FEMINISM: surely there’s more to it than being just like men?


Mesnip29616 A new book out this week professes to guide women on how to win in the business world of men. It was featured in a Mail on Sunday splash last weekend, and even allowing for the likelihood of the Mail missing some of the points in it, the book seems to me to suggest that the “formula” for corporate Woman success in the office is to be in denial of their feminine virtues. The Slog offers a contrary view.

Sue Unerman, chief strategic officer of the UK’s largest media agency, MediaCom, and Kathryn Jacob, CEO of cinema advertising company Pearl & Dean, have co-written a book about succeeding in business. It’s aimed at women. But there is something wrong with it: it seems to be aimed at women who think the only answer is to capitulate in the corporate arena, and act like men in drag.

You can somehow see this coming at the point where they write, ‘The fact is that you can be ambitious without it turning you into a version of yourself that you don’t like.’

The rest of the adulatory piece then describes how to do exactly that:

‘Traditional cultural stereotypes dictate that men are allowed to get noisily angry at work, whereas women are meant to be submissive or tolerant.So you need a reserve of feral behaviour to call upon when you require it.’

Think like a man….If you want a promotion, ask for it…..Hewlett-Packard ran an investigation into why more women weren’t in top management positions.It found that ‘women working at HP applied for a promotion only when they believed they met 100 per cent of the qualifications listed for the job. Men were happy to apply when they thought they could meet 60 per cent of the job requirements. Ask for the job you want.’

Lie and lie again…Jasmine is executive assistant to a CEO and has never fibbed much in her life. But her career was slipping into a downward spiral as she came across one of the unwritten rules of her office: it is not OK to stay at home if your child has a temperature.

She felt as though she was constantly apologising for having to leave early to cater for their needs. Now, she just fibs.No one will question you.’

‘Build your brand….How would your colleagues describe you? Is that a formula for success? Would you promote that woman? People like brands….Take a step outside yourself and see what the best brand you can build for yourself might be. Then make sure everything you do or say (or wear) at work aligns with it. Identify with it, work out what it means, then go out of your way to become known for it.’

So, continuing to be the person you like is behaving like a pine marten, thinking like a dick-obsessed bloke, lying in job applications, lying about taking a sickie, and becoming somebody – or more like it, something – you aren’t by being a brand.

And you like this person? My God, you have a serious self-loathing problem.
Now I understand that what the pressures of children – and all the dumbassed, unbalanced male corporate judgementalism about that is like. I used to get it when I said things like, “I’ll be late back from lunch because my younger daughter Jo’s headmistress just rang to say Jo glued the English teacher to her chair”. (That’s a true story by the way).
And OK, I know it was easier for me…..being a bloke, and the Deputy Chairman.
But is that what the Women’s equality struggle was for…pulling the same mendacious shit men do? Capitulating to a twisted corporate world largely created by thick gits with frontal lobe syndrome?
In 1945, women got tarred and feathered in France for collaborating like that. And they bloody deserved it.

When Women’s Lib first came into my life (during the second year at Uni in 1968) I was immediately for it. Having been socialised into thinking it was my job to die young of a heart attack from the stress of feeding, educating and clothing the output of a baby machine at home, the Women’s movement struck me as the best idea I’d ever heard.
Over the years however, however, my view changed on a number of levels:
* By the early 1970s, I was heartily sick of apologising for being the owner of a penis
* Working in the Creative Research Unit at a major advertising agency, I very quickly cottoned on to what the women I was working for brought to the party: less of the pissing contest, more of the balanced compromise
* By 1980, I was physically sick of being told Women ‘wanted it all’. First of all, I’d heard 938 versions of what ‘it’ was; and second, I resented the assumption that as a man I had it all. Increasingly it seemed to me, I felt guilty if I was with my family, and guilty if I was in the office prepping a pitch on a Sunday. What kind of ‘all’ was that?
* Come the 1990s, I’d gone beyond sick and become aggressively anti all the pc syntax bollocks that women’s opinion leaders demanded I adopt. I had to pretend senior female colleagues were actually the seating. I had to write letters to Mzzzz this or that. I had to remain silent while female staff swanned about the office corridors dressed in outfits clearly cut to accentuate every aspect of a sexuality their ideology was keen to deny. When one woman told me I had “a cute butt”, I had to smile and ignore the ludicrous double standards of ‘Laddism’. When conducting focus groups about shopping, I had to feign
I no longer think women in our society have been liberated. To be frank, if they had, we wouldn’t still be getting infantile Renault commercials observing that “I seen yer baby, shakin’ that ass”. All the faux correct politesse of pc has, to my mind, not changed a single synapse in the brains of blokes whose trail is easy to follow given the knuckle marks they leave in the carpet.
But those males who quickly accepted the obvious misogynist bias of the employment and divorce laws of 1960s have been the ones, paradoxically, required to don sackcloth and ashes while trotting out feminist mantras like so many Stepford wives. I have heard so much hypocritical, utterly false feminist drivel emerging from the mealy-mouths of men I know to be serial sex-cheats over the last thirty years, on occasions it has led me to outbursts of crude satire I later regretted….but by God, they made me feel better at the time.

