- Why Women Can Be So Mean to Each Other and How to Protect Yourself
- Helping Girls Deal With Unwanted Sexual Attention
- Take it seriously
- But don’t catastrophize
- Ditch the blame
- Help her set boundaries
- Pay attention to what she’s watching
- Talk about street harassment
- The dad dilemma
- Staying safe
- Be supportive
- Why Women Compete With Each Other
- Women are mean to each other — or so we are told
Why Women Can Be So Mean to Each Other and How to Protect Yourself
Some women don't play by the rules. Many times, though, we realize this only in hindsight.
We assume her warm overtures are genuine, so we extend our friendship and trust.
However, instead, she betrays us, often at great personal and professional cost.
We may wonder what happened and why we didn't see it coming.
But we shouldn't be too hard on ourselves. Some women haven't left behind the childish games they learned on the playground in elementary school.
Little has changed as they've gotten older, except they've become much better at bullying others, under the radar. They've become masters at creating chaos without tipping anyone off, except the unfortunate victim who's still pinching herself to see if this really happened, and wondering if anyone else would believe what she's just experienced.
A few social scientists are now beginning to study and publish ground-breaking work on adult female bullies, because, for too long, most people assumed they didn't exist.
Women who want to discredit another woman use what's known as “relational aggression.” This is just a fancy term for bullying. They operate under the cover of darkness to spread malicious lies about their adversary, whom usually hasn't done anything wrong. Or they may include a grain of truth in their accusations, and then blow it exponentially proportion.
In a group setting, bullies maneuver and manipulate to isolate the person they want to marginalize. For instance, they may host a series of cookouts or parties at their house, and invite everyone but their target. Others are forced to choose whether to excuse themselves, and possibly set themselves up to suffer the same fate, or join in the fun. (Most people will choose the latter.)
Women discredit rivals with gossip. | Source
Dr. Cheryl Dellasega, PhD., is an authority on the topic of relational aggression. She attempts to answer the question of why this happens in her book, Mean Girls Grow Up. This destructive behavior, she notes, occurs when women do not move beyond the roles they adopted in childhood.
This extremely disordered way of relating to others stays with them as they age. They continue to push people around in other settings. A very common venue is the workplace. But it can happen anywhere. Dr. Dellasega has even seen female bullies mark their turf in old age communities.
Bullies, she has found, are highly competitive “Queen Bee” types who command attention and demand respect.
Queen Bees are often abetted by females known as “Middle Bees.” These mindless drones assist her in doling out punishment. For instance, they may deliver messages back and forth, and they may feed the Queen with unsavory bits of gossip. Or they may participate in shunning the target.
“Afraid-to-Bees” are the victims of these stings. These women can't stand up for themselves and they also lack social supports. Bullying is largely a crime of opportunity. It generally won't happen unless the aggressor finds a weak spot
The effects may be devastating if this plays out in a professional setting. An ongoing hate campaign, started by one Queen Bee, can destroy someone's career and livelihood.
Female bullies slander their targets. | Source
Nearly 40 percent of corporate abusers are female, and most of the time, they pick on other women, according to figures supplied by the Workplace Bullying Institute, an advocacy group that's seeking to push legislation that would make this type of behavior illegal.
The European Union, right now, has much tougher laws when it comes to on-the-job bullying.
Employee bullying can rightly be called an epidemic because it affects more than one in three US workers at some time in their careers.
Most targets are powerless when a co-worker is hellbent on making life difficult, notes the WBI. That's because it's rare for anyone to come to a target's defense, since it means they could be putting their own jobs in jeopardy.
The outcome is predictable. Usually, the target is either fired or she quits under pressure. Attempting to take action, such as speaking with Human Resources staff, is largely useless. The WBI has found that only 3 percent of the time does the bullying get resolved in this manner.
It's not always easy to immediately know if you're being bullied, although the problem eventually reveals itself in a most dramatic fashion. You may not notice any overt hostility. If a woman is striking out, she's probably going to hit you socially.
If you work in an office with a group of other people, you may notice you're being excluded from important meetings you used to attend.
Every Wednesday, a group of co-workers may head to a restaurant during their lunch hour. Although they used to invite you along, they haven't done so lately.
You're also finding it more difficult to complete your work on time, because deadlines keep moving. There was a key report you needed to read, but no one will let you see it.
