Friday, November 12, 2010

Sleeping their way up the ladder...

Today I watched the film Coco Before Chanel. The film was beautifully shot and had class that is so hard to find in recent television. Having watched too much cheesy Hollywood and corny Asian dramas, I had almost forgotten what a real quality movie was like.

For those that haven't heard of this movie, it surrounds the life of Coco Chanel (Audrey Tautou) before she became the brand - when she was just Gabrielle. The whole movie is very inspiring and moving, but what I found interesting, and will be today's topic of interest, is the matter of sleeping your way to success.

The movie is very straightforward about how Coco sleeps with Balsan in order to provide a living for herself. She dislikes him, but entertains him because of his connections and wealth. It is important to note however, that she never disillusions him as to why they're together; he even calls her his "geisha" at one point.

Then, perchance because of karma, when Coco falls in love with a man named Arthur, he marries another woman because of the connections and wealth the other woman can provide him with. These seem like very antiquated practices (or perhaps just hush hush office happenstances) but are they? Has society changed - become less acceptant of such practices? Are marriages no longer for societal convenience?

No? Well, it's more common than you may think. Take for example Wendi Deng. 

She managed to perfect the art of seduction for power. Proof: she is now the chief of strategy for MySpace's China operation, a position for which she left her job as Vice President of News Corporation's Star TV in Hong Kong. Clearly this is a modern woman who is extremely successful by most people's standards. Check out her background:

     "After schooling Deng attended Medical College and in 1987 at age 18, she met Jake Cherry a former UNICEF executive, and his wife, who started teaching Deng English. In 1988 Mr. and Mrs Cherry sponsored a student visa for Deng and she moved to America to live with the Cherry’s and to study at the California State University.
     In 1990 Jake Cherry left his wife to marry Deng after his wife found photos her husband had taken of Deng in a hotel room. Five months through their marriage, Deng started seeing another man, Cherry and Deng then divorced after two years and seven months of marriage. Wendi Deng went on to apply and was accepted by Yale University where she pursued her Master of business administration degree. 
     After receiving her degree in 1996, Wendi Deng moved to Hong Kong. On the flight over she met Bruce Churchill from Star TV and obtained a position as an intern through him. In 1998 Deng met Rupert Murdoch the managing director of Star TV's parent company News Corporation which led to Deng and Murdoch having an affair despite Deng being almost 40 years younger. In 1999 Murdoch divorced his wife of 31 years and married Deng 17 days later"

There's no clear guide on the logistics, but if you play your cards right, it sure is a convenient shortcut to success. But is it right? I suppose it all depends on the woman and what her aspirations are. If her definition of success is found in the home with a loving husband and well-raised children, then she should focus on finding a loyal, dependent, caring man. But, if her idea of success is defined by material wealth, then maybe it is permissible to break some hearts and play the femme fatal. As to whether or not she could do that and retain her personal dignity, that's up to the individual woman. I've been saying this in terms of "she", but this applies to men as well. Don't forget, Arthur also used the bed as a method of rising in the ranks. Then and now, these are only a few of many who are
Sleeping their way up the ladder... 
Food for thought:
Do you think this is ethical?
Or does a woman/man just have to do what a woman/man has to do?
If neither party is confused about the nature of their relationship, is it okay for one to take advantage of the other?
Would you begrudge someone who slept their way to success?


  1. Well... Sluts are sluts.. What are you going to do about it? It's their lives, just chill and don't let that crap affect life... We live in the 21st century anyone can do what they want, I don't judge... BTW, Audrey Tautou is my favorite French actress, have you seen Amelie? It's a great film, starring Tautou...

  2. I'm surprised that you're surprised at this. It's everywhere in the entertainment industry, no matter what country.
    As for ethics, of course it's unethical and unfair, especially for those who put in the hard work to achieve their high positions in companies and organizations.
    No one SHOULD do it, but that's not going to prevent unethical people from continuing to do so.
    I"m sure that the men Wendi Deng slept with knew what she wanted. It was just a matter of prioritizing lust over other things, like family and trust.

    Basically, if one believes that cheating, taking shortcuts, and playing the game (along with all the consequences that comes along with it) is worth the materialistic wealth/power at the game, i guess they would think it is an okay thing to do.
    The rest of the world, however, heavily looks down upon it, for obvious reasons.

  3. it's not where you've gone, it's how you got there that matters..