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Women don’t need another girlboss An entire industry is built on 'inspiring' role models

Shiv Roy > Nicola Sturgeon (Succession/HBO)

Shiv Roy > Nicola Sturgeon (Succession/HBO)


April 21, 2023   5 mins

Heavy lies the girlboss crown on Rain Newton-Smith, freshly appointed director-general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Brought in last week to rebuild the CBI’s reputation after a scandal involving her predecessor, commentators are already predicting her failure. Some are even doing it in the name of fighting the patriarchy: in The Observer, Newton-Smith was the occasion for an article by Martha Gill, anticipating a difficult time ahead for her that would, Gill argued, eventually inhibit other women from aspiring to equally high profile jobs.

For women with impressive careers, one legacy of mainstream feminism is that there’s almost nothing you can do that won’t incite people to think of the potential consequences for the rest of your sex. It’s just about the only area of public life left where your womanhood is reliably judged relevant to your fate. Perhaps you’ll get treated as an inspirational female role model, or perhaps — as Gill would have it — you’ll be a cautionary tale for other women. Either way, you won’t just get to be a person, birthing or otherwise.

Generally speaking though, Gill is right to be suspicious of the familiar trope of the “strong female role model”. For one thing, there’s rarely anything strong about it. It seems we can enjoy a thrillingly cut-throat, venal businesswoman as long as she is entirely imaginary — Shiv Roy from Succession comes to mind — but when it comes to the real thing, we apparently prefer them to present as boring, overtly worthy drips, madly hitting “like” on LinkedIn articles about the value of kindness in the workplace, when they are not otherwise busy saving the planet. (Newton-Smith herself says she is “passionate about… climate and biodiversity” in her Twitter bio.)

Meanwhile within the world of women’s magazines, websites and weekend supplements, a profitable sector devotes itself to imposing dewily soft-focused “inspiring” or “influential” role models upon the seething, sweaty mass of female wage slaves. Basic prerequisites include a photogenic bone structure, comparatively high levels of personal grooming and a willingness to comply with a vapid, generic narrative about your “positive impact” that will empty you of all individuality and spark, in the service of promoting various capitalism-friendly feminine ideals.

The two chief mechanisms of the Inspiration Industrial Complex are the awards ceremony and the list. Each is used to manipulate common enough female emotions such as competitiveness, anxiety and envy, but with a twist — it’s all in the name of sisterhood. Might you be a Woman of the Year; a Woman of the Future; a Woman of Vision; a Remarkable Woman; an Uplifting Woman; a Champion of Women or a Powerwoman? Lured in by the opportunities for networking and showing off, nominees dress up to the nines, neck free drinks, take selfies and rehearse heartfelt speeches about staying passionate about what you do, tackling imposter syndrome and paying it forward. Website editors will then make it all look as glamorous and enviable as possible, further demoralising poor saps sitting in canteens or office cubbyholes, scrolling through their half-hour lunch breaks.

The list, meanwhile, is another stiletto-like weapon of female socialisation, implicitly reminding the reader that she is only as good as her last assessment by faceless others. Whether you are a woman in cycling, hospitality, mining, tech, tourism, shipping, social enterprise, supply chain, finance, sustainability, cybersecurity, or Westminster, you’re never safe from being suddenly catapulted into the spotlight of some top 100 — or else cruelly denigrated by omission. Some lists will even rank you in relation to others in your field. The compilers at 100 Top Women in Shipping note that in their 2022 list, “some retained their previous places more or less”, which makes you wonder about the feelings of those who did not.

Why do women do this to themselves, and to each other? For, I’ll wager, it is mostly women who are organising the awards and making the lists, not men. In most cases the ostensible motive is positive representation of women in male-dominated fields, though this goal doesn’t seem relevant to already female-heavy sectors like social enterprise or tourism. “You can’t be what you can’t see” goes the hackneyed phrase — but equally, if all you see is women tottering about in spike heels and ASOS workwear, ranked like show ponies, mindlessly regurgitating Brené Brown quotes about being authentic and daring to lead, it’s unclear how onlookers are supposed to be inspired. It hardly screams Nietzschean Übermensch, does it?

Women from the past are not safe from list-makers either. Presented as educational tools, lists such as “100 of the most inspiring women from the last 100 years” retrospectively translate complex, difficult, multifaceted human beings into gift card messages. Rosalind Franklin becomes “We have to celebrate our achievements, even when others don’t”; Virginia Woolf becomes “Speak your truth and you could inspire generations of writers”; Hillary Clinton — admittedly, sounding a bit like Napoleon — becomes “Even in the jaws of the most galling defeat, we must learn from our mistakes and carry on fighting for what we think is right”.

The truth is, nobody involved in these efforts is seriously interested in presenting good role models for other women, either in terms of ethics or efficiency — as is plain from the number of times Nicola Sturgeon has appeared on Women of the Year lists. If the three main elements of being an effective role model are, first, inspiring others to desire some goal for themselves; second, demonstrating the possibility of achieving that goal; and third, modelling behavioural skills for how to get there, then awards and lists do none of these things particularly well. Your best hope, rather, is to model yourself on someone you work or otherwise collaborate with, and not a glamorous stranger intoning meaningless platitudes into the ether.

What rituals like these are really good at is circumscribing what counts as acceptable behaviour for women in whatever career field is being highlighted. Officially, what is celebrated are the sort of pink and fluffy values that might easily end up printed on a yoga sweatshirt: things like compassion, positivity, self-care, inner strength and authenticity. Perversely, though, the eventual result seems to be an increase in narcissism, envy, self-criticism, weakness and the slavish copying of others.

In real life, everyone knows that career success — whether for women or men — requires some degree of aggression, competitiveness, dishonesty and selfishness. Humans are hardwired to compete with each other for resources, after all, and socialisation can only transform the methods, not remove the trait entirely. In reality, women often resent the successes of other women rather than celebrate them. It is telling that Angela Rayner polls as men’s most popular politician, but only seventh with women — while men take all the spots above her.

Still, it seems that such facts can only be acknowledged by women when swiftly followed by self-chastisement. In this suffocating environment, characteristics like aggression and spite get shoved into what Carl Jung called the “shadow” — still present unconsciously, but explicitly disowned and projected onto others. We’ve all seen it — mixing sideswipes with excessive praise, picking fights while claiming innocent victimhood, finding quasi-objective reasons to criticise rivals, constructing “relatable” confessional narratives for social media with just the right level of humblebragging, and so on.

The shadow side of glossy positivity discourse for women also includes the gossip website, where women go to savagely mock and deride other women under the guise of anonymity — and jolly good fun it looks too, as long as you aren’t the unfortunate subject being discussed. Bitching, backstabbing, gossiping, mobbing — all can make a workmate’s life hell and contribute to a toxic environment. Men do these things too but not as much, because masculine culture isn’t as focused on disavowing the originating traits in the first place.

So, what’s the solution? Tempting as it is to imagine an alternative workplace culture involving mandatory secret Fight Clubs for girls, the very least women can do is to stop sublimating our darker instincts into passive-aggressive rituals and ceremonies that ultimately make everyone feel worse. We could just admit to ourselves that we can be as angry, envious or competitive as the next bloke — without immediately feeling we have to confess the fact on Instagram, “educate” ourselves, chant self-help mantras, or otherwise atone for our sins. We could just — and hear me out, here — get on with our jobs. And if that’s not possible, then perhaps we could start giving out much crappier prizes. If any would-be awards organiser is interested, I hear there’s a warehouse full of Women Hold Up Half the Sky: Selected Speeches of Nicola Sturgeon going extra cheap at the moment.


Kathleen Stock is an UnHerd columnist and a co-director of The Lesbian Project.
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William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

After glancing through the Woman of the Year; Woman of the Future; Woman of Vision; Remarkable Woman; Uplifting Woman; Champion of Women and Powerwoman awards all I can say is I feel quite embarrassed on their behalf. It seems rather pathetic to be treated like a child and given a “good girl” award. If these awards are intended to provide young women with people to emulate I suspect they have the opposite effect.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Indeed. I think one can make a direct comparison with Gay culture. Recently seeing a group of Japanese gay people, looking more like chartered accountants, led to me to realise how many gay men & women must cringe at the omnipresent camp, hyper-sexualised, ultra-extrovert displays of Pride etc (now, for extra confusion, government and corporate sanctioned) – as if that is what it means to be gay. A group freed from horrendous prejudice just to be self-pigeon-holed into a ludicrous parody.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Well said.

