Friday, August 03, 2007

Angry Women

I rarely ever blow my top, but if I do, I make sure I don't do it at work. For one thing, it's unprofessional. But mostly, I think it's because angry women don't get far at work.

A recent study confirmed this. Apparently angry women at work are considered incompetent and out of control, whereas angry men are seen as having high status. You can read about it on CNN.

I experienced this myself. When I was in college, I had an altercation with a teacher. I went into my lab and angrily relayed the story. I was looking for some advice, but got a very unreceptive and cold response from the guys there. As I was leaving, one turned to the other and said "wow, she must be having PMS." To them, I was out of control and not worth talking to. I had a sneaking suspicion that instead, if I told the story in a calm and neutral voice, I would have had a totally different reception. From then on, I vowed to keep my negative emotions under an extreme check while I'm at work as much as I could.

It's nice to finally know I had good reason for this.

But here's a thought (and this was mentioned in the article): given the results of this study, what kinds of challenges do you think Hilary is going to face in her Presidential campaign (and if she actually wins)? As President, it seems one needs to show some anger every once in a while (although too much anger is never good, even from a guy - Howard Dean demonstrated this clearly in 2004). But as a woman, the public will hold her to a different standard than all the other guys. Or maybe not - Hilary may be manly enough to pull it off. It'll be interesting to watch.

(the picture is from the CNN article)


susan said...

Interesting thought about Hilary.

I have to be very careful to control myself when I'm very angry as the tears have a tendency to fall. Which makes me even madder. Not a great way to get your point across.

Uncle KT said...

I agree that Hil as Prez will face interesting challenges...maybe some that are talked about in the article! However on that note--I think that it's pretty cool that no one has really talked about Hil being a woman. You mostly hear about the fact that if she wins that there will be a new "Clinton dynasty" and that some people don't like that. On ANOTHER note, I thought it was crappy of John Edwards to make a negative comment on Hil's jacket during the debate...

Peggy said...

Women can't get angry, you're right. We're seen as unstable or hormonal. We also can't be too pushy or we're seen as "bitches" or "ball breakers" where as when men are push or forceful in business it is seen as great stuff. Sigh We'll get there eventually.