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Will Marissa Mayer's Baby Give Birth to a Leader?

A self-described computer geek, Mayer may be just the super-mom to write the code that helps thousands of other families optimize work and family responsibilities.
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FILE- In this Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, file photo, Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products and User Experience for Google, speaks in Mountain View, Calif. Yahoo announced Monday, July 16, 2012, it is hiring Mayer to be its next CEO, the fifth in five years as the company struggles to rebound from years of financial malaise and internal turmoil. Mayer, who starts at Yahoo Inc. on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, was one of Google’s earliest employees and was most recently responsible for its mapping, local and location services. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)
FILE- In this Monday, Dec. 7, 2009, file photo, Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products and User Experience for Google, speaks in Mountain View, Calif. Yahoo announced Monday, July 16, 2012, it is hiring Mayer to be its next CEO, the fifth in five years as the company struggles to rebound from years of financial malaise and internal turmoil. Mayer, who starts at Yahoo Inc. on Tuesday, July 17, 2012, was one of Google’s earliest employees and was most recently responsible for its mapping, local and location services. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

How fitting that Marissa Mayer birthed her baby on the eve of National Work and Family month.

Yet she disappoints other moms, bloggers and work-family advocates by stating she'll work throughout her maternity leave, appearing on Fortune Magazine's cover in a decidedly not-pregnant glam shot and remaining silent about the feminist status her new power-mom-CEO role confers.

Leave the woman alone, right? She just had a baby! And if she's like most of us, right about now she's sleep-deprived, sore-nippled and shocked at the new world she just entered of human infant needs.

But here's why what Marissa Mayer does next matters.

After a whole summer of debate about the difficulty of "having it all" (meaning: career plus family) following Anne-Marie Slaughter's bombshell article in The Atlantic, women WANT to see HOW a woman role model does it. Though Marissa Mayer exemplifies Slaughter's thesis that most executive women who find a good work-family-fit are super-human, super-rich and in charge, moms still will look to her for leadership and inspiration.

Marissa Mayer is now a celebrity power-glamour-mom. Will she throw the sisterhood of working mothers under the bus? Or will she realize that the wicked-witch feminism she eschews had a house land on it and that Glinda -- the good, beautiful witch in pretty dresses -- has bestowed the ruby slippers on her feet? As a super-smart business person, will Mayer notice the last 45 years of work-family scholarship and then lead Yahoo to lead corporate America to the bottom line results of work-family flexibility and benefits?

A self-described computer geek, Mayer may be just the super-mom to write the code that helps thousands of other families optimize work and family responsibilities.

Will Marissa Mayer become a powerful corporate feminist leader who leaves a lasting legacy in a U.S. that needs a family-friendly work visionary?

Marissa Mayer just gave birth to a baby. And that baby may -- just may -- give birth to a leader.