Nuria Haering
Nuria Haering
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Reminds me of last year’s London pride parade, which my same-sex partner and I spectated at the request of a straight friend, who was on a corporate float as an “ally”, twirling a rainbow flag and swaying to loud pop music.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Well said.

Nuria Haering
Nuria Haering
1 year ago
Reply to  Dominic A

Reminds me of last year’s London pride parade, which my same-sex partner and I spectated at the request of a straight friend, who was on a corporate float as an “ally”, twirling a rainbow flag and swaying to loud pop music.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Of course, this list business proliferates in every area of life now: not just women stuff.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Nona Yubiz

Yes, awards stuff. Numerous awards shows for entertainers. Not content with being overpaid for doing something they love to do, they constantly get awards and become “celebrities”.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Nona Yubiz

Yes, awards stuff. Numerous awards shows for entertainers. Not content with being overpaid for doing something they love to do, they constantly get awards and become “celebrities”.

Chris Emmett
Chris Emmett
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Sadly, I think a lot of young women are captured by this and go along with it. Responsible companies ought not to encourage the ‘good girl’ awards but they hardly know they’re doing it.

Lorna Dobson
Lorna Dobson
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

The Woman of Vision 2023 award was won by Meghan Markle. ‘Nuff said.

Dominic A
Dominic A
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Indeed. I think one can make a direct comparison with Gay culture. Recently seeing a group of Japanese gay people, looking more like chartered accountants, led to me to realise how many gay men & women must cringe at the omnipresent camp, hyper-sexualised, ultra-extrovert displays of Pride etc (now, for extra confusion, government and corporate sanctioned) – as if that is what it means to be gay. A group freed from horrendous prejudice just to be self-pigeon-holed into a ludicrous parody.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Of course, this list business proliferates in every area of life now: not just women stuff.

Chris Emmett
Chris Emmett
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Sadly, I think a lot of young women are captured by this and go along with it. Responsible companies ought not to encourage the ‘good girl’ awards but they hardly know they’re doing it.

Lorna Dobson
Lorna Dobson
1 year ago
Reply to  William Shaw

The Woman of Vision 2023 award was won by Meghan Markle. ‘Nuff said.

William Shaw
William Shaw
1 year ago

After glancing through the Woman of the Year; Woman of the Future; Woman of Vision; Remarkable Woman; Uplifting Woman; Champion of Women and Powerwoman awards all I can say is I feel quite embarrassed on their behalf. It seems rather pathetic to be treated like a child and given a “good girl” award. If these awards are intended to provide young women with people to emulate I suspect they have the opposite effect.

Last edited 1 year ago by William Shaw
Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

The constant pressure from MSM/BBC (and female politicians like Theresa May, Yvette Cooper etc) for the achievement of “equity of outcome” for women – rather than “equality of opportunity” – is also hugely problematic.
This means that women appointed to senior positions (e.g. Nicola Sturgeon, Kamala Harris) will frequently be overly lauded in the media, leading to understandable scepticism that they are as good as their portrayal.
It also feeds into suspicion that many were “diversity picks”.
I feel great sympathy for the genuinely capable women who got there on merit and are not allowed to just execute their jobs without the “feminist circus” that tends to follow them around.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

The other thing I note is that the equity brigade has a lot of contempt and distaste for “genuinely capable women who got there on merit”.

It explains a lot of the negative reaction from a lot of “liberal” and feminists towards women like Thatcher.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Yes, the same here in the US with Amy Coney Barrett of the Supreme Court.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Nah, just plain unlikable.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Julian Farrows

Nah, just plain unlikable.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Nah, Thatcher was a male identified woman who was just plain unlikable.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Yes, the same here in the US with Amy Coney Barrett of the Supreme Court.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Nah, Thatcher was a male identified woman who was just plain unlikable.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Joe Biden explicitly stated that he chose Kamala Harris because she was black and female, not on merit.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Askew

Could it not be that he chose her for being a black female with merit?

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Where’s the merit, then?

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

No. She’s an embarrassing failure. Can’t name anything she’s accomplished since she took her position except running through employees…

Studio Largo
Studio Largo
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Where’s the merit, then?

Kat L
Kat L
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

No. She’s an embarrassing failure. Can’t name anything she’s accomplished since she took her position except running through employees…

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Askew

Could it not be that he chose her for being a black female with merit?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

The other thing I note is that the equity brigade has a lot of contempt and distaste for “genuinely capable women who got there on merit”.

It explains a lot of the negative reaction from a lot of “liberal” and feminists towards women like Thatcher.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian Barton

Joe Biden explicitly stated that he chose Kamala Harris because she was black and female, not on merit.

Ian Barton
Ian Barton
1 year ago

The constant pressure from MSM/BBC (and female politicians like Theresa May, Yvette Cooper etc) for the achievement of “equity of outcome” for women – rather than “equality of opportunity” – is also hugely problematic.
This means that women appointed to senior positions (e.g. Nicola Sturgeon, Kamala Harris) will frequently be overly lauded in the media, leading to understandable scepticism that they are as good as their portrayal.
It also feeds into suspicion that many were “diversity picks”.
I feel great sympathy for the genuinely capable women who got there on merit and are not allowed to just execute their jobs without the “feminist circus” that tends to follow them around.

Last edited 1 year ago by Ian Barton
Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago

I wish that Kathleen would devote an article to “toxic femininity”, as embodied so well by Sturgeon and others. This mixture of passive-aggresiveness, victimhood and intolerance to dissent has become more and more common in this feminised world where “feelings” are used as weapons to attack and subdue.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

I would be interested in Stock producing an article on anti social female behaviour in the work-place, that recognises this behaviour as individualistic, rather than “toxic femininity” – as if there is some base or foundational negative characteristic inherent to femininity per se.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Go out to lunch with three women and watch what happens when one goes to the loo.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Have you ever noticed how women will run down a very attractive woman and in the same breath tell you how attractive a very plain woman is?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

No, I haven’t noticed that. Who do you hang out with?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

No, I haven’t noticed that. Who do you hang out with?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Apparently you do this frequently and are not the one who goes to the loo.

Last edited 1 year ago by Clare Knight
Stephen Kristan
Stephen Kristan
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Cheap ad hominem comment.

Stephen Kristan
Stephen Kristan
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Cheap ad hominem comment.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Have you ever noticed how women will run down a very attractive woman and in the same breath tell you how attractive a very plain woman is?

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Apparently you do this frequently and are not the one who goes to the loo.

Last edited 1 year ago by Clare Knight
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago

Arkadian put “toxic” in front of “femininity” precisely in order to distinguish the phenomenon from unmodified “femininity” (a courtesy that is seldom discernable in references to “toxic masculinity”).
But your basic point is well taken. The problem is not toxic femininity per se (although anything can become toxic through exaggeration, politicization or some other form of distortion). Rather, the problem is toxic feminism. This is what I call “ideological” feminism as distinct from its egalitarian counterpart in the 1960s. For decades, ideological feminists have been marinating society in a dualistic worldview that revolves around a titanic war between “us” and “them,” collective innocence and collective guilt, good and evil, women and men. The wokers have merely added a racial dimension.
Arkadian is correct also for observing the clear focus in our time on feeling instead of thinking. This phenomenon is an outgrowth not only of hedonistic and anti-intellectual tendencies among the hippies but also of the postmodernists (who denied even the goal of seeking objective truth) and, slightly later, of ideological feminists. The latter reversed the egalitarian (but naïve) notion that men and women are interchangeable by adopting essentialism. Apart from anything else, they argued, women and men have “different ways of knowing.” (And guess whose way is better than the other’s.) They lost no time in glorifying the women’s realm of emotion or subjectivity and trivializing the men’s realm of reason or objectivity. Their goal was sexual warfare, after all, not sexual complementarity. Thus dawned the age of Oprah Winfrey, pop psychology and eventually of wokism (which sees in the idealistic search for objective truth nothing more, and nothing less, than the cynical struggle for collective power).

