Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Women Working for Women

What makes you a zealot?

If you believe one thing and reality says something else, you're a zealot if you think there’s something wrong with reality.

For some time now zealous academic feminists have been arguing that women possess superior managerial skills.

Apparently, women are nicer, more empathic, more people oriented. Therefore, they must be better at managing.

It is doubtful that these qualities make for great management, but don’t tell that to the academic feminist zealots.

After all, they have conducted their studies to show that the relative paucity of women managers can only be a sign of patriarchal oppression. 

You would think that the point can be tested in the marketplace. Companies compete against other companies. If one company wanted to be better managed and if it believed this theory it could simply go out and hire more women.

The marketplace may not offer a definitive answer to the question, but it will point us in the right direction. 

Of course, zealots do not believe in the marketplace. They believe in their ideas.

But, who do you trust, the feminist academic who has never managed anything or the free market?

Recently, law professor Felice Batlan surveyed 142 legal secretaries at large law firms. She asked them who they preferred to work for: male partners, female partners, male associates, or female associates.

95% of the secretaries were women. They were mostly middle aged, with considerable professional experience.

The results shocked the sensibilities of the law professor. While 47% refused to offer an opinion, 34% preferred male partners, 15% opted for male associates, 3% wanted to work for female associates, and NONE liked to work for female partners.

That’s none, zero, nada, not a one. No legal secretary preferred to work for a female partner. Only 3% preferred working for female associates.

Why is this so? The secretaries explained that they found female partners to be too emotional, too inflexible, and too condescending.

Perhaps this simply means that their attitude is incoherent. Some female managers believe that they can be better managers if they relate to their staff personally, by making an emotional connection.

Yet, this false camaraderie, or sisterhood, contradicts the significant status and stature gap between a law partner and a legal secretary.

Besides, most legal secretaries do not want to develop deep emotional connections with their bosses. They say that they prefer to work for people who give more clear directives and who keep the relationship more businesslike.

As you might imagine, feminist zealots are not taking this information lying down. They have rallied to their ideology and explained that the date can only prove that patriarchal oppression is even worse than they thought it was.

Batlan believes that women are in an impossible bind: “If they don’t behave like males, they are perceived as too emotional, and if they do act like men, they are perceived as putting on airs.”

One is tempted to reply that they might try behaving like women. Once a woman decides that she has to choose between being an ersatz male and not acting like a male, she has defined her identity as a function of maleness.

Regardless of which one she chooses, she is denying her womanhood.

What kind of woman believes that the patriarchy is so powerful that she can only define her identity as a function of maleness?

Why, a feminist, of course.

I would not want to jump to conclusions, but I would venture that most of the female partners that the legal secretaries do not want to work for are feminists.

I would venture that women would be far more happy to be working for other women if these other women were more comfortable being women, did not wear their feminism on their sleeves, and did not model their behavior on the demands of ideological correctness. 


Trailer Dweller said...

I am a woman, and the two absolute worst bosses I have had were women. Both were at a large financial services institution, middle management, and are now in their mid- to late-60s. I figure they had to claw their way to the level they finally achieved by being bitches in a male world.
One hated men so much that she liked to reduce them to tears with screaming tirades in her office. Men, even fellow managers, would sit with their legs crossed at the crotch while in her office. I figured this was a subconscious way of protecting their 'manhood'.
The other female manager attempted to micromanage the personal relationships of her staff and was very controlling. She would call us (paralegals & secretaries) "$hitheads" and hold three-hour long, rambling staff meetings where we played Swearword Bingo on our notepads under the table. When she laid me off (fired w/benefits), it was the best thing she ever did for me.
I now work at a civil engineering firm with all male management. My job duties are clearly defined, I am given a lot of latitude in performing them, and they appreciate my work. They don't care about my personal relationships. It is a much healthier, happier and productive working environment for all concerned.
I will never work for a woman again!

Jim said...

The fact that most women prefer male bosses has been known for years. To have it confirmed by a study is no surprise. To be fair to women managers (I am a guy-manager), many clerical women resent successful professional women. These women used to complain about a lack of opportunities due to sexism and the existance women in leadership positions prove that they are wrong. Women managers will often complain that women clerical workers tend to be more helpful to male managers. I have also observed a similar phenomenon between black employees and black managers.

David Foster said...

I expect the boss-preference results were more dramatic in law firms than they would have been in other industries....these organizations are not generally known for quality of management.

JP said...

David says:

"I expect the boss-preference results were more dramatic in law firms than they would have been in other industries....these organizations are not generally known for quality of management."

Nobody in law firms generally want to work for women partners. I'm trying to think of women partners I actually liked doing work for.

I think I enjoyed working with a grand total of 1 out of several.

Now with male partners, I enjoyed working for all *but* 1 out of several.

It's a general rule in law firms to avoid women partners like the plague.

One of the women partners in the firm I was with ended up having a nervous breakdown.