Trump’s Gift to Women

FORT WORTH, TX - FEBRUARY 26: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Fort Worth Convention Center on February 26, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump is campaigning in Texas, days ahead of the Super Tuesday primary. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
FORT WORTH, TX – FEBRUARY 26: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at the Fort Worth Convention Center on February 26, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas. Trump is campaigning in Texas, days ahead of the Super Tuesday primary. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

This campaign season has highlighted realities that women have known for a long time. What is both surprising and gratifying is that men are becoming aware of just how different the societal rules are for women. This may be the Trump’s gift to women. Things have become so extreme that they are obvious—finally.

The Double Standard that Trump Has Made Very Clear

Some of what Trump has dramatically brought to our collective attention, issues that women have been trying to address but with little success, include:

We all know what it is like to have a man invade our personal space, repeatedly, whether this is at work, during an argument with a boyfriend or on the subway, and then deny that they were doing anything untoward. We also know how this makes us feel—vulnerable, intimidated and mad.

Girly Thoughts

What do you do with all of this anger? Unfortunately, you turn it against yourself by eating too much, drinking too much or exercising excessively, and with what I’ve named girly thoughts—how you do to yourself what society does to you, what the men in your life do to you: judge yourself and find yourself deficient, wanting, unattractive.

As a male supervisor I once worked for helped me understand, it is important in a conflict to use the other person’s momentum to your advantage. In this world of double standards for men and for women, we have Mr. Trump to thank for repeatedly giving us high-profile examples of how unfairly women are treated so that we can all take a look at this and say, “No more!”

Patricia O’Gorman, PhD is a psychologist, speaker, author and blogger.

Learn more about overcoming girly thoughts at The Powerful Woman: Women and Resilience, and in The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power.

 

 

Miss Piggy? REALLY? Stop Weight Shaming Yourself with Your Girly Thoughts

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“She gained a massive amount of weight … it was a real problem.”

—Donald Trump

Weight is a h-u-g-e issue for you—no pun intended. If you’re like most American women, you probably

  • go on an endless stream of diets.
  • try on a pile of clothes before you find something that looks okay enough to wear outside of the house.
  • say “I’m fat” whenever you look in the mirror.

Have you ever wondered why weight is such a hot-button issue for you?

In Monday night’s presidential debate, women’s weight took center stage when Hillary Clinton referenced former Miss Universe 1996, Alicia Machado. According to a report in the Washington Times, Donald Trump “had called her an ‘eating machine’ and ‘had her work out at a gym in front of reporters and camera crews after a post-pageant weight gain,’” while he looked on smirking—a look you probably know all too well.

Take a peek of her winning Miss Universe.  What do you think?

Ms. Machado was treated like a piece of meat, but do you need to do this to yourself?

The Impact of Being Treated Like an Object? You Learn to Do This to Yourself

Part of the answer is that women are treated like objects when

  • products are advertised with scantily clad models, to sell everything from cars to furniture.
  • trying to convince you to buy the latest fashion, even if the model’s image has been photoshopped, with inches taken off her waist and inches added to her height

This endless faultfinding with your weight sends a message to men, even obese men like Trump, that they have power. The disgrace here is that they have cultural permission to criticize you.

Girly Thoughts—Doing to Yourself what Society Does to You

What is the impact of this barrage of cultural messages about your weight? Girly thoughts! That’s the name I’ve developed to label this type of negative thinking. Your girly thoughts about your weight cause you to:

  • misdirect your energy, spending it worrying about your weight instead of strongly stating your professional opinion in that important meeting.
  • spend money needlessly buying clothes that fit perfectly for every few pounds your weight varies.
  • deplete your energy by saying mean things to yourself when you look in the mirror.

Society already makes you feel “less than,” so why do this to yourself? Why allow these girly thoughts to take up any space in your life?

Stop Weight-Shaming Yourself with Your Girly Thoughts

Whenever you catch yourself comparing your body to someone else’s—particularly someone you see in the media—try these tips instead.

