March 8, 2013

"What makes these queen bees so effective and aggravating is..."

"... that they are able to exploit female vulnerabilities that men may not see, using tactics that their male counterparts might never even notice."
Like Jane's gossiping about Erin's personal life. Or when Kelly's boss would comment on her outfit: "Who are you trying to impress today?" Or not-so-gently condescend: "Did you take your smart pill today, sweetie?" Their assaults harm careers and leave no fingerprints.

That is one reason many victims never see such attacks coming—and are powerless to prevent them. In Kelly's case, she had assumed her female boss might want to help foster her growth out of some sense of female solidarity. Erin had specifically sought out working at the magazine because she admired Jane's writing and wanted to learn from her. Why wouldn't Jane be eager to teach? It is women, after all, who are hastening the table-pounding male bullies toward obsolescence.

50 comments:

Expat(ish) said...

Hmmm, I've had several female bosses over the years (and many male) and they've all been quite different from each other.

Overall I've had a less positive experience with my female bosses, but the sample is fairly unbalanced and I've had some dynamite male bosses, so my experience may be skewed.

But one thing I don know - people have different motivations in their jobs, depending on personality, career level, and aspirations. And if you don't get that any play to it, well, you're in trouble no matter what genitals are present in the room.

_XC

Nomennovum said...

Well, who the hell would find any of this surprising?

Darrell said...

You counter such attacks with counter-attacks--perhaps disguised, if you really are concerned with your job. For example--

"Who are you trying to impress today?"

"Obviously, not you. Someone with classic taste and a sense of style might appreciate it, though."

Or you can just do what a man would do. Example (same initial question)--"And the horse you rode in on. "(Embellishment) "And the boat you came over on."

Brew Master said...

Cutthroat people are cutthroat, regardless of gender.

Is this surprising? I guess it is to people who are raised to view people as members of victims groups, and outsiders as oppressors.

It is a rude wake-up call when one finds oppressors in all groups, and not just in those designated villain groups.

Mugged by reality yet?

Nomennovum said...

In general, women are horror shows in tranditionally male roles. Furhtermore, feminism has debased corporate culture to such an extent that the typical white collar job in any business of a certain size has become more soul-crushing for men (and women, for that matter) than ever. Take a look at the typical Human Resources Department and what they produce, if you think I exagerate. Women tend to wreck everything created by men once they get their mitts on it.

Mitchell the Bat said...

I've always had a thing for queen bees, being something of a drone, myself.

Nomennovum said...

Cutthroat people are cutthroat, regardless of gender.

You're missing the point.

TosaGuy said...

"In Kelly's case, she had assumed her female boss might want to help foster her growth out of some sense of female solidarity."

That was mistake number one. Never assume someone will take care of you because you are share a similarity.

MadisonMan said...

In Kelly's case, she had assumed her female boss might want to help foster her growth out of some sense of female solidarity.

Yes. Men do this all time out of some sense of male superiority (eyeroll)

Assume no one wants to help you out of the goodness of their heart. Work hard, learn from your (hopefully few) mistakes and do everything that is asked of you. Then you will be rewarded. (If not, do you really want work someplace where hard work is not rewarded?)

It sounds like Kelly in the article wanted a shortcut to easy street.

YoungHegelian said...

Wouldn't you know it? According to the article:

Men use fear as a tool of advancement. Why shouldn't women do the same? Until top leadership positions are as routinely available to women as they are to men, freezing out the competition will remain a viable survival strategy.

So it still boils down to the same old "Some women are nasty, mean bitches because men aren't nice enough to them yet."

TosaGuy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Ellison said...

Huh. Once when I happened to be wearing black pants and a white shirt at the office, a colleague turned to me and said "can I get a water?"

I got over it. Actually, I laughed, because it was funny.

wyo sis said...

No surprises here. Who would be naive enough to think mean girls grow up to be nice people.

BDNYC said...

Bitches be crazy

Pogo said...

"Professional sisterhood?"

What a gulli-bull!
What a nincowpoop!

Tim said...

Lol.

Feminism.

Lol.

Icepick said...

Once again, thank God I'm a white straight male and don't have to deal with this crap. Seriously, what the Hell is wrong with you chicks?

Seeing Red said...

So Kelly was indoctrinated into the sisterhood belief/religion and found it wasn't so?



Sucker.

Icepick said...

I just love micro-aggressions.

ricpic said...

Schlimazl Kelly

She's whip smart,
She's got knockers,
Boss an old male fart
She'd be on toppers,
Under Queen Bee cart
She's got no naches.

Bob Ellison said...