I think that, as a culture, there are two things we need to accept in the context of contemporary feminism:

1. Not all – in fact, nowhere near all – women want to have a career, and be forced to balance office needs with those of their children. There is in my view no more important task an adult of either gender performs than the attempt to produce children with an enquiring personality and few if any anti-social dimensions to their personality. One very bad effect of radical feminism has been to demean that parental role.
2. The greatest thing women can bring to the Boardroom table is their innate ability to listen not yell, explain not demand, and exploit their lack of testosterone to arrive at a solution rather than a confrontation. The idea that behaving like quasi okkers is the only route to success for female employees is best summarised as being risibly bonkers. A less charitable conclusion might be that it is simply behaving in a way of which men still in short trousers approve: being like them.

Earlier at The Slog: The Twattering Classes

30 thoughts on “FEMINISM: surely there’s more to it than being just like men?

  1. @xerxes

    In that case, time to start making things right with our personal sky-being. The ascendancy of the Hildebeast, Vicky Nuland and her Neocon cohorts seems inevitable.


  2. Whoops, sorry SL – by the time WordPress allowed me to post, you had beaten me to the punch. Great minds? I have noticed that we seldom differ however :-)


  3. @Canexpat,
    Correction- Vicky Nuland should read Victoria Nudelman, her birth name I believe, but then Adolf was born Schinkelgruber.
    I can easily picture Nudelmann as a camp guard, she has condemned thousands to death with her promotion of wars in Ukraine,Syria and Libya,under the umbrella of Hitlery.
    They both are examples of extreme feminism in action.


  4. Part 1: JW.

    You say “Not all – in fact, nowhere near all – women want to have a career, and be forced to balance office needs with those of their children.” Wouldn’t it be nice if the male-orientated world of pensions accepted that this counted towards a pension too? Instead of leaving a gap of goodness knows how many years???

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Part 2:

    It’s not that men are so demanding, it’s more that the entire system was designed by them without any thought for the needs of anybody else… but then, when they’re doing their gorilla bit and banging each other over the head with testosterone and in the next moment trying to save money… and saving money means being able to hammer the weakest… which just turns out to be women because men never listen to them…

    (I truly wonder what WordPress censors in my comments, or whether it’s the boys having a little fun? It’s all part of the corporate mentality… )


  6. Oh, they didn’t like that…

    try again… the problem with censorship is that the censor isn’t going to tell you what they are going to censor beforehand, are they?


  7. How very odd!! They really don’t like my last paragraphs. They didn’t like my last paragraph yesterday either. Perhaps they’re censoring third paragraphs today?

    Part 3:

    I threw in the towel as a marketer when I learned that a business can increase its profits substantially simply by stopping the company’s various departments from fighting each other. But that’s boys for you, isn’t it?

    As to Renaults shakin’ their ass, they aren’t being sold to girls, are they?


  8. @the real Hiero.

    The use of a colon for something other than a ‘smiley’ emoticon immediately establishes the provenance of your comment. Undoubtedly the genuine article.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Well feminism isn’t any worse than any other ism, it is just as bad as all of them. I try not to get more upset with one particular ism over any other ism, I have better things to do. Once you start obsessing over an ism your starting down the same path as the ism followers have taken. You can’t go wrong disparaging any ism, but you can’t go right either.


  10. What does it take to ‘win’ in the business world? What do you ‘win”? Those who play the game, both men and women, are but a small subset of humanity. I couldn’t give a monkey’s about their deluded efforts to ‘win’. It would appear that high on the list of ‘qualities’ needed is a sociopathic personality disorder, something amply present in men and women. There are more important things in life than ‘winning’.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. You say, graciously, “The greatest thing women can bring to the Boardroom table is their innate ability to listen not yell, explain not demand, and exploit their lack of testosterone to arrive at a solution rather than a confrontation.” I agree 100%. And, thought these are not so innate to men, we can learn them, to our own benefit as well as to the benefit of those around us, without losing the good aspect of our innate masculinity.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Do not stay tuned for a one hour long bar sketch overnight, because I have neither bar nor ranch and I am nowhere near the cote d’azure which is all the French ignorant f**ks like you can speak.
    Yes, I have another imposter. That makes four in the last month.

    But fear not, their end is near.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Have not read the book so I cannot really comment but in a more general vein, people are people whether they are men or women and No Gemma the system was not designed by men but by greedy lying bastards. Now to be a slave owner is very different to being a slave, and unless you one of the 1 percent, your a slave (free now or still waiting). So when your a slave you have to speak the language of the 1 percent, which is pure bollocks and you have to have a head like a fish so you can squeeze those mean lips together and say nothing but bollocks and look glazed eyed. But real success come from taking it up the clacker!


