The other morning morning I saw on my Facebook feed that Marissa Mayer had been appointed the new CEO of Yahoo at six months pregnant, and many are hailing the move as progressive, open minded and all around sweet-smelling, Hip, Hip Hooray, now ain't that wonderful? And all that jazz.
Aw, that's really amazing they hired her even though she's growing a person in her womb right now! Well don't they deserve a gold star! Yay, forward thinking corporate business types!
Baaaaaaah-fff. (For those of you who don't speak Boston, I just vomited.)
But do you know what? For a second there I did think it was kind of neat, because when one of us wins, we all sort of win, right? And then I read a little more about it and learned Mayer was only planning on taking three weeks maternity leave, and wanted to work throughout it. Suddenly this no longer felt like a step forward, but rather just more of the same old crapola. Sure, she was appointed the prestigious position of CEO of a fortune 500 company, but she was going to give birth and pretend like nothing had changed, like many of the rest of us have to. Yay! Also, because this woman is in a great position of power, and extremely wealthy to boot, this can't really be considered your typical situation. I'm betting there's a good chance that if she so desired, she could bring that sweet baby into work, set up a little nursery for him next to her office, that sort of thing. Right? (She's the CEO...uh, she'll probably have some pull.) They'll be no tearful pleas for flex-time for this working mom, no siree, Barbara!
But what was really chapping my ass was that since she had obviously been cast in the public eye, was her stating she's only taking a three week working maternity leave setting an unrealistic standard for the rest of us? Would this merely perpetuate more bogus stereotypes for mothers to have to tap dance around, with a smile plastered on our faces? Why did she have to say that anyway? To appease people? To prove something? I'm not sure why, but it kind of reminded me of when a female tries to be "one of the guys" by saying she likes to eat at Hooters or something. At best I don't think it's a responsible message for Mayer to be sending, sisterly speaking; at worst it feels like a swift kick to the va-jay-jay. Maybe she'll feel silly for saying it later on; maybe not.
All I know is, it made me think, Who is this woman? And what's her sign? I gutta Google her. Huh, Gemini.
And then I was unfortunate enough to read some of the uneducated sounding, sickening, revolting comments people were posting on the internet, many of them written by women; women spewing really hurtful, nasty sentiment and attacking Mayer's future credibility as a mother, and even her ability to lactate. Yikes. And that's when it hit me: this is none of anyone's beeswax. Why is this a top news story? This type of speculation wouldn't even be happening right now if Mayer was a male. It's just one more stinking example of the collective peanut gallery weighing in on the choices women in the workplace are forced to make every day. Will Marissa Mayer be a good mother? I don't know the woman, and it's none of my business, but motherhood is amazing and I sincerely wish her the best.
I am a mother. When I try to put into words how I feel about my boy, one sentence always seems to come to mind: he's my heart. And he is. I work because I have to, not because I want to. I live with this choice every day of my life, as every mother does, no matter what her situation. It's very personal. And yet, people often feel they can say a lot of really, really ignorant things to me about it. At times like these, and in honor of Marissa Mayer, today I'd like to life the collective peanut gallery up high, high over my head, spin them around at rapid lightning speed, and fling them very far, far away. But tragically, and as you may already know, Dear Reader...I have no upper arm strength. xoxo