Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

December 25, 2012

Slate: Lady jerks of 2012

Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is fond of repeating this business world double standard among groups of women: "Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women." So as men gain power, we like them more. As women rise in the ranks, we like them less.

Jessica Valenti, writing in the Nation, has proposed that women respond by ditching their "desire to be liked and accepted" altogether. "Women adjust their behavior to be likable and as a result have less power in the world," she writes. "But the trade off is undoubtedly worth it. Power and authenticity are worth it."

People may dislike powerful women, but being unlikable won't necessarily help women get that power in the first place. One 2011 study found that while acting rude and disagreeable helps increase men's earning potential in the office, the same is not true of women. When it comes to salary negotiation, even nice guys don't finish last — they, too, are better situated than disagreeable women. So women are counseled to act like ladies when asking for a raise.

Sandberg counsels successful young women to adopt the typically male justification for their rise to the top: "What a dumb question. I'm awesome." But at Facebook, she modeled a passive style. When Mark Zuckerberg introduced Sandberg to the company by saying that she "had really good skin," the new COO smiled, and "didn't flinch."

What's a disagreeable woman to do? This year brought a new crop of openly hostile women, real and semi-real, to help us navigate society's intolerance of rude ladies. Here's how the female jerks of 2012 fared:

"Maya," the CIA agent on the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty"; also known as "Jen" in an account by a former member of Navy SEAL Team Six. In Bigelow's film, Jessica Chastain's Maya is dismissed as "not Miss Congeniality" and "out of her mind" as she badgers the agency into following her lead to al Qaida's number 1. After she won the fight, the real-life agent received the CIA's Distinguished Intelligence Medal for her work — and hit "reply all" to complain about the other agents who had won lesser awards. An anonymous tipster said her email related, "You guys tried to obstruct me. You fought me. Only I deserve the award." Colleagues have attributed her surly attitude to frustration at not receiving an expected $16,000 salary bump after her banner year. "Do you know how many CIA officers are jerks?" one former official said. "If that was a disqualifier, the whole National Clandestine Service would be gone."

Text Only
Community News Network
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • weightloss.jpg The scales of injustice: Weight loss differs between men, women

    You're not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drug dealers going corporate

    A top federal official on Tuesday said that 105 banks and credit unions are doing business with legal marijuana sellers, suggesting that federal rules giving financial institutions the go-ahead to provide services to dealers are starting to work.

    August 13, 2014

  • wwimemorial.jpg The benefit of World War I omission on the Washington Mall

    By 1982, when the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened on the National Mall, something had shifted in the way we remember our wars. A national memorial, prominently placed on the nation's most symbolically significant public space, came to seem like an essential dignity offered to veterans, their families and the memory of those who gave their lives. But there is an exception.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • In Japan, ramen aficionados worry their favorite dish is coming off the boil

    "The ramen boom has ended," said Ivan Orkin, a New Yorker who first traveled to Japan in the 1980s and now owns two noodle-soup restaurants in Tokyo. "A boom implies that there are new avenues and new growth to pursue, and that's not the case in Japan anymore."

    August 11, 2014

  • Ronnie Ellis: U.S. Senate race trail long and interesting

    By Ronnie Ellis/CNHI News Service

    FRANKFORT — Last week was a long one, endured under the onslaught of an awful summer cold and played out across the commonwealth. It began in Fancy Farm and ended it in Corbin with a trip to Hazard in between.

    August 9, 2014

  • Senate race becomes family affair

    By LANA BELLAMY
    CNHI NEWS SERVICE
    PAINTSVILLE — U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell got personal on Friday while calling a report inaccurate concerning his wife’s role as a board member in an organization that funds anti-coal efforts.

    August 9, 2014

Twitter Updates
Facebook
Stocks