(for growing girls and grown women)
This page is about girls and women because I did my
masters thesis research about girls and women.
People of any gender can face stereotypes and glass ceilings.
People of all genders are welcome to use my strategies in their own lives.
Girl grit is the courage to create equality for all girls and women,
including girls and women who create inequality for you.
Girl gumption is the wisdom to admit that men deny equality
to women who see men as inferior.
Girl Grit Observation From Shailene Woodley
“I don’t know how we as women expect men to respect us,
because we don’t even seem to respect one another.”
Girl Grit Observation From Jen Oyama Murphy
“Female rivalry is also fueled by our own insecurities. When we
lack a belief in our own unique gifts, when we don’t have confidence
in our innate talent, and when we doubt the calling on our lives,
we can become competitive.”
Girl Goodwill Attitude From Michelle Obama
“And it’s time that we all stepped back, took a deep breath and
started really listening to one another rather than viewing one
another through the layers of our own judgment, insecurity
Girl Goodwill Attitude From Madonna
“As women, we have to start appreciating our worth — an each other’s worth.”
Girl Goodwill Attitude From Audre Lorde
“I am not free while any woman is unfree,
even when her shackles are very different from my own.”
4 Cultural Themes Of Betrayal
Each general theme of betrayal has several judgments that girls and women can use to betray each other. Note that under the Women as Deviants theme, girls and women at times judge other girls and women as deviant just because they are female. This judgment is useful to boys and men who want to keep girls and women unequal, especially when it comes to holding positions of power. If girls and women think other girls and women are too deviant to hold power, why should boys and men share power with girls and women?
1. Women as Mothers
Ignoring their true vocation as mothers
Failing to properly fulfill their roles as mothers
Being dangerous mothers
2. Women and Their Appearance
Wrong body size
3. Women as Deviants
Stepping out of approved roles
Being responsible for any problem men have trouble explaining
Being responsible for men’s thoughts and actions
Being a victim of men’s criminal actions
Being more deviant than deviant men
Moving into male space
Threatening male power or not supporting male power
Expecting equality with higher status women
Expressing confidence in themselves, in their work, in their worth
Expecting other women to live up to and perform up to high standards
Failing to provide what other women feel you owe them, regardless of what that would mean in your life
4. Teenage Girls as Threats to Society
Needing preparation for roles as proper (male-pleasing) women
Endangering adult males whether proper or not
Arousing inappropriate sexual feelings in men
Real World Examples Illustrating
The Cultural Themes Of Betrayal
Women as mothers
Women and their appearance
Women as deviants
Women and their appearance
Comedian Michelle Wolf talked about White House press secretary Sarah Sanders at the 2018 White House correspondents dinner. Wolf said this:
“I actually really like Sarah. I think she’s very resourceful. Like she burns facts,
and then she uses that ash to create a perfect smoky eye. Like maybe she’s born
with it, maybe it’s lies. It’s probably lies.”
The reaction to Wolf’s speech focused on the statement about Sanders’ “smokey eye”. It was a perfect illustration of what happens when anyone talks about a woman’s appearance. The focus becomes her appearance, not her actions or achievements or skills.
Women who insist on betraying other women will do whatever it takes to justify their betrayal. I tweeted to Michelle Wolf about the women and their appearance cultural theme of betrayal. I received this response from a different woman:
“She mentioned her eye shadow, not her eyes!”
How is eye shadow not about appearance? This tweeter’s girl growl backfire is a reputation for stupidity. This tweeter insists on building glass ceilings for all women, including herself.
I am keeping this tweeter’s identity anonymous because I benefit only when women have reputations for intelligence and competence. I refuse to hurt myself by making this tweeter look bad. I’ve already lost too much because of my own girl growl backfires.
Note that Michelle Wolf was left reminding people that most of her routine was not about Sarah Sanders’ appearance. Wolf took attention away from her own comments by drawing attention to Sanders’ eye shadow. Michelle Wolf still needs to develop girl grit in the way she talks about other women. Wolf invited the backlash.
Fashion magazine Grazia U.K. edited Lupita Nyong’o’s natural hair out of her cover of the magazine.
