RE: Chatty vs. Bitchy

Subject: RE: Chatty vs. Bitchy
From: Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- pinnaclewest -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 29 May 2003 14:48:00 -0700

As far as the thread on whether or not "bitch-iness" is still perceived on the behalf of assertive women, I tend to agree with the young woman who stated it is waning. I'm 45 and I remember a time when, yes, if you were female and you got mad, you were automatically a bitch, even if you were relatively nice about it. Nowadays, there seems to be a lot more tolerance of female anger.

I believe this change has even affected the people above my age group, a group that I socialize with as well as work with. I do still notice the difference in people about 5 or more years older than me in terms of social norms *in general* (any generalization tends to break down when you get to specific people), but I believe the general culture softening affects everyone in the culture.

However, you might note if you work with different age groups and cultures, many different values and expectations will apply. This goes back to flexibility as a characteristic. I need to soften my pitch when I'm working with some of my colleagues, as they still are very sensitive to my strength. I still use the skills I learned when I was a young woman -- to present my case without showing overt anger and yet without looking totally like a wimp... (Oh what a narrow path I had to walk then!)

I also found age discrimination practiced towards me when I was a younger woman.... back when I still had my baby face (which lasted until I was in my late thirties, nice for social, not as good for work!) it was more difficult to get others to take me seriously.

Now I get the other side of age discrimination and find myself being turned down for jobs because I don't look young enough. :-/ Reminds me of the theme of "Malcolm in the Middle" by the Nerf Herders: "Life is Unfair....."

P.S. Luckily I work in kind of an "old" company, so I am still perceived as "middle aged" rather than a oldster or a youngster. And personally, I love being my age! I am even starting to think my wrinkles are kind a cute... (What are they putting in the coffee around here? <grin>)....

Rose A. Wilcox
CHQ, 17th Floor
Tranz1 QA/Documentation
Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- PinnacleWest -dot- com
Education is the best provision for old age. -Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC),


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