Erotic capital: a combination of beauty, style, social skills, and charm that can be learned.
And so Dr. Catherine Hakim lays out the guiding tenant of her new book, Erotic Capital. And hey, it doesn’t seem all bad, right? We could all benefit from some style tips, perhaps learn to hone our social skills and maybe amp up the charm at times. Sounds like it could maybe be a dating book. Probably not my kind of dating book, but I am single, so what the hell do I know?
But then you look at the full title of the book, Erotic Capital: The Power of Attraction in the Boardroom and the Bedroom, and stuff starts to seems a little fishy. Should the word erotic ever be applied to or used in reference to the boardroom?
Hakim thinks just that, that women should be using flirtation and our bodies to climb the ladder at work.. She suggests that our biggest asset is our sexuality and we should wield it while on the job. And with that sentence, Betty Friedan rolled over in her grave.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have not read this book. However, I have spent the past day or so reading all about it, working myself up in to a sufficient lather thanks to copious quotes and passages available on the internet. Hakim’s tips to get ahead include:
- dying your hair
- wearing heels
- investing in high-end fashion
So, forget hard work, says Hakim. Focus on the external and shake what your mama gave you! I am not naive. I would never suggest that sexuality doesn’t come into play in our everyday lives. But wielding it more than my brain? Haven’t we been fighting against just this—to be seen not just as pretty faces, but smart and capable as well—since, I dunno, EVER?
Now, dressing for success or dressing for the job you want is one thing. I see no shame in caring how you look, grooming well, and working your personal sense of style. I don’t believe in completely abandoning who you are when you are at work. I don’t believe women need to be demure and buttoned-up flowers, nor do we have to dress like men or dress asexually in order to be taken seriously.
Is this a step back that women want to take? Hiking up their skirts and spending money they do not have on hair dye to get ahead? What about our brains? Our hard work? What about getting ahead because we actually fucking deserve it?!
I have spend a lot of time getting cranked up about this the past few days. Then I learned that she believes lesbianism is a “defeatist response to male domination” and that she doesn’t believe in outlawing discrimination based on looks. And then I felt better, because this woman? She is a wingnut, a crazy attention whore just trying to rile people like me up. She is a DOCTOR and she is espousing this stuff. She cannot believe this, right? RIGHT?! I cannot allow myself to believe that any of this is sincere.
So, I will not give her that. I will not buy this bullshit and I can just hope that no one else does either. Because frankly, I don’t want to live in a world where my ass is worth more than my work.