When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer asked her employees who normally work at home to work from the office instead, where there is an on-site nursery, the criticism was fierce. But what if Mayer was a man, asks Keli Goff on the Huffington Post.
When reading about some of the criticism lobbed at Mayer and Sandberg, I couldn't silence a nagging question in my head: what if they were men?
Picture a young, brash, Silicon Valley male hotshot, announcing that he would be building an inner-office nursery, because he did not want to sacrifice bonding with his newborn and helping his spouse, for the sake of his corporate pursuits? Why do I get the feeling he would be met with lots of "Awww. What a great guy and dad!" He would probably enjoy some adoring profiles in women magazines, and maybe The View. Even if he were requiring other employees to come into the office, it's likely that being seen as an attentive father would soften his image, providing a helpful contrast to his tough, taskmaster, "you-better-come-into-the-office-or-else" persona. But for Mayer, the criticism has been vocal and prolonged. She is perceived as insensitive, and out of touch.
Similarly, if a male senior executive at Google announced that he made a point to have dinner with his children every day, how much would that little detail keep popping up in profiles as proof that despite what a shark some may think he is, he is more grounded than the average exec. …
Of course people aren't really mad at Mayer or Sandberg for the reasons they pretend. They are picking at them for the same reason we often feel the need to pick at women like them: They seem perfect and it's infuriating to those of us who don't have lives that feel perfect.
Read Keli Goff's entire piece at the Huffington Post.
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Keli Goff is The Root’s special correspondent. Follow her on Twitter.