The double bind

A double bind requires you to obey two mutually exclusive commands, explained Deborah Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University, in a recent article in The Washington Post.

“Anything you do to fulfill one violates the other. Women running for office, as with all women in authority, are subject to these two demands: Be a good leader! Be a good woman!

“While the qualities expected of a good leader (Be forceful, confident and, at times, angry) are similar to those we expect of a good man, they are the opposite of what we expect of a good woman (Be gentle, self-deprecating and emotional, but not angry.).

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