“Lupita Nyong’o Says Her Natural Hair Is Still ‘Shunned'”
August 7 , 2018
“High school swimmer disqualified over fit of school-issued swimsuit”
September 10, 2019
“Women At Ernst & Young Instructed On How To Dress, Act Nicely Around Men”
The Huffington Post
October 21, 2019
The day the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, I posted a link to Leading For Change Through Choices on Facebook and LinkedIn. A woman responded to my post with these comments:
“Well goody for you. What are you doing to help women besides gloating “I told you so”?
Me: Visit my web page to see these pages:
4 Girl Mindsets
Me: These are my Facebook pages
Advocates For Equality
Women Speaking Equality
Wonder Women Breaking Glass Ceilings
Me: What are you doing to help women?
“Okay Boomer Lady”
See this woman’s last comment to me in Women as Deviants *
Women as Deviants
“A Survivor’s Story”
Bob Meadows, Maureen Harrington
October 4, 2004, pages 109-110
“Sexual harassment used to cost women their careers. That may be changing.”
December 4, 2017
“The Shocking Reason a Top Medical School in Japan Lowered Women’s Exam Scores for Years”
August 3, 2018
* Roe v Wade Facebook comment:
“Imagine using the tragic reversal of Roe as a reason to spam these pages with your
self promotion drivel. No wonder old yt women get a bad reputation.”
(I don’t know what the ‘yt’ means.)
This woman defined me as deviant for answering her question. Imagine using the tragic
reversal of Roe as a reason to think up ways to insult another woman.
She also never told me what she’s doing to help woman. Thinking up ways to insult other
women seems to require too much of her time.
Teenage Girls as Threats to Society
“Teenage girl forced to leave school prom after ‘ogling’ dads complained her dress and dancing would give their sons ‘impure thoughts'”
May 13, 2014
“She reported her sexual assault. Her high school suspended her for ‘sexual impropriety.'”
August 26, 2019
“Parents, students angered after 80 female students’ yearbook photos are altered to mask cleavage”
May 25, 2021
Journalist Elizabeth Vargas investigated child brides in the United States for her show, The Untold Story. A 15 or 16 year old married girl wanted to divorce her abusive husband, but…
“…she’s told she’s too young to get divorced. A girl is too young to hire
a lawyer but not too young to get married.”
“The Untold Story”
April 15-28, 2019, page 61
America’s Next Top Model host Tyra Banks to a contestant on her show:
“Do you really think you can have a CoverGirl contract with a gap in your mouth?” Banks says in the clip, referencing one of the prizes for the season’s winner. “It’s not marketable.”
“Banks has yet to comment on any of the backlash; it’s likely that she will not. But on Wednesday, contestant Danielle Evans, who now goes by Dani, posted a video on her Instagram in which she responded to the conversation surrounding the clip of Tyra confronting her about her gap. In the seven-minute clip, Evans explained that the girls were taken to a dentist, where she was initially asked if she wanted her gap closed and she declined. Later, during the elimination ceremony, Tyra asked her why her gap wasn’t closed.
“I’m like, huh? She’s like, ‘I told you to get your gap closed.’ I’m like, ‘No you didn’t.’ She looks offstage to production … In that moment, I knew what was happening. I knew that I was basically set up and not being told that Tyra wants me to get my gap closed so that it’s good for TV,” Evans explains in the video.”
“How Did We Not Realize What A Nightmare ‘ANTM’ Was?
The Huffington Post
May 5, 2020
This 17 year old girl betrayed herself, probably because of all the societal messages around her.
“The message that all of this sends to young girls is that womanhood is a state that consists largely of receiving unsolicited male attention, much of it benign but much of it threatening, exploitative or hostile, and that their ownership over their own bodies, their ability to peacefully occupy public space, and their right to be perceived as the children that they are can all be abridged by the whims of a man’s desire. When the Florida politician Joel Greenberg discovered that one of the women he and Gaetz were allegedly paying for sex was not a woman but a girl at 17 years old, Greenberg, according to reporting by the Daily Beast, told the girl that she was at fault. “She apologized and recognized that by lying about her age, she endangered many people,” Greenberg wrote. This, too, is one of the surest signs that a girl is becoming a woman: suddenly, she finds herself being held responsible for men’s actions.”
