A platform for voices supporting women's rights
With its sweeping lines, curved roof, pinkish hue and large central opening, the resemblance of the Al-Wakrah World Cup stadium to female private parts is so clear, it could be confused as being intentional. It is, after all, a refreshing change in architectural design to the typically phallic shapes that protrude from our cities into the skyline. London’s Gherkin, even the Leaning Tower of Pisa, with its natural “wonk” all nod to architects preoccupied with the male dominant form.
The design is alas, a coincidence and is supposedly “based upon the design of a traditional Qatari dhow boat”. The architects (all-male), clearly are so unfamiliar with designing away from traditionally male-esque imposing shapes, that they are blind to the female resemblance of their design. However, in a country that claims to be increasingly liberal regarding women’s values and equality, this faux-pas could be accepted and – dare I say – owned, as a step towards recognition of gender equality in Qatar, even gender equality in sport (which, let’s face it is even more alien).
The social media sphere lit up upon the release of the design to the public, with Buzzfeed and Twitter leading the way. Perhaps this accidental design of a sports stadium should be celebrated for its likeness to the female form and as Holly Baxter states “why not have 45,000 people crammed inside a woman’s reproductive system? It’s not like they haven’t been there before.”