Is Chris Elliott Secretly Sexist?

Or at least holding women back from jumping into the world of frequent travel?

In an article last week, he uses scare tactics to warn people away from travel–calling frequent flier programs an unsustainable pyramid scam that benefits:

The elite-level cardmembers perched in their first-class seats, sipping their mimosas, while the rest of us do the perp walk to the back of the plane, where we wedge ourselves into those ridiculously small economy class seats.

First of all, Chris, we don’t drink mimosas in first-class.  Yesterday, I was drinking a cosmo.  Welcome to the 21st century.

Second of all, scare tactics like these tend to push women out of the game.  Why?

Women tend to be more risk averse.  Studies have found that when placed in a risky situation, men naturally produce adrenaline whereas women produce acetylcholine, that sick to your stomach feeling.

Men also are more likely to feel like the exception in a situation, whereas women worry they are not up to standard (and in fact, imposter syndrome is prevalent in women).  Then toss in the social pressures that women have for being caretakers of the family, and they will be the ones backing off from these deals when they read Chris’ article.

There’s already a prevalence of men in the Frequent Traveler World. Just eye a list of travel bloggers.  Why use scare tactics to push people out? 

The huge part of a pyramid scheme is benefiting a few at the expense of others.  And rather than the Frequent Flier Programs doing this, I think people who push others out of deals and convince others not to play the miles game are doing this.  Why?  Deals last longer when less people play, so encourage people not to get into the game.

I’ve been reading you for 10 years, Chris.  What has that got me?  While you were commenting on View from the Wing’s Lobster Tail, I was eating Tyson’s Microwavable Chicken Strips.  Don’t I deserve more, Chris?

Expect my A-Game from now on.  Game on, Chris.



About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. love the blog. however, as an economist, I have to point out “risk-averse”

  2. During the Chicago Seminars, which has been a sell out each of its three years, another woman and I did an informal and totally unscientific demographic study of the attendees. Most were 40-something men, by a huge margin. You are totally correct by stating that the Frequent Flyer World is predominantly male, if the Seminars are an accurate snapshot. I have pondered this disparity and think you might just be dead on the mark with your personality assessment. Bravo!

    Chris Elliott’s writing demeanor has changed dramatically in the past couple years. I have followed him since his early days when his blog profiled a genuine family guy with a passion for travel. He now sounds like an angry pit bull with a chip on his shoulder. I hope with the furor he has created by taking on the Frequent Flyer World that he might push back a bit and reassess his current profile. You’re not very likable anymore, Chris. You listening?

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