THE QUESTION OF THE DAY: Do you have to be a bitch to be successful? It seems that every woman who breaks through the ceiling is called a bitch. Do you have to be a bitch to be successful? Or, is society still draping assertive, strong women with negative stereotypes? To explore these questions we first need to distinguish between a real bitch and a strong businessperson who just happens to have breasts. We have to acknowledge that there are “real bitches” in the business world, women who are absolutely vicious. They don’t just step on a few heads on their way up; they ground their stilettos through the skulls. They view everyone as expendable and do absolutely nothing to support the growth of women based industry. Everyone has come across her. She can make a grown woman cry and takes every opportunity to belittle her co-workers. These women are really out there and they are creating real, identifiable havoc.
Laura Tanenbaum, author of “Catfight”, found that: “Many professional women confess they prefer male rather than female supervisors. They complain that women at work refuse to share power, or withhold information, or are too concerned about receiving credit for every little thing they accomplish, or are cold toward underlings (male and female alike). In such complaints they use the word ‘bitch’ a lot,”
On top of that, the U.K.National Workplace Bullying Hotline reported that half of its 3000 calls were regarding a female serial bully. That’s more then four people every day, who are so exasperated with the treatment they receive from a female co-worker ,that they seek expert advice in dealing with the situation.
This now begs the question – why do these women behave this way? Many experts fall back on the old excuse that women who behave in an overly aggressive manner are doing so to duplicate the behavior they see in men. It’s as if everyone really believed the old “sugar and spice and everything nice” story. No one seems able to admit that the women who behave like tyrants do so simply because they were born that way.
If you’re working for someone who fits the description of the real bitch, you have my sympathies. Waiting for her to show her softer side probably is a waste of time. The best advice may be to send her a link to this article and see if she can take a hint. You should probably be prepared for a short period of unemployment immediately following your giving her this book but nonetheless, the stress just isn’t worth staying in the situation.
The levels of anxiety and depression that arise from being in a virtual war zone can have devastating effects on your emotional, physical and mental health. Have some faith in yourself and take the time to find what makes you truly happy in life and then find a way to make a living doing that. You will eventually find your niche, be it with a company that appreciates you, or be it out on your own.
Then you can sit back and watch your nemesis die miserable and lonely and then you win. We mustn’t however, confuse being what has been described as a “sociopath in a skirt” with being an assertive, or even aggressive, businesswoman. Just because a women deals openly and honestly with her business partners does not make her a bitch. Just because she stands her ground when she knows she’s right doesn’t make her impossible to deal with. Just because she asks for details and does her own investigation, doesn’t make her a control freak. It makes her smart.
So no, I don’t believe that you have to be a bitch to be successful, but I don’t think it hurts once in a while either.