Speak equality to hear equality.
Equality Insight #1
The words you speak go into other people’s ears and come out of their mouths.
Equality Insight #2
If you don’t want inequality words about you to come out of other people’s mouths, don’t speak inequality words into their ears.
Equality Insight #3
If you want equality words about you to come out of other people’s mouths, speak equality words into their ears.
Speaking equality is a good gossip strategy.
Most of the examples on this page are for girls and women
because Paula M. Kramer has been researching betrayal between
girls and women since 1988.
You can use these examples to speak equality no matter what gender you are.
See speaking equality examples at Advocates For Equality on Facebook.
Stereotypes Create Inequality
When you speak inequality, you invite other people to speak stereotypes about you. Other people stereotype you in more ways than you realize. Read through the stereotype category on my blog. Page through all of the posts so you can find all of the stereotypes about you.
A normal life ends in old age. Pay attention to the stereotypes about the elderly. That’s what you can expect if you speak inequality about anyone. Paula M. Kramer demonstrates equality with her Sage Citizens Facebook page. You’ll find examples for speaking equality about senior citizens there.
You can use 6 strategies for speaking equality to hear equality.
To hear positive identities about yourself,
speak positive identities about other people.
Chip away stereotypes by giving positive identities to yourself and to other people. Even when you don’t like yourself or another person, think of a positive identity that is true. Base the positive identities on internal characteristics, not external characteristics.
If you read the Murder Secret Families page, you’ll learn that my mother committed the ultimate betrayal against me — she tried to kill me twice. I’ve come to terms with her actions and walked away from her. Because I recognize the importance of positive identities for everyone, I can give my mother a positive identity. My mother had a wonderful singing voice and made hundreds of people happy at special occasions. She tried to kill me as a way of avoiding a negative identity forced on her.
If I can give a positive identity to the woman who tried to kill me twice, you can give positive identities to people you don’t like for lesser reasons.
If high school seniors can write something ‘positive and sincere’ to everyone in their class, adults can speak something positive and sincere about everyone they know.
I Was Bullied on Valentine’s Day as a Kid. Here’s How I Spread Kindness on February 14 as a Teacher Now.
January 20, 2021
Positive identities for you examples:
I’m a great cook.
I’m good at making connections between different pieces of research
to create new strategies for success.
I’m willing to help out in a pinch doing job work.
Positive identities for other women examples:
She’s a great singer.
He’s good at making people feel important.
She’s good at taking charge in a crisis and showing people
how to ease the crisis.
Positive identities for women in different jobs/professions from yours*
County Maintenance Worker
If she knows how to do the work and how to talk about the work,
she’s right for the job.
High School Football Player
If she gets back up after being rocked to the ground and can hit the
quarterback hard, she’s a football player.
She can be aggressive for a client and easy going in her personal life.
She can be a lawyer and have other skills and talents.
She can be a lawyer and still be a nice person.
Armored Truck Driver
Just because she’s thin doesn’t mean she can’t do the same work
men can do.
*I am collecting examples of stereotype chipping statements for all professions. Email your suggestions to success at speakingfromtriumph dot com.
Equal identities For Team & Organization Members
“I tell this story because Lucy is every person on your team and in your organization.
What she became, and what she came to know about herself, is what every person in
your organization can achieve. Every person, at heart, just wants to be a valuable
member of a winning team. Your role as a leader is, fundamentally, to make that happen.
If you make that happen, by and large your numbers will take care of themselves. How many
people in your organization languish in self-doubt or are diminished by what they can’t do
rather than celebrated for what they can do? How many people show up a shell of themselves,
or hide their radiant and joyful selves behind a mask of conformity? I guarantee you, too many.
And you’relosing a huge part of what every single person can contribute to your team.”
“What I learned from Lucy”
Chief Learning Officer
February 12, 2021
“In my final year, I was asked to make a speech to the law society at the University
of South Africa. In 2015, aged 71, I graduated alongside one of my granddaughters,
which was special. Many of my friends were surprised when they sent their
congratulations, I think most of them thought I’d never make it that far. When it
came to my time articling at a firm, I found at the start I was treated too respectfully.
While the younger trainees were sent out to run documents to court – learning in the
process – my colleagues assumed I’d think it was beneath me. I proved that I was
keen and able, so in time they treated me the same.”
