SISTERHOOD BETRAYED: Women in the Workplace and the All About Eve Complex by Jill & Rita Watson Barber

SISTERHOOD BETRAYED: Women in the Workplace and the All About Eve Complex

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Belaboring as their central metaphor the relationship between conniving understudy Eve Harrington and insecure, aging star Margo Channing in the 1950 film All About Eve, Barber and Watson meander all over the map here in trying to determine why many women feel they must resort to underhanded wiles to gain power in the working world, and why other women succumb to the same means so readily. What to do if you are the victim of an ""Eve"" or if you detect Eve impulses or behavior in yourself; how the so-called complex begins in the different ways little girls and little boys are socialized and how it is encouraged by society's devaluation of the feminine; the nature of the psychological roots in the mother/daughter relationship of Eve-like duplicitousness or Margo-like failure to be sufficiently self-protective--these are some of the subjects explored here in anecdotes about and interviews with successful women in business and the arts. The issues raised are important and provocative, but this treatment is marred by rambling organization, clichÉ-ridden style, and anecdotes that give confusing mixed messages (as when publishing executive Joni Evans is held up as a model of female competence and accomplishment and at the same time we are told that ""she achieved much of her success at Simon & Schuster while married to its president and CEO, Richard Snyder""). ""When you are gazing at a friend with wide-open, trusting eyes, it's agonizing, if not impossible, to acknowledge that she crept up behind you to stab you in the back."" It is even more impossible to believe that the caliber of working women at whom this book is aimed would take seriously writing like that or the naive recommendation that the best way to deal with Eves is to ""help them channel their damaging behavior into a more positive and healthy force.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1990
Publisher: St. Martin's