Thursday, November 11, 2010

Women and Business Research.

I intended to post this last week, but got sidetracked and forgot. My research is in women and business, and it's much more difficult to theorize about than one would think. However, my research questions confront a myriad of issues, and the thesis they yielded is as follows:

Stereotyping gendered behaviors in all realms of society creates a climate that is detrimental to the development of the female entrepreneur. In an effort to conform to society's expectations for what a successful entrepreneur looks like, women are discouraged from exhibiting any socially constructed "feminine" behaviors, and must integrate themselves into the business world by denying strength in difference. Operating under the assumption that the risk-averseness of women is a negative aspect of character, not only does patriarchy in economic institutions inhibit the economic agency of female entrepreneurs, but also, a complex matrix of oppression has been created by her peers and those closest to her in discouraging her from applying for the resources necessary to gain that agency, independent of a cosigner.
What this implies where masculinity is concerned is a form of patriarchal favoritism on a systemic level. That is, that men are viewed as more competent, just because they're men. This is problematic in many ways, not just for women, because it reinforces it reinforces a binary of gendered behaviors, male and female. Connecting it more directly to the masculinities we've studied, it is not a stretch to think that if men do not fit into the "be a man box," they may still reap gender privilege, but at a very large cost in the more "fratriarchal" culture of corporate America. If public perception and the accruement of social respectability is all, then both genders suffer from such a rigidly constructed system of ascribed roles.

No comments: