Rachel Elnaugh and Gendergate

When it comes to blogging it’s a wonderful tool for expressing your opinion and sharing your expertise and nothing shows that more than what’s taking place on the blog of Rachel Elnaugh. The mistake was generalisation – making a sweeping statement about a whole population.  You know the kind of thing….

women always…..

men never…..

black people always….

white people never….

And the only question you have to wholesale nba jerseys ask is…. what ALL women always…. which of course instantly makes the statement sound absurd because you can never talk cheap nfl jerseys for all women! Its a simple but powerful error to make when you are putting anything into print – whether it’s in a newspaper or on your blog –  because there’s always someone out there with an opinion on it and people love to pounce.

(people love to pounce… a generalisation for you ? – what ALL people love to pounce… of course not!)

So the gendergate surfaced when former Dragon’s Den star and business personality Rachel Elnaugh made a statement that female enterpreneurs are more “emotionally attached” to their business than men. Rachel based her comment on research she carried out through profile testing on her site but unless you interviewed ALL men and ALL women (which of course is impossible) that research will never truly be accurate.

Here is what Rachel said on her posted titled Sexist Comment …..

Well, you may know that I have an Entrepreneurial Profile Test on my website and having just run an analysis of c3,000 entrepreneurs profiled so far, here are the results:

54% of men profile as having strong money/material drivers vs 45% having predominantly emotional drivers, whereas only 34% of women have strong money drivers vs 65% having strong emotional drivers.

A better statement (in my opinion) would have been….

“I’ve profiled around 3,000 entrepreneurs to date and have found a definite difference in the strong monetary and emotional drivers that women Excuse have towards their business compared to men

…. [publish results]….

Based on that evidence one could generalise that women entrepreneurs are more emotionally attached to their business than men but we’d have to do alot more research to come to that conclusion”

[how safe and sitting on the fence is that???!!!….. ? ]

Or of course you can cheap jerseys also say that “in my opinion” – because that really is all it can be – your own opinion and people may or may not agree with it. As soon as you make a statement that “ALL” of anybody does something you open yourself to those who agree, and those who most passionately don’t!

What started Rachel off on this path is a comment by my man (I love him) Theo Paphitis. He’s lively, fun and I love the way he likes to give struggling entrepreneurs a chance when they mess up on Dragon’s Den! He gets them to calm down and start again rather than just writing them off because they messed up their pitch. Anyway…. he made a comment about women’s brains turning to mush when they are pregnant…. what ALL women Theo…???

So Jesus? blogging tip one is never generalise (what NEVER….?…… YES!)

And within this whole event lies blogging tip two…. controversy works! So don’t listen to blogging tip number one ?

In conclusion then I think I have wholesale nba jerseys pretty much demonstrated that when it comes to blogging there really are no rules! You do what works for you and don’t let an “expert” like me tell you what you should or shouldn’t be doing with your business and your blog.

YOU are the expert in your business whether you want to believe that or not.

Invent your own rules (just avoid personal attacks because that truly isn’t nice – in my opinion!)

On a different but related note, I remember catching a program on 7 year olds… don’t recall the name now but a group of girls and boys. They were asked to choose blocks Milion with words like “love” “honesty” “rich” “popular” etc and discard them until they were left with their most important word. They each did this in a room alone (not with the other kids around them)

All boys (with the exception of one) Who discarded all the blocks until the only one left was “rich”… ALL girls (that is every single one of them) had trouble choosing one block because they found being “honest” and “loving” of equal importance! The boy who didn’t pick “rich” choose the same blocks as the cheap nfl jerseys girls. It was a very eye opening program about gender difference in kids Mean as young as 7 and I flicked on to it so had no idea what it was called or what channel I was on.

It does (sort of) lean towards Rachel’s findings Focus when it comes to the money and emotions debate in women and men.

P.P.S.

Rachel has a masterclass coming up to help you with your business. The best people to learn from (IMHO) are the people who mess up but keep going. That’s why I wrote about my internet marketing mistakes, because i learnt from them and by teaching them it means you can avoid them.

