Why are women so hard on other women at work?

As I wrapped up a meeting with a client, I stayed back and asked her something that’s been on my mind lately “Why are women so hard on other women?”

She said simply “Women don’t like being told what to do by other women” It doesnt make sense so I had to ask myself , is it true or just another stereotype we have about each other that shouldn’t be given too much weight?

One overlooked aspect of gender bias and stereotyping is that women are seen to not like working for women, they hate female bosses and prefer to work for a man.

There is a lot of research on women bullying women at work.
Below is a link to one such study, a nationwide poll on workplace abuse in the USA. Men are "equal opportunity bullies" but the 40% of bullies who are women pick on other women 70% of the time.

Women are not immune to biases about other women in the workplace.

Characteristics that are admired in men are looked at differently if displayed by a woman

Men are flexible but women are easily influenced.

A man’s anger is seen as legitimate but a woman is being emotional.  A man’s criticism is legitimate but a woman has it in for me

There are different expectations and perceptions about women at work than there are of men because narrow gender stereotyping has defined the way we should behave.

So we have the situation where,   women support staff are expected to be “nurturing and supportive”, traditionally feminine behaviour and women managers are supposed to be “aggressive and go getting”, traditionally masculine behaviour. These biases affect women in how they see and work with each other, from the idea that women prefer male superiors because they are “more competent and authoritative” to a preference for a male boss because they are “more susceptible to feminine wiles”.

The potential for misperception and conflict exists when “gender style expectation” is mixed in with the personal style of the one performing the work,  and added to that, is the perception that aggressive, confrontational, “go getting” styles are still seen as some as exclusively masculine and the only way to go.

Speaking generally, as a result of these biases, women need to prove their competence more so than men. So females become more detail oriented, more hands on and feel under greater pressure because the mistakes they make will be remembered while the mistakes of a man are soon forgotten. A man just represents himself a woman represents the competence of all womanhood.

Individuals will need to struggle through all of this but organisations need to understand this potential bias and how it arises, so it can be indentified and corrected so  it ceases to be a factor in workplace  interactions.

Not that women can’t or won’t get along with each other, but the personal and historic pressures that interfere with women getting along with each other need to be recognised. Stereotypes are a very powerful way of thinking but  we can develop a fairer and more harmonious workplace for all women managers and subordinates.

So to end on a lighter topic- this one made me laugh today - 3 ways to deal with complainers- protect yourself from negative attitudes - they can be like a virus we don't want to catch. 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalthekeyPhotos.net

MarieLouise says:
Thanks for the perspective. I have thought about it too. Have an awesome day!
Jenny La Brooy says:
It's a big question, one which i've never understood...whatever happened to girl power- there suddenly seems to be a disconnect when women just become bitchy & envious & don't stick together - come on girls time to reflect & be supportive - the more you give, the more you will get....just think on it :)
Elaine Alvarez says:
Women are not taught to help and support each other. We tend to compete or be distrustful of other women. Of the two bad bosses I had both were women. I prefer to work for a male boss, but have had some women bosses and mentors that were wonderful. I think it depends on how well women are trained (by other women) when they get into management. Men and women have different styles and come at things differently (perhaps because of gender).
Lucie Svobodova says:
I find this topic with women supporting other women truly explosive material. From another perspective, since there are still a minority of women in boardrooms and on the topmanagemnt, once they get there it is suddenly about being one of the boys and relating to that environment. Another woman becomes not an ally but rather a competitor. The men are already there, forming and shaping the stereotyped group, the womman is allowed inside and must adapt. I have encountered this phenomenon on several occasions while climbing up the ladder. Men have been more inclusive whereas women have set up traps and been harder on me on my way to the top. Women do not have the "boys locker room or gentlemen´s club" type of associations. I believe it is possible to break the pattern with more mixed environments in the workingplace, young-old, men-women, a reflection of life outside the workingplace. Thank you for the insight!
Tammy says:
I have had both good male & bad male bosses. Ditto for women bosses. When one of the female boss turned on me, it felt worse I think because of that "nuturing" aspect that women are suppose to provide (like a mother...) & I completely fell for it despite being able to rationalise it. It is difficult to put gender aside. I now work in a predominately female environment (previously job was an IT male environment), there is definitely more social chatter but also closed groups. That part of female behaviour irkes me, we need to be more accepting & take things less to heart.
Diana Younts says:

I did not know that women did not work well together. There is a book about that, I think it is called "Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten"..
Genevieve R says:
Fear of competition.

