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Women’s Business- Class 12 Heritage of words

Women’s Business        Ilene Kantrov 




‘Women’s Business’ is an essay written by Ilene Kantrov. It is an account of a few business women in America who prospered in their business due to their innovative strategies. 
According to the writer, these women made use of different techniques to succeed in their business. First of all, they exploited their images as women to motivate the customers. In other words, they projected themselves as being women, mothers, and grandmothers etc. besides that they also created the impression that they were social activists, philanthropists, social reformers and saviors of their sex and race. At the same time, they gave the impression that they were selling more than a mere product. They did so by including advices on practical aspects of life and distributing booklets among the customers. They presented themselves as the capitalists who were motivated by the desire to serve as well as sell.
Although they seemed to favor altruism, they could not hesitate to give priority to the profit in case of the conflict between profit and altruism. Since their main concern was to sell the products to women, they tried their best to encourage the women for bypassing the business men. At times, they were found to be unscrupulous for the sake of profit. For instance, Lydia Pinkham who used to sell vegetable compound as the medicine for feminine weakness included sufficient alcohol into it. Thus she sold booze although she championed the women’s rights. Lydia Pinkham was the first lady who got into business in the second half of the nineteenth century. Prior to that, she was a housewife who used to make folk remedies to her families. She was obliged to get into business when her husband’s real estate business collapsed. She made extravagant claims about her medicine. She depended on an advertisement and also included testimonial from women reporting cures for many physical symptoms. She convinced the women that her medicine was the best remedy for all the feminine weakness including infertility, nervousness, hysteria etc. She became a popular figure and earned 200,000 dollars in 1881. Other women followed her techniques, Margaret Rudkim, Jenie Grosiner, Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein and Annie Turnbo-Malons etc. were some well known female capitalists. They imitated Lydia Pinkham in every possible way. For instance, Grosinger who had a resort hotel exploited the image of a grandmother and served 150,000 guests every year. As for Helena and Elizabeth, they presented themselves as glamorous socialites. They even used their marriage with European Aristocrats for publicity.
Important Questions with Answer from Women’s Business by Ilene Kantrov
Short Answers Questions

1. Why did Lydia Pinkham first begin to sell her products? [2058] 2. How did women start and flourish their business in America? [2061] 3. What is the main idea of the essay? [2064] 4. How did Pinkham act as savior of her sex? Explain. [2069]
Glossary: [philanthropist: donor, altruism: well being of others, unscrupulous: unfair behavior, booze: alcoholic drink, extravagant: wasting money]

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