I am used to being the only girl around. I worked for ten years at a non-profit that was about 90% men. At my first real job a few decades ago, all my “real” friends were men. When I went to graduate school and my whole cohort of seven (which was considered big) was women, I knew we were going to have a problem. Sure enough, the group never became one and three of the seven ended up leaving. I am not going to venture into women colleague dynamics. Too many people have already written about such dynamics and former Secretary of State Madeline Albright noted that “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” All I have to tell her, is first that special place must be packed like New Year’s eve at Times Square and second, eh…whatever. I don’t expect women to give me special treatment just because I am a woman. I also don’t expect other women to disregard because I am a woman. Either way, I readily admit, I prefer hanging out with male work colleagues. Although, I also readily admit that women tend to get more done in the workplace. I am just noting that from all my past HR experience. Maybe its the non-profit field in which I am. Ok, I am digressing and rambling. I am a New Yorker that loved Seinfeld after all. My DNA pushes me towards the state of rambling.
Throughout my years of working I have been surrounded by men. I have been called a “Princess” by silly old male colleagues who should know better. In any of those meetings I outshines and out-think them. But its often not hard to. Here’s the thing, though. Being a princess doesn’t preclude thinking. It took me a while to get that. I like being a princess. I have see Princess Bride like a million times over. Who doesn’t like being told “as you wish!” If you have not seen the film, I exhort you to do so immediately. It is one of the few sweet movies that I like. Inconceivable!
Ok. Now where was I?
I have liked being a princess. At home, I am the only girl. even my dog was a boy. I like it that way. I get all the dresses, shoes and handbags to myself. It is a nice state of being. Well, it was to this past week. Then something horrific happened. I became the queen. A colleague referred to me as Queen B. I was taken back I instantly thought of Queen Elizabeth. I am not 90 years old, I thought, as I scrunched my face. Here is the other thing, the person meant it as a compliment. I have heard of Beyonce referred to as Queen B. Thus, I took a step back and let it sink in. But I still kept going back to the fact that I might have transitioned from Princess to Queen and had not realized it. Being queen is the status one wants, right? I mean, Prince Charles is agonizing over the fact that he is past 60 and still a prince. I made myself look up the phrase Queen B (queen bee) and the ho-so-hip urban dictionary notes the following:
“a girl who, usually in a high school setting, is the “leader of the pack.” she doesn’t always have to be the prettiest, but she is extremely confident, and because she thinks she’s hot, others do too. she knows all of the “important” gossip, and people emulate her style. if the queen bee wears something new and different, others will wear it the next day. she always has the hottest boyfriend, and is at all the parties. everyone always talks behind her back about how much they hate her, even though everyone secretly wishes they were her friend“
Geez, that is complicated. Loved but hated. Admired yet derided. It truly is lonely at the top.
Categories: Culture, current events, Humor, identity, new york, Pop Culture, Psychology, women, work, workplace
It still surprises me when I read or hear of women being celebrated for doing “Normal” things.
As if being the top of a profession was something extraordinary, rather than simply being capable.
Too often, we get caught up in lauding the benign because of its rarity rather than its normality.
“Women at the top” whoopee!
“Children with manners” Wow!
“Animals being animals” Incredible!
“Politicians saying anything to get in office” No!
The sooner we change our perspective on how we view matters, the more sense it will make and the less destructive our out-dated paradigm of what is what, will effect our thinking.
Cheers to you Mimi, just keep doing what you do and that will be enough.B
Thanks. “Extraordinary” times we live in… 🙂