I need these people working at their best and most relaxed. They make me look good. If I made any of my colleagues nervous about talking to me or seeing me then I would only be damaging myself. They wouldn’t want to help me. So you could say it’s a selfish self-control. Hell, even a consensual relationship would be idiotic: I need my colleagues to be objective and unemotional. And I need my career more than I need the ego-boost of impressing a lady. Perhaps I’m getting old, but believe it or not, I actually value my colleagues’ professional abilities more than their beauty.
Which is tough to believe, given the space he devotes to telling all the LAYDEEZ in publishing how smokin' they are. By the way, if you're not 32, gorgeous, with a graduate degree* from one of the best universities in the country, you're invisible. Because according to Smith, publishing is absolutely filled with these women. That's the "truth." Except, it's not. At all. Publishing is filled with bookish girls, nerdy girls. As Stacey May Fowles pointed out, working in publishing is a "labour of love." It's not the pay and the glamour that attracts women (and men) to the industry, because there isn't a lot of either. It's the chance to work with the love of our lives: books.
If Smith is attracted to women because of their brains, that's one thing, but the article makes it sound like publishing is filled with Runway Model PhDs turned publicists. (Granted, publicists have more pressure on them to look good — way more). Then he wants to be a hero for managing to keep things professional. Hell, maybe he is, since so few manage to do so. I could do without the massive self-congratulations though.
Edit: Something just struck me: isn't it amazing that an industry so "dominated" by women (as Smith points out) is one of the lowest paid and hardest to get into? If we're so dominant, how come all these really educated women are making so little? Look, I know the margins on books are next to nothing, I know the industry as a whole makes next to nothing, but.. yes. Amazing.
*Actually, the graduate degree thing might be right. You need one to be an assistant these days, the field is that crowded