Gini Dietrich

Women Are Our Own Worst Enemies

By: Gini Dietrich | December 7, 2011 | 

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

There is a very interesting debate happening online. It’s being highlighted with the Miss Representation Sundance film about media being derogatory to women.

The trailer shows media talking about Hillary Clinton “looking haggard and 92.” It shows a clip of Sarah Palin being asked by a reporter if she has breast implants. It shows a panel of men on a Sunday morning news program where they’re talking about Nancy Pelosi and whether or not she’s had plastic surgery. And then it shows Marc Rudov saying the only downside to having a woman in the Oval Office is the “PMS and mood swings.”

The most powerful women in America are being shut down, based on their looks and not on their intellectual capabilities.

Imagine if the same conversation happened around men.

President Obama, you have rock hard abs. Are those implants? Surely you don’t have enough time to exercise while running the country.

Marc Rudov, you seem to be concerned only with sex and a woman’s place with it. Can we take this to mean you have a small… glove?

How can we be taken seriously when it’s all about the body and not about the brain?

As a culture, women are brought up to be fundamentally insecure. We worry about our weight and when we can start wearing make-up and getting our ears pierced and the kinds of clothes we wear.

But this is short-changing our intellectual capital, our brains, and the voices that are needed in public forums. As a society, we’re not standing for the right value and principles. And the media is making it pretty clear what people should admire about women.

Don’t get me wrong. I think a woman’s sensuality is one of our best assets. But it’s only one of our best assets.

Here’s the thing, though. We’re our own worst enemies. In more than half of the clips the Miss Representation video uses, the comments are coming from other women.

We’re catty, we’re mean, and we’re judgmental. We treat one another poorly and we rarely support one another.

How can we expect men to treat us with respect when we don’t do it?

If we want things to change, it has to start with us. The next time you are faced with making a snap judgment about another woman, think twice. When you decide not to support a woman-owned business, I hope it’s based on lack of merits and not because it’s run by a woman.

Support one another. Be kind. From there change will happen.

If you’d like to see the trailer, you can find it below (or click here).

This first appeared on Women Grow Business.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • It is so true. Many women would rather tear each other down than build one another up. This past weekend, i got a very disturbing message from a woman I went to high school with on Facebook. She accused me of asking for gifts because I posted some of my son’s funnier items on his Santa list.

    I told her she has a right to her feelings, and I have every right to no longer deal with her. I can’t help everyone and sometimes I have to accept that.

    When it comes to business, women get praised for looks over brains more often than not. An incident on Twitter actually prompted me to do a post called “I Am NOT Your Barbie Doll” talking about this same issue. We would never talk this way about a man, so why is it okay to do this for women, and why must women accept it from higher ups?

    Now, that is the question that really needs to be answered before any progress can be made. Unfortunately, too many men (not all of course) have this objectification of women ingrained in them from a young age.

    • ginidietrich

      @NancyD68 I saw that post you’re talking about and in NO WAY did I take it as your asking for gifts or handouts. People are so strange. That really sucks. I’m sorry.

      I think we’re definitely making progress. I mean, Herman Cain is no longer running for President because he objectified women and thought he could get away with it.

      (Thanks for commenting here when you already commented at WGB)

      • @ginidietrich This is something I feel very strongly about. This is one of those subjects I could blog about for days on end as a woman who has been sexually harassed by male bosses more than once.

        Most recently, I had at my old job one of the bosses threaten to spank me if my work was subpar. I think he maybe watched the movie “Secretary” one time too many.

        We as women should not have to tolerate this, and as a consequence of quitting that job, I am now in a tough spot. Such is life.

        • ginidietrich

          @NancyD68 I was just thinking about that, actually. Do you quit a terrible job like that and put yourself in a precarious position? Or do you hang on and eventually get spanked? I think you did the right thing.

        • @ginidietrich I think there is a blog post in there.

  • danielnewmanUV

    I’m gong to be careful as a male responding here but I will say this.

    Woman remind me of the “Crabs in a Bucket” experiment that you may be aware of.

    When one tries to rise above (leave the bucket) there are always others there ready to pull them back down.

    Now this isn’t limited to just women, but the sometimes caddy nature of women can make this more apparent.

    I’ve met many incredibly intelligent women that don’t achieve their potential and it is a darn shame.

    Nice Post Gini.

    • ginidietrich

      @danielnewmanUV Men are allowed here! You’re right…it is the crabs int the bucket experiment. And it is a darn shame.

  • Girls Rule. Boys Drool.

    Sorry, childish antics aside, I work on this routinely with both of my kids (I have one of each…so it’s important to mention that). The expectations and treatment that I give to each one of them impacts their view of themselves, the world and the people around them.

    That trailer made me outraged and I continue to be outraged at the casual nature of videos, ads, movies in their objectification of women, particularly in scantily clad, awkward sexual positions. It truly does make me recoil. Songs on the radio are no better. It’s almost as if women think they can achieve equality if they sing about their sexual encounters as if they were a male rapper. That’s not the road to equality, ladies.

    You’re right, our sensuality is an asset, but it’s not the only asset. The problem is we have a hard time delivering on the other assets without coming across as a bitch or trying to ‘act like a man’. I worked in real estate development for years and was often the only woman on a job site. I had to balance my sweet side with my tough as nails side in order to get any respect. If was too ‘girly’, I wasn’t taken seriously. If I went too far in the other direction, I was trying too hard. I think in each situation, it’s understanding who you’re dealing with and what they value, that allows the intelligent woman to navigate and move ahead.

    • ginidietrich

      @EricaAllison I had a similar situation to yours. Early in my career, I worked on the Bayer Agriculture account. My job was to go into the corn and soybean fields and interview growers. I always went in a suit and heels because that was what I was required to wear at work. And they always lifted an eyebrow at me, but definitely gave me the time of day because I’m cute. Then I opened my mouth and I earned their respect. I really enjoyed that job because I saw a side of men you don’t often see…and it wasn’t about chasing the one woman around the fields. We had really intelligent conversations and I learned a ton.

  • Great post! You’ve outlined a number of key issues that I think present real challenges to women. Fortunately, growing up in S. Texas I grew up and worked with some amazingly strong women, who supported the ambitions and efforts of the women around them. I’m not saying they were perfect, but I think the more macho culture of S. Texas probably encouraged a little banding together.

    But next time I feel that little pang of insecurity, I’ll remember to think about where and why this emotion is surfacing.

    • ginidietrich

      @rideboulderco I like the thought that women band together because of the male macho culture. Have you seen (or read) The Help? It reminds me a little of that.

      • @ginidietrich I have to say that the women I worked with as I was just starting out in my career we’re awesome, hard-working women, who took little nonsense from anyone, including me. They made a huge impact on my life and to this day, I keep in touch with many of them.

