by Zoe Pollock

Irin Carmon raises the prospect after reading a couple not-so-positive profiles on "self-promoting" women (including Arianna Huffington):

As cringe-inducing as the phrase "personal brand" is and should be, it's undeniable that it has played a major part in all of these women's successes.

Is it possible to be successful without making yourself generally insufferable, or maybe loathed by a few? Well, supporting your peers and mentoring the next generation, including other women, helps, as does having something tangible to contribute to the world beyond yourself. But even when you've been widely acknowledged as doing those things, as say, Jessica Valenti has, success will always bring someone accusing you of being in it for yourself, as seen in this piece of unvarnished, unearned nastiness. ("She is like every other professional feminist, dedicated to promoting herself.") It's a shame that rising through mainstream channels or getting paid are things that induce knee-jerk sniping from other women, notwithstanding actual substantive criticism.

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