None of these incidents alone mean you're being bullied. Rather, it's the pattern of everything put together, along with a growing feeling of being uncomfortable in a certain setting. Bullying is defined as repeated incidents of harassment or aggression over a period of time.
There's a very good chance the woman causing you so much grief has a personality disorder such as malignant narcissism. Although we can't go around diagnosing people, it doesn't take an advanced degree to recognize someone who's disturbed.
Well-adjusted people don't relate to one another with aggression, whether it's out in the open or veiled. They are able to work productively and strive to resolve conflicts.
It might be useful to educate yourself on what psychologists consider unhealthy narcissism, so you can learn to protect yourself. People who suffer from narcissistic personality disorder are not grounded in reality. They also have a propensity to lie and to distort the truth. They are also lacking in their ability to empathize with others.
Oftentimes, they are charming and highly likable. People are drawn to their gregarious personalities. Narcissists are also prone to raging if their needs aren't met.
The best protection is prevention. Read all you can about adult bullies, workplace bullying and malignant narcissism. This way you'll be able to exercise discretion, especially when you're first getting to know someone.
One red flag, I've noticed, is coming on too strong during the early stages of a friendship. For instance, someone you've just met may want to meet you for coffee, several times in one week.
It's best to develop relationships slowly. Don't trust anyone with sensitive information unless they've earned that trust. Be especially cognizant of sharing too much with people at work. This can have serious ramifications if someone turns out to be not trustworthy.
Also, beware of women who gossip incessantly about others. They'll do the same to you. Although most people are well meaning, not everyone always has your best interests at heart.
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Helping Girls Deal With Unwanted Sexual Attention
“Hey beautiful, gimme a smile.”
“Why won’t you text me back???”
“I know you me, even if you won’t say it.”
Sound familiar? If you’re female, the answer is probably yes.
Unfortunately, for the majority of women, unwanted sexual and romantic attention is a fact of life. Often beginning around puberty, it can range from awkward to annoying to downright terrifying.
Many girls struggle with how to decline a romantic or sexual advance because they’re afraid of hurting someone’s feelings.
And when the attention is aggressive or comes from someone older, it can be hard to know how to push back.
Parents can lay the groundwork to help girls protect both their safety and their boundaries by making sure they’re armed with healthy coping strategies.
Take it seriously
The first step to getting girls geared up to deal with unwanted attention is taking it seriously.
“What parents have to acknowledge is that from the moment their daughters hit puberty they’re ly to get attention,” says Dr. David Anderson, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, “and that some of that attention, whether it’s a lewd comment from a stranger, or a boy who won’t take no for an answer, is going to be unwelcome, uncomfortable or even scary.”
While most parents, he says, are aware that unwanted attention happens, what some parents — especially dads who probably haven’t experienced it themselves — may not realize is how common, and how upsetting, it can be.
“We have a tendency to downplay these experiences,” says Dr. Stephanie Dowd, a clinical psychologist.
“But when we say, ‘Oh that’s no big deal, it happens to everyone,’ or suggest that it’s just part of life as a female, we’re implying that girls who feel victimized or upset are overreacting.
” Instead, she says parents should send girls a clear message: “their feelings and boundaries are valid, and deserve to be respected.”
But don’t catastrophize
On the flip side, Dr. Anderson says, it’s also important to fight the urge to overreact. “As parents it’s natural to want to protect your child, but realistically you won’t be able to be by her side every day for the rest of her life,” he says. Tempting as it may be to hire a full-time bodyguard, parents should focus on empowering girls to become their own advocates.
“Part of staying safe and feeling comfortable is having the ability to recognize when something is making you feel uncomfortable or unsafe,” says Dr. Dowd, “And having the confidence to say, ‘What you’re doing is making me feel bad, and I don’t deserve that.’ ”
Related: 13 Ways to Boost Your Daughter’s Self-Esteem
Ditch the blame
“One of the biggest mistakes we make when discussing unwanted attention is suggesting that women have somehow brought the problem on themselves,”’ says Dr. Anderson.
“Girls who are sexually harassed are not causing the harassment, sexual harassers are.
But many end up feeling that without knowing it, they’ve somehow brought this negative interaction on themselves by wearing the wrong outfit, or being ‘too nice.’”
