What women's rights look like when the two sides come together as one.
What women's rights are when women are no longer manipulated by party rhetoric.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Want To Win Your Way Into The Boys Club? Dump on Women....

Cynthia Ruccia



I was getting worried that I would have writer's block forever!! It turns out that I just needed some time away to rest myself from the constant fight for women's parity. I just got tired of waging a seemingly endless war on the pathetic and inadequate status of women in the United States. But lo and behold, something has snapped me out of my lethargy. And while wanting to put this person who moved me so in her place, I probably need to thank her for royally pissing me off.

I'm speaking of one Virginia Sole-Smith, a writer for The Nation's writer's institute, who embodies one of the main reasons women's economic progess has so completely stalled. As you know, little has changed for women in the past 20---30 years here in America. Women make 77 cents on the man's dollar, we rank 78th in the world for female representation in government, 2.8% of Fortune 1000 companies are headed by women, we've never had a female president or vice president, read the rest of the stats in the right column. There are many many reasons for these problems which we've discussed almost ad nauseum on this blog. But the one I need to call out today is the one where women gore other women to get ahead because it is one way to break into the men 's club. Men love to watch women tear each other apart. And apparently they are willing to pay good money to see this sport!!



Before I go any further, in case Ms. Sole-Smith makes her way over here, I want to state EMPHATICALLY to her---------I AM AN INDEPENDENT. I know that people who call themselves "progressive" have sclerotic thinking when it comes to people like myself who are neither fish nor fowl, neither left nor right. But please, Ms. Sole-Smith, do not use that framework to make assumptions about me. I would suggest you read some REAL progressive thinking on this blog about how we can break the logjam that women find themselves in, holding little or no power and being paid less for the same work. The readers of this blog talk endlessly about finding NEW ways to progress this issue, not the same old left/right memes that have stalled women from where they ought to be.

So what has brought me to my feet? This writer has written a major hit piece on Mary Kay that was published in this month's Harper's. The full version is unavailable on the internet, but here is an excerpt. I have written  both Harper's and Sole-Smith on both her facebook page and blog to rebut her claims. Much of what she has written about Mary Kay is highly inaccurate. And when I discovered that she had embedded herself into our company in order to find stories to fit her premise, I was furious. Her premise was that companies like Mary Kay prey on poor, stupid, unsuspecting women to make money. And these poor stupid unsuspecting victims have lost everything they own plus their marriages because of their involvement with Mary Kay, a company that has done more to promote the bottom line for women than just about anything out there.

Once her piece made it to the front page of Harper's, an egghead magazine that few people read (thank God!!), she did a gleeful victory dance because by polarizing women and lying about the great things Mary Kay does for women, she thought she had hit the big time. Why would she do such a thing? Well all I can figure is that she's trying to make it as a journalist, and most of the journalistic power lies in  the hands of men. The journalism profession suffers greatly by its gender imbalance. I could write an entire piece about how women are stalled in journalism the same way they are in other professions holding only about 17% or so of the positions in the profession. There have been so many women writers who have complained that when they get out into the working world the most important slots go to men. Read any major publication, and most of the time the vast majority of the major articles have a male byline.

So how does a woman get attention? The good old-fashioned way by poking holes into something where women have gained respect and making women look ridiculous so the men can laugh about it and voila-----you are given a cover story. Shame on you Virginia Sole-Smith!!

I have been in Mary Kay for 28 years, and I got into it because it was the best way I could find to make a great living and be the kind of mother I wanted to be. Along with that, I got the added bonus of being able to help mentor other women find strength and self-esteem to do the same. It was a feminist's dream come true in many ways. Sure people poke fun at you when you're in Mary Kay, but if you work it properly and find success, that gentle ridicule goes away. People like success----it's the American way. And sure, plenty of people come into my business and discover that it's not for them, but so what? We all try things that aren't for us on our way to finding ourselves and it is part of that great American process of self-discovery, a privilege that much of the world can't engage in because of their hardscrabble existence of survival.

Sole-Smith's premise was that Mary Kay is an example of the powerful preying on the few----the current 1% meme. Sound familiar? I can hardly stand that language----and honestly, the Republicans have gotten this one right. The idea that business preys on people to enrich a few is a quack's argument. Business has also provided lots and lots of ------JOBS!!!! OMG----imagine that!!!! Nothing is perfect, nothing. We can all aspire to be better and to do better. But this idea that our country has become so pathetic because business has created job opportunities for people to make a living and that the people at the top get paid too much because of that is a fantasy gone awry. Just as the article about Mary Kay strung together a bunch of semi-truths to create a pre-existent storyline so does this crazy idea that business is bad. But again, I believe that Sole-Smith is just parroting the party line to get her pieces printed.

I'd like to finish by saying this to Sole-Smith and others of her ilk----------when you build your success by dissing women who are trying to get ahead, you may get an opportunity to advance yourself, but you are setting all of the rest of us back in the process. You need to look deeply into your soul and decide if what you did was worth the price of getting yourself ahead. Most of us think you are shameful for you yourself are preying on women for advancement.

20 comments:

  1. GREAT POST!!!!!!!
    SHAME ON SOLE-SMITH!

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  2. It's great to have you back Cynthia---I've missed hearing from you. The rest seems to have done you alot of good. Too many woman make it to the top on the backs of other women. It's time we expose them. Thanks for writing about this.

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  3. Look at what happened in VA at UVA. Oh wait, there's another blog post...
    But, same theme. Woman attempts to destroy another woman's career to satisfy VA business MEN...
    People need to honor the feminine aspects of divinity, because it all begins there. And worshipping solely the masculine creates a wasteland. How about honoring a feminine-masculine divinity, thus honoring both within persons and in their societies? THAT would be a good foundation.

