Monday, September 8, 2008

a new feminist image: woman as a marionette

Fact: Brenda Barnes was president and chief executive of PepsiCo and she was considered a real contender for the top job until 1997 when she decided to resign and take over a less soliciting job. She had three children at the time and her reason to quit- she felt the need to be more involved as a parent.(1)

Fact: Marta Cabrera was a VP at JPMorganChase. But in May 2000 after weighting between her family life and being one of very the few women that hold a similar position on the trading market she decided to trade JPChase for EMPower a micro lender for developing countries. Cabrera had only two children.(2)

Fact: Margaret Thatcher’s daughter had to set an appointment to see her mother.

Fact: Any woman or man that opts for a top executive position either in the private or public sector knows that she/he will sacrifice family life to keep up with it.

I will not discuss here why men are more likely to choose the executive position, while women choose family life. All I am trying to point out is that neither can have both, and a person that claims that she/he an find balance between a very soliciting position as the President/VP of a major country or company and her/his family just puts up a front. It looks like that type of lie they sell in soap operas, the waitress that becomes over night an office manager.(3)

In lieu of a conclusion: The reason why I am so bothered about this post-feminist image I am sold right now it is because they are trying to tell me that a woman can combine successfully the traditional role of the family manager with managing a major state/company when I know it can not be done. Not by a woman, not by a man. And if you insist that it can be done and that all it is for real you are just insulting my intelligence and I suspect that you did not believe that women have the smarts and the guts from the starts, you were just trying to manipulate her as you are trying to manipulate me and be the one that’s really in charge.

(1),(2) the stories were told initially by Linda Tischler in “Where are the women” published here:
(3) in the lunch room at work many people gather and watch this soap called “Young and Restless”. I was warming up my lunch when a co-worker pointed out a character to me and said that she was a waitress just a few episodes ago and now she has her own office. And I was like :”No graduate school? No student loans? Were can I find an office like that”. Now do I need to point out why this soap series are older than I am.


Cynthia said...

Excellent essay.

Annamari said...

thank you for taking the time to read it.