Ways Women Are Harder On Each Other Than They Are On Men

February 14, 2019  |  
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a woman in the workplace

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Women are way too hard on each other and I’m just plain sick of it. I recently saw a Facebook post, created by a woman, attacking another woman for hiring a team of seven people that “only contained two women.” She was called anti-feminist and unsupportive of women for putting “only two” women on her team of seven hires. Meanwhile, nobody says that of the man who hires two women on a team of seven. What do women call a man who hires two females in a team of seven? They call him supportive of women. He hires the exact same number of women as the woman in the same position does, and yet one is called supportive of women, and one is called anti-feminist. That’s not fair and it’s just simply blind. Here are ways women are much harder on their female peers than they are on men.

a woman in the workplace

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Women should only hire women

Following the introductory story, women in a position to hire someone can be criticized by other women for hiring a man. Even if the man is the best one for the job. Even if no women even applied for the position. She’s still called unsupportive of women.

a woman in the workplace

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Or at least mostly women

Even if women don’t expect a female boss to only hire females, they expect her to mostly hire females. If a woman should rise to a position of power, she should be allowed to do what she must to maintain that power and that includes hiring the best employees. Regardless of gender. She can encourage more women to apply but she shouldn’t be expected to compromise the quality of her employees to fulfill some demands of her female critics.

a woman in the workplace

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Women should only promote women

If a woman promotes a man—say she gives a male-owned business a shout-out or shares an article by a man—other women will criticize her for not promoting a woman who has a similar business or wrote a similar article. To advocate for one thing doesn’t have to immediately mean sh*tting on another.

a woman in the workplace

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Women shouldn’t befriend the men

God forbid a woman become buddies with a male in the workplace who could potentially help with her career. Other women will say she’s betraying “her side.” Meanwhile, amongst men, befriending someone who can help with your career is just called networking.

a woman in the workplace

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Any friendliness is flirting

I often hear women say another woman was “flirting aggressively” with a male peer or superior. I saw the same interaction. She just…smiled and participated in the rather neutral conversation.

a woman in the workplace

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And flirting is done for career gains

If women see a woman flirting with a man who could help her career, they tend to assume she’s flirting for career gains. Meanwhile, if a man flirts with a woman who could help his career, women still assume it’s just a good-old-fashioned desire to get laid. Why can’t a woman flirt for that reason? (But, ultimately, nobody should really be trying to sleep with their colleagues or boss).

a woman in the workplace

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When women act like men

If a woman “acts like a man” aka she is domineering, assertive, commands attention, demands respect, and is a bit bossy, she’s called bitchy. When a man acts like that he’s called…a man.

a woman in the workplace

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But if men act feminine

Meanwhile, if a man acts a bit more feminine, women don’t accuse him of being anything nasty. We just call that man…in touch with his feminine side.

a woman in the workplace

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We see women as direct competition

Unfortunately, women can see other women as the competition more than they see men—who are after the same position—as competition. Admittedly, society has done this to us by not making much room at the top for women. But we make the problem worse by ostracizing one another.

a woman in the workplace

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We say she got it because she’s female

And, sadly, often if a woman gets something, other women will say, “She only got it because she’s female and the company needed to meet their female hire quota.”

a woman in the workplace

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But we don’t say he got it because he’s male

If a man gets hired we don’t say that he got it because he’s a man. When, in actuality, there is a good chance his gender did in fact play a role (aka he was more intimidating and aggressive).

a woman in the workplace

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We’re more demanding socially

If a woman discovers that some of her female colleagues got together and didn’t invite her, she takes it personally—she picks a bone with them.

Business team collaborating

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We have no social expectations of men

Women don’t really get upset if they learn that their male colleagues got together and didn’t invite them. We allow men to be more cliquey than women.

a woman in the workplace

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Befriending men is collusion

I know some bullies who criticize a woman for simply befriending the men in the office. They call it “collusion” or “calculating.” Can’t we just let someone be friends with whomever they want? And do we need to create an environment of women versus men?

a woman in the workplace

Source: asiseeit / Getty

Yet only befriending women is cowardice

Meanwhile, if a woman only befriends women in the office, she can still be criticized for being cowardice and not immersing herself in the office culture. There’s no winning.

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