In a survey by
GenderStereotypes.com UKJobs.net, a majority of respondents said they prefer male bosses because women are bitchy, unreasonable, and always on their periods.
The survey, in which 63% of women and 75% of men said they prefer to have a male supervisor, gave the Daily Mail lots of opportunities to do what it does best: reporting stereotypes as fact with barely disguised glee. For instance:
A third of those polled claimed women in charge are 'loose cannons' - ready to stab colleagues in the back at any time, and who constantly feel threatened by other people in positions of authority.
I hate it when a cannon stabs me in the back. The Mail also includes a helpful infographic spelling out "Top 10 Reasons Why Men Are Best Bosses." No. 7 is "No 'time of the month,'" with a full 30% of respondents saying they can tell when a ladyboss has her period because her "hormones are all over the place." There's also a companion chart, "Top 10 Reasons Why Women Make Terrible Bosses," on which no. 9 is "Spend too long worrying about their appearance" (a full 15% say this is a big workplace problem). And David Brown of UKJobs.net explains,
This indicates that while women might be more than capable of progressing to a management role, they lack some of the key skills required to be a good boss.
No one is suggesting that women aren't intelligent enough to be in senior positions, far from it, but perhaps they need to be more approachable and less competitive.
See, ladies, no one is saying you're not smart. You just need to stop menstruating all over the place, and put down that lipstick, and then maybe someday you can be "straight talking" and "reasonable" like men. Of course, the UKJobs.net study seems especially ridiculous (I find it hard to believe that a third of workers have been negatively impacted by their supervisors' periods), but other research has also turned up a preference for male bosses. According to Forbes, a 2008 study revealed that women are more stressed out when they work for other women. And an informal Facebook survey, also by Forbes, turned up complaints like "[we] women are very competitive with each other… emotions and feelings get in the way," and "women can be conniving and backstabbing while giving you the nice-nasty smile." Of course, it's possible that women and men alike just aren't used to the concept of women in authority, and that they interpret ambition as competitiveness and criticism as backstabbing. It's possible that despite the gains women have made in the workplace, we're still conditioned to view them with suspicion, and that we all need to reexamine the gendered ways we evaluate each other. Then again, it's way easier to blame "that time of month."
Related: The Conversation: Male Vs. Female Bosses [Forbes]