Friday, November 16, 2018

Sheryl Sandberg | Lefsetz Letter

“Delay, Deny and Deflect: How Facebook’s Leaders Fought Through Crisis”

Why are the tireless self-promoters always the ones who fall from grace? Why do they always have blind spots? Why do we buy their act and then find out it’s built on fiction?

We knew this. Sheryl Sandberg lived a charmed life with little loss, other than that of her husband ultimately, but that was after the die was cast. She went to Harvard, worked with Larry Summers, got a gig at Facebook, told us all to lean in and…

We bought it.

Oh, there was a backlash, from women who said they couldn’t have it all, what with kids and transportation and… Sandberg did a bit of a mea culpa after her aforementioned husband died, but she’s continued to be lionized as an upfront, honest seer, a beacon in a sea of darkness.

And now we know that isn’t the case.

Now this is a dicey situation. After Me Too, it’s very dangerous to attack a woman. But this isn’t about women in general, after all, Ms. Sandberg is not a woman in general. She’s a woman of privilege. A have in a world of have-nots. And don’t the haves always tell us we’re inadequate, that if we were just like them we could succeed?

But we don’t have the background, the enrichment in elementary and high school. The ability to pay for an elite university.

Meanwhile, these people run the country and blanch when we tell them they are out of touch. But what’s worse, nothing that happens affects their pocketbooks, they’re overpaid and insulated, they can’t go from hero to zero, but from hero to merely rich and possibly disgraced.

Sure, there are men who do the same thing as Sheryl. Maybe if there were more women in power her offenses would wash off of us. But since there are so few women of power, the media glommed on to her story, while doing no checking, they bought it hook, line and sinker, as if Sheryl Sandberg was the answer to all their problems.

Ain’t that America.

We need heroes so we buy the b.s. of those raising their hands.

But it’s not only Sheryl, it’s everywhere. The CEOs with PR people… Everybody wants to be rich and famous, they’ve paid their dues, they believe they’re entitled. They all want to be rock stars, with the trappings. Being normal is not an option. And we keep reading about YouTube stars and influencers to the point we feel inadequate, then we find out it’s all b.s. Notice that you haven’t been hearing about YouTube stars recently? Because to make a living you’ve got to work 24/7 to the point you’re burned out and now all the emphasis is on esports and Instagrammers, the machine needs fodder.

The machine needed Sheryl Sandberg. And she volunteered for the job.

There are a lot more women who deserve the accolades, many faceless, bringing home the bacon and bringing up the kids, but that’s not a sexy story, so that does not get covered. It bugs me when people keep jamming their story down my throat, when they’re portrayed as inevitable winners, like they’re better than us.

But they’re not.

This is what income inequality has wrought.

This is what the internet has wrought.

This is what the media has wrought.

A small cadre of “winners” in cahoots with the fourth estate inundate us with their supposed victories.

But really they’re losses.

Say it ain’t so Joe.

But it really is.


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