Friday, January 18, 2013


I've had a number of comments, including a link to an article concerning more and more women in the workplace in positions over men. I've been asked how are men taking the new reality. Well, what I see at work and in our workshops shows that younger men are going to do just fine working with and for women. Young men not only accept the leadership of women coworkers and managers but express a strong desire to help their female colleagues succeed. However, it's not just the younger men who have accepted women; some older men have come to grips with this new reality. Many of the older men who are supportive of women have the benefit of a strong woman at home, so working for a woman is second nature to them.

I like to refer to men – regardless of age – who are supportive of women in the workplace as “guys.” Some of the things the guys do:

·         See women as smarter and better educated
·         Feel women are better managers; women, they say, are inclusive and collaborative, not dictatorial and secretive like men
·         Prefer to work with and for women; when we have a job posting reporting to a man, it gets few if any applicants; post a job in a woman-run department and there's no shortage of applicants – especially from men!
·         Do not feel resentment when women are promoted, are given “better” assignments, or have women-only events or group meetings
·         Since they've been raised in an era of affirmative action, they see a need for society to atone for patriarchy by taking positive steps to provide women opportunities to advance
·         Do not see opportunities for women as hurting their own careers
·         Express admiration for their female managers and colleagues and see them as role models

But there's more! Guys recognize that the position of men has changed. Men no longer have a lock on the technical skills they once had and they certainly don't have the good-old-boy-network stacking the deck for them. They're feeling just a little vulnerable, so they're looking for ways to show they support us – Oh, don't you LOVE a vulnerable man? We're seeing real role reversals and power exchanges! Guys have combined the chivalry, to which all women are entitled, with a respect for our authority.

They're doing so many things that say they really respect us:

·         Guys listen to what women have to say
·         They're polite
·         They're obedient
·         They know when to shut up – very important!
·         They recognize our authority; we're hearing “yes, ma'am” a lot around our office these days!
·         They value our opinions and ask for them whether we are involved in their particular project or not
·         They gravitate to assertive and demanding women; I'm an alpha female – yes, call me a bitch – and I never have a shortage of guys who want to work for me. It seems that the more demanding I am with them, the more they like it. Men LOVE strong women!
·         They recognize the need for all-female events and groups and help with these meetings even though they don't participate. They order and serve lunch, run errands, make copies, and so on.
·         They cover the phones, particularly when there is a woman-only meeting or lunch
·         They participate in many feminist activities and charitable efforts started by women. The guys recognize that having “Feminist credentials” is important, and many of them volunteer one night a week to work on Feminist activities. We women have any number of organizations and activities to which guys can be sent; they just have to ask, and most do!
·         They mentor women and share knowledge
·         They step up to help women on projects and in new endeavors
·         They share project success with women

And then there are the personal niceties the guys do:

·         Always offer to help with filing, copying, and other administrative tasks
·         Run errands for women over lunch, picking up dry cleaning, fueling cars
·         Defer to female staff, regardless of her level – “defer” is a nice corporate word for “obey”! I love obedient men!
·         Make and serve coffee and keep the kitchenette clean and in order. My husband will tell you that making and serving coffee are becoming important skills for men in the workplace. Women have served coffee for centuries; why not men?

And it doesn't stop there. When the guys come into my office, they do so with a real reverence and a “Good morning, Ma'am!” They're almost bowing down to me, treating me like a Goddess; they don't do that with the male managers. In a meeting they listen to every word I say, they write it down’ and if they don't understand, it's, “Excuse me, Ma'am, will you please repeat that?” For me it's like being at home. Men who listen! Men who obey! I love men who obey! Sometimes I'll call for one of my guys and just give him some trivial thing to do, and he'll run off and do it; he'll come back and thank me for having him do it! Both of us feel good! I do the same with my husband; same result. Both of us feel good and our positions are reinforced in the process.

Not only do the guys accept a subordinate role in the workplace, but also in their personal lives. So many of our guys are obviously in some type of Female-led relationship. I hear them saying that they have to ask their wife for permission for some activity or trip. And so many of them talk about housekeeping problems, or how to scrub the kitchen, or about their wife going out that evening with her friends. It's nice to see a real change taking place; real role reversal! One of our guys was hesitant when I asked him to take an out-of-town trip; he was embarrassed to say that he needed to ask his wife's permission. “No need to be embarrassed,” I reassured him, “my husband has to ask permission, too.” He was relieved by my comment and that evening received his wife's OK. I keep his situation in mind before asking him to travel and always have him ask his wife's permission.

