Samantha Bricks, die gerade aktuell wieder Schlagzeilen macht, weil sie meint, dass sie zu hübsch ist und sie deswegen alle Frauen hassen, hatte früher wohl ein besseres Bild von Frauen und wollte dem patriarchischen Elend entfliehen, indem sie in ihrer Firma nur Frauen angestellt hat.
Working in TV is notoriously difficult for women. There is a powerful old boys‘ network, robust glass ceiling and the majority of bosses are misogynistic males. Gradually, what had started out as a daydream – wouldn’t it be great if there were no men where I worked? – turned into an exciting concept. I decided to create the first all-female production company where smart, intelligent, career-orientated women could work harmoniously, free from the bravado of the opposite sex. In hindsight, I should have learned the lessons of my past – at my mixed secondary school I was bullied by a gang of nasty, name-calling girls, so I knew only too well how nasty groups of women could become. And working in TV, I’d met lots of super-competitive ‚door-slammers‘ who’d do anything to get to the top. But I told myself that, with the right women, work could be wonderful.
But within a week, two cliques had developed: those who had worked together before and those who were producing ’new ideas‘. Most days would bring a pointed moment when some people were invited out for lunch or a coffee break – and some weren’t. Nothing explicit was ever said; the cutting rejection was obvious enough. Even when we all went to the pub after work, strict divisions remained, made clear according to who sat where around the table and who would be civil – or not – to whom. Fashion was a great divider, though in this battlefield everyone was on their own. Hideously stereotypical and shallow as it sounds, clothes were a huge source of catty comments, from sly remarks about people looking over-dressed to the merits of their fake tan application. I always felt sorry for anyone who naively showed off a new purchase in the office, because everyone would coo appreciatively to their face – then harshly criticise them as soon as they were out of earshot. This happened without exception. Sienna Miller recently said the sisterhood does not exist after she experienced bitchy comments from other women My deputy, Sarah, the general manager, first showed how much style mattered when she advertised for an office assistant and refused to hire the best-qualified girl because she could not distinguish Missoni from Marc Jacobs. This girl would have been making tea and running errands. But I didn’t challenge the decision not to hire her because I had a policy of picking my battles carefully. The office was like a Milan catwalk, but with the competitiveness of a Miss World contest – and the low cunning of a mud-wrestling bout. A fashion spat ended one friendship when Sarah and our young development researcher received the same surprise Christmas gift – a Chloe Paddington bag worth £900. When they clocked the matching bags in the office, it was like pistols at dawn. They forced a few compliments, but relations never recovered, to the expense of my company. Another time, when two members of staff bought the same jeans, one proclaimed: ‚They’ll look better on me, because I’m a size eight and she’s a ten.‘ It didn’t take long for the office to become divided between the girls who wore make-up and those who didn’t. Comments from the former were typically ‚Doesn’t she know what spot cover-up is?‘ or ‚Has she ever met a hairbrush?‘, while the no-make-up clan were equally biting, with comments – behind their backs, naturally – such as ‚People on the morning bus must think she’s a prostitute‘; or ‚She looks like a slapper‘. The obsession with appearance meant nearly all the staff were on diets. If I bought a tuna mayonnaise baguette for lunch, I would overhear staff commenting that I was pig – I’m a size 12. Two of the skinny girls often snidely said about the largest girl: ‚I’d kill myself if I got that fat.‘ One of the assistants got her own back on the food police for several weeks by pretending to buy them fat-free lattes. . . which were really full-fat. Employees considered it acceptable to take time off for beauty treatments – and not out of their holiday allowance. One girl regularly came in late because she was getting her hair coloured, and when I mentioned this she blew up in outrage. Though at least she had a reason; most just turned up late regardless, and huffed ‚That’s the time my train gets in‘ if I pointed at the clock.
Es geht noch eine Weile weiter, aber ich will nicht den ganzen Artikel kopieren.
And while I stand by my initial reason for excluding male employees – because they have an easy ride in TV – if I were to do it again, I’d definitely employ men. In fact, I’d probably employ only men. (…)
Though I will not absolve myself of all guilt, I believe the business was ruined by the destructive jealousy and in-fighting of an allfemale staff. Their selfishness and insecurities led to my company’s demise. When I needed the socalled ‚Sisterhood‘, believe me, it just wasn’t there.
Es kann natürlich sowohl ihre Schuld gewesen sein, weil sie die falschen Frauen ausgesucht hat und zudem es nicht geschafft hat, selbst für Ordnung zu sorgen, es kann auch einfach sein, dass sie sich selbst von Schuld freisprechen will, um sich besser zu fühlen. Aber es mag denen als Warnung dienen, die meinen, dass alles besser wäre, wenn alle Machtpositionen mit Frauen ausgefüllt wären.
Das auch bei Frauen eine hohe intrasexuelle Konkurrenz besteht und diese gerade dann ausgelebt werden kann, wenn viele besonders karriereorientierte Frauen untereinander in Konkurrenz stehen, nicht nur um Jobs, sondern auch um Status und Rang innerhalb der Gruppe, kann eben dazu führen, dass auch hier erhebliche Spannungen auftreten.