A Forbes reporter is working on a story about women at work. Specifically, she's writing about what tips the scales to make an "assertive woman" into a Bitch.

There it is. The B Word. In all its glory.

My gut reaction upon seeing this query was along the lines of a bumper sticker I once saw, "I'm a Bitch And Proud of it." But, my second thought was an exasperated sigh. Why are we still having this conversation?

Is it because we lead a double life in the workplace? We use our feminine wiles when it's useful--and it *is* useful (which to any woman who's ever been to a b-to-b tradeshow can testify). We can use our emotions to our advantage (though I'm still learning how not to take things personally).

It's neither of these points, though, that tip the scale from assertion to bitch-dom. We become bitches when we throw our business sense to the wayside. When we take a my-way-or-the-highway approach. When we're not open to outside ideas.

But that's not a trait that's unique to women. I just wish I could think of the male-equivalent to the B-Word.


  1. Anonymous on February 17, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    There are plenty of words that could be male-equivalents to the B-Word Megan. Unfortunately for women in the business world, we men are still more quickly forgiven for acting like one though.


  2. Megan on February 17, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Good points, Mike :)

  3. Michelle Maskaly on March 10, 2011 at 11:07 AM

    Great post. I like that last graph the best. A few weeks ago I was having a conversation with a male about the business world, and we were talking about this exact subject.

    He told me this: Sometimes being known as a bitch in the business world is a good thing. It means they respect you on the same level as they do a man.

    It invoked the same question you asked about why we are still having this type of conversation.

    (p.s.-found your site because of a BlogPaws tweet!)

  4. Tracy on April 21, 2011 at 8:14 PM

    Unfortunately Megan we will NEVER stop having this conversation! :(