," she says. "He's basically the only man that comes through here."

Ah-ha. Seems you need a Man to do anything technical.

Now do some whining about women not getting enough STEM degrees.

That's because the Wing--so-named because, like the wing of a house, it's a separate space--is just for women. Co-working is hardly new; industry trade magazine Deskmag estimated there would be 10,000 co-working spots worldwide by the end of 2016. But female-focused spaces have become a niche in the industry as a response to contemporary feminism and a reaction against fratty venues that advertise kegs and pingpong....


In addition to a pastel-and-gold-tinted communal workspace and a library with books (yes, there’s a copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own) arranged by color, the Wing provides its 400 members with on-demand blowouts, a lactation room, and vanities stocked with trendy beauty products from partners including Glossier, Diptyque, and Ouai Haircare. Membership is $1,950 a year or $185 a month, plus a one-time registration fee of $100--and whatever extra you spend on hair and makeup services or soba noodles and lattes. Subscriptions have doubled since the club opened, Gelman says, and the Wing's Instagram account has more than 45,000 followers. "Part of that is having a personality and a distinct point of view," she says, "which means not being everything to everyone."

As Drew pointed out on Twitter, men used to have private spaces and clubs they could belong to, which had "personality" and a "distinct point of view," such as leather-padded doors and walls with a lot of antlers on them and no lactation rooms whatsoever. These clubs were also "not being everything to everyone," but they were shuttered or forced to include women for being discriminatory.

But in our Princess Gets Whatever She Wants age of feminism, such obvious points are officially Thoughtcrimes.


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posted by Ace at 01:59 PM

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