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Checking In With Nina Disesa

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On a whim, we decided to check in on our best friend Nina DiSea, Chairman and chief creative officer McCann-Erickson. You remember her, right? She’s the one who thinks that anonymous bloggers and those who post comments on them should all be shoved into hell. Nina is also the author of a book called “Seducing The Boys Club” that comes with an associated spiritless blog where, that’s right! Anonymous comments like the ones on her post about Hillary Clinton (above) are piling up. Nope, nothing to do with blog, but it did make me chuckle.

What I missed was that the New York Times reviewed her book. That might be because Nina has yet to comment on the Times’ gentle scrutiny. Let us fill you in, yeah? Nina’s book was reviewed along side another title, “What Men Don’t Tell Women About Business” by Christopher V. Flett . From the Times:

“Ms. DiSesa, the chairwoman of McCann Erickson New York, the ad agency, urges women to make up their own rules and to use tactics like flirting to woo colleagues and conquer rivals.”

“-Christopher V. Flett, a Canadian-born entrepreneur, urges women to forgo flirting and take a much more straightforward approach.”

Okay, so wait for it:

“The two principal tactics advocated by Ms. DiSesa are seduction and manipulation. After bundling them together in a glib Madison Avenue abbreviation, she declares that, “All the men in our lives — the ones we work with or live with, admire or desire, and love or hate — are easier to control if we master the Art of S.& M.” Why would men fall for such tactics? “First of all, they love seduction,” she writes. “And second, they are oblivious to manipulation.”

Gloria Steinman? Ariel Levy? Where you at? The author, Harry Hurt III, sums it up best:

“Frankly, I found the ways in which Mr. Flett and Ms. DiSesa invoked persistent sexual stereotypes to be rather depressing. To my mind, the most illuminating comments in either book come from James Patterson, a former advertising mogul who now writes best-selling mystery fiction. Ms. DiSesa reports that Mr. Patterson urged her to think of life as a game in which we juggle five balls labeled Work, Family, Health, Friends and Integrity.”

It’s not easy being a woman in the business world, for sure. The down talking (christ!). The obvious chest staring -”Duuude. My eyes are up here.” The verbal dismissals and double entrendres. Sheesh… it ain’t easy and I thank every woman who has come down this road before me. Including Nina. It’s a rough highway, but does that mean women need to coo and sigh, gently prode and pull like a Southern debutante from 1942?

One of Nina’s guidelines for women is: “Screw the rules. Make up your own.” That should have been her book title and its entire contents. Girlfriend got sidetracked. Give me Shelly Lazarus any day, okay?

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