Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pronounced Patriarchy

From Merriam Webster’s online dictionary definitions of pronounce and patriarchy:

Pro·nounce:  declare officially, authoritatively, or as an opinion; to employ the organs of speech to produce; to represent in printed characters the spoken counterpart of.

Pa·tri·ar·chy:  social organization, supremacy of the father, legal dependence of wives and children, inheritance in the male line; control by men of power.

Excerpts from The New York Times March 20, 2013 “Room for Debate” column “Do Women Have What It Takes to Lead?” which is pronounced patriarchy.    

Alice, Sex Differences – The Truth

Transformational leader acts androgynous;
mixing masculine and feminine.
Men work on social skill;
women on being assertive.
Women lean positive, reward;
men more negative threat.
Women avoid domineering, because of the backlash;
men get away with behavior, disliked in women.

Gregg, Caveman Blog

Female chief executives Fortune 500 – gasp – 4 percent;
dominance of male leadership spans centuries, cultures, and species.
Men have dominated for millennia, male animals dominate;
 preference for male, our biological makeup, threatening circumstances.
“Powerful” leaders expect war, conquer us and our national resources;
provoke evolutionary responses, threat hard-wired from history.
Impossible to overcome, drastic sexism;
grind for decades, without progress.

Stephanie, Strange Dawn

Our current economic and political climate;
penalizes communal behaviors, rewards self-aggrandizement.
Women mobilize men’s competitive advantages;
egocentric self-promotion and devaluation of others.
Men tout accomplishments,
prejudices against women.
Higher income brackets adopt individualistic values;
express less support for policies that raise the bottom.
Advancement of lower-level women diminishes;
into our existing corporate structure.
Values and priorities of our hyper-individualistic economy;
blind traditional male boards with their work responsibilities.

Alan, Toxic Leaders

Aggressive, bold, top-down, male animal under attack;
demonizing old school male behavior, continues to rule.
Domination is not due to ignorance, brutishness;
C.E.O. coached and consulted with.
Neanderthal top brass 21st century business;
screams – hard core!
Feminine behaviors construed as weakness;
reserved for privileged colleagues in need.
Sprinkling of feminine, a spicy condiment;
too much feminine is dangerous.
Competition, male agenda, beating out colleagues;
deeply embedded in U.S. corporate culture.
Embodied embraced Neanderthal;
raised her voice, caused loss of face.
Cautiously hidden consummate actor of male dominance;
needed to succeed in Fortune 500 jungle.
Schooled in M.B.A academic fog realized;  
distasteful male leadership works – Madly!

Ashleigh, University's Business.

Academic research on gender and leadership, writings in the popular press;
peppered with contradictory advice on how women can navigate up the corporate ladder.
Be assertive and even self-promoting;
temper with a friendly smile, a soft voice.
Put them in a bind, seem strong, nonthreatening;
innate skills are most effective, perform a delicate balancing act.
Seeming likeable, not threatening supervisors – avoiding the epithet;
plagued women do little to create, managing others’ perceptions.
Research suggests instructing women to act like men;
gurus tell male business leaders – moderate feminine with a sneer.

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