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Park Ridge Architect: Wearing Pussy Hats Is Not The Answer

Architect Linda Del Nobile Menze reviewing a blueprint in her Park Ridge office.
Architect Linda Del Nobile Menze reviewing a blueprint in her Park Ridge office. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Linda Del Nobile Menze working with intern Jennifer Furnari of  Ridgefield Park.
Linda Del Nobile Menze working with intern Jennifer Furnari of Ridgefield Park. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash
Architect Linda Del Nobile Menze, who primarily works on residential projects.
Architect Linda Del Nobile Menze, who primarily works on residential projects. Photo Credit: Lorraine Ash

PARK RIDGE, N.J. — You’re not going to see Park Ridge architect Linda Del Nobile Menze marching in the streets wearing a pussy hat.

And, no, she didn’t stay home from work during the Day Without a Woman.

Indeed she finds these recent women’s rights activities both distressing and unnecessary.

“Women are going on a bandwagon,” Del Nobile Menze said.

“We are all being manipulated into doing these marches and shirking our responsibilities.”

Make no mistake about it: Del Nobile Menze is plenty independent and liberated.

An NJIT-educated architect practicing for more than 30 years, she rose up in a field that was male dominated — and opened her own firm in 1995.

She raised her children as a single mom. She believes in hard work and perseverance.

She does not believe in separating men from women or, for that matter, anybody from anybody else.

“A Day Without Immigrants, A Day Without Women, no!” she said.

“It’s detrimental to our country to have everybody fragmented.”

In 1997, when she became the first woman president of the Architects League of Northern New Jersey, she did away with the Women in Architecture Committee.

She thinks in terms of architects, she said. Not female and male architects.

Early in her career, she ran up against some difficult attitudes from men in her field.

But boomer generation men, she said, don’t see gender in the same way older generations did.

“I had no problems with any job I ever had,” she said, “or even in going on my own.”

In fact, some clients come to her because she’s a woman. Just like some clients will gravitate to a man.

In the end, Del Nobile Menze found A Day Without a Woman pointless.

“Anyone who is not there is going to be missed, whether you’re male or female,” she said.

She found the Women’s March likewise – merely a general statement against the president and not an articulation for women in any specific way.

In her view, living a full and empowered life is about being strong.

“It’s not about running around in vagina costumes. I object to that,” she said.

“We don’t need to march with pussies on our heads. We’re not poor. We’re not suppressed. And we’re not victims.”

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