Working women have it rough, and other startling news from the New York Times
Mickey Meece had a startling discovery in Saturday’s New York Times Business section: Women are never going to break the glass ceiling if they don't stop their cat fighting!
The “pink elephant in the room” (gag me) of business is women bullying one another. The Workplace Bullying Institute reports that 40% of workplace bullying is done by women. I know what you’re thinking, “Doesn’t that mean men do most of the bullying?” But actually, “Male bullies [at least] take an egalitarian approach, mowing down men and women pretty much in equal measure.” So, it’s okay when they do it, and that doesn’t warrant any kind of social analysis (or the front page of the Business section).
The article is mostly supported by personal anecdotes from women that sound like commonplace work issues, but in the context of the article, all focus the blame on other women, only adding to the notion that women should see other women as a threat to their career aspirations.
Because there is an Important Research Institute dedicated to workplace bullying, there have been some scientific explanations for this phenomenon, like how women target other women because “they can find a less confrontative person or someone less likely to respond to aggression with aggression.” They also report that bullying stems from “frustration, personality traits, perceptions of unfair treatment, and an assortment of stresses and strains,” leading Meece to entertain another hypothesis to why women might be compelled to bully one another: systemic oppression! How novel!
Meece ventures, “Is there a double standard at work?” As it turns out, women are expected to conform to society’s expectations of them! And in the workplace, there is a delicate balance between being too feminine and too masculine!
Researchers from Canada came up with a solution: To “remind women that they are members of the same group.”
Awkwardly tacked on to the end of the article is a bit about how high-tech company Televerde has outsourced work to female prisoners in Perryville, AZ. As it turns out (!) these incarcerated women work efficiently and don't bully one another at the call-centers. What larger contrast is there than inmates and CEOs?!
This article is so problematic it was hard to decide where to start.
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