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    1. Hi Anita----nice to see you now that Cynthia's writing again.

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  4. Oh, Cynthia! It's so good to "see" you....and in such fighting form (that's the ONLY form when dealing with women's equality, huh?!)!

    Thank you for bringing Virginia Sole-Smith's article to our attention.
    I'll read it after I've taken my daily hypertension pills. Seriously!
    We appreciate you so much. You are the eternal flame of American women's hopes and dreams of parity. Truly, you are.
    We don't always see you, but you're always there!
    Thank God!

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  5. It seems that women/woman hit pieces satisfy the media, run mostly by men, progressively dominated, who like to see the girls put in their places. I don't get it, but it must be that sexy mud wrestling by women, or scratch your eyes out fight that titillates. And keep women in their place, showing how a business like Mary Kay is most likely bad for women.

    Fantasy, fiction, or real journalism: Why not do a good survey piece on how these so-called preyed-upon women view their own lives, you know, like real data, with a good sample? Oh well, Harper's is an outlier.

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  6. Cynthia,

    Thanks for writing to defend yourself against this unwarranted attack. Your efforts help all women.

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  7. Women's magazines are advertising venues. The advertisers direct the content of the magazine. Advertisers like articles that focus on making women think they have flaws they need to purchase product to correct. I would guess that Mary Kay is selling enough product that they are cutting into the profits of the men who advertise in Harpers, that is where this article came from. Also Mary Kay makes women feel good about themselves which is more appealing to women consumers than the standard issue "buy this to correct your flaws" sell. It has to be very threatening to Harpers advertisers.

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    1. Bes---it's just all so ugly. I'm constantly having to tell my customers a version of what you just said, that the magazines are designed to undermine our self-confidence. That said, we are taught to help our customers regain their self-confidence because it's just there below the surface. Of course, this author ridiculed that as well as if it is some kind of crime to be kind. And this coming from a lefty perspective, the party for women? Not buying it.......

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    1. Thanks so much!!! nice to see you Betty!! Hope you're doing well!!

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  9. It sounds to me like Sole-Smith just couldn't do the job and make a profit and therefore it must be a scam etc etc. There has to be some other reason she wasn't successful at selling Mary Kay other than that SHE just couldn't do it so she bashes the company and all the other women who CAN do it. Why can't it ever be that it just wasn't her cup of tea or she didn't have the talent for it or the work ethic for that system or whatever? Oh that's right - because that would mean a snobby narcissist who would rather kick other women than take a look in the mirror and make some improvements would have to take responsibility for HER failure. What was I thinking?

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    1. Thia, I like the way you think. It is amazing that this new generation coming up has been made to think that they are special beyond belief and so it give them license to stink up the place by ridiculing everything around them. I read her article and Cynthia's and I second Cynthia as well. I too am a Mary Kay consultant and although I haven't raced to the top of the company, I love Mary Kay. I have grown so much as a person. And I have worked with many people who had the class to leave Mary Kay without trying to burn it down. No class these girls of today. No class.

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    2. Sole-Smith will get hers.

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  10. What a nasty person this lady is. I don't believe she really ever sold Mary Kay. Or if she did she faked it so she could write this article trashing it. Women who trash other women are the worst of the worst.

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  11. and to me Cynthia using your own words "It is the lowest form of sexism to marginalize women" which has been exactly my experience with Mary Kay..using and abusing the most vuneralble of women..many who do not have any bussiness experience ...and/or lack an education and maturity to handle the crap thrown their way...I have witnessed many very young women seduced by promises and led on by slick talking older women to "buy" into this pyramid scheme and what you do to them is disgusting

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    1. Trudie---I am sorry you are so angry, and I am truly sorry for any bad experiences you and others you may know have had. There are many young women who have done well in Mary Kay. I know this because there are many of them in my group and I am proud of them. For the ones who found out it wasn't for them, I also have great admiration for their spirit of trying something new. Our company is most definitely NOT a pyramid. A pyramid is when there are many distributorship levels and the product is actually never sold to the consumer. Our company is technically a "dual level" marketing system which means that everyone buys the product directly from the company and sells directly to the consumer. Our system doesn't fit the legal definition of a pyramid which is illegal in any sense. Our company is driven by the consumer, not by the distribution chain which is what your accusations imply. You are wrong there. HOWEVER, I am very sad that your experience was so terrible and I wish I could alleviate your bitterness. Most of us coming into Mary Kay have no business experience and the company ably educates us. I have no idea whom you were dealing with, but they certainly don't represent the totality of the Mary Kay business, a business I have been in for 28 years.

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    2. Wow! Hey Cynthia Ruccia - So you dare to write about women who slam other women and guess what??? The shamers and women slammers crawl out of the wood work to attack you too. I know several women who sell Mary Kay and do well while enjoying flexible hours and working from home. I wouldn't be good at it because I'm ill suited for sales and can't stand make-up. But it is curious that people who stink at it slam the company rather than just try to do better or even to just shrug it off as not your cup of tea. Maybe some of you weren't good at it because you are so nasty? If I find you this unpleasant on a post I can't imagine wanting to do business with you.

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  12. I finally got my hands on this article Cynthia. And the writer reminds me of those snarky internet dweebs who don't have anything better to do than to put everyone and everything down to try to elevate themselves. Not working dweebettes. You just make yourselves look stupid. Sour grapes all the way.

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    1. Hi Contrary---glad you got to read the hit job. But actually I feel sorry for the poor thing who wrote it. She couldn't state the facts correctly and wrote unsubstantiated garbage. I worry for her writing future. She can probably do better than reaching this low in her writing. I hope her next efforts are a little less shoddy and a little more uplifting.

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