Monday, April 24, 2006


I had to be a bitch the other day.
I hated it.
It was something simple. Some undergraduates were not treating research they were doing with enough respect; the PI was going to get bad (i.e. misrepresentative) data as a result. I told the students to stop the behavior and pay attention to what they were doing.
Not bitchy, right? I mean, that's not really being a bitch.
But it made me upset for about an hour.
And I wondered if it was a gendered thing, if I hate correcting bad behavior because I want to be the "good girl."
And I realized that it is
I returned to graduate school (mumblty mumble) years after I finished my BA. During those intervening years, I worked. And at every single job I had, there was at least one manager who didn't have the nerve to be bitchy.
Example: a couple of employees in a department are misbehaving in a specific way. Let's pretend it was getting chocolate smears on the walls. No, that can be anonymous. Let's pretend it was getting chocolate smears on their specific reports that no one else does; those employees have to have made the smears. Does the manager take these employees aside and tell them chocolate smears will not be tolerated anymore? No. Instead, the manager imposes a regulation on the entire department. In our pretend story, the manager tells the whole department that not only can we no longer eat chocolate in the office, but we can't eat anything in the office.
Because the manager was afraid of being a bitch.
The manager, by the way, was male.
And, by the way, the chocolate smears kept happening.


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