You’ve come a long way, baby!By Minyong Ordoñez
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There’s a new gal in the tech-savvy executive suites in California who’s pitching for the old hackneyed game of feminism. She is Facebook’s boss, Sheryl Sandberg, and she wants to change the balance of management in the corporate world.
In her newly published book “Lead In,” she disdained the fact that although women are almost half of the work force, the percentage of CEOs is miserably low at 4.2.
Sandberg also rues that at an early age, girls have the mind-set that their choice in life was to either be successful at work or be a good mother and wife.
The good American mother and wife humdrum, methinks, is another tired silly old gripe of the pioneering feminists of the ’50s.
Women critics have a nonchalant attitude toward Sandberg’s mission.
Maureen Dowd of the New York Times thinks Sandberg can remedy social paradigm with a new kind of club, a combo gabfest, an Oprah session, and corporate pep talk.
Connie Schultz of the Washington Post thinks Sandberg is thinking aloud—full of good intentions but bubbling with contradictions.
I think Sheryl Sandberg is a flash in the pan, a Jane-come-lately in the worn-out women’s lib advocacy. Wala nang asim.
American women, schooled in Jeffersonian diatribes, initiators of suffrage, naturally took up the cudgels for feminism.
I recall that in the ’50s, women libbers burned their bras in New York to symbolize their movement, to the delight of hard-hat male crews who hooted and wolf-whistled at the spectacle.
Women’s liberation was launched more than 50 years ago by Gloria Steinem, a well-known sassy journalist.
Libbers fought for women’s dignity and equal status in jobs, careers, salaries, politics, all the way to household duties and chores, except for the opportunity to bear babies in nine months of pregnancy and to lactate for infant’s milk. They conveniently skipped the ticklish matter of specifying what positions were OK and not OK in lovemaking.
Secure in their femininity
Unlike American women, Filipinas are secure of their femininity in all its alluring and maternal instincts. For happiness and fulfillment, their avocations rest in the institution of home and family.
Filipino males regard Filipina achievers with utmost gallantry. In fact, housewives are the decision-makers on household expenses. That’s why husbands hand over their salaries to their wives. What could be more feminist than that!?
I never fully understood the equality feminists were talking about. As a boy in the ’50s, I knew clearly the difference between a priest and a nun, a nurse and a stevedore, a manicurist and a pugilist.
As a young man in the ’60s, I knew only that a woman could drive me crazy—she with her sweet smile, soft eyes, lilting laughter and round bosom.
There is no confusion of functions between male and female chromosomes. Take grooming and mating. Female chromosomes goad a woman into painting her face beautiful and rubbing herbals on her skin to make it smooth and glowing. Male chromosomes direct men to grow a mustache and build their pectorals to get that hunk look.
I think that the tag “weaker sex” for women is uncalled for. The term probably came about because since time immemorial, women have cooked, arranged flowers and baked cakes while men have chopped wood, hunted deer and fought wars.
The truth is, women are stronger in a subtle way. For example, their threshold of pain during the protracted act of birthing is incredible. Their pelvic contraction is more powerful than the deltoids of a male weightlifter.
Seductive women are powerful! To illustrate, one Roman emperor, Julius Caesar, and his chief centurion Mark Anthony kissed the dust Cleopatra walked on.
Pulchritude is power. Remember that pretty boy Paris who went bonkers over Helen of Troy, the trophy wife of Menelaus? And when Paris ran away with Helen, Menelaus went berserk and livid with rage. He waged a colossal naval battle to retrieve Helen, whose beauty, according to classicists, was “a face that launched a thousand ships.”
Intellectuality is power. While both sexes have it, the woman’s brain has the advantage of multitasking without her rudder losing direction.
When women switch on their mode to “that woman thing,” they’re impenetrable. Incredible chutzpah!
Hillary Clinton is the poster girl for “that woman thing.”
In the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky complex affair, the US and international media credited the gobbledygook to Bill. The scandal to Monica. But to Hillary, they attributed stoicism for which the whole world gave her silent admiration.
Hillary is going to be a presidential timber in the next US election.
The most recognized role models of women power in the Philippines are the legions of widows who were left alone to fend for their big brood. These widows transformed themselves into jills of all trades, putting up mom-and-pop stores, running brand dealerships, selling jewelry on installment, etc.
No money-making opportunity is lost until she acquires, by hard work and frugality, wealth and status for her children and grandchildren. In the process, the widow-matriarch’s word becomes law, and every member of the clan pays respect, obedience and honor to her.
My own widowed Lola Genia, my wife Encar and her widowed Lola Munding are excellent power wielders.
When I started in advertising in 1961, the ratio of executives in our office was 90 percent men, 10 percent women. Today it’s 35 percent men, 65 percent women. Our company uses four banks and all the branch managers are women, all gorgeous and brilliant. Even our car industry’s top positions have been taken over by women managers.
All these came about not because feminist groups fought for them, but because the Darwinian theory took effect. Only the best performers win, regardless of sex.
In business today, the drive for excellence has no gender.
N.B. “You’ve come a long way, baby!” is the title of a jingle for Virginia Slims, a cigarette brand made for women in the ’60s. It failed in the marketplace.
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