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March 09, 2010



Your blog is very timely, Hannah. For example, even though Roger Williams did sprint to the podium and didn't wait for his co-Oscar-winner (Elinor Burkett) to join him, her interruption and her taking over the short speech didn't accomplish much. I truly feel for her, because it seems that the whole thing really was her idea and then the documentary took a direction she didn't approve of; but nonetheless, this is a perfect example of how a woman can be right, and yet her manner is completely counterproductive. But the way in which Roger Williams behaved certainly wasn't conducive to a 'harmonious environment' either . . .



Disappointing. On EVERY level.


While it'd be nice if everyone were more mindful, the author of the article argues that women have a narrower band of acceptable behavior. Because of this, she suggests women take particular care to avoid extremes and thus be more mindful.

She anticipates your reaction:
"When I suggest to women that they make communication adjustments, there’s often a huge pushback. “Why do we have to change? It’s not fair,” they tell me. And they are right. But as long as the stereotypes remain all-powerful and are perpetuated by men and women alike, it’s necessary to navigate them."


Interesting article. While I couldn't agree more that it is so important that we all try to become a little more careful of how we conduct ourselves, I'm not so insulted that the article directed its advice specifically to women, especially since we are the ones who are subject to the double standard. We are definitely in need of a more polite, sensitive and CLASSY generation-why not have the women start this movement?

We have to start from somewhere.


"She anticipates your reaction:"

Dominik, I think that's what Hannah is expressing. She wants to know why the author (although agrees that it's not the ideal) is taking a more pragmatic stance.

Although I don't agree with the double standard when it comes to pay, I do understand it in terms of approach in leadership. Women are generally nurturing, loving, and accepting, while men are generally more driven.

Women can and should be just as ASSERTIVE, but when done in a non-feminine way it causes them to be labeled "bitchy". I can understand that. I think the same would be true for men, that if they asserted themselves in a meek way they'd be called......

Hannah Herman

Hi, Im a little under the weather today, so my attention span is short...
Julie, I like your spin on things! Your idea is so on target- we DO need to start somewhere.
Dominik, the excerpt that you posted is not my "reaction". I am fine with her overall message, and I did not say to myself "gee, why should I have to change?"...What bothered me was her wording in that paragraph, something about it had a whiff of an "I told you so" attitude, underlined with a bold highlighter saying: Ladies, you MUST change.

Wendy- wow, I didnt watch the Oscars, and all I can say is that I too feel sorry for her. And you are right, because her behavior did not improve her situation...


Yes, I picked up on that tone too. I also wonder (not the author's fault, she is the messenger) why women who wanted raises were automatically associated with being "pushy" and negatively perceived. I think there is still an outdated perception that men are somehow "justified" in asking for a raise because they are supporting the family, whereas a woman is just asking for the money for herself.

Is this an accurate assumption in this age of high divorce rates and single motherhood? I don't think so. Indeed the whole basis of giving microloans in poorer countries to women rather than men is because these organizations have found that when you give women money, they are more likely to spend it on other people rather than squandering it away in bars, etc.

There are sex differences, yes, but sometimes unfortunately, there is just sexism.

Robin Goodfellow

I think-no, I don't think, I'm pretty darned sure-that the key is what the emotional motivations behind aspiring women are.

The thing about all those reality shows is that the "b*tchy" women are all motivated by pride/indignation, an "I'm better than you realize, so shut up and listen to me" attitude.

To a man, that's whining, and men don't respect that. Providing they have a degree of insightfulness, something in a position of authority can tell what someone's motivations are, easily. But benevolence is respected and admired equally by both sexes, and can be expressed as differently at the same time.

The key to not being a "b*tch" is knowing you have nothing to prove. It frees up emotional resources so you're not caught up on pride, and allows you (male or female) to excel and simply be worthy of success (providing you don't let it get to your head-someone who knows their value has no reason to be obnoxious).

The most successful student that graduated last year from my college program (I'm in my last year of Radio Broadcasting), is actually a young lady. She wasn't a b*tch, and she wasn't meek, either. But she was definitely benevolent, and pretty much my whole class looks up to her.


Ah, I misinterpreted your reaction. Thanks for clarifying!

I didn't get the "I-told-you-so" read the first time through, but I see it now upon a re-read.

A Man

The whole article is quite suspect, it's opening argument

“Even in this day and age, a guy barks out an order and he is treated like someone who is in charge and a leader. But when a woman communicates in the exact same way, she’s immediately labeled assertive, dominating, aggressive and overbearing". ... They may assume a strident command-and-control approach or else turn passive — by clamming up, being indirect, failing to ask for what they want or need, and refusing to delegate junior-level tasks and responsibilities.

is a false bifurcation. Many male 'leaders' can be aggressive and overbearing, and many women and be assertive without being 'bitchy'. Goodfellow puts it in good perspective, intent matters.

Christopher Stavros

A column by a woman that supposedly "puts the reality of the male/female double standard on the table" but in reality only talks about one side of the issue and in an entirely blaming tone?

Well, color me totally unsurprised.

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