  • Look in the mirror and admire your body, curves, dimples, flatness; this is YOU … the miracle that is you!
  • Say nice things to yourself as you look at your reflection.
  • Eat a healthy, not faddish, diet so you are taking care of yourself.
  • Show that you like yourself, even admire yourself, by your positive attitude, your confident posture, even by the swish of your hips as you exercise and move through your day.

Now say, “Yes, I can love myself and my body and stop my girly thoughts that say otherwise.”

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Photo courtesy of: Pixabay.com

Is His Affair Really Your Fault?

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are tightening their grips on the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are tightening their grips on the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations.

“She couldn’t satisfy her husband.”

Donald Trump speaking about Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump has spewed plenty of cringe-worthy, even disgusting, statements thus far in his presidential campaign, but one of the most bizarre was when he challenged his rival about her sexual desirability and blamed her for her husband’s affairs. Since the time I first broached this theme in my blog in January, the sexual politics of this campaign have only become more intense: women have been called names and bullied, and even a reporter and protesters were assaulted. But maybe he’s done us a favor by putting on the national stage how women are held to a standard that men are not.

Does Blaming Women Make Men Look Strong?

A man who blames woman may think he looks more powerful. For men like Trump, power is in their ability to direct responsibility elsewhere; if there’s someone else to blame then they are less culpable.

Why Blame Women?

There are probably many answers to this question, but the simplest one is that men still feel they can blame women for their own poor behavior.

But that isn’t the full story. There are still enough women who accept this blame.

Why? Because societal messages have been drummed into their heads with the message that while women are weak, they are nevertheless responsible for anything that goes wrong. Interesting paradox, isn’t it? Being powerless while having the power to make everything go wrong.

Simple Solutions—Why Women Blame Themselves: Girly Thoughts

Blaming another is a simple solution to the complexity of many problems. So I’ve come up with a simple antidote.

This is why I’ve developed the term girly thoughts. Women blame themselves for just about everything, and I wanted a term that captures these negative feelings so they can stop. Wouldn’t it be interesting if women stopped blaming themselves for their husbands:

  • having an affair.
  • drinking when he comes home after work.
  • not being sexually attentive to her needs, only his own.

Perhaps when women stop taking responsibility for the actions of the men in their lives they will encourage the men in their lives to step forward and learn to say a phrase that women use way too readily and some men seem allergic to: I’m sorry.

We can learn to hold other men responsible for their actions instead of making excuses for them and blaming ourselves instead. We need to call Trump out on his disrespect of all women, including:

  • his accusation that Hillary was responsible for her husband’s poor actions.
  • attempting to humiliate Hillary by inviting to their first debate of a woman with whom her husband had an affair.

Blaming ourselves for the actions of others is one way we perpetuate our own girly thoughts, which only serve to disempower us, and in a funny way also disempowers men because they don’t learn the ramifications of their own actions.

Now repeat after me: Yes, I will!

And please . . . VOTE!

You’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Why You and Female Olympians Struggle to Get a Compliment

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Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult for you to take a compliment? Why you tend to disparage your achievements while men more readily acknowledge theirs?

Girly Thoughts

Well, stop beating yourself up. The answer is that you have learned to do to yourself what society does to you: criticize yourself endlessly so that nothing you do is ever enough.

And you have gone one step further and internalized all these value judgements into a negative self-talk that I’ve dubbed girly thoughts. Why give this process such a ridiculous name? So that you can identify when you are doing this. The name is obnoxious but memorable, and reminds you to tell yourself to stop.

Even Olympians Are Treated Poorly

In case you think having girly thoughts is just something you or your girlfriends do, tune into the Olympic coverage for examples of how we all continue to be conditioned not to celebrate the best that is in us.

Let’s face it: for a woman athlete, being in the Olympics is just terrific. The hours of dedication, strength building, skill building, early-morning practices, and travel result in the sacrifice of not being with friends, missing school events, even being unable to attend a community school. These sacrifices all come together to create an extraordinarily focused young woman.

But if you listen to media coverage of our medal winners, you will hear that even these champions still have their personal bests stolen or minimized by the media:

What to do?

