Erotic capital?

Catherine Hakim, author of a book called Honey Money, reckons women should use their charms to get ahead. Hakim calls this “erotic capital” and says this is an underused resource at women’s disposal. Although men can use erotic capital too, Hakim says it is mostly women who are able to leverage it since men are all slavering beasts who don’t get enough sex since women over 30 are not that interested.

Call me crazy, but I reckon that is equally insulting to both men and women.

On the one hand it is true that better looking people tend to have an easier time in life. Tall men earn more money and good looking women are more likely to marry rich. But on the other hand, if you get ahead in life by relying on flirting or the promise of sex, it is unlikely that you’ll get very far. Contrary to popular belief, sleeping with the boss is unlikely to get you promoted. What it will get you is fired.

Hakim basically says that for women being attractive is more important than being competent. I think an awful lot of women would disagree with that. I think most male bosses or co-workers would too. No company wants to carry a lame duck, no matter how lovely her legs are. Besides which, if you rely on your looks instead of skills to get ahead, how long will you be able to do so?

Hakim has been roundly criticised for her scholarship. Honey Money relies on data that is 20 years out of date and Hakim appears to has seriously misinterpreted the findings.

My major issue with Hakim (besides the fact that she is talking bollocks) is that her whole idea is just depressing. Seduction is reduced to a bargaining tool, sex is nothing more than a commodity; there is no room for joy, genuine pleasure or even love in a world where eroticism is just one more exploitable resource to make you money.