Do women make the worst bosses?
lkista at unm.edu
Thu Jul 2 12:03:23 EST 1998
> My dad said something to me recently which rather shocked me: he said
> "Never, NEVER work for a woman if you can help it". My first reaction was
> as any reasonable feminist type would -- how can you make such a terrible
> generalisation -- but I think he may actually be right!
> There are some women in science who are as nice as they are intelligent and
> hard-working, but in my experience (in getting now to the end of a PhD) a
> great number of the women in charge are nasty, vindictive, spiteful and
> seem to have chips on their shoulders, and their behaviour seems
> particularly directed towards other women! Men under their care seem to be
> treated as golden boys whilst the women are treated like naughty, lazy,
> sullen little girls.
I wonder what the percentages of "asshole male" vs. "asshole female"
bosses are. I would bet they are the same. Of course if there is only
woman in the department and she is a jerk, that kind of skews the results!
I wonder if we *expect* the women to be "nicer". And if one isn't, then it
a bigger deal is made about her gender than if she were a man. I have
observed more of a tendancy for people to say of a white male "Oh he is
just a jerk" while a person of color or a woman is likely to have
jerkiness ascribed to the whole of that class. Kind of goes along with
being really visible as one of the few of the "out group" represented.
I think for some of the older women, who had to fight tooth and nail to
make and keep their places, they had to be really tough, almost more
masculine than the men in order to prove they are worthy.
> These are the senior women who were supposed to be our role models in
> science and in society, and yet they seem to want us relative youngsters to
> fail whilst they sneer (perhaps they are resentful because they had it
> harder, but that seems to be a pretty low excuse!). It was said that
> Rosalind Franklin was fairly difficult to work with too, but surely we have
> moved on since THEN!?
Hmmmm. Franklin might have been not much fun to work with, but based on
his own account, neither was Watson, who was pretty much responsible for
transmitting the "Franklin as bitch" message. I wonder how pleasant any of
us would be if the men around us were subtly and not so subtly letting us
know that we weren't welcome? Would we be all sweetness and light to those
being that unwelcoming?
For the record, I have seen a couple of women acting as you described. I
have also seen quite a few more men acting that way.
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