Each month we ask MWP readers to respond to a question. For September, 2012, we asked: What does "women mean business" mean to you?
Women hold great purchasing power, often being the decision makers and shoppers in today's households, yet much advertising often ignores this opportunity and instead remains skewed to appeal to a heterosexual male audience. Buxom young women in tight-fitting clothes are pictured to advertise everything from beer and liquor to restaurants to household products to magazines.
Young women in skimpy undergarments are broadcast on huge electronic advertising billboards in the Mall of America. Moving images of eye-catching women are used to draw attention to online ads for mortgage reduction schemes. Motion pictures, the logic goes, require the expected female nudity in order to get the coveted ratings to put a film in the running for blockbuster potential. A larger-than-life wall mural in a corporate office depicts a group of casually dressed business professionals, but from the angle of looking down into the exposed cleavage of the females.
These images perpetuate a sexualized view of women with little to do with the business at hand. Let's turn the tide of marketing to appeal to business women, to women who make household purchasing decisions, to women who mean business. Jean Abbott, Lakeville, Minn.
Save the world
Women mean business is a concise and accurate summation of truth. We effectively run corporations, start up and operate businesses, have and raise families, maintain relationships, oftentimes doing this concurrently. We are uniquely gifted in our ability to orchestrate the many facets of life and yet we still find more ways to give.
Yes, women mean business when we make up our minds to do it. There is no stopping us. I think that's why the Dalai Lama opined that the Western woman will save the world. Collectively, it's within our reach! Dawn Marie Van House, North Oaks, Minn.
Send us your thoughts! October's theme is "brave and bold" and we're asking: "What would you do if you were not afraid?" Tell us in 200 words or less. Send YourThoughts by September 10, 2012 to firstname.lastname@example.org
November's theme is a "women's survival kit." Tell us a story about a woman who survived. She may be your sister, your friend, the woman next door. She may be ... you. Tell us in 200 words or less. Send YourThoughts by October 10, 2012 to email@example.com