by Shannon Kelley Gould

Since women first began entering the workforce en masse more
than 40 years ago, we’ve been fed a steady stream of mixed
messages: To get ahead, you have to be assertive, confident, act
like a man! But you’re a woman, so play nice, and try to look good
while you’re doing it, would ya? Oh, and us sisters are all in it
together — there’s power in sisterhood! (Tell that to Star Jones
and Barbara Walters, now ex-coworkers from the daytime talk show,
The View, or Anna Wintour and Lauren Weisberger, the
real-life editor and her former assistant, upon which The Devil
Wears Prada
is based. Then tell that to the millions of us who
tuned in to watch the View fallout, or lined up to catch
the Devil premiere.) The result is that we’re coy about
being competitive, demure about our demands, and shocked when one
of us dares to step up and boldly assert herself. (Shocked, but boy
do we love hiding in our cubicle and engaging in a gossipy
post-mortem.) So what’s a girl to do? A crop of books examines the
struggle women go through trying to balance ambition and
competition with the desires to be likable and to be liked:   
I Can’t Believe She Did That!: Why Women Betray Other Women at
, by Nan Mooney

  Tripping the Prom Queen: The Truth About Women and
by Susan Shapiro Barash

  The Girl’s Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch):
Valuable Lessons, Smart Suggestions, and True Stories for
Succeeding as the Chick-in-Charge
, by Caitlin Friedman and
Kimberly Yorio

   Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office: 101 Unconscious
Mistakes Women Make That Sabotage Their Careers
, by Lois P.

   In the Company of Women: Indirect Aggression Among
, by Pat Heim, Susan Murphy, and Susan K. Golant


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