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花旗国的半边天

An Exploration of Women's Issues

 
 
 

日志

 
 

不要哭了:女性和情绪 (Stop Crying: Women and Emotion)  

2011-05-31 00:38:18|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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不要哭了:女性和情绪 (Stop Crying: Women and Emotion) - 美国马尾妹 - 花旗国的半边天

女性长久以来都被视为“感情动物”,多愁善感,比男性更难控制自己的情绪。这种认为女性天生比男性更为情绪的 观点很具争议性,也似乎是一种偏见。事实上,社会舆论对两性表达或发泄情绪的方式有不同的标准。在传统的观念看来,女性公开宣泄情感是可以被普遍接受的, 而男性则不行,他们在别人看来应当是坚忍克己的。也许因了这两种迥然不同的标准,男士和女士处理感情的方式也有很大差异。大量神经学研究显示,在决策的过 程中,男性的大脑会尝试划分区域,使感情和逻辑的活动相互分离。相比之下,女性更可能带着情绪去工作,而不是摆脱情绪的影响。妇女对感情的不当处理总是成为她们在职业中取得成功的主要绊脚石。然而实际上,这种方式尽管阻碍了女性们的职业晋升,但也表现出一些特别的优势。


Women have long been considered to be the “emotional” sex; they supposedly experience acute emotions and are less able than men to control these emotions. While the idea that women are inherently more emotional than men is highly debatable and grossly stereotypical, it is true that there are different societal expectations for how the two sexes approach and express emotion. Traditionally, it has always been more socially acceptable for women to give public displays of emotion than it has been for men, who have usually been expected to maintain a stoic exterior. Perhaps because of these disparate expectations, the manner in which men and women handle their emotions is vastly different. Numerous neurological studies have shown that men attempt to compartmentalize their brains, keeping emotion and logic separate from each other in their decision-making processes. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to work with and through their emotions rather than attempting to ignore them. The manner in which women express and handle emotion has frequently been seen as a major stumbling block for women attempting to succeed in the professional world. However, while it is true that this manner does pose some definite obstacles to women's professional advancement, it also presents some unique advantages.


Because the corporate world was for so long the exclusive domain of men, masculine values regarding the expression of emotion are embedded into prevalent values of professionalism. In current American workplace culture, it is considered to be a sign of weakness and lack of self-control to express emotions or to allow the discussion of emotions to affect decisions. Crying in the workplace is considered to be the ultimate indication of weakness and has been labeled as taboo by myriads of professional self-help books. Discussions of how women's emotional expressiveness impacts their performance in the workplace frequently centers around this issue of crying because women are often criticized for taking critiques too personally and becoming upset by them. Shaunti Feldhahn, who writes about gender relations and who spent nine years surveying men about how they perceived women in the workplace, notes that many of the men she interviewed said that they believed that their female colleagues took professional criticism too much to heart. These men believed that their colleagues' willingness to express their hurt at criticism factored in as one of the impediments to their advancement.


Discussion about emotion in the workplace usually centers on these negative aspects of supposed feminine emotionality. However, there are nonetheless certain benefits to women's general approach to emotion. Although masculine stoicism is the prevailing professional ideal, careers which involve a lot of interpersonal communication and interaction provide more opportunities for emotional expression to play a positive role. Because women do not attempt to push their emotions off to the side in the same way that men do in the workplace, women may be better able to empathize with their coworkers and associates. This capacity to emphasize builds the groundwork for better communication and can also improve an office's overall mood. One article I read in The New York Times, “Family and Office Roles Mix,” likened office relationships and dynamics to those of a family unit. One of the family roles identified was that of the so-called “mother hen,” a female who plays a nurturing role in an office's social dynamic. The article's author suggests that in times of economic crisis or other times of high stress for an office, the “mother hen” figure can exert a calming and reassuring influence over her coworkers through her ability to empathize. Because women are less fearful of expressing their emotions, this role that blends office responsibilities with the much needed nurturing role is usually best filled by a woman.


As with any discussion of the fundamental differences between the way that men and women function, the models used for comparing feminine and masculine emotionality risk overgeneralization and simplification. However, even these general models clearly indicate that the manner in which women express emotion plays a complicated role in the workplace.



讨论:你认为,在职场运转中,情感会有用吗?(Discussion Question: Do you think that emotion should play a role in the workplace?)



Sources:

Begley, Sharon. "Face to Face." Newsweek 25 June 2009: n. pag. Newsweek. Web. 30 May 2011.
 
<http://www.newsweek.com/2009/06/24/face-to-face.html>.

Feldhahn, Shaunti. "Cracking the Male Code of Office Behavior." The New York Times 5 Feb. 2011: n.
pag. The New York Times. Web. 30 May 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/jobs/
06pre.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=emotion%20women%20workplace&st=cse>.

Kershaw, Sarah. "Family and Office Roles Mix." The New York Times 3 Dec. 2008: n. pag. The New York
Times. Web. 30 May 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/04/fashion/
04roles.html?ref=emotions>.

Image:

By Kennedy ([1]) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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