Gender Bias

I've had a few conversations lately that have reminded me once again how hard women are on each other. It was something I learned pretty quickly in my first job, where the company was almost entirely women. There was cattiness, passive aggression, and just general judgment and flat-out difficulty. As if straightforward business dealings and good personnel management were beyond the company's capacity. I would wonder if they were bad managers, or if it was just the heavy estrogen wafting through the corridors?

It's hard not to notice differences in working with men as opposed to working with women. Even when the women are talented, bright, and capable, it's still easy to butt heads or let conversations be clouded with emotion that doesn't belong there. It's something that doesn't happen between men, or even between men and women, often enough. I can respect my fellow working women as much as possible, but that doesn't make it easier to work together sometimes. For some reason I can take men at their word and not think about the subtext I do with women.

What is that? Why can't us ladies be direct with each other and not cry about it? Is it a lost cause?