Will 2015 be the year that all of the bossy, annoying, angry, arrogant and abrasive ladies with sharp elbows finally get their due as brilliant stars, geniuses and successful thought leaders?
That question is literally on trial in Silicon Valley, where Ellen Pao, the interim CEO of Reddit, is suing her former employer, a venture capital firm, for gender discrimination. It seemed the firm applied different definitions of success to women and men.
A senior partner at the firm explained who he liked investing in, as reported in Wired:
It was “very clearly male nerds who had no social or sex lives” and who were dropouts of Harvard or Stanford who were likely to succeed as some of the world’s greatest entrepreneurs. “When I see that pattern coming in … it’s very easy to decide to invest.”
That same senior partner felt that Pao wasn't a "team player" and hired a social and speech coach to make her more "likeable." When Pao complained about the double standard, she was fired.
If you're a man, being an antisocial lone wolf dropout is a sign of greatness. If you're a woman, it makes you unemployable.
On the political stage, Elizabeth Warren recently got some unsolicited advice from Warren Buffett, who mansplained that "she would do better if she was less angry." Buffett's advice echoed studies that have found that men gain stature and respect when they express anger, while women are seen as being out of control and losing stature.
But, you know what? As Jessica Valenti recently declared, may the 2016 elections be full of angry women politicians. And may 2015 be full of eccentric, disruptive lady weirdos who are likely to succeed as the world's greatest entrepreneurs -- if we pay them the respect that antisocial dropout dudes have been getting all along.