I was on my way to the dentist the other day in the Gold Coast. It’s in a large corporate building with an expresso bar in the lobby. Lots of shine and glass, you get the picture. The whole place smells like expresso and floor polish. I feel slow and very rural.
As I run past one of the empty tables, (yes, late, got lost on the way to the dentist!) a glossy paper catches my eye: I glance at it on the fly but only really ingest the words several steps later. Opening the door to the dentist’s office I think, did that piece of paper really say that??
I shut the door and quickly run back, grab the paper, shove it in my bag, and head back to the dental clinic. Of course all that rushing for nothing, “The dentist’s running a bit late Ms. Pearl , if you’d like to take a seat we will call you in a minute.”
Heart pounding from running and high on expresso inhalation, I pull the paper out of my bag. It’s blood red and white, seducing me from my cold steel and glass rectangle with its colour and curves, a glass of red in an elegant wineglass pictured in the corner. It boldly reads ‘Feminised Capitalism’, The New Narrative for Business. I had seen it correctly. Well that’s an oxymoron if I ‘ve ever seen one!!
The dictionary definition of feminised: 1. To give a feminine appearance or character to. 2. To cause (a male) to assume feminine characteristics.
What would Feminised Capitalism look like? Are we talking men in high heels, workplaces that recognise the changing cyclical nature of women and the moon, women having at least one day paid leave for their menstruation, nurturing work environments with lots of fresh air, equal voice for women’s needs in relation to employees and clients, childcare options accounted for, or money from profits going to counselling and educating employees on issues of sexism, racism, and abuse??!
And then in the corner the paper says ‘Wine & Sign’. I read further, its a promotion for a public speaker from the Australian Institute of Management (a man, and his male co-author) giving a talk about leadership for business managers, weaving in words like spirituality, charisma, enhancement……what was the ‘Feminised’ aspect referred to ?? is it the blood red colour and the glass of red??? GRRRRR, my feminist blood boils at these kinds of masquerades! The proposed speaker is a professor, author of a myriad of books on the subject of leadership and management. The back of the paper is the ‘sign up here’ part, with your credit card number, or an online booking option. Nothing new. I am still reading the fine print, waiting for the ‘Feminised’ section.
I can see their ploy is to appeal to women in business, a kind of weak attempt at feel good graphics (enticing her with a bit of red on the night to ease the discomfort of her feet having been in those terribly uncomfortable shoes all day), and nothing feminised about it at all. Let’s face it. Capitalism is Capitalism, it’s born of the patriarchy, has never served the Feminine, and exploits our internalised patriarchal and hierarchal beliefs. Blatant as can be.
Let’s sit in circles with our daughters. With other women. With our grandmothers. Let’s listen and learn and teach and grow and dance, in circles. Let’s trust our inner wisdom and choose our mantras carefully. (Ha! I love echnology-auto correct just changed my word mentors into mantras! It works too!)
Look outside the window and ask yourself; where do I see leadership in nature? Is this all one big interwoven symphony? Let’s not confuse what Feminised would look like. Honestly I don’t know since I have always lived in this patriarchy. But I believe it’s a question that we will have to answer as a culture if we want to change course and head for harmony and sanity.
I imagine it would look like incredible compassion, humble kindness, and ferocious commitment to the Circle.
“The sword so sharp it cut things together, not apart”, David Whyte.