Power Lesbians Raise the Stakes

A female version of the Lavender Mafia is in the cards as more women gain power

POWER UP’s Codikow points to a controversial explanation for the difference. “At the risk of getting my ass kicked by every woman I know,” she notes, “men are smarter in business than we are. They understand that even if they hate the person sitting across from them—even if it’s their ex-boyfriend—they smile and move on. Women are like, ‘I can’t be in the same room as her because I slept with her.’ It’s too much bullshit.”

Not only that, but power players tend to socialize at least as much with straight men as each other. “One of the stories that lesbians in business tell all the time is that it’s sometimes easier for them to be mentored, because the people mentoring are typically straight men, and their wives feel much better about them mentoring a lesbian,” Out & Equal’s Berry says. “And then there’s that whole lesbians playing golf thing.”

Speaking of golf, one event that might come closest to bringing together a lesbian version of the gay male mafia is the Dinah, the annual festival that coincides with Dinah Shore’s LPGA tournament in Palm Springs. Attracting more than 5,000 attendees, many are bound to be VIPs, and—as at gay circuit parties—networking inevitably takes place at the expensive cabanas during the parties. Otherwise, according to the Dinah’s producer, Mariah Hanson, they just want to mingle with the thousands of good-looking ladies. “VIPs from several Fortune 500 companies come, but they’re under the radar screen,” she says. “Besides, everybody’s dressed up at the Dinah. It’s not like power lesbians glow.”

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