Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Saturday, October 1, 2016

Clearly, Marissa Mayer Never Has Danced The Feminist Fandango

When I first read that Yahoo’s new CEO was Marissa Mayer, I started dancing the feminist fandango.

She’s Yahoo’s first female CEO!

I swept out my arms.

She’s a 37-year-old Fortune 500 CEO!

I fluttered my fingers.

She’s pregnant, too!

Feet, don’t fail me now.

I flapped the hem of my linen dress with 2 percent spandex and shouted to our dog, “Franklin! Feminist fandango!”

Cross your right foot over your left foot; slam down on the ball of your right foot; pick yourself up off the floor; step back and to the right with your left foot. Apologize for smacking the dog’s ear as you step down on the ball of your right foot again, and raise your left foot high, and — oops! — forget what comes next and miss the tabletop by 1.2 inches as you tumble back to the floor, where your puppy smothers you with kisses.

What a glorious day for joyful feminists across the land.

Then I heard what Marissa Mayer had to say about her milestone moment:

“I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. … I certainly believe in equal rights. I believe that women are just as capable, if not more so, in a lot of different dimensions. But I don’t … have sort of the militant drive and … the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that. And I think it’s too bad, but I do think ‘feminism’ has become, in many ways, a more negative word. … There are amazing opportunities all over the world for women, and I think that there’s more good that comes out of positive energy around that than negative energy.”

Wait. What?

What successful young woman in 2012 would say such a thing?

Marissa Mayer, that’s who. I saw it with my own eyes in an online clip of her interview with “Makers,” a series by PBS and AOL.

This was no right-wing blogger’s Photoshop hatchet job. This was PBS.

It has to be true. True that she said it, I mean.

As a joyful feminist — and there are so many of us — I offer this short tutorial on behalf of my people.

  • I guess my grandmother and my mom and I didn’t work hard enough back in the days to explain what feminism is and why we did all we could to teach our daughters and sons about its virtures. This young woman reaped the benefits of our hard work, and I have never heard of her and hope I never will again. What she said sickens me (she learned all that at her corner church most likely). I pay Yahoo $20 a year for a small service, but I will be cancelling it in December. Then I will probably stop using my Yahoo email addresses and stick with another non-Yahoo one.

    • EvanMyers

      No, she reaped the benefits of HER hard work and smart decisions. Women have had the choice to study STEM and business for many, many decades, and have had the choice to spend the 70-80 hours a week at the office that many FT500 CEOs did in climbing the ranks.

      And, congratulations in doing your part to try to ensure a female CEO doesn’t succeeed just because she’s not a feminist. Apparently, that’s what feminism is all about, forcing women into the camp.

    • Tom

      God are you whiny.

  • phyllisn

    Poor Marissa; I feel sorry for her.

  • She is gorgeous. Am I allowed to say that without being labeled a chauvinistic pig???

  • Hats off to Marissia Myer, we need many more of her kind. Thankyou.

    • JackieAllen

      Well, if Marissia is a CEO and getting great pay to make statements necessary
      for advancment in the corporate world, fine. If this dear child could go back
      to my mother’s days and mine; she would be lucky to get any further than teacher
      or secretary–if that.

  • EvanMyers

    This article has anger “chip” all over it and the same old feminist complaining that does nothing to advance women.

    It makes the same mistakes that feminists always do that keep women out of the FT500 CEO chair. By contrast, Marissa didn’t waste time wrangling her hands over a made-up “wage gap” figure. Instead, she did what countless FT500 CEOs before her did: she got a degree in STEM and/or business, made smart decisions about where to go to work, worked long hours, making her organization successful.

    That is the exact same thing that both women and men FT500 CEOs have always done. Not a single person, male or female, has ever majored in Women’s Studies, blogged about the wage gap and gone on to become a FT500 CEO.