Eliana Dockterman and Katie Heaney Consider Privilege, Affection, and Elizabeth Holmes

Eliana Dockterman isn’t wrong about Elizabeth Holmes’ privilege. I haven’t seen Alex Gibney’s HBO documentary yet, so I don’t know if the thrust of Dockterman’s brief Time review (that Gibney fails to connect the privileged dots as part of his narrative) is accurate, but I do wonder why Dockterman doesn’t mention herself that Holmes’ dad is a former Enron executive.

Dockterman’s breakdown of the Holmes-as-siren trope is probably right on: “Though the documentary suggests that Holmes essentially seduced her famous male board members, who included Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, that seems suspect: any woman will identify Holmes as a CEO desperate for the Valley to forget her gender. (She wore black turtlenecks, lowered her voice several octaves and publicly declared she did not date…”

A few days ago, Katie Heaney asked, regarding Holmes’ now well-known vocal affection, What Kind of Person Fakes Their Voice? I’m not a woman, but I just assumed it had to do with heading off gender bias. Dockterman’s points about Holmes wanting “the Valley to forget her gender” make all kinds of sense to me.

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