men, their rights and nothing more; women, their rights and nothing less.
–Susan B Anthony
Newly minted Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has upset feminists by backing away from the label. Feministing takes her to task for this in the recent post
Marissa Mayer doesn’t particularly care for feminism. What struck me was the quote the feminist was upset about, the one where Ms. Mayer boldly declares that she isn’t a female supremacist (emphasis mine):
I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that 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, I think have, sort of, the militant drive and the sort of, the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that.
Women are just as capable as men, except for those things they are more capable at. No chip indeed.
Even better are the final words in the Feministing post (emphasis mine):
And Marissa, it is too bad that feminism has become a negative word. You know what’s also too bad? Your failure to acknowledge that without feminism, you could never have become the CEO of Yahoo.
Keep in mind that there are two ways to end up as CEO of an internet search giant. You can create it, as did Google CEO Larry Page and former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang, or you can wait for someone else to build the internet search giant and become appointed CEO as Ms. Mayer did. Feministing seems to be arguing that the former isn’t possible for women, without even considering it. They also seem to be suggesting that Ms. Mayer wouldn’t have been accepted to Stanford and later hired at Google* based on merit alone, and therefore wouldn’t have had the experience required to be in consideration for the Yahoo CEO job.
I can see how Ms. Mayer might not care for feminism after all.
*She was Google employee #20 and their first female engineer