Television Strong Women As Role Models? Career Dangerous In Real Life!

“Let’s Hear It for TV’s Difficult Women”
Megan Angelo
Glamour Magazine
June 2015

Lady Mary
Downtown Abbey

Selina Meyer


Carrie Mathison

Olivia Pope

Claire Underwood
House of Cards

Abby and Hana
Broad City

While going through a stack of old magazines in December 2019, I came across the article above. I had to write my reaction within days.

These are quotes from the article:

“Headlining every breakout show are the sort of women who have
historically been classified as ‘difficult,” even bitchy—ambitious,
blunt, and staunchly ‘bout their own business.”

“Sure, Cookie may rub some people the wrong way, but who cares?
She fights for what she wants. And that’s the crux of the ice-cold,
attitude-y TV ladies—they’re risk takers and, ultimately, winners.”

“Then we go home and watch women who remind people pleasers
like me that a well-placed retort, a scorching rant, or even just a
meaningful pause are doable, important, and something we should try,
on whatever level we can handle.”

Megan Angelo forgot that television characters care only if the writers make them care. Real people care. In real life, bitches invite backlash. Lots of people accept those invitations and choose among the following:




Real life former bitch Bernadette Boas wrote a book about why she stopped being a bitch. The quote below reveals why real life bitches lose:

“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.”

Bernadette also feels shame. She feels ashamed for not caring that she was a bitch. This is her apology for decades of bitchiness:

Forgive me for the bitch I was.

Forgive me for not knowing I was.

Forgive me for not caring I was.

I am truly sorry.

Do you enjoy living with shame?

I use the phrase “girl growls” for the statements ice-cold, attitude-y women make about other women without caring. Read how one “strong woman” growled for what she wanted and lost. I used a girl growl and lost, too.

Now read how Rafe Esquith made a point of being nice to everyone. The invitations he sent out came back when he was in his greatest need of support. Rafe Esquith won. The bitches qualified to be CEO and Billionaire Mafia owner Lana Fuchs lost. Television writers can make bitches win no matter what they do. People in your life can make you lose because of what you do.

I wonder how much backlash Megan Angelo invited if she used “well-placed retorts” and “scorching rants”. How much of the backlash was behind her back?

I have a blog full of real world examples of success sparking success and failure flaring failure. We can’t control the factors that create serendipitous success or freaky failure, but we can control whether we choose and invite every other type of success or failure.

The CEO candidate bitches and Billionaire Mafia owner Lana Fuchs chose and invited failure. Rafe Esquith chose and invited success.

What do you choose?

Back to one Megan Angelo quote:

“Sure, Cookie may rub some people the wrong way, but who cares?”

Megan doesn’t care when women treat other women as unequal? Does she care when other women treat her as unequal?

I care when women create inequality for other women because I want equality. Equality between men and women will follow equality between women. Read the Girl GritGirl Goodwill, and Success & Failure Choices pages on my website to understand how creating equality sparks success, including unforeseen success.

Back to Bernadette Boas’ apology:

Forgive me for the bitch I was.

Forgive me for not knowing I was.

Forgive me for not caring I was.

I am truly sorry.

Bernadette feels shame for the decades she didn’t care. When Megan Angelo finally starts caring, other women will care enough to spark success for her. Because Bernadette Boas cares about helping other women now, I promote her book, her radio show, and her consulting at every opportunity to quote her. I am doing my best to help Bernadette Boas win because of what she does. When more women win as CEOs (and Presidents and Prime Ministers), women like me will have more opportunities for success in other areas.

And because I support Bernadette, Bernadette has repeatedly offered to support me. In an email exchange regarding this blog post, I told her about my next project. She will do what she can to support me when I am ready.

Bernadette Boas and I are the strong women Megan Angelo should be emulating. We both had the strength to recognize how we harmed other people and how hurting other women also hurt us. We are winners because admitting the harm we did to other women is the first step toward winning with other womenBernadette and I  are ready to welcome Megan Angelo into winning with us.

In case you’re wondering, I started this winning with relationship when I contacted Bernadette to say I wanted to include a quote from her book on my Girl Grit page. I asked for nothing in return because I saw support for Bernadette as a way to increase success for all women, including me. Bernadette chose to offer support specific to me. We will continue winning with each other as long as we are able to.

If Megan Angelo ever contacts another woman with the intent of supporting her, she must do so with sincerity. Insincerity would prove the impossibility of winning with Megan.

Shedding the Corporate Bitch: Shifting Your Bitches to Riches in Life and Business
Bernadette Boas
Pages 4 and 216

Bernadette on Linkedin

Bernadette’s website

Bernadette’s radio show


Paula M. Kramer
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