        I have read but not seen The Help and really enjoyed it.

  • It’s true — and it’s awful. There are even subdivisions of the working vs. the nonworking, the mothers vs. the non-mothers. It’s all so depressing. As someone who has worked in all-female offices often and who went to an all-girls high school I like to think I go out of my way to be cognizant of this and support other women, but often feel the pull of peers to join a conversation about another woman’s just or unjust success. Thanks for the valuable reminder to be supportive and kind — even in the face of adversity. On a personal note, thank you for being always kind, supportive and generous with me, @ginidietrich I value our relationship highly.

    • ginidietrich

      @Marijean You are SO RIGHT about the working vs. nonworking and the mothers vs. the nonmothers. My favorite thing is when women ask me why I don’t have kids. I’ve started making things up just to see the disdain on their faces. When, in fact, it’s none of their business.

      And…thank you! I think you’re pretty cool, myself.

  • I’d like to respond on a couple points here. The first is that the general idea here is right. Women are being over-sexualized, and at a very young age. I have a younger sister and it annoys me to no end when she uses a ton of make up and all that (although as the bigger brother I guess she’s always going to be 5 years old to me).

    The other point is that you can’t really focus on congress or government as the measuring stick. I may be making some people unhappy here…but I think the vast majority of the people in government are just inept – including the women.

    Maybe women aren’t in congress because they are smarter than that. And they try to make a real difference and create real value (like you Gini!), rather than playing the power-grab game.

    • ginidietrich

      @EugeneFarber I’m with you about politicians being inept. But the point is the things the media are saying about women in positions of power. Unfortunately, most are politicians. They also do the same for musicians and celebrities, but they’re not as “mean” as they are to the women in DC.

      • @ginidietrich The media may be saying hurtful things about women in DC…but I can find countless examples of them not being very nice to the men either :).

        But again, in that case I think most of them deserve it. The media is just really not doing a good job of focusing on the reasons they shouldn’t be nice. Breast implants or face lifts should be a non-starter. Policies and views should be the focus.

        But that’s not as entertaining. I don’t think we really have true media and reporting – we have entertainment.

        And that is where real problem lies, in my opinion, in entertainment. Especially things like music videos…or the Kardashians. Far more people pay attention to that than DC anyway.

        • ginidietrich

          @EugeneFarber Exactly. You made the point perfectly.

  • Great post, Gini. I recently discovered a group in Canada called “We Connect” (see There is a similar organization in the US. Both groups certify women business owners so that companies who have diversity supplier programs can identify women-owned businesses (and other “minorities”) , hire them and broaden their supply chain. It’s a great idea to help women succeed and support one another. It’s one of my goals to get certified in 2012 and I encourage other women owned businesses to do the same.

    • ginidietrich

      @Shelley Pringle I’ve never certified my business because it’s such a huge undertaking and one I just haven’t committed the resources to completing. Plus, I have a chip on my shoulder about it. I want to win business on our own merits. Not because we’re woman-owned certified.

      • @ginidietrich You need to brush that chip off your shoulder right now! I recently attended the National Conference in Toronto and every women there stressed that the certification does not win you business. It does help you get access to organizations who, let’s face it, are not going to hire a PR partner just because the company is owned by a woman. Also, the certification process is not onerous at all in Canada (I don’t know what it is in the US). Just my two cents, and hugely off topic by now, given all the commenting on this post.

        • @Shelley Pringle@ginidietrich I’m kinda with Gini on this one. I know not everyone thinks this way, but when I work with someone, it’s because I think they are the best, regardless of gender, or any other criteria. A certification like that means nothing to me. And yes, I’m a man.

  • LorriW

    I watched this film, and was even more outraged. I have no idea when this will stop. I feel like as a gender, we are telling all of the women that fought for suffrage, equal employment, Title 9…thanks but no thanks..we haven’t bothered to continue the fight for equal pay for equal work…does our gender even care?

    • ginidietrich

      @LorriW That is SUCH a great point! I wish I’d thought to put that in the blog post. It outrages me every time it’s time to vote. Women fought for our right to vote and yet so many of us don’t.

  • MarcGirolimetti

    I need to play the role of (fill in the blank) advocate. I guess the only advocate I’m really playing is the XX Chromosome Advocate. I think, at no time in history, have women been smarter, more confident and powerful and it’s only going to get better. Like any cultural shift or sweeping change, there will be a vocal minority who fears that change and will do anything to suppress it. Ten years ago there’s no Gini. There’s no Leah Busque, founder of Task Rabbit, who is absolutely tearing it up. There’s no Dayna Grayson, who is leading the digital group for Northbridge Venture Partners. Three women who I know and love, that I would kill to work with. So instead of focusing on the negative let’s focus on the awesome, because there’s an abundance of it that needs to be celebrated.

    Let the assholes, with either chromosome, duke it out in their vicious circles. Eventually they’ll be irrelevant and all alone…most likely crying for their mommies. 😉

    • ginidietrich

      @MarcGirolimetti LOL! This is one of the many reasons I love you. But, unfortunately, women are mean to one another. It’s shocking sometimes. Watch it when your wife’s friends are around. I’m willing to bet a majority of them talk about a woman who isn’t with them.

  • I seriously have ZERO patience for this. I went to a all girls catholic high school – can you say dog eat dog for 4 years! I have so little patience for it that I tend to snip about it if it happens and I witness it immediately!

    Women are so terrible to each other! It is even bad in the 2nd grade where my 7 year old! When will understand that competition is one thing total sabotage of our gender is another!

    • ginidietrich

      @sydcon_mktg I grew up with four brothers so I’ve never had tolerance for the cattiness of women. It’s really awful and I don’t know what the solution is for our kids.

      • KamaTimbrell

        I really wish the attributes of some people wouldn’t be applied to “women.” @ginidietrich @sydcon_mktg

  • JCMorganKreidel

    Excellent post, Gini and I’ve enjoyed reading many of the responses. We’ve all encountered Catty Club stuff at some point – luckily, for me, as I grow older it seems to be less dramatic, but it’s still there, under the surface.

    Twenty years ago when I was in boot camp, my all female company couldn’t get it together because our so-called “smart girl company” was a den of in-fighting and nastiness, with few able to lead effectively and all just wanting to offer running negative commentary, rather than be a part of the solution. We ended up graduating last, graduating yes, but with a feeling that maybe the road ahead wasn’t going to be so much fun.

    I may have never had such a flagrant “Women can’t get along” moment in my career again, but buying into stereotypes has colored my choices. From who to seek out as a mentor, to how many female friends I have in ratio to men, even what organizations I joined. Two years ago, I joined a professional networking organization geared toward the education and mentorship of women (Women in Defense, Greater Hampton Roads) and while I was hopeful of what it had to offer, I have to admit I was concerned it would be one of two things: a gossipy pseudo-sorority (no offense to the Greeks) or an only the cool kids would land business proposition.

    Happy to report that these are some of the smartest people – not just women – I’ve ever encouraged, largely because they’re willing to toss aside stereotypes and help one another out, not perpetuate the Crabs in a Bucket experiment Daniel mentioned. Regardless of what you look like (small, large, young, old, male or female) this is a great community and gives me hope because I do still have to reign myself back from my caution of other women, but you know what, I think it first begins with the woman staring back at you in the mirror, as you decide how much battle paint is necessary for the day. The quote from Alice Walker is dead on — and by not valuing yourself, by running yourself down, you not only allow other people’s comments to seem true in your ears, but you allow yourself to run others down, too. Who really gets ahead when that’s the status quo?

    • ginidietrich

      @JCMorganKreidel This is an excellent comment! I think we all have experienced what you describe…our stereotypes color our decisions. I grew up with four brothers (and one sister) so I tend to have more relationships with men than women. But you really struck a nerve. Do I do that on purpose, without really realizing it?

      • JCMorganKreidel

        @ginidietrich@JCMorganKreidel Truth tellers always get the best discussions going! I’ve really enjoyed watching this conversation evolve over the morning.

        To your question, do you mean, do some of us unconsciously choose to have more male friends than female? Do some even do it consciously? I’d say definitely maybe, even probably.

        I used to pretend I had more guys friends because I was so much more honest than the average chick, and with a lot of guys, what you see is what you get. In your 20s, it’s nice to be considered a decent gal to hang out with, free from some negative stereotypes.

        But, if I’m honest, I think not only has it been an element of simply where I’ve worked (where there were more men to begin with), but intimidation. It’s not that I haven’t cared what opinion men have had of me, but I’ve been more concerned with what women think of me – what stereotype would I be in their mind?

        I’m not really sure why I was hard wired that way, perhaps it’s because as women we begin with the same pieces-parts, so the comparisons are easier to make, and by extension, one can assume it’s easier to find you wanting. Why wouldn’t you want to avoid that and hang out with the fellas – with guys, their estimation is different. And you can talk yourself blind trying to outline how differently men and women build relationships, and I bet you, a goodly number of stereotypes will rear their ugly heads. My husband likes to point out the obvious, that stereotypes are rooted in some truth, no matter how small. Get to the root of it – prove it in fact false, or embrace it for what it’s worth if it is true, and perhaps then the stereotype, or the fear of them, isn’t something that holds you back.

        You get a little older, hopefully a little more secure in your own skin, you care less about what other people MIGHT be thinking about you behind their eyes. Ironically, that’s about the time you’re more open to being a supportive friend, business associate, colleague, etc.

        • @ginidietrich I saw your post early this morning on my phone and should have commented then. Dang!

          I have experienced this a few times for myself (actually, just this week), and seen it for other women. When I was in my teens, I had three best girlfriends and was devastated when I found out that one had bitched about me behind my back, for no reason other than to position herself as superior. The relationship was eventually repaired, but it was never the same.

          Over the years I’ve come to have more women friends, though the ones I consider extremely close are few and far between (as I do with friends in general). But it wasn’t always so; for many years, particularly before I got married, I had more male friends because of what @JCMorganKreidel mentions above.

          I think one of the factors that breeds this cattiness is competition, even if it’s not acknowledged as such, and I personally am uncomfortable with that. To me friendship – especially between women – should be about being supportive as opposed to thinking, “Oh, she’s doing that, I will too, and I’m gonna show her up.” I don’t know if this is a woman thing, though, or dependent on the make-up of one’s personality. For me, it has happened, when it’s happened, primarily with women. And I really don’t get it.

        • ginidietrich

          @Shonali Yeah, I can see that. I totally think that every time I see you. HAHAHAHA! I’m SUPER competitive, but I almost prefer to compete with men because they don’t take it personally. So I think you’re right. There is something about women and competitiveness that doesn’t mix.

        • @ginidietrich LOL! I know you’re competitive – but it’s in a good way. It’s not personal. It’s about being the best that you can be, and do the best that you can do. So you’re super-competitive, but I think it’s mostly with yourself. I’m like that too. But I’m not going to plow someone down to get where I want to get… or make them feel bad because they’re getting ahead and I’m not – assuming we’re trying to get to the same place but all I’ve done is sit on my tush while they work it… that’s what I mean. 🙂

        • ginidietrich

          @Shonali You’re totally right. I would never plow anyone down to get ahead. Well, anyone except dannybrown

        • @ginidietrich @Shonali Get back in the kitchen.

  • This is something I’ve always been keenly aware of, and it’s why I love seeing women succeed. I love helping other women, hiring women in my business, and generally just being a cheer-leader for girls everywhere. The media is definitely doing a lot of damage, and I think a lot can be done by parents and teachers since this girl-against-girl thing starts at a really early age.

    Let’s hear it for the smart girls, the ones who are being seen for the value they provide and not just the mini skirts and the make up. I know each one of us is making a difference, even if it’s only in our little corners of the world. 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @NathLussier Even though mini skirts rule! And you, my friend, are one of the smart women I love to watch succeed!

  • I used to write and speak about this a lot. Our culture has done a great disservice to our young girls. Just walk down the aisle at the grocery store and look at the magazine covers. There are no real women represented. They all have personal trainers, then go through hours of makeup and hair styling, then are shot with perfect lighting. And then after all of that, we photoshop and make them “perfect”. No girl or woman can live up to that expectation. No wonder we have such a problem with eating disorders and body image issues and esteem. And no wonder our young boys grow up to objectify women because this is what they see. Would they rather have the girl next door with acne and braces or the woman on the cover? It’s no contest, and it’s sad. Very sad.

    • @KenMueller I have two nieces who are GORGEOUS. One has a severe eating disorder because of these images in the media. What is truly sad is that we do not value kindness or intelligence or decency. We value bra size, pants size and how long and pretty a woman’s hair is.

      This makes me incredibly sad and in many ways, we have ourselves to blame. We keep companies that objectify women not just afloat, but flourishing. If people really got together and said ‘no more” maybe Madison Ave would be forced to listen. It would take a huge effort, and I hope we see it come to pass in my lifetime.

      • @NancyD68@KenMueller Nancy, my 7 year-old daughter is aware of all this and has been for a long time now. A 7 year-old boy can go to school with “bed head” and not much is said but not a 7 year-old girl. By that point comments are made and things are said.

        If I tell my daughter that she can’t snack on something because we are going to eat dinner in 5 minutes she asks if I am saying she is fat. We don’t talk like that here. I don’t ever remark on her weight. She isn’t chunky either.

        But I know from speaking to other parents that the girls are all doing this.

        • @TheJackB@KenMueller That is just tragic to me. The madness needs to stop.

