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Female Bosses and the Queen Bee Syndrome

Published 10/22/07 (Modified 3/8/11)
By MoneyBlueBook

I have a moderate perspective on social issues, with a very slight lean towards the liberal left. But I always enjoy debating about interesting issues and enjoy hearing the views of others.

I'm going to talk about a fascinating topic I heard discussed on the Chris Core radio show today. He was talking about the existence of the stealth women vote in regards to Hillary Clinton and how some women are eagerly awaiting the chance to vote Hillary into office for the sake of seeing a women ascend into the nation's most powerful role. However, the issue was brought up that there are some people out there, most notably women in particular, who resent other women like Hillary for her "Queen Bee" mentality and persona.

What is It?

The Queen Bee Syndrome goes like this. Women who have the Queen Bee condition are usually those who work in supervisory roles or in positions of power. They feel the need to be recognized and demand to be in the center of attention at all times. They regard other women as competition and see them as threats to their ability to enjoy exclusive attention and respect. They desire nothing more than having others fall on their knees to bow before them and lavish them with power, attention, compliments, and envy. Oftentimes, they will treat female subordinates much harsher than male employees. They have particular resentment and disdain for women who work in traditional stereotypical female roles, such as secretaries, models, and housewives.

Genuine Surprise At the Response

The issues raised were quite interesting but I could see how the discussion might be considered sexist by some, and I fully expected a torrent of angry female listeners to flood the radio show's telephone lines to voice their displeasure and complaints. I was actually secretly hoping for this since I'm a sucker for juicy talk radio.

I was completely surprised at what happened next. A steady stream of female listeners began calling into the show expressing agreement with this theory. The majority agreed that many female bosses had this Queen Bee mentality, which caused great resentment and competition among their female subordinates. Many of the female callers indicated that they preferred having a male boss for the fact they think female bosses are harder on other women because the female bosses see other women as threats for attention. Apparently they don't view men in this competitive light.

Even one seasoned female manager who indicated that she has worked many years in a supervisory role expressed reluctant agreement that the Queen Bee Syndrome was a pervasive affliction in the work place. She remarked that she personality felt an extra responsibility to help other women rise up to her status, but she felt some of the subordinate women felt entitled to this special treatment and resented managers like her when they didn't provide the extra attention.

Is It a Real Condition In the Workplace?

I found the radio discussion to be utterly fascinating and I began thinking about the type of social interactions I often observe at work. I've always thought the opposite was true in the work place - that women tended to give each other extra attention and assistance for emotional and professional support out of mutual sympathy and understanding. I usually see women congregate together and go off in pairs or groups during social and working situations. They even visit the restroom together! Little did I know, they are secretly plotting against one another. :)

I'm curious to hear what other people think!

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