8 thoughts on “Rachel Elnaugh and Gendergate

  1. Hi Diane

    Great post! I completely agree with what you had to say about generalisation. It’s a technique we learn as a child to be able to ‘organize’ the world around us, but it is far more dangerous than people think it is. In this case, it’s rather innocent – and like you say – probably used to create some sort of controversy, but when you take a look at the world, you see entire social groups being hated & discriminated, and even worse…

    The experiment you mention only proves that it’s not chromosomes that are responsible for what one feels, thinks or does, but that the values you get as a child (from your parents, school,…) are much more determining.
    It’s a proven fact that in most cases girls are taught different values than boys. Boys are often stimulated to build a career, earn money, become a leader, while most people expect girls to be kind, respectful, caring.

    Experiments show that teachers praise their male pupils/students because they get good grades, while with girls they will emphasize things like beautiful handwriting.

    We’ve come a long way since the 1950’s, but this difference is still significant in today’s society – people aren’t even aware they’re doing it…

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  2. As a educator I am not allowed the luxury of generalizations. It can create such a problem that there is no worth to its consideration. We know that there is an inherited difference in the way men and women are internally built. However, I feel if you don’t bring all the influences to the table you really can’t speak on they way a person or group is. Take women and place them in an environment where being aggressive is a means of survival and you will see the women in that environment take on similar characteristics of their male counterparts. However not all but the majority. So anytime I read article, blogs or simple opinions that don’t give me the back ground behing their stance I don’t bother with the generalizations.

    Its very easy to use words like “ALL THE” when referring to any group and it will spark conversation but its worth is minimal.

    Just my thoughts anyway..

    K. L.
    http://www.KLthewriter.com

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  3. From my corporate days, I observed a definite “tendency.” The men with whom I worked in various high level positions tended to use their jobs as a “means” – for money, social standing, game/challenge, ego, attraction, whatever, but mostly for themselves and/or in their roles as providers for the family.

    The women were far more likely to apply their underlying nature of nurturer… to give of themselves emotionally as well as in other ways to the nurture, support, and growing of the enterprise and/or customers. These professional women were more likely to treat the workplace as “family.” I often said that many executive men failed to realize the tremendous asset they had in the (few) professional women in the organization, who would make personal sacrifices to help “heal” the organization and/or thrust it forward.

    Face it. We were created as “mothers,” as “nurturers.’ So why should it come as a surprise if we manifest that aspect of our innate character in the corporation of entrepreneurial endeavor?

    That’s not to say that individual men and women might not exhibit a little of multiple drives and characteristics. These are just some predominant ones, a shifting of the balance, that was observed among many professionals.

    As for pregnancy, that statement is utter chauvinistic hogwash. Even the CEO of a billion-dollar organization was astounded at what I accomplished as a 35-year-old pregnant executive – completing legislative proposals for the Governor, conducting all-day audio/video presentation event for hundreds of officers as well as having my own speech, while simultaneously completing the regulatory applications to acquire 4 banks (I had taken that responsibility back from the law firm). He didn’t know any man who could have done it all in that time frame, much less a very pregnant woman!

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  4. There are also different perceptions about the same behavior: men with agressive behavior can be labeled “assertive” and women exhibiting the same behavior might be called “b*tches.” Assertive black people are labeled in some circles as “uppity.”

    Maybe “rich” to women means inclusive of material and emotional “wealth,” so “rich” alone cannot define the entire spectrum of what rich means. The English language, doesn’t have words for many subtle emotions that other languages do. For example, Greek words for love: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love which differentiates between types/purposes of love. Linguistics can certainly add to misunderstandings.

    As regards statistics, my fave quote is from Mark Twain, “There’s lies, damn lies and statistics. (the biggest lies of them all)” If you’ve ever done any number crunching, you understand how to skew the math, as in “does anyone know a creative accountant?” So maybe we should understand that many such polls have inherent flaws and the numbers don’t tell the whole truth.

