A woman who loves finance and fashion?

This annoying moment brought to you by the New York Times' "Vows" section


Rebecca Traister
May 26, 2009 6:27PM (UTC)

Hey, here's the classiest thing from the New York Times -- and no, it's not that strange little column by Ross Douthat on the declining happiness of post-feminist women -- it's from the weddings section, about a union between Rochelle Gores, a Los Angeles boutique owner, and David Fredston-Hermann, the founder of a hedge fund. This was one of the wedding announcements that had the whole meet-cute story of their first encounter, at which they were having drinks with friends, and Fredston-Hermann was on the phone with his first boss, talking about a deal. I'll let Gores, Fredston-Hermann, and the good people at the New York Times take it away from here:

Far from being put off, Ms. Gores was intrigued. From what she heard, the conversation revolved around how much to pay for a certain company. So at one point when he was off the phone she asked about the offer for the company and how many times Ebitda it was.

"I think they're going to pay eight times Ebitda," Mr. Fredston-Hermann remembers saying, not quite believing that this attractive young woman with a short skirt and looking, as he said, very fashion forward, was talking his lingo.

"I pulled him aside and said I thought it was too much," Ms. Gores said. "My daddy would never pay more than five," she told him.

Now he was even more surprised. "There she was in her high heels and looking very pretty and giving me financial advice."

Ms. Gores said that as much as she loves fashion, she also loves to talk about business "and to be very knowledgeable about everything going on in the finance world."

Nuh-uh! Even though she loves fashion? Shut up!

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You know, it's a small, inconsequential thing: A wedding announcement -- and mazel tov, by the way, to Rochelle and David, who were reportedly wed on Saturday afternoon at her father's home in Beverly Hills -- that really shouldn't even merit mention, I suppose. But whenever I hear someone jawing about how all of feminism's battles have been won, I bypass all the big stuff that I really should lead with in formulating my response -- domestic violence, equal pay, the division of domestic labor, reproductive health, the number of women in Congress, etc. -- and go straight to minor infractions like those Rose Petal Cottage ads and media blips like this. What's frustrating about this little squib of a social announcement is that it exhibits the ease with which we still talk about attractive women as if they don't have brains, even when we live in a time when the Times' featured wedding of the week was that of a lesbian couple who fell in love via email. It illustrates the comfort we still take in the equation that a woman in a short skirt shouldn't know from finance, and the willingness of the paper of record to drop its jaw with the best of them at the fact that a female who loves fashion might also have a head for numbers.

Which brings us to that strange Ross Douthat column. Which really merits an item of its own. Which will be forthcoming.


Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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