“It’s never too late: elderly high-achievers”
February 21, 2021
“The gender biases that pervade all of society can be especially extreme in all fields of
endeavor where brilliance is the main idea,” says Risa Wechsler, a cosmologist at
Standford University. Dr. Whechsler cites a 2015 study in which practitioners in different
fields were asked whether intrinsic ability or hard work was required for success. “The more
brilliant you think you have to be, the more the field is populated by white guys,” she says.
“(Very) slow gains in the war on bias”
The Christian Science Monitor Weekly
April 16, 2018, page 13.
To hear benefits about yourself,
speak benefits about other people.
Chip away stereotypes in general by giving examples of benefits people enjoy today because of women who were able to use their intelligence, skills, and talents.
Katherine Goble Johnson did research that helped lead to safer regulations
for airplanes. The new regulations require a minimum distance between
flight paths to prevent smaller planes from falling out of the sky near bigger planes.
Ruane Jeter invented the toaster with a digital clock that allows us to brown our toast
to our taste.
Florence Nightingale established basic concepts for the nursing profession that are
still applied today.
Find examples that directly affect the people in your life who criticize women. Use the examples in front of other people to encourage further talk about benefits from women.
To hear understanding about your life situations,
speak understanding about other people’s life situations.
Chip away stereotypes by asking other women to tell their stories. Repeat their stories as they fit into conversation.
She didn’t offer to wash dishes because she’s in pain. Her spine was injured
and any activity can be painful. She’s afraid people won’t believe her when
she’s says she’s in pain because her disability is invisible. For her, seeming to
be rude is sometimes preferable to having people think she’s a whining liar.
She just walked out on that job with a “good company” because it was beneath
her intelligence. They were excited about how intelligent she was when they
hired her, but the job they gave her was just sticking labels on file folders and
filing them. They weren’t taking advantage of her intelligence, they were wasting
Three of her family members died in a space of five years. She’s avoids talking to
people because she’s figuring out how to live with her grief. She’s not feeling
haughty towards you or anyone else.
I once let life difficulties distract me from preparing for a presentation. In spite
of the life difficulties, I knew I should prepare more. My presentation wasn’t as
good as it should have been. Now when someone isn’t doing as well as he or
she should, I wonder what distractions prevented them from doing their best.
Sometimes life distractions leave no time for preparation and prevent concentration.
I listen and watch for whatever is valuable in what they do. When I can, I bring
attention to that value. Positive feedback gives the individual confidence and gives
other participants a reason to look for what is valuable to them.
Is it possible you would have asked the same question if your were new to this
instead of experienced at this?
Of course, some women are whining liars and some women are haughty, but most women are not. And some of the whining liars are bumping up against glass ceilings they don’t know how to break. Some women are haughty to cover their own feelings of worthlessness. The more stories you listen to, the more truth you’ll learn. Encourage other women to tell their stories by telling your stories.
To hear fairness for you,
speak fairness about others.
Compare how the same factor affects different people.
As a guest on Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., actress Glenn Close learned that a number of her ancestors had been slave owners. Gates asked Close how she felt about that.
“You know what first comes to my mind? That the people whom my ancestors owned didn’t have that luxury of knowing their lineage.”
Gates: “That’s right. We can’t do this for any black person whose white ancestor we haven’t identified.
Women pay a ‘Makeup Tax’; men don’t.
Men with gray hair and extra pounds find jobs more easily than women with gray hair and extra pounds.
“Gender Discrimination? Because Makeup Doesn’t Grown on Trees”
Sanford Heisler Sharp
Gender Discrimination and Harassment
March 31st, 2017
Working for Justice
“In 2018, Professional Women Are Still Judged by Their Appearances”
February 23, 2018
Women demand equality with men but create inequality for men.
“These TV women don’t hate men; otherwise they wouldn’t talk about them as much. They just love their own gender more, without question, self-righteously. So their shows are designed with the goals typical of any members-only group: to exclude and/or marginalize outsiders while celebrating itself without question. Thompson agrees. “Men are positioned as ‘the other’, as the ‘Group of People Who Are Not us.'”
“The gender researcher and author Warren Farrell had a good thought about this: “We exposed biases against other races and called it racism, and we exposed biases against women and called it sexism. Biases against men we call humor.”
“TV’s Plot Against Men”
Men’s Health Magazine
October 2011, 108-110
To hear celebrations about your successes,
speak celebrations about others’ successes.
