Sara Vanden Berge

Women are smiling a lot more at work these days and using their “inside” voices when bossing around their employees.

They’re worried that showing a crabby disposition will cost them.

Men, it’s been found, can get away with losing their temper in the work place, and, in fact, are rewarded for it. They’re seen as tough, smart, less likely to take any you-know-what from their competitors.

Women, on the other hand, are seen as out of control, incompetent and in need of some soothing medication when they show anger in the office.

Most working women I know can recall a time or two when they’ve lost their cool in the conference room, only to watch as the men in the room roll their eyes and check the time.

“Is she finished yet?” they mutter to themselves. “She’s nuts.”

What women don’t realize, however, is that getting mad at work is putting a pinch on their ability to purchase those strappy, new Manolo’s they’ve been eyeing. Turns out, women who are seen as aggressive or who show anger in the office, are paid thousands less every year than their male counterparts harboring the same disposition.

It’s all about appearance.

No matter how smart, ambitious or competent women are, they still have to find a way to tone it down. You know, prove that they can be savvy businesswomen, while still showing that nurturing, motherly side.

But men — or dads - as many of them are, get to be the disciplinarians, both at home and at work.

It’s an unfortunate double standard, perpetuated by years of social stereotyping and societal roles men and women have assumed.

This is bad news if you’re a woman named Hillary who is hoping to become the first-ever female president.

As the fight for the Democratic nomination turns bloody, Hillary has to clip her fingernails and bite her tongue. She’s got to be one of the guys while still being one of the girls. She’s got to prove she’s tough, but she has to do it nicely.

Meanwhile, women in business suits are whitening their teeth, showing their happy side and offering crumpets and tea to their co-workers. It’s called job security — and a guarantee that their next shopping trip to Nordstrom will be one they enjoy.

Sara Vanden Berge is News Editor of the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at sara.vandenberge@empiretribune.com. Her work number is 968-2379, ext. 240.