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I am not sure I would talk of “feminism”; I find that “femininity” is more descriptive in my context. One fine example is the #bekind movement, which is anything, but kind, but it is being used so extensively in this “feminised” world.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Really? I don’t see it. When I watch world news I see heartbreaking wars, oppression of women, human trafficking and starving women and children.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Really? I don’t see it. When I watch world news I see heartbreaking wars, oppression of women, human trafficking and starving women and children.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I am not sure I would talk of “feminism”; I find that “femininity” is more descriptive in my context. One fine example is the #bekind movement, which is anything, but kind, but it is being used so extensively in this “feminised” world.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Exactly.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
1 year ago

Go out to lunch with three women and watch what happens when one goes to the loo.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago

Arkadian put “toxic” in front of “femininity” precisely in order to distinguish the phenomenon from unmodified “femininity” (a courtesy that is seldom discernable in references to “toxic masculinity”).
But your basic point is well taken. The problem is not toxic femininity per se (although anything can become toxic through exaggeration, politicization or some other form of distortion). Rather, the problem is toxic feminism. This is what I call “ideological” feminism as distinct from its egalitarian counterpart in the 1960s. For decades, ideological feminists have been marinating society in a dualistic worldview that revolves around a titanic war between “us” and “them,” collective innocence and collective guilt, good and evil, women and men. The wokers have merely added a racial dimension.
Arkadian is correct also for observing the clear focus in our time on feeling instead of thinking. This phenomenon is an outgrowth not only of hedonistic and anti-intellectual tendencies among the hippies but also of the postmodernists (who denied even the goal of seeking objective truth) and, slightly later, of ideological feminists. The latter reversed the egalitarian (but naïve) notion that men and women are interchangeable by adopting essentialism. Apart from anything else, they argued, women and men have “different ways of knowing.” (And guess whose way is better than the other’s.) They lost no time in glorifying the women’s realm of emotion or subjectivity and trivializing the men’s realm of reason or objectivity. Their goal was sexual warfare, after all, not sexual complementarity. Thus dawned the age of Oprah Winfrey, pop psychology and eventually of wokism (which sees in the idealistic search for objective truth nothing more, and nothing less, than the cynical struggle for collective power).

Last edited 1 year ago by Paul Nathanson
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Exactly.

Helen Nevitt
Helen Nevitt
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Big Sister is watching you.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Helen Nevitt

In Scotland, she sure is.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Helen Nevitt

That’s funny!

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago
Reply to  Helen Nevitt

In Scotland, she sure is.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Helen Nevitt

That’s funny!

Tim Smith
Tim Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

I’m also really interested in the relationship of this female behaviour to lower morality individuals who exploit this “empathy” for their own gain and anti-social behaviour, pushing their individual rights under some guise of a protected group and demanding empathy for it.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Smith

Good grief! You give women credit for having an awful lot of power.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Tim Smith

Good grief! You give women credit for having an awful lot of power.

Martin Ashford
Martin Ashford
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Agree completely, and I’ve been calling women out for a long time on their tendency to use ‘feelings’ and victimhood as tools to launch hyper-aggressive attacks on anyone that dares question the legitimacy of their complaints.

Denying that there could ever be any hard-wired physiological differences is a key part of the problem. Even Kathleen falls into the trap; take this as an example: “Bitching, backstabbing, gossiping, mobbing — all can make a workmate’s life hell and contribute to a toxic environment. Men do these things too but not as much, because masculine culture isn’t as focused on disavowing the originating traits in the first place.”. She cannot help to convince herself that “Men do these things too” and that the only reason why men don’t do this as much as women is because of “masculine culture”. Here’s a really novel thought: maybe women are more prone to these unattractive characteristics because they are women, not because of culture i.e male and female brains are wired differently – some traits good, some not so good, but, critically, fundamentally different. Until women are willing to accept the biological differences between the sexes then they will never be content. And when women are not content they don’t go into a quiet place and brood, they bring all those around them down with them. And that’s nothing to do with ‘culture’.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Ashford

If you are going to try to claim that men don’t gossip, well, it’s a bit more nuanced than that. As these studies attest: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190503100814.htm and https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/living/article/2001453838/do-men-really-gossip-more-than-women
Nice try, though.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Ashford

Good grief! That’s nasty and a sweeping generalization. Could you not have said “some women”. You’ve thrown the whole lot of us under the bus, and in so doing perhaps proved Kathleen’s point about what men do.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Ashford

If you are going to try to claim that men don’t gossip, well, it’s a bit more nuanced than that. As these studies attest: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/05/190503100814.htm and https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/evewoman/living/article/2001453838/do-men-really-gossip-more-than-women
Nice try, though.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Martin Ashford

Good grief! That’s nasty and a sweeping generalization. Could you not have said “some women”. You’ve thrown the whole lot of us under the bus, and in so doing perhaps proved Kathleen’s point about what men do.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Someone could write a book on this if they were brave. I work in an industry that is feminizing and have watched it with great interest. Like all change it brings good and bad things – but a female dominated workplace has its own problems. Interestingly my experience is that women are generally the targets of female bad behaviour and what I call ‘ganging’ – not men.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

I submit that anyone–male, female, or otherwise–who had to submit to the rituals of femininity as defined in business culture, would be passive-aggressive, victim-y, and intolerant. Just try wearing high heels for a day. I dare ya. I say, get rid of makeup, high heels, and restrictive, binding underwear: that would instantly reduce the weaponization of feelings in the “feminized” world dramatically.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Really? It seems to me that Trump started the whole thing of being nasty and hateful as the new normal.

Christopher Thompson
Christopher Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Nastiness existed long before Donald Trump appeared on the political scene. It’s just childish to blame him for everything bad.

Last edited 1 year ago by Christopher Thompson
Christopher Thompson
Christopher Thompson
1 year ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Nastiness existed long before Donald Trump appeared on the political scene. It’s just childish to blame him for everything bad.

Last edited 1 year ago by Christopher Thompson
michael stanwick
michael stanwick
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

I would be interested in Stock producing an article on anti social female behaviour in the work-place, that recognises this behaviour as individualistic, rather than “toxic femininity” – as if there is some base or foundational negative characteristic inherent to femininity per se.

Helen Nevitt
Helen Nevitt
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Big Sister is watching you.

Tim Smith
Tim Smith
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

I’m also really interested in the relationship of this female behaviour to lower morality individuals who exploit this “empathy” for their own gain and anti-social behaviour, pushing their individual rights under some guise of a protected group and demanding empathy for it.

Martin Ashford
Martin Ashford
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Agree completely, and I’ve been calling women out for a long time on their tendency to use ‘feelings’ and victimhood as tools to launch hyper-aggressive attacks on anyone that dares question the legitimacy of their complaints.

Denying that there could ever be any hard-wired physiological differences is a key part of the problem. Even Kathleen falls into the trap; take this as an example: “Bitching, backstabbing, gossiping, mobbing — all can make a workmate’s life hell and contribute to a toxic environment. Men do these things too but not as much, because masculine culture isn’t as focused on disavowing the originating traits in the first place.”. She cannot help to convince herself that “Men do these things too” and that the only reason why men don’t do this as much as women is because of “masculine culture”. Here’s a really novel thought: maybe women are more prone to these unattractive characteristics because they are women, not because of culture i.e male and female brains are wired differently – some traits good, some not so good, but, critically, fundamentally different. Until women are willing to accept the biological differences between the sexes then they will never be content. And when women are not content they don’t go into a quiet place and brood, they bring all those around them down with them. And that’s nothing to do with ‘culture’.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Someone could write a book on this if they were brave. I work in an industry that is feminizing and have watched it with great interest. Like all change it brings good and bad things – but a female dominated workplace has its own problems. Interestingly my experience is that women are generally the targets of female bad behaviour and what I call ‘ganging’ – not men.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

I submit that anyone–male, female, or otherwise–who had to submit to the rituals of femininity as defined in business culture, would be passive-aggressive, victim-y, and intolerant. Just try wearing high heels for a day. I dare ya. I say, get rid of makeup, high heels, and restrictive, binding underwear: that would instantly reduce the weaponization of feelings in the “feminized” world dramatically.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Arkadian X

Really? It seems to me that Trump started the whole thing of being nasty and hateful as the new normal.

Arkadian X
Arkadian X
1 year ago

I wish that Kathleen would devote an article to “toxic femininity”, as embodied so well by Sturgeon and others. This mixture of passive-aggresiveness, victimhood and intolerance to dissent has become more and more common in this feminised world where “feelings” are used as weapons to attack and subdue.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago

Kathleen stock is a treasure.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Yes, and i’m really enjoying her schadenfreude at Nicola Sturgeon!

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
1 year ago

I enjoyed the writing of this article – very witty.
A little too long, but points very well made.

fel rembrandt
fel rembrandt
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

Thanks for stepping up to provide an “objective” (i.e. male) evaluation. What would women do without someone like you to tell us how we did? I’m afraid I have to dock you 10 points for the butchered grammar — you did not enjoy “the writing” as you didn’t write it.

