Written by Dotty Winters

In The News

Bitch switch blunder

Uh oh, Cell C CEO Jose Dos Santos has flipped Dotty Winters’ bitch switch. *Gets popcorn in* *sits back*

Team motivation, 16th-century style: an angry woman carving in the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame Le Puy-Notre-Dame, France. Photo by Spencer Means, via Wikimedia Commons.

Team motivation, 16th-century style: an angry woman carving in the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame, Le Puy-Notre-Dame, France. Photo by Spencer Means, via Wikimedia Commons.

Dear Jose Dos Santos,

Congratulations on your many successes as CEO of South Africa’s third-largest telecom company Cell C. You’ve done very well for yourself Sir. I assume you must have a truly excellent penis. Well done you.

I had previously overlooked the importance of willies as a tool for people management, but your recent comments have opened my eyes. I’ve learned so much from you this week, about how men are different (better) than women in the workforce.

Last week, during a radio interview you informed us that your recruitment policy includes offering internships to Miss South Africa pageant contestants. Because, as you mansplained so eloquently:

“You’ve got 12 gorgeous women and say four, five of them walk into your company. Do you know what it does to the atmosphere in that company? The men dress better, they shave every morning.”

Before you enlightened me. I had been labouring under the misapprehension that stubble was a matter of personal choice for men, rather than an oppressive system of bearding applied to society by a lack of conventionally beautiful office staff. Someone needs to send some interns into all the vegan juice bars and set those poor hipsters free.

I’ll confess I am a smidge befuddled as to how smooth-coated employees improve your profit margin in telecoms; I assume it allows your employees to travel through fibre optic cables more quickly?

You went on to say:

“We [your company] have good-looking women, we have clever women, we have smart women. They just have a different way of managing, they have a different way of engaging meetings and engaging with parties and it creates a different dynamic. If I can use the term on your radio station, women do have a bitch-switch and, boy, if you see two women fighting, it’s worse than two men having an argument.”

“We can all agree that, historically, ruthless ambition, competitiveness, doing the competition down and backstabbing have been solely feminine pursuits, developed to fill the hours in between bouts of needlework, fainting from consumption and shoe shopping.”

A bitch-switch, Jose? A bitch-switch? I like it. It’s snappy. Some might say it’s sexist and inaccurate but what do they know? They clearly aren’t aware that things that rhyme are always true, see Exhibit A: “He who smelt it: dealt it.”

Interesting word, isn’t it, “bitch”? I like that you’ve used it in the traditional sense, to apply only to women, as opposed to the newfangled form, where it is applied to men to imply that they are a bit like women. Women, yuck! Am I right, Jose?

When you think of business I think we can all agree that, historically, ruthless ambition, competitiveness, doing the competition down and backstabbing have been solely feminine pursuits, developed to fill the hours in between bouts of needlework, fainting from consumption and shoe shopping. I believe it was Machiavelli himself who said: “Business bitches be cray cray.”

And when you say it’s worse when two people disagree I am confident that you mean that it is empirically worse, as measured on the Jeremy Paxman Scale of human disagreement. I assume you have graphs, and possibly a fancy scattergram to demonstrate this difference. I bet one of your interns could rustle you up a quick PowerPoint animation on the topic.

That is what you mean isn’t it, Jose? It couldn’t just be that you find it less comfortable when women disagree with each other because it doesn’t match a narrow definition of what you think women are, and how they behave?

A more cynical person might point out that a recruitment policy which contains a strategic imperative to employ women based solely on their physical characteristics and play them off against each other to see how well they deliver on important stubble outcomes might not breed a harmonious office. But I’m sure it’s a really smart, non-objectifying strategy; you probably picked it up while you were studying for your MBA at the University of Why-Are-You-Hitting-Yourself.

Jose, how about you giz us a job? I’m gorgeous enough to spontaneously eradicate manly face-fuzz, I am willing to lube up to slide down a fibre-optic cable and I’m sure some smart man somewhere can teach me how to operate my bitch-switch. I know fuck-all about telecoms but it turns out that knowledge specifically linked to what you do for a living isn’t a big thing round your gaff.

Yours expectantly,
Dotty

@DottyWinters

2504 Views
Share:
  • googleplus
  • linkedin
  • rss
  • pinterest

Written by Dotty Winters

Nascent stand-up, fan of fancy words, purveyor of occasional wrongness, haphazard but enthusiastic parent, science-fan, apprentice-feminist.