One thing that makes girls more ly to feel they are to blame is the implication that their bodies are somehow dirty or shameful. “Body positivity is so important,” says Dr. Dowd.
“If a girl gets the message that her body or sexuality is a bad thing, and then gets attention for it, she’s very ly to feel ashamed, or humiliated.
” wise, she says, she is less ly to seek help if she experiences sexual harassment or assault.
In the end, Dr. Anderson says, the message needs to be, “This is not your fault and it should not be your problem, but in case someone behaves badly I want to make sure you have the tools to deal with it in a way that helps you feel, and stay, safe.”
Help her set boundaries
When it comes to setting boundaries parents should start — but not stop — with the basics. “First things first,” says Dr. Dowd. “No one has the right to touch you if you don’t want them to.
Whether it’s an arm around your shoulder, a kiss or any kind of sexual contact.” Adds Dr.
Anderson: “It’s important for parents to help girls get comfortable with saying no, even if they’re experiencing pressure from friends — or from the other person.”
For many girls, not being mean, or being perceived as mean or unfriendly, is a major concern — and a major pitfall, Dr. Dowd explains.
“For example, if a boy has a crush on a girl but she doesn’t feel the same way she might think, ‘He’s a nice person, and I really don’t want to kiss him, but I don’t want to be mean…’” Or maybe she does have a crush on him, but she isn’t ready for the kind of relationship he wants. Telling him no can be hard because she might be afraid he’ll think she’s a prude, or won’t her anymore..
Girls often get the message that to be d they have to be nice and accommodating and pleasing. This, Dr.
Dowd explains, results in “a struggle to feel we’re deserving of our boundaries, especially when someone is questioning them.
” It’s important to help girls understand that they don’t owe anyone attention, no matter how nice, or popular, or pushy a suitor may be. And any boy worthy of your attention should respect your feelings.
To help your daughter assess her feelings when things get tricky, try coming up with a mental checklist she can run through:
- Does this feel good or bad?
- Are you saying yes because you’re worried about hurting this person’s feelings?
- Does spending time with this person make you happy?
- Do you worry that asking this person to leave you alone could have consequences?
- Are your friends pressuring you to hang out with this person even though you’re not that interested?
- Is this person asking more from you — socially, romantically or sexually, than you feel comfortable giving?
Another important way to empower her is to help her find — and practice — the words to use if someone isn’t respecting her boundaries. For example, she could say, “I don’t that and I want you to stop.” Or “I’m just not interested” or “I’m not comfortable doing that.”
Related: Why Girls Apologize Too Much
Pay attention to what she’s watching
“A lot of girl-oriented media focuses on the narrative that being d or getting attention from boys is something girls should aspire to and be grateful for,” says Dr. Dowd.
“We want girls to take a second look at that and ask, ‘But…wait.
Does she him? Is she having any fun?’ ” Parents, she says, should work on helping girls become savvy consumers by teaching them to take a critical eye to media messaging. For example:
- Make time to watch your daughter’s favorite movies or shows together, and use the chance to point out examples of negative (and positive) romantic interactions. For example, “It seems to me she’s said no a lot of times, but he won’t leave her alone. Does that seem okay to you?”
- Spotlight shows, books and movies that have an empowering message.
- Talk with her about what she reads, posts and watches on her social media feeds.
Talk about street harassment
According to the organization Stop Street Harassment, by the time most girls are in their teens up to 99% have experienced some form of public sexual harassment. “Being catcalled on the street may seem no big deal, but for a lot of girls the harassment can be deeply unsettling,” says Dr. Dowd.
Parents should be careful not to normalize or dismiss harassment. “Street harassment may be common, but that doesn’t mean it’s okay,” notes Dr.
Dowd: “If something happens, make sure your daughter understands that it’s not her job to grin and bear it.
Parents can help by talking openly about street harassment and working together with girls to come up with a plan for how they’ll react if it happens. Some ideas could include:
- Asking another woman or a family to walk with her until she’s range. “These guys are yelling at me and making me feel uncomfortable. Could I walk with you to the end of the block?”
- Calling a friend or family member and staying on the phone until she feels safe.
- Going into a store or restaurant.
- Crossing the street.
- Taking a picture of the harasser with her phone.
