"a steely tough love"

Art For n-1 magazine, Alice Gregory, former employee of Sothebys uncovers the dark underbelly of the auction business. The sexual politics is atrocious:
"... almost all interactions between employees and clients were inflected with an “Oh, you stop it now!” sort of kittenishness or a steely tough love. Telephone conversations with cold callers included some of the most retrograde propositions I’ve heard outside of Mad Men. That it was possible to be asked on dates by men we had never met, solely on the basis of our summaries of sale results, confirmed for me that there existed, in certain circles, an assumption that asking a faceless Sotheby’s girl out over the phone was a safe bet. Thirteen-thirty-four York Avenue, as it turns out, is an unimpeachable provenance to have."
Elsewhere, there are plenty of illustrations that the art world continues to be divided between those of us who genuinely love the work and those who stop us from seeing it because they simply consider it to be an asset.

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