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Women's Business - Summary | The Heritage of Words

Women's Business - Ilene Kantrov
Ilene Kantrov
English | Summary
Unit Six : Women and Children
Women's Business
Ilene Kantrov
The Heritage of Words

Women’s business is an essay written by Ilene Kantrov which is about some women from the United States of America who have been successful in business. It tells about other business women who followed Lydia’s footsteps. It deals the subject of how women took part in the business and what things were produced and sold by them.

In the beginning of this essay the writer describes about the business method of Lydia E Pinkham. In 1879 she appeared in the newspaper advertisement by advertising a remedy for “falling of the womb and all female weakness.”The medicine produced by her was known as Lydia E Pinkham’s Vegetable compound. She prepared the product by using traditional methods. She not only advertised for her product but also put forward women’s rights, temperance and fiscal reforms. She also opened a department of advice and suggested other women about diet, exercise and hygiene. She also printed testimonials from women reporting cures. She also advertised in courageous manner. As a result of such bold marketing, her she became very famous.

In the following century some other women also followed her business pattern. Among them two were Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden. They competed not only in selling cosmetics but also in luring {attracting) publicity by their marriages to European aristocrats. Elizabeth Arden also produced different facial treatments. She also practiced and advocated yoga. Her rival A Helena Rubinstein also published a book explaining the benefits of eating raw foods.

Margaret Rudkin and Jennie Grossinger were other to women entrepreneurs that followed Lydia.E.Pinkham’s business pattern. Grossinger ran hotel in upstairs New York renowned for its food and entertainment. She had also hired a public relations man Margatet Rudkin produced additive free wheat bread that was very helpful to person suffering from asthma. At first she had baked such bread as diet for her asthmatic son. Next entrepreneur was Gertrude Muller who invented the “toidey seat”. With her products .She also enclosed her booklets about childrearing. One of her booklets was also distributed by doctors.

Next black female capitalist Annie Turnbo Malone also cast herself in the role of social activist .Her business was on a hair dressing preparation. She developed an innovative marketing strategy .She also established a school for training agents in her porosystem of hairdressing. Like other capitalist she also started advising other women about hygiene .Thrift and other homely virtues.

Important Questions :

1. What is the thesis (theme) of the essay? How did the business women (female entrepreneur) differ from their male counterparts? In which way did they resemble the male entrepreneurs of their days?
The thesis of the essay is to focus on the success of American business women who adopted innovative business strategy and establish themselves in respectable position in the business field as well as in the society. The business women were also involved in social work for uplifting the society. However, their aim was to promote their own business on the pretext on social service for the sake of their business, they activated the society, earned money and upgraded their own position in the society. The women entrepreneurs discussed in this essay were different many ways from their counterparts. The women were involved in earning money along with social service for upgrading their own position. Adopting the cleverest marketing techniques by rendering practical advice on various advices they activated the women of the society. They were not only involved in selling their products but also played an important role for the benefit of the society. They cleverly utilized their image of being women to upgrade their business. They were extremely sex consciousness with they revealed by serving the female only. Lydia advised her customer to bypass the male physician. Adopting new business skill the female entrepreneurs were able to introduce feminine’s role in the male dominated world of commerce in America. The business women were similar to their male counterparts in the matters of obeying the law of the state besides their claim about their produces through misleading and lavish advertisement.

Question for Practice :
  1. Which of Lydia E. Pinkham's business methods did later women capitalists adopt for their own enterprises ? In what ways did they depart from Pinkham's model ?
  2. How did the business women the writer introduces in her essay differ from their male counterparts ? In what ways did they resemble male entrepreneurs of their day ?
  3. How would you expect a militant feminist to react to this essay ? Are any of the writer's general statements debatable ?
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