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Sunday, December 4, 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.