- Calling the behavior out, if she feels safe responding in the situation, for example: “That’s disgusting and it makes me feel really bad.” “Actually, women hate this!”, “Would you talk to your own daughter that?”
The dad dilemma
While most moms are ly no strangers to unwanted attention, the learning curve may be steeper for dads.
“Culturally, men just don’t get the same messages as women,” says Dr. Dowd. “They’re less ly to have experienced the scary side of unwanted attention, and for a lot of them, hassling or hitting on women might even be something they thought was just fun, or complimentary in the past.”
The reality, she says, is that for a lot of fathers, having a daughter may be the first time they find themselves having to imagine what these experiences are for women.
If dads find themselves struggling to understand why unwanted attention can be so upsetting, they can start by asking the women in their lives if they’d be willing share their own experiences of sexual harassment or unwanted attention.
As girls get older, it’s important to talk honestly about staying safe when they’re hanging out with their friends. Some common sense ground rules include:
- Avoiding alcohol and drugs.
- If she’s going to a party or concert, attending with a group of friends, and making an agreement to watch out for one another.
- Making sure her phone is on and charged, in case she needs to call for a ride or ask for help.
- Not accepting rides from strangers, even ones her own age.
- If someone is making her feel unsafe, make a scene: Get loud, and get out. Do whatever it takes to get away from the person and keep yelling until someone comes to help.
If something does happen — whether it’s a boy who won’t take no for an answer, a pushy friend or a stranger making lewd comments in the street — let your daughter know you have her back, even if she’s not ready to talk about it right away.
“Let your daughter know that it’s okay not to feel okay,” says Dr. Dowd. “It’s common to have residual feelings about being harassed, and sometimes it takes a little while for the feeling to set in.
” When she is ready to talk, take her seriously and make it clear that you love and support her, no matter what.
Why Women Compete With Each Other
Continue reading the main story
Los Angeles — I HAD a tightly knit group of female friends in elementary school — we called ourselves the Sensational Six.
As the dominant girl force in our little universe, we felt important and exclusive; a unit in matching handmade sweatshirts.
Time went by and all of my classmates and I watched as puberty reached down to form us, shapeless little lumps of children, into young men and women, into haves and have-nots.
I had an early growth spurt and was a full head taller than the boys in my class, dwarfing the girls. This made me a have-not, and I made it my life’s effort to shrink down and be my friends, tiny and adorable.
One day on the bus as I chatted with a fellow Sixer, I watched her examining our legs, propped up on the seat in front of us. “Look,” she said, innocently enough, “your legs are, , twice as big as mine.
” And she was right.
Women compete, compare, undermine and undercut one another — at least that is the prevailing notion of how we interact. It’s considered exceptional, or at least noteworthy, that famous women Amy Schumer and Beyoncé and Taylor Swift acknowledge that other women are talented, and frequently work with those other women without, in most cases, being catty about it.
This makes them feminist heroes. Feeling on guard around other ladies is normal for a lot of women, and it’s exhausting. I exhausted myself for years trying to understand how other girls could have gone from my closest allies to my scariest foes.
I write an advice column and get a fair number of questions from women asking how to handle not trusting other women, so I know I’m not alone.
A good amount of research has been done on female competitiveness, both in condescending and eye-opening ways.
A literature review by Tracy Vaillancourt in 2013 found that women by and large express indirect aggression toward other women, and that aggression is a combination of “self-promotion,” making themselves look more attractive, and “derogation of rivals,” being catty about other women.
There are two main theories of why women are competitive in indirectly aggressive ways. Evolutionary psychology, which uses natural selection to explain our modern behaviors, says that women need to protect themselves (read: their wombs) from physical harm, so indirect aggression keeps us safe while lowering the stock of other women.
Feminist psychology chalks up this indirect aggression to internalizing the patriarchy. As Noam Shpancer writes in Psychology Today, “As women come to consider being prized by men their ultimate source of strength, worth, achievement and identity, they are compelled to battle other women for the prize.
” In short: When our value is tied to the people who can impregnate us, we turn on each other.
I watched this happen among our Sensational Six — watched as our pastimes shifted from having goofy singalongs, to trying on clothes, to pointing out one another’s flaws, to primping before a mirror, and the final stop, making boys laugh.
