3 Business Lessons "Lovelace" Can Teach Women

Linda Lovelace learned from her mistakes. So can we all,  by resolving our core sense of unworthiness, our "sadness attitudes," and replacing them with self-approval, self-appreciation, goal-setting, and action taking in line with what we know within.

3 Business Lessons "Lovelace" Can Teach Women

The movie Lovelace, which opens this week, seems an unlikely goldmine of advice to females about how to manage their lives and careers. After all, Linda Lovelace--born Linda Susan Boreman and portrayed in the movie by Amanda Seyfried--achieved her notoriety as a porn star in Deep Throat, a career choice that would strike most women as degrading and terribly misguided.

Although we can't know what Lovelace's thought processes were at the time, it's likely she lived with a lot of what I call "sadness attitudes," which are ways that we dismiss viewing ourselves as whole and complete human beings. These include feeling unworthy, lonely, and dependent on others for approval--traits that seemed to be real motivators for her fleeing her Florida upbringing as soon as an opportunity presented itself.

Also part of the "sadness" spectrum is feeling passive, helpless, and hopeless, characteristics that probably consumed her after she finally realized what a diabolical, controlling partner she had married--Chuck Traynor, the man who had orchestrated her entry into the porn industry.

As shown in the movie Lovelace, encumbered by her "sadness attitudes," she didn't pay adequate attention to the warning signs that might have led her to put her foot down and not travel down that road or, at least, might have helped her get out of her situation faster than she did.

Here are three scenarios the movie describes. They're all excellent teachable moments that may resonate for many women in their decision making.

1. She had a domineering mentor. In Lovelace's case, it was Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) who, in the movie, singles her out after watching her dance at a club. With a grim, strict mother (Sharon Stone) to deal with, Lovelace wanted out. Charming and manipulative, Traynor essentially offers his wife up as raw goods to the porn film industry and, later on, to sexual predators.

The civilized workplace can feel controlling, too, especially when you either lack or are afraid to use negotiating skills. We are also vulnerable to other's control when our emotional life is characterized by "sadness attitudes"--and not grounded in knowing our own self-worth. The first rule is, if your request for a dialogue is turned down, have the courage to walk, no matter how seemingly scary. Your "secure" situation--and fear of upsetting the apple cart--will not get better if you don't listen to this inner cautionary voice.

2. She didn't control her own money. The Lovelace vehicle Deep Throat made hundreds of millions of dollars. Yet Lovelace was paid only $1,250 for her work, and Traynor pocketed even that.

In the workplace, controlling your salary and paycheck is your business. And if you can't negotiate the amount, consider leaving for greener pastures, hard as that may sound. ON the home front, if your spouse or partner isn't open to some of your hard-earned income being just for you, keep talking about it, even though short term it might ignite your partner's anger.

3. She didn't embrace and define her real identity. There's a telling moment in the movie, in which a photographer takes pictures of Lovelace that will promote Deep Throat. The resulting prints portray a fresh-faced young woman--exactly the opposite of the racy, sleazy blonde female stereotype associated with porn movies. 

In the workplace, the herd mentality is often too tough to override, which often prevents employees from stepping outside the norm with new ideas, a unique brand, or a contrarian problem-solving strategy. Lovelace didn't realize she was her own best asset and, therefore, allowed herself to be devalued. Don't fall for it. The fact that you're not like your boss means you can see the lay of the land differently, which may mean a different and perhaps highly profitable vision. But you need to trust yourself first and problem solve using your own unique strengths.

What's the takeaway here?

It's important to remember that Lovelace's porn "career" lasted a mere 17 days, that she happily remarried, wrote two books--Ordeal and Out of  Bondage--and became an avid crusader against pornography. Circumstances for change always present themselves, no matter what your employment situation, job, or career.

Linda Lovelace learned from her mistakes. So can we all,  by resolving our core sense of unworthiness, our "sadness attitudes," and replacing them with self-approval, self-appreciation, goal-setting, and action taking in line with what we know within.

Want to find out more about the attitudes and emotions that dominate your character and may be sabotaging your business success or personal happiness? Take a quick self-quiz here, and then try the coping strategies designed to address them.

* * * * *

Jude Bijou, MA, MFT, is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her award-winning book is Attitude Reconstruction: A Blueprint for Building a Better Life. Learn more at www.attitudereconstruction.com.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


A landslide is imminent and so is its tsunami

An open letter predicts that a massive wall of rock is about to plunge into Barry Arm Fjord in Alaska.

Image source: Christian Zimmerman/USGS/Big Think
Surprising Science
  • A remote area visited by tourists and cruises, and home to fishing villages, is about to be visited by a devastating tsunami.
  • A wall of rock exposed by a receding glacier is about crash into the waters below.
  • Glaciers hold such areas together — and when they're gone, bad stuff can be left behind.

The Barry Glacier gives its name to Alaska's Barry Arm Fjord, and a new open letter forecasts trouble ahead.