        • ginidietrich

          @TheJackB@NancyD68 Ug. I can’t believe, at 7, she already is asking if that means she’s fat. That IS tragic.

      • ginidietrich

        @NancyD68 I suffer that a little bit. I’m definitely self-conscious of my weight and my body. Because of the images we see of the “perfect” woman, I spent ALL of my 20s trying to get rid of every little imperfection on my body. Maybe it’s part of getting older, but now I’m not quite as obsessed with trying to have the perfect body.

        • @ginidietrich When I left my husband, he said to me “you are 36 years old and have a kid – who is going to want you?” I have to say, I watch what I eat, but I stopped obsessing about my body a while ago. I now have a no-bs policy about my body. Don’t like my body? Don’t date me. It has made my life MUCH better.

          But I do relate to wanting that perfect body. I think I told you the Prom Queen wore Spanx to our reunion right? We are all insecure about our looks to one degree or another.

    • ginidietrich

      @KenMueller I had a very strange experience like that, actually. I write for a very large online publication and they Photoshoppped my professional photo. Every time I see it, I think, “What did they do to me?!?” It also kind of hurt my feelings because I think my professional photos are really good. They didn’t need to be changed!

      • @ginidietrich@KenMueller My son hates your professional photos. He loves the one of you with the big laugh. I think that one is great too. You do NOT need to be photoshopped at all! Me, on the other hand…I need all the help I can get! 🙂

        • @NancyD68@ginidietrich they photoshopped YOUR photos? yeesh. i can see them photoshopping me, but not you. That’s why I love the photo shoot that Jamie Lee Curtis did for More Magazine about 9 years ago. She made sure they showed the REAL her alongside the photoshopped version.

        • @KenMueller@ginidietrich They are even photoshopping models to the point where even skinny models have almost no waist. They don’t even look human! Why? Leave people alone! Fix MINOR flaws if you have to, but leave the rest alone!

        • @NancyD68@ginidietrich Gini, I’m curious if you read Clay Shirky’s blog from early 2010 where he basically asserted that women need to be bitchier in order to succeed. Curious on your thoughts. I wrote a blog post in response as a guest post for someone, but that site seems to be down at the moment so I can’t link to it.

  • I started my business 28 years ago. Unfortunately, then, as now, there’s as @danielnewmanUV state, the crabs in a bucket problem.

    But not everywhere. I find that, with the women online, we have a desire, an intention and a mission to support others…not just other women, but everyone. Call me Pollyanna, but if I were looking to find colleagues, associates, peers and friends to support and who support me, I’d look to those I’ve met online. At the in-person events, it’s sad and almost comical to watch the women-to-women shenanigans.

    And the beginning of the video? Powerfully repulsive.

    Thanks Gini, for this post: it’s too bad we’re still fighting what shouldn’t be a fight at all.

    • @KDillabough@danielnewmanUV we forget in the US women only were allowed to vote less than 100 years ago. Minorities only 40. The US has never been a progressive country aside from our Constitution. We have consistently treated other groups of people like dirt or less than dirt. Until recently in the US unless you were white european stock christian male you were less than human. Aside from WW1 and WW2 we have never been a good country (I have the proof if I upset any of the patriots here).

      So it is a long fight Kaarina sadly and it is not close to being done.

      • @HowieSPM@danielnewmanUV Sad that it’s true:(

    • ginidietrich

      @KDillabough Pollyanna.


  • I think plenty is said about men. But for different things. But there is an oppression or women. And I am sure this can be said about minorities in the US. People who claim to be victims often take actions supporting their victimization. Do you know how many wealthy Jewish people I have met in my life are lousy tippers. But they buy $40k cars? I myself over tip because I have to fight the Jewish being cheap stereotype. The hard part is how do you fight something when every ‘victim’ doesn’t rally? Poor people voting GOP means they vote to stay poor. Women who want to be 50’s house wives don’t help the ones who want equality.

    This is a very complex issue covering wide sections of society. But how does one change these behaviors?

    • @HowieSPM What is a lousy tip?

      • @TheJackB less than 10% is lousy. In NYC area where I grew up 15% was expected for good service and 20% for great service. LA is similar.

        • @HowieSPM Ultimately it is a hard question to answer and or quantify- expectations of service are subjective.. FWIW, I am not convinced that voting for either party indicates an interest in remaining rich or poor, but that is a separate issue.

        • @TheJackB I posted on G+ the latest Economist chart showing the US has the highest income inequality in the first world and growing. My issue is both parties have it wrong anyway. The problem has zero to do with taxation. Taking money from the rich and giving to the poor is wrong.

          But someone posted a great saying:

          People are earning more than the work they are doing. And people are earning less than the work they are doing.

          That is what needs to be fixed. 80% of the US jobs hover just above poverty in pay. So the bottom needs to be paid more so they can spend it and pay taxes.

          So you are correct neither party addresses this problem. One thinks showering the rich and business with money works. The other thinks taking it as Government and then giving it to people works. Pretty messed up. Both would fail B-School.

          That said if I was poor I at least would choose the ones who would give me the money! LOL

    • joecardillo

      @HowieSPM I think we tend to accept stereotypes that we shouldn’t, and we allow people to position “common sense” that isn’t really common sense at all when you look at it closely. I like this article for not only pointing out what’s wrong with the way women are marginalized but also how to change it– >>

      “A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not “Crazy””

    • ginidietrich

      @HowieSPM Uh oh. You’re going to get @TheJackB riled up!

      • @ginidietrich@HowieSPM Nah, I don’t get riled up…ever….about…anything. 😉

  • WigglyKoala

    “If we want things to change, it has to start with us. The next time you are faced with making a snap judgment about another woman, think twice.”

    I think this is mentioned in a few places within the comments but I strongly believe that we cannot expect any kind of equality with statements like this. It’s close but not quite right.

    “If we want things to change, it has to start with us. The next time you are faced with making a snap judgment about another person, company, software, any inanimate object, think twice.”

    • ginidietrich

      @WigglyKoala I agree…but the blog post is about media objectifying women. And, as much as it sucks, women do make snap judgements about other women, based on what they’re wearing or what kind of handbag they’re carrying. Women need to buck up and treat one another with respect.

  • WOW love love love this post. I remember when I was younger and getting into the middle school years, girls were just not nice to each other. My mother told me this exact thing that as women we need to support each other, not hurt one another or put each other down. I am forwarding this post to her right now because she would love even more than she already does (from what I’ve told her about you 😉 ). I think this is something we must also instill in our children, both boys and girls in order to ensure the next generation doesn’t do the same thing.

