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Women’s Business | Heritage of Words

Writer : Ilene Kantrov


The writer Ilene Kantov is feminist writer who supports the most of the ideas of the women and their notion in the essay in the modern trend of globalization. She portrays a portrait of Lydia Pinkham and she goes on to tell about other business women who follow her footsteps. Lydia Pinkham combines her business with social service. She supports women’s rights, temperance and their social as well as economic reform. Her kind and beautiful face shines in the pages of papers to advertise her medicinal products to cure the diseases of women. She expects a militant feminist would support the business policy of Pinkham. She would certainly support women’s rights, independence as well as social and economic upliftment. She would react positively to Lydia’s advertising to champion women’s rights, temperance and fiscal reform. She would equally support the women’s advice on nutrition, exercise, hygiene and child rearing. She would, thus praise the activities of Pinkham and other women who tried to make the women race socially aware and economically independent. Lydia Pinkham and many other women of her time played different roles to promote women’s business. They competed with their male counterparts and didn’t hesitate to go to the court of law like male businessmen. A militant feminist would no doubt praise and support all these activities of women in this essay.
However; there are some debatable statements of the writer which are not digestible for a militant feminist. Lydia Pinkham suggests her women customers not to go to the male physicians. A true feminist wouldn’t support such idea. She also wouldn’t support the altitudes of Helena and Elizabeth who attracted women to use cosmetics in the hope of getting married to European aristocrats. She would object the idea of limiting women’s business within their own race. A true feminist may think that men and women are interdependent. In the absence of either men or women, the world will not run. Thus, the business women should focus on the equality of men and women.

“Women’s Business” differs in many ways from their male counterparts. The business women combined their business with social service. They displayed their images to advertise their products. The women offered their customers more than their products. They supported women’s rights, temperance, and social and economic reform. They gave advice to their customers about diet, exercise, hygiene etc. They printed reports for the women to cure physical problems, infertility nervousness, hysteria and even marital conflict. They used their images as women to promote their business. Helena and Elizabeth, for example, took advantage of their images as women to promote their business of cosmetics. Some business women tried to show their roles as mother and grandmother and some other developed their images as glamorous fashionable women. They advertised their products, promoted their business and earned a lot of money as well. Some women even invested some part of their profit into good works and social reform. However, women were more sex conscious. They helped only women and promoted traditional women’s skills. Lydia Pinkham, the leading American Business woman of that time advised her customers to avoid male physicians. In the realities of the market place, some business-women didn’t support feminism.


  1. Later women capitalized adopted Lynda’s business method for their won enterprise. Lynda used to show her kind face and Elizabeth and Helena also used their faces but there faces were glamorous like of aristocratic women in Egypt. Lydia used to be devoted to the social work and they also supported some social and economic functions. Lydia used to suggest her costumers about health, diet, women’s diseases and other also suggested the benefits of raw foods. Jennie Grossinger established a hotel for food and entertainment in New York. They could improve their business by following Lydia. Following Lydia they all used women’s skill for the promotion of women. They all introduced local matter and used traditional methods. They follow Lydia’s realistic method.
    But they couldn’t follow all the way followed by Lydia. Helena and Elizabeth couldn’t follow her kind face whereas their faces were glamorous which couldn’t give real image. Lydia could do both her morality and duty by selling alcohol and supporting temperature. Other women’s business holders advertised false so they were controlled by government because there advertisement was extravagant. So, their ideal manners were different.

  2. The businesswomen the writer introduces are different in many ways from their male counterparts. The businesswomen highlighted local products and advertised their benefits and important suggestions about their health, diet and exercises to their customers. They were centered to the development of women using their own skills. They could show their facial expression in papers. Women took only their familiar field for the business which was totally different from the business of male.
    They introduced their role into business of men but they never supported feminism. They were oriented to profit. They were interested to social and classical development and they used their money for social welfare. In this way they were different from their male entrepreneurs of their days.

  3. A militant feminist would admire and support this essay because this essay raises many feminist issues. Lydia continues the traditional skills of women in her product and she would advertise about diet, health and would be a happy matter for her. She may like the profit from business and devotion to the social works. She would like various women business like hair-dressers’ training centers for women and blacks. Perhaps she likes kind women’s face more than glamorous appearance. She would like to advice to make vivid in production.
    I think she wouldn’t like to follow only traditional skills in production and she likes to see some modern additional points. She likes to get some important suggestions from male physicians too besides experienced women. She would prefer only real advertisement not false announcement.

Styles and Rhetoric

What is the thesis (theme) of the essay? How did the business women (female entrepreneur) differ from their male counterparts? In which way did they resemble the male entrepreneurs of their days?

Ans. The thesis of the essay is to focus on the success of American business women who adopted innovative business strategy and establish themselves in respectable position in the business field as well as in the society. The business women were also involved in social work for uplifting the society. However, their aim was to promote their own business on the pretext on social service for the sake of their business, they activated the society, earned money and upgraded their own position in the society.

The women entrepreneurs discussed in this essay were different many ways from their counterparts. The women were involved in earning money along with social service for upgrading their own position. Adopting the cleverest marketing techniques by rendering practical advice on various advices they activated the women of the society. They were not only involved in selling their products but also played an important role for the benefit of the society. They cleverly utilized their image of being women to upgrade their business. They were extremely sex consciousness with they revealed by serving the female only. Lydia advised her customer to by pass the male physician.

Adopting new business skill the female entrepreneurs were able to introduce feminine’s role in the male dominated world of commerce in America.

The business women were similar to their male counterparts in the matters of obeying the law of the state besides their claim about their produces through misleading and lavish advertisement.

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