Men have reportedly taken over infamous and endlessly discussed women’s only co-working space The Wing, much to the apparent chagrin of Wing members.
Legally, The Wing isn’t actually a “women’s only” space, thanks to anti-discrimination laws in place to prevent establishments from denying people of all genders entry on the basis of that gender. These protections are, of course, important, but the New York Post reports that they’re causing problems for members who say people are bringing their loud-chewing, manspreading man friends around and ruining everyone’s good time.
Per the New York Post:
Up until about a year or so ago, when the space was truly a women-only sanctuary, members said they could comfortably walk around braless in a robe after a shower. Now, they say, they’re constantly looking over their shoulders wondering who the loud dude is chewing his lunch.
Numerous California members tell The Post that the phenomenon is getting out of hand.
“It’s just annoying,” says Caitlin White, a 31-year-old West Hollywood member who sees at least one man working in the space each day. “Why do men need to be there? Why can’t they respect the spirit of the place? Men have to have everything.”
In San Francisco, the tech bros have allegedly descended:
“I usually see about five men coming in throughout the day,” says a 31-year-old San Francisco member who asked to remain anonymous. “I think it’s members bringing in men for investor meetings. Here, everyone is in [venture capital], and men still hold all the money and power. These women are trying to fund their businesses.”
On the one hand, I can see how it would be frustrating to spend $3,000/year on Wing dues expecting sweet freedom from tech bros, only to discover all the tech bros are hogging the “Office of Hermione Granger” phone booth to sell their apps to the ghost of Steve Jobs, or whatever.
On the other hand, The Wing’s marketing as a man-free space sparked some debate over how it might handle trans and non-binary members, and prompted the New York Human Rights Commission to launch an investigation into the company in 2018 to determine whether it violated state law by discriminating against potential customers on the basis of gender.
In 2018 a D.C. man sued The Wing for $1.2 million over gender discrimination, and in 2019, The Wing updated its admissions policy to be more gender inclusive. The company says the lawsuit didn’t influence the policy change, but either way, The Wing can’t legally keep men out, so I suppose the tabloid complaint pieces will keep coming.