Archive for the ‘Industry’ Category

Go Back to the Kitchen

June 29, 2011

Robert Hoekman recent wrote a nasty little blog post called “That’s Enough, Whitney Hess.” And no, I’m not linking to it. It’s easy enough to find.

The general gist is that Whitney is getting more attention/press/visibility than she deserves. Who decides? Apparently, Hoekman does.

His diatribe is part of a typical pattern where successful women, especially successful young women, are demeaned, insulted, and generally harassed in an effort to reduce their influence and/or success.

You may recall that Kathy Sierra is, unfortunately, the poster child for these types of issues.

When young men overachieve, we celebrate them. In fact, the entire Silicon Valley myth is built on the idea of overachieving young men. When was the last time you heard someone say that Mark Zuckerberg really doesn’t deserve all the attention he’s getting and, anyway, there are much more talented people out there and he should just shut up and go away?

Laughable? Yes. But this is exactly what women face.

So, Whitney, I am sorry your success is drawing nasty personal attacks. Unfortunately, I am fairly certain that it won’t be the last time.

Now, to the “substance” of Mr. Hoekman’s argument, which is that some so-called thought leaders are getting more attention than they deserve because they are not very innovative or even very good at what they do.

The accuracy of his argument is irrelevant because influence is not something that industry leaders get to bestow or withhold. I can only assume that Hoekman thinks he’s better than Hess and should be getting more attention. With his article, he’s probably achieving the goal of “more attention,” but I suspect not in a way that he’s going to like.

The fact that Hess has been able to build a career and land a ton of speaking engagements speaks for itself. Instead of trying to silence her, Hoekman should probably see if he can figure out what she’s doing right and what he’s doing wrong.