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Linda Sjøqvist on Les Orageuses
28 March, 2022
This book takes you by the guts. You are captivated but also disgusted. However, you have to face a truth, you are not scared of a space, you are scared of a specific specimen, men.
Why are we scared at night, walking, biking or driving home alone ?
What is the problem with today’s public space ?
Or replace the start of the two previous questions with « Who ».
How can we, as designers, make a space safer ?
How do we, womxn, take over public space ?
As architects, we believe that architecture can change or improve our feelings in a space but after reading this book I had to face a certain truth. At night, I am scared of men.
Men that look at me, that are walking on the same trottoir as I am, or the car that slows down next to me. Adding a few lights here and there, adding plants, won’t change the feeling of security if the mentality doesn’t change.
Women are smart and will used all kind of stratagems hoping that it will save them, but intelligence is not going to help out here. I don’t wear a skirt because I have to walk home at night, I put my hair in an ugly bun or hide it in a hat, take away my lipstick (but during Covid, with the mask, it became kind of practical to hide my face.) Just because I am scared. And as written in this book, it isn’t once you arrived home that you are safe.
Their physical strength, knowing what some men are capable of, that scares the shit out of me.
In this book, womxn are seeing that revenge is the only and last way to earn justice. The system has failed them. After harassment and rape,a womxn feels betrayed by men, and then after going to the police to ask for justice, the womxn feels betrayed by the short or even none existing sentences. So they have and want to find closure, they have to find another way. And the only foreseeable closure is revenge. Physical revenge through destroying the men’s personal space, as they destroyed the womxn’s ones. Making them feel as similar space, entering a privacy were they weren’t allowed, to show them how it feels, how it could feel. It’s depressing, and also scary because it has a certain truth that we don’t talk about. Because even though I am studying architecture, I don’t know how only architecture can make a space safer if at the end, the safety of a trottoir only depends of who you come across too, the mentalities and education have to change.