Emeka C says:
Every woman is an empress in her own kingdom and seeks to command and control everything in her environment. This is usually the source of conflict as no woman likes to orders from another woman. It's important for women to understand that only their kind understand them well and appreciate their problem and will be able to provide the needed support in the work place.
Glenys Jones says:
Hi Halinka and Jenny and all other EWA's - Women's Legal Service in SA is an all women NFP agency and very diverse and we all get along very well with lots of celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries or just because we love cake !!!

Sean Reddell says:
Hi there. I work a lot with female managers and leaders (seems like they're more interested in the soft skills development I offer) and have some observations for what they're worth.

I think traditional mgt models are quite masculine in character and I think many women have to assume complimentary traits (like aggression, competitiveness, strength etc) in order to get given the opportunity. And they then fall victim to the same trap male managers fall into. That is that the skills required to be an effective manager or even leader are NOT the same skills that actually got them there in the first place.

My advice to all the managers I work with. Trust your instincts. Nurture and develop your people, teach them to communicate thoughts and feelings, provide firm boundaries but get out of the way and let them (your people) do it. And above all.... Be Kind to Yourself.

Ramesh Sriramaneni says:
insecurity and self osessiveness
Yesuf Hagos says:
This is really a difficult issue? First is the issue researched? Are really women bosses difficult to women subordinates? Second what is the opinion of males who have women bosses? Do they prefer men rather than women? I think having a research done on this issue is important?
Halinka Panzera says:
Hi Yesuf,

There is a lot of research on women bullying women at work.
Below is a link to one such study, a nationwide poll on workplace abuse in the USA. Men are "equal opportunity bullies" but the 40% of bullies who are women pick on other women 70% of the time.
http://www.texasemploymentlawblog.com/2011/03/articles/dealing-with-bullies-at-work/
Suresh Nair says:
Aren't men as much hard on other men - in survival, in status, in position? I think the urge / self satisfaction to out grow others is prevalent in a man as much in a women.
Halinka Panzera says:
Hi Suresh, Men are, indeed, very hard on other men as well as themselves. I think we all need to develop approaches to bring out the best in the people in our organisations.
Too often people have a winner takes all attitude. There is a lot of satisfaction in helping and developing others as well as competing with and "outgrowing others"
Suresh Nair says:

Very true Halinka, the moment we all understand that everyone is important in an organisation and is very much a part in the growth and sustainability of the organisation the approach will change. The contribution of the driver, the canteen employee, the cleaner are as important for the organisation as everybody else in the upper echelon, without their back office support things will not be as easy as it looks. Once that "humane" feeling is instilled and appreciated the winner feeling will include the "group" & "we" rather than "me & myself". Thanks.

Halinka Panzera says:
Hi Suresh,
That's great that you mentioned, the cleaner, driver and canteen employee. I was thinking about just these categories of jobs the other day. So many people are overlooked but their contributions are so import to the functioning and morale of any organisation.

I judge an organisation by how everyone is treated and I am amazed at how so many people are ignored from top to bottom. People’s roles are seen as if they were cast in stone and there is no opportunity to contribute except in terms of strict compliance to your tasks or skill sets. I know I'm getting off topic here but that "humane" feeling is important and we need to break through to it.

One of the ways we can do this is by creating a climate where people feel they can approach others and speak. Everyone imagines themselves in their boss’s job and sees how it can be done better or knows what improvements can be made. We need to instil a spirit of real collaboration because ignoring people, or stereotyping is a very inefficient attitude to your employees.
Halinka Panzera says:
@ Sean,
I think you are right, there is a lot pressure on managers to conform to models of behaviour that do not necessarily serve anyone's best interest. Not the individual, nor the person that behaviour is directed at and not the company.

What I hope will happen, eventually, is that it will be easier for and respected in people, for them to trust their instincts and manage in a way that is natural for them without having their career penalised because they don't manage in the "right" way.
Kirsten says:
Much simpler conclusion, some people are just jerks--regardless of gender. Also, I think age plays a role too; older women don't like younger women.
Glenys says:
I am wondering whether it is to do with many women still not fully embracing the feminine model of working in the workplace. For many years I modelled male ways of doing business. I was successful and unhappy. I am so grateful for learning how to be more authentic. I now enjoy working well with men and women and them with me (previously I had clashed with other women).
Rika Keyser says:
I think one reason is becuase so few women are still making it to the top in organisation, the female mangers feel sort of 'exclusive' and some are reluctant to share the limelight with other women.

I have been fortunate, I had 2 female managers and both were mature and fair in relation to their management styles. Working for a global corporation, I have witnessed many women and men willing to climb over anypne to reach the top.

Many corporations are also now ranking people, so team work will be a casualty of this approach where employees now compete with each other to stay out of the bottom 25% (firing) line.
Frances D says:

Women do not seem to have developed good dispute resolution processes amongst themselves. Men can fight tooth and nail over an idea, be quite destructive to the others egos, and then go and have a drink together and behave like mates.

If we have a disagreement we often feel betrayed - our friends should have supported us - and we go away and hide and brood. And remember their betrayal for ever.
We do not seem to be able to separate the business from the personal.

Teaching debating and discussion can be a great tool to managing this issue.

And understanding that just because we are women, we do not have to support other women all the time! Support and agreement are not the same thing either. One can support a person but not an idea, or vice versa.
Halinka Panzera says:
Thanks Francis,
They are good points you bring up. I think women can take things too personally. Men do as well , but they still seem to behave sociably to each other, if only in a superficial way.

Reminds me of the old comparison. Men are like dogs, you kick them but they still come back to you. Women are like cats you kick them and wont go near you again.

I dont know if women should try to be more like men though. It sometimes makes you life and career easier but its good not to put up with nonsense. And to try to change work place culture is important too.

I have to be careful in talking about how women behave and how men behave. A lot is still anecdotal.

I agree with learning debating and discussion skills. Women are still historically new to the workplace and broader learning regarding dealing and managing conflict is a good idea. But men also need to do that too, possibly with a different emphasis.

Good distinction about support and agreement.
Kirrily Dear says:
Great topic!! Thanks for raising it Halinka. Can't say I've personally had an experience with an "aggressive" female manager. I know lots of wonderful, assertive ones though and feel very encouraged by my seniors. Leadership requires decision-making and the ability to instill confidence in those around you; confidence in themselves and in you as their leader. Softly, softly isn't always appropriate. I think flexibility in style is vital to success.
Deb McKenzie says:
In offices where competitiveness is encouraged, i see that women are particularly hard on other women. They will do whatevever, however, to gain favouritism, be in the best position for promotion or favours. I guess this can also apply to men but is much more obvious and underhanded with women. When we stop competing and just get on with doing the best job we can, we relax and become better workes and more nuturing people.
Glenys Crawford says:
Sean, I agree that women take on masculine characteristics in many workplace roles - particularly at high levels. This was true for me for many years. The interesting thing is that I couldn't see it. I don't believe it is the roles that make women that way. Just that we do not know there are other ways of being, in the workplace. I have since learnt to be authentic and tap into my feelings and intuition in business then let my more masculine traits of organisation etc get things done. My business life is much more fun, my colleagues enjoy who I am and I no longer have clashes with other high powered business women. I am really interested to know other females (and males) experiences with using masculine and feminine traits in the workplace.
Kirrily Dear says:
Great topic!! Thanks for raising it Halinka. Can't say I've personally had an experience with an "aggressive" female manager. I know lots of wonderful, assertive ones though and feel very encouraged by my seniors. Leadership requires decision-making and the ability to instill confidence in those around you; confidence in themselves and in you as their leader. Softly, softly isn't always appropriate. I think flexibility in style is vital to success.
Deb McKenzie says:
In offices where competitiveness is encouraged, i see that women are particularly hard on other women. They will do whatever, however, to gain favouritism, be in the best position for promotion or favours. I guess this can also apply to men but is much more obvious and underhanded with women. When we stop competing and just get on with doing the best job we can, we relax and become better workers and more nurturing people.
Janet Sernack says:
Great post, glad that someone had the courage to raise it, and others to acknowledge it. I have noticed, after observing this pattern of behavior for more than 30 years, I have think that it is one of the most destructive patterns in modern business. I think that it is a result of our patterns of behaviour that we learnt in childhood; being the most popular girl, being unliked, being the best at everything, proving ourselves to others, being clever, being a bully, or being bullied, we just play them out differently and more cleverly as adults.
As a corporate trainer, facilitator and executive coach, I have seen more nasty perfectionistic, competitive and power based behaviours between women, than between men. Quite shocking at times really!
I think that the masculine/feminine aspects are there, and that if women, would be more able to and willing to take responsibility and choose to break these operating patterns and operate from their essential collaborative feminine essence, then the workplace would be a much happier and more productive place to be.
Halinka Panzera says:
Women are in a real dilemma. We have to look after ourselves but we are also faced with the very real issue of supporting other women because we are still excluded and discriminated against.

