Top Spy: Women Make 'Bloody Good' Agents

British officer opens door to would-be female spies
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 31, 2014 5:36 PM CDT
This undated publicity film image provided by Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. shows Jessica Chastain in "Zero Dark Thirty."   (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Jonathan Olley, File)

(Newser) – A British intelligence officer tells the Times of London that women make "bloody good spies" because they are fine multi-taskers who excel at "tapping into different emotional resources." As part of a Secret Intelligence Service recruitment campaign, the top spy dismissed the notion that female agents are over-emotional (Homeland's Carrie Mathison) or obsessed with sex (Mata Hari), the Guardian reports. In fact, a woman with a personality disorder "would not be selected" for service, she says, reports Australia's News Network. "You would be too much of a risk."

Speaking anonymously, the spy said her life as a working mother is hard to balance—but being married helps her connect to a range of people, from politicians to terrorists, the Daily Mail reports. "I'm less of a threat than a single female," she says. "They, the terrorist, have mothers, sisters, daughters." She also spoke of rewards beyond gender: "I have made the world a safer place through some of the operations I have done and the agents I have run. There is a strong moral reward to it." (For a weird spy story, check out Russia's hijacking of Ukraine's spy dolphins.)

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