If women sleep their way to the top so frequently, then one would think there’d be more women at the top.

Among women, using one’s sexuality to advance one’s career is generally frowned upon, but it’s a pretty common assumption that people make about women who succeed. Joan Rivers accused Chelsea Handler of doing it, as though Handler’s millions of fans and bestselling books were somehow summoned on the day she agreed to date a Comcast executive. Katy Tur was accused of doing it when she was hired to work for The Weather Channel back in 2009, when she was dating Keith Olbermann, as though her skills as a reporter couldn’t possibly have won her that job. Prior to #MeToo shedding light on what was really going on, mean-spirited celebrity gossip blogs accused women who appeared in Harvey Weinstein-backed movies of doing it.

All that sleeping toward the top, and yet, still so few women up there at the top. Strange. Perhaps The Top is a lot like K2; many try to summit but few survive.

As the waterfall of #MeToo stories has shown (in case there was any doubt), powerful people are still trying to use their power to obtain sex. They’re also using sex to maintain their power. Men and women do this. But recent history shows us that women who try to weaponize their sexuality are, at best, sleeping their way to being the top’s plus-one to the CAA Oscar party. The men who do it are using their sexuality to negate, erase, bully, intimidate, and ultimately chase women out of their industries.

Maybe we should stop accusing women of “sleeping their way” to the top. Maybe because men have been the ones sleeping women to the middle and bottom.

I’ve often thought about the lost potential

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