Monday, January 4, 2010

It's Not So Easy

The Economist has a piece about the changing nature of business for women. Like just about every time the Economist tries to take on gender issues, they don't exactly get it right. The story is largely a trend piece filled with stereotypes.

The author starts with the "tough as nails" female stereotype about women who can't ever be wrong (read: emotional) or they'll never get ahead. The piece goes on to say that "new feminism" claims women are "wired" differently and that women prefer "transformative" leadership styles as well as "matrix structures" in the workplace. (The sentence where the author says, "You need to audit the entire building for 'gender asbestos'—in other words, root out the inherent sexism built into corporate structures and processes" is hilarious, as if workplaces just need a biochemical spring cleaning.)

I can appreciate that The Economist is opening itself up to workplaces that want to explore new leadership styles (and am encouraged by the fact that more "feminine" styles are actually good for business), but I tend to think that this piece about women in the workplace is just as dangerous as the one where women "never admit mistakes." What's more the article was vague, leaving us to wonder exactly what workplaces can do to be more "transformative."

The thing is, feminism, women, and leadership are not monolithic. While many women might benefit from businesses opening themselves up to "female" leadership styles, there are other women who probably do well with hierarchical structures. By painting women and "new feminism" (what is that?) in a cooperative, woman-friendly corner, they're still putting women in a corner.

3 comments:

said...

來看看你囉~blog很棒! ........................................

眼淚 said...

Every why has a wherefore.........................................

jack said...

The tampon for female stupidity: http://manhood101.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...