Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mean Women


I've been thinking about writing this post for a long time--months even. I've formulated exactly what I want to say in my head and how I want to say it. Today I heard that one of my best friends from high school passed away after a long struggle with breast cancer. Sue was one of the funniest, smartest, most accomplished women I've ever known. She wasn't the most popular, or the prettiest, or the coolest--but she loved everyone, delighted in seeing people succeed. And she stayed that way her whole life. We knew each other from the time we were in 7th grade, became fast friends, visited colleges together, and then went our separate grown up ways. Sue held a law degree, but her passion was teaching. If you go to Legacy.com you can read from her current and former students how special she was. She changed lives in the classroom, just like she changed my life, just by knowing her.

Anyway, Sue's passing has spurred me to write this today.

Bullying has been in the news lately. It's a terrible thing. Kids have even committed suicide as a result of severe bullying. But that's not what I want to write about. I want to write about a phenomena I've witnessed over and over among adult women who were bullied as teenagers.

You would think that victims of bullying would grow up to be sensitive adults, aware of other's weaknesses, but accepting of them. From my observation, limited as it is, that's not so. Over and over I've witnessed grown up women become Mean Women, bullies--most specifically in the workplace. And, most of the Mean Women I'm referring to confided to me at one time or another that they were victims of extreme bullying. I feel sorry for those ladies. I'm sorry about their past. But, really, there's no excuse to become a Mean Woman yourself.

My friend Sue and I grew up when "women's lib" was a brand new movement. We had a Social Studies teacher who taught the very first class about women deserving the same rights as men, most specifically in the workplace. It was an elective and only a few brave girls signed up for it. Women who were born a mere five or ten years after me, really have no idea what it used to be like in offices. Watch an episode or two of Mad Men. My own mother who worked in the very male-dominated oil industry was told once by the president of her company that no woman would ever be qualified to become a vice president there. She fought hard, worked hard, and proved him wrong. She was the first, she was a pioneer. But, when she left she'd made sure she'd paved the way for other capable women to follow her path.

In my very first job, I worked for a state agency in Missouri. I was the only woman in the department. We were all traveling to do a video production and my boss actually told me I'd be sharing a room with him. Can you imagine? I didn't and the whole matter was taken to a human relations board to discuss if he was wrong for telling me such a thing or I was wrong for refusing. The ordeal lasted for months. Can you imagine? What a lesson for a 23-year-old. BTW, I was vindicated...but they kept him as my boss. Oh my.

I bring all this up because I think younger women have forgotten--or God forbid--never knew what it took to create an environment where they could succeed.

Now back to my premise that women who have been bullied as youngsters often grow up to be bullies. These women are survivors. They've learned to fight through the pain. If they become successful, it's because they deserve it. They've risen like phoenix from the ashes. Good for them. I'm so proud to know that the women's movement was effective enough that these women could find their place in the world. What I don't understand is why so many of them turn into Mean Women in the workplace. Shouldn't they know better? Is this what they want for their daughters?

Mean Women see other women as threats. Even when they're not. Mean Women can't be happy for other women when they achieve success. I think it must bring out some weird post traumatic disorder in them. I've seen them lie, fabricate, exaggerate, and generally disrespect the other successful women in their organization.

What makes this phenomenon so odious is that it's done behind backs and most often perpetrated against their friends. It's secret and spiteful, yes, it's mean. I asked my mom if she had witnessed this in her office. She said yes, but only among younger women who never knew what it used to be like. She told me--a little too late mind you--that women really need to watch their backs around other women in the workplace.

Isn't that sad? I don't understand why women who were hurt as children, turn on their so-called friends and go out of their way to hurt them. Destroying the careers they've worked hard to build, rather than building them up. I just don't get it.

Mean Women. You give us all a bad name.

Monday, November 22, 2010

We're #1

Woo Hoo! St. Louis is #1!

Yep. We've been rated the most dangerous city in the United States.

In a mark of an extreme and ignorant attempt at spinning bad news, the spokeswoman for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay...a woman named Kara Bowlin, tried to reassure St. Louisans by saying `the city actually has been getting safer over the last few years'. She tried to prove her point with a statistic that St. Louis crime is down 7 percent since last year.

Uh, earth to Kara. This is not good news. Not at all.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Hooray for Bollywood

Because there's nothing like a Bollywood wedding reception to put a smile on your face!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Just a matter of scale


At one time I thought it was the height of audacity and insensitivity when the big honcho of a place I used to work at spent a bunch of money to redo his office digs while the company was laying off people right and left.

He's been topped--at least in scale.

2 days after Barack-Star was handed a resounding defeat by voters, in part for spending about 40 million, gazillion dollars on programs the majority of folks have said they don't want and we can't afford...he hightails out of town to India on the public's dime. Well, actually a bunch of dimes. $200 million dollars a day. He says he and his besties are going there to get some new business for the U.S. He better be successful or people are really going to be in a bad mood.

Related posts:
Mobama Living High On The Hog

Let Them Eat Cake