What if Martha were "Mark" Stewart?
Would people be paying as much attention? I doubt it.
And I'm not here to be an apologist for the decorating diva. Just someone who wants to put some of this in perspective.
Ms. Stewart, as you know, is being scrutinized for the sale of close to 4,000 shares of ImClone stock back in December — a day before a damning decision by the Food and Drug Administration, tanked the stock.
Some find the timing curious. So do I. But then again, I do know that Martha had tried to sell all her ImClone shares months earlier, and couldn't because there was a limit on how much of it she could unload.
That doesn't matter. Here's what does: Some people love to hate Martha. Why? I think because she's an easy target: rich, bitchy, hard-driving and a woman.
It's funny, we can tolerate those tenacious qualities in a male, but apparently not when it's a female. Why?
Clearly, Martha has her enemies: People who used to work with her, people who used to work for her, even neighbors who live near her — a lot of them hate her.
Martha can be a pistol. Some say she can even make you reach for a pistol. But would she generate near the headlines she does if her home fashions empire were run by a man? I don't know.
But giants like Bed, Bath and Beyond, or Linens and Things don't generate half the buzz or get a tenth the grief.
And they kind of do what Martha does. Good men running them both and pretty tenacious chaps themselves.
Maybe Martha does bring a lot of this on herself. She's ruthless, aggressive and takes no prisoners. These are qualities we admire in big muckety-mucks.
Unless, of course, those big muckety-mucks aren't wearing a tie.
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