An AskMen.com article by Paul Thompson titled “Why Women Can’t Be Bosses” has been making its way around the internet, offending everyone in its path. In short, it’s either completely, appallingly misogynistic drivel, or a failed attempt at sarcasm. It’s hard to tell.
The piece starts off talking about how women have “rallied against alleged improper treatment within the workplace” since before the dawn of the 20th century. That’s enough to make you want to stop reading, but it gets worse:
The fact is that the glass ceiling exists for a reason — a very important reason. If the glass ceiling was removed and women were promoted to ubiquitous positions of power, the economy would grind to a halt. And not that “The City, golden parachute, slight downturn” we’re in now, but a proper, Planet of the Apes-style apocalypse.
Thompson goes on to list and explain his various ridiculous reasons why women can’t be bosses, including:
We can’t control our emotions: “every woman in a position of authority runs her department or team like you’re in a relationship” and we take the fact that we can’t control our emotions out on everyone in our vicinity.
We all have Queen Bee syndrome: Thompson cites a Workplace Bullying Institute study that says 40 percent of workplace bullying incidents are instigated by women. So, that would tell us that the other 60 percent is initiated by — right. Thought so, Paul.
Business was built by men, for men: This reason features this gem: “Take a look at the trouser suit; seriously, what the hell is that? No one likes the pants suit. You know who wears a trouser suit? Hillary Clinton.” Clearly, this guy hasn’t seen photos of Ellen and Portia‘s wedding. Ellen in a Zac Posen suit: pretty hot. Any suit, really.
Besides, what do clothes have to do with business, anyway?
We hold grudges: Thompson say, “Everything done is a learning experience for personal growth, not a personal attack that needs to be avenged with the same ferocity of a mother bear defending her cub. … Women would rather act like petulant children, fighting the last battle, than look forward to the next obstacle.” Not true. I mean, we managed to get through this garbage just fine.
Besides, maybe (hopefully) this is just a ill-conceived joke, attempting to point out how preposterous these ideas are, that sadly a lot of people still have, despite there being plenty of female bosses around, both in the real world and on TV and in films.
Bette Porter, for example, is one classic lady boss, if you ask me. And not just because she’s gay and wildly attractive (though that doesn’t hurt). She didn’t fit any of the stereotypes Thompson mentions–especially when it came to her pantsuits. Seriously. I don’t think there’s a woman alive who can pull off a suit better than she could.
Speaking of gay lady bosses, what about Sheila Faxton (Lorraine Bracco) in the movie Switch? She was the head of cosmetics company (not a business built by/for men) and went on a date with Ellen Barkin (who was actually a man trapped in a woman’s body, Freaky Friday style).
Miranda Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy may be nicknamed The Nazi, but that’s just because she’s serious about medicine. She’s no Queen Bee.
And, while we’re on the subject of medicine, how about Cuddy on House? She runs the whole hospital, and puts up with House’s crap time after time (obviously, she doesn’t hold a grudge).
Jada Pinkett Smith will also be playing the head of the nursing staff at a hospital when Hawthorne starts next Tuesday. (I’m wondering if she might just be able to rival Bette in the pantsuit department. Possibly!)
Thompson may have also heard of this little series/movie called Sex and the City. Full of ladies in charge, like Samantha, who ran her own PR firm; Charolotte, who ran an art gallery; and Miranda, who made partner at her law firm (and then Carrie was just sort of bossy, in general).
Also, let’s not forget the ultimate female TV boss: Angela Bower on Who’s the Boss? Judith Light‘s character was a groundbreaking one for many reasons: she was a single parent, a career-woman and had Tony Danza as her housekeeper (and was obviously pretty nice to him).
Some other great bosses: Lorelai Gilmore (Gilmore Girls), Brenda Johnson (The Closer), Liz Lemon (30 Rock), C.J. Craig (The West Wing), Mia Mason (Cashmere Mafia) and Dr. Camille “Cam” Saroyan (Bones).
Who are some of your favorite lady bosses from film or TV that set a great example?