I Don't Care If You're A Powerful Woman, I Just Want to See You Naked

BlogHer Original Post

“What do people search for most often? Marissa Mayer is on the line, she is the vice-president of user experience at Google—what an fascinating title. Marissa, would you like to know what I'm about to Google right now? 'Marissa Mayer nude.'” [Listen]

Those were the words of Joe Getty, co-host on Armstrong & Getty, a morning talk show on 910 AM, where Mayer had called in to do an interview about Google's ambitious new audio service Google Music.

Marissa Mayer Glamour
(Credit Image: © Sharkpixs/ZUMApress.com)

Jack Armstrong, another DJ on the show, called the remarks sexist. Getty's response? “Sorry we didn't do just a pure sunshine-y, up-with-people commercial for your business that you didn't pay for.”

Welcome to morning radio, Google. Valleywag's Ryan Tate is right when he points out that the discussion of possible nudes floating around the web is pretty tame when compared to the commentary of Howard Stern and other shock jocks.

But the question bears asking: would Mayer have been subjected to the same line of questioning had she not been a woman?

Marissa Mayer is the vice president of search product and user experience at Google, meaning, essentially, that she stands between the developers and the consumers, acting as the ultimate gatekeeper in determining when a product is ready to be released to users.

She has a master's degree in computer science from Stanford, specializing in artificial intelligence. She was the first female engineer hired at Google, ten years ago. Fortune magazine lists her as one of the top 50 most powerful women in the world—and at 34, she's the youngest ever to have made the list.

"When people think about computer science, they imagine people with pocket protectors and thick glasses who code all night,” Mayer said recently in Glamour's Women of the Year spread. “I do code all night! I am the stereotype, but I also break the stereotype.”

Undoubtedly, being a stereotype that breaks stereotypes can play a part in getting media attention. Who can refuse a story that flies in the face of pocket protectors—in Oscar de la Renta, as Glamour diligently notes?

The problem with stories like Glamour's is that they further reinforce existing stereotypes. The kind of behavior Mayer experienced on the radio this morning is not going to stop until women are accepted, not as a rare exception, but as a fact of an industry.

AROUND THE WEB

Hot on The Web: Page Views vs Respect on OMG. OMG! OMFG!: “If we’re successful, is it that we’re a hot piece of ass? And if we’re not a hot piece of ass, are we just not worth reading? That’s the thing, see. Duff thinks women have it easier than men—but he seems to forget that not all women look like a barely legal mail-order bride.”

AM Radio DJs Unapologetic For Asking Google Executive Where They Could Find Naked Pictures Of Her On The Internet on FunnyBusiness: “And hey, if the goal was to generate awareness of the new music search engine, the DJ's insipid line of questioning worked. Somehow I don't think Mayer is saying thank you, at least not out loud.”

Google's Marissa Mayer Is One of Glamour's Women of the Year on GeekSugar: “At just 34-years-old, as Google's vice president, search and user experience, Marissa Mayer, will soon be celebrating her 10-year Google anniversary. Being the very first female engineer to be hired by the search engine company way back in 1999, Mayer climbed her way to the top and is now a very prominent figure at Google, which now employs over 19,000 people worldwide.”

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