Gender and work in the devil wears prada essay

The Devil Wears Prada, tells a story about two women. One is Andy, played by Anne Hathaway, an aspiring journalist who goes to New York and finds herself working for a fashion magazine. This fashion magazine is run by Miranda Priestly, portrayed by Meryl Streep.
Even in these times, women are still considered to be soft and are expected to display a ‘ feminine’ kind of leadership. Feminine leaders are stereotyped for being soft, relationship oriented and even fickle minded. They are expected to be choosy with words, never causing offense. They are expected to be sensitive and able to form friendly working relationships even with subordinates.
Many people associate leadership to masculinity. Leaders are supposed to be authoritative, decisive, strong minded, aggressive and single-minded. All these characteristics are associated with male leaders. It is assumed that for a woman to be an effective leader, she has to give up her femininity and take a masculine approach in addressing her job and dealing with her subordinates. In the movie, Miranda Priestly is feared by her subordinates and often regarded as cruel because she exhibits a masculine type of leadership. She dismisses ideas that are not satisfactory to her and does this in an abrupt manner. She disregards questions and she does not seem to form any personal connections with her employees. Supposing that Miranda priestly was a man, her co-workers might have found her ways to be natural. This presents a double bind in the workplace wherein, a superior who is a man is allowed to be strong-handed, but when a woman assumes that characteristic she is brutal.
The character of Andy, had the conversation with their art Director, Nigel where she described her life to be ‘ hanging by a thread. This was because her decisions were questioned by her father and her relationship with her boyfriend suffered. Because of the demands for her job, she no longer has the time to answer the demands of her relationships. This shows us the expectations for a woman to labor in her career while maintaining perfect relationships and taking care of things a woman is supposed to care for. Supposing Andy was a man, she might not have been expected of this. Women in the workplace are often faced with the decision to choose between their career and their relationships as they rise in ranks. Fewer men have such problems because it is expected of them to allocate so much time in their work and rise above their feminine colleagues.
The movie represents the struggle of women in every workplace to balance their femininity as well as taking pages from what society calls as masculine leadership to be effective. It also tells us of their hardships to comply with what society and the people who they are in a relationship with while succeeding in their chosen careers.