The long read: The Wing is a private representatives cavity for women that claims to be an accelerator for feminist revolution in the US and now its coming to the UK. But how progressive is it actually?
On a recent weeknight in midtown Manhattan, a percolate of professional women wearing sheath full-dress and smart blouses swept into a exquisitely well-lighted penthouse. The cavity they recruited was filled with women humbly succeeding and chit-chat, accommodated on an array of curved pastel furniture, designed to fit the precise ergonomic specifications of the average woman. The women’s computers stand stickers speaking” I’m With Her”,” Hermione 2020″, and “Cornell”. The colour-coded bookshelves behind them included studies such as 50 Natures to Comfort a Woman in Labor, Suffragette: My Own Story, and Cunt: A Declaration of Independence.
It was a conventional Wednesday night at The Wing, an exclusive team that describes itself as a” system of drudgery and community seats designed for women of all descriptions “. For between $185 and $250 per month, US Wing representatives- or Winglets, as the company sometimes calls them- can use the space to work, dine, socialise, breastfeed, shower, structure, employ, nap, reapply their makeup, meditate or all of the above. In other commands, The Wing is a one-stop shop for the implementation of its contemporary mainstream feminism, a meticulously curated infinite where women can blow-dry their “hairs-breadth” or” stage a small coup“, depending on the day.
Audrey Gelman, the company’s co-founder and CEO, often tells The Wing’s descent storey approximately as follows: she was working as a press secretary, and later as a political consultant, smashing from municipal to city and from meets to gatherings. This lifestyle coerced her to change her clothings in Starbucks and Amtrak showers, locates she found” semi-degrading “. She dreamed of having a more decorous lieu to go, where women like her- talented, outgoing, highly ambitious- could find like-minded feelings, can change and accuse their phones in treaty. Thus the idea for The Wing was born.
The company now has eight locations- three in New York City, and one each in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and Washington DC, with five more scheduled to open imminently. Its firstly international outpost, on Great Portland Street in London, opens next week. Second points in London, San Francisco and LA are in the works; there will be 20 Offstages by 2020. Over the past two years, The Wing has raised $117.5 m in funding, attracting a daunting and diverse regalium of investors, whose ranks include Serena Williams, President Obama’s friend and former elderly consultant Valerie Jarrett, and members of the US women’s soccer team.
Since the moment it opened its doors three years ago, The Wing has attracted the kind of buzz, funding and polemic generally reserved for campaigns involving Gwyneth Paltrow or Lena Dunham.( Not absolutely coincidentally, Dunham is a close friend of Gelman’s and a Wing founding member. Gelman had a cameo on Girls, and was famously the basis for the character of Marnie .) The scrutiny The Wing renders is, in big place, because it was founded upon a paradox: its firebrand is immersed in the feminist expression of liberation, empowerment and equality, while its business is based on one of society’s most elitist universities: the private representatives’ club. The answer is that the company has become a kind of proxy for national debates over issues of gender, hasten, inclusivity, intersectionality and the limits and possibilities of neoliberal democratic politics. And hitherto, the number of people who actually belong to The Wing is still fairly small-minded- it aims to have about 15,000 members by the end of its first year, slightly less than the monthly circulation representations for The Cricketer magazine, and 16 times less than the total youth membership of the RSPB.
Because The Wing is in part a co-working space, many of its members hail from professings in which role space is a rare commodity- the creative class of novelists, editors, freelancers, creators and influencers who make up the media. Handily, these are precisely the same kind of people who like to tweet, Instagram and write about the world as it examines from The Wing. This has ascertained that even its minutest items, from the coffee to the furniture to the lunch furnishes to the customised scented candles in the endowment shop, have been regarded are worth an commodity of their own. It likewise means that The Wing has been discussion of apparently endless judgment- accused of being too rich, more grey, extremely cis-gendered, very feminist , not feminist fairly, extremely liberal and not liberal enough. One former hire described it as a “super-toxic” region, while a British member told me that upon moving into The Wing in New York, she felt that she had find her “holy grail.”
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