Marilyn Writes

Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall began her career as a journalist with the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne. During her 20 year banking career, she wrote extensively for The American Banker, Bank Marketing Magazine, Trust Marketing Magazine, and other major industry publications. The American Bankers Association (ABA) published Barnewall’s Profitable Private Banking: the Complete Blueprint, in 1987. She taught private banking at Colorado University for the ABA and trained private bankers in Singapore.

Sunday, October 25, 2015




By Marilyn MacGruder Barnewall
October 25, 2015

Today’s feminists imitate male behavior and are threatened by women who enjoy being feminine while competing in the world of business which is dominated by rules and regulations created by male personalities that for so long dominated the world of business and politics.

Since women compete in what has always been a traditionally male domain, it seems logical to think the only way to get ahead is to adopt the male traits developed in the world's corporations by men who ran them with no female senior managers for so many years. In many ways, that’s true.

In my world, women have very strong traits uniquely their own. They should be highly valued by society and the business community. They would be if women started acting like their very strong, valuable feminine traits have value.

Because women emulate men and their male traits rather than exhibit feminine strengths in the world of business, real female potential lays dormant. It is difficult to earn respect for female strengths when women, by emulating males, compete from positions of weakness rather than strength. Male traits come naturally to men and are reflected in the business world they created over the centuries. Female traits come naturally to women -- and they are quite opposite male strengths. Existing business standards are filled with black and white arrows pointing to male strengths that represent the road to success. It would be pretty stupid for women to paint a new sign, right?

What can women bring to the business world that it currently lacks?

How about true compassion? Men tend to intellectualize it. Women feel it in their hearts and souls. How about intuition? How about gentility? Or common sense? How about an inbred-by-nature security drive? A real security need prevents people from making stupid short-term profit decisions which, in the long run, can ruin a company -- and a social order.

Security is a long-term thing, not something one achieves today that will come back and bite one in the backside a year from now -- like manufacturing faulty tires that kill people, then denying it even when the evidence is overwhelming.

“But,” you might say, “business isn’t compassionate. It doesn’t function on intuition. It isn’t gentile ... and, often it uses little common sense. And, you’ve said yourself, business is about managing risk, not eliminating it.” An absolutely accurate statement. AND THAT’S WHAT’S WRONG WITH BUSINESS – AND POLITICS!

Managing risk does not mean ignoring it. Ideally, it means pitting a totally competitive and high-risk nature against its totally security-driven opposite. It means pitting what comes naturally to men – competition – against what comes natural to women – a security drive. It provides intelligent balance. It is called yin and yang by the Chinese.

If men and women functioned in the world of business as true equals, a sense of risk management skills that come naturally to men would prevent the male tendency to become too competitive for a short-term gain by offsetting it with security drives, natural to women. Balance would result. Nature is balance in action.

Companies would be properly competitive. Volkswagen wouldn’t be paying billions of dollars in fines for lying about emissions and causing a scandal that will cause years of reputational repair, if women who displayed feminine rather than male traits had been involved in that corporate decision.

Males would be paying attention to short-term profits while security-conscious women ensured a positive long-term view of the future. You would not have a tire company denying that its tires kill people, then admitting that they do. You would not have a major U.S. auto manufacturer producing cars with gas tanks that explode, burning people to death. The feminine security-drive and sense of compassion would eliminate the need for costly corporate (and government) cover-ups. Tobacco companies would have admitted that nicotine is addictive far sooner than they did. Companies would not be cooking their books to falsely attract investor dollars to their stock offerings because in the long term, it always fails.

With women adopting male traits in the world of business and politics, the advantage corporations could gain from real feminism is lost.

Can you imagine the feminine strength of the need for security allowing Lehman Brothers to create the liar loan mortgage-backed derivative packages that has brought economies worldwide to dangerous levels of potential failure? I can’t.

Female politicians have, for the most part done the same thing women in the world of business have done. The Donald Trump/Carly Fiorina/Ben Carson phenomenon results from public rejection of entrenched male and female politicians giving politically correct rather than truthful answers to voters.

In other words, because until very recently business and politics have always been male dominated, both reflect male strengths. Male competitive business instincts that harm consumers lack feminine compassion and intuition. It places short-term corporate good ahead of long-term business survival.

Risk management that succeeds in the short-term but fails in the long-term means the competitive drive is too strong. The drive from a feminine security need is lacking.

For example, spending too much in the short term results in long-term cost-cutting. Such stupidity is unnecessary when the common sense of most housewives is applied. This is the male philosophy of cost effectiveness. No one understands cost efficiency better than women -- and there is a huge difference between cost efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Men understand cutting costs as a means to achieve economic objectives. They spend irresponsibly until economics causes them to rein in their appetites. When companies are cost efficient (the female security drive makes women save for tomorrow), the need to constantly cut costs is eliminated ... along with all of the human pain caused by the jobs that are eliminated as costs are cut.

If the business world functioned at an optimum level, it would work in concert with the laws of nature. Women would be encouraged to bring their natural talents to the corporate table. Their strengths would be integrated with male strengths and they would be appreciated.

Since the beginning of time, nature has created balance at the highest possible point of positive action by placing two equally strong forces in opposition to one another. In this case, male and female forces.

In such an environment, women’s femininity would be valued, not derided. Men would be encouraged to exercise their strengths (which are female weaknesses), and women would be encouraged to exercise their strengths (which are male weaknesses).

Instead, women leave their female strengths outside the doors of their offices each day. They compete with men whose strengths have traditionally set the standards for performance in the world of business.

Conservatives are always realistic and the fact is, women are newcomers to the world of business management. It is logical that when one group competes from a position of weaknesses with a group using its natural strengths, the group using its weaknesses to compete suffers a disadvantage. If feminists were a little less demeaning towards male strengths and a bit more appreciative of their own strengths, perhaps they would stop pretending to be men and learn how to be real women. It would certainly end the Let’s Pretend War Against Women -- especially the one being waged by progressive liberals. The one that wants to destroy natural feminine traits and replace them with what comes natural to men. They are so confused about their genetic identity, it’s frightening.

Can women walk into the world of business and demand to have their strengths written into next year’s corporate business plan? Of course not! They can, however, do what over one-third of America's business owners do: become independent business owners, hire and utilize male strengths in concert with their own, and set a successful business example the giants of commerce cannot ignore.

Additionally, they can avoid falling into the trap of forgetting their feminine strengths. When women avoid imitating men as the primary means of seeking equality while concurrently understanding and appreciating male strengths in the world of business and politics, they will be on the true road to equality. Moreover, while avoiding the loss of their feminine identities, they can gain respect for their strengths.

How? By making them work for the corporation. Gently ... as is the way with feminine women. We created the concept of an iron fist in a velvet glove. Ask any mother.