Today’s Observer Woman profiled 30 radical women. I didn’t manage to pick up a copy, but based on the online version it’s a mixed, but mostly positive bag.
It’s definitely not a list of solely radical feminist women (Ann Coulter gets a mention!), but still, it’s great to see people like Narina Anwar, who campaigns against forced marriages, Finn Mackay of LFN & Reclaim the Night fame, Katie Horwich, an artist who “has painted the clothes she’s wearing (from her polyester Boots tabard to a festive 1950s dress) on to the Sun’s topless page-three girl”, J D Samson from Le Tigre, graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi, and so on, get some coverage.
You’ve got to question the choice of some of these women though – I mean, maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not sure what’s radical about fashion designer Louise Goldin “nominated by Style.com’s Sarah Mower for her ‘amazing knits'”, but I guess this is the Observer Woman.
‘People always ask me how come you haven’t done much here, and I don’t have an explanation,’ she sighs. ‘There are so many projects in the City, but we are never asked to design them. I don’t know why. Do they think we are too wild? I don’t know. I am not part of this boys’ network so I have no idea.’ Maybe because she’s not good at talking to clients? ‘Well I’ve never even got to that situation. I am not part of the brotherhood which is more to the point.’ Brotherhood? Does she mean freemasonry? ‘No, I don’t think freemasonry but there are places men can go and women can’t, like those gentlemen’s clubs, or guys asking each other to play golf or go on a sailing trip. I think the main problem is that most of the work here is with private clients and it’s up to them – it’s their land after all. They can choose whom they want and they don’t want me, it’s very obvious. But I don’t know why. They haven’t told me what the problem is – I’m just baffled.’ Does she think it’s more to do with being a woman or being a foreigner? ‘I think they’re equal. I can’t generalise.’
The world’s top female architect, in demand across the world, and she’s not even invited to talk to clients in England? The feature itself takes an irritatingly dismissive tone (Did they really ask “were you beautiful as a young woman?!!”), but there are lots more interesting insights in the actual quotes.