It's so nice. But then there's the older men who question everything and want the status quo restored. Sorry boys, the good old days of no women in management are not coming back – ever! So live with it! Of course, it's not just older males; there are younger guys who don't listen and are always complaining. Collectively we call them “the men.” At work they question female staff, refuse to do administrative tasks, calling them “women's work” - and horde knowledge and information.

We've had some success integrating reluctant men into female-led and -staffed work groups, but some men have been difficult. We have had issues with men being less than compliant when given orders by a female supervisor; two have refused to work for a woman and are no longer in our company. It's unfortunate that many of the men have such attitudes. And it's unfortunate that some can't accept that the workforce is being feminized. Patriarchy dies hard.


Anonymous said...

Is this blog being rebranded as Worshiping Your Female Boss?

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with worshipping one's female boss? Personally, a woman in a position of authority and exuding confidence in that authority is a big turn on. It's good to hear I'm not the only one. Thank you Nancy for this wonderful account. It's news for some of us who don't work in this environment. It was really cute to read about that young man who was embarrassed about having to ask his wife for permission. My question is how much does male eagerness to obey and serve extend to other women in your workplace? Not all are alpha women, are they?


Khorina said...

Great article, as always, Ms Nancy. It's great to see that we "the guys" are not alone, and that women are starting to understand that. We do gravitate around alpha women, and have been used to see women as our leaders at home (Moms), at School (teachers, principals) and later we know women are the best students, so it's only natural to have them as leaders at work.

Nancy and Dennis said...

For 1st Anonymous ("Is this blog being rebranded...?") - It hasn't been, but that's a logical thing to do -- especially since many men - trained at home by strong wives - are taking the respect and deference they've learned at home to the workplace.


Nancy and Dennis said...

For Khorina - Thank you for your comments. Modern men understand the new position of women and entirely accept it. Women are and have been leaders as you note but now are taking their leadership into mainstream businesses where they are supervising men in greater numbers than ever. The key to success for men is to learn how to work with and for women.


Nancy and Dennis said...

To Anonymous (L.S. - "What's wrong with worshipping one's female boss...?") - Thanks for posting - good question. All women are not alpha women but that doesn't mean that they can't be empowered by the dynamics of more female authority in the workplace. Our observation is that men - guys anyway - don't make a distinction as to whether a woman is an alpha female or not. They are deferential to and more cooperative with women no matter what the woman's demeanor or position. Even women in secretarial, administrative, and clerical roles - women who were invisible and taken for granted when men were in charge - are now commanding respect from men. We're taking action to move women into professional positions, and men know that the woman who is in an administrative role today, may well be a manager in the not-too-distant future - i.e., HIS BOSS!

Yes, many of the administrative jobs traditionally done by women are increasingly being done by men. Why? Well, we have programs to move women up and out of traditional roles and into the professional ranks; and we have programs that take the same affirmative action to place men in positions traditionally performed by women. Male secretaries, administrators, and clerks are now quite common in my and dennis' company.

Phil said...

Dear Ms Nancy

Thank you for posting this excellent article. This is a great development.

I would love to be a secretary for a female boss and I would certainly defer to her, run her errands and serve her coffee.

Congratulations for a great blog!

Anonymous said...

My Female Boss has complimented me on my ability to make coffee and on my typing speed. She has not yet sent me out to pick up her dry cleaning or ordered me to spend my lunch hour shopping for a gift to give to her spouse but if She did my response would be "Yes Ma'am"

Anonymous said...

Hi Nancy, Affirmative action for men in secretarial and other like subordinate positions is such a wonderful idea! Would that it could be extended to all occupations! Ever since I was young I always wondered why the people with the lowest standards and worst behavior were the ones who were expected to be in authority. When I was older I read Elizabeth Gould Davis’ First Sex and had a revelation. It had never occurred to me before that women in authority could be the answer to the problem.

The fact that women of the present have ascended to authority positions so quickly and that young men have been so accepting of it, is part of the proof that women should have been in authority all along. It just seems to “fit” their respective innate tendencies and capacities.

