The Magnate's Manifesto

By: Jennifer Hayward


  THE DAY THAT Jared Stone’s       manifesto sparked an incident of international female outrage happened to be,       unfortunately for Stone, a slow news day. By 5:00 a.m. on Thursday, when the       sexy Silicon Valley billionaire was reputed to be running the trails of San       Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, as he did every morning in his connected-free       beginning to the day, his manifesto was dinner conversation in Moscow. In       London, as chicly dressed female office workers escaped brick and steel       buildings to chase down lunch, his outrageous state of the union   on       twenty-first-century women was on the tip of every tongue, spoken in hushed,       disbelieving tones on elevator trips down to ground level.

  And in America, where the outrage was about to hit hardest,       women who had spent their entire careers seeking out the C-suite only to find       themselves blocked by a glass ceiling that seemed impossible to penetrate stared       in disbelief at their smartphones. Maybe it was a joke, some said.           Someone must have hacked into Stone’s email, said others.           Doesn’t surprise me at all, interjected a final contingent, many of       whom had dated Stone in an elusive quest to pin down the world’s most       sought-after bachelor. He’s a cold bastard. I’m only surprised his true           stripes didn’t appear sooner.

  * * *

  At her desk at 7:00 a.m. at the Stone Industries       building in San Jose, Bailey St. John was oblivious to the firestorm her boss       was creating. Intent on hacking her way through her own glass ceiling and armed       with a steaming Americano with which to do so, she slid into her chair with as       much grace as her pencil skirt would allow, harnessed a morning dose of optimism       that today would be different, and flicked on her PC.

  She stared sleepily at the screen as her computer booted up.       Took a sip of the strong, acrid brew that inevitably kicked her brain into       working order as she clicked on her mail program. Her girlfriend Aria’s email,       titled “OMG,” made her lift a recently plucked and perfected brow.

  She clicked it open. The hot sip of coffee she’d just taken       lodged somewhere in her windpipe. Billionaire Playboy Ignites International           Incident With His Manifesto on Women, blared the headline of the       variety news site everyone in Silicon Valley frequented. Leaked           Tongue-in-Cheek Manifesto to His Fellow Mates Makes Stone’s Views on Women           in the Boardroom and Bedroom Blatantly Clear.

  Bailey put down her coffee with a jerky movement and clicked       through to the manifesto that had already generated two million views. The           Truth About Women, which apparently had never been meant for anyone       other than Jared Stone’s inner circle, was now the salacious entertainment of       the entire male population. As she started reading what was unmistakably her       boss’s bold, eloquent tone, she nearly fell off her chair.

Having dated and worked with a cross-section of women from           around the globe, and having reached the age where I feel I can make a           definitive opinion on the subject matter, I have come to a conclusion.       Women lie.

  * * *

  They say they want to be equals in the boardroom,           when in reality nothing has changed over the past fifty years. Despite all           their pleas to the contrary, despite their outrage at the limits the           “so-called” glass ceiling puts on them, they don’t really want to be           hammering out a deal, and they don’t want to be orchestrating a merger. They           want to be home in the house we provide, living the lifestyle to which           they’ve become accustomed. They want a man who will take care of them, who           gives them a hot night between the sheets and diamond jewelry at appropriate           intervals. Who will prevent them from drifting aimlessly through life           without a compass…

  Drifting aimlessly through life without a compass?       Bailey’s cheeks flamed. If there was any way in which her life couldn’t be       described, it was that. She’d spent the last twelve years putting as much       mileage between her and her depressing low-income roots as she could, doing the       impossible and obtaining an MBA before working herself up the corporate ladder.       First at a smaller Silicon Valley start-up, then for the last three years at       Jared Stone’s industry darling of a consumer electronics company.

  And that was where her rapid progression had stopped. As       director of North American sales for Stone Industries, she’d spent the last       eighteen months chasing a vice president position Stone seemed determined not to       give her. She’d worked harder and more impressively than any of her male       colleagues, and it was generally acknowledged the VP job should have been hers.       Except Jared Stone didn’t seem to think so—he’d given the job to someone else.       And that hurt coming from the man she’d been dying to work for—the resident       genius of Silicon Valley.

  Why didn’t he respect her as everyone else did?

  Her blood heated to a furious level; bubbled and boiled and       threatened to spill over into an expression of uncontrolled rage. Now she           knew       why. Because Jared Stone was a male chauvinist pig. The worst of a       Silicon Valley breed.

  He was…horrific.

  She forced a sip of the excessively strong java into her mouth       before she lost it completely and slammed the cup back down on her desk. Flicked       her gaze back to her computer screen and the “rules” on women Jared had also       gifted the male population with.

Rule Number 1—All women are crazy. And by that I           mean they think in a completely foreign way from us that might as well come           from another planet. You need to find the least crazy one you can live with.           If you elect to settle down, which I’m not advocating, mind you.

  Rule Number 2—Every woman wants a ring on her finger and the           white picket fence. No matter what she says. Not a bad thing for the state           of the nuclear family or for you if you’re already on that trajectory. But           for God’s sake know what you’re getting yourself into.

  Rule Number 3—Every woman wants a lion in the bedroom. She           wants to be dominated. She wants you to be in complete control. She doesn’t           want you to listen to her “needs.” So stop making that mistake. Be a           man.

  Rule Number 4—Every woman starts the day with an agenda. A           cause, an item to strike off her list, the inescapable conclusion of a           campaign she’s been running. It could be a diamond ring, more of your time,           your acknowledgment that you will indeed agree to meet her mother…           Whatever it is, take it from me, just say yes or say goodbye. And know that           saying goodbye might be a whole hell of a lot cheaper in the long           run.

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