Six Things Marissa Mayer Should Have Done During the Maternity Leave She's Not Taking

Illustration for article titled Six Things Marissa Mayer Should Have Done During the Maternity Leave She's Not Taking

We get it, Internet: Marissa Mayer is doing it wrong. As the CEO of Yahoo and only one of a handful of women to whom men have been willing to hand over the keys to the empire (albeit a crumbling one) she's an important woman and it's obvious she doesn't get what that means to all the rest of us, or else she would do the things we want her to do, the things we need her to do, the things we would do, the things that make us feel better and look better, the things that advance "Our Cause," instead of being all how she is and doing the stuff she wants to do or thinks is right for her and her family. It's SOOOO irritating, right guys?


This writer Allison Bendikt over at Slate piled on to the scrutiny when she said Marissa Mayer is making a BIG MISTAKE by not taking a longer maternity leave than like a week after the birth of her son because DUH, she had a baby? Did she forget she had a baby? I thought she was smart with her fancy job and stuff? So true, Allison Benedikt! You took it pretty far, but I think you did not go far enough, because I can think of a lot of things Marissa Mayer should be doing with maternity leave that would signal to us her true motherhood, instead of fucking us all over by getting back to work. For instance:

Get Bangs: Marissa Mayer has really cute, shiny blonde hair in a bob, but you know what would make it look better while signaling an authentic feminine transition into motherhood? Bangs. It would look bangin' with bangs! And not, like, the wispy kind - I'm talking a heavy bang that's really sleek and shiny. Once I had my baby, I'm telling you, the first thing I wanted to do was go get some fuckin' bangs, because it made me feel good. I've never regretted it. It made my baby feel good too, which means I "took one for the team," something, let's face it, we all know Marissa Mayer could be better at.

Make Yahoo's Home Page All Baby Pics for One Whole Day: I guess I'm just not sure Marissa Mayer is "mom enough" what with her lack of devotion to maternity leave? So perhaps she could show us all exactly how soft she's gone by making Yahoo's front page all baby pictures for an entire day. All newborns. Only the cute ones, Marissa Mayer! And turn those oo's in Yahoo's logo into pacifiers, or BOOBS, while she's at it. Show everyone who's den mother, now! Because really, is she going to breastfeed? I don't think she's told us that yet. Talk about a cliffhanger, Marissa Mayer! She fuckin' should, though. Right, Internet? Only one right answer there.

Get Into Canning: Even though she has a demanding, highly visible job to get back to, I think Marissa Mayer should explore the ancient maternal art of storing food for the long winter. It will help her slow down, refocus her priorities, reappraise that rat race she's such a fan of and re-orient her brain space toward what matters: food, nourishment, sustenance, LIFE. These are the things she clearly doesn't understand by skipping out on that timeless time-out women have been taking since the dawn of time known as maternity leave.

Eat That Placenta, Lady: Oh, Marissa Mayer, you know what's coming now, don't you? Type to dig in, fry up, spice out and eat that placenta. I sense your hesitation, like maybe you want to dodge out on the full range of femaleness associated with your choice to have given birth, kind of like you're doing with the whole no maternity leave thing? Rest assured there is nothing more guaranteed to win us womenfolk back then you chomping down on this meaty maternal organ of allegiance. It's what all the top ladies of the species do, and we cringe-applaud them for showing us how to live better.

Buy Everyone at Yahoo a Copy of Naomi Wolf's Vagina: Maybe Marissa Mayer is out of touch with her ultimate feminine duty to take maternity leave because of a trapped pelvic nerve or something. If she wants to earn our respect and make sure we all get that she's in touch with her hoo-ha both physically and mentally, she should probably read and then circulate a copy of Vagina alongside those new smartphones she bought all her employees at Yahoo. Hell, toss in a saved desktop photo of her OWN vagina for all the employees to gaze upon while working. Open up! Let us in, Marissa Mayer! Way, way in.


Lower the Bar for the Rest of Us By Actually Doing Nothing For Once: Of course, if she wants to really show us she is a real mom, she should take that fucking maternity leave she's so weird about. But only on the condition that it can't be productive at all. In other words, don't go upstaging us Marissa Mayer by multitasking like a brutal, unfeeling robot man would. Please sit around nonthreateningly in a fog getting nothing done, wincing while peeing like the rest of us, feeling weird, hormonal, a little depressed, kinda fat, and yet totally completely irrevocably swept up in your baby. Show us your vulnerability! Let your love light shine! You can do stuff with the baby, but like real true moms, that totally cannot get in the way of catching up on those people's court type shows. Never if it gets in the way of that.

Tracy Moore is a writer living in Los Angeles who would love nothing more than to tell you how to live your most correct life. Line up on Twitter @iusedtobepoor.



I for one completely agree with the Slate article. She should have taken a longer maternity leave. She has the right to do whatever she wants but the rest of us have the right to judge her for it when she is the CEO of a large company and is setting a ridiculous precedent for her employees. My boss was very supportive of my maternity leave, but we have also had a couple of people take abbreviated maternity leaves and quickly return to work. Thanks to them, I felt pressure to check in on email and even do some light work during my leave because that's the bar that's been set. I cannot imagine having to work in a company where the CEO doesn't even take leave. She is sending a message loud and clear to her employees, and to corporate America.

Maternity leave and child care policies in this country are a disgrace. It's a damn shame to have a female CEO refuse to use the meager maternity leave most of us are entitled to. At the very least, I wish she would acknowledge somehow that her lack of maternity leave is made possible by means that many people don' t have: those means likely being the money to afford decent childcare and a night nurse, plus the ability to make her schedule as flexible as she needs it to be.

If I were pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant and I worked at Yahoo, I would be looking for a new job.