Debunking The Myth Of The Difficult Woman

Many of us can call to mind a difficult woman we know in our lives. She might be an overbearing boss, a friend’s nagging girlfriend or a cousin who’s a little too loud and opinionated at family gatherings. We tend to talk about these women knowingly and complain about them freely – the so-called “btches” in our lives who are impossible to please and never stop complaining.
However, the truth that many of us know some women who can fairly be called difficult obscures a larger cultural trend, in which any woman who is assertive, ambitious or otherwise strong-willed tends to be classified as “bossy,” “shrill” or “hard work,” even though men with the same characteristics aren’t thought of in a similarly negative way. The stereotypical Difficult Woman is therefore a myth, because if you scratch the surface you’ll usually see that her behavior is reasonable – or, at least, no worse when compared to a man’s.
The ‘Difficult Woman’ Myth – AND JUST WHY It’s Unfair
As we’ve mentioned, most people shall encounter some women in our lives which are genuinely hard to be around, and who could fairly be called difficult: a fantastic at the work who micromanages your every move, say, or an acquaintance who never stops berating you about trivial things you’ve supposedly done wrong. However, women which are assertive and operate for themselves tend to be more likely than men to obtain their behavior read as mean, stubborn, selfish or unpleasant, despite the fact that they’re engaging in an identical actions as their male counterparts.
Think about it. In the event a male boss tells you what things to accomplish and how exactly to take action exactly, we tend to consider him to be high-powered, authoritative and exacting. In the event a lady boss exhibits an identical behavior, a tendency is had by us to spell it out her as btchy, pedantic and fussy. The examples everywhere are, and not within our own office environments simply. Look at a male film star who’s tempestuous on set and doesn’t follow instructions. We’d call he a “maverick” and chalk his behavior around his talent; romanticizing his inability to be instructed and confined. However, an actress behaving just as might be dismissed as a “prima donna” and may even be blacklisted to be difficult to work with (ditto musicians: Think “rock stars” versus “divas”).
You don’t need to take our word because of this, either: These exact things has been objectively assessed and proved through numerous studies. For instance, a study in britain found that female bosses will be called “btchy,” “emotional” and “bossy” than their male counterparts, and research has confirmed that the more profitable a woman is undoubtedly being, the less she actually is liked actually. You will discover constant examples abound of women being described in loaded, gendered terms like “hysterical” for behavior that’s clearly better known as assertive, or “cold” and “heartless” for professional personas that could be read as, well, professional for a man in exactly the same role exactly. Female politicians will be observed as unlikeable than their male counterparts, but can also be punished to be too likable (it’s read as incompetence for women, however, not for men).

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