It’s possible — very possible — probable even — that I’m overthinking this. But I just saw this incredible question posted on Quora…
How was Marissa Mayer allowed to oversleep for her dinner with European advertising executives in June 2014?
Sarah Lacy wrote last week about how Mayer is held to a totally different standard than male CEOs. But this Quora question is a slight variation on the usual “a man is direct, a woman is a bitch” double standard.
Putting aside the fact that a man missing a dinner wouldn’t be news (not least because he’d likely have lied about the reason), the idea that the CEO of one America’s most prominent companies might need to be “allowed” to do anything is, by my reading at least, just grotesque in its offensiveness.
Again, though, I might be overthinking this. I certainly hope I am. This past weekend I wrote on our side blog about my disgust at seeing Sarah accused, without a shred of evidence or even an on the record source, of taking orders from Pando’s investors. Again, the subtext was that a female CEO can serve only at someone else’s direction, or with his blessing.
Either that revolting experience has made me paranoid, or once the blinkers have fallen from your eyes you start to see every insult and indignity aimed at women in our industry. I guess I hope it’s the former, otherwise I’m going to spend a lot of time throwing up.