The New York Times today runs a shameless butt-kiss piece on Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer of Facebook. Contrary to the thesis of the NYT, which is that Sandberg is somehow a new sort of feminist as well as a “self-made” (a word used twice in the story) business genius, Sandberg might actually be even more odious than either Facebook or its CEO Mark Zuckerberg, both heavyweight champeens in the field of being hard to take.
According to the story, Sandberg considers it her mission to deny the impact of social structure and political policy on women. “[I]n her view,” the Times reporter explains, women “must take responsibility for their careers and not blame men for holding them back.”
Ms. Sandberg sees herself as more than an executive at one of the hottest companies around — more, too, than someone who will soon rank among the few self-made billionaires who are women. She sees herself as a role model for women in business and technology. In speeches, she often urges women to “keep your foot on the gas pedal,” and to aim high.
And, as she engages in such trite talk about “men” and fails to mention social class or the backward state of U.S. family welfare programs, exactly how self-made is Ms. Sandberg?
According to her 2004 NYT wedding announcement, “She is a daughter of Adele and Joel Sandberg of Miami. The bride’s father, an ophthalmologist, is a partner in Eye Surgery Associates, a group practice in Hollywood, Fla.”
Well, there you have it. Aren’t those the same basic conditions facing all little girls? Daddy’s a surgeon and I’m prepping for Harvard — I refuse to slip and have to go to FSU! And baseball starts at third base, right?
And is Sandberg spending her every hour trying to turn Facebook’s billions into better services, as her creepy CEO would have you presume? Um, unless you’re a major Procter & Gamble shareholder, not quite:
Part of Ms. Sandberg’s role has been to cultivate relationships with large advertisers seeking new ways to engage with customers — particularly female ones — online. She was instrumental in signing up advertisers like Procter & Gamble. After several meetings with Facebook, Procter chose the platform for a new Secret deodorant campaign aimed at young women.
“P.& G. wants to be where the people are, and more and more people are spending their time on social sites,” says Alex Tosolini, vice president of Procter’s global e-business unit. “The purpose of our Secret campaign was to inspire women of all ages to be more fearless.”
It’s a message that sounds similar to Ms. Sandberg’s. And it bumped domestic sales of Secret deodorant by 9 percent in the first six months of the campaign and raised Secret’s market share by 5 percent from the period a year earlier.
Glory, glory hallelujah! What great times we live in!