Mar 18, 2014

A Woman’s Place

When Brook and I started our Brand Strategy Group business twenty four years ago, we sent an announcement postcard that was headlined “A Woman’s Place is in the Market.”  It was crafted by our friend Brian Gallagher and made the case for our big advertising agency expertise.  Not surprisingly many of our male friends added the word “meat” before “market,” and you wouldn’t believe how many people asked us (over and over again) “When are you going to get a real job” or “When are you going back to the agency side of the business?”

We persisted, and built a solid reputation for being the branding experts in Hawai`i.  At one point, we printed tongue-in-check  t-shirts which said “Garvey + Gramann  The Smartest People in Hawai`i.”   We had a great time and were lucky (and good) enough to work with businesses large and small, including: Pictures Plus, Island Insurance, Hawaiian Host, Maui Divers, Kahuku Brand, the Hawai`i Seal of Quality and many,many more.  At some point people stopped asking when we were going to get a real job.

All that being said, it is still a man’s world out there, and despite progress, we all know that women are still being paid less than men and few have really broken the glass ceiling.

Last week, New York’s Cardinal Dolan spoke with CBS about women’s role in the church, saying that although women could not be priests it is ” important for the church to listen to them more seriously because their advice is really valuable.”  Pointing to his collar, he noted that “you don’t have to have one of these to do God’s work.”   A typical exclusive-male’s-club answer.  Was he saying that up until now, the male power base in the church has not been listening to women?   It’s not like nuns have not already been bearing the burdens of the church  since time immemorial.  And I don’t believe Catholic nuns are looking for pat’s on the head for their godliness.  I don’t recall seeing “Priests on A Bus.”

Just this morning there was a story about how Getty images asking its “24,000 photographers around the world” to send them pictures of women that show competence and accurately reflect exactly what is happening with women today.  That they have to scour the world for these pictures says a lot in itself.

Worse than all of this is the trend across Republican legislatures around the country to roll back Rove v Wade and to have the government get control over women’s bodies.  According to polls, a majority of women in evangelical churches are happy with what these legislatures are doing.  I grew up during the sixties and over the past decades this backwards fall did not seem possible.    This does not bode well for the future of women in the United States.   A woman’s place, and a woman’s body, should be under her control.



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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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