We were still friends, but we were suddenly aware of a new dimension. I went to a different middle school than my friends did and that new dimension persisted, except that now I was taking it in with fresh eyes.
And because of my size and my status as a new kid, I stayed an outsider.
Here’s where I took a page from nature and decided that my indirect aggression, rather than self-promotion or discounting my rivals, would take the form of what’s called warning coloration. I took myself the battle.
If I was unappealing, then I would advertise — those butterflies with the warning spots — that I was not to be considered a worthy opponent. I would be ugly on my own terms.
I wore artfully ripped clothes and enormous combat boots and old men’s pants.
In high school, I decided that all of my female friends were stupid and traded them for guy friends. I loved horror movies and heavy metal, and used these interests to become a “guys’ girl.
” I thought that by segregating myself, I would save myself from the awareness that I wasn’t ever going to be pretty/perfect/cool enough, and occasionally I would get to make out with a male pal because hormones were running rampant.
When another guys’ girl joined our group, she and I became fast friends by lamenting how stupid girls were, and when we met new boys, we threw each other under the bus to flirt with them. I felt sick when she did this to me, felt a sick thrill of power when I did it to her.
Instead of openly hating women, I used hate’s sneaky little sister and told myself that I pitied women who worked hard to be conventionally attractive, who had jobs that utilized their feminine wiles, who were “too girlie.” “Poor her,” I’d cluck at parties, “wanting attention so badly. I wonder who hurt her. Let’s discuss this art rock band I saw last week.” Self-promotion: check. Degradation of rivals: check.
In my 20s, there were two girls in my social group in New York — brash, gorgeous creatures — that owned every single room they entered. I hated them on sight, even as I couldn’t take my eyes off them. I thought they were magical, but with a dark magic that could steal my husband.
Once I found myself in a bar bathroom alone with them and, feeling cornered by their spectacular perfection, mumbled something. One responded by complimenting my coat; the other started talking about the guy she was there with and how he was acting funny. I saw them for who they were: magnanimous, charming creatures, but also kind and obsessive and weird.
My negative view of them had nothing to do with them at all. It was just a warped mirror.
Research tells us that women are compelled to level the playing field by any means necessary to make sure we have access to the best genetic material, but since these are not real concerns in our modern lives, our competitiveness becomes something a bit more private and understandable.
That’s the third theory of female competitiveness that I’d to propose: We aren’t competing with other women, ultimately, but with ourselves — with how we think of ourselves. For many of us, we look at other women and see, instead, a version of ourselves that is better, prettier, smarter, something more. We don’t see the other woman at all.
It’s a fun-house mirror that reflects an inaccurate version of who we are, but we turn on her anyway, because it’s easier. But we don’t need to lower the stock of other women, either for the future of the species or for our own psyches. When we each focus on being the dominant force in our own universe, rather than invading other universes, we all win.
“,”author”:”Emily V. Gordon”,”date_published”:”2015-10-31T18:27:44.000Z”,”lead_image_url”:”https://static01.nyt.com/images/2015/11/01/opinion/sunday/01gordon/01gordon-Jumbo.jpg”,”dek”:null,”next_page_url”:null,”url”:”https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/opinion/sunday/why-women-compete-with-each-other.html”,”domain”:”www.nytimes.com”,”excerpt”:”Itâs noteworthy when a famous woman has a drama-free squad of friends. But what is the judgment really about?”,”word_count”:1149,”direction”:”ltr”,”total_pages”:1,”rendered_pages”:1}
Women are mean to each other — or so we are told
Organizations need to understand why women often report dissatisfaction with their workplace relationships with other women. There is a raft of popular “self-help” books that assume women are fundamentally antagonistic toward one another.
These books paint an ugly picture of women’s supposed basic nature: “Mean Girls at Work,” “Working with Bitches,” “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman,” “The Stiletto in Your Back,” “Tripping the Prom Queen,” “Mean Girls Grown Up,” and “Mean Girls, Meaner Women.”
We believe that this “women are mean to each other” trope is profoundly misguided. We focused our research for our new book, “It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace: Women’s Conflict At Work and the Bias That Built It,” on why women so often report they are dissatisfied with their same-gender workplace relationships.
What we found is that women are indeed more concerned about their same-gender relationships than men, but it is not because of some unique female characteristic. Rather, it is because of the biased nature of their workplaces. Indeed, we found that women desire strong, supportive same-gender relationships.
