The Thinking Valley Girl

Posted on October 24, 2012 by


Over at the Thinking Housewife, Yahoo’s new CEO, Marissa Mayer, has been derided for her feminine behavior and appearance.

This rather stunned me, coming as it does from a venerable blogger who spends so much time lamenting the decline of femininity, including rather cutting remarks about the deplorably butch mannerisms and fashions of other prominent women. Working women are, apparently, damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Mayer herself has said:

It’s good to show that you don’t need to sacrifice your sense of femininity because you are engineer.

and I completely concur.

If anything (and I have this from a reliable source — namely myself), it will be a sincere relief to the male engineers around her to finally interact with an intelligent and competent woman who is easily recognizable as female. So many of the few females who venture into that domain are veritably indistinguishable from their male colleagues. This is the problem in engineering, and not that the men are in any danger of going into diabetic shock at the sight of a cute smile and even cuter shoes.

Not only should highly intelligent women not attempt to behave in a masculine manner, I would posit that they should not even attempt to behave in a sex-neutral manner. The very idea that intelligent working women should cloak their beauty, vivacious charm, and pleasant personalities with boxy pants-suits and dour expressions is an aspect of feminism that I roundly denounce, and it saddens me to see it popping up at an otherwise decidedly un-feminist blog.

Like totally.

Posted in: Gender Dynamics