  • Celebrate your favorite women Olympians by loudly giving them all the credit they so richly deserve on all your social media sites.
  • Take on the media in their persistent negating of the accomplishments of women earning a medal by Tweeting or Facebooking your disgust.
  • Use your anger at what the media does with women to also help you catch and stop yourself when you are thinking a girly thought—such as it will be too hard o find a man if I’m too successful.

So think like an Olympian and shrug off the negativity that surrounds your accomplishments. Strut your stuff, and don’t listen to those girly thoughts that tell you not to try something because it’s too . . . BIG.  Celebrate everything you are, and go for that gold!

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Promoting Prom Night Cherry: Advertising Booze to Teens Using Sex

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The label depicts a pair of women’s legs wearing a man’s top hat. The new craft brew from Oval Craft Brewing is named Prom Night Cherry. And it is a cause for alarm among the community members of Plattsburgh, NY, parents, educators, and leaders, who work tirelessly to make prom night enjoyable and safe for all.

This type of advertising has reared its ugly head on numerous occasions, but this one is a little more disgusting than most. The sexualizing of young girls is a cause of concern for all women—teens, mothers, grandmothers—and the men who care about them because it creates a standard of worth that involves “putting out” in order to be seen as desirable—not an action any of us, let alone a virgin, would enjoy.  

Over time, when bombarded by both subtle and graphic messages such as this, young girls internalize these societal message of what a desirable woman looks and acts like into a toxic soup that I’ve dubbed girly thoughts.

The blatant sexual innuendo here is that when a girl has intercourse for the first time, she “pops her cherry”; prom night is often depicted in popular culture as an opportunity for sex. Oval Craft Brewing’s description of the beer as “light and easy to consume” is another sexual innuendo. Such a suggestive name and label undermines the efforts of parents and community leaders to make Prom Night (and every night) safe. A name like Prom Night Cherry makes light of sex and drinking during prom, and ignoring the role that binge drinking often plays in sexual assault, drunk driving, and other violence and injury, especially among teenagers and young adults.

The Real Message

Does getting drunk at your prom and losing your virginity sound like fun? Was that your experience? One you would like your daughter to have?

Let’s Look at the Facts:

*Prom is a semi-formal high school dance. Urban Dictionary defines cherry as “a widely used slang term for a woman’s hymen.” In every state in the U.S., the legal drinking age is 21.  

*In a AAA survey of 16–19 year-olds (2/2014), 31 percent of those surveyed said it was likely they or friends would be under the influence of drugs or alcohol during prom or graduation season.

*According to a study published in JAMA, , each year an estimated 97,000 students ages 18 to 24 report experiencing alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape.

*Upwards of 79 percent of sexual assault cases involve alcohol consumption by the perpetrator, victim, or both, according to a report published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

 

*According to the White House Council on Women & Girls, victims of sexual assault or rape are at higher risk for mental health issues such as depression, PTSD, eating disorders, or suicidal ideations.

*The CDC reports that “Young drivers (ages 16-20) are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they have not been drinking.”

What You Can Do

    • Follow the lead of this community in upstate New York (which has mounted a letter-writing campaign to the owner of the brewery) and call out the manufacturers of products sexualizing women and products marketed to underage drinkers.
    • Give girls a name for the pressure they feel to conform to this type of message—girly thoughts.
    • Help girls realize that they can say No to this type of toxic self-talk and to feeling pressured to have sex on prom night, or any night.
  • And remember to identity your own girly thoughts. You are an example to those young women in your life.

Remember the power of one.  You can make a difference.  It all really does begin with you.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

 

Your Summer Wardrobe Doesn’t Have Room for Girly Thoughts

 

connect with me at: @drogorman | www.patriciaogorman.com

 

It’s summer, and you’re enjoying shedding the coat, boots, and scarf. You want to feel the air blowing your hair and sunlight on your skin. But, you consider, how much skin should you be showing?

You want to feel the freedom that comes with summer, but not necessarily feel like you are dressing unprofessionally, or even too provocatively in your free time. Why? Because your sexuality is something you are often shamed for, so you try to protect yourself by how you decide to dress.

