Marissa Mayer and the War on Women

There are two really popular lies about women being told today.  One is that there's no "war on women."  That all the Republican legislation that's being passed or attempted - by men - to inhibit women from living their lives the way they want...or just to be healthy...is a skewed view being perpetrated by the Democrats.

The other is that it's not because Marissa Mayer is a woman that she's getting all this attention - and insult - as the newly appointed CEO of Yahoo!  No.  From the wildly varying stories about her compensation package to that whole business about her pregnancy isn't because she's female.  It's because she's the CEO.

Hmmm.  Funny thing about both those lies.  First, they're just that: lies.  Second, they're both based on the same thing: inhibiting women from whatever form of self-determination and achievement they seek.

Most importantly, even within the legislative agenda, it's not just the men who are going after women.  It is - as usual - women, too.

I was appalled to read the comments made by a former female co-worker of Ms. Mayer's in a recent Business Insider article (written by a man) that was nothing less than an open season of personal shots.  The "source" wouldn't give her own name, of course, but she was happy to insult and demean Ms. Mayer in as many ways as she could (except about the pregnancy).

What was worse was that the things that she was complaining about would NEVER have come up were Ms. Mayer a man.  They were about her working style and power plays and management methods.  What they show is that she knows how to be a player.

So, whether you like those behaviors or not, they work.  Because the fact is, Google is, in great part, Google, because of Ms. Mayer's smarts and capability.

At least that's what everyone said right up until she became CEO of Yahoo!

For my part, I was actually proud of Yahoo's Board for selecting another woman after the Carol Bartz debacle.  It would have been very easy for them to have selected a man - simply by sheer numbers of candidates.

They didn't, though.  They chose the talent, perspective, commitment and smarts they wanted and know the company needs.

I'm all for Ms. Mayer's success - because I want Yahoo! to succeed.  And, based on the perspective of smart people like Marc Andreessen and Fred Wilson, Yahoo! is in a much better position to do so now than in years.

As for the anonymous "sources" and all the talk about "working maternity leave" and all the rest, let it go and get over it. Women and men bring their respective talents to everything they do.

For the smart people in the room, that's all that matters - and all that should.