I'm always eager for insight into the female mind, and Eve Tushnet has an intriguing post about women and leadership.

So though I think it's true that more women have a hard time with leadership than men, it's not for the reasons you suggest. I think, rather, that women are less hierarchical than men and for that reason are INTENSELY distrustful of women who rise to positions of power. "Who does she think she is?" is often their reaction to a woman who gives them orders. It's not necessarily envy (though it can be that too). It's sheer animal knowledge of each other. And this attitude hardens with age, I believe.

Women who acquire positions of leadership seldom find it easy to keep the respect of their female peers, although they may manage to command that of much younger women. And when one half of the human race distrusts you, it's difficult to lead effectively.

Women accept the leadership of men, on the other hand, because (I suspect), it's far less challenging to their self-image and sense of their own power and autonomy to do so. Besides, men have the excuse, in women's eyes, of being "mere males"; their pomposity is lovable rather than annoying or presumptuous. And their right to give orders can be assumed to rest upon their larger size and ability to defend us.

There's more. As a mere male, I'm normally limited to third-hand knowledge of how women view each other, but now I've got some second-hand information to mull over.

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In his post titled "Women and Leadership", Michael Williams linked to Eve Tushnet : WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP: Clio writes: You suggest that women have a difficult time with leadership because they are too focussed on "relationships" to keep track of... Read More



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