A disconcerting article appeared in Bloomberg yesterday, carrying the water for a feminist assault on Facebook. Apparently, the company is in a state of grievous sin due to the race (white) and sex (male) of the board members.
Mark Zuckerberg is the founder of Facebook. He happens to be both white and male. He still maintains control of the company he founded and he sits on the board. Anybody could’ve started Facebook. Only Zuckerberg actually did. Only he had the creativity and the drive to create the world-changing social network we all know as Facebook.
The way some of the voices (I’m looking at you, Anne Mulcahy, Malli Gero, and Susan Stautberg) in this article talk about the company, you would think they created it and owned it themselves. That’s just their mentality, though. They think everything belongs to them.
And yet, Facebook is a privately-owned company. Yes, it’s filed for an IPO. But that has yet to unfold. Zuckerberg himself still owns 57% of the company, a fact some “corporate governance experts” (none of whom the reporter could be bothered to actually name or quote) think is “too much.” Too much of the company he founded?
Carol Hymowitz has discredited herself as a reporter with this piece. There is zero critical thinking in this article, and the author’s ideological sympathies bleed through in every word. The premise of FB’s critics is blindly accepted and put forth as gospel. You can bet Carol was one of those kids who went into journalism “to change the world.” So now she fancies herself some kind of “advocate.” This is closer to commentary than reporting.
What bugs me is not that somebody thinks it would be nice if Facebook had some females on the board. That will no doubt happen at some point, and those board members may or may not turn out to be stellar assets for the company. The point is that these so-called women’s advocates attempt to bully and cajole private individuals and companies. They not only make moral pretensions of telling them what is “right,” but have the audacity to tell them (again, this is Facebook, one of the world’s most spectacularly successful companies) what exactly will improve their bottom line.
I do not throw this word around lightly folks, but there is a strong element of socialist thinking here. It shows up in the idea that Facebook does not belong to its creators and owners, but rather that it must be run according to the will of non-founding, non-owning “experts” who by fiat will impose their will on other private actors on behalf of the “public good.”
By the way, as the Bloomberg piece notes, about 58% of Facebook users are female, and the company’s highest paid senior executive is a female.
[Note: This post contains stylistic edits to its original version.]