  14. Unreal John Ward

    FYI the region of France where the real John Ward and I both live, is in South West France, the region of Aquitaine to be precise. Aquitaine is on the western side (Atlantic) of France. The “cote d’azure” as you put it (actually spelt Côte D’Azur), is in the region of Provence-Alpes Côte D’Azur (Mediterranean) on the eastern side of France.

    So, if you want to avoid “ignorant f**ks” in the future, I’d stop looking in the mirror if I were you.

    Apologies to the real John Ward for my outburst, I can’t stand mouthy “ignorant f**ks” I’m afraid!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Mike H

    In the way JW corrected me, I must correct you when you say “No Gemma the system was not designed by men but by greedy lying bastards.” These were male greedy lying bastards.

    Women are far more self-aware, and have to be when the male gender tends towards greed and untruth.


  16. I agree with everything you say Mr Ward: it was very similar going to Uni in 1983, although obviously everything is slightly different on a different timetable.

    One positive thing I came across in my life though was this: if women set up their own businesses and staff them predominantly with women, then they can set the rules in a truly feminine way and not have to grow pricks. I worked for a small travel agency which sold tailored holidays and flights to mostly rich and successful blokes. The CEO was a woman, most of her staff were working mothers and it was entirely normal for those mums to leave the office to pick up the children from school (if they were young), whilst some would work through to 7pm as their kids were off being teenagers with their friends. The CEO flirted ruthlessly with her millionaire clients without ever sleeping with them – it was a tactic which kept them coming back for more, perhaps as they couldn’t flirt like that with their wives in front of the children. Everyone enjoyed it, no-one got hurt and no-one was screaming feminist drivel. Neither was the firm averse to making profits. I actually made a mistake when in the Swiss resort I was representing the firm in, overcharging a loyal (but very wealthy) client by adding on a 40% rather than 21% mark-up through not knowing the right mark up to use and not having the time to send a fax to find out as the taxi needed ordering there and then and not wanting to be letting the company down by not charging enough. The CEO thought it was hilarious and no doubt deducted a few quid from a future bill, as the client spent enough with her to pay my salary for the winter almost…..

    So my view on the difficulties are that women have to grow balls if they want to fight in a male fight. If they want to build a business in a female environment, they need to found their own business, or buy one out and install a load of female executives and gradually start hiring female staff.

    Of course, all that sounds terribly sexist. And if it were a 50,000 employee company with 48,000 women it probably would be. But a company employing about 8 nice working mums and the odd bloke for a winter? Perfect…….

    Liked by 3 people

  17. The assumptions about the way men behave in the Daily Mail article may be the way they behave in the Daily Mail offices but are not the way the way they behave elsewhere. Displays of temper are not acceptable where I work ( in industry ).
    The Daily Mail is peddling a bunch of dodgy stereotypes for both sexes (again) which on closer inspection turn out to be the same as the ones it was peddling in the 1950s.

    And yes, you get Troll Farm attention when you take a position against big money.


  18. Gemma you misunderstand my point, greedy lying bastards can be of either sex, the creation of a system does not logically mean that the sex of the designers is relevant to the system they designed or imparts to that system characteristics other than than that of deceit, greed and indifference. I recently came upon a wonderful msm article which was about the 1% but they were all females, they had come together in their fine italian silk suits and frocks to breath life into one of those wonderful vehicles so beloved of the 1%, a kiddies charity. The standard model was applied, form the group, lend your name as a patron but no patronage, then sucker the punters into to provide the cash. A quick look at the names of the members told me all I wanted to know about them, greedy lying bastards, any one of them could have written a check and alone funded the charity for a decade, did they? goodness NO, twelve good women and true! Trouble is Gemma you need to know the 1% to understand they do not give a fig or ever even discuss the issues we do here, they are irrelevant to them, equity, fairness, access and safety are not their concerns, never have been and never will.


  19. ‘The greatest thing women can bring to the Boardroom table is’ an understanding of 50% of consumers. OK, maybe not the greatest thing, but still a major contribution. OK, men can do that too, but the men that do understand what women want are men who spend a lot more time listening than talking and, as John said, they tend not to be found in boardrooms. It is amazing that a company, whose clientele is predominantly female, should consider not having a fair sprinkling of women in senior positions.

    As for ‘Traditional cultural stereotypes dictate that men are allowed to get noisily angry at work, …’, it sounds like someone has worked for too long in the Daily Mail’s newsroom. I can’t remember in 35 years work ever hearing a man or woman getting noisily angry without good reason and without expressing that anger in constructive terms, i.e. telling some home truths, often to their bosses. I’m not saying that no men lose their temper easily and then rant and rave at their colleagues. What I am saying is that type of behaviour is not seen as acceptable by most people. Any manager, who conducts himself or herself in this manner, would lose the respect of the workforce. It’s not by chance that Kevin Keegan’s managerial career is remembered for his ‘I would love it …’ interview.


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