The flip side of the issue is that we have a problem getting men out of authority--men who should never have been there in the first place. The affirmative action idea of your company could be the answer to this. It’s not that men shouldn’t have power, it’s that they shouldn’t be trusted with authority any longer. If men were brought up to believe that it was a woman's world and that their actions needed to be authorized and guided by women and their values—whether that be their spouse, friend, teacher, or supervisor—we would have no violence against women (or other men for that matter), no rape of the planet, and inequality would not be a major issue. And just as important, women could finally come into their own--fulfill their true potentials.

I really hope you continue to share more your thoughts and feelings because they are a comfort to me. They give me more confidence that a female-guided world is not a fantastic utopia but an emerging reality.

One question: can you tell us more about how women have overcome their inhibitions about exercising authority?


Anonymous said...

I like that the males to you and your organisation are divided into two categories. The "Guys" who are inclusive and progressive and learn to defer and the "men" who are more stick in the mud obstructive types.

Positive reinforcement like this for males is vital. We need to feel included and protected and guided. To be part of things. The "men" are excluding themselves from things and showing that they are incapable of change and growth.

They have got to where they are as and are in a false position. They often got there not on merit but because they were not a woman.

With women showing that with a level playing field they are demonstrably superior how can these "men" be allowed to hinder progress and innovation.

I have seen males engage in talk designed to alienate intimidate and exclude Womyn. It might be talking about sport or behaving in a most ungentlemanly manner.

I have seen in my organisation courageous and determined Womyn stamp out and break up such time wasting anti Feminist gatherings.

When the "guys" who show by their enthusiasm and obedience their popularity with Womyn are seen to be successful socially then some of the recalcitrant males will come over.

It may well be that they are initially only doing it to attract the Womyn but they will see ever greater rewards fro toeing the line.


Anonymous said...

Nancy, do you think that the policy of paying women more for the same work than men in a company could strengthen women's (especially not alpha) confidence in their right for authority and respectively men's deference too?

Gringo said...


Yes, Ma'am! It definitely is a changing workplace! I'm male and I have learned this lesson the HARD way but now I'm happier that I finally got over my hangups about professional women, now accept them and, in fact, rather enjoy reporting to women managers. A few years back I decided to pursue an M.B.A. degree. I knew of several women who have either earned or were working on their MBA's. One was the HR manager of my former firm. This woman was feminine and stylish, with high heels, make up, the whole nine. Another was the lovely wife of a relative of mine. So, I figured if these WOMEN can earn MBA's, so can I! My current supervisor is a woman around my age. She holds a B.S., with a double major-accounting and finance, she's a CPA, plus, she has and MBA from a top university! To boot, she is feminine, attractive, wears sexy suits, stiletto high heels, make up and changes her hairstyle on a whim frequently. She loves to talk to the other women in the office about girly stuff , like clothes, wines, women centered entertainment, etc. I used to not like this woman because I was jealous of her. So, I wanted to go for the MBA, in order to catch up and be equal to her and the other aforementioned women. In order to get accepted into a graduate business school, one must take the grueling GMAT exam. It is a 4 hour exam that measures logical thinking ability, mathematical problem solving, reading comprehension, critical reasoning, etc. The exam tests the brain's ability to analyze and think logically, brain speed (because its timed), and your mental endurance. It does this by trying to confuse and wear out a test takers brain. So, I took a prep course, took practice tests and went to the test center after a few months. I didn't do so well, earning a score of 460. The score range is 200-800, 525 is about an average score. I had to get a 550 minimum, so I didn't get accepted to the MBA program. I even went back and tried to take it again, after studying. I only improved to 480. I simply got confused and befuddled and couldn't clear the cobwebs out of my head. Then after 2 1/2 hours into the exam, my brain just simply wore out and I couldn't think anymore. My head felt like a wobbling jello mold ready to be served up! I even found an MBA program that would accept me, an online course, one that didn't emphasize a high GMAT score. They considered work experience,etc. I took one class, Managerial Finance & Accounting. I lasted about 4 weeks. I started off good but it got really hard for me and I got flummoxed. I just couldn't comprehend the material and I made a D in the course. After this experience, my respect for my woman boss went through the roof! I was no longer angry or jealous of her. I had realized that she and the 2 other women I mentioned, as well as all women MBA's , have much greater intellectual ability than I do. They have more intellectual capacity-more brain storage space and brain power than I do. Whereas, my thinking ability is much more limited and confined. I am glad that I work for this woman! She's a lot smarter than I. It was difficult to admit that I get confused easier than an attractive feminine woman, but I can admit this fact now with a lot of ease. This was an arduous learning process but I really enjoyed it and realize that I'm not cut out for management. However, we need a lot more women in upper management. I think we are heading this way. Women can more than handle the mental rigors of big organization management. I as well as many men should consider careers in the administrative fields, like administrative assistant, receptionist, legal secretary, etc. These are very rewarding careers if you can report to a woman executive.

