Monday, October 17, 2005


In light of much of what that this blog has discussed of late, a fascinating read in the Water Cooler section of today's New York Post. See "She-devils: Luring the office back stabbler from her lair", Karen Toledano's book review of "I Can't Believe She Did That: Why Women Betray Other Women at Work" by Nan Mooney. An interesting quote about the subversive female nature:

"Caught between ambition and social views of femininity, a working woman may subvert her competitive nature for more passive forms of aggression....In this way says Mooney, she can excel professionally and still maintain her reputation as a kind and generous person--a phenomenon the author calls "looking clean dealing dirty."

This insight into the female psyche may explain some of the dirty dealings encountered of late by some that I know quite well. I have witnessed and heard a number of stories of careers ruined by reliance or confidence in some false and misguided notion of the existence of "sisterhood" in the workplace. My empirical evidence and this book seem to suggest that while women are typically thought of as being more compassionate or fair in their approach, they are also actually quite more deceptive than men.

Men seemingly deal with conflict and competition in the workplace in a rather head on manner. We are usually well aware of barriers to promotion, those whom are hurdles and what the rules of engagement are. It is not that men are beyond manipulation and/or deceit but the term "backstabbers" is perhaps less applicable to men in the workplace. It is women who are seemingly more often caught by surprise and left feeling victimized. Men are more likely to see themselves on the end of a losing battle. See: In the Company of Men. Certainly NOT a feel good movie but one that provides a glimpse into the depravity of men. Any comments from the peanut gallery? The book looks like a good read.