Y’all, hide yo kids, hide yo husbands’ peens, and, company shareholders, hide yo money cuz e’erybody is getting pregnant up in here aka the new Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer had the nerve to turn herself into the human equivalent of an Easy Bake oven and is currently cooking up a six month old baby in her body. And simply put, people are losing. their. damn. minds:
What is this? A baby. Mayer is going to be a mother. A mother. You know, like the one you buffoons had growing up. Everyone’s all for women being mothers except when it comes to the workplace. That’s where the real backwards and sexist thoughts start to come to a head. “Can she balance work and motherhood?” “She’s not her usual chipper self. Probably because she’s a mom now.” Thoughts that don’t really happen when men become fathers. Hmm. To be clear, this is not another essay about whether or not women can have it all. I don’t know if women can have it all. I don’t know if humans can have it all. What I’m more concerned about is that when women in the workplace announce their pregnancies and impending maternity leave, they’re greeted with an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen that has the words “Congratulations” on it when we know that some executives wish they could’ve had this message written on the cake:
This is 2012, right? Why are people still having these kinds of thoughts/feelings towards working mothers? More importantly, why do people think that moms, especially those in executive positions like Mayer, are suddenly going to ruin the company and everyone will lose their money? Are people really this bone-headed? Can I be asking anymore questions? #ChandlerBingReference. Anyway, the answer to the second to last question is that yes, certain people are boneheaded.
For example, this week CNBC’s Brian Sullivan appeared on Morning Joe and
expressed a total thoughtful and measured reaction re: Mayer recited lyrics from that song, I Have Turds for Brains by the “We look 35, but we’re calling ourselves a boy band” group Men With Sexxxist Thoughts:
Mayer’s only 37, she is pregnant. So, and fortunately she said she’s going to work during the maternity leave, that — that’s gonna be tough. Y’know. Take some time off. Yahoo’s been in trouble for years. My advice: take some time off. Get your baby. Raise the kid for a little bit, and then, work on the company when you can…I don’t know if this is going to help the company.
Aww, so sweet when you come off like a patronizing jackass, Brian. “Raise the kid for a little bit, and then, work on the company when you can?” Yahoo isn’t some bullshit side project that she can blow off. She took on this job knowing that she was pregnant and believes she can handle it. So give me a break. I don’t think Brian would be so dismissive if a newly announced male CEO he was about to be a father. Don’t think there would be the “it’s going to be tough” comment nor would there be the implication that a man becoming a father would be considered something that won’t help and/or is something that could potentially hurt the company. This is not to pretend that being a working parent isn’t difficult. I know too many men and women who have children and jobs to claim otherwise. But I think this tired “ladies and their baby makers might be the downfall of a company” nonsense needs to cease to exist. If you’re a Yahoo stockholder and you sell your stocks because you’re afraid of Mayer’s pregnancy, you are a moron.
At any rate, the passive aggressive comments are nuttin’ but noise (the second single from Men With Sexxxist Thoughts) and, somewhat expected, from some men. However, it seems quite a few women are expressing their less than enlightened opinions. For example, Jen Singer, a New Jersey based blogger was quoted in the Christian Science Monitor:
When most women announce their pregnancies, it doesn’t affect the value of the company’s stock. Just like Steve Jobs for a time insisted his health was fine to protect Apple, Mayer must look like she can have the baby and handle the company at the same time…I just hope she doesn’t screw it up for the rest of us, because whether she likes it or not, she is now the poster child for working mothers.
