The Two Conflicting Female Status Hierarchies

In traditional male hierarchies the idea is that any leader develops people at the level below him so that one of them will be able to replace him once he is gone. Yet, I recently noticed a rather interesting variation on this theme in a corporate setting. The context is big business where outwardly ideas of fairness and meritocracy are promoted whereas in reality “positive discrimination” due to gender quotas reigns supreme. It’s quite like the story the mainstream media tell you about laws or democracy. Reality strangely enough seems to not have too much to do with the proclaimed ideals.

Concretely, I observed a female manager with a female direct report. I got the impression that the older, more senior, female has the goal of helping the younger one along in her career. Yet, there was another hierarchy at place: the female manager is in her thirties and physically rather unattractive. She has a so-called resting bitch face and is adorned with a nose that would make for a good caricature. In contrast, the young female by her side is (still) quite attractive, with a pleasant enough face and good manners. She’d probably not make it on the cover of a glossy magazine but compared to her boss she looks like a supermodel.

In a saner hierarchy, for women, the hierarchy of sexual attractiveness should trump the hierarchy of (pretend) career success. I can only hope that the young woman in this picture will use the older one as a warning example, helping her to reevaluate her life choices before it is too late. Trying to climb the status ladder in the working world is a long and thankless process. Yet, a young and reasonably attractive woman has a shortcut at her disposal. She simply needs to pick a man from higher up in the hierarchy, drop out of the workforce, and coast through life.

More successful men taking young, attractive women as their wives would be a win-win situation. I do not want to read too much into situations like the one above, but I sometimes wonder why there are any attractive women at all in the working world. Does it not occur to them that whatever money they could make likely pales in contrast to the life they could enjoy on the side of a more successful man?

It is a tragedy when you see a reasonably attractive woman join a company. Maybe she is fresh out of university and in her early 20s. Due to partying and a steady diet of dick she has already aged quite a bit, but a job she can’t really handle will only make her age even faster. Who benefits from this? It’s neither her nor society, nor her employer. On that note, I have witnessed a surprising number of women crying at work or having nervous breakdowns, simply because they do not seem able to handle a moderate amount of stress.

One of the saddest stories in this regard I know from a friend of mine. At the Internet startup he works, they got a super-hot new-joiner. Basically the entire office was lusting after her. She could quite possibly have banged one of the founders and walked out with access to dozens of millions of euros. Instead, she “worked really hard”, and to deal with the stress, she went through one chocolate bar after another. In this regard, it surely did not help that a wide variety of unhealthy snacks are available free of charge at this place. After about two years, her looks were completely shot. Her mood also turned from bubbly into testy.

There is even a parallel to the porn business. As you may know, this industry sucks in many thousands of girls a year and quickly spits them out. It’s essentially a large-scale endeavor to ruin young women for marriage and life overall. Yet, this is not really all that different from what the working world does to women who enter it. I wonder if this is by design, in both cases. Nah, it’s probably just a coincidence because nobody wants to destroy the family unit and bring birth rates down, not even the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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8 thoughts on “The Two Conflicting Female Status Hierarchies

  1. “…male hierarchies the idea is that any leader develops people at the level below him so that one of them will be able to replace him once he is gone.”

    1. There’s always been this conflict whether men can learn to become good leaders or whether it’s a natural born talent. What’s your take? In my experience, I’ve seen a number of supervisors who are terrible. Everyone of those have reached their highest level of incompetency as a good handful try to rule with an iron fist and intimidation. Heck, I take great joy in challenging these supervisors. It’s a good way to be dislike, but I’m astonished as to how these imbeciles they are. The fact, many of my co-workers are too scared to challenge any supervisor or any high-ranking supervisor. I had this one supervisor who I admired and respected a lot. He knew how to interact and talk to people in our department. He was really good at reading people and tunning into their emotions and body language. He can literally take the laziest person and make him become very productive. He understood that life outside of work impacts one’s ability to perform at work. While most people say leave your private life outside of work, he often took a different approach work and life. Many employees in our department love him so much everyone loved coming to work and rarely called off. I haven’t seen any other supervisor replicate what he’s been able to do.

    “…to deal with the stress, she went through one chocolate bar after another.”

    2. From your life experience, what are some ways you manage to deal with stress as it depends on the severity of it? I’ve had stress levels so high that I often get an eye-twitch. This is “high” stress. In theory, I learned that the best way to deal with stress is to take it out (beat them up) on the person who’s causing it, but in reality, this isn’t quite practical since it can have consequences.

    1. 1) I think there is at least some natural ability in being a leader. In the working world, a different process is in play where people normally have to prove themselves at some relatively specialized task first before getting into a leadership role. This is how you end up with people who cannot lead because they have never led a group at all.

      2) If you have a nasty supervisor who is causing you stress directly or indirectly, you can try to resolve your issue with that person — in large organizations you may even be able to use a mediator for this — but you should not expect too much from that as there may be an agenda in place that you are unaware of. Sometimes, people who are perceived as horrible managers deliberately act this way as they were told that they need to reduce head count by people resigning (as opposed to firing or paying severance, where the former is bad optics and the latter more expensive). Probably the best approach to this is to look for a new job if your supervisor is being a dick and you can’t fix the situation.

    2. Also, the notion that the best way to deal with stress is “take it out”… do you seriously mean physically? Or am I misreading you.

      Coping with stress or anger through “blowing off” violently (venting) like, for example, punching a pillow, is really bad psychological advice. Its based on long discredited theories by Konrad Lorenz about how anger supposedly builds up and needs to be vented from time to time.

    3. @Yarara, I used to yell in my car a lot when I got overwhelmed. Is that another example of something that would make the problem worse?

    4. @Herker

      Yes indeed. You can google up on this under the search term “catharsis hypothesis” (I think Freud was the one who came up with that name) or a more popular term, “venting”. Its been repeatedly refuted in controlled experiments, but this myth somehow refuses to die.

      Some people tend to feel better after venting and attribute their improved mood on the venting, without realizing that the anger would have subsided on its own anyway (regression to mean, post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy). Venting actually seems to make things worse.

      AFAIK Bushman is one of the psychologists who most studied this, here is a link to one of his papers. There is plenty of cited literature to follow on there.

      For a broader take on popular psych myths, check out the book by Scott Lilienfeld et al: 50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology

    5. @Yarara, well thank you for alerting me to this. Rage comes up strong for me quite often, so I’ll look into this.

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