Celebrate other people’s successes with congratulations. Speak about successes to influential people, bystanders, possible networking connections for the other people.
“Maria just hit her target goal yesterday. Congratulations. Can you let the team
know how you did that?”
To hear positive questions,
speak positive questions.
Chip away stereotypes with questions.
This is an edited excerpt from my daily journal
December 15, 2017
The other day, Village Clerk asked me to be in a pool of poll workers. Today I asked
Village Clerk about the training. When Village Clerk presented a list of names to
the village board, everyone insisted that my name be removed. All the other poll workers
said that they would quit if I were approved. Village Clerk found it repulsive and unjust.
I told Village Clerk about a local performance group that had ignored my script for an
upcoming show and a historic building committee that excluded my documentary from
an art show. I said that people would twist anything to keep me out. Village Clerk said
that’s what the board did. Village Clerk has seen the board act in prejudiced ways before
and considers the people from the local church to be the most prejudiced of all.
Village Clerk plans to resign.
The poll workers came to their decision about me even though they had spent little time with me. I rarely talked to any of them. Instead of talking with me, these stereotypers talked about me.
In similar situations, ask stereotypers these types of questions:
“I’m curious. When did you last talk with ————-?”
“I’m curious. How much time have you spent with ————-?”
“I’m curious. What is ————-‘s side of the story?”
“I’m curious. Would you like people who barely know you to say negative things about you?”
If you feel brave, you could be curious about something else.
I am not an alcoholic. I am not an addict. I am not a criminal. I am not a homewrecker. I am not a child abuser.
What could my unforgivable crime be? I think my crime is expecting equality. Equality with me is apparently painful beyond endurance.
Here is the question to ask if you feel brave enough to ask it:
“I’m curious. Are you afraid of equality with ————-?”
I’d like to hear from anyone brave enough to ask that question. I want to know what the response is.
Abraham Lincoln’s Approach To Equality
Book review of Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times by David S. Reynolds.
“Reynolds compellingly argues that the president drew upon and assimilated these varied
cultural strands in order to foster national unity. In the midst of the Civil War, the president
famously declared that the point of the devastating struggle was to save the union, not free
the slaves. While Reynolds calls this statement ‘disingenuous,’ arguing that the ‘inwardly radical
antiracist Lincoln’ had to move cautiously on race to retain the necessary support to win the war,
Lincoln did see the Union’s preservation as his sacred duty. One way he hoped to strengthen the
Union was by encouraging a common American culture; to him ‘culture was a great equalizer,
a joiner,’ Reynolds writes. ‘It put kings and commoners, presidents and the people on
the same level.'”
“Lincoln was uniquely suited to lead the Union”
The Christian Science Monitor Weekly
November 2, 2020, page 44.
Speak Equality For Equality In Voting
Creating inequality for some voters creates inequality for the majority of voters.
“They suppress the political power of middle-class White people
Voter suppression hurts White people in another, more insidious way. It silences their voice in
the political process. A famous 2015 study concluded that the US is not a democracy but an
oligarchy where elites, not ordinary voters, determine public policy. That study validated a
belief among many lower- and middle-class White voters that politicians listen to wealthy donors
but not to them. Voter suppression laws make it easier for political leaders to do just that —
favor wealthy people over others, says Lindsey Cormack, an expert on voter suppression and
elections at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey.
She says that when lawmakers erect additional hoops for Black or brown voters to jump through,
they are also making it harder for poor and middle-class White voters to be heard. That’s because
those White voters also get less access to the political system and are less likely to contribute to
“How voter suppression laws hurt White people”
September 25, 2021
Many people stereotype CNN negatively, but Blake references voting researchers Alex Keena, Jonathan M. Metzl, Mary A. Evins, and Lindsey Cormack.
Point To Ponder
When you make other people unequal to you,
you make yourself unequal to them.
The poll workers made themselves unequal to me by making me unequal to them.
I am an international professional speaker.
I am becoming an international TV producer.
I founded Women Speaking Equality, an international Facebook community promoting equality between women. It already has followers on four continents.
The poll workers made themselves unequal to everything that will come to me because of who I am.
The poll workers ignored who I am so they could stereotype me. Do you want to risk making yourself unequal by stereotyping other people?
© Paula M. Kramer, 2021
All rights reserved.
Last updated November 14, 2022.