I Curse Jason Calacanis With 10 Daughters

My husband nearly fainted when we found out our second child was going to be a girl.

Dead silence on the other end of the phone.

Weeks earlier my OBGYN thought he saw a penis and the look of relief on my husband’s face told the true story. Everything is going to be ok, it’s a boy.

Then a checkup a few weeks later showed vulva, no penis, and terror struck. TERROR.

His fears included, but were not limited too: will she get knocked up at 16? Will I have to kill all the boys that like her? Will she be ugly, pretty, smart, stupid? To this day he’s hoping our striking daughter needs glasses, braces, and is covered in hair.

He thinks if she’s hairy, the boys won’t bother her. He would also prefer she be gay.

Why? Easy, he’ll tell you that he is a man. He knows men. He knows how he was at 13, 16, 19, 25, 35 and he wants his daughter to have nothing to do with any of it. Period. End of story.

What my husband fails to realize is he married ME. With any luck my strong, vagina-having, self will make sure my daughter is prepared for the boys, the body-issues, the confusion between what matters more: her mind or her looks.

Which leads me to yesterday, and the can of penis worms opened by one Mr. Jason Calacanis, and his search for a replacement for Veronica Belmont, host of Mahalo Daily.

I logged into Twitter to see several people had mentioned my name to Jason as a possible replacement. Hmmm, I thought. Must investigate more. I’m not exactly a Calacanis fan after his ‘make me the #1 twitter-er’ bribe, but had been willing to listen to all those who said he’s actually a decent guy.

So I checked it out-Veronica looks like she’s done some fun stuff with the videos, totally not techy (that I can tell) but entertaining. A few minutes into my snooping and Gary Vaynerchuk twittered that Jason was live on Ustream taking suggestions for a new host. I clicked on over. I’m not really sure I can accurately describe what I found, so let me just copy and paste my twitter stream:

QueenofSpain They are going over these girls based on looks-seriously. I don’t want ANYTHING to do with that crap. It would be an Erin SMACKDOWN

QueenofSpain and I love how they all just ASSUME any of these women are just DYING to get a call to work for @jasoncalacanis

QueenofSpain Am I wrong? Am I the only one who is watching this? Sad. Sad. Sad. And RIGHT THERE is the problem with women in tech. RIGHT THERE

QueenofSpain because the guys filling in, or the guy and @calacanis is such a HOTTIE? I mean, they must be, if they are on MAHALO VIDEO

QueenofSpain I love how that’s a requirement for the girls. @lons did you submit photos too?

QueenofSpain Ugh. I feel sick after watching that for too long. Olive branch totally taken back. I don’t give a crap what he’s done.

QueenofSpain @themacmommy hell no. Not a chance in HELL. I’ll stick with organizations that actually show a bit of respect.

QueenofSpain @GeekMommy don’t be. was a great education. seriously. I mean that. all that buzz about women in tech in the fashion section? yeah. i get it

Basically I tuned in to see Jason Calacanis and his ‘JasonNation’ look at photos, declare there shall be ‘no schlubs’ and discuss the hotness level of each candidate. Jason did stipulate the candidate must have brains (how nice) but needed to be easy on the eyes.

Let’s just review who I’m watching currently in and around the web, shall we?

Lon Harris is the current co-host of Mahalo Daily.

Robert Scoble

Jeff Pulver

Jason Calacanis

Shel Israel

Loren Feldman

Steve Garfield

Gary Vaynerchuk

Those are just off the top of my head, there are many more. Now let’s go ahead and guess how many of that group would have gotten to where they are if being ‘easy on the eyes’ were a requirement? Not all Brad Pitt up there on that list. Turns out, and it’s funny really-it is their CONTENT that matters.

I’m not sure if Jason Calacanis or anyone in that chat room (with the exception of Gary who is respectful and has proven himself as such) gets what they are doing when they make looks a requirement, when it’s clearly NOT a requirement for the men.

The only way I can possibly think of to make the CEO and ringleader understand is to curse him with 10 daughters.

5 super model daughters and 5 less than perfect daughters. I’d like him to see first hand the opportunities they are afforded, the heartbreak, and the double standards they face. I’d like him to feel the pain of his daughter as her brilliance in tech and web are overlooked for a less-intelligent woman with a better rack. I’d like him to watch as his beautiful daughter is paraded on a video blog to be masturbated to by 40year-olds in their mother’s basement. I’d like him to sit all 10 of them down on the Calacanis family couch and explain Daddy’s requirements for the next Mahalo Daily host.

Whomever you hire, Mr. Calacanis, I hope she’s qualified, brilliant, and kicks your ass.


