So the gist of this article in Slate is that white privileged, successful middle class women don’t like the word ‘feminism’, and they’re successful and those not informed or educated about the history of feminism think it’s unnecessary or negative and man-hating.
And if successful women like Mayer at Yahoo dislikes feminism and being called a feminist, and Sandberg thinks mentoring younger women is “therapy” and excludes, ignores and rejects the value of feminism because of these flimsy excuses, should we accept it just because they’re female CEOs?! (What’s the difference between that ignorant/sexist statement coming from a woman instead of a guy? Answer: no difference at all!), then that means feminism / feminist must be wrong or outdated or about women with chips on their shoulders (how nice to have so much money to disparage other women.) No, absolutely not. To accept their arguably anti-feminist and frankly sexist and stereotypical characterisation of feminism and feminists would not only be blindly ignorant but self-loathing of women as a whole class of people.
It is precisely only thanks to the countless women over hundreds of years who have fought for women’s rights that Sandberg and Mayer are able to be in the privileged, elite position they are at now. Without feminism they wouldn’t have had access to education (and their middle class backgrounds must surely have enabled an easier route to elite education) and no path to such power as they have now.
The other irritating thing about the article is that the author and citing Mayer and Sandberg think equality of the sexes is a given. There’s also no mention of impact of those in poverty, on impact of the double bind of racism coupled with gender, of challenges to access quality education, of violence against women everywhere (irrespective of class, sexuality, race or views; and of all types: physical and sexual and racist assault, psychological, and killing), of the everyday sexism women and girls face everywhere: home, at work, school, travelling, on public transport. There’s no reflection in the article or by Mayer or Sandberg of women having to deal with and fight against the pressures of right wing, conservative sexist politics that deny all women full health care choices and the many challenges that involves and – well, the list goes on.
Ignorance is bliss, clearly, for those too privileged to care about the majority of women not having equality compared to men with regard to freedom of choice, political or gender or race or sexuality or environment or economic circumstances or a conflation of these dynamics.