    Thank you for bringing light to this Gini! But really are you sure you don’t do something to get those thick locks of yours?! 😉

    • PS Shonali and I were just talking about this yesterday…are you spying on us?! Super creepy Gini…

    • megmroberts

      @rachaelseda I am so grateful for my mother for instilling similar values in me at a young age, too. Our moms rock. 🙂 Seriously, though, girls are mean. When I was in sixth grade, I was the subject of an entire slam book that two other girls wrote. Finding that destroyed my confidence for years. Needless to say, women like @ginidietrich empower me to make sure fewer young women experience those situations. This is why I am so committed to Girls on the Run. Since I began volunteering with this organization, I’ve learned how powerful lessons of positive self-esteem really are for girls and women in both personal and professional/academic settings.

      • ginidietrich

        @megmroberts@rachaelseda When I was in college, the girl who lived next door to me in the dorms would make fun of me because I wore two coats of mascara. It made me feel really self-conscious about my eyes. And now?! GUESS WHAT?!? All the fashion magazines tell you to wear two to four coats of mascara.

        I think about that crazy woman and how she made me feel every time I see that advice. It’s nuts I made her let me feel so self-conscious.

  • joecardillo

    Lots of great comments already — wanted to add this article to the mix, kind of touches on what people are talking about in terms of girls being inundated from a young age with the wrong messaging, and how to combat that….

    • ginidietrich

      @joecardillo Ohhhhh! Another great article (I started at the bottom of the comments). Thank you!

      • joecardillo

        @ginidietrich YW =) It’s a go to text for me, and while it talks specifically about what we can do to change the framework/language around girls growing up, it’s also surprisingly relevant to us grown ups too.

  • karirippetoe

    You know, this is the second article I’ve read this week about the perpetuation of negative stereotypes in women. The other article I read was about women being regarded as “crazy”, “overly emotional/sensitive”, etc. – referred to by the (male) author as “gaslighting.” This is something I’m more familiar with and it resonates with me on a personal level. Here’s the article:

    I think that women can be just as guilty of gaslighting toward other women as men are. @ginidietrich , the video you include has many examples of this – especially at the beginning with the female news reporter saying Hillary looked “haggard” and “92.” Comments like those perpetuate insecurity in women – about their looks, intelligence and emotional stability. And documentaries like this are great for bringing the issue to light, but you’re right that change has to start with us. Acting like victims and not making efforts to change ourselves, as well as the perception of people around us, is not going to do us any good.

    BTW – I found out about the article I referenced above through an AWESOME group of very supportive women in the Washington, DC area called DC Web Women. I shared your article with them as well! 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @karirippetoe “Acting like victims and not making efforts to change ourselves, as well as the perception of people around us, is not going to do us any good.”


    • @karirippetoe@ginidietrich I saw this too. I am in DC Web Women. DCWW rocks! I love this group.

  • wendyroan

    Harvard Business Review’s Why Men Still Get More Promotions Than Women,, explains how culture contributes to our challenges.

    • ginidietrich

      @wendyroan Oh – I’ll go check it out. Thanks!

  • jackielamp

    Love. This.

    • @jackielamp just the man keeping you down Jackie!

    • ginidietrich

      @jackielamp Love. You.

  • Oh wow, I had heard about Miss Representation, but never seen a trailer. Thank you, @ginidietrich.

    • ginidietrich

      @lamiki Crazy, huh?

  • ElissaFreeman

    Madeline Albright once said, “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” How true. Women are now in more management positions than ever and have the power to nurture a new generation of up-and-comers. But, first you have to be secure in yourself and your own power to succeed – and secure enough to share that power and watch others succeed. Easier said than done…for anybody.

    • ginidietrich

      @ElissaFreeman I really hope I’m doing that with the up-and-comers who work with me.

      • ElissaFreeman

        Me too. I just wonder if they get what you’re trying to do. Sometimes I do remind them…in a good way…

  • I refuse to comment on this post on the grounds that I might tend to incriminate myself. These protections are granted to me under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

    • ginidietrich

      @wabbitoid LMAO!! I’m pretty sure no one has ever commented here with their Fifth Amendment right ever before. That’s awesome!

  • I was thinking about this earlier this week when I heard a story about a female working in sports who ended up pressing charges against a famous football player who was inappropriate with her while giving him a tour of Cowboys Stadium. I heard so many women who were defending this players actions and saying it’s “not a big deal” and that she was overreacting – some even implied that by being female and working in sports she was “asking for it”. (Sigh). Ladies have to step up and take each others backs. You speak so much truth Gini.

    • ginidietrich

      @Maranda Shut. Up. I have to look this up. They’re saying she was asking for it?! Oh. My.

  • I think this boils down to how people justify their acts. Usually the root cause is fear or some kind of serious (ideological) disagreement. The examples you gave are pretty mild unfortunately but your message is important.

    • ginidietrich

      @hackmanj It just would be nice to hear about the international work Hillary Clinton is doing instead of how she looks. I’d look haggard after going back and forth like that, too.

      • @ginidietrich@hackmanj I think women like Hilary are great role models for young women whether you agree with her or not. She has proven that young women can and should be in high positions.

      • @ginidietrich or Sarah Palin’s accomplishments in Alaska. She’s been called every possible name by other women publicly in the media, I would probably have a similar view had I not grown up at least part of my life in a rural environment. She doesn’t elicit the same reaction from me that she seems to from many people. Like I said it’s really along ideological boundaries most of the time. Not to take things off the rails here but it’s all about the wedges people use to fire up their “base”. I’m so sick of it and the ends don’t justify the means. I am going to start calling people out on that more I think. They are all people, we don’t need to demonize them, figure out what you agree on and work from there. This us vs them crap has to stop.

        • @hackmanj@ginidietrich I agree. I’m not a Palin fan, but women’s organizations were loathe to come to her defense when people trashed her. Instead they piled on because she didn’t fit their definition of what a “woman” was, in a different way, and in terms of her politics.

      • @ginidietrich@hackmanj And what is wrong with looking old? What is with the ageism thing anyhow? I am getting sick of people picking on Hillary.

  • vmaione

    Loved this post, and it got me thinking…having started my career in the 70’s, I remember being inspired by the book, “The Managerial Woman.” (I don’t know if anyone even reads this anymore, or knew the impact it had way-back-when.) At the time I was in senior management for a women’s fitness franchise (and most franchisees/corporate staff were women, but the Pres and VP were men). When we’d have “issues” with franchise owners, too often they would be attributed to those “emotional, hormone-crazed” women. Later in my career I became a VP of another organization — this one was male-dominated — a tax franchise. When we would have similar “issues,” however, they would be attributed to those “nerdy, unemotional” men. In both cases, the issues were actually due to the friction that often occurs in the franchisor-franchisee relationship. It was a light-bulb, “aha moment” in my career.

    • ginidietrich

      @vmaione That is REALLY interesting. And you’re right – it sounds exactly like the friction between franchisor and franchisee. Not all due to the gender, but to the relationship. Interesting.

