Marissa Mayer doesn’t particularly care for feminism

But Marissa Mayer wouldn’t be where she is today were it not for feminism.

Here’s what she told the PBS-AOL series “Makers” about her relationship to feminism:

I don’t think that I would consider myself a feminist. I think that I certainly believe in equal rights, I believe that women are just as capable, if not more so in a lot of different dimensions, but I don’t, I think have, sort of, the militant drive and the sort of, the chip on the shoulder that sometimes comes with that. And I think it’s too bad, but I do think that feminism has become in many ways a more negative word. You know, there are amazing opportunities all over the world for women, and I think that there is more good that comes out of positive energy around that than comes out of negative energy.

Mayer is a remarkable woman who’s achieved great things, and I’m sure there are more to come. But I don’t use the word “remarkable” there to mean “impressive” or “great.” I use it to mean “that which merits remarking upon, because it is rare or otherwise notable.” Mayer is a woman, and in the tech world she is a high-ranking and very powerful person. That is remarkable, in that it is rare or otherwise notable. And the fact that it is rare or otherwise notable is a sign that feminism’s work is not done, despite all those “amazing opportunities all over the world for women.” In a world where a hiring decision like this one is momentous, groundbreaking, trailblazing news, being a feminist is not having a chip on your shoulder. It is simply an awareness of reality.

And Marissa, it is too bad that feminism has become a negative word. You know what’s also too bad? Your failure to acknowledge that without feminism, you could never have become the CEO of Yahoo.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

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