Femd om women online chatting
I can understand why people want to believe that women look out for each other - because with men in power at work and in politics, it makes sense for us to stick together.
In fact, there was a time when I believed in the Sisterhood - but that was before women at war led to my emotional and financial ruin.
So, in April 2005, I left my job, remortgaged my house - freeing up close to £100,000 - and began paying myself just £700 a month to set up this utopian business.
Having worked extremely hard for 12 years, I had lots of experience and a good reputation. I hired a team of seven staff and set up an office in Richmond upon Thames, Surrey.
While the women I interviewed claimed to be enthused by the idea, they still insisted on high salaries.
Fair enough, I thought at the time - they are professionals, and I knew most of them were talented and conscientious because I'd worked with them before.
It might sound like a scene from a tawdry reality show such as Big Brother, but the truth is a little more prosaic: it was just a normal morning in my office.
Two of the skinny girls often snidely said about the largest girl: 'I'd kill myself if I got that fat.' One of the assistants got her own back on the food police for several weeks by pretending to buy them fat-free lattes. Though at least she had a reason; most just turned up late regardless, and huffed 'That's the time my train gets in' if I pointed at the clock.
But I didn't challenge the decision not to hire her because I had a policy of picking my battles carefully.
The office was like a Milan catwalk, but with the competitiveness of a Miss World contest - and the low cunning of a mud-wrestling bout.
But within a week, two cliques had developed: those who had worked together before and those who were producing 'new ideas'.
Most days would bring a pointed moment when some people were invited out for lunch or a coffee break - and some weren't.
A fashion spat ended one friendship when Sarah and our young development researcher received the same surprise Christmas gift - a Chloe Paddington bag worth £900.