Saturday, August 21st, 2004 -- Jane is winding down a busy week of writing, meetings, musings, and research. It's almost nine months since our book Dickless Marketing: Smart Marketing to Women Online went live online and at Amazon.com as well as Barnes and Noble. Nine months...the same amount of time it takes to make a baby.
Interesting correlation, you may think. Pregnancy is the same for every woman, and yet, so different and unique to each individual, any attempt to capture a true expression of what it means to be pregnant requires interviewing every woman alive who has ever given birth. A truly monumental -- and impossible -- task.
In our book, we attempted to answer the centuries old question: What do women want? Like describing pregnancy with any accuracy, attempting to define what women want is a monumental and impossible task. However, one does attempt the impossible every now and then, as these XXVIII Olympic events are proving, again and again.
The impossible becomes possible when one approaches it with determination that expects success. Lest those who have never been pregnant doubt those of us who have, let it be known that pregnancy and childbirth is an experience that transcends the realm of most human experience. We compare it to the writing process, to building a business, and to the overwhelming emotional and stressful privilege of participating in the Olympic games.
And, we think it is a good part of what women want.
We say "part" of what women want, because not all women want to be mothers -- of children.
However, almost all women want to mother something...sometimes that something is a dream of writing a novel, owning a business, creating a masterpiece in art, or finding the cure for cancer. Whatever you can dream of accomplishing or creating, there is a woman out there sharing that dream with you. And, the work it takes to make that dream come true is much like going through a pregnancy, or training for the Olympics, whether the dream comes to fruition in nine months or nine years.
Jane hopes readers immediately recognize the implication here. This is what we are saying, in a nutshell: women want the same things men want. First and foremost, we want respect. We want consideration for our hopes and dreams. We want to be recognized -- not ignored, as if our presence is an invisible entity hovering in a corner. We want to be given a chance to compete, on a level playing field. We want to make our own decisions, asking for help when necessary, but taking full responsibility for the outcome, if we go forward on our own.
In the last nine months, since Dickless Marketing went live, the world has been courting women with a lot of sweet talk; Business 2.0, Fast Company, Fortune, Forbes, USA Today, are all reporting on the power of the women's market, scrambling to be the first one to answer Freud's question: What Do Women Want?, and a number of intelligent, creative women have lent their insight to the questions (Michele Miller, Kirsten Osolind, Anita Campbell, Andrea Learned, Martha Barletta, Mary Lou Quinlan, to name only a few), but the question remains unanswered.
Jane is willing to go out on a limb and say that the question will never be fully answered. Nor should it be. As each generation of women enters the business arena, its members bring new ideas and new perspective to the landscape. This summer, in the year 2004, we see hope shining on the horizon. Hope that the marketplace is finally serious in its attention to the women's market. We hope the talk is true, and that taking women seriously -- as consumers who handle the household finances, as employees who wield a large amount of power in how companies and offices are run, and as business women or politicians in the public eye, working side by side with the good old boys of that Dick and Jane world best remembered in Leave it to Beaver re-runs, as well as partnering with men who know how to look beyond the high heels and perfume and accept the woman they are working with as equal in intelligence and fortitude -- will continue to grow. There is a pregnant feel to what is happening in the world of business today. An anticipation that winning the gold or silver or bronze medal is not a matter of gender, but of determination and desire. Let it be so.
She asks, what's not to like about that?