title. Pink – A Call For a Feminine Society

name. Virgilio Da Molo

right now. working as a management consultant at Impact Strategy Consulting

Introduction (liberally cut from my friend Wikipedia).

Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a framework for cross-cultural communication, developed by Geert Hofstede (born 2 October 1928, he is a Dutch social psychologist, former IBM employee, and Professor Emeritus of Organisational Anthropology and International Management at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, well known for his pioneering research on cross-cultural groups and organisations).  The theory describes national cultures along six dimensions: Power Distance, Individualism vs Collectivism, Uncertainty Avoidance, Masculinity vs Femininity, Long Term vs Short Term Orientation, and Indulgence vs Restraint.

In the Masculinity vs Femininity dimension, masculinity is defined as “a preference in society for achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success.”  Its counterpart represents “a preference for cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life.”  


I am a feminine.  I definitely prefer a society where cooperation, modesty, caring for the weak and quality of life are more important than achievement, heroism, assertiveness and material rewards for success.  Research on the subject shows that North European countries (and especially Scandinavian) are the most feminine in the world.  These are also countries with the highest percentage of women ministers, MPs, CEOs, etc and so it would seem very reasonable to assume that the simple solution for a better society is to vote more women into power in politics, business, etc.  Not so, unfortunately.


Unfortunately, as the world has always been dominated by masculine societies, most women who make it big look like men.  Ambitious assertive achievers who care for the weak as much as I care for mosquitoes.  The most obvious example is the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, one of the most nefarious global leaders since I was born more than 50 years ago.  Definitely not a female.


I don’t know what would have happened if in 1979 British citizens, instead of Thatcher, had voted into power  a famous British woman (and female) only 4 years younger, Audrey Hepburn.  Maybe a country with more schools and hospitals and less banks and offshore companies?  We will never know, but we can play around and just imagine what would have been Hepburn’s version of Thatcher’s most famous quotes.


MT:    If you want something said, ask a man.  If you want something done, ask a woman.

AH:    If you want something said or done, ask gently and with a smile.


MT:    The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples’ money.

AH:    The problem with money is that you eventually forget of other peoples’ existence.


MT:    Disciplining yourself to do what you know is right and important, although difficult, is the highroad to pride, self-esteem, and personal satisfaction.

AH:    You can never know for sure what is right, so you should just do what you like and feel, which won’t be difficult and will give you lots of satisfaction.


MT:    You might have to fight a battle more than once to win it.

AH:    You might have to go out for dinner more than once before getting what you wish.


MT:    I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have a not a single political argument left.

AH:    I always cheer up immensely if a compliment is particularly genuine because I think, well, if they are so sincere and spontaneous, it means we can work together.


MT:    I am extraordinarily patient, provided I get my own way in the end.

AH:    I am extraordinarily patient, whatever the way forward.


MT:    If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.

AH:    If you set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve a lot.


MT:    Being Prime Minister is a lonely job...you cannot lead from the crowd.

AH:    Being Prime Minister is a peoples’ job...you cannot stay away from the crowd.


MT:    A world without nuclear weapons will be less stable and more dangerous for all of us.

AH:    A world with nuclear weapons is less stable and more dangerous for all of us.


MT:    There is no such thing as society: there are individual men and women, and there are families.

AH:    Did she really say that?


Peace and love



Margaret Thatcher also self confessed her lack of femininity with another quote “Power is like being a lady..if you have to tell people you are, you aren’t”.  She had to tell.


Somebody might think that if masculinity has always dominated there must be a reason.  Yes, there is one.  Imagine you are playing a match of soccer.  You go there to have fun, they come to win.  You shake their hands, they snub you.  They tell you they have played in first division, you don’t say anything because you have only ever reached the seventh.  You make a foul and they shout at you.  They make a foul and they shout at you.  They try every dirty trick but you hold on to a draw and you can’t wait till this bloody game has finally ended.  Then one of their players goes down and we throw the ball out so that he can be attended to.  The guy is back and we wait for the ball to be returned to our keeper or else but no.  The guy throws the ball towards our penalty area and their centre forward sprints and kicks it into the net.  You have lost.  Really?