  1. Sadly, there are plenty of people with daughters who still do this. They’re probably worse on their daughters. “Well honey, maybe if you tried wearing make up more often …”

  2. Absolutely agree — except, I would hate to be one of the daughters. People who act like this don’t deserve ’em.

  3. As far as we’ve come, it may take another generation before gender double-standards are a thing of the past. Maybe our daughters won’t have to deal with this.

  4. Erin – I already loved you, but now I must marry you!

    My hubs also fears daughters. I completely understand why. The double standard women face is horrifying and apparently socially acceptable. This is also what HRC is up against. Sigh.

  5. We are not biased by physical beauty… I never said that. I was reacting to the audience sending in hottie after hottie.

    Obviously, as you point out, there are many really, really UGLY guys like me, Scoble, Gary, Shel, Lon, and most of all Loren Feldman of 1938media doing podcasting. Of course, the audience seems to be biased toward good looking people… in fact, I went to the movies the other week and Brad Pitt and George Cloney were in films…. I was so crushed I was thinking of killing myself. 🙂

    For us the bottom line is that the hosts a) they represent the brand well, b) are entertaining, and c) they drive traffic. If you find me the next Ellen, Whoopi Goldberg or Rosie we would certainly take them (none are traditional beauties right?)

    In terms of “cursed” with ten daughters I would be happy with any child that is happy and healthy.

    rock on, jason

    ps – please send a headshot! 🙂

  6. Daughters would do him no good, because he’d treat them just as bad.

    My own father sent me a letter when I graduated college, where he told me that he was happy I was so smart, but that I failed at college. The reason? I spent too much time on the books and not enough time working out and making myself look good to catch myself a husband. He told me that being smart would do nothing for me if I couldn’t focus on my looks to find a man. Seriously.

    Guys who consider women as toys who happen to speak will do no better with daughters of their own.

  7. I commented about a year ago on a brainstorming conversation about introducing go daddy girls. http://tinyurl.com/5kvnhx

    Maybe this is draft thinking this time too. Hope so. Jason, don’t let that juvenile band of followers influence you too much. Their numbers are impressive but I get a feeling their buying power quotient clocks in around low, like Digg or YouTube commenters. They certainly shouldn’t help make policy.

  8. Jason, glad to see you’re not considering looks ahead of brains and talent.

  9. Michelle says:

    Well said! I agree with you 100%, and am glad that there are people out there like you that say what we are thinking. Thank you!

  10. Having daughters would not change his perspective. I’ve known many a guy of that mindset who has said things to their daughters like “if you don’t work on making yourself hotter, how do you ever expect to catch a husband?”

    It’s a good post – but you’re howling at the moon.

    The double standard isn’t just Jason’s but so many other male chauvinists in the industry.
    I can’t tell you the number of “oh, man – we’re being taught programming by a chic?” comments happened every semester of my intro C++ classes… but it wasn’t limited to 1 a term. I had to prove myself over and over again.

    If you’re “hot” enough – the assumption is that you can’t be wicked smart or talented – if you aren’t ‘model gorgeous’ the assumption is that no one will care if you aren’t wicked smart or talented.

    I note that the names Jason offered above owe their popularity to their FEMALE audiences – not their male ones.

    In the end – you just have to write it off as “hope the girl who grabs the job uses it as a stepping off point for herself and remembers that she may have gotten her foot in the door via her looks, but it’s her brains and attitude that will give her the opportunity to walk thru the next door.”

  11. I guess my own personal answer to the gender based double-standard has always been this: I have (and never will) let my interests dictate my looks, or my looks dictate my interests. Yes, it sucks that my gender and the way I look automatically distill a perception that is often untrue; however the reality is, I know I’m fucking smart. I also feel confident that anyone who really wants to get to know me (or hire me) is going to do so because of my personality and my skill, not what I look like.

  12. You know, there are some seriously qualified women from Tech TV who got laid off when there was that changeover. Erica Hill landed CNN but what about Morgan? Oh and why not older people, too? Leo ROCKED, loved him. I think it’s utter BS that someone can be TOO OLD to do Tech News especially if he was THE BEST.

    Jason…if you’re listening find Leo. Morgan is there at Tech TV doing X-Play. And what the heck was the name of that lady who went on maternity leave?

    THERE’S YOUR PERSON! Get the lady from the news desk at Tech TV who went on mat leave and GIVE HER A SWEET FLEX DEAL that accommodates her child.

    I’d totally add you to my Twitter list if you did that.

  13. Queen of Spain says:

    I’m really not remembering the show that way at all (is there an archive?) but willing to give you the benefit of the doubt if you say looks are *not* a requirement.

    Keep in mind this industry has one of the biggest gender divides I’ve ever seen, so there is something to be said that you’re even looking for a female host. I just hope you are sincere in your intentions and she’s not just eye candy for the tech boys. Guess time will tell. -QofS

  14. Personally, I don’t know why you bothered going to the stream. I probably could have copied the commentary word for word out of TechCrunch comments.