Obedient husband said...

To Gringo,
Thank you for sharing this aspect of your personal development. You're a better man for recognizing that some women in your workplace are smarter, more capable, etc.
While I am not comfortable with generalized stereotypes such as "women are smarter, more capable than men", I do think the world would be a better place if all men were open and accepting of the fact that for any given modern man there are likely many women who simply are smarter and more capable on an intellectual basis.
I also think that the developed (educated) world is rapidly changing in that more and more women are increasingly comfortable taking leadership roles while more "guys" are increasingly comfortable in more submissive roles. This is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

I think it important though that a Womyn's attractiveness or not to any given individual should not be the basis for working in harmony and as a team with an authoritative woman.


Nancy and Dennis said...

For Gringo (first post): Thank you so much for your reply! It's nice to see a man who learns firsthand about women's intellectual and managerial capabilities and responds appropriately. It's good to see that you enjoy reporting to women managers; there's going to be a lot more of them to report to, and men need to accept this new reality of the workplace; I'm glad you have. Women are in the workplace because they deserve to be - you recognize that. It's taken tearing down some of the walls of the old male system to give them the opportunity, but we are finally there.

I have an MBA from a top-25 school; I am a manager and three quarters of my subordinates are men -- my guys!

An MBA, particularly from a top school, is a challenge, but more and more women are accepting that challenge and getting this important credential. Such an MBA is a ticket to a managerial position. If I recall correctly, over 60% of MBAs are now awarded to women; and that percentage is rising. Is it any wonder that women are taking more managerial positions in industry and government? As a Feminist, I like seeing women get MBAs, or any in-demand degree, since it gives them economic power. Women no longer have to rely on men, can set their own course, and make real changes in society. With more and more women obtaining college degrees, it's quickly becoming a woman's world.

I have to laugh at your statement, "she is feminine, attractive, wears sexy suits, stiletto high heels, makeup and changes her hairstyle on a whim." What did you expect? That successful women would give up such things? No! No! No!. Feminists argue that women don't have to look like men to be successful or to move into traditionally male occupations. Stiletto heels, well tailored business suits, changing hairstyles, manicures, and spa treatments (you forgot manicures and spa treatments) are some of the fun things about being a woman! While having power in the business world is the real benefit of a degree, having all the shoes and clothes you want is one of the nice personal rewards of getting an education and the well-paying job that goes with it. With my MBA I have the power to make changes at my company and the money in my purse to buy a sixth pair of red designer pumps if I want. And I don't have to ask my husband for the money or worry about what he'll say when I bring that sixth pair of red pumps home. I'm in charge!

BTW, don't overlook the business impact that stiletto heels, a perfect manicure and a feminine business suit have; it says "POWER" in today's business world. Believe me, I know. Women are very conscious as to how they dress when they are in the workplace or when they go into an important meeting - femininity is power and I'm sure the women you mention realize that.

As for what women are talking about in the office -- "girly things" you call them -- again, what did you expect? With more and more women in the workplace, this is becoming the new normal. Live with it!

I hope that you do well in business; it won't hurt your career to work with and for powerful women.


Nancy and Dennis said...

To Anonymous ("I like that the males...") -- Where my husband and I work, men are certainly able to have whatever conversations and discussions they want. What we don't tolerate are bad language, bullying, or trying to intimidate others. We have men in our company who have simply refused to accept women -- particularly women with authority -- in the workplace. These men cling to the belief that their seniority should somehow exempt them from working for younger women; not so, particularly when women have better credentials and more skills than these men.


