In the essay “Women’s Business” Ilene Kantrov has tried to discuss about some American business women and their business techniques. At first she has mentioned about Lydia E. Pinkham and her business then she goes on to tell about other business women who followed Lydia E. Pinkham’s business techniques.
In 1879, Lydia E. Pinkham’s face used to appear on the pages of newspapers and magazine. Her face advertised one of her home made medicine vegetable compound, i.e. “Lydia E. Pinkham’s vegetable compound” which has claimed to bring relief from falling of the womb and other female problems. She not only advocated women to get treatment only from women doctors, but also gave advice on diet, exercise, good hygiene and other health tips. She also used to print the report of the woman than Pinkham’s product help them to care not only physical illness but also nervousness and hysteria and marriage related problems.
Pinkham’s business and the techniques she adopted to market her product brought her good name and fame and she was able to earn a lot of money as well. also she was able to occupy a special position in the American business world. She had set an example to other business women of her era. Pinkham’s main rivals, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden also employed their female image to market their products. They used their glamorous image and their marriage to European aristocrats to catch the consumer’s attention.
In the same way Rudskin and and Grassinger achieved success in running successful hotel and resorts by exploiting their image as mother and grandmother. But all the women entrepreneurs of that era have a common thing in them i.e. their business were based an traditional women’s skill and they had mainly served the women consumers. Pinkham and Rudskin supported their husbands through their business of herbal medicine and additive free bread respectively. Elizabeth Arden had introduced her first make up set in 1909 and later added skin care, cosmetics, hair-styling and advised on nutrition, exercise and even yoga. Helena and Rubinstin published a book on the benefits of eating raw foods. Both these women promoted the idea that the beauty salon could develop a women inside and out. Another business woman Anne- Trubno Malone founded a hair dressing business. She employed only authorized sales agents and even started a training school to produce trained agents.
All these women got success in their business due to their understanding of women’s taste. Not only they combined their business with their campaign for social change and women’s cause. For example Rubinstein and Grossinger donated a lot to hospitals, schools and other social and cultural organization.
For the later women entrepreneurs social service became secondary to profit motive. As a result they made unreal claims or false claims about the medical value of their products. As a result the agencies like FDA and FTC had to control their activities, and some of them had to face even legal actions. Only Lydia Pinkham’s could maintain a balance between her business and her social service. It is therefore, no one complained her even though she was selling products that contain a lot of alcohol.
Solved questions and answers:
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?
Ans: Lydia Pinkham was a woman business holder in America. She combined her business with social service. She advertised her business product and supported women rights and economic development. She said that the women should consult with the female doctors to cure their diseases and they should advise them on diet, exercise hygiene and other women problems like infertility, hysteria etc. She would give practical suggestion to the women. Like, Lydia Pinkham, later women capitalists involved in business to improve their business. The women’s business grew out of traditional women’s skill and helped the women only. Other women capitalists, Helena Rubinstein and Elizabeth Arden also employed their female image to market their products. They used their glamorous image and their marriage to European aristocrats to catch the consumer’s attention. In the same way Rudskin and and Grassinger achieved success in running successful hotel and resorts by exploiting their image as mother and grandmother.
But later women departed in many ways from Pinkham’s model. Pinkham was featured in the pages of newspaper while other women did not. Lydia kept her name in the history of American business but other women did not. Lydia’s image was kery kind while other women were marked as unkind fashionable women. Lydia showed her morality and duty but the other women advertised their false ideas only to get profit.
2. How the businesswomen the writer introduces in her essay did differ from their male counterparts? In what way they resemble male entrepreneurs of their day?
Unlike male counterparts, the business women used to combine business with social service. They emphasized the herbal medicines and advertised their benefits. They did not only sell them but they also gave suggestion to the customers. They supported women’s right and their economic development. They encouraged women to consult women doctors for their health related problems. Some of them showed their role as a mother or grandmother and other as glamorous fashionable women. They only served to the women but not men. They never supported feminism as men did.
But they resembled to male entrepreneurs in many ways. All the businesswomen were clever as that of men. They earned a lot of money and fame as men did. In any unreasonable business, they went to the court of law for justice as men did.