Antagonistic men valued, while angry women perceived ‘out of control’

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From Scientific American:

A man who gets angry at work may well be admired for it but a woman who shows anger in the workplace is liable to be seen as “out of control” and incompetent, according to a new study presented on Friday.

What’s more, the finding may have implications for Hillary Clinton as she attempts to become the first female U.S. president, according to its author Victoria Brescoll, a post-doctoral scholar at Yale University.

Her research paper “When Can Angry Women Get Ahead?” noted that Clinton was described last year by a leading Republican as “too angry to be elected president.”

Previous research has indicated that anger can communicate that an individual feels entitled to dominate others, and therefore perhaps is. But in a paper to be delivered at a weekend conference, Brescoll said such studies focused on men.

“As Senator Clinton’s experience suggests, however, for a professional woman anger expression may lead to a decrease rather than an increase in her status,” Brescoll wrote.

She conducted three tests in which men and women recruited randomly watched videos of a job interview and were asked to rate the applicant’s status and assign them a salary.

In the first, the scripts were identical except where the candidate described feeling either angry or sad about losing an account due to a colleague’s late arrival at a meeting.

Participants conferred the most status on the man who said he was angry, the second most on the woman who said she was sad, slightly less on the man who said he was sad, and least of all by a sizable margin on the woman who said she was angry.


The average salary assigned to the angry man was almost $38,000 compared to about $23,500 for the angry woman and in the region of $30,000 for the other two candidates. …

I’ll add a link to the actual study if I can find one. Insert obvious joke about how much this peeves me off.

–Ann Bartow

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0 Responses to Antagonistic men valued, while angry women perceived ‘out of control’

  1. Diane says:

    It’s always good to see a study confirm something I have known for years. The bad part is that nothing will change.

    The problem does not just lie in the way women are perceived, but in the way anger is perceived. In the male world, anger is frequently not considered an emotion. An emotion is something “feminine”–sadness or “hysteria.” A man who cries is said to be “emotional,” but not a man who rages. There are constant examples of this phenomenon in sports. For example, after he broke over 50 racquets one season in fits of rage of “out of control” behavior, Marat Safin said his sister was having trouble on the WTA tour because women were “too emotional.”