A reader sent me this WSJ article entitled “The Tyranny of the Queen Bee”:
Women who reached positions of power were supposed to be mentors to those who followed—but something is amiss in the professional sisterhood….
A 2007 survey of 1,000 American workers released by the San Francisco-based Employment Law Alliance found that 45% of respondents had been bullied at the office—verbal abuse, job sabotage, misuse of authority, deliberate destruction of relationships—and that 40% of the reported bullies were women. In 2010, the Workplace Bullying Institute, a national education and advocacy group, reported that female bullies directed their hostilities toward other women 80% of the time—up 9% since 2007. Male bullies, by contrast, were generally equal-opportunity tormentors.
A 2011 survey of 1,000 working women by the American Management Association found that 95% of them believed they were undermined by another woman at some point in their careers. According to a 2008 University of Toronto study of nearly 1,800 U.S. employees, women working under female supervisors reported more symptoms of physical and psychological stress than did those working under male supervisors.
The article points out that Queen Bees often assault careers in ways that leave “no fingerprints.” I find this interesting; I think that men are more direct in their tactics, often women tend to be more manipulative so that they do not have to take responsibility for their actions and can deny or disown them. And their victims barely know what hit them. Men’s directness is easier to spot and criticize, women’s tactics, not so much. It is more difficult to “prove.”
Cross-posted at Dr. Helen.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of one of the most recognizable and enduring figures in pop culture history–Tarzan of the Apes. And this month will mark the publication of Jane, the first version of the Tarzan story written by a woman, authorized by the estate of the prolific novelist Edgar Rice Burroughs, or ERB.
Robin Maxwell is the author of several historical novels featuring female protagonists, most notably The Secret Diary of Anne Boleyn. Her recruitment to pen a woman-centric spin on the Tarzan saga is clearly an attempt to court a new generation of female readers who have only a limited familiarity, if any, with the original work.
The popular conception today of Tarzan and Jane is unfortunately not so much formed by ERB’s novels as deformed by the old Johnny Weismuller movies of the ‘30s and ‘40s, which falsely portray the Ape-man as more ape than man, and Jane as a (tree)housewife in animal skins. In fact, Burroughs’s Tarzan was an educated English nobleman, Lord Greystoke, and Jane was a bold lady of their African manor.
The books were pulp adventure fare written long before today’s action heroines became as kick-ass as their male counterparts. But Burroughs’s fictional women weren’t mere helpless damsels in distress rescued by brawny he-men. His female characters like Jane and Martian princess Dejah Thoris, featured earlier this year in Disney’s movie John Carter, were not only feminine but, well, ballsy, and worthy adventuresses in their own right.
Related at PJ Lifestyle: