Recycling sexist stories: Stay classy, media!

I’m sorry, but didn’t we cover this bullshit story already?
It seems that the Telegraph and the Daily Mail have regurgitated a story about “office piranhas”–women who only want good jobs so they can meet and marry rich men–that ran last year in the Financial Times in Germany.
From the FT story:

They are single women who, stuck in their search for a personal partner, are ready to give their all to a professional one. What they want is a high-earning, high-flying, high-virility man – and one who they can drag to the altar. Welcome to the world of the “office piranha”.

From the Telegraph:

A piranha will hang on for the kill and will rip any man to shreds,� said Miss Benussi, adding that she will look for “a high-earning, high-flying, high-virility man who will place a ring on their finger�.

And the Daily Mail:

The company is dealing with an increasing number of cases involving single women chasing the fathers of their children for financial support – and office parties offer the ideal environment to trigger such relationships…She said piranhas “want a highearning, high-flying, high-virility man” who will place a ring on their finger.

Way to be original. I guess if a misogynist media creation about a ruthless business woman out to steal your man doesn’t catch on, just wait a year and try it again.

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28 Comments

  1. sgzax
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Office Piranha!
    I met my husband when we were both working in a bookstore. Was I a bookstore piranha at that time? What a dirty slut/bitch/whore I was to find a co-worker attractive! Of course, my husband was just working. No ulterior motive there… his honest, straight-forward male brain couldn’t handle my advanced levels of female deviousness.
    Somebody warn the men!

  2. sgzax
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Oh, and I love the Daily Mail’s comment about women chasing the fathers of their children for support. Those bitches! How dare they expect men to take responsibility for their own children?
    Ah. Men are gentle free spirits who need to be able to roam freely with all of their income for themselves regardless of those random accidents the world calls children. Women are the evil harpies who lurk in the shadows, waiting to destroy them. Children? Let the evil harpies take care of them.
    Free the men!
    /snark

  3. devine
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I was going to comment about the Daily Mail too sgzax. Isn’t it a no brainer that the fathers SHOULD be paying child support. Why is ths even an argument?

  4. 13lesslee
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    funny that, sgzax, i met my future husband when we were both working at a bookstore as well.
    that place was a virtual den of iniquity as we were both being pursued by other people when we started dating.
    but hey, i love my boyfriend because he’s super-awesome, not because i see him as a means to an end.

  5. manda
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why you all are so offended. After all, it’s not like men ever pursue office relationships. It’s only women and only because they want to land a rich husband. No woman has ever found love at the office because she met a genuinely nice and interesting guy she wanted to have a meaningful relationship with – including bookstore fiends 13lesslee and sqzax. :P

  6. Faerylore
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Omg! They’re right, it IS all the womenz fault.
    Seriously, gawd forbid a single woman have a professsional career. Do they seriously think that people who work together (esp when that work usually takes up the majority of your day), won’t sometimes end up together? And why not, you’ve (for better or worse) have a lot in common with the people you work with…
    Though I also bet they assume all these single women are their husband-to-be’s secretaries or something. Because no man would marry a woman who was professionally equal (or better) than him.

  7. the15th
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    This is just one more reason I’ve always been uncomfortable with the “don’t date co-workers” advice that a lot of people seem to take as gospel. The primary threat, of course, is an environment conducive to starting relationships where the partners already know each other and work together as equals. But if that’s not scary enough, maybe the prospect of a man-eating Basic Instinct-like femme fatale will do the trick.

  8. manda
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    BTW, what is up with the focus on “verility”?

  9. the15th
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Also, I think it has a lot to do with the idea, as described on Pandagon, that women don’t have inner lives. A working single woman who has a relationship with a co-worker can’t really be interested in either an intellectually stimulating career OR an intellectually stimulating relationship — she’s out to snag a rich guy. A married woman with a career also can’t possibly enjoy her job — she works because the family needs two incomes to buy all the fancy cars and flat-screen TVs that will enable them to keep up with their neighbors.

  10. dancin'daze
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    All I have to say to this topic is SO WHAT?
    I don’t know about ya’ll but if and when I ever decide to get married, I would hope that he and I would have somethings in common. Personally, I would want someone I could share my interests with and speak with on an intellectual level, among many other things. I would basically look for an equal, which would most likely be found among coworkers. (Same educational degree, around the same income, similar interests, etc.)
    I’m not saying that I would actively persure future coworkers. Just that I could understand why coworkers end up dating/married. Could it be that those two people may actually want a relationship, and not that the woman is manipulating the man solely for marriage?!?!?

  11. electronBlue
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    zomg, I fell asleep and woke up in 1982! What a bunch of garbage. How have we not moved past this?

  12. Tim
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The epitome of offensive gender stereotyping. These sorts of stories don’t even bother trying to quantify their “analysis,” but having worked in an office setting for many years, I can attest that it doesn’t ring true with respect to anyone I’ve ever known. Is there a woman out there somewhere who fits this? I would guess there probably is. And a man, too.

  13. Tim
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    The epitome of offensive gender stereotyping. These sorts of stories don’t even bother trying to quantify their “analysis,” but having worked in an office setting for many years, I can attest that it doesn’t ring true with respect to anyone I’ve ever known. Is there a woman out there somewhere who fits this? I would guess there probably is. And a man, too.

