Posted by: lindsayhendrix12 | March 20, 2015

Glenn Llopis Empowers Women?

At first glance the article, “The Most Undervalued Leadership Traits Of Women” written by Glenn Llopis is advocating for more women to become leaders in our society. He introduces his argument by citing unfortunate statistics of how few women there are in leadership roles. He wraps up his introduction with the thesis that women should be “fully appreciated for the unique qualities and abilities they bring to the workplace”. He uses the word, unique which sounds condescending. When using the word unique for a group it establishes the idea of all women fitting into a model of the “other” as if we lack some kind of conventionality.

In the next paragraph, Llopis starts his argument for why women are great leaders with a portrayal of women in a home/ family environment. Is this not an article about women as leaders in a business setting? Why start an article about women‘s great and “unique” business leadership qualities with nothing to do with business? Is family the top skill for women? He mentions that there are 19 elected female presidents in the world and he chooses not to reference any of them when starting his debate for why women are great leaders, instead he entraps women  in a traditionally female box of a stay at home mother. He presents a stay at home mother as a figure head for women leading in business.

Throughout the article he continues to make condescending points that contradict his primary message. He describes a well-rounded woman as knowing “the latest pop-culture news “and that she enjoys a “good treasure hunt” as if she is a child. He references women at his big important speeches as often asking the most questions if they feel safe but warns the reader that women don’t like to be fooled or be taken advantage of. Are women easily fooled? Who likes to be taken advantage of? I will not reference every offensive thing I found for the sake of space, but feel free to comment below with your findings.

When he finally gets around to listing our stereotypical leader qualities, he references a woman who owns a makeup company, a traditionally female context and again with the contradicting points. He states women don’t mind being wrong, they don’t necessarily want to be in charge, and finally he lists the last quality as tradition and family. In summation, he is basically upholding and reinforcing the established societal instructions under the guise of “empowering women”.

Are articles, like this one, creating a society in which sexism can exist without the presence of obvious gender bias on an individual level and rather exist on a purely institutional level?  Moreover, how do seemingly “empowering” articles, like this one, effect women’s ability to lead in a male dominated world?

The Most Undervalued Leadership Traits Of Women

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Responses

  1. It may be because I read the blog post before actually reading the article, but I found that I agreed with how Lindsay felt. There was a distinct condescending tone through the entire piece. At times I had a hard time determining whether he was talking about humans or interactions among a group of animals. I do not mean to sound harsh with that statement, but it was as if he had sectioned women off and he was examining they like in an animal study; what are their behaviors and how do they interact in the wild? I started to feel this way when he stated that women can be “territorial to protect their domain.” Although this may be true for some women, I feel that it should have been presented more as nurturing. He did bring up some points that we have talked about in class though. He talked about women being “strategic” and this was referenced in the video about the feminine values. One of the feminine values that was brought up was about being more aware of the risks that one may be taking and that women tend to weigh the outcomes of the risks more. Also there was a line where he mentioned that women have to “earn respect.” I think this is something everyone has to do in life, but it always seems that women have to try harder. From the videos we have watched and the speakers that have been in class, they have mentioned that they thought they had to prove themselves or pay closer attention to their actions. So although the article angers me, he does present some points that have been touched on in class.

  2. It’s funny that you posted this article because I looked at it last week and thought about basing my blog off of it! Reading through this article again reminds me of why I didn’t post about it in the first place, because it made me mad!
    The entire article has a condescending tone, which I did not like.
    I believe that these “unique” qualities can be taken out of a gendered context. These qualities are not confined strictly to female leaders, nor male leaders, but leaders in general. I would think that every leader is “opportunity-driven, strategic, passionate, entrepreneurial/resourceful, purposeful and meaningful, and family and traditions” oriented. These are all qualities successful leaders uphold.
    A quote I found that really angered me was “women are looking for respect more than recognition.” This is relevant to what some of our speakers have mentioned in class. Women have to constantly “earn” their positions and respect from their peers.
    While this article had good intentions, maybe, I feel that articles like this one hinder women’s ability to lead in a male dominated world. Articles like these belittle women, especially written in this tone of voice.

  3. In the United States today, there are very few people who would verbally say that men are inherently better than their female counterparts or that women deserve less than men, based solely on their sex and gender characteristics. Rather, the majority of Americans would likely state that men and women are equally qualified for most occupations and that they believe in gender based equality. This new, or relatively new trend, toward gender equality, on an individual level, has unleashed a wave of societal backlash that transfers responsibility for gender inequality from people and to societal institutions. Rather than having a group to fight against for rights, women now have to attempt to change social and institutional norms. The aforementioned task is even more difficult than ever before because is not an apparent individual or group to fight against. This shift in power has also emphasizes the power and importance of the patriarchy in American society.

    Gilman, a prominent sociologist in the United States who was one of the founders of feminist sociological theory, used the analogy of the corset to describe gender bias in the 20th century. She stated that women’s dependence on men was similar to a corset that a woman would wear around her bodice. If one were to put a corset on any individual who had not worn one previously, then they would notice the confining and painful nature of the device and immediately dismiss it as more harmful than useful. But, if you put a corset on a small child and gradually tighten it a little more every day, then the girl wearing it will not experience the same pain as someone who put one on without easing into it. The corset will eventually become natural to the young girl and she will not realize its harmful effects until there is nothing she can do to rectify the problem, if she notices it at all. Similarly, sexism in society is perpetuated through gradual socialization techniques that women do not perceive as wrong until they have been heavily subjugated in a male dominated society. This again, is if she notices them at all. Gilman, went on to say that societal institutions and not individual men, were to be blamed for the aforementioned disenfranchisement, because if women were unable to identify the dangers of a corset or inequalities based on sex, men would not be able to either.

    The Forbes article is a perfect example of institutional sexism and the use of pseudo-empowerment. On the surface and in the article, he seems to be praising women for their unique leadership abilities, but, upon further inspection, it becomes apparent that he is relegating women to their traditional gender roles in a condescending and pedantic manner. Women are confined to only embody qualities that perpetuate nurturing, collaboration, and other similar attributes in leadership because they align with traditional gender roles. The problem is that even though Forbes likely looked at this as a means of empowering their female readers, it actually serves as a proxy to perpetuate the patriarchy and women accept it because these are the roles that they have been taught to exemplify. On the other hand, how can Forbes or the author even begin to change society to promote gender equality if disenfranchised women are not even aware of the inequality that they are socialized to accept?

  4. I think it’s just really interesting that the way someone says something carries more weight than the actual content of what is being said. It is scary to think about the messages we receive subliminally every day about being leaders in any sort of position. Have you ever wondered why sometimes even though nobody has said anything outright hurtful, that you still feel wronged? I think that being able to recognize this in an article/speech/conversation is really valuable and that this should be taken and applied to the way that we ourselves speak about both female and male leaders. The way we address our followers should be especially thoughtfully examined because we would never want to implant discouraging thoughts in their heads.
    I think it is also the mindset of the reader in this particular case that can lead to positive or negative opinions of the point being made. Because perhaps some would agree that because of the innate nurturing/homey skills that women are suspected to have, that they would make proactive leaders in the business world. Sometimes I think that you will hear what you expect to hear. If a woman had written the above article, would it come across in the same way?


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