Twenty-five fathers who did all right-
producing the 25 daughters who later
became top management executives-
were interviewed by Hennig and Jardim.
Their case histories show that their
fathers influenced them in their early
years, and their (male) bosses helped
them climb the success ladder later. In
the women's own estimation, their
mothers were simply passive creatures
who allowed the fathers great freedom in
the upbringing of their daughters.
"Mother was mother as far as I can
recall," one woman says. "As I think
back, Father was really something special
...I was Daddy's special girl. There were
always special times set aside for him and
me to be alone. He was a very active man
and I was always expected to be active
This feeling of being special had far-
reaching effects in the later careers of the
25 women. As executives, they felt more
comfortable as the queen bee in a group
of men, and they found other women
boring or silly.
Because these 25 were considered
special and actually identified themselves
with men rather than with other women,
their rise to the top did not pave the way
for today's woman who wants a career in
management. With their attitudes about
themselves and other women, these
women do not provide the aspiring managerial woman with the models she needs.
To fill this gap, the authors offer some
guidelines for the woman whose goal is a
successful management career:
1. Develop a task-accomplishment
orientation by deriving a sense of security
not from ability to do every aspect of the
task yourself, but from establishment of a
clear and effective structure of goals,
tasks, responsibilities and relationships,
and an equally clear definition of performance standards. The authors explain
that too many women in supervisory-
level positions concentrate on being able
to do the work and never develop a
manager's sense of long-term planning or
the ability to delegate authority to
2. In work relationships with men,
always concentrate on the job to be done.
If a male co-worker persists in treating
you as a subordinate woman, do not respond. Eventually it will become clear
that he is the problem, not you. And if
you are a victim of sexual harassment, the
authors advise you to keep records of
every remark, gesture or threat and report
them in writing.
3. Learn to manage your emotions.
Expect that you will be challenged by
male co-workers who will test your
breaking point. Preparing in advance for
such a challenge helps you to remain calm
in the face of it.
4. On the subject of home work conflicts for the married career women, the
authors write, "If both of you are pursuing demanding careers, a realistic discussion of the demands on each of you
can lead only to the conclusion that
household responsibilities have to be
shared and, if it doesn't, you're going to
need to reassess you own priorities
5. Rather than competing with other
women, develop an old girls network. The
authors explain: "As outsiders to the
men's informal system, women need
sources of support, advice and information beyond that system, and one of the
most viable means of achieving this is
a support group made up of other
Hennig and Jardim have written an
insightful and informative book that can
be used as a manual by women who want
successful management careers. This realistic look at the obstacles which beset the
woman on her way to the top should provide women contemplating a move into
management with answers to many of
their questions and perhaps with the
motivation to take that first step.
Capitalist Patriarchy and the
Case for Socialist Feminism
Edited by Zillah R. Eisenstein, Ph.D.
Monthly Review Press, 1978.
394 pages. $16.50.
By Kathleen Williamson
"Many socialist feminists were radical
feminists first. They felt their oppression
as women and then, as they came to
understand the role of capitalism in this
system of oppression, they became committed to socialism as well."
-Zillah R. Eisenstein, Ph.D.
A recent Time "special report" termed
socialism "the dominant ideology of the
20th century," but went on to catalogue
the failures of its many manifestations
from Soviet Communism to Third World
Marxism to the social democracies of
northern Europe. Pragmatic Americans
view socialism with mingled suspicion and
longing: it seems a noble blueprint for
egalitarianism that, once constructed,
becomes a maze of totalitarian restrictions.
Socialist feminism, however, as presented in the seventeen essays which
comprise Capitalist Patriarchy and the
Case for Socialist Feminism, owes less to
Marxist theory than to a new feminist
analysis of the daily struggles of women
in production, reproduction and consumption.
In a capitalist economy, a fraction of
the population controls a majority of
the wealth, profiting from the labor of
others, and controlling what is produced
and under what conditions. Patriarchy
strictly divides labor and power into
sexual spheres, thereby freeing men from
a whole realm of work while denying
women equal access to the labor force.
. Socialist feminist philosophy has grown
from formulating an alternative to these
Editor Eisenstein, Ph.D., an instructor
of political philosophy at Ithaca College^,
clarified the goals of the book's contributors at a recent seminar held in Houston:
"...we realize that both the system of
wage labor organized around the profit
motive of a few which ghettoizes women's labor into the lowest paying work,
and the sexual division of society which
assigns women the work of the home for
no pay are understood as part of the
system of oppression. It is not a question
of merely changing the laws for equal pay
"It is not a question of merely
changing the laws for equal pay or
demanding wages for housework.
We first need equal jobs."
or demanding wages for housework. We
first need equal jobs. We need to reject
the household as our sphere of responsibility if we want. What we really need are
jobs we want. And we need a system that
will train us and which will also organize
work so that it will be interesting and fulfilling, not merely cost effective."
The essays differ in their emphasis and
include such topics as: developing revolutionary strategy; the struggle for reproductive freedom; historical feminist
socialism; and reports on the ongoing
organization of socialist feminist groups
in America. All are works of impeccable
scholarship, without jargon or pedantry,
but they presuppose some knowledge of
political and economic theory. Though
the lay reader may have to consult some
basic political science texts for background, the effort will be rewarded.
Nancy Hartsock, Assistant Professor of
Political Science, Johns Hopkins Univers-
sity, writing on "Feminist Theory and the
Development of Revolutionary Strategy"
"Feminists argue that the role of
theory is to take seriously the idea that
all of us are theorists. The role of theory,
then, is to articulate for us what we know
from our practical activity, to bring out
and make conscious the philosophy
embedded in our lives."
Reading these analyses of the unsatisfactory conditions of women in our
society encourages all women to imagine
alternatives for themselves in the home
and in the labor market. The authors believe that further evaluations from many
more women are needed before concrete
plans for a new social and economic
structure can be drawn up. The writings
of these thoughtful women are intended
as a basis for discussion and expansion
among feminists everywhere. Eisenstein
sets forth their ambition:
"A strategy to reach all women has
never been tried. That its implementation
will be difficult goes without saying. But
a beginning is already in process as
women try to take some control over