Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Women's March Sends Wrong Message
When I see a bunch of women marching down the street wearing female genitalia costumes, I shake my head in dismay. I am dismayed not because I am wise enough to know how asinine they look, but because the communication professional in me can identify everything that is wrong with that message.
The first rule of thumb in communication and branding is to know and understand your audience, and the pussyhat protesters failed miserably in this objective. It is like my boss claiming our customers are not using Facebook, as a reason why we should not bother promoting with that platform. Gee, someone is on it, considering there are 191.3 million US accounts, almost equally divided between both sexes, with 81.5 million in our prime customer age group (Statista, May 2016). Talk about missing the market.
The audience focus for the march should have been inclusive of all women, not just those so vulgar as to think inequality discussion should include only images of our nether regions because of a comment made by President Donald Trump about a decade ago. That's not a march for women.
As women, we understand the inequality nuances that touch every aspect of our lives. Instead, the march was geared toward shock-narcissists, dog piling on anything that looks fun, nasty, illicit or titillating in order to get their freak on. It's like depicting all gays as sporting silver sequined platform shoes and fuchsia hair, when in reality most live simple, low-key and casual lifestyles. For some reason, liberals have a difficult time separating movie star fantasia and freaks depicted by Hollywood, from the real, honest, hard-working people that inhabit the majority of this country.
Women around the country completely understand and agree that Trump's crotch grabbing statements and sexist comments about women are offensive, and that these statements objectify us. Many of us know what it is like to be ogled, fondled and cat-called. We also know what job inequality looks like, even though the inequality highlighted by liberals does not take into consideration that women routinely opt for low-paying professions versus their male counterparts. Good grief, nobody is going to pay good money to an orchestra or art major, as compared to an engineer.
Better suited messaging would portray how many times women have worked in the same exact job, shared the same exact education level, but have been paid less. Yes, it still happens more than anyone will admit.
Personally, I know what is it like to be overlooked for promotions, ignored for ideas and paid less. The starting salary for women at my employer in 2015 was $70-75K annually in sales and technical positions, and for men it was $80-90K annually with the same general education and experience.
Personally, I have been overlooked for jobs and promotions that have gone to a man several times throughout my career, and though I had equal if not more experience and more education, I have been paid less for doing the exact same job. This is the real inequality, but feminists are missing that critical point in their marketing. Instead they are attracting a bunch of freaks who just want someone to notice them, and who want to complain that their British Literature degree isn't paying them the same salary as the mechanical engineer who lives next door.
I have worked for men who belittled me and even made comments on my backside, when a former Plano councilman, that I worked for years prior, commented, "Nice ass," while walking behind me at work.
Don't even get me started on how many times I mentioned something we should be doing as an organization that went ignored, such as having consistent email signatures. When a male employee touted that idea six months after I did, it was suddenly revered as genius. The same can be said for necessary changes to the website, creating consistent marketing collateral, tracking ROI, using social media aggregates and utilizing a marketing integration management program, all of which I proposed over the span of a year and a half. You see, I know what I'm talking about, but apparently they didn't think so until one of the men in the company came up with those same ideas six months later. That is a real example of inequality.
Not only are we sometimes treated poorly in the workplace by men, but also by other women. I cannot tell you how many times my various recommendations have been ignored on the job, by a jealous, immature and petty managing partner. I suspect that behavior stems from the fact that I refused to play gossip girl when she badmouthed other female employees, such as the accounting manager and how she raised her twin girls using nothing more than a television set to mesmerize them with, and even going so far as to download another employee's personal Facebook photo of chest piercings, making fun of her as she forwarded the image to a few of us.
There's nothing quite like bashing the women in the organization, in order to harness some sort of power. That power, which by the very nature of company co-ownership, the woman would have commanded regardless of her unacceptable abuse of it. The woman singlehandedly created a toxic work environment, netting zero respect or motivation and perpetuating the "bitch on wheels" complex many working women have tried avoiding for decades. Yet it still happens every day, everywhere as women become aggressors to other women.
It is not just a scenario that plays out on the job either. I recall vividly how much the good-old-boys running city hall hated me for my strong opinions on this blog. How dare I question the system! We can also look to religion for support of inequality, where women are not allowed to be priests or even lead prayer. Women even see it when we walk into a traditionally male company to do business, such as an auto repair shop. It is amazing how many times the employee will look to my husband, even though I am the one telling him what is wrong with my car.
Women have to deal with inequality from every angle, including from what is supposed to be the sisterhood, as women stab each other in the back in order to pad their own flagging egos. This is the very same thing the berated women's march participants complain has happened to them. Or is it?
Believe me, I get it. I totally get it. Women such as myself have been touched by all the inequalities mentioned above and more, so why wouldn't we stand with throngs of women claiming their crotches "roar"?
We rejected the so-called women's march en masse because it proved to be nothing more than a bungled, liberal marketing ploy using women's bodies as a tool. It had nothing to do with Trump's statements from a decade ago, nothing to do with objectification of women and nothing to do with inequality. We didn't support these misled women because they did the very thing to themselves that they have been complaining about from their aggressors all these years. Self objectification.
The marching pink wrinklies were as bad as Ariana Grande's whining strawman argument on men objectifying her while prancing around on stage wearing a lacy bustier and bikini bottoms, and singing about "hitting that" which is simply code for grabbing sex from someone else without any emotional connection or attachment. Really? Can anyone actually take her complaints about female objectification seriously?
Young liberal men and women have been led dramatically astray by liberal sensationalist ideology. They have been taught that the more bizarre you look and behave, the more you will be hailed by the liberal television Gods. Ergo the more you will change the world. The problem is, these ineffectual, inconsistent marketing ploys only serve to further tear the cloth that binds women. They ignore all the rules of effective marketing engagement.
We don't douse flames with gasoline, hoping to put out the fire, so why did groups of women think walking around with vulva faces was a good way to strike back at inequality? Why did these women think they would be taken seriously when they were walking around like a piece of wobbly-bobbly pink flesh, instead of mature, thinking, rational and professional women capable of intelligent and savvy articulation? Instead, they read like a bunch of grotesque, clueless half-wits who do not know how to spell. That is not the face of their audience. Oh hell no.
Do I really need to point out that the true audience for womandom, hear me roar is supposed to be, dare I say it, women? Done right, it could have unified all women to stand up against the inequalities. Done wrong, it was generally not a good idea to offend the majority of audience members with hairy, wrinkly genitalia messaging. Frankly, the protesters made women look dumb and their argument, whatever that was supposed to be, was lost on inconsistent messaging.
As women, we are far more than a depiction of what is between our legs; rather, it is our intellect that we should be consistently marketing.
Image: marekuliasz via Getty Images