Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Women in Business

Martha Stewart is a fantastic business woman, but she is hated by the general public for her reputation as a bitch. Nevermind that she built a huge empire out of the kitchen of her CT home. Nevermind that she's as crafty with a glue gun as she is with a rolling pin, a hammer, a virtual petting zoo in her back yard, and had a green thumb the Green Giant would be envious of. She's talented. She's smart. She's ruthless. And she's hated because of it.

Donald trump is a pretty big asshole. I know this as a fact because various cooking friends of mine have been at the receiving end of his rage because his meat wasn't incinerated enough to his liking. He's rude, aggressive, cut-throat, and makes no apologies for it. He gets a tv show with some ridiculous catch phrase that America LOVES.

Why the double-standard? Why is okay for Donald to be a complete dick, but Martha has to kiss ass and smile sweetly because she lacks a Y-chromosome? This pisses me off to no end.

I admit that sometimes I take a smaller fee for my services because someone hands me a sob story, and I feel like I'm expected to be compassionate. Most of the time, I am! However, I don't think people would pull this shit if I had some balls. No one ever haggled with prices when Joel negotiated. I think people expect a certain degree of softness from me because I'm a female; nurturing, kind, and understanding.

What if I pulled a Martha and sent them packing while hurling a copper mixing bowl at them? Would I be considered cut-throat and sharp, or just a crazy bitch on the rag, going on a rampage?

I'm frustrated. Not so much at the people around me or my customers. I'm frustrated at myself for not being more aggressive and firm on my fee's. I'm angry for overloading myself with too many orders to make money because I'm not charging enough to begin with. I feel guilty for taking money from people for baked goods because I know the ingredients don't cost that much. My time does, though. That's the issues. I'm not paying myself enough, and I can't bring myself to charge more.

I know people are hurting. My friends and family have been unemployed for months (some of them years), and I know it hurts their pockets to part with a few extra bucks. That's the status quo of many people out there. How can I justify charging them more money. I have my full time job. I have my baking. I live almost rent-free. How can I take money out of their tight pockets in order to line mine?

This is when I hate being a girl. Men don't worry about it. They see it as black and white. They have a product or a service. If you want said product or service, then you will pay for it. If you can't pay the price, you don't get the product or service. The end.

But, no. I get all up in people's lives. I hear about their families, their inability to find work, their sick relatives...And I feel terrible for charging $20 for a box of carrot cake cookies that I love to make anyway.

Maybe this is why there are so few successful women in business. If someone could drill into my frontal lobe and install a switch for my empathy, perhaps I would be able to run my business better. Martha may be known as a bitch, but that bitch isn't worrying about paying her cable bill this month. What I wouldn't give for that peace of mind.


  1. I think you're generalizing when you say that women have emotions and men are more hardened (and you're not even taking into effect butch lesbians or effeminate gay men!). You're doing a disservice to both our genders by not encompassing a range of men and women from badass to wimpy. Don't play into the role you feel people are pigeonholing you into!

    I never know what to ask for my services because I'm afraid I'll ask too much and won't get the job, or I'll ask for too less and undersell my services. And there are a lot of times I do work for friends for next to nothing or free because I know they're in the same boat I'm in.

    Also, I feel most people who don't like Martha don't like her because she's popular to dislike, like Brittany Spears or Lady Gaga. Or, that they thought she was all nice and found out she had a bitchy side and can't handle that she's a complex character and instead choose to pick one side over the other. I thought people hate Donald Trump because he didn't do anything to get rich? And that he's a dick. Man, america has no taste.

  2. I'm definitely speaking in broad terms. I know there are many exceptions to the stereotype, I'm just zooming in on my own personal dilemma. My frustration stems from falling into the role of compassionate female instead of sticking to shrewd business woman. I'm just trying to get out of that mindset because my business won't go anywhere when I'm giving away the cookies for free!