Michael Hollick
Michael Hollick
1 year ago
Reply to  fel rembrandt

But what is incorrect with the sentence is not the use of the article, but the adverb. “I enjoyed the writing in this article” reads correctly.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  fel rembrandt

I also enjoyed the writing of this article. I thought the writing was really good writing. Very good writing, in fact. I feel that as a man, my opinion of the writing of this article is very important and should therefore be shared, for the enlightenment of all.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  fel rembrandt

This is a rather uncalled for comment. He was commenting on the article, for which this space is provided, not the woman, and I actually agree that the article was a trifle long. You are correct about the grammar slip, but, if you felt the need to correct it, then that could have been done with generosity..

Last edited 1 year ago by Linda Hutchinson
Ivan Tucker
Ivan Tucker
1 year ago
Reply to  fel rembrandt

You’ve not heard of a gerund then?
Fascinating reply though. Do you assume that the OP found the article too long purely because they are a man, or could it be for some other valid subjective reason?
Do you take the ‘points very well made’ to be patronising, because the poster is a man, rather than, for example, a simple compliment?
And where do these 10 points come from that you are docking? Are you simultaneously a self-appointed bestower and confiscator of ‘points on the internet’?
Do other people get to dock you of a thousand points for simply being a bit of a d*ck on the internet? It’s all a bit school playground isn’t it?
“Well, I dock you *infinity* points, so ner” etc.

Michael Hollick
Michael Hollick
1 year ago
Reply to  fel rembrandt

But what is incorrect with the sentence is not the use of the article, but the adverb. “I enjoyed the writing in this article” reads correctly.

Mo Brown
Mo Brown
1 year ago
Reply to  fel rembrandt

I also enjoyed the writing of this article. I thought the writing was really good writing. Very good writing, in fact. I feel that as a man, my opinion of the writing of this article is very important and should therefore be shared, for the enlightenment of all.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago
Reply to  fel rembrandt

This is a rather uncalled for comment. He was commenting on the article, for which this space is provided, not the woman, and I actually agree that the article was a trifle long. You are correct about the grammar slip, but, if you felt the need to correct it, then that could have been done with generosity..

Last edited 1 year ago by Linda Hutchinson
Ivan Tucker
Ivan Tucker
1 year ago
Reply to  fel rembrandt

You’ve not heard of a gerund then?
Fascinating reply though. Do you assume that the OP found the article too long purely because they are a man, or could it be for some other valid subjective reason?
Do you take the ‘points very well made’ to be patronising, because the poster is a man, rather than, for example, a simple compliment?
And where do these 10 points come from that you are docking? Are you simultaneously a self-appointed bestower and confiscator of ‘points on the internet’?
Do other people get to dock you of a thousand points for simply being a bit of a d*ck on the internet? It’s all a bit school playground isn’t it?
“Well, I dock you *infinity* points, so ner” etc.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

She could write another ten paragraphs and I’d gladly read them. Reading her is like finding water in the desert.

fel rembrandt
fel rembrandt
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

Thanks for stepping up to provide an “objective” (i.e. male) evaluation. What would women do without someone like you to tell us how we did? I’m afraid I have to dock you 10 points for the butchered grammar — you did not enjoy “the writing” as you didn’t write it.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago
Reply to  Andrew Wise

She could write another ten paragraphs and I’d gladly read them. Reading her is like finding water in the desert.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago

She reminds me of the best headteacher I worked for; very intelligent, determined and, God help you if you messed with her. At the same time ER (my boss) would stick up for people. A moral person. Rather similar in appearance.

Anyway, I’m not sure that women like this are valued as much as kick arse women who simply play the game to their best advantage. Well, a bit like men I suppose.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Exactly.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Exactly.

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago

I’ll get the wife to read this. Deep down all of these things give her the s**ts too.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
1 year ago

Yes, and i’m really enjoying her schadenfreude at Nicola Sturgeon!

Andrew Wise
Andrew Wise
1 year ago

I enjoyed the writing of this article – very witty.
A little too long, but points very well made.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
1 year ago

She reminds me of the best headteacher I worked for; very intelligent, determined and, God help you if you messed with her. At the same time ER (my boss) would stick up for people. A moral person. Rather similar in appearance.

Anyway, I’m not sure that women like this are valued as much as kick arse women who simply play the game to their best advantage. Well, a bit like men I suppose.

Peter D
Peter D
1 year ago

I’ll get the wife to read this. Deep down all of these things give her the s**ts too.

Paul MacDonnell
Paul MacDonnell
1 year ago

Kathleen stock is a treasure.

Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
1 year ago

I have always disliked the tendency to hold up these superwoman achievers to us as role models and to young girls as goals. If you then don’t manage to become a superwoman yourself and you’re just struggling along trying to “have it all” you feel a failure. I long wanted our International Women’s Day event (at my workplace in Higher Ed) to feature just “average women” and their stories. Unfortunately it never did, it went from superwomen to trans and cancelling wrongspeak in one step over us ordinary women.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

Wouldn’t that be nice? Not “Everyday Heroes”. Just everyday women. Doing jobs. Getting along. Running small businesses. Making things. Providing services. That would be helpful.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Nona Yubiz

Indeed, it would helpful. Overachievers are overrated.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Nona Yubiz

Indeed, it would helpful. Overachievers are overrated.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

Wouldn’t that be nice? Not “Everyday Heroes”. Just everyday women. Doing jobs. Getting along. Running small businesses. Making things. Providing services. That would be helpful.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
1 year ago

I have always disliked the tendency to hold up these superwoman achievers to us as role models and to young girls as goals. If you then don’t manage to become a superwoman yourself and you’re just struggling along trying to “have it all” you feel a failure. I long wanted our International Women’s Day event (at my workplace in Higher Ed) to feature just “average women” and their stories. Unfortunately it never did, it went from superwomen to trans and cancelling wrongspeak in one step over us ordinary women.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago

You do see an extraordinary emphasis on “girlboss” figures, or “positive” female role models, whether in movies (“girl power” heroines who have to absolutely perfect in every way) or assorted “woman of the year” stuff.

The funny thing is, me and plenty of my male friends spend enormous amounts of time on our kids. And, (I would like to think) we do an excellent job of parenting, even though pretty much all of us have busy jobs (most of the fathers are the main or sole breadwinners).

None of us needed “role models”. Our fathers never spent nearly as much time, depiction of fathers and men in general in society is invariably derogatory, and it’s pretty much made clear on a regular basis that fathers are second class parents.

But that doesn’t stop us. And that’s why the girl power role model concept is wrong. You don’t do stuff because you see someone who looks like you and has the same genitals, and is absolutely perfect in every way, do that stuff. You do it because of a sense of responsibility and joy that comes from within.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Hear, hear!

David Ryan
David Ryan
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

“The funny thing is, me and plenty of my male friends spend enormous amounts of time on our kids. And, (I would like to think) we do an excellent job of parenting, even though pretty much all of us have busy jobs (most of the fathers are the main or sole breadwinners).
None of us needed “role models”. Our fathers never spent nearly as much time, depiction of fathers and men in general in society is invariably derogatory”
Yes, that pretty much sums up my experience also Samir. Not sure if I do an excellent job of parenting but I bloody well try, while holding down a full-time job. Between work and kids there’s no time for anything else other than unconsciousness. (And the odd dive into unherd)

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I applaud your egalitarian sentiments Samir and all your efforts to be a good parent.
Unfortunately, what you may say or try to achieve in a family setting is only one, very small part of the magical equation that makes up a human being nowadays in the west, with all the other inputs – peers, friends, enemies, social media, personal life experience etc. over which you as a parent have little or no control.
You claim that you never needed a role model. I would contend that you had one / many regardless, and that their values were imbibed by you unconsciously as indeed are most of our social and sensory inputs as children.
Crudely speaking, girls are faced even now, with 2,000 years + of narrative, social structure that revolves around men, in terms of power, finance, language, interactions, base assumptions of life. This is a big mountain to either climb or circumvent.
I would say that even today in the relatively enlightened wealthy west, these structures are largely unconscious and it will / does take a lot of cognitive effort from everyone to recognise this.
I think that it is horses for courses. For some women seeing other women in the news / on social media is an effective spur to greater efforts. For other women this sort of performative flummery is just canyfloss and that simply doing a job really well is enough – provided of course that quiet effort is recognised in an appropriate way, which of course it isn’t a lot of the time.
The bottom line is that with current social structures, even in wealthy countries with effective childcare arrangements, half the intellectual power of populations are being underutilised. What a waste.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

We need to return to pre-Christian world of the ‘Pax Romana’ as soon as possible.
Such women as Claudia Severa and Sulpicia Lepidina to name but two, would never have put up with this nonsense.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago

Your comment reveals three things: (1) you are delusional; (2) you have a victimhood mentality; and (3) you won’t be satisfied until women completely dominate the workplace (and even better when men no longer participate in the workplace). But need some handy work around the house, repair stuff, lift stuff, and you coming running to the nearest man!

