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Monday, September 20, 2010

Modern Feminists???

I just read a post on AOL News about Anna Wintour. The author was gushing about what a great feminist Ms Wintour is because after you spend a year interning for her she will help you launch your career in almost any field. The author gave a couple of examples of people whose careers were supposedly launched by Ms. Wintour's able assistance.

For those of you who don't know, Ms. Anna Wintour is the inspiration for the book and subsequent film "The Devil Wears Prada". According to the author of the AOL article, the actual Ms. Wintour hates fat people, curly hair, and any kind of comfortable shoes. She dislikes employees to be in her "direct line of sight". In the book/movie, this boss from hell treats her first-year interns like lesser slaves, demeans and belittles them, expects them to dress like high-fashion models on a salary of around $30,000 per year, and basically be at her beck and call 24/7. If you don't want to perform like a trained seal you are told "a million other girls would just kill to get this job". The interns are expected to pick up her dog at the vet, sort her dirty laundry, fetch her coffee from Starbucks a dozen times a day while at the same time never leaving the phone unanswered, find information and carry out tasks after being given very little to no information and not allowed to ask questions under threat of being fired, and then being told that Ms. Wintour had the information at her fingertips the entire time.

Ms. Wintour is also cited as some sort of icon due to her status as the editor of a high fashion magazine because of her "hard work" and other such drivel. Never mind that the hard work is done by the scores of underpaid and vastly overworked young interns and "clackers" as they were called the "The Devil". But for her providing some help along the way to a few of her long-suffering employees we are supposed to believe that Anna Wintour is somehow deserving of our praise?

I think not.

For one thing, it is entirely possible to work hard, rise to the top, make something of yourself, and do this without destroying the lives, self-esteem, and careers of the many people who work with and for you along the way. You can rise to the top and treat the people who work for you and with you with respect and dignity along the way.

The fact that this woman goes out of her way to advance the careers of women who have managed to stick it out in her "service" for a year says that she is not unaware of their sacrifices and humiliation. And that, for me, makes it all the more horrid. This woman who has accomplished much in her chosen field, who also can chose to be so nasty and petty to her employees, knows full well what price she is exacting on those employees, and at the same time is holding out a prize at the end of the experience - a plum job offering - usually at another firm - where the pain and stings of the price Anna Wintour has exacted can be washed away with the gratitude for the new job.

Anna Wintour is no feminist. She is a plain out-and-out bitch. She ought to be sued by every person who has ever worked for her for hostile work environment. The corporation Ms. Wintour represents should terminate her employment immediately. And she should go crawling back into the medieval hole she crawled out of.

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