Woman (walking into man’s office): Hey, I was wondering if I could be assigned to that project we talked about at the meeting today?
Man: Um, I’m not sure that’s the best project for you right now.
Woman: Oh, what else did you have in mind?
Man: Well, why don’t you go get me some coffee?
Why was the man acting this way, and was he in the wrong for doing so?
1. The woman is too ambitious.
2. The man is right to put the woman in her place.
3. The man should treat the woman as a peer.
4. The man is the superior of the woman, and therefore has the right to tell the woman to get him a coffee.
The response a person has depends on two things. Firstly, if the person is from a culture with a high power distance or low power distance; people from a higher power distance will not be surprised that the man seemed so condescending to the woman, while people from a lower power distance culture will be shocked that the man was so rude to the woman. Secondly, cultures that are more masculine will side with the man, since masculine cultures prefer strict roles, but people from feminine cultures will have no problem with the woman wanting to take on a task that she wasn’t originally assigned to.