  • jennimacdonald

    Gini thank you for posting this. The video really caught my attention. I have always had strong beliefs against how the media portrays women. I always try to relay the right message to the group of women in my life.

    I am sick of having girlfriends who become anorexic or bolemic to try and fit into this perfect image of a woman. I can only count on one hand the girls I know my age who have self-confidence. That is sad!

    We can’t change this until we start talking about it, and hopefully today change will begin. We can all make a difference. Tell your daughters, nieces, cousins, friends that they are beautifu, smart and special every day!

    • ginidietrich

      @jennimacdonald <—– What she said!

  • Gini for President! Love this post, Gini. It deserves a great big, AMEN (or Awomen).

    • ginidietrich

      @Katie Gutwein Awomen?! LOL!!

  • Yep, Gini – you rock! And you are SO right! We bitch and moan about men doing it and then we turn right around and do it ourselves! Ack! Just more of the brainwashing that we need to WASH OUT OF OUR BRAINS!

    • ginidietrich

      @LisaMarieMary Where have you been?! I miss you!

      • @ginidietrich You’re just the sweetest ever! Life’s been wacko crazy, trying to pull me under, I tell ya! I’m kickin’ back and takin’ names now, though – not gonna let it get me! 😉

  • KamaTimbrell

    I don’t think it’s fair to say women as a group rarely support one another. That’s the exact kind of thinking we should avoid. I see examples of women supporting one another every day. It’s far from rare.

    • ginidietrich

      @KamaTimbrell Perhaps you’re right and maybe my view is skewed because I work in an industry full of women. But my experience has been that we do not support one another. It goes from making fun of another woman because of what she’s wearing to saying Hillary Clinton looks haggard after two years of traveling internationally.

      • @ginidietrich@KamaTimbrell Speaking as a man here, because, well, I am one, but I’ve heard quite a few professional women voice what Gini has voiced here, and I’ve even witnessed it. I think men do the same thing, but not to that degree. Clearly you can’t make broad sweeping statements that apply to everyone.

      • KamaTimbrell

        The problem I have with these types of posts, expecting the entirety of womanhood – down to every single member – to rise above the cultural misogyny, is that it ignores that women are also a product of the culture they are raised in. Rather than tsk tsking the Michelle Malkins of the world (is anyone really surprised she’d voice such an opinion about a liberal woman) and applying her behavior to “women,” let’s talk about how the culture creates women who are misogynists, and don’t even recognize it. @ginidietrich

    • I think so to. I don’t see this heavy competitive thing going on. I am part of an online women’s group in my profession, and it is absolutely great. I might just be lucky. I also am a freelancer, so if I see obnoxious behavior on anyone’s part, I just move on.

  • The trailer is cool – I shared it when I first saw it HOWEVER, I feel that telling young girls that they are at a disadvantage at a young age is the only way these teens would come up with such an idea.

    The gender discrimination thing is only there is you choose to accept it. I live by the rules that if I want something badly enough I’ll go get it – If the prerequiste is a penis then I’ll figure a way to get to where I want to go by sidestepping that route and finding another.

    Yes, I get really angry if I am objectified as a woman, really angry. I yell, scream and then move on – there will always be idiots out there looking to drag you down to their level – penis possession is optional appendage in defining an idiot.

    Be kind to everyone … penis, vagina or both … really.

    • ginidietrich

      @Ameena Falchetto I think it starts with us, though. We need to respect one another before men will.

      • @ginidietrich Sorry but it’s comments like that that hold women back – the gender debate is only issue if we make it one. Play the game, move the goal posts – smacking your head against the same tree over and over will only achieve the same results.

        Let your work speak for itself. I’m not going to go out of my way to be nice to someone because they happen to share the same anatomy as me – we have to have more in common – I have to see them trying.

        Respect people for being people – don’t bias it on biology. Personally I find this topic actually discriminating to men – what would you say if men grouped together and said they needed “boy power”?

        • @Ameena Falchetto @ginidietrich that’s a bold overview Ameena. Sometimes it’s really hard to try to look beyond the obvious. Even with the best intentions it is possible to inadvertently acknowledge or pay homage to the very thing we’re speaking out against. Strangely enough I felt that very thing was occurring in that video, but in general I appreciate what they are trying to accomplish.

          I have had similar discussions about ethnicity along these lines. I take your perspective in those discussions but I have to confess I didn’t consider it here.

        • Mehhayes

          @Ameena Falchetto @ginidietrich.
          Ameena, it is the hatred of woman towards other woman that hold us back. I have seen the most kind, empathetic, hard working woman treated unkind and disrepectfully from mean woman wether it be from a group of them in their herd mantality or by a single
          person. Isn’t just your assumption/opinion wether they are trying or not that doesn’t warrant a person to not treat another nice or with respect. The fact is YOU don’t know what all makes up that person. Being nice means being nice TO a person and AWAY from a person. otherwise it is ungenuine and false. Woman especially judge and criticize other woman when they don’t do things the way they would do them. New employees on the job have an especially hard time with those that look for targets. If you ask me woman that treat ANYONE like this has a bit of an abusive personality. Men do see how woman treat one another and they do have opinions of that. While woman are beating each other up men or other woman are taking advantage of paying attention to the lack of attention where it needs to be spent by the “nasties and the targets” and moving forward. Oh and only weak woman join other woman in their which hunts because they don’t want to be a target and to me that makes them cowards which is worse. To know better is to do better. Shame on the people who behave in these Ill-mannered ways.

    • @Ameena Falchetto I think what you’re saying about having a choice in this is really important. It’s pretty amazing how some of the recent comments have added a layer to this discussion. We always have a choice to stop, fight, scream, etc, but sometimes the best thing to do is to not allow it to derail us. After all wasn’t that sort of their intention to begin with? I think the gender aspect of this is important and it needs the attention but the wisdom of the discussion seems to go quite a bit further.

      • @hackmanj I sometimes think it’s all to easy to point the finger rather than actually address the problem. I was a young, half egyptian woman working on construction sites in Dubai a while ago – I could have cried about the discrimination but I didn’t – similarly, when I was told I was a bit too beige to be considered for a job I moved on WITHOUT letting it knock me.

  • MSchechter

    Out of curiosity, do you think it is important that you focus in on being a strong woman or in making gender irrelevant?

    • ginidietrich

      @MSchechter I prefer to focus on being a strong woman. But I do think what Miss Representation is doing is important work. That’s why I highlighted it here.

  • Keena Lykins

    Excellent topic, and I agree 100 percent with almost everything said below. In my experience, women can be incredibly supportive of each other, but I’ve also noticed that more times than not, we view each other as competition, regardless of whether we’re in a professional or personal situation. What I find most disturbing is the unrealistic ideas of beauty coupled with the pornification of our culture. Even beauty becomes irrelevant if you’re not a “slut.” My niece is 14 and sees this play out among her peers on a daily basis. it’s frightening.