We have to always keep in mind our position in society and how far we still need to go collectively. This is something we need to do that men don't worry about. The dog eat dog model, which I dont think is a particularly effective one anyway, certainly doesn't give women the tools we need to establish cooperative patters of behaviour.

We need to be aware of any bad habits and find alternative ways of interacting. We still have situations of if one women fails we can all be seen as not up to it.
Helen Conza says:
Interesting!
Africa Zanella says:
I dont think this statement is necessarily true Halinka, though I dont see the whole article so I could be missing the point. Please explain.AZ
Jeffrey Travers says:
I suspect there are human characteristics which are not admirable yet tend to be fairly common. One of them can be an attitude that if I have had to struggle to achieve something then others should have to suffer the same treatment. I don't think woman necessarily are immune to this attitude whether it is conscious or not.

I agree with Africa that it is not necessarily true all the time, but regrettably, it is often seen in the workplace.
Iman Debnath says:
Often true: Women tend to be hard on others and themselves too by trying to be super-competent, cause a woman (and I am guilty to quite an extent) often feels that when she acts, she literally represents all woman-kind. There have been several instances where I have received comments which included some rendition of '..and as a woman..'. Not sure why that reference has to be the ultimate benchmark of anyone's performance. Challenge is to let go of that image we create of ourselves and hold everyone up against. Maybe we need to stay out of our own head at times.
Halinka Panzera says:
Hi Iman,
What I find heartening are a range of performance studies showing that women are as or more competent than men.
We are hard on ourselves and each other. We have to deal with,as you say, representing all of woman-kind.
We also can't simply look after own career, like men can. Because our numbers are statistically low, we need to support and encourage women, especially in senior positions and positions of power. we should also make a point to search for companies that are owned and run by women and support them as well.
We won't be accepted until we reach critical mass.
Rebecca Tancredi says:
I'm always so amazed when I see a question like this because it has never been my experience in 20 years of working. I've good relationships and bad, with bosses, peers, direct reports, clients, etc. If there was any gender difference at all it was that my relationships with women were better - although it's been mostly positive across the board. I've had a 3 bad bosses - they were all men. The women bosses I've had range from good to fantastic. I have terrific relationships with young women who report to me. I think women challenge each other in a good way. I'm so surprised others have such a different experience.
Halinka Panzera says:
Hi Rebecca, I am glad to hear that you have had good experiences working with other women.
I personally have had many good relationships with women and I think it is because women tend to be more holistic in their approach to business, as with life. So in taking a broader approach it has meant we could address a wide range of ideas and issues early on. So for us working was made a lot easier plus it let us bond as well.
Nevena Stoynova - Boyadzhieva says:
Halinka, Iman, these are two valuable points here. I am thinking of this issue from another perspective. People (both men & women) tend to perceive insecurity as a sign of weakness in somebody's work or value delivered. It is much easier for a woman to spot other woman's insecurities, and I think quite often we take these "cracks in the facade" as signs for inefficiencies. Unfortunately, we also tend to point these out or chase the subject until we are satisfied with the other woman's answer. Well, this is at least unfair, because women tend to suffer from low self-esteem more often than men, so basically we are punishing our gender for who we are.
Judi Kidd says:
I have found that women who are true leaders are those who are secure with themselves, they are competent, intelligent, admit when they don't know something, they know how to do the job and how to lead without being nasty to those who work for them. They encourage those working for them to be the best. Women who are bosses, not leaders are insecure and tend to be nasty to those who work for them. There are women and men who are leaders and then there are the bosses. Bosses are not good managers and it shows over time with employees leaving, poor performance and negativity in the department. I have worked with leaders and bosses and the women who were leaders were my role models. Leaders are hard to find in companies today
Nevena Stoynova - Boyadzhieva says:
Great comment! Couldn't agree more. How about women (leaders or bosses) hiring vendors and being harder on those, who happen to be other women?
By the way, I've worked with female leaders who required more from their female colleagues (without being nasty) than from the male ones. Just because they knew they had the capacity to deliver more/better results.
Halinka Panzera says:
Hi Nevena,

That is a good point about women picking up on other womens insecurities. It could well aggravate the situation. Putting needless pressure on both parties. Women probably have more investment in other women succeeding, especially in an environment hostile to women. None of us can afford to look bad.
Halinka Panzera says:
Hi Judi,

The distinction between leaders and bosses is one I use myself. I am also concerned with the lack of leadership. I wonder if this is because of the pressure to conform is so great, people are not given the opportunity to lead or even develop leadership skills.
People will leave if they cannot improve and challenge themselves. No one wants to "mark time" if they have a career. I am amazed sometimes that companies want employees with high goals and high standards and yet do nothing to allow them to flourish.
maria martin says:
every behaviour up there has its point. Nevertheless on my own experience I "detected" that the most of the women who wants to get into the ejecutive world do not accept themselves like women at all, they try to adopt masculine point of views or attitudes (like the awful fact of judging a woman because of the lenght of her skirt, or her stilism) in order to be admitted in masculine circles. On my part I'm a woman and I want to be a woman with all my "back pack" and I do not shame to say that If we, for instance, give a birth we cannot be judged at work like men, because we are absolutely different but necessarily complementary. An enterprise it is not an NGO but it is formed by persons and we are a society like john donne said: " For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee."
Is it no a question of personality more than a question of gender?
Halinka Panzera says:
Hi Maria,

I've noticed too. that there are women buying into the "group think" so much that they end up adopting some of the very prejudices against women that the worst of the men have.
It may well be personality. You would assume a woman would have more sympathy for the needs of other women, but perhaps not. That is why it is important for there to be lots of women involved. So we can have different female perspectives. And that there is less pressure on the women in businesses to conform to practices that do not benefit women.
Vanessa Wiltshire says:
I would be interested in meaningful dialogue on this subject. It's something I see a lot of, not always personally, but particularly in my profession.
Myra Johnson says:
I have three theories. I’ll preface by saying the extent of my research is that I’ve had this conversation many times with my female colleagues and friends.

1) Maybe some women drank the Kool-Aid. These have bought into the mindset that men are more professionally apt in the workplace. They believe that when women:

a. Are self-confident
b. Stand their ground on issues
c. Are ambitious
d. Are tough leaders,

that they are too…you know…

But when men do the same, they are sharp, “go-getters.” Ready for the fast track. “Going places!”

2) Some women are of the mindset that only so many women can actually break the glass ceiling. When any one woman breaks the barrier, others perceive it as an opportunity taken that might have been theirs.

3) Subconsciously, some women view every other woman as competition (as though life were one big mating ritual) and bring that mindset to the workplace.

Again, only my theories; based on very un-scientific research.

Thoughts?
Nancy Alexander says:
Lots of interesting hypotheses here -- we need some researchers to get on the case!

I'll add that precedent and practice may be creating a pattern: many organizations are hiring a high percentage of women at lower levels, but those organizations in which a smaller percentage of women than men are promoted to top posts (a common situation) are a breeding ground for infighting for the small number of positions that become available.
Stee says:
I think girl power is bogus. Why should women have to stick together because of our common gender?? That's insulting.

As for the "research" about bullying, it is one poll that doesn't mention how many people were surveyed and in what type of work environment.

The author of this blog post, conveniently omitted that 60% of workplace bullies are men. Therefore men must be bullying the men if the women are bullying women 70% of the time.

Bet I won't find any blog posts about men banding together with "boy power" in the workplace.

Halinka Panzera says:
It is a matter of highlighting issues that affect people in the workplace. Women bullying women, unfortunately is a part of the workplace experience.
Male bullying is mentioned and they target other men and women equally, but I wanted to highlight the point that there are women that target other women specifically,"40% of bullies who are women pick on other women 70% of the time"
There are many studies on this topic, here is another one;

http://www.workplacebullying.org/wbiresearch/2010-wbi-national-survey/

It has more detail that may suit you, but the essential points are the same.
Naima says:
wow...this is a great topic with great input. thank you so very much for educating me. I have always been different (in comaprison to the dominant culture) and never been an "insider" and mistakenly thought that women behaved towards me differently because I was different. I have learned so much! thanks for the post!
Champ says:
Hi

Actually, i have had it other way around.Male bosses not understanding the need for flexibility during post partum etc.Today, most powerful people, clients/peers are Women.I think it is so intrinsic to personality type.I am Feeling type of person and if i had a Thinking type of Boss...regardless of Man/Woman ..it would take time to understand the objectivity they bring to the table.It is so short term focused to say that they are either bitchy or dont stick together.
Yes, if you are viewed as a threat by your boss, if the boss is not secure enough internally be it man or a woman it may result in some nasty situations...
Renata says:
I have been in business for long time, most of it as owner, so probably the does make a difference, but, when I was in the position to hire people I have always preferred women, I have always felt some kind of stronger relation with them and usually they were always the best. Obviously I did encountered the type of woman that would have been my enemy but most of the time my team was great. I think that the most common problem with us women, is when we encounter the "insecure" type them 90% of the times you are going to have a problem with it. I am a strong person that demand a lot from people, but I also demand a lot from myself; further more I also like to give a lot of space to people perhaps because I need a lot of space myself, but I find that this characteristic empower the person that in general you work with, and giving them confidence you receive confidence and respect back to you. As I said, there are women that I will never get along with, but probably is the same with some men when we do not see eye to eye.
Jennifer says:
It's not that I don't care being told what to do by other women. My situation in past jobs is that am singled out by a rude, insensitive person who thinks the whole world should bow down to her queen bee status. This is not only at work, but also with other women. Also find that women tend to be cliquish and clingy and you MUST dress this way, have a plastic surgery or gossip. to be part of their little grown up sorority. I say no. to any woman (black, white, brown or Asian). Any man who wants to cause a mean cat fight or enjoys double standards.

Time to grow up everybody. It's disturbing to watch even when it happens very frequently in today's world. My own self esteem.

We don't have to big old bitches just get along. I graduated high school along time ago. & don't need to find out my time management during the day or what some social pig said about me on facebook. Hire me for my qualifications and the work I do not why I can't hold onto supposed friends. its sickening.
ruth white says:
I would rather not deal with women. Their poor behavior has nothing to do with stereotyping. The most prejudiced, abusive, cruel and uncaring people I have met and worked with as a co-worker and a client are women. I refused to play the role of door-mat and pretend like I am unknowledgeable. I am not responsible for their feelings of inferiority.I was subjected to verbal abuse, retaliation and a physical assault by a group of these women. These women are in positions of power and are allowed to bully other women. No one holds these women accountable for their bad behavior. Their lack of professionalism is appalling.While demanding equal rights for themselves they forgot that everyone has the right to be treated with equality. Dirty tricks, bullying and back-stabbing does not belong any where especially in the workplace.
jannieloves says:
double standards. Women use their arrogance to get ahead nowdays and will backstab anyone whom gets in their way. No matter what!
Carlos B says:
I found a great book on bullying at work:

The Bully at Work -- Dr Niemi --- ( I have no connection to the author or publisher)

Just left a job where the female boss gave split days off to all the men and weekends off for the women.
Liz E. says:
I'm in my 40's and I've had MANY bad experiences working with other women! They are always the trouble makers. They are catty, competitive, gossip-y, two-faced and backstabbing. They are always the ones that cause problems, spread rumors, bully other people and spread negativity! I would rather not work with women at all! I have actually left some jobs because of women who increasingly caused problems in the workplace and made it unbearable for me. I have even had a woman try to get me fired just because she didn't like me. I have NEVER had these kinds of issues with any of the men I have worked with or for. I've had both male and female bosses as well, and working for a man is better. I find men to be more rational, logical and fair, and much less likely to let their emotions affect their decisions and behavior. Men are also much less likely to gossip, spread rumors, talk negatively about others or judge an employee based on attributes that have NOTHING to do with his/her work performance. Working with other women sucks. I hear similar stories from other people I know as well.
Jeanine G says:
You know, it's interesting, I've read lots of excuses over the years offered up by psychologists as to why women act in very aggressive, spiteful ways toward other women. These excuses range from: Women are not allowed to express anger in a patriarchal kingdom to women are pinned with unfair labels. These excuses are exactly that, excuses. Women know how to defer to men, and treat men with respect. However, they CHOOSE to mistreat other women. I really don't know what the excuse is; I don't know if it stems from some self-loathing mechanism; I don't know if it has to do with some primitive, biological need to fend off sexual rivals; I don't know if it has to do with a limited ability to find kinship with same sex fellow humans. I just know that women could tap into the intellectual part of their brains and treat other women with acknowledgment, courtesy, and understanding, if they really wanted to. I've always encountered great difficulties working with women in professional settings. They are spiteful, trouble-making, and viciously bullying. In addition, they are strongly cliquish. If you are different in any possible way from the females who've anointed themselves primary in the office, e.g., small, thin, heavy, dark, short, tall, pretty, ugly, etc., you will be targeted and punished. Female supervisors and managers are just as bad, if not worse. I have so many examples of maltreatment, I couldn't possibly list them all. I would much prefer to work with and for men. They make rational decisions based on work related matters; they don't gossip, nor do they socialize. Men also seem to be more intellectually grounded and less likely to base opinions and decisions on 'feelings.'

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