Judging Yourself—Your Girly Thoughts

Face it. You are on a tightrope, balancing between what may be acceptable and trying to figure out if you have a right to enjoy your body. This inner struggle results in your own toxic, inner dialogue as you second-guess the way you dress, even judge your friends’ choices, and in essence do to yourself what society does to you: try to be perfect . . . whatever that means.

To help you get a handle on this, I’ve named this type of negative thinking girly thoughts. Why? So can you identify when you are having these toxic monologues and stop them! 

Dressing for Work with Your Girly Thoughts

If you are like many of us, you carefully consider what to wear to work. You want to look good—but not too good. You want to look professional (read “not sexy”) but you also want to look fashionable—a careful balance. Why do you put yourself through this every day?

Because you never again want to feel caught in the double bind of feeling good because you look good while being treated as a piece of meat by the men around you, especially men you need to respect you.

The result: a heap of discarded clothing on your bed as you begin your day—stressed, doubting your looks, and maybe even late.

Dressing for Fun with Your Girly Thoughts 

What about after work? Here you may give yourself permission to dress sexy, but even as you prepare to go out, you probably hold yourself back. Why? Because you don’t want to look like you are asking for IT! As if you can carefully control others simply by your dress.

The result: you are self-conscious all evening.

So . . . How Should You Dress Yourself?

  • First, realize that your girly thoughts are not helpful. Clothing doesn’t make the woman. It’s how she carries herself that says it all. So dress yourself with no girly thoughts. Carry yourself with pride!
  • Dress for comfort—your comfort, not guided by the fashion police, the guys, or your girly thoughts.
  • Don’t take the comments or looks of others personally! Recognize that the person who is giving you a catcall in the street or sizing you up in the office has his own stuff going on. His reaction to you is about him. Not about you.

Want to share a story about how you dress yourself with no girly thoughts? Contact me through www.patriciaogorman.com.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Picture: courtesy of Pexels.com

Yes, Your Anger Is Your Friend

connect with me at: @drogorman | www.patriciaogorman.com

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It may be hard to believe that your anger is your friend. But it is. Your anger is a powerful emotion, one that demands attention, often one that makes you want to take action.

Viewed this way, your anger can actually become your friend by positively changing your life. Sound crazy?

Why You’re Afraid of Your Anger

Your anger is probably the one feeling you are most cautioned against expressing. As a result, being angry can sometimes feel dangerous because it may make you step into unchartered territories.

So why should you befriend this part of yourself? For one graphic example of why your anger needs to be your friend, read Kameron Hurley’s post Female Rage Doesn’t Exist in a Vacuum, which depicts the sexual harassment she and another woman experienced at a bus stop … until, that is, she exploded.

Your anger can help you leave your comfort zone and consider something from a radically different perspective. That’s because your anger gets your attention and makes you begin to notice what is not right in your world:

  • Getting catcalled as you walk down the street.
  • Your ex posting intimate pictures of you.
  • Not getting the raise you deserve.
  • Women being mocked in public.

Your anger tells you that this isn’t right, that it may be time take action.

But you hesitate.

Why This Is So Hard? Girly Thoughts and Your Anger

As a woman, you are subtly—and sometimes not so subtly—reminded that being angry is just not becoming. You are told constantly that:

  • you need to be nice
  • being angry makes your face look ugly
  • men won’t like you if you’re angry

These are all examples of what I’ve named girly thoughts, an uncomfortable name for the way you internalize the societal messages around you into your own toxic, inner dialogue. Those messages distract you all day long by making you doubt yourself and causing you to not take actions that are important to you.

You Deserve Better

Listen to what that angry inner voice is telling you, and

  • notice your discomfort so you can decide how you want to handle it without silencing it.
  • don’t listen to your girly thoughts that tell you to suck it up and not take any action.
  • have fun fantasizing doing something, saying something that is outside of your comfort zone.

Yes, ignoring your girly thoughts and paying attention to your anger instead can change your life. Are you ready?

Photo: courtesy of gratisphotography via Pextels.com

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Do Girly Thoughts Sabotage Your Success?