Anonymous said...

If the Woman is in the authority position, that should make Her attractive. It is irrelevant how She dresses or what She looks like, Her power over you should be a turn on. In fact it is the male subordinate who is eye candy and should present a pleasing image to his Female boss. Wife owns me and rents me out to Female boss who pays for my services by deposting my paycheck into Wife's account so the Women at work respect Wife's property rights but a powerful senior Woman at the office recently commented that if I were not property She would acquire me.

Gringo said...


First, this if formerly Gringo. I changed my name to dimwit because it is more fitting to me, I have to confess. Second, Congratulations on earning your MBA, Ma'am! I bet it's very rewarding and satisfying. I simply couldn't do it. It was very difficult and just overwhelmed my brain. Both the admissions exam and the course itself. My head got filled up to its maximum capacity with all of this complex information and them my head deflated , like a balloon, to the size of a pea. It also deflated my male ego, lol! A woman MBA told me once that the MBA is a very powerful degree, just like you alluded to. I had the pleasure of working with a woman engineer who held a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemistry. After they announced that our plant was going to close, she told me that she just started an MBA degree program. She said she was doing it to really "punch up" her resume and ,boy , did it ever. She has a managerial job in another company where she belongs. She used her MBA to punch out, or threaten to punch out, that glass ceiling. Plus, she is working in a technical field. We need more women in the sciences, IT, etc. I'm glad you point that out. Many women in the IT field hold a B.S. in Computer Science or Information Technology and then go back to school p/t in the evening to earn an MBA. These women use their MBA as a compound degree, building upon their technical expertise with a graduate business degree that vastly increases their business knowledge as well as developing management skills, useful in managing males. I see this all the time and it's wonderful and awe inspiring. Another advanced degree popular for smart, ambitious women is the law degree. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe women law students crossed the 50% of incoming first year law students years ago! Then there are women who earn the impressive JD/MBA..Wow! Both the law degree and the graduate business degree. I like to refer to these women as MAD's (Multiple Advanced Degrees). The patriarchy's worst nightmare, lol. Yes, I'm sorry that I was stunned that femininity and brains are in the same package. I guess it is chauvinistic of me to say that but I'm a work in progress, changing and evolving. I guess I used to believe that smart women were plain looking and flat chested. But again, I've been proven wrong. I have learned a lot from my studies at Elise Sutton's website as well as (you really need to check this out) NFL and other cheerleaders who hold college degrees in science, math and business. It's wonderful and enlightening. I used to get so pissed at lovely, beautiful women who were smart because deep down I knew they were a lot smarter than me. That's why I went for the MBA myself because I couldn't stand being defeated by a woman, a beautiful woman. I learned so much from this experience. After the second attempt, and the attempt at the course, I realized that I really get muddleheaded by the course material. Once I discovered that the MBA was just too confusing for me, my anger was reduced because I started accepting reality. Simply, that these women are extremely smart, have defeated me intellectually and I'm very proud of them. I also learned that I don't need an MBA to have a fulfilling life. There is a reason for everything. Lastly, my boss loves to wear stunning, knockout high heels. They really make my jaw drop. So glamorous. She also likes nice black leather boots. She looks very powerful in them. No doubt, her MBA gave her the financial power to go into Saxs Fifth and pick out a pair or two. I regret not being there to assist, lol dimwit

Nancy and Dennis said...

Femsup (again) -

You say, "When the 'guys' who show by their enthusiasm and obedience their popularity with Womyn are seen to be successful socially, then some of the recalcitrant males will come over."

This is very true, men are followers, not leaders. Eventually the 'guys' who get it and understand that it's increasingly and legitimately a woman's world will inspire the others to do the same. It's one of the reasons that men can be very important in the workplace and in the Feminist movement. A few progressive men can drive many others.


Nancy and Dennis said...

For Anonymous ("Affirmative Action for women...") --

I've not really seen any woman who was reluctant to exercise her authority, although many women are still limited by their job situation and role as to how much authority they can exercise. I'd also say that men don't always have too much control; there are many good men who are rightly in charge but too many good women who have been displaced by underqualified men - it's that patriarchy thing again. Take away barriers and give women opportunities and the number of women in leadership positions will surge.


Sam said...