    • ginidietrich

      @Keena Lykins No. Way. Hi!! I feel self-conscious now. There is a published author commenting here, people!

      It’s funny you say that about your niece because just last night a friend of mine from high school texted me and said, “The girls in high school must not have parents.” He was at his son’s band concert and I guess they were scantily clad.

  • terence.stephens

    Being raised by a single mom and watching how men treated here and my sister, I actually became a bit of a feminist (and hopefully learned a thing or two that helps me to treat the women in my life well).

    I’d never thought of it from the mean girls perspective. Did you see the report today that women are actually more misogynistic on MTV than men?

    • ginidietrich

      @terence.stephens No! I missed that. I’m off to find it. And…thank you!

    • KamaTimbrell

      Being a feminist only requires one to believe that men and women should have the same social, political, and economic rights. Who isn’t a feminist? @terence.stephens

  • girlygrizzly


    Gini, seriously! You are THE woman!!

    This time in my life, right now and for these last, say 2-3 years, is the first time since my very young years that I have had GOOD women friends…because you are right! Maybe it’s about growing up, but I don’t think so. There is something really special to be had from girl-friends and women mentors.

    We already had the rest of the conversation earlier this year which resulted in my “Don’t call me a bitch” post!! LOL.

    Happy (and safe) Holidays my friend!


    • ginidietrich

      @girlygrizzly Did you say (and safe) because you think I’m going to kill myself on the ski slopes this year?! 🙂

      You know, I think social media has brought some of us together in a way that never would have happened in the offline world. I mean, I never would have known about your Alaska adventures and being in the field. And I certainly wouldn’t have been able to support you. Now I happily do!

  • oooo this is good….makes me thing of a book read not too long ago.
    Did you ever read “Cinderella Ate My Daughter”? It was written by Peggy Orenstein. Delves into the world of girls from a very young and talks about how we are born with a certain frame of mind but then how we are shaped and molded to be a certain way based on society “telling” us how to act through media, and from woman to woman, competition amongst each other, etc. The part in the trailor above about women tearing each other down reminded me of one example she used, about the Disney franchise: when the concept came about of marketing their “princesses” together, on the same product, they were hesitant at first – they should always stand alone with no competition. Now if you look at any Disney product featuring multiple princesses, NONE of them are making eye contact – they are all gazing off into the distance, not acknowleding the others, as if they are the only one there. The first time I noticed this after reading was in the grocery store on a plastic cup – fa-reaky.

    • ginidietrich

      @Ali Mac My mom always says Walt Disney ruined all of us. We have this image in our heads of how our Prince Charming should look and act and treat us. When, in fact, sometimes we’re our own Prince Charming.

  • I just had this conversation tonight with kidlet. I said, “Do not judge people for how they look because no one is perfect in any way.” A nearly 10-year-old is extremely body conscious, and I’m needing to try harder not to make snide comments myself because she picks up on it.

    It so sucks that women can’t cut a break in business without being judged for appearance. Ever wonder how much global travel takes a toll on a person? And then you have to look decent for all the cameras as soon as you land?

    • ElissaFreeman

      I so hear you on the ‘body conversations’! I’ve had to really temper my comments on body image and healthy eating. Of course it doesn’t help when we’re so hard on ourselves!

      • ginidietrich

        @ElissaFreeman Totally hard on ourselves. I do the same thing. I always joke I’m going to be the first one to die because I take such good care of myself. And I don’t do it for a longer life. I do it to look good to other people.

    • ginidietrich

      @Soulati | PR That’s EXACTLY what I thought with the “haggard” and “92” comments. Heck, if I had to go in front of cameras from just a trip to/from LA, I wouldn’t look great. People need to stop it.

  • JodiEchakowitz

    When I saw this movie a few weeks back (I actually watched it with my), it made my blood boil. But the one thing I didn’t think about was the issue you raise in your post about us being our own worst enemies. And sadly, you’re 100% correct.

    In addition to supporting other women, I wish we were all more open and honest with another. We need to stop talking about or bad-mouthing other women behind their backs. We need to “man up” and say what we have to say to their face or not say it at all. And when we think someone looks great or does something deserving of praise, we need to share a compliment. On the flip-side, we also need to learn how to say “thank you” when someone pays us a compliment instead of putting ourselves down or lessening the value of what we’ve done. It’s these small and simple steps that will help us build respectful relationships with one another.

    • JodiEchakowitz

      I see I left out “kids” when mentioning that “I watched it with my…” 🙂

    • ginidietrich

      @JodiEchakowitz The first time I saw it, people asked me what I thought about it and my first reaction was exactly what I wrote here. But I was afraid to say it. I’ve had other women say things to me such as, “Yeah, well you’re pretty so of course you feel that way. Imagine if you were ugly.” Which is ridiculous … and why I decided to write it.

      I TOTALLY AGREE with you about saying what we think to other women. It’s not an easy conversation, but I would MUCH rather have some real friends who told me something I needed to hear than to keep behaving in a way I think is appropriate. Heck, I’d much rather than tell me something looks terrible on me than to let me keep wearing it. But we won’t even tell one another if something is in our teeth. Oy.

      • Keena Lykins

        @ginidietrich@JodiEchakowitz I tend to point out to people (discreetly) that someone has broccoli in their teeth or their pants are on backward. For the most part people appreciate it. So don’t be afraid to do it…just be nice about it.

        • JodiEchakowitz

          @Keena Lykins I do exactly the same thing, and I agree, most people appreciate it. I just hope people do the same for me!

  • Haven’t seen the movie yet. But I’ve had the “we’re our own worst enemy” conversation in so many different contexts, so many times. And it’s a bit of a paradox. When the sexism/racism/classism that brought a group to its state internalizes the ideals of whoever is thought to be the ruling class, yes, the oppressed are worse than the oppressors. It’s like a kind of widespread Stockholm Syndrome where you side with the mentality of your captors in some type of desire to survive.But how would it have gotten that way if the original abuse and distortion of reality hadn’t taken place. I believe we need to take responsibility as women, as grown people period, for our actions. what about young girls who think that this is just, well, normal?

    And let’s say we are successful in getting it right, 20 years from now? It’s all for naught if we keep other types of bigotry alive. Because it’ll come right back with the generation to follow. We’ll have to clean the whole window, not this one ugly smudge.

    You’ve written a great article on an issue that’s more complex than it looks.

    • ginidietrich

      @Tinu You know the conversation we had about how to talk to little girls? I just read a really interesting article that talks about having the “what book are you reading” conversation vs. the “you’re so beautiful” conversation. I know I’m guilty of the latter. My five year old niece LOVES to get into my dressing room and put on heels and scarves and use my make-up. And I let her. And then I tell her how beautiful she is. I think we have to make a very concerted effort to not do that anymore.

