Plant Killer is Woman Enough for Yahoo!

10 Feb


Who is Carol Bartz? In addition to being a motherless child, homecoming queen, former midwesterner, exercising cocktail waitress in fishnet stockings, committed parent, ruthless nanny-employer, vomiter par excellence, a mover and shaker in Silicon Valley, Yahoo!’s new CEO, and an utter fossil at age 60, the Economist says:

[S]he may approach Yahoo! as she does her life, or her garden in Atherton, stuffed at various times with everything from heirloom tomatoes to bearded irises. “If you don’t kill a lot of plants along the way, you don’t know how to garden,” she once said.

That’s right, bitches – downsizing is for sissies; us Wimmins would rather lop their heads off! It’s how we roll, baby!

And in response to this masterful profile (seriously, read it – when I grow up, I want to be Carol Bartz!), the Economist received this letter:

SIR – Your profile of Carol Bartz, the new boss of Yahoo!, shows that the double standard applied to male and female executives continues to thrive (Face value, January 17th). Ms Bartz’s weekly red-eye flights home from Silicon Valley for three-day weekends with her family proved that she regards the notion of “work-life balance” as “nonsense”. When she was chief executive of Autodesk, “reading and working” in a chauffeur-driven car displayed “excessive” discipline. She became “homecoming queen and a mathematics star in high school”, which no doubt helped her to overcome “insecurities that would forever motivate her to achieve” after the death of her mother. Born just a few years before Steve Jobs, she is nonetheless “strikingly old” to take charge of an internet company.

I look forward to reading soon about some newly appointed male chief executive, whose popularity and achievement in high school, whose regular business travel and efforts to provide a comfortable suburban home for his family, and whose passage into the winter of life at 60 give us insight into his potential success at his new job.

Patti Hunter
Santa Barbara

Now you know why the Economist runs its articles without bylines – they know the Wimmins are waiting just outside with secateurs in hand!


Posted by on February 10, 2009 in Life, Newsmakers


9 responses to “Plant Killer is Woman Enough for Yahoo!

  1. M

    February 10, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    Ok I thought I was the only wierdo – when I read the profile (see, I’m good, I click on links, when asked to do so!) I had pretty much the same reaction as the letter.. but then my reaction was also the classic “so what’s new”….every female, in every sphere of work faces it – recent ones being Palin’s ability to balance her kids with a vice presidency.


  2. Amey

    February 10, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    they know the Wimmins are waiting just outside with secateurs in hand!

    And I thought the traditional weapon was belan

  3. Banno

    February 10, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    She doesn’t look like a fossil. I’d like to hold up like her when I’m 60!

  4. pitu

    February 10, 2009 at 5:52 pm

    belan! hahahahaha….

  5. sachita

    February 10, 2009 at 6:01 pm

    I havent clicked either of the links but that response tastes so sweet, I want to hug Patti Hunter.
    She hit the nail!

  6. Chevalier

    February 10, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    The New Agenda had a brilliant post on this tri-stage process for ALL prominent women (be they in business, politics, journalism, art, entertainment, science, etc etc): They called it SOB for Simplified, Objectified, and Bimbo/Bitchified.

    First, she and her ideas and policies are reduced to one-dimensional caricatures (much like the women’s bodies themseleves), allowing for no complex layered personality, no paradoxes, and no evolution over time.

    Second, the objectify stage where she’s primarily what she looks like (incl. “attacks on her appearance, hair (very important), comments on her as a mother, her body, fashion, “womanliness,” with implications as to her femininity. Being aggressive is not a positive quality for a woman. It’s okay for a man, or he is a wimp. Her image slowly keeps morphing until finally she becomes a tabloid-type object, a stereotype, a figure of ridicule).

    Finally, Bitch or Bimbo: “A smart, independent, vibrant, self-made, non-deferential, and attractive woman who is forthright and ambitious ends up being called a “bitch.” She is, to coin a word, “ambitchous.” Alternatively, she may end up labeled a “bimbo.””

  7. naren

    February 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    I’m sure the lady is a genius but I know Autodesk (as a user) for many years. It is the most overpriced, crappiest software in that space, the Microsoft of the CAD world.

    The only reason it did well is because the moron architects in America can’t use any other software (not enough brain cells) and thanks to the real estate boom, they bought the software like there was no tomorrow. And indeed, there was no tomorrow, but that’s another story.

    My point is, if that (being Autodesk’s helmsperson) is her only qualification, I give Yahoo one year at the most. After that, you can pick all their stock you want for the most attractive price of $0.0

  8. Amrita

    February 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    M – mwah! Clicking makes the world go around! I love the Economist’s letter section…. their readers are always willing to give them the beatdown I want to give them!

    Amey – that was before we met Lorena Bobbit!

    Banno – but she’s 60 YEARS OLD! Everyone knows you should just die already when you’re no longer young. Its in the rules!

    Pitu – luddite! update to shears today!

    Sachita – she’s all kinds of awesome isn’t she? 😀

    Chevalier – huh, that’s SO true! But as I was reading it, I realized it’s become so ingrained a practice that now I read articles about women by filtering it through a screen. It’s like I’ve developed a decoder ring in my head which automatically applies to articles about women so I can separate fact from dearly wished fiction. It’s kinda scary.

    Naren – lolz… not that you’re bitter or anything! I have no idea what’s with Yahoo… they’re so much better than MSN it’s no joke, yet they seem determined to hug the bottom of the market. weird.

  9. Amey

    February 11, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    Break the traditions today, and tomorrow pink garments are criss-crossing the world.

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