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

2,000 years + of narrative, social structure that revolves around men, in terms of power, finance, language, interactions, base assumptions of life.

Hmmm, I wonder. I’d say 2000+ years of division of labour. It took both a man and a woman with each their own skills to make a decent existence, let alone a family. Language, interactions and basic assumptions were surely evenly distributed between the sexes – and power and finance were only relevant to the most tiny sliver of an elite.

even in wealthy countries with effective childcare arrangements, half the intellectual power of populations are being underutilised

Again, I wonder – it begs a few questions. Do men and women – statistically – want the same things? Do they – again, statistically – have the same talents to the same degree? How about saying that there are not that many with exceptional intellectual power around, and most of us could do a lot of different jobs without it making much difference to society who did what? Good, smart people are not wasted, or unwanted, in any field, prestigious or not.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

We need to return to pre-Christian world of the ‘Pax Romana’ as soon as possible.
Such women as Claudia Severa and Sulpicia Lepidina to name but two, would never have put up with this nonsense.

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
1 year ago

Your comment reveals three things: (1) you are delusional; (2) you have a victimhood mentality; and (3) you won’t be satisfied until women completely dominate the workplace (and even better when men no longer participate in the workplace). But need some handy work around the house, repair stuff, lift stuff, and you coming running to the nearest man!

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago

2,000 years + of narrative, social structure that revolves around men, in terms of power, finance, language, interactions, base assumptions of life.

Hmmm, I wonder. I’d say 2000+ years of division of labour. It took both a man and a woman with each their own skills to make a decent existence, let alone a family. Language, interactions and basic assumptions were surely evenly distributed between the sexes – and power and finance were only relevant to the most tiny sliver of an elite.

even in wealthy countries with effective childcare arrangements, half the intellectual power of populations are being underutilised

Again, I wonder – it begs a few questions. Do men and women – statistically – want the same things? Do they – again, statistically – have the same talents to the same degree? How about saying that there are not that many with exceptional intellectual power around, and most of us could do a lot of different jobs without it making much difference to society who did what? Good, smart people are not wasted, or unwanted, in any field, prestigious or not.

Gretchen Carlisle
Gretchen Carlisle
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

Hear, hear!

David Ryan
David Ryan
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

“The funny thing is, me and plenty of my male friends spend enormous amounts of time on our kids. And, (I would like to think) we do an excellent job of parenting, even though pretty much all of us have busy jobs (most of the fathers are the main or sole breadwinners).
None of us needed “role models”. Our fathers never spent nearly as much time, depiction of fathers and men in general in society is invariably derogatory”
Yes, that pretty much sums up my experience also Samir. Not sure if I do an excellent job of parenting but I bloody well try, while holding down a full-time job. Between work and kids there’s no time for anything else other than unconsciousness. (And the odd dive into unherd)

Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
Elaine Giedrys-Leeper
1 year ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I applaud your egalitarian sentiments Samir and all your efforts to be a good parent.
Unfortunately, what you may say or try to achieve in a family setting is only one, very small part of the magical equation that makes up a human being nowadays in the west, with all the other inputs – peers, friends, enemies, social media, personal life experience etc. over which you as a parent have little or no control.
You claim that you never needed a role model. I would contend that you had one / many regardless, and that their values were imbibed by you unconsciously as indeed are most of our social and sensory inputs as children.
Crudely speaking, girls are faced even now, with 2,000 years + of narrative, social structure that revolves around men, in terms of power, finance, language, interactions, base assumptions of life. This is a big mountain to either climb or circumvent.
I would say that even today in the relatively enlightened wealthy west, these structures are largely unconscious and it will / does take a lot of cognitive effort from everyone to recognise this.
I think that it is horses for courses. For some women seeing other women in the news / on social media is an effective spur to greater efforts. For other women this sort of performative flummery is just canyfloss and that simply doing a job really well is enough – provided of course that quiet effort is recognised in an appropriate way, which of course it isn’t a lot of the time.
The bottom line is that with current social structures, even in wealthy countries with effective childcare arrangements, half the intellectual power of populations are being underutilised. What a waste.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
1 year ago

You do see an extraordinary emphasis on “girlboss” figures, or “positive” female role models, whether in movies (“girl power” heroines who have to absolutely perfect in every way) or assorted “woman of the year” stuff.

The funny thing is, me and plenty of my male friends spend enormous amounts of time on our kids. And, (I would like to think) we do an excellent job of parenting, even though pretty much all of us have busy jobs (most of the fathers are the main or sole breadwinners).

None of us needed “role models”. Our fathers never spent nearly as much time, depiction of fathers and men in general in society is invariably derogatory, and it’s pretty much made clear on a regular basis that fathers are second class parents.

But that doesn’t stop us. And that’s why the girl power role model concept is wrong. You don’t do stuff because you see someone who looks like you and has the same genitals, and is absolutely perfect in every way, do that stuff. You do it because of a sense of responsibility and joy that comes from within.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago

What puzzles me is why anyone looks for a role model, particularly a public figure that you do not know personally but only through the distorting lens of publicity. Being mentored opens far more doors and equips you to benefit from it. We learn from our personal experiences.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

Well said.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

Well said.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
1 year ago

What puzzles me is why anyone looks for a role model, particularly a public figure that you do not know personally but only through the distorting lens of publicity. Being mentored opens far more doors and equips you to benefit from it. We learn from our personal experiences.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Having idly looked through the list of 100 top women in Shipping I note that just like any similar list of men a significant number owe their prominence not to outstanding aggression and commercial cunning but because of their family relationship to men who have founded the firms they are involved in.

The least stressful way or bagging a place on such lists is still to have been born of the right parents. Of course, in previous eras more of such places would have been available only to male siblings than today so that is certainly an advance for women’s empowerment. That is not to imply that the women concerned are any less able than their male equivalents would have been.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Having idly looked through the list of 100 top women in Shipping I note that just like any similar list of men a significant number owe their prominence not to outstanding aggression and commercial cunning but because of their family relationship to men who have founded the firms they are involved in.

The least stressful way or bagging a place on such lists is still to have been born of the right parents. Of course, in previous eras more of such places would have been available only to male siblings than today so that is certainly an advance for women’s empowerment. That is not to imply that the women concerned are any less able than their male equivalents would have been.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago

In my area, finance, this sort of thing is rife – Inspiration Industrial Complex is spot on! The whole phenomenon feels like a prom event, full of self-congratulatory nonsense about “Inspiration”, “empowerment” and “role-models”. The only winners are the promoters, coining in the ticket costs.

William Edward Henry Appleby
William Edward Henry Appleby
1 year ago

In my area, finance, this sort of thing is rife – Inspiration Industrial Complex is spot on! The whole phenomenon feels like a prom event, full of self-congratulatory nonsense about “Inspiration”, “empowerment” and “role-models”. The only winners are the promoters, coining in the ticket costs.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

I’d like to see Mary Harrington’s response to this article – because while this is a beautifully written article, again Miss Stock seems unaware how she contributes to the very thing she criticizes. She writes, “Men do these things too but not as much, because masculine culture isn’t as focused on disavowing the originating traits in the first place.” But that’s not quite right… ascribing sexual difference to culture begs the question – well then why are the cultures different? They’re different because men and women themselves are naturally different. Though obviously there are many individuals who lie outside gender norms, by and large women are less competitive than men, more interested in relationships, etc. Contemporary society has recharacterized these differences as weaknesses but quite the contrary they’re essential strengths that humanity as a whole needs to thrive. The first step in addressing the ridiculous ‘girlboss’ narrative that Miss Stock has rightly identified as a contemporary distraction, is to acknowledge that the goal for women should not be, to be more like men.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kirk Susong
Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

…I didn’t read the reference in the article to “masculine culture” as implying that masculinity is a social construct only. I think in context, Kathleen’s use of the term is inclusive of biological traits. Her point seems to be that men seem to be less likely to deny their biological nature. Of course they may be motivated to constrain it, under the influence of women, as a matter of social construction. That’s how we got to “gentle”-men.
I’m also not sure that females are less competitive than men, at least in their relationships with each other. That’s probably why we have girlboss syndrome in the first place.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

“Competitive in relationships”? That’s a different kind of ‘competitive’ I think. Women are just as worried about status as men are, no doubt – but that is expressed in different ways. Girls youth sports and boys youth sports are completely different in terms of how aggressive the typical participant is. On the other hand, listen to girls talk about their peers and listen to boys talk about their peers, and again hear you’ll clear differences. Of course there are outliers, but the differences are clear, and generalizable across time, geography and culture.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kirk Susong
Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

I agree. Interpersonal competition for status amongst men, has fundamentally different characteristics from the status contest amongst women, both at the one-on-one, and group levels. (We don’t hear much about women laying down their lives for other women now do we?)
Like you, I think the ‘girlboss’ syndrome is inherently wrong,(and plain silly really) when it arrogates leadership as a female persona. A woman who is a real boss doesn’t wear that masquerade. Even now, mention of Margaret Thatcher is hardly ever first referenced by the fact that she was a woman.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

In fact, back in the day, Margaret Thatcher appeared on the list of ‘Ten Foremost Real Men of the World”.