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Sunday night I had a huge first . . . I performed in an actual concert hall, with an orchestra, with a new conductor! How was I? So nervous! But my nervousness didn’t go in the direction of doubting myself, being critical of my appearance, wishing I had lost weight, or telling myself I shouldn’t have agreed to do it.

Those would all have been what I call girly thoughts—the way we learn as women to tear ourselves down, deplete our energy and focus, and in general sabotage ourselves in achieving our goals.

Now this wasn’t a solo performance; I was part of a seventy-person choir. But that fact wouldn’t have stopped me from doubting all aspects of my being as I tried something new, something out of my comfort zone. Professionally, I am a psychologist and a speaker; I have spoken solo to hundreds. But I’m not a singer. For me, singing was something more private, something I did to center myself, to soothe myself. Joining a choir with some professional singers and musicians was outside of my comfort zone, and that left an opening for those nasty girly thoughts. But I refused to listen to that toxic inner voice!

Yes, We All Doubt Ourselves, but It’s Different for Men than for Women

Of course it’s normal when we try something new to have doubts about how well we are going to do. But what I have realized is that nervousness about pushing yourself to a new limit doesn’t have to translate into doubting yourself for trying something new. Often, men are exhilarated by a new challenge, while women focus instead on how they will be judged for taking a new challenge as those girly thoughts creep in—but that doesn’t have to be true for you.

Want to Stretch Outside Your Comfort Zone?

• Use your women mentors. My choir director, a woman, believed in all of us. She worked us hard, helped us understand we could do this. I believed her.
• Focus on your skills, not your girly thoughts. I knew I knew the music. I focused on this, not on my hair, weight, clothes . . . all of which would have diverted my energy.
• Surrender to your passion. I asked myself how I got into this situation and then reminded myself I love to sing. It’s my passion, and my passion is worth an investment of my time and energy.
• Enjoy your daring. I am tickled that I actually did this! Today I’m saying: Yes, I can!

You are more than your doubts and your girly thoughts. You are your dreams; you are the product of your hard work. Push out those girly thoughts so you can enjoy your successes.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.

Want to Soar Like an Eagle? 3 Ways Your Girly Thoughts Are Stopping You

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Ever want to soar above your troubles, be more in the moment instead of all in your head?

The answer: Look up, then look in . . .

Yesterday I happened across a video of what an eagle needs to do to thrive. I invite you to watch it to see what it takes to get serious about taking care of you!

What Get’s In the Way?

Witnessing the clear and weighty decisions an eagle makes to keep her supremacy immediately had me thinking of how our toxic girly thoughts stop us from doing what we so admire in the eagle—enjoying our power. Yes, girly thoughts, the purposefully obnoxious yet memorable name I’ve given to how we do to ourselves what society does to us.

How Your Girly Thoughts Are Stopping You

  1. Your girly thoughts keep you focused on what you can lose by trying something new, something radical, as opposed to focusing you on what you can gain by changing your thinking about yourself!
  2. Your girly thoughts have you struggling with the fantasy of keeping the body you had at eighteen by having you deny yourself food and keeping you from really enjoying the body you have now.
  3. Your girly thoughts have you struggling to maintain the popularity you had in your college sorority by being the nice girl as you struggle to make it professionally.

Learning from Eagles

If eagles can make radical changes to increase the value of their life, why not you?

  1. Re-create Yourself. Begin with your beak—how you speak to yourself, how you feed yourself. Keep your goal in mind, even if it does require some pain and effort. You are worth it.
  2. Get rid of those “old feathers,” and dress in a way that makes you feel good now. Maybe that means shorter heels, tunics, more pants. Let a new look energize you.
  3. Build new talons. Working on your goal may make you seem fierce to others, but if your goal will make you feel good about yourself, so what? Remember, you’re not in college any more.

Your girly thoughts are an example of old beliefs that keep you stuck in the past. Free yourself from them so you can take advantage of the present.

Remember, you’ll find more ideas for getting rid of your negative self-talk in my two latest books, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power and The Resilient Woman: Mastering The 7 Steps to Personal Power.