“For too many girls, teenage years are a time of unwanted attention from older men”
May 9, 2021
Real World Examples
Illustrating Girl Grit
Women as Mother
“How to NOT mom-shame (a handy tutorial)”
Women and Their Appearance
“7 Times Jennifer Lawrence Was the Queen of Shutting Down the Body-Shamers”
July 27, 2015
“What To Wear To Look Hot!”
“Camila Cabello Pushes Back On Body-Shamers, Tells Fans ‘Cellulite Is Normal'”
The Huffington Post
August 5, 2019
“The pressure is on to look good. …after Titanic I thought, I’m not going to
not eat, I’m going to say, ‘Listen, I was in the highest-grossing movie ever
made and I’m not a stick.'”
March 27, 2006, page 14.
“I don’t care. I liked my Golden Globes dress! The funniest thing is, I don’t
look that stuff up afterward—and then I got an e-mail from [30 Rock’s]
Judah Friedlander saying, “I can’t believe you were the worst dressed!”
“Funny Mama: Tina Fey Answers Your Questions”
April 19, 2010
“Women need to stop comparing their bodies and understand how unique
and amazing we are instead of focusing on what’s wrong with us—too narrow,
too curvy, et cetera—we should focus on what we love about ourselves.”
UpFront: The A List
“Brooke Shields’ 5 Tips for Living Your Best Life”
October / November 2021
Women as Deviants (More deviant than deviant men)
“Vlogger Nails Why It’s OK To Expose Men Who Harass Women Online”
January 22, 2019, pages 105-106
“American’s Real Favorite Pastime”
Paula M. Kramer is not the only woman trying to end betrayal between women. For the July/August 2011 issue of More magazine, Deborah Copaken Kogan wrote the article, “America’s Real Favorite Pastime? Judging Women.” In her article, Kogan used the phrases, “verbal assaults” and “the endless game of Judge That Woman”. This is a game that all women lose. Kogan laments that abuse of any kind of power turns “a strong woman weak”. Strong women can become weak under the trauma of judgmental assaults from other women. How does making other women weak advance any issue of equality or rights for all women?
Unfortunately, More magazine no longer exists.
“America’s Real Favorite Pastime? Judging Women.”
Deborah Copaken Kogan
Refusing to Betray and Sabotage Women
Who Betray and Sabotage You
Paula worked with one woman for two and a half years. This coworker was a project manager. Close to two years in, a third woman began working with Paula and the project manager. The three women had schedules that meant they never worked together, but the project manager worked with both Paula and the new employee.
The new employee began telling lies about a number of women in the company, including Paula. Paula did not know about the lies until it was too late. The project manager ignored all the evidence proving that the lies were false. The lies apparently made Paula look like she was out to get the project manager. So the project manager decided to sabotage Paula. She created a situation that made Paula look like she had done something damaging to one of the company’s clients. The project manager’s supervisor ignored all the evidence that the project manager’s lies were physically impossible. The company fired Paula.
Paula wrote a letter to the project manager. Paula told the project manager that she had been trying to think of a way to say thank you for something meaningful the project manager had done for Paula just through conversation. Meaningful as in life changing.
Paula also gave the project manager information that could be useful for two health problems the project manager had. The project manager could look the evidence up on the Internet to discover it was true. One of the health problems was insomnia. Paula had learned that magnesium improves sleep. In one Internet comment about magnesium, a man wrote that his doctor called magnesium a sleeping pill. (See the Serendipitous Success Seeds page for a PDF download about sleeping better.)
Instead of betraying and sabotaging the woman who had betrayed and sabotaged her, Paula gave the project manager information that could improve her life, including sleeping better for the rest of her life. The ability to sleep well would improve the project manager’s life in other ways. The success of any woman depends on the success of all women. The ability to sleep is an important success that will make the project manager more effective in her life. She just needs to learn that girl goodwill creates more success than girl growls.
* Visit smilessparksuccess.comfo
Girl Growls vs. Girl Gems
Girl growls are negative words judging other women according to the cultural themes of betrayal.
Girl gems are positive words supporting other women by putting shine on their skills and accomplishments.
Your words go into other people’s ears and can come out of their mouths.
