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FLEB Marketing Tactic #3 Male Approval

Day 3 of How To Spot a Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brand (FLEB).⁠⠀

If you’re a consumer, this crash course can help you make an informed, powerful decision about who you offer your time, money, and attention to.⁠⠀

If you’re an entrepreneur, download this free 10-day class to help you audit your own business practices, so that you can:⁠⠀

  1. Bake justice into your business practices and marketing (and flourish while you do that)⁠⠀
  2. Make sure you’re creating the social and client impact you intended⁠⠀


Problematic FLEB Tactic #3:

 Highlight Male Power & Approval⁠⠀

Female Lifestyle Empowerment Brands (FLEB) often make husbands, male partners or their access to male celebrities an important part of their brand.⁠⠀

Why? To manufacture authority (see lesson from Day 1). Having a high-status man in their corner demonstrates their power.⁠⠀

It also reassures other (straight) women that they can build financial power without compromising their attractiveness & value to men.⁠⠀

AND: their brand philosophies are often based on a sexist gender binary that constructs women as intuitive/emotional & men as logical/structured. So whenever they want to teach about building systems or structures, they need to trot out The Man