    I’m not sure what’s sadder; the belief on the part of these geeks that hot women want anything to do with them or the women who use it as a stepping stone to move on to bigger and better. The last thing men in tech like to see is a woman with a brain who looks like them.

    And I echo the previous commenter who hopes Calcanis and those like him have no children at all. I’d hate that attitude to be handed down to another generation.

  15. It’s just sad that web has such power to bring all the best minds together and yet we’re focusing on faces.

    Ironic since the tech field was founded on brains over brawn. Now the geeks have the power and they didn’t seem to learn one darned lesson.


  16. I just hope Jason will remember his female audience when he chooses a hostess with the mostess. I really liked Veronica for Mahalo. Whatever she does next, I’ll follow her there. She is great because she doesn’t use her boobs to talk to people. She’s bright and witty and speaks intelligently and not like Oh my god! Okaaay! Hers will be hard shoes to fill. I want to watch someone that speaks to me about technology, not Bay Watch. I so hope they get this right. A lot of my opinion about Mahalo and who I tell about it will depend on the decisions he makes and who he listens to. I have the ability to show Mahalo to a lot of people in my line of work. I could do for Mahalo what I’m doing now for Google. It will depend on wise decisions about this product. Be careful boys. Be very very careful boys. Listen to your Motherboard! (not your joystick!)

  17. It is sad four our daughters and future daughters that this double standard still exists. Women are constantly judged on their looks – not on their brains alone as men consistently are (except for perhaps those in entertainment – George Clooney and Brad Pitts of the world). In the workplace, in politics and life – women are considered as women first rather than just as people. Quite a few years ago in Canada a woman politician was lambasted for her relationships, her looks, and appearance critiqued – rather than her political decisions. Amazing how many media outlets feel that sexism is an acceptable practice in North America.

  18. Jo MacD says:

    Yeah, he just turned a job application into a ‘How about us boys size up the little women folk for bonkability’ fest, but he didn’t mean anything by it.

    You need to go visit your Spinster Aunt at blog.iblamethepatriarchy.com – it’s good for the soul.

  19. I’m sorry your husband feels that way. I’m a single dad and my oldest child is a daughter. I couldn’t be happier that she entered my life! She’s very smart, athletic, beautiful, confident. Any boy will be lucky to have her in his life. And she can hold her own with any boy. I don’t wish any boy-deterrants on her, whatsoever.

    If your hubby is worried about your daughter getting knocked up by 16, you might point him to Pulitzer-winner Laura Stepp’s book, “Unhooked”, about the hookup culture that is permeating high school and college campuses. As a man 40-something man who is actively dating, I pointed out to Ms. Stepp that hooking up is a cultural phenomenon not limited to teens and 20-somethings. I see it everywhere and have written about it on my blog. After reading this book, parents might actually want their kids to date and experience relationships of youth.

    I’m sure your husband will come around, and hope he embraces your daughter for whoever she is.

  20. Queen of Spain says:

    Dadshouse- make no mistake, my husband loves and adores my daughter with everything he has. He just would rather see boys stay far away from his baby girl.

  21. I don’t feel all of this. I work in high tech and I would be in SO MUCH trouble if I needed to have a nice rack, because I don’t, but I must say, I have a great job and it hasn’t been an issue.

    I think there is a lingering double standard that comes up now and then. I think it can be an old habit and it’s annoying. (Like when the local male-lead morning show wondered why all the really-good-looking and consistently-ditzy women co-hosts didn’t take their job seriously enough. They didn’t think to maybe hire a less ditzy co-host.)

    But high-tech is great for women. If you deliver, that is what counts. That’s been my experience.

  22. Queen of Spain – your hubby sounds like a great dad! And I’m sure he’s just grousing about the boys. I’m sensitive to the subject because I have a teenage daughter, and with good colleges the carrot on the stick, a lot of her friends don’t date (which is the phenomenon written about in Unhooked). I hope parents will encourage their kids to have youthful (teen) relationships. I’m sure your husband won’t keep the boys away forever – and it sounds like that’s a long ways off for your daughter, anyway.

  23. Just wondering why the host has to be female. Why not a guy?

  24. that’s classic Jason, that is. can’t say I’m a bit surprised. as a non-smoking-hot but (I think) pretty darn smart woman who HAS worked for Jason, I’ll say that I would not be at the front of the line waiting to work for him again.


  26. Susan Burns says:

    Even if it did play out as Jason describes – where was his leadership in redirecting the conversation? He wants to be a leader with his company and in the technology space, well then….lets see leadership!

  27. I don’t even know who these people are…..but watch G4 and apart from a few boobs er hot chics it seems to be more trying to be hip than anything

  28. Seems like Robert Scoble is attending the 19th Annual Professional Business Women of California Conference tomorrow. How they would feel about this conversation?

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