Why Do We Tolerate Men Who Throw Tantrums?


Christian Bale‘s notorious rant has placed a spotlight on a phenomenon known as the male tantrum. Emma Jacobs of the Financial Times asks: Is this any way to behave in the workplace?

The answer is, of course, no. Business should not be conducted with rage-induced, expletive-filled rants. But: It is. And people excuse this behavior.

Darren Aronofsky, who has never worked with Christian Bale, is telling the BBC: “I think he was right. I don’t think he was out of line. It is a sacred time between action and cut. If it was the first time it was excusable, but a second time, that ruins it.”

My past experience involves working in magazines and people were certainly high-strung, especially around deadlines, photoshoots and printing errors (or errors that ended up being published). There were definitely male tantrums, but few and far between. A friend who worked at a film studio loves to talk about the dent in the wall from where her boss (a man) threw a book at an intern. I asked a friend who works in finance if men ever curse and blow their top at the office and he replied: “Yes. Daily.” Apparently just yesterday some dude was yelling “Have you lost your fucking mind? Can’t you see there is a recession out there?” to lower-level employee at the top of his voice. Emma Jacobs writes of a banker who “punched his boss but escaped reproach because he was making too much money.”

Women who throw fits or act like the world will stop if they don’t get what they want are labeled divas; but more often than not, women do not act like this in the workplace. (Has Anna Wintour ever had a tantrum?) But why is it that men — who, let’s face it, are often the majority and the senior players in business — are allowed to treat other humans like crap?

Zero Tolerance For Male Tantrums [FT]

Related: Aronofsky Defends Bale After Outburst [UPI]

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