Your girl growls about other women go into men’s ears and can come out of their mouths about you.
Your girl gems about other women go into men’s ears and can come out of their mouths about you.
When women take harmful actions, speaking about the harmful action is not a girl growl.
Women who abuse their children are bad mothers.
Women who act bitchy to subordinates are behaving badly.
Women who commit crimes are deviant.
Teenage girls who lie about sexual assault are threats to society.
If you have evidence of harmful actions, present the evidence when you speak about the harmful actions.
Girl Growls Going Into Men’s Ears
Women speaking about other women:
“Keep helping people —. Some entities are still of the lower dimensions.”
“I bet you could ask most of them what they are marching for with few
having a factual answer.”
“That culture that needs undoing is the crap ——- and her ilk have become.
Shame on you moronic, epic fails of sub-human whatevers.”
“She doesn’t even look human in this picture but she sure didn’t act it.”
Would you like any of these negative words coming out of men’s mouths about you?
Girl Gems Going Into Men’s Ears
Women speaking about other women:
“I would really love ———— to do this.”
“Make sure —————– has what she needs to move forward.”
“It’s important to include —————– in this discussion.”
“Did you hear about ————–‘s big award / bestselling book / new idea / new business?”
Would you like any of these positive words coming out of men’s mouths about you?
Girl Gem Guidelines
Be sincere. Insincerity makes you look bad.
Speak girl gems that are true for other women, even if they are not true for you.
One girl gem at a time creates a full shine for each gem. Multiple girl gems at one time can decrease the shine for each gem.
Girl Growl Backfires
Read Paula M. Kramer’s Girl Growl Backfire blog posts to help you understand how betraying and sabotaging other women can backfire. Paula even writes about her own girl growl backfire.
For 25 years in the corporate world, Bernadette Boas did what she thought she had to do to be successful. After her corporate career suddenly crashed, Bernadette faced the mortifying truth — she had been a bitch for most of her adult life. To set her life right again, Bernadette acknowledged the ugliness of her behavior and the pain she caused, both to other people and herself. Now Bernadette works to help other women avoid the girl growl backfire of bitchiness. Unfortunately, most corporate bitches do not understand the backfires they are creating for themselves.
“Today, large and small businesses engage me to help them find a solution
to breaking the glass ceiling for the women in their organization. On one
particular call, a man who headed up a large medical practice explained to
me how the two women on his Board of Directors, both eligible to replace the
CEO, were going to be overlooked, because, he stated, “They’re bitches.”
The women were qualified and deserving of the position, but no one would
vote them in because of their attitudes.I knew exactly what he was talking about.”
Shedding the Corporate Bitch: Shifting Your Bitches to Riches in Life and Business
What Do Men Want to Hear?
The evidence is clear that many men deny women equality. But there is evidence that other men want to hear girl gems.
“You are the answer. You are the future. Because I’m talking to women here, right?
I mean what’s interesting is that the most people that share my podcast are men,
but it is 100% geared toward and presented to women. It’s all about women’s leadership.
But one of the things I say in there is, you are role models for the future generations.”
Being an optimist means being positive. Men are sharing positive podcasts meant to help women become leaders. Which women do you think these men want to work with as leaders? The women who put girl growls into their ears, or the women who put girl gems into their ears? The quote from Bernadette Boas above is one example of men not wanting to hear girl growls.
Paula M. Kramer’s online courses include information about the importance of paying attention to bystanders. Andrea Johnson’s quote is an excellent example if you want to advance your career. Bystander men are listening to the words you put into their ears.
“Being an Intentional Optimist: Unconventional Leader | Andrea Johnson”
Life & Leadership: A Conscious Journey
Michelle St Jane
December 22, 2021
“6 Powerful Quotes From Madonna on Facing—and Surviving—Sexism”
Well + Good
December 12, 2016
“Ally or Adversary?
Jen Oyama Murphy
September 14, 2017
“Dare to be Powerful: Audre Lorde“
Books That Matter
April 20, 2021
“Shailene Woodley, Star’s Starlet”
May 29, 2014
“What women owe one another”
July/August 2015, page 144
More Magazine no longer exists.
© Paula M. Kramer, 2012 to the present
All rights reserved.
Updated November 13, 2022.