This article is cross-posted with permission from BlakeLandau.com.
When a writer gets more than 80 hateful comments on a Forbes post he must ask himself, what’s the problem here?
Perhaps for Forbes writer Gene Marks the main problem with his article was the title “Why Most Women Will Never Become CEO.“
The attention-grabbing headline did what it set out to do. It grabbed our attention (and by “our” I mean women). Of course we would want to find out why the cards are stacked against us. When I read this article in the beginning I liked it. Marks opens the piece with a funny anecdote about his kids:
Reason 1: One Friday night I picked up my teenage son at the movies along with four of his teenage friends. The ride home was filled with laughter, profanity, burps, flatulence and a few head slaps. It took a week for the smell to dissipate.
Reason 2: The next night I picked up my teenage daughter at the movies along with four of her teenage friends. Deathly silence. Apparently, one of the girls’ boyfriends at the theatre had made a remark about another girl’s makeup in the group. He thought she looked…hot. Oh boy. Sides had been chosen. And except for the occasional hissed whisper, no one was talking to each other. It took two weeks for the tension to dissipate.
This is a witty and well-written story any ladies with brothers or sons can relate to. But as the article read
on, I think most female readers started to realize two things.
1. The article was written for men.
2. This “script” is out-dated.
It was ironic to see the flurry of negative comments on the post were from Marks’ female peers at Forbes. This excerpt below was a particularly offensive one for readers in looking at the dozens of hateful comments.
My wife (who was working full time by the way) was the one who got out of bed to care for the child. Yes, I was an ass. I’m not saying that many dads don’t pitch in or try to do their fair share. But as much as women have achieved in earning their equality, there are still some age old cultural habits that won’t die.
And on the topic of the nurturing aspects of women versus men, Marks writes, “Let’s face it: unless there’s beer involved, men don’t have many instincts at all.”
Wow. I genuinely wonder what the newly appointed [Gay] CEO of Apple Tim Cook would think about that statement. Would he agree?
I grew up watching “The Simpsons.” When I read this comment about beer, I couldn’t help but think of Homer Simpson.
If you are writing a highly public opinion piece on the plight of working women, and you fall back on stereotypes—that men are football watching, beer drinking, Al Bundy types….you haven’t been outside that much lately.
But perhaps this is just my complaint that there is a general lack of good content on the web for young people–content that is “hip to the times.” Because the times written about in this article, are not 2011.
For example Mr. Marks have you ever been to Park Slope, Brooklyn lately? Due to the recession so many men are now staying home with the kids. There are just as many men with sacks of babies on their chest as there are women.
Mr. Marks, you are a funny writer–I mean that. But if you are going to talk about women in the workplace, I would encourage you to at least talk to your female colleagues first. Tara Brown will tell you as far as the general topic, you are on to something. She highlighted recently the U.S. Department of Labor and compiled by the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT), women in the US make up 25% of the high-tech workforce and that number has decreased since the mid-1980s when women represented 37% of the high-tech workforce.
But you need to actually talk to women to figure out what the deal is.
As a friendly side-note, I would encourage you to tell your teenage girls to drop the make-up and head to the library or the soccer field.