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  5. I have to agree with your spin of Rachel’s opinion as we are different and most of us are also from differing backgrounds which leads to us having varing views. Generalizations have been getting us in trouble for the longest ,

    “Sometimes we need to change our strategy. If we always do what

    we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always gotten.

    And remember too, sometimes it’s not WHAT we say, it’s HOW we say it!! ”

    Making General statements about pregnant females for example only upsets a section of market or prospective customers and make you have to work twice as hard. We all have to take into consideration that a large portion of our clients do at times come by word of mouth so if we upset a fraction of the market it is greatly possible that that information is also going around. Remember our reputation is at times all we have as business people and we have to fight hard to keep it.

    Thanks again for having me ……

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  6. First of all I want to thank you for bringing this to my attention, Diane. I LOVE the conversation about male vs female, as you know!

    I have a couple of thoughts:

    1. Regardless of how much people would like the subject of the differences between male and female would just go away, it’s NOT going to happen. There ARE differences between us and they DO lean toward several tendencies from the time we’re born! At least that is my opinion 🙂

    I’ll give you an examples from my own experience:

    I have always been sort of a rebel when it comes to how to raise kids. I have one boy and one girl. I was determined to NOT fall into the trap of “boys play with trucks and guns and girls play with dolls and makeup.” So I consciously made the effort to be more balanced with what they were exposed to. Now I know there were other influences, but I’ll be darned if they didn’t gravitate toward those things anyway. It was really hard with my daughter because here I was trying to show her that makeup, clothes and sexy bodlies were all superficial and what really mattered was what was under it all, but she insisted on all of that! GRRRR!

    In regards to this point, I think what you were saying is that the above example, just because it is my experience and has skewed my perceptions, doesn’t prove a theory. Therefor I cannot say with authority that all girls grow up choosing dolls and makeup over guns and trucks. Which would be correct.

    However, what really matters to a person is their experience in raising their own children and the conclusions they derived from that. That becomes their truth. In my case, I didn’t want to believe it, but my experience taught me otherwise.

    In Rachel’s experience, the research that she did proved to her that women are more emotionally attached than men. At least she didn’t base that conclusion on just two experiences like I did above, but 3000. Now maybe according to the statistical guru’s the conclusion she drew was incorrect, but in my opinion, she has more experience and credibility on that particular subject because of her survey than a bunch of other people who were on her butt for saying it.

    2. Another thought was what good are surveys and polls if you can’t draw conclusions from them? I’m not a degreed statistician, so If I were to run a survey and want to draw a conclusion from it , who are the conclusion Gods and do I have to hire them to bless the results?

    Which brings me to your most interesting point above and the one that excites me the most! But as with anything in life, can be used in a positive way or a negetive way…

    3. ANYBODY now has the ability to say what they want to on their own blog. ANYBODY can now have their voice heard as a result of the internet and web 2.0 capabilities. That is HUGE for women, minorities, underdogs, repressed societies AND the human race in general.

    While most of us (notice I didn’t say all of us 🙂 don’t want the horrible things and scarey people who are promoting ugliness and violence on the internet, it’s really up to us to make this new world one in which we want to participate. Do we really want it to be a world in which we all agree to agree?

    Obviously not. Otherwise why would CONTROVERSY gain so much attention?

    So in conclusion, I say let’s ADMIT there ARE differences in the way men and women think and act in all kinds of ways. Some are based on hormones and brain functions. Some are based on cultures and societies. Regardless, let’s stop trying to put our heads in the sand and CELEBRATE the differences that are good and positive and POSITIVELY CHANGE the differences that cause pain and suffering.

    “Stick that in your pipe and smoke it ladies and gentlemen” 🙂

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  7. Thanks for your comments everyone. I guess we can all recognize that there are definite differences but generalization in any shape or form just doesn’t help!

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  8. Of course you can cut that kind of research many ways, but in the end there are differences and those should be celebrated. Men and women bring different things to the table. All of it should be valued. This focus on the negative ultimately hurts business culture long term in this country. Focus on building a productiive economy that includes both men a nd women maximising their talent. Get on with it.

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