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We, Real Girlbosses, Back Working Women's Clubs

Your favourite market-friendly feminists are back, defending feminist co-working spaces like The Wing from cynical and ugly London critics.

by Hannah Ewens and Bertie Brandes
12 November 2019, 9:15am

Join us, women everywhere – if you dare! (Photo by VICE)

First off: where have we been? Thanks for asking. Honestly? We’ve been busy. After the success of our How To Write a Best-Selling Feminist Book guide, we were followed by some of our favourite female journos (yay ladies!) and received plenty of wry DMs from celebrity activists who appreciated our piece in private. We were thrilled at the response, and felt like real progress had been made. Soon after, our trail-blazing body positivity campaign for WeWork – generously funded by Mike Ashley, the father of a close school friend – went viral on Reddit. Who knew Hannah would look so good in a sumo suit smashing up props in a boardroom?

Well, not everyone loved the campaign. The resulting onslaught of barely-veiled, deeply misogynistic jibes (“why bother doing this” “why the fuck would you do this” etc) served as a humbling reminder that the women of Zones 1 & 2 still have a real fight ahead of them. So naturally we upped our tools and penned a second book proposal. Your #Existence Is #Resistance is a collection of inspirational quotes taken from The Dots and will be published by Penguin Classics in time for the holiday season – add it to your Amazon wish list here. Our body-positive contributors include models Lily-Rose Depp and Karlie Kloss plus a foreword from the brilliant Ashley Graham and us.

Anyway, this whole debacle got us thinking. Exactly where are creative, successful women expected to work and play in equal measure and talk as loudly as they like in a calming pink environment with access to biodynamic rosé? How are they meant to scrabble together their existences in a chic capitalist system, where womanhood is exhausting (and ageing!) and almost any woman-centric activity just a hop-skip away from being monetised? Call us rad-fems but we felt like the lack of sufficiently aesthetic co-working spaces in central London for exactly our demographic was actually a form of urban abuse. A major-aggression, if you will.

Enter… The Wing. Woman oh woman, were we thrilled to hear that the Manhattan-born institution was opening its doors in convenient Fitzrovia. Raising over 117.5 million dollars in funding, it's a sparkling new empire. The launch party was fab, and yes, we snapped a selfie with that infamous Waller-Bridge oil painting (rumour has it she’s actually already sat for four official portraits!!). All in all, it was an amazing and empowering experience that frankly, as white women with diverse backgrounds, we just haven’t had at Shoreditch, Soho or Babington House. We were excited to witness this leap forward for intersectional feminism first hand, since Hannah is bisexual and Bertie is hypoglycaemic.

Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, not everyone was as thrilled as we were. Some female London-based “journalists” who obviously didn’t get memberships have felt the need to snipe and moan, questioning The Wing’s policies and pricing. These flimsy arguments about class and exclusivity are completely unfounded and enormously sexist. So, it’s time to set the record straight and stand arm in arm with a global community of successful women from the US. This is what feminist member’s clubs are really about...

CULTURE!

Wondering about the authenticity of this place? Well, the launch party was a veritable carnival of authors, poets, models, CEOs, and inspiring mothers. In terms of career advancement, it’s a goldmine. Looking to get your foot in the door at Random House? The goodie bag literally included a signed book deal and an intern.

COFFEE!

I’ll get an oat flat white, extra hot. EXTRA HOT for christ’s sake it’s not that difficult is it and why does it take so oh hey how are you!!!! Yeah amazing!

CO-WORKING!

Obviously a space as chic as this was never going to be cluttered with desks. Instead, there are individual dining tables where you may sit and order three meals plus additional beverages throughout the day. Forget the four-day week, at The Wing you never have to stop working. There’s even a birthing chamber.

CLIENTELE!

Shout it louder for the womyn in the back! This space is for: women of colour, the queer community, celebrities, insta-mums, bloggers, vloggers, loggers and anyone who identifies as a social climber. The only entry requirement is that you foot the reasonable monthly bill (£170), which is hardly a divisive policy. So, whether you’re a dyed in the wool blue blood (apparently Sam Cam loves the Sunday brunch), upper-middle, or even a good old centrist (soo refreshing to meet women in the creative industries whose mothers actually worked) there’s a velvet recliner with your name on it.

COMMUNITY!

Obviously it’s not only about the activated charcoal mojitos and impromptu sixth-form reunions. With your new #femily, you can dig in to the meaty issues close to all of our hearts, ie: gender, gentrification and luxury homeware. The Wing is a really unique space where women can benefit from an amazing atmosphere of support. It offers social and economic advancement for all who have agreed to the non-disparagement clause. Splash Le Labo products on your body in the powder room and get chatting to your next business partner. You could be using a breast pump next to your new mentor (remember that Killing Eve season 2 writer would’ve gotten nowhere without Queen Phoebe W-B!). Need help with your VISA sponsorship? Swap tips with a globe-trotting supermodel. You’ll hardly be able to step from tearoom to phone booth without a friendly woman jumping in to collaborate. Sorry – sorry, were you just eavesdropping on our conversation? Can't network now, we’re very busy.

COFFEE!

Yeah this is lukewarm? No, don’t heat it up – make it again.

&....

COMPLETELY TAX-DEDUCTIBLE PROBABLY :)

Not that you should be doing your own accounts. We have a number of a fab woman, if you fancy? In fact we heard through the grapevine that next week, in the Cho Chang hub, you can book a one-on-one with the only woman named in the Panama Papers. Offshore feminism? Bo$$ b*tch, baby, sign us up!

Okay, that’s all from us sweeties, got to dash to a podcast. Remember: the patriarchy hovers over our heads at every breathing moment, so careful it doesn't crush you on your way out of the club doors! See you next time to set the world to rights – if we don’t catch you at level 2 barre beforehand.

@bertiebrandes and @hannahrosewens

Tagged:
London
the wing
members clubs
women's media
girlbossery
women's working clubs
uk feminism
liberal feminists