I got pulled aside by my boss for one of his usual bytheway meetings in the hallway.
“You know you are way too nice,” he said. “You should yell more. How will your team respect you if you don’t yell at them.”
At the time I didn’t understand this. When he said it to me, I looked at him and said, “I don’t feel the need to yell at them. I have my own ways of getting results by treating them as equals and projecting an air of authority by being calm and in control. You don’t have to yell to be in charge.”
Now that I’ve started researching the differences between the masculine and feminine approaches to management, I understand his reaction better. The male approach is a single-focused, target oriented, hierarchical way of thinking. It doesn’t take more feminine factors like feeling, connection, emotion, and community into account.
Because the workplace has traditionally been dominated by men, the masculine approach of “yelling at people” was the only one my boss and many others had ever learned.
For over a century, workers’ rights and obligations have been set down according to men’s preferences, needs, and point of view.
Although there are great strides and more women in management than ever before, due to perception and status quo there is still a long road ahead for the feminine attributes to be the norm.
As a result, women are expected to act like “men in skirts.” Today, a majority of mentors, seniors, and managers are still men. They are teaching the old masculine approach, which often feels unnatural.
The result of being forced to repress our natural tendencies every day is the emergence of the phenomenon popularly known as “bitchiness.” For those who don’t go bitchy - i.e., acting like men - repressing ourselves makes men perceive us as insecure or incompetent, simply because we don’t act exactly as a man would expect.
In our eagerness to create a politically correct version of equality, we overlook the damage being done to both men and women by repressing our humanity.
My goal is to create a voice, community, and the space for women to be women and men to be men in the workplace. The truth is, difference is strength.
Have you ever felt your true self repressed at work and your “inner bitch” came out as a result? If you like this or think someone else would like this, please share!