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Prejudice on parade: no cameras required

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Peter Phillips is mistaken in his assumptions about communist autocracies (AJ 23.10.03). Stalin was an arch-sexist and would have had no difficulties with Phillips' views. It was only when Soviet manpower was reduced to its last gasp that he allowed Russian women to fly fighter aircraft and drive tanks. These women had as high a success rate as their male colleagues, in tasks requiring high courage and three-dimensional visualisation. After the Second World War, those that survived were, of course, relegated once again to menial tasks.

To reveal ingrained bigotry in the police force, it took an undercover journalist with a pin-hole camera. But there are throwbacks in our profession, so conceited of their own ignorance as to be proud to parade their prejudices.

Phillips has demonstrated, in one, the continuing need for RIBA's Architects for Change Group.

Kate Macintosh, via email

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