But we wanted to understand the persistence of this “women are mean to each other” notion, so we dug into the books in this genre.
All of these books take for granted that women have distinctive female personality characteristics that prompt them to bully other women, spread malicious rumors, behave in two-faced ways, seek to undermine other women’s self-confidence and secretly plot to destroy other women’s professional standing. These books assert that women’s same-gender relationships are obviously shaped by jealousy, envy and competitiveness.
We will explore this claim more fully in a moment. But first, we want to make clear that women and men are not psychologically, emotionally or intellectually different from men.
Women’s difficulties in achieving satisfying same-gender workplace relationships have nothing to do with some supposedly unique aspect of the way they “are”—whether because of nature, nurture or both.
By assuming that there are fixed, identifiable differences between women and men, these books deflect attention from the substantial evidence that women and men are more a than different.
As we demonstrate in “It’s Not You, It’s the Workplace,” workplace situations influence people’s behaviors far more than their characteristics. External context, not internal qualities, affect how people relate to other people in the workplace. And external context is at the root of women’s same-gender conflicts.
To return to the “women are mean to each other” trope, three reasons are commonly advanced in support of this notion: evolution, socialization and internalized misogyny.
Proponents of the evolutionary view argue that only the genes of the fittest individuals pass on to the next generation.
As a result, women have evolved to be inherently competitive with other women for superior mates and scarce resources needed to sustain their offspring.
According to “Mean Girls Grown Up,” this instinct is carried over to the workplace in the “drive to care for and protect your ‘children,’ whether they are real, potential or metaphorical (for example, clients, projects, employees, new business).”
Proponents of the socialization view argue that women’s same-gender antagonism is because women, un men, grow up strongly discouraged from openly expressing negative feelings, such as anger and frustration.
As a result, their feelings come out in unhealthy ways. “Mean Girls, Meaner Women” asserts that because women cannot openly direct their anger, they “turn on each other.
” This tendency is reinforced by women’s reluctance to take their anger out on men who are ly to hold the social and organizational power.
Finally, other authors argue that women’s same-gender conflict is the result of internalized misogyny. They claim that because women grow up being treated as inferior to men, they come to believe they are inferior.
And when women believe they are inferior, they also believe other women are inferior.
According to “Catfight,” the natural strategy for a woman is to belittle other women and prove “her superiority … [to get] one step closer to the inner circle of men.”
The fallacy underlying all of these arguments is that women and men are different in fundamental ways. This is simply not true. Women’s same-gender workplace conflicts have little to do with evolution, socialization or internalized misogyny, but everything to do with the dynamics of their work environments. In other words, it’s not the women, it’s their workplaces.
Workplaces are highly gendered, which means that, by and large, they are run by men who enforce a culture defined by masculine norms, values and expectations.
With limited leadership positions available, women must compete with each other to advance in their careers. Such forced same-gender competition is a source of conflict. Another source is the gender stereotypes women have about the way women “should be.” Both women and men hold stereotypes that women are and should be kind, pleasant, caring and concerned about others.
(These characteristics are referred to as “communal,” which is derived from “community” and “communion.” A woman with communal characteristics exhibits stereotypically feminine traits, such as being nurturing, sympathetic, warm, approachable, understanding, gentle, family-focused, modest and friendly.
) Very often, when a woman acts in precisely the same way as men holding comparable positions, other women see her as cold, selfish and unable — even though those women do not have a problem with men acting in similar ways. (Women who behave in this way are seen as “agentic,” which is derived from “agency.
” A woman with agentic characteristics exhibits stereotypically masculine traits, such as being aggressive, assertive, competitive, independent, self-confident, strong, forceful, unemotional and risk-taking.)
A third source of women’s same-gender conflict is due to gendered workplaces where women often seek to identify with the men controlling their organizations, according to “Integration or Separation: Women and the Appliance of Organizational Culture,” published in a 1998 volume of Women in Management Review. This forces women to distance themselves from other women.
By understanding the true sources of women’s workplace dissatisfaction with other women, organizational leaders can address the root cause of women’s dissatisfaction: the gendered nature of the organization. By recognizing the situations into which gendered workplaces force women, we can directly address women’s workplace conflicts without mistakenly attributing it to the way “women are.”