From the Slope of Hope: I was amused this evening to read about the implosion at Theranos, which is located right here in my beloved Palo Alto. Elizabeth Holmes has been the darling of the business press for years, what with her flowing blonde hair, big blue eyes, and slender neck peeking out of the Steve Jobsian black top. Like Holden Caulfield, I have no fondness for “phonies”, and she seemed like one to me.

The thing is, the phenomenon of attractive women leading high-tech companies is a relatively recent one. On the surface, we as a society will pat each other on the back about how progressive we are, now that we have unvarnished gender equality, even at the highest echelons of corporate power. But let me just spoil your little party and tell you something. The reason men gawk at photos like this……….

……..and this……….

isn’t because they are contemplating the strategic vision, administrative excellence, and vigorous business acumen of these long-legged, slender, blonde women. They’re thinking of other things.

And I think it stinks of hypocrisy that we as a society applaud ourselves for elevating these women so high, when I can assure you 50% of the society is doing so mostly to look up their skirts.

The more successful women in business don’t get fawned over to this degree, and in those circumstances, you can probably assume that the woman in question actually knows what the hell she is doing. Take Meg Whitman (please!), who looks like something you might buy in a live bait shop:

And, as long as we’re being gender-blind, let’s remember that the successful businessmen in our society are likewise not required to be handsome (or even generally resembling the species):

My point is this – – when you are presented with a woman at the top of the business world, and she just happens to be very attractive, you might want to take a harder look. And by “look”, I’m talking about with your head, not your eyes, because as experience has shown, that can be a fatal misdirection.

BONUS TIP: Using our same examples above, you can also use the “creepy voice” rule as an important marker. I present to you, once again, Marissa Mayer and Elizabeth Holmes. Enjoy.

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