Monday, May 11, 2009

McFly! World to McFly!

One of the most popular articles on the New York Times' website right now is a piece about women bullying women at work.

On the one hand, I think it's fascinating: I think it's no surprise to many of us that Type-A women in the workplace are often more aggressive, and (I would speculate) more misogynistic, in their treatment of female co-workers in comparison to male counterparts.

It also occurs to me that perhaps women have more overt internecine conflict because they view each other as direct competition--whereas men more often perceive female competitors to be less serious "threats," passively dismissing them rather than stirring conflict. Women are also probably more adept at effectively targeting competitors with criticism--as they've probably encountered or observed it themselves in the past.

Yet I'm also concerned by this increasing popularization of workplace "bullying," insofar as it infantilizes adult competition and paints a portrait of endemic victimization (rather than endemic whining). Maybe I've read too much Hobbes--he of "nasty, brutish, and short" fame--but it seems apparent that money, jobs, lives are tight right now. Things aren't pretty, and people aren't "nice" in the first place.

Is it just me who's having flashbacks to Biff, the bully in Back to the Future?

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