Rasmus Fogh
Rasmus Fogh
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

In fact, back in the day, Margaret Thatcher appeared on the list of ‘Ten Foremost Real Men of the World”.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Exactly.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

I agree. Interpersonal competition for status amongst men, has fundamentally different characteristics from the status contest amongst women, both at the one-on-one, and group levels. (We don’t hear much about women laying down their lives for other women now do we?)
Like you, I think the ‘girlboss’ syndrome is inherently wrong,(and plain silly really) when it arrogates leadership as a female persona. A woman who is a real boss doesn’t wear that masquerade. Even now, mention of Margaret Thatcher is hardly ever first referenced by the fact that she was a woman.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Exactly.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Totally agree. Very well said and succinct.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

“Competitive in relationships”? That’s a different kind of ‘competitive’ I think. Women are just as worried about status as men are, no doubt – but that is expressed in different ways. Girls youth sports and boys youth sports are completely different in terms of how aggressive the typical participant is. On the other hand, listen to girls talk about their peers and listen to boys talk about their peers, and again hear you’ll clear differences. Of course there are outliers, but the differences are clear, and generalizable across time, geography and culture.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kirk Susong
Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Bernard Hill

Totally agree. Very well said and succinct.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Exactly.

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

…I didn’t read the reference in the article to “masculine culture” as implying that masculinity is a social construct only. I think in context, Kathleen’s use of the term is inclusive of biological traits. Her point seems to be that men seem to be less likely to deny their biological nature. Of course they may be motivated to constrain it, under the influence of women, as a matter of social construction. That’s how we got to “gentle”-men.
I’m also not sure that females are less competitive than men, at least in their relationships with each other. That’s probably why we have girlboss syndrome in the first place.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Kirk Susong

Exactly.

Kirk Susong
Kirk Susong
1 year ago

I’d like to see Mary Harrington’s response to this article – because while this is a beautifully written article, again Miss Stock seems unaware how she contributes to the very thing she criticizes. She writes, “Men do these things too but not as much, because masculine culture isn’t as focused on disavowing the originating traits in the first place.” But that’s not quite right… ascribing sexual difference to culture begs the question – well then why are the cultures different? They’re different because men and women themselves are naturally different. Though obviously there are many individuals who lie outside gender norms, by and large women are less competitive than men, more interested in relationships, etc. Contemporary society has recharacterized these differences as weaknesses but quite the contrary they’re essential strengths that humanity as a whole needs to thrive. The first step in addressing the ridiculous ‘girlboss’ narrative that Miss Stock has rightly identified as a contemporary distraction, is to acknowledge that the goal for women should not be, to be more like men.

Last edited 1 year ago by Kirk Susong
AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

 And if that’s not possible, then perhaps we could start giving out much crappier prizes.

There are The Golden Raspberry Awards – a parody award show honouring the worst of cinematic “failures.” But I imagine that any female winners of an Industry Raspberry award would claim sexism or the Patriarchy as an excuse.
The best boss I ever had happened to be a woman; the worst boss I ever had happened to be a woman.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

My experience too as regards best and worst boss!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

So really it’s just about people and personality type.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Ian McKinney

So really it’s just about people and personality type.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Yes, to the last sentence.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

My experience too as regards best and worst boss!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  AC Harper

Yes, to the last sentence.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 year ago

 And if that’s not possible, then perhaps we could start giving out much crappier prizes.

There are The Golden Raspberry Awards – a parody award show honouring the worst of cinematic “failures.” But I imagine that any female winners of an Industry Raspberry award would claim sexism or the Patriarchy as an excuse.
The best boss I ever had happened to be a woman; the worst boss I ever had happened to be a woman.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago

We could just — and hear me out, here — get on with our jobs.

Enough of this revolutionary talk! If that ever catches on, where will all be?

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

… we’ll be inundated with the “Top 50 Women Getting On With Their Jobs Awards” of course

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Like women working on the front lines after disasters of war, extreme weather, emergency rooms, fire fighters, first responders etc. Unsung heroines just getting on with it.

Jim R
Jim R
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

… we’ll be inundated with the “Top 50 Women Getting On With Their Jobs Awards” of course

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Wilfred Davis

Like women working on the front lines after disasters of war, extreme weather, emergency rooms, fire fighters, first responders etc. Unsung heroines just getting on with it.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
1 year ago

We could just — and hear me out, here — get on with our jobs.

Enough of this revolutionary talk! If that ever catches on, where will all be?

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Just look at the example of John Lewis? former boss Old Radlean ex Scots Guards, replaced by black female ex civil servant?… then a crumbling implosion..

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Rather like the formerly wonderful BBC Music Dept.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Rather like the formerly wonderful BBC Music Dept.

Nicky Samengo-Turner
Nicky Samengo-Turner
1 year ago

Just look at the example of John Lewis? former boss Old Radlean ex Scots Guards, replaced by black female ex civil servant?… then a crumbling implosion..

Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago

…Kathleen goes from strength to strength as a thinker and writer about contemporary culture. Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe would probably have enjoyed her article, and allowed himself a smile about girl-boss syndrome, but he probably couldn’t get published these days.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
Bernard Hill
1 year ago

…Kathleen goes from strength to strength as a thinker and writer about contemporary culture. Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe would probably have enjoyed her article, and allowed himself a smile about girl-boss syndrome, but he probably couldn’t get published these days.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bernard Hill
Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago

In real life, everyone knows that career success — whether for women or men — requires some degree of aggression, competitiveness, dishonesty and selfishness
I disagree, having worked for both several large corporations and also small family run businesses, I have seen enough evidence to categorically state that career success is 99/100 achieved via nepotism or being a ‘yes’ person void of morals. Dishonesty and selfishness certainly help though.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonny Stud

Doesn’t it depend on the field? Business yes, the medical field and education not so much.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Jonny Stud

Doesn’t it depend on the field? Business yes, the medical field and education not so much.

Jonny Stud
Jonny Stud
1 year ago

In real life, everyone knows that career success — whether for women or men — requires some degree of aggression, competitiveness, dishonesty and selfishness
I disagree, having worked for both several large corporations and also small family run businesses, I have seen enough evidence to categorically state that career success is 99/100 achieved via nepotism or being a ‘yes’ person void of morals. Dishonesty and selfishness certainly help though.

Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Despite being a national treasure as far as I am concerned Kathleen Stock did not figure on a list of the “Top ten women in philosophy of the last 10 years”. when I googled the subject.That said I hadn’t heard of a single woman on the list – but I am not really into modern academic philosophy.

Apparently only 23.68% of philosophy professors are women despite being roughly half the undergraduate population. Of course a paper has been written that “argues for the necessity of an intersectional approach, and the importance of taking seriously the psychological and sociological analysis of underrepresentation, in order to improve both the experience and the representation of women and other minorities at all levels of professional philosophy, as well as of the discipline as a whole.” I am sure Jordan Peterson could provide a cogent rebuttal of the arguments this paper if he wished to waste his time on it.

Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

There is just WAY too much psycho babble in out culture today.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I have seen the result of positive discrimination in favour of women in psychology and it was extremely disappointing. I don’t care what sex a lecturer is, just how competent he or she is. Kathleen Stock is a nepo baby. Is this statement ironic or stupid – ‘Each is used to manipulate common enough female emotions such as competitiveness, anxiety and envy.’

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

What ‘the hell’ is a nepo baby Aphrodite?

