If You Don’t Call Your Female Boss An A**hole, You Are Hurting Gender Equality

Taken from here.


“A coworker at SNL dropped an angry C-bomb on me and I had the weirdest reaction. To my surprise, I blurted, ‘No. You don’t get to call me that.  My parents love me; I’m not some Adult Child of an Alcoholic that’s going to take that shit.’”-Tina Fey

According to Berkeley linguist Geoffrey Nunberg in an interview with Fast Company if you have an a**hole female boss that you are calling a b*tch instead of an a**hole, then you are hurting equality in the workplace. Got it, a**hole?

See a**hole is the most frequently used term when people describe their jerk bosses but we tend to just see female bosses, even if they possess the same negative qualities as a male boss, get called a b*tch (which comes with its whole separate baggage) or even worse, the c-word. Nunberg defines an a**hole as “somebody who is somebody who obtuse and inauthentic in a certain way. That is to say, he’s somebody who believes that his station, his institutional role, his corporate role, his fame, his wealth, whatever, entitles him to behave toward people in ways that it doesn’t. So the boss who has his admin go out and get coffee or pick up his shirts at the cleaners and so forth is overstepping the limits of what his role can reasonably demand, and that’s why people see their bosses as assholes. Possessing power is a very tricky business, whoever has it has to understand that the power is given to you for this reason by these people and it doesn’t extend to other kinds of infractions, so to speak.”

But it is mostly men, in these boss roles, that are called a**holes while ladies get the b*tchy diva label. Though the word b*tch has taken on a more, comical light-hearted tone lately (Examples: Everyone’s favorite Sassy Gay Friend says “You’re a stupid b*iiiiiitch” or the very popular Don’t Trust  the B*tch in Apt 23), it still stings to the core when it used in a mean context, especially if it is because you are trying to do your job. Mark Grimm of Mark Grimm Communications told The Grindstone: “I don’t think anyone in business would like to be called a “Bitch.” The word does conjure up notions of independence and assertiveness which are good traits. But the negative connotations that go with it are unflattering, particularly when people are recognizing the value of teamwork in business operations. Hollywood uses the word for shock effect. That’s what Hollywood does. Hooray for assertive women, but let’s find a word that celebrates that without making someone unpleasant.” Debra Stang, Writer and Editor, told The Grindstone: “I’ve always liked Gavin DeBecker’s definition of bitch: “Boys, I’m Taking Charge Here.” I think there are times when “b*tch” is used in a humorous, even complimentary fashion. My friends and I sometimes toss the word around that way. Yet it can also be a weapon used to attack women who come across as too strong or powerful. Fear of being called a b*tch still keeps some women from speaking their minds, even when they have a valuable opinion to offer. Because the word still has the power to wound, and because most women tend to view it as a negative, I would not use it in a business setting.”

Now Nunberg says there are more male bosses so there are more male boss a**holes but for the female bosses that do display a**hole tendencies you are doing them a disservice if you don’t call them that. He said:<
“We don’t really give women credit for being assholes as much as we should. Very often when a woman does something that would earn a man the epithet “asshole” gets called a “bitch” instead, when really it has nothing to do with some primordial feminine malignity, it just has to do with the fact that this person is an asshole.
A person remonstrating with the gate agent because he or she wasn’t given an upgrade– “do you know how much money my company spends at your airline!”–if that was a man you would say “what an asshole.” If it’s a woman, you should also say, “what an asshole!” but you are more apt to say “what a bitch!” as if it has something to do with her being a woman.”
So the next time your female boss is being a d*ck, do the proper thing and call her an a**hole when you tell a story about her at dinner with your friends that night. You’re making the world a better place.
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Post from: TheGrindstone


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