Ms. Bartz’s Salty Language: A Proof of the Lack of Gender Equality in the Workplace?

If you frequently read the newspaper or if you follow the Silicon Valley’s activities, then you have probably heard of Carol Bartz. Ms. Bartz was recently terminated from her position as CEO of Yahoo! over the phone.

Ms. Bartz was one of the only women to hold such a prestigious and high-level position in the Internet and Computer field. She is well know for her “salty language,” and her fans were not disappointed when she called the board members that fired her over the phone a bunch of “doofuses” who “f—- me over.”

If this kind of language is considered common for a man, it seems that people are shocked when a woman utilizes such language. Her comments were judged so unusual by the Wall Street Journal that the newspaper decided to publish an amusing compilation of “Carol Bartz’s Best Quotes.”

So, is a woman socially allowed to curse at work? According to Deborah Tanne, a linguistics Professor at Georgetown University, “it stands out because it is not expected.” Ms. Bartz appears to be a forerunner, moving toward Gender Equality in the Workplace, specifically regarding the right to curse at work.

But this particular case asks a broader question of the women in the workplace. It is already shocking that women are generally paid less than men for the same position; but also that their work is not perceived in the same way in business and they are expected to have different behavior even more refined, than men at work. It seems that women are not socially allowed to show their anger as much as men in the workplace, as Ms. Bartz’s case shows.

The road for women to achieve sex equality in the workplace seems to be still a long one.