Thanks to global warming, the glacier has been retreating, so far removing two-thirds of its support for a steep mile-long slope, or scarp, containing perhaps 500 million cubic meters of material. (Think the Hoover Dam times several hundred.) The slope has been moving slowly since 1957, but scientists say it's become an avalanche waiting to happen, maybe within the next year, and likely within 20. When it does come crashing down into the fjord, it could set in motion a frightening tsunami overwhelming the fjord's normally peaceful waters .

"It could happen anytime, but the risk just goes way up as this glacier recedes," says hydrologist Anna Liljedahl of Woods Hole, one of the signatories to the letter.

The Barry Arm Fjord

Camping on the fjord's Black Sand Beach

Image source: Matt Zimmerman

The Barry Arm Fjord is a stretch of water between the Harriman Fjord and the Port Wills Fjord, located at the northwest corner of the well-known Prince William Sound. It's a beautiful area, home to a few hundred people supporting the local fishing industry, and it's also a popular destination for tourists — its Black Sand Beach is one of Alaska's most scenic — and cruise ships.

Not Alaska’s first watery rodeo, but likely the biggest

Image source: whrc.org

There have been at least two similar events in the state's recent history, though not on such a massive scale. On July 9, 1958, an earthquake nearby caused 40 million cubic yards of rock to suddenly slide 2,000 feet down into Lituya Bay, producing a tsunami whose peak waves reportedly reached 1,720 feet in height. By the time the wall of water reached the mouth of the bay, it was still 75 feet high. At Taan Fjord in 2015, a landslide caused a tsunami that crested at 600 feet. Both of these events thankfully occurred in sparsely populated areas, so few fatalities occurred.

The Barry Arm event will be larger than either of these by far.

"This is an enormous slope — the mass that could fail weighs over a billion tonnes," said geologist Dave Petley, speaking to Earther. "The internal structure of that rock mass, which will determine whether it collapses, is very complex. At the moment we don't know enough about it to be able to forecast its future behavior."

Outside of Alaska, on the west coast of Greenland, a landslide-produced tsunami towered 300 feet high, obliterating a fishing village in its path.

What the letter predicts for Barry Arm Fjord

Moving slowly at first...

Image source: whrc.org

"The effects would be especially severe near where the landslide enters the water at the head of Barry Arm. Additionally, areas of shallow water, or low-lying land near the shore, would be in danger even further from the source. A minor failure may not produce significant impacts beyond the inner parts of the fiord, while a complete failure could be destructive throughout Barry Arm, Harriman Fiord, and parts of Port Wells. Our initial results show complex impacts further from the landslide than Barry Arm, with over 30 foot waves in some distant bays, including Whittier."

The discovery of the impeding landslide began with an observation by the sister of geologist Hig Higman of Ground Truth, an organization in Seldovia, Alaska. Artist Valisa Higman was vacationing in the area and sent her brother some photos of worrying fractures she noticed in the slope, taken while she was on a boat cruising the fjord.

Higman confirmed his sister's hunch via available satellite imagery and, digging deeper, found that between 2009 and 2015 the slope had moved 600 feet downhill, leaving a prominent scar.

Ohio State's Chunli Dai unearthed a connection between the movement and the receding of the Barry Glacier. Comparison of the Barry Arm slope with other similar areas, combined with computer modeling of the possible resulting tsunamis, led to the publication of the group's letter.

While the full group of signatories from 14 organizations and institutions has only been working on the situation for a month, the implications were immediately clear. The signers include experts from Ohio State University, the University of Southern California, and the Anchorage and Fairbanks campuses of the University of Alaska.

Once informed of the open letter's contents, the Alaska's Department of Natural Resources immediately released a warning that "an increasingly likely landslide could generate a wave with devastating effects on fishermen and recreationalists."

How do you prepare for something like this?

Image source: whrc.org

The obvious question is what can be done to prepare for the landslide and tsunami? For one thing, there's more to understand about the upcoming event, and the researchers lay out their plan in the letter:

"To inform and refine hazard mitigation efforts, we would like to pursue several lines of investigation: Detect changes in the slope that might forewarn of a landslide, better understand what could trigger a landslide, and refine tsunami model projections. By mapping the landslide and nearby terrain, both above and below sea level, we can more accurately determine the basic physical dimensions of the landslide. This can be paired with GPS and seismic measurements made over time to see how the slope responds to changes in the glacier and to events like rainstorms and earthquakes. Field and satellite data can support near-real time hazard monitoring, while computer models of landslide and tsunami scenarios can help identify specific places that are most at risk."

In the letter, the authors reached out to those living in and visiting the area, asking, "What specific questions are most important to you?" and "What could be done to reduce the danger to people who want to visit or work in Barry Arm?" They also invited locals to let them know about any changes, including even small rock-falls and landslides.

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Credit: "Mars Attacks!" / Warner Bros
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