Friday, May 03, 2013


I have really come to hate the word aggressive. Or maybe it would be better to say that I hate the way that aggressive has been twisted into a bad word when associated with a woman.

Say it to yourself:
  He's agressive at work
  She's aggressive at work

A cold heart and a warm-trigger gunYou can feel the difference when you say the two lines. Do you see the change in perception? Its subtle, but its there. For him, aggressive is good. He's striving for something. Working hard. Bring home the bacon. For her aggressive is bad. She's pushy. Rude. Far too loud.

And for some strange reason women seem to be leading this trend. I can't believe how often I hear this word batted around by one woman about another. When women talk this way about other women, what does that say about our perception of ourselves and others, especially in the workplace? What exactly do we believe? Do we truly believe that we can get ahead in the workplace by quietly tip-toeing around? Are we expressing some unspoken truth that being a mute presence in a busy, hectic office gets you promoted? Because that has never been my reality. In fact, I often find that the woman mouthing the word is usually the most passive aggressive person in your office. Passive aggressive is just another form of aggression. It's just done behind your back, instead of to your face. Which makes gives it the same credibility as gossip. Unfortunately, whisper campaigns are much loved by this type of person.

And who hasn't worked at a company where the first answer to any question is 'No', 'That's not my job' or 'I don't know'. These three conversation enders are the reply of choice for a great slice of the working population. They are intended to effectively stop any requests or work from showing up on their desks. I don't believe there is anyway to quietly sooth your way into getting anything done when dealing with this type. If someone's default position is No, you have no option but to push. Yet, if you push, you're aggressive. If it was a man, they'd say he was getting it done. Let's stop making Aggressive + Women = Bad.

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