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Nepotism, her father was a philosophy lecturer, apparently. There was a man behind her success. Maybe you are a nepo baby.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Definitely! Thank you.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Well that is simply a dishonest distortion.
If you look at barristers or surgeons vey often you will find that the father was a barrister/surgeon.
The pattern is worthy of notice

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Your second sentence seems to contradict the first.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Dishonest distortion? Did the alliteration appeal to you? What is dishonest about my comment? Becoming a surgeon is extremely competitive. You may not have noticed but people tend to favour their own children over others and so will their ingroup (surgeoans, lawyers etc.) as they can then expect favours in return when it comes to their own children. Nepotism doesn’t particularly matter for lawyers and surgeons because they don’t need to learn to think for themselves. Kathleen Stock is not really a philosopher, she is a propagandist. She claims to be a feminist philosopher but feminism is not a philosophy, it is an ideology. She applies arguments she has probably been exposed to all her life to back up the feminist position which is propaganda. She is not a philosopher she is a propagandist which is why her arguments tie her in knots. She claims the material matters because she is arguing a woman is defined by biology but she is pro abortion and to support her case must argue the material does not matter. What matters is whether the baby in uterus is wanted or (the foetus) unwanted. The loss of a baby is construed as a tragedy, the destruction of the foetus a necessity for the mother’s emotional/psychological/emotional well being.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Your second sentence seems to contradict the first.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Dishonest distortion? Did the alliteration appeal to you? What is dishonest about my comment? Becoming a surgeon is extremely competitive. You may not have noticed but people tend to favour their own children over others and so will their ingroup (surgeoans, lawyers etc.) as they can then expect favours in return when it comes to their own children. Nepotism doesn’t particularly matter for lawyers and surgeons because they don’t need to learn to think for themselves. Kathleen Stock is not really a philosopher, she is a propagandist. She claims to be a feminist philosopher but feminism is not a philosophy, it is an ideology. She applies arguments she has probably been exposed to all her life to back up the feminist position which is propaganda. She is not a philosopher she is a propagandist which is why her arguments tie her in knots. She claims the material matters because she is arguing a woman is defined by biology but she is pro abortion and to support her case must argue the material does not matter. What matters is whether the baby in uterus is wanted or (the foetus) unwanted. The loss of a baby is construed as a tragedy, the destruction of the foetus a necessity for the mother’s emotional/psychological/emotional well being.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

Definitely! Thank you.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
1 year ago

Well that is simply a dishonest distortion.
If you look at barristers or surgeons vey often you will find that the father was a barrister/surgeon.
The pattern is worthy of notice

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Yeah really! Nepotism maybe?

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago

Nepotism, her father was a philosophy lecturer, apparently. There was a man behind her success. Maybe you are a nepo baby.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Yeah really! Nepotism maybe?

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago

What ‘the hell’ is a nepo baby Aphrodite?

Last edited 1 year ago by Charles Stanhope
Daniel P
Daniel P
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

There is just WAY too much psycho babble in out culture today.

Aphrodite Rises
Aphrodite Rises
1 year ago
Reply to  Jeremy Bray

I have seen the result of positive discrimination in favour of women in psychology and it was extremely disappointing. I don’t care what sex a lecturer is, just how competent he or she is. Kathleen Stock is a nepo baby. Is this statement ironic or stupid – ‘Each is used to manipulate common enough female emotions such as competitiveness, anxiety and envy.’

Last edited 1 year ago by Aphrodite Rises
Jeremy Bray
Jeremy Bray
1 year ago

Despite being a national treasure as far as I am concerned Kathleen Stock did not figure on a list of the “Top ten women in philosophy of the last 10 years”. when I googled the subject.That said I hadn’t heard of a single woman on the list – but I am not really into modern academic philosophy.

Apparently only 23.68% of philosophy professors are women despite being roughly half the undergraduate population. Of course a paper has been written that “argues for the necessity of an intersectional approach, and the importance of taking seriously the psychological and sociological analysis of underrepresentation, in order to improve both the experience and the representation of women and other minorities at all levels of professional philosophy, as well as of the discipline as a whole.” I am sure Jordan Peterson could provide a cogent rebuttal of the arguments this paper if he wished to waste his time on it.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
1 year ago

I think the interesting fact revealed here is the least often well examined: How women love to elevate women in the abstract, or personally unknown, compared to how they treat women on their own turf where they are seen as competitors.
The success of these women are seen as far more threatening .
I have experienced this but never so acutely until I experienced some success, the desertion of my feminist allies was, and still is shocking to me , their new attachment to men in my field astonishing. How? Why? I think that was a bit naive of me. My success highlighted their lack of it far more than if a male had succeeded because then it could be attributed to sexism. Interestingly complex. I would have valued their applause so much, but in fact largely got it from men. To whom of course i was not seen as competively challenging as another male would have been.
We not only have sexist roles to counter we also belong to powerful sex tribes.

CF Hankinson
CF Hankinson
1 year ago

I think the interesting fact revealed here is the least often well examined: How women love to elevate women in the abstract, or personally unknown, compared to how they treat women on their own turf where they are seen as competitors.
The success of these women are seen as far more threatening .
I have experienced this but never so acutely until I experienced some success, the desertion of my feminist allies was, and still is shocking to me , their new attachment to men in my field astonishing. How? Why? I think that was a bit naive of me. My success highlighted their lack of it far more than if a male had succeeded because then it could be attributed to sexism. Interestingly complex. I would have valued their applause so much, but in fact largely got it from men. To whom of course i was not seen as competively challenging as another male would have been.
We not only have sexist roles to counter we also belong to powerful sex tribes.

Ben Shipley
Ben Shipley
1 year ago

In real life, everyone knows that career success — whether for women or men — requires some degree of aggression, competitiveness, dishonesty and selfishness.

No, they don’t all know this. My wife has led her field in uber-competitive Los Angeles for 20 years by being the most popular and generous granny in town. She wants everyone around her to succeed, and they all know this and have reciprocated by pushing her upward. She isn’t naive about it either. But if you need help in finding a job or getting somewhere in your field, she’s your first call.

In the media and many “feminist” circles, many women suffer from the Dylan Mulvaney Syndrome, namely a shallow grasp of what it takes to participate in a world dominated by the opposite gender. Most men get ahead through alliances, familial or otherwise. They build networks of genuine support so when promotions come out, they’re positioned. For every ruthless SOB—which the media are so obsessed with—there are 100 workplace politicians (in a good sense) rising past them.

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Shipley

Yes, this phrase used by KS stuck out for me too. Nonsense. I suspect those “negative” qualities are consistent with the work environment that led to her demise at Sussex and I feel anger for the way she and many others have and are being treated. I also usually like the articles she writes. However, my experience is that for the majority, career success comes from ability, hard work, honesty, respect for colleagues, and nurturing of those working under you, to name a few traits. I might add that I also agree with the previous commenter, Benjamin Greco, that the writing is a bit shallow and for me smacks a little of resentment and victimhood.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
1 year ago
Reply to  Ben Shipley

Yes, this phrase used by KS stuck out for me too. Nonsense. I suspect those “negative” qualities are consistent with the work environment that led to her demise at Sussex and I feel anger for the way she and many others have and are being treated. I also usually like the articles she writes. However, my experience is that for the majority, career success comes from ability, hard work, honesty, respect for colleagues, and nurturing of those working under you, to name a few traits. I might add that I also agree with the previous commenter, Benjamin Greco, that the writing is a bit shallow and for me smacks a little of resentment and victimhood.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rick Lawrence
Ben Shipley
Ben Shipley
1 year ago

In real life, everyone knows that career success — whether for women or men — requires some degree of aggression, competitiveness, dishonesty and selfishness.

No, they don’t all know this. My wife has led her field in uber-competitive Los Angeles for 20 years by being the most popular and generous granny in town. She wants everyone around her to succeed, and they all know this and have reciprocated by pushing her upward. She isn’t naive about it either. But if you need help in finding a job or getting somewhere in your field, she’s your first call.

In the media and many “feminist” circles, many women suffer from the Dylan Mulvaney Syndrome, namely a shallow grasp of what it takes to participate in a world dominated by the opposite gender. Most men get ahead through alliances, familial or otherwise. They build networks of genuine support so when promotions come out, they’re positioned. For every ruthless SOB—which the media are so obsessed with—there are 100 workplace politicians (in a good sense) rising past them.

