Gini Dietrich

Women Are Our Own Worst Enemies

By: Gini Dietrich | December 7, 2011 | 
167

“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.

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167 Comments on "Women Are Our Own Worst Enemies"

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NancyD68
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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)

NancyD68
4 years 4 months ago

@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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

NancyD68
4 years 4 months ago

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

danielnewmanUV
danielnewmanUV
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

EricaAllison
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
rideboulderco
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

rideboulderco
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

Marijean
4 years 4 months ago
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,… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

EugeneFarber
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

EugeneFarber
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@EugeneFarber Exactly. You made the point perfectly.

Shelley Pringle
4 years 4 months ago

Great post, Gini. I recently discovered a group in Canada called “We Connect” (see http://www.weconnectcanada.org). 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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

Shelley Pringle
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

KenMueller
4 years 4 months ago

@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
LorriW
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
MarcGirolimetti
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

sydcon_mktg
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
KamaTimbrell
4 years 4 months ago

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

JCMorganKreidel
JCMorganKreidel
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
JCMorganKreidel
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
Shonali
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

Shonali
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

DannyBrown
4 years 4 months ago

@ginidietrich @Shonali Get back in the kitchen.

NathLussier
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

KenMueller
4 years 4 months ago
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.… Read more »
NancyD68
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
TheJackB
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
NancyD68
4 years 4 months ago

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

NancyD68
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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!

NancyD68
4 years 4 months ago

@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! :)

KenMueller
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

NancyD68
4 years 4 months ago

@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!

KenMueller
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

KDillabough
4 years 4 months ago
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,… Read more »
HowieSPM
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
KDillabough
4 years 4 months ago

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@KDillabough Pollyanna.

:-)

KDillabough
4 years 4 months ago

@ginidietrich I accept that:)))

HowieSPM
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
TheJackB
4 years 4 months ago

@HowieSPM What is a lousy tip?

HowieSPM
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

TheJackB
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

HowieSPM
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
joecardillo
joecardillo
4 years 4 months ago

@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”” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yashar-hedayat/a-message-to-women-from-a_1_b_958859.html

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

TheJackB
4 years 4 months ago

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

WigglyKoala
WigglyKoala
4 years 4 months ago

“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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

rachaelseda
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
rachaelseda
4 years 4 months ago

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

megmroberts
megmroberts
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
joecardillo
4 years 4 months ago

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…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloom/how-to-talk-to-little-gir_b_882510.html

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

joecardillo
joecardillo
4 years 4 months ago

@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
karirippetoe
4 years 4 months ago
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: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/yashar-hedayat/a-message-to-women-from-a_1_b_958859.html 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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.”

A-freaking-men!

pattyz
4 years 4 months ago

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

wendyroan
wendyroan
4 years 4 months ago

Harvard Business Review’s Why Men Still Get More Promotions Than Women, http://hbr.org/2010/09/why-men-still-get-more-promotions-than-women/ar/1, explains how culture contributes to our challenges.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

jackielamp
jackielamp
4 years 4 months ago

Love. This.

HowieSPM
4 years 4 months ago

@jackielamp just the man keeping you down Jackie!

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@jackielamp Love. You.

lamiki
4 years 4 months ago

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@lamiki Crazy, huh?

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman
4 years 4 months ago

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

wabbitoid
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

Maranda
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

hackmanj
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

NancyD68
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

hackmanj
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
KenMueller
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

pattyz
4 years 4 months ago

@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
vmaione
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
jennimacdonald
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@jennimacdonald <—– What she said!

Katie Gutwein
4 years 4 months ago

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@Katie Gutwein Awomen?! LOL!!

LisaMarieMary
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

LisaMarieMary
4 years 4 months ago

@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
KamaTimbrell
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

KenMueller
4 years 4 months ago

@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
KamaTimbrell
4 years 4 months ago

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

pattyz
4 years 4 months ago

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.

Ameena Falchetto
4 years 4 months ago
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,… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

Ameena Falchetto
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
hackmanj
4 years 4 months ago

@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
Mehhayes
4 years 3 months ago
@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… Read more »
hackmanj
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

Ameena Falchetto
4 years 4 months ago

@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
MSchechter
4 years 4 months ago

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
Keena Lykins
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
terence.stephens
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

KamaTimbrell
KamaTimbrell
4 years 4 months ago

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
girlygrizzly
4 years 4 months ago

(GASP!)

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!

~Amber-Lee

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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!

Ali Mac
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

Soulati | PR
4 years 4 months ago

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
ElissaFreeman
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
JodiEchakowitz
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
JodiEchakowitz
JodiEchakowitz
4 years 4 months ago

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

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago
@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… Read more »
Keena Lykins
Keena Lykins
4 years 4 months ago

@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
JodiEchakowitz
4 years 4 months ago

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

Tinu
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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
rustyspeidel
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

Tinu
4 years 4 months ago

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

manamica
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@manamica We totally dress for other women. Sigh…

pattyz
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

jeanniecw
4 years 4 months ago
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… Read more »
ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

susebb
susebb
4 years 4 months ago

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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@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.

TammyL
4 years 4 months ago
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,… Read more »
Keena Lykins
Keena Lykins
4 years 4 months ago

@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
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

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

ChiefHotMomma
ChiefHotMomma
4 years 4 months ago

Bingo, sista.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
4 years 4 months ago

@ChiefHotMomma xoxo

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[…] Dietrich is founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich. This post originally ran on Spin Sucks. Share this:Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed Under: Uncategorized · […]

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[…] Women are our own worst enemies, by Gini […]

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[…] blog post just being videos and images. This is a really good read, though, and piggybacks on my Women Are Our Own Worst Enemies blog post from a few weeks […]

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[…] entire conversation reminded me of some comments Gini Dietrich wrote in her post, Woman Are Our Own Worst Enemies: How can we be taken seriously when it’s all about the body and not about the […]

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