Hey sistahs! I'm Courtney Macavinta co-author of the best-selling book for teen girls RESPECT. Respect Rx, is my blog for young women, parents, teachers and girl advocates. Get the scoop on how to change your world—inside and out—through the Respect Basics.
- Jenna Druck Foundation
- Community College Scholarship
- Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters
- My First Time: Voting!
- contest! Discover your INNER Goddess
- Gossip Girls
- Abuse + Harm (6)
- Body Image + Health (17)
- Boundaries (6)
- Bullying + Sexual Harassment (4)
- Equal Rights (2)
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- Girl Stats + Studies (1)
- Help! (12)
- Journaling (4)
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- REAL models (4)
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- Respect Makeover (7)
- Safety (1)
- School (7)
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- All Made Up: A Girl's Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype and Celebrating Real Beauty by Audrey D. Brashich
- Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body by Courtney E. Martin
- Women Warriors by Teena Apeles
- Packaging Girlhood by Sharon Lamb & Lyn Mikel Brown
- The Price of Privilege by Dr. Madeline Levine
- Do I Look Fat In This? and A Very Hungry Girl by Jessica Weiner
- The Real Truth About Teens and Sex by Sabrina Weill
- The Body Project by Joan Jacobs Brumberg
- 101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body by Brenda Lane
- Dads and Daughters by Joe Kelly
- Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers by Alissa Quart
- GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Queer and Questioning Teens by Kelly Huegel
- Deal With It! by Esther Drill, et al.
- The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf
- Don't Give It Away! by Iyanla Vanzant
- 33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History edited by Tonya Bolden
- Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou
- Perfectionism: What's Bad About Being Too Good? by Miriam Adderholdt & Jan Goldberg
- Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipher
- Revolution from Within by Gloria Steinem
- Schoolgirls by Peggy Orenstein
- Odd Girl Speaks Out by Rachel Simmons
- Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism by Jennifer Baumgardner & Amy Richards
- To Be Real: Telling the Truth and Changing the Face of Feminism edited by Rebecca Walker
- What Are My Rights? by Thomas A. Jacobs
- When Nothing Matters Anymore: A Survival Guide for Depressed Teens by Bev Cobain
- Adios, Barbie by Ophira Edut
- 101 Ways to Help Your Daughter Love Her Body by Brenda Lane Richardson & Elane Rehr
- Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman
- The Teenage Liberation Handbook by Grace Llewellyn
- Be True to Yourself: A Daily Guide for Teenage Girls by Amanda Ford & Shannon Berning
- Blue Jean: What Young Women Are Thinking, Saying, and Doing by Sherry S. Handel
- Life Lists for Teens by Pamela Espeland
- Meeting at the Crossroads by Carol Gilligan & Lyn Mikel Brown
- Perfectionism: What's Bad About Being Too Good? by Miriam, Ph.D. Elliott, et al.
- Real Girl Real World: Tools for Finding Your True Self by Heather M. Gray, et al.
My Husband Puts Me Down
My husband joined me in my business recently, and seems bent on proving to me that he is competent to run the business now and I am not. He cuts me down at nearly every opportunity and treats me with disrespect in so many subtle ways! I am losing confidence. What to do?
Rx: First, the good news: You already know you deserve better which is a Respect Basic. You know that what your husband is doing is disrespectful and you know your self-respect is on the line. Here are some steps you can take to speak up and make some changes:
Set some boundaries. Mixing business with marriage is never easy. But under all of our roofs—whether we live with roommates, partners, or other family members—we often have to cooperate to pay the bills, make dinner, clean the house, solve problems and plan for tomorrow. To protect your self-respect, for starters, think/journal about how you feel about your husband’s treatment. Also list the boundaries you want to set with him. Start with major disrespect dilemmas at the top of the list (like when he puts you down) and work down the list to the business issues (like what is the clear division of responsibilities going to be at the office?).
Speak up. Next, when you're ready, tell him how his treatment is making you feel [“(I feel (blank) when you (blank) and I want (blank to change in the following ways)”]. You might need more support from a therapist before you can draw the line—especially if underneath it all you feel unsafe around him. You might want to practice what you’ll say by writing it down in your journal. If your husband is someone you can work with on this, come up with mutually agreed upon terms for how you’ll cooperate in the future on the business front. This is easier said than done, I know. So you might also consider going to a marriage counselor who can help you work through these issues together (If he’s acting this way now, is it safe to say some of this behavior was going on before you became co-workers?).
Dig deep. In my own life, I’ve found that not dealing with my stuff (like growing up with family addicts and all the awesome;) stuff that comes along with that sich) messed with my “business” on the homefront. I could be controlling and critical and fearful on the drop of a dime. I needed to get help before I could create more respect in my heart and marriage (for me this has shaped up as therapy and support groups like Al-Anon and lots of open converations with people from my friends to my husband—I’m still working it, believe me!). Are there any Big Hurts that need your attention? E.g. the verbal abuse (and that's what I consider put-downs of any sort) from your husband is something I’d encourage you to get help around asap. Also, think about the consequences if things don’t change on the major issues, like [“If working together is going to cause all this stress on our relationship, and things don’t change, then maybe we shouldn’t work together...”].
Take care of you. In the meantime, each and every day take care of yourself (eat, sleep, have quiet time, walk). Focus on and soak in your passions—this builds your confidence, self-respect and resilience during hard times like these. Lastly, reach out to your sisters. Sisterhood is another respect basic and for good reason: When you are diminished, I am diminished. When you are successful, I am successful. Don’t be embarrassed to go to your girlfriends for shoulders to lean on and ears to bend. You’ll be surprised to learn how they struggle too, and that they will listen with open hearts. If you don’t have close friends, put this high on your list of things to do for you. Take a risk and start creating strong relationships (another basic) and speaking up with your friends about what’s really going on with you (yet another basic). We all need support on the path to respect—and that need never goes away.