Since when did something as routine as pregnancy become something as similar as dying from cancer? It’s disturbing that Singer and other writers have made this allusion. It should stop immediately because it is ridiculous. Whats should also stop is the pressure on Mayer. Singer is basically saying, “Just know that if you aren’t able to perfectly balance being a mother and a CEO, you’ll fuck it up for every woman who wants to be a working parent. But here’s a new diaper genie for your troubles!” Just like Flava Flav’s shenanigans – his latest being that he was arrested for illegally shooting off fireworks – and subsequent mug shot didn’t screw it up for the rest of Black people:
I mean, Barack Obama is still President and plenty of women will be able to be working moms even if things between Mayer and Yahoo don’t go swimmingly. Quit placing all this unnecessary pressure on Mayer to be the face of working moms in America. The face of working moms of America is your own when you look in the mirror in the morning and you’re rubbing crust out your eyeballs. But Singer isn’t the only woman spewing nonsense. Francine McKenna, a contributor to Fortune Magazine, in her article about Mayer, felt compelled to remind everyone of the difficulties that come with being pregnant in your late 30s But congratulations, Marissa! But for real, for real, I’m going to pray for your baby because it might die. Jeez, Francice, lay the hell off Mayer. I’m sure she, her husband, and her doctors have discussed all the risks before embarking on this pregnancy. I don’t think people who wait to have children later in life could be oblivious to the risks if they tried because they are always people reminding them! The point is that Mayer has thought this through and she will no doubt have help in the form of nannies and neither she nor women, in general, need this pretend “I’m really concerned for you/Can you handle it” nonsense. Say congratulations and move on.
But #RealTalk, the real reason it melts my butter when women write this crap is that I expect more from women. I really do. We know better. Yet, it seems that certain women are more likely to bust other women’s balls then men are. Some women claim to be supportive of other women, but can’t resist when other people’s way of being a woman doesn’t match up with their conception of how to be a woman. I’ll give you an example, albeit one that is of less importance than Mayer’s.
Last year, about a month into dating my boo, I was set to be out of town for nine days to visit family and do some shows. Since he and I had been busy with our respective day jobs and pursuit of or dream jobs at night AND this was going to be the longest he and I were going to be apart, I opted to have a friend of mine host my bar show on the last night I was going to be in town, so I could spend that time with my boyfriend. Aww, a cute thing to do, right? I thought so. So a female comic and I were chatting and she asked me about my plans for the evening and I told her and her response was “Oh.” Immediately, I felt the judgement of the “oh” weighing on my head like a five pound bag of weave. Nothing much was said as our conversation ended rather quickly, but I noticed that there was a weirdness on her part, but I ignored.
Cut to a month later, our friendship strained, she brought up the decision I made to make time for my relationship and said to me, “Clearly, this shows you’re not serious about your career and it just sets a pattern that you’re unreliable. I mean, it’s obvious that you’ll blow off anything or anyone for your boyfriend.” For serious? Did she say what I think she said with so much stank attitude that the foul smelling vibes coming off her jacked up my face?:
Bitch, please. I don’t need your judgement and I don’t need you to act as though I can either have a personal life or a professional one. I thought feminism was about having the right to choose a career, a love life, parenthood, or none of it. Like Charlotte says on Sex and the City to Miranda about her decision to become a stay at home mom, “I choose my choice.” But it seems that sentiment is ignored and that a few women have the mindset of “my definition of what a woman does is what all women should do.” Well, that definition sucks. Women who work all the time and don’t want to have children shouldn’t be viewed by other women as heartless and “just haven’t found the right guy yet.” On the flip side of the coin, women who work and want to have relationships and children shouldn’t be thought of as women who “clearly don’t care about their careers.” And on the third flip side (I really shouldn’t have used a coin as my metaphor, but I’m stuck with it now), there shouldn’t be the pressure that your relationship or your job as a parent is going to be the example that your female friends will reference or, in the case of Mayer, be the example for all women in America. Everyone, take it down a notch. If a woman is going to have a career and be a mom, she will do that because that’s what women have been doing for years. Sometimes, the balance will be tough and Mayer will be no exception. No one is denying that. But what isn’t helping is a bunch of chicken heads (Urban Dictionary that shit if you don’t what it means) going around squawking about the decision for a woman to live her life in the manner that she sees fit.
Reminder: I’m headlining at Carolines on August 19th at 10pm! To get tix, either call the club at 212-757-4100 OR go to the website: http://www.carolines.com/comedian/phoebe-robinson/ and be sure to mention/input the promo code “COB10″ to get tix for $10. Love you. Mean it.