Posted by: mariacascio12 | January 15, 2015

Stereotyping Limits Everyone

I cannot say that I always enjoy reading for classes, but “The Great Women Theory of Leadership” article in Kellerman And Rhode really had me thinking. Since there is so much back and forth now about which sex actually does now possess the best qualities of leadership, I wonder how men came to be considered the finest leaders in the first place? It almost seems more logical to me that since women are the child-bearers and have been generalized to possess advanced communication skills, nurturing, multitasking, and denying themselves through the act of raising kids, that they may be the best choice to take charge.
That being said, however, are we losing sight of the value of men while we focus on “The Great Woman Theory”? What if in fifty years from now, we experience the opposite problem when it comes to discussing gender equality? And what would become of the world if all women rejected the mentality of the housewife to become tough businesswomen only. There seems to be a stigma that if a woman will be a successful leader, she will have to give up certain innate traits. Almost to become more like a man even though many consider the traits possessed by women to be more beneficial than men. If women “unlearn” their gender, what would become of the home-life where nurturing, communication, and sacrifice are absolutely necessary?
The article goes on to talk about how the very act of stereotyping women ends up limiting them. They are told to be more assertive and dominant but at the same time that because of this they will have lower likability. Women are unable to distinguish between how they feel they should act, how others feel they should act, and how they actually do act. Ultimately nothing about women should need to change, they do not need to be more or less of anything in order to be successful. I have learned through experiences that there is no cookie-cutter, perfect type of leader. There are different positions which require different traits and tendencies. Some jobs will require those aspects of a person which are typically attributed as feminine, but that position could be filled by a man who happens to possess those “female attributes” as well. It is more of a case by case basis for an individual person and not an individual gender group.


  1. Women and men should not be restricted to stereotypes and should be able to possess both masculine and feminine qualities without being thought as less than the norm. The problem in society is that if you are female and choose to be a housewife it is thought as less than everyone else. Where as if you are male and act feminine you are treated poorly because you are not adhering to the aggressive male stereotype. The problem is not that women leaders are better than men leaders or the other way around, but being thought of less than someone else because you are not acting like your stereotype and being treated unfairly.

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