A group of female former executives from Merrill Lynch are suing the company for a variety of forms of gender discrimination, one of which is that they were apparently all given copies of a book called Seducing the Boy’s Club: Uncensored Tactics From a Woman at the Top by a female ad exec named Nine DiSesa. New York magazine has some excerpts from that book that are truly appalling, like this passage on how to manipulate men into doing your work for you:
I play on their masculine pride and natural instincts to protect the weaker sex.
“I can’t figure this out, and I’m exhausted,” I will say to one of the men at the office. “And if it’s not done by tomorrow, I’m dead.”
“I’ll do it,” he’ll invariably say. But his rescue mission won’t be truly satisfying to him unless I show my appreciation for the sacrifice he is making on my behalf. This is as crucial as saying thank you.
“No, no, you’re swamped, too,” I’ll say.
“I’ll make the time for it.”
“Thank you. I love you.”
“I know. You’re welcome.”
It’s like great sex. Everyone walks away feeling fulfilled.
Or this, on using flattery:
If you know you are going to have a contentious meeting with a man, you can defuse his anger before he even opens his mouth. Unless he is morbidly obese, there is no man on earth who won’t puff up at this sentence: Wow, you look great. Been working out?
Seriously, this is the advice they want their female executives to get on how to make it in the corporate boy’s club? It’s insulting to both genders.