Dominic Murray
Dominic Murray
1 year ago

“It is telling that Angela Rayner polls as men’s most popular politician…”

eye roll … YouGov poll, huh? Same poll shows top politicians by all adults to be : Starmer, Rayner, Brown, Balls and Blunkett, in that order. I wonder how that sample was contructed, and whether the question was any politician in your lifetime.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dominic Murray
Dominic Murray
Dominic Murray
1 year ago

“It is telling that Angela Rayner polls as men’s most popular politician…”

eye roll … YouGov poll, huh? Same poll shows top politicians by all adults to be : Starmer, Rayner, Brown, Balls and Blunkett, in that order. I wonder how that sample was contructed, and whether the question was any politician in your lifetime.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dominic Murray
Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
1 year ago

This is surprisingly shallow for Stock. Reducing people to stereotypes is caused by the human brain’s need to classify everything and selling positive stereotypes that tell people what they want to hear is what the media does.
It doesn’t just happen to women and is not a new phenomenon. I suppose Stock just forgot how Black people who did well in some field were often called a credit to their race. This is part of the constant cheerleading that goes on in progressive circles because they believe that minorities and women, who are oppressed, need constant reassurance about their worth, something that is both condescending and paternalistic, but no one seems to notice.
Stock is making the mistake progressives have been making for years of taking human traits that apply to all and ascribing them to an identity group.

Last edited 1 year ago by Benjamin Greco
Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

“credit to their race”

Greco, old chap you must never, never, use the word RACE on this forum. It is absolutely verboten!
SELWYN JONES (of this Parish) for one, will be incandescent with rage at your temerity.
So be warned!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Your racism is showing, Charles.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago

Your racism is showing, Charles.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Benjamin Greco

“credit to their race”

Greco, old chap you must never, never, use the word RACE on this forum. It is absolutely verboten!
SELWYN JONES (of this Parish) for one, will be incandescent with rage at your temerity.
So be warned!

Benjamin Greco
Benjamin Greco
1 year ago

This is surprisingly shallow for Stock. Reducing people to stereotypes is caused by the human brain’s need to classify everything and selling positive stereotypes that tell people what they want to hear is what the media does.
It doesn’t just happen to women and is not a new phenomenon. I suppose Stock just forgot how Black people who did well in some field were often called a credit to their race. This is part of the constant cheerleading that goes on in progressive circles because they believe that minorities and women, who are oppressed, need constant reassurance about their worth, something that is both condescending and paternalistic, but no one seems to notice.
Stock is making the mistake progressives have been making for years of taking human traits that apply to all and ascribing them to an identity group.

Last edited 1 year ago by Benjamin Greco
Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

Brilliant stuff. I’m glad that Kathleen Stock was ‘cancelled’ by her idiot colleagues, their loss is our gain. Such a terrific analyst of what is *really* going on, in whatever sphere she turns her pen to.

Superb – more of this please unherd.

Ian McKinney
Ian McKinney
1 year ago

Brilliant stuff. I’m glad that Kathleen Stock was ‘cancelled’ by her idiot colleagues, their loss is our gain. Such a terrific analyst of what is *really* going on, in whatever sphere she turns her pen to.

Superb – more of this please unherd.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

Although I can’t stand him any more, Joe Lycett does a very good skit on this “follow your own path” nonsense. I wish he would go back to it as the current guise is trite, predictable and profoundly unfunny.

Paul T
Paul T
1 year ago

Although I can’t stand him any more, Joe Lycett does a very good skit on this “follow your own path” nonsense. I wish he would go back to it as the current guise is trite, predictable and profoundly unfunny.

Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

Thank you. I so enjoyed reading that. It’s just such a pleasure to read juicy sentences like: “You can’t be what you can’t see” goes the hackneyed phrase — but equally, if all you see is women tottering about in spike heels and ASOS workwear, ranked like show ponies, mindlessly regurgitating Brené Brown quotes about being authentic and daring to lead, it’s unclear how onlookers are supposed to be inspired. It hardly screams Nietzschean Übermensch, does it?…”
It’s a hard-to-describe pleasure, the pleasure of reading good writing. It’s something like relaxing on a boat helmed by a competent, experienced captain. Whatever might come, you can be confident that you are in good hands. So thank you, again.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
Nona Yubiz
1 year ago

Thank you. I so enjoyed reading that. It’s just such a pleasure to read juicy sentences like: “You can’t be what you can’t see” goes the hackneyed phrase — but equally, if all you see is women tottering about in spike heels and ASOS workwear, ranked like show ponies, mindlessly regurgitating Brené Brown quotes about being authentic and daring to lead, it’s unclear how onlookers are supposed to be inspired. It hardly screams Nietzschean Übermensch, does it?…”
It’s a hard-to-describe pleasure, the pleasure of reading good writing. It’s something like relaxing on a boat helmed by a competent, experienced captain. Whatever might come, you can be confident that you are in good hands. So thank you, again.

Last edited 1 year ago by Nona Yubiz
Euphrosinia Romanoff
Euphrosinia Romanoff
1 year ago

The point brilliantly made by Ms Stock, as usual.
To me, it is all about women being still singled out as a different species. Sort of newcomers to the “civillized” world
Even if they feel like embracing the ruthless competition, the world is not ready to recognise their ability to do so.

A commentator muses about Thatcher being unlikable. Well, she was definitely more likeable than Trump, let alone an 80 percentage points gap in terms of IQ.
Another one calls C Harris merits in question. How often do wee see the merits of her male predecessors or counterparts being questioned.

Euphrosinia Romanoff
Euphrosinia Romanoff
1 year ago

The point brilliantly made by Ms Stock, as usual.
To me, it is all about women being still singled out as a different species. Sort of newcomers to the “civillized” world
Even if they feel like embracing the ruthless competition, the world is not ready to recognise their ability to do so.

A commentator muses about Thatcher being unlikable. Well, she was definitely more likeable than Trump, let alone an 80 percentage points gap in terms of IQ.
Another one calls C Harris merits in question. How often do wee see the merits of her male predecessors or counterparts being questioned.

Dr Anne Kelley
Dr Anne Kelley
1 year ago

Thank you Kathleen, for a very insightful and honest article. So far academia seems to have escaped this syndrome – I haven’t noticed any Top Women in Lecturing lists yet. Not enough money in it, I guess!

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr Anne Kelley

What about Mary Beard?
She absolutely slaughtered bloated Boris in the Greece v Rome debate at the Westminster Hall a few years ago.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

How could she fail to lose, she was cheering for Rome.

Linda Hutchinson
Linda Hutchinson
1 year ago

How could she fail to lose, she was cheering for Rome.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
1 year ago
Reply to  Dr Anne Kelley

What about Mary Beard?
She absolutely slaughtered bloated Boris in the Greece v Rome debate at the Westminster Hall a few years ago.

Dr Anne Kelley
Dr Anne Kelley
1 year ago

Thank you Kathleen, for a very insightful and honest article. So far academia seems to have escaped this syndrome – I haven’t noticed any Top Women in Lecturing lists yet. Not enough money in it, I guess!

Laura Ortu
Laura Ortu
1 year ago

This article lifted me up and made me smile! I used to work in a Business School where women are solely celebrated like this; women entrepreneurs, in particular, fit in this description; take a look at the marketing material…I find the “inspirational, empowering etc…” just a bit of a buzzword at times as overused…ah you forgot the “woman leadership” that’s another buzzword that makes me wonder…

Laura Ortu
Laura Ortu
1 year ago

This article lifted me up and made me smile! I used to work in a Business School where women are solely celebrated like this; women entrepreneurs, in particular, fit in this description; take a look at the marketing material…I find the “inspirational, empowering etc…” just a bit of a buzzword at times as overused…ah you forgot the “woman leadership” that’s another buzzword that makes me wonder…

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

As a Dad, in my personal experience, girls are more competitive than boys.
Also, re the “Basic prerequisites include a photogenic bone structure, comparatively high levels of personal grooming and a willingness to comply with a vapid, generic narrative about your “positive impact” that will empty you of all individuality and spark …”
True.  But that pretty much applies to blokes nowadays also.  Being fat or sweaty will not get you the investment, or, at least, not as much investment. 
Reality is career success is a gilded cage, for anyone.  

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
1 year ago

As a Dad, in my personal experience, girls are more competitive than boys.
Also, re the “Basic prerequisites include a photogenic bone structure, comparatively high levels of personal grooming and a willingness to comply with a vapid, generic narrative about your “positive impact” that will empty you of all individuality and spark …”
True.  But that pretty much applies to blokes nowadays also.  Being fat or sweaty will not get you the investment, or, at least, not as much investment. 
Reality is career success is a gilded cage, for anyone.  

Douglas H
Douglas H
1 year ago

Great article, thanks

Chris Emmett
Chris Emmett
1 year ago