Thank you Ma'am, good advice for men living in this time, to look beyond equality of the sexes and recognise the numerous innate strengths, abilities and intellect of women and accept that women are simply better equipped to organise, control and run everything.

As a self-employed decorator working in private households i am glad to report that it is always the women that make all the decisions. I see women asserting their authority more than ever these days and willingness to display subjection to women is always met with approval.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this excellent article, Ms Nancy. I work in a Female led office and our Female bosses do a great job. I get ordered around quite a bit, but I respect their authority and abilities. I think the Female led workplace is going to be the norm in our society, just because Women do a better job.

Nancy and Dennis said...

To Anonymous (who gets ordered around quite a bit at work) --

And it's going to be the norm in the workplace because - more and more - it's women who are bringing the education and skills needed for information age jobs.

You seem to have adapted well and will do well working with and for women.


Anonymous said...

thanks for share...

european student said...

I've recently discovered this blog and it is great, this post in particular. I'm a 22 year old male, currently at college where all the best students are females, and since they outperform us males at this point, it is logical to assume that they will one day be CEOs and high executives - the bosses!

Having that in mind, we all wonder how will our jobs and workplaces look like - I see it this way: with women gaining more and more power in the whole society, men should not even try to compete with women (we will be brought to heel anyway, it's pointless) - a smart man should try to establish himself as a man who accepts the fact of female superiority, a man with feminist credentials who works well under a female boss. So, instead of losing our time and energy trying to compete with women, we should be *competing* with other men in adapting to the new order. The situation in which men are competing among themselves who will win the favor of their female boss will only empower women even more because *they* will evaluate us and shape our careers, we can only do our best to show that we are eager to follow them!

And that is what I would like to read about on this blog in the future: how to establish yourself as a progressive man with feminist credentials, practical advice about working under a female boss, how to adapt to the new workplace situation etc. So, please, more female led workplace posts - the men of my generation have a lifetime of obeying women ahead of them, I want to know how to do it properly!

Nancy and Dennis said...

european student -

I will respond more completely to your post in the very near future.

I enjoyed your post and your progressive views and wanted thank you for your post and for recognizing the direction that society is taking. The gender quake that is shaking the world is going to have pronounced changes; new opportunities will present themselves for both women and men but women will definitely be setting the tone.

You are correct that men would do well not to complete with women but to compete with other men for the favor of women. In both my and my husband's companies such changes are underway and have made significant differences already. It's an exciting time for women and for progressive gentlemen who can work with but most importantly FOR women.

We have a number of posts on this blog concerning the changing roles of women and men in the workplace as well as suggestions for activism. Please look at these and let me know if you have any questions or comments.


european student said...

Thank you for your response, Ma'am. I will continue to read this blog and I'm looking forward to new posts!

WSY said...

European Student--

Just wanted to say that it's great to hear from young people who are able to embrace and accept the possibility of a female led future.
Learning the ways of obedience is going to be so important. Best of luck to you.


Anonymous said...

The women I work with and for, are smarter, more disciplined, and harder working than me. I wish I could keep up and be like them. I really do. I do my best and try to be useful to them whenever I can. I also try to learn as much as I can from them. Women don't have to guard their power like men do. They aren't insecure because they have confidence in their abilities. If I am respectful and do my best, then they treat me well.

Mark Remond said...

dennis responds to Anonymous just above:

You are so right; Women are smarter, more disciplined, and harder working than men. You are wise to try and learn from them because Women will take a sincere man under their care just so he follows Women's rules and conventions. It's what's happened to me at work. i enjoy the relationship i have with Carol, my boss, and do my best to preserve that relationship and build on it by doing a little more - both professionally and personally - for Her every day. As far as learning from Women, it's easy to do - just listen to them in conversation; i do this at home with Nancy of Julie's permission, of course. i'll hover just outside the living room or maybe at the periphery of their little group when invited to sit and listen. There are of course other ways to learn from Women, talks shows aimed at Women, Women's books and magazines, and so on...

Good luck as your appreciation of the superiority of Women grows...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your advice, Dennis. I see how hard you work to serve and please your wife, Nancy. You are fortunate to have the love and admiration of such a beautiful and intelligent woman. As I continue to learn to serve, please, and obey women I hope to find a dominant woman of my own some day. Your blogs are a great source of information and examples to follow.