Bloomberg Businessweek
Rebecca Traister Business Feminism Image Credit: Bloomberg Businessweek
Rebecca Traister Business Feminism Image Credit: Bloomberg Businessweek

Fellowship Of The Wing

Critics call the Wing, a co-working and community space, an elitist social club. Its backers, including Sequoia Capital, see a business model that will empower women—and mint money.

Riley Griffin

On a recent Monday evening in New York’s Flatiron District, dozens of women in pantsuits and pumps, beanies and bandannas, materialize as if conjured from the sidewalks. They gather upstairs in an airy 12th-floor penthouse to hear Rebecca Traister, a New York magazine staff writer Anne Lamott called “the most brilliant voice on feminism in this country,” discuss the power—and limitations— of women’s rage.

“Why is capitalism the only system feminism can exist within?” she asks the audience. The room is silent. There’s a shifting of bodies.

Traister has posed the central paradox of the Wing, an exclusive co-working and community space that caters to the needs and desires of professional women. The interior has a distinct look—a kind of feminine airspace with oversize windows that let in natural light for succulents and highlight the blond wood floors. Communal tables are dotted with library lamps and centerpieces, and the walls are lined with books by female authors, carefully organized by color. At the margins of the open-concept spaces, members can retreat to lactation rooms, beauty stations with complimentary Glossier or Chanel products, and private nooks named for Christine Blasey Ford, Hermione Granger, and other heroines.

During business hours the workspace is frenetic. A black mother debates the politics of representation with a friend as she considers running for office, while a ba

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