      • rustyspeidel

        @ginidietrich@Tinu I have an idea–do both! There is nothing more powerful and compelling than a confident, accomplished, self-aware woman who not only feels and acts beautiful (defined by whatever she wants to define it by), but is working towards achieving whatever it is she wants to achieve in her life, without apology, without compromise, and without restrictions. That is the path I try and walk with my daughter every day. I want her to be HER, all the way–the wicked smart, irreverent, talented, confident, statuesque and yes, beautiful woman she is rapidly becoming.

        • Absolutely do both, I agree. We’re not going to stop telling men an boys they’re handsome just because we want them to also understand that they’re smart. Especially with the societal perception of beauty becoming more exclusionary, I think it’s important to reinforce both.

          Maybe incorporate a brain activity into your fun – like you said, read to her, afterwards. I’d do it while she was still dressed up.@rustyspeidel @ginidietrich

  • I tend to agree… and that makes me sad. When I was a kid I asked my mom, “why do I have to dress up, there won’t be any boys there!” And my mom answered, “women don’t dress up for men, they dress up in competition with other women.” I didn’t understand then. I do now.

    • ginidietrich

      @manamica We totally dress for other women. Sigh…

  • The only person who controls what goes on in your own mind is you. Yes, the images in the media are horrible. Yes, this situation is terribly unfair. And yes, you need to speak up every time the media make some obnoxious remark.

    What you believe you are is what you are. What do you choose to have happen in your own head? Are you worried about how you will do at tomorrow’s meeting, if your hair looks bad, if you are not the perfect mom? Why are you wasting time with this? Do not let them win. Make your plans and then live in the present. Focus only on what you are doing right now, at this moment. This is important not just for you, but as an example to show your kids. I hear women lamenting about diets, etc., and think, “what are you doing to your children?”

    And that said, we do need to fight. Every time someone says something obnoxious, flood the ADVERTISERS with calls and emails. We are not just 51% of the population, but more like 85% of the people making consumer decisions. Use it.

    I have written a blog on how to live independently of the consumer culture that treats women like dirt. Please visit the Green Living site at

    Patty Zevallos

    web and video producer

    writing, directing, animation, design, illustration, web-based management

    • ginidietrich

      @pattyz Totally agree, Patty. That’s why I used the Alice Walker quote. We can control what we think of ourselves.

  • Just catching up on reading this week and caught this. I think it’s a crime when women don’t stand up for one another out of spite, jealousy, or the like. I also think it’s ridiculous when women don’t believe they have enough. I choose to surround myself with amazing, inspiring people and make it a point to be there for those who have invested their time and energy in me. It is a choice. But it boils my blood when I hear the stats about low-wage workers – the majority are women and they are truly struggling. There is still a whole world which many of us are mostly isolated from in which men hold a lot of the cards, take advantage of women and women are left with lives which are difficult to escape. Domestic abuse, worker exploitation, and lack of childcare choices become women’s issues because they impact women more than men. I think it’s high time we support each other in every way. (Stepping off my soapbox now.)

    • ginidietrich

      @jeanniecw It’s really too bad I don’t like you because this was a really good comment.

  • susebb

    Damn straight! And I’m really pleased you noted the ‘sensuality’ point. Often discussions of body image etc. can get mired in debates about pornography.

    We are strong, amazing women and yet we can put each other down in a way that the opposite sex wouldn’t dare touch. Be kind to one another is such a simple phrase but much underused. Thank you for this post.

    • ginidietrich

      @susebb I love fashion and the beauty of women as much as anyone. I don’t know why we can’t just appreciate it about one another.

  • I would LOVE to see the same physical emphasis be placed on both sexes. I loved your description of what it would look like.

    You are right that as a society we encourage this behavior, and boy does it start young!

    Parents support the “princess culture” among little girls with their pocketbooks (if nothing else) and wonder why these girls are looking for someone to rescue them!

    Girls are strongly reprimanded follow the rules while “boys will be boys”.

    All of these rules are strongly enforced by the girls as well, meaning if you want to not be an outcast, you have to conform.

    It seems like this would be the level to start making substantial changes, coupled with trying to undo the social messages the rest of us have been indoctrinated with.

    And yes, I know, this is sooooooooooooo easy for the non-parent to say. Why can’t there be an easy solution?!?!?!?!?

    • Keena Lykins

      @TammyL It is easy for a non-parent to say–I know because I say it all the time. LOL. When my niece was younger, whenever anyone would say, “oh, isn’t she pretty.” I’d respond, “Yes, she is. She’s also really smart and good at figuring out puzzles.” Most people would give me a “say what” look, and her mom’s side of the family would just roll their eyes (she’s my brother’s kid) but I stuck to it. When she finally asked my why I always said it, I told her, “Grace, pretty goes away. Smart is forever.”

      • ginidietrich

        @Keena Lykins@TammyL Smart is forever, is right!

  • ChiefHotMomma

    Bingo, sista.

    • ginidietrich

      @ChiefHotMomma xoxo

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  • Mehhayes

    It’s funny but i have never dressed for another woman. I dress for myself Nd for my husband. Not all woman feel the need to compete and some woman are more competitive than other woman. WHERE DOES THIS STEM FROM? I had an older sister that when we were young she tried filling my head with how woman should act and dress because this is how other woman were. Well, good for them. I don’t want to be that way. I am an individual! It’s as simple as that people! Woman compete when they are put in a position to compete and then their are woman that have a belief system that to get anywhere with others or to get anywhere in this world is to be in competition. What a lousy way to live. Unfortunately the rest of us are the ones who have to take the brunt of these behaviors because we constantly deal with their insecurities that we are trying to take something from them or show them up. If they feel that way it is important to know that others are not the threat but the threat itself is in their own self doubt and I suppose they should straighten up because our own ill mannered behaviors is what tear us down. It depletes our self respect/ESTEEM How can a people be secure in themselves or happy with themselves when they criticize others or are untrustworthy? Giving respect not only builds others esteem but it gives us self-respect and esteem. To respect others is to really love yourself. I know a lot of people think nice people are weak but It really is just the opposite. Being kind/nice is to be strong because we have to endure ugliness but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt our feelings. However, if the unkindness is constant and someone really crosses the line than I have been known to turn ugly on that person. I’m standing up for myself and trust me I get ugly at that point. I don’t like it but sometimes it is warranted. I leave it at that. That never has a good outcome either because losing control on someone makes a person look bad. It is usually over at that point. I have had only three people in my life come back and apologize for their behavior after I blew up but they were able to recognize their bad behavior. All of the others still felt justified for being jerks.

    doesn’t hurt.

    that they doubt themselves.

    • Mehhayes

      Disregard the last line. If you’ve ever typed on an iPad you’ll understand.

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