“I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline. Particularly when one can’t see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible….but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.”
To this. Oh how the mighty have fallen.
‘Upward-thrusting buildings ejaculating into the sky’ – do cities have to be so sexist?
Toxic masculinity is built into the fabric of our urban spaces, writes Leslie Kern, author of new book Feminist City. And the results aren’t just divisive – they can be lethal
Leslie Kern, Guardian, 6 Jul 2020:
Glass ceilings and phallic towers. Mean streets and dark alleys. Road names and statues of men. From the physical to the metaphorical, the city is filled with reminders of masculine power. And yet we rarely talk of the urban landscape as an active participant in gender inequality. A building, no matter how phallic, isn’t actually misogynist, is it? Surely a skyscraper isn’t responsible for sexual harassment, the wage gap, or even the glass ceiling, whether it has a literal one up top or not?
That said, our built environments can still reflect patterns of gender-based discrimination. To imagine the city and its structures as neutral places where complicated human social relations are staged is to ignore the simple fact that people built these places. As the feminist geographer Jane Darke has said: “Our cities are patriarchy written in stone, brick, glass and concrete.” In other words, cities reflect the norms of the societies that build them. And sexism is a deep-rooted norm.
Don’t bother to read the rest.
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