  14. VT Idealist
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Well, I wasn’t going to chime in because, well, what can I possibly say to such an article? The basis just seems so darn silly. Watch out – women with careers go through all that school, training, long hours, and hard work, not because they want to particiapte in saud career, but because their after a rich man to snag and drag to alter. Yeah…
    And I also noticed the line about women chasing the fathers of their children for financial support. That kind of seems like a no brainer.
    I do wonder why the media has a tendancy to portray women as predators. We already have ‘cougars’ – older women in hollywood dating younger men. And now we have ‘pirhana’ – career women after rich corporate guys. Funny how there’s no inverse for the men.

  15. cheekykitten
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    And what if a cougar is looking for a younger man at work? What should we call her? A cougrana? One thing that gets me about terms like that is how they all seem to convey a kind of throwaway mentality. Like if you’re older and still have your sex drive, we don’t want THAT! Or if you’re young and driven, we don’t want THAT! Basically, you should fit into this narrow misogynistic definition of what a desirable woman is or you should probably just go live in a cave. You should be 18-23, not weigh more than 110, not have any real aspirations apart from obediently lying on your back, and for crying out loud no one wants to hear about your “female troubles” because EW.

  16. gothchiq
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    *eyeroll*
    They need to put down the crack pipe. I don’t get my meat where I get my bread. Most of the time, it’s just asking for trouble/getting fired. (not always, mind you…but often.) I’m here at work to earn money to be independent! I don’t want to depend on some man’s paycheck. I don’t want a ring on my finger. I have a domestic partner, and I met him at a coffee shop. I’m seven years older than he is. So am I a… coffee-ranha-gar? eesh. lol

  17. Posted January 4, 2008 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Wait wait wait. Office mates? Doesn’t that mean that this “piranha” is essentially making an equivalent amount of pay as her “high earning” desk buddy? Shouldn’t she be making enough herself to support her, oh I don’t know–while we’re talking in stereotypes, shoe shopping fetish?
    Oh yeah, that’s right. She’s probably still making 77 cents to a his dollar. No wonder she’s ready to bite.

  18. Posted January 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Uh oh, I met my BF at work and we’ve been living together for four years. But we’re not married, have no kids, and I still work and support myself. I guess I’m doing something wrong…

  19. redKate
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Uuummm. . . a piranha? Shouldn’t that mean there are schools of silver-clad professional women hiding in the dark, waiting to snag some man and chew him to bits in a mist of blood? I can only imagine the issues that would cause in HR, not to mention the complaints from housekeeping about the mess.
    This makes me think of the kid’s nature mag, Ranger Rick, where the same issues circulated every year. It would be an appropriate label.

  20. PamelaV
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    CHOMP, CHOMP, fuckers!

  21. annajcook
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    I do wonder why the media has a tendency to portray women as predators.
    Because women with sexual agency and desire are scary and dangerous, obviously ;) .

  22. Posted January 4, 2008 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    In a mescaline haze, I once tried making out with a cougar; unfortunately, it was Shasta, the University of Houston’s cougar mascot, and I spent the next eight months wrapped in bandages and on a liquid diet.

  23. Whitemore
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Totes lame, but it’s Friday after a long two weeks for me, so all I will say is — I loved that movie Piranha when I was a kid.

  24. Posted January 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    schools of silver-clad professional women hiding in the dark
    Well, NOW I need a cold shower….
    So within this logical framework, my wife would be what, a lab shark?

  25. corydalus
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Oh, wait…by any measure society in general cares about she is far more successful than I, so I guess she flunked out of shark school.

  26. Erica B
    Posted January 4, 2008 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    The company is dealing with an increasing number of cases involving single women chasing the fathers of their children for financial support – and office parties offer the ideal environment to trigger such relationships. — What does an office party have to do with pursuing deadbeat dads? Indeed, what does parental dispute over finances have to do with the “piranha issue” at all?
    This echoes that other nauseating article about how women join the military just to get pregnant or sue somebody. (linky to feministing’s take) Clearly, whenever we gals get careers, it is only to further our goal of staying at home.
    I think gothchiq’s “I don’t get my meat where I get my bread” phrase says it best :)

  27. missyb9479
    Posted January 5, 2008 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    When I read a “news” story like this, I ask myself who the intended reader is. I don’t really think it is aimed at men. No, the intended reader of this is women. Women who are married to a man who works in an office.
    Instead of a woman being concerned that her husband or lover will cheat, she is told to place the blame on another woman. Some evil woman who acts to steal your man. Men are never at fault in these things. It’s always about the women.
    There is a lot of money to be made in keping women terrified of each other. Because right after the married woman reads this story and begins worrying if her husband has any piranahs in his office, she’s going to see an ad for cream that makes her look younger. A pill that makes her lose weight. And a bra that’ll make him fall in love with you again.
    As long as women continue to view men as necessities with limited supply, they will continue to view other women as competition. Some of the most misogynist people I’ve met are women.
    I’m not sure if the media has made them that way. Or if it simply is supplying them with what they want to read.

  28. missyb9479
    Posted January 5, 2008 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    When I read a “news” story like this, I ask myself who the intended reader is. I don’t really think it is aimed at men. No, the intended reader of this is women. Women who are married to a man who works in an office.
    Instead of a woman being concerned that her husband or lover will cheat, she is told to place the blame on another woman. Some evil woman who acts to steal your man. Men are never at fault in these things. It’s always about the women.
    There is a lot of money to be made in keping women terrified of each other. Because right after the married woman reads this story and begins worrying if her husband has any piranahs in his office, she’s going to see an ad for cream that makes her look younger. A pill that makes her lose weight. And a bra that’ll make him fall in love with you again.
    As long as women continue to view men as necessities with limited supply, they will continue to view other women as competition. Some of the most misogynist people I’ve met are women.
    I’m not sure if the media has made them that way. Or if it simply is supplying them with what they want to read.

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