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Women vs. Women

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Psych 540
Ms. McManus & Ms. Smith
9/28/2010

Women vs. Women: Bullying Broads A recent article on a website hosted by the ABC news show, Good Morning America, has brought a new workplace problem to light (Wild & Brady, 2009). This is the problem of women bosses bullying other women. Though this is probably not actually a new problem for our society, it is just recently being brought to attention because of one woman’s struggle with her female boss. The woman in the article attempted to sue her company after she experienced a mental breakdown due to the bullying she was victim to. The law suit was finally dismissed after four years. The woman suffering from the bullying, Jane Frye, claims that she dreaded going to work after boss regularly demeaned her, embarrassed her in front of coworkers and gave her deadlines impossible to meet. The article states that while male bosses are more likely to target male and female employees equally as aim of workplace anger, female bosses target female employees at least 70 percent of the time. One reason found to be associated with the bullying is that female bosses see their female employees as competition for their own jobs. I would also hypothesize that female bosses may not target males as frequently because they are seeking approval from their male coworkers and/or bosses. Some female bosses are seeking help and admit that they realized they were targeting females after they did it. However, one female boss felt she was justified in the bullying. This article directly relates to the concept of women vs. women in the backlash against feminism. In the article, women are acting against their female coworkers for reasons that most are not even sure of. Though we discussed in class that women vs. women often occurs between working and non-working women or among friends who hold resentment to another friend getting married first, this is also a serious case of women vs. women that could affect almost all women. I have personally experienced women vs. women in the workplace when a female boss felt that I was taking over her position. It may not be discussed regularly, but it is definitely a problem in the workplace as more and more women move into executive positions. It is always disappointing and disheartening to see women fighting against each other, but especially in the workplace. In a place where women have fought in the past and are fighting presently for equality, we, as women, should support each other in moving to the top instead of fighting each other to keep female subordinates down. It is silly to me that we would not want our female counterparts at the top with us instead of stuck at the bottom below us and so many men. Before reading the entire article, I thought that the female in the article may have been embellishing, but after reading the entire article, it is clear that this is a real problem. I definitely feel that this article is an accurate portrayal of women vs. women in our society. It was not a depiction of women vs. women that I had previously considered but appears to be a real problem in our society. I believe that it is an accurate depiction of our society because I have been through it in the past and have watched other women go through it as well. I have also had very excellent female bosses in the past, so I do not believe that it is always what happens, but it seems more prevalent in my experience in the corporate world.
In my own life, when I was bullied by my superior, I was also rewarded by her female boss for great work done at that position. The female boss bullying me was eventually fired for lying about experience in the position I took over from her. Her female superior was actually the owner of the company and definitely never bullied me in the way that she had. I have had more male bosses than female bosses but would say that 50 percent of my female bosses bullied me at my job. I am a very strong-willed and confident female and assumed that this was the cause of the bullying. At least now, after reading this article, I know that I was not and am not alone in what I went through. Hopefully in the future women can learn to support each other more and fight each other less in and out of the workplace.

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