If this article had been written by a man, it would be correctly maligned as misogynistic.

edutcher said...

The whole "sisterhood" was always a crock and most men saw it right away.

As my mother said, long before feminism, "women hate other women more than men hate other men".

Pogo said...

"Professional sisterhood?"

What a gulli-bull!
What a nincowpoop!


Whatta maroon!

- B Bunny 1942.

Freeman Hunt said...

I find it hard to relate to the dream of advancing up the ladder in an office somebody else owns.

ricpic said...

Hey Nomenomenomenen, I'll have you know our own Titus is an HR Staahr!

Icepick said...

In the big corporate world you should fear compliments as well as put-downs. Two statements you don't want your boss to say to you (or anyone else) in Corporate-stan:

"You're one of the most intelligent people I know."

-and-

"You're one of the most interesting people I know."

The first means, "You're going to make me look bad by comparison, so I'd better fire you." The second means, "You don't fit in here, so I'd better fire you."

Corporate-stan is a very cut-throat place.

madAsHell said...

Is this the post to commemorate International Women's Day??

Nomennovum said...

Men use fear as a tool of advancement.

Bullshit on stilts. Typical female rationalization.

Beta Rube said...

I own a company that sells systems and services to businesses. I have been on the wrong end of unhappy queen bee service calls too many times in 25 years.
The call starts with "you promised us" and then devolves to all manner of heartache and betrayal. Of course they are the customer and I shut up and take it, but just once I would love to say "save the drama for your husband and tell me what the fuck is wrong,I'll send a guy out to fix it."
In the middle of one of these sessions, I think of course of Rex Harrison and this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Doz5w2W-jAY

SGT Ted said...

"In Kelly's case, she had assumed her female boss might want to help foster her growth out of some sense of female solidarity."

So, Kelly is relying on overt sexism to advance her career. Where would she get such a notion? It would be the female supremacist sexism that tarts itself up as "feminism" and "empowerment" that has infested the University that inculcates this type of "thinking".

Dante said...

In Kelly's case, she had assumed her female boss might want to help foster her growth out of some sense of female solidarity.

So Kelly though her boss might be sexist, and doesn't see anything wrong with talking about it.

Who knows, maybe Kelly's boss views Kelly as a weakling for requiring support in this way. It is pretty disgusting.

FleetUSA said...

Bitches come in managers of both genders. Work hard, keep your head down, and look for other jobs both inside and outside the company.

The most important thing is to do your job and make your boss look good (even a bitch). Others are watching and know how you work and understand your situation. If you work well they'll move you into another department.

Tibore said...

"I met Kelly while I was conducting research on women in the workplace. She was trying to puzzle through what she had done wrong and what to do about it."

Well, how 'bout Kelly just frikkin' ask instead of trying to puzzle it out? We all have our self image, and everyone has their image of us, but it's the ones who actually leave behind the passiveness and ask the boss "what am I doing wrong? What can I do better" that'll get the feedback necessary to understand how others view her and find ways to work through that.

It's not a mystery, nor a secret. And it's certainly not gender-specific. It's just a matter of actually doing it and handling the critique that comes from it.

Julie C said...

I get so sick of this presumption that boys are bad bullies and girls are just so wonderful. Then when the girls discover that other girls can be horrible, we get articles like this. Only now it's "my boss isn't helping me!"

Spare me. Girls from about aged 7 are capable of incredible cruelty. But our schools seem to only really care about the boy stuff, since boys aren't nearly as subtle as girls.

I worked in a brokerage firm where guys would literally scream obscenities at each other across the room. As soon as the market closed, they would be heading out together for drinks.

We women can hold grudges for decades.

glenn said...

Think how great it will be when the women are doing all the work and us men can hunt, fish, and watch NASCAR reruns all day.

Snort, snort.

Larry J said...

Dante said...
In Kelly's case, she had assumed her female boss might want to help foster her growth out of some sense of female solidarity.

So Kelly though her boss might be sexist, and doesn't see anything wrong with talking about it.


Let's change a few words in that sentence so the bias can be clearly seen:

In Kevin's case, he had assumed his male boss might want to help foster his growth out of some sense of male solidarity.

Using the exact same thought processes, Kevin would be decried as a sexist (and probably racist). Why is it any different when Kelly does it?

My work background is heavy on military and high tech experience. I've had a few female supervisors over the years and had no overt problems with them. My wife is a retired nurse. She frequently told me that she much preferred to work with and for men instead of women. It seems too many women are stuck with the same insecurity and bitchiness so often displayed by junior high school girls.

Scott M said...

Why is it any different when Kelly does it?

Because assuming so would put Kelly in line with legions of put-upon women that have been oppressed for generations. Surely (Shirley?) you know that the noble oppressed are allowed to live by different standards that those doing the oppressing.

rhhardin said...

I dropped the WSJ when it started being all women's pages.

Larry J said...

Scott M said...
Why is it any different when Kelly does it?

Because assuming so would put Kelly in line with legions of put-upon women that have been oppressed for generations. Surely (Shirley?) you know that the noble oppressed are allowed to live by different standards that those doing the oppressing.


Stop calling me Shirley.

Scott M said...

Stop calling me Shirley.

It's a big building with doctors and patients, but that's not important right now.

tim said...

They start early. My good friends lovely smart enthusiastic little girl (kindergarten) is a follower of a queen bee and he already sees the nightmare.

They were at aschool function, the qb could not cross the monkey bars but his little girl did. After that happened three times qb called his girl to the side. Her instructions were to start on the monkey bars and then fall on the qb's signal like she couldn't make it across.

Shanna said...

Didn't Kelly go to junior high? She should know better.

I've had good and annoying women bosses and good and annoying male bosses. Some people suck at being the boss.

My wife is a retired nurse. She frequently told me that she much preferred to work with and for men instead of women.

We always say nurses eat their own.

Bruce Hayden said...

There are queen bees out there, and you had better respect them, or they will take you out, male or female. Worked with two of them that I can remember, and both tried to take me out. First one was a legal secretary who got her buddy to help her make false sexual harassment claims to my female boss. When that backfired, I think that she kept on trying. The second one was a paralegal, and she just didn't file some of my stuff that needed to be filed. I suggested to those clients that they sue for malpractice. They didn't, and the woman let the firm move her and her family to Silicon Valley before jumping to another firm.

It is as if most women are ok, but you will get one of these vicious queen bees once you get a certain critical mass of women together in an office. Maybe a half dozen or so?

I do think that it is a power thing, and females exert power more subtly than males do. We (males) pretty much show our position in the male hierarchy, and then are mostly content there. With queen bees, they have to keep exerting their power in order to maintain it, since it isn't overt.

MadisonMan said...

It's a big building with doctors and patients, but that's not important right now.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop drinking.

Kelly said...

Julie C, that is so true about men screaming at each other one minute, being buddies the next. The stuff my husband tells me that goes on at work amazes me. They harass the hell out of each other to the point most woman would be in tears.

One time my husband was flying for business. He told the ticketing agent his coworker, who was next in line, was slow, hearing impaired and sensitive about it. When it was the guys turn, the agent talked slowly and enunciated clearly. After a minute of this, the coworker turned to my husband standing to the side and simply said, "you bastard", and went on with things.

Matthew Sablan said...

Whenever some woman has told my friends and me to "treat her like one of the guys," we did. Then, we promptly learned not to do so. The way men interact with each other is often very, very different than what women are comfortable with (and vice versa, on the average, though there are, of course, exceptions.) That's really what we're seeing here: gender dynamics in the work place are under a microscope so we see how things sometimes don't work. Or at least, that's a theory.

Lydia said...

The term "queen bee syndrome" was coined in the 1970s, following a study led by researchers at the University of Michigan

Except for that lovely "syndrome," Joan Crawfordbeat them to it in 1955.

Come to think of it, she'd held movie seminars on the topic since about 1925.

Scott M said...

Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop drinking.

Tell that to George Zip.

Tibore said...

"Scott M said...
Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop drinking.

Tell that to George Zip."


I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you.

SOJO said...

It hasn't been a problem in the workplace for me for the most part. It's my personal life where its reared its head.

Het men are by and large incredibly oblivious, but gay guys see it all and then some.

The thing that gets to me is the attacks that are almost completely gratuitous with no payoff that I can see.

I guess when they are young, guys can just hit each other. Cross a line, you pay. Women do not have that option, so this develops.

Eric said...

Men use fear as a tool of advancement. Why shouldn't women do the same? Until top leadership positions are as routinely available to women as they are to men, freezing out the competition will remain a viable survival strategy.

Top leadership positions are as routinely available to women. More available, in fact, since companies want to prove just how PC they are.

While some men do rule by fear it's not actually very helpful to their careers, any more than mistreating female subordinates is helpful to a woman's career. People like that drive out the most productive employees, leaving only those who're good at shifting blame.

It's something that always bothered me about Glengarry Glen Ross. If you came into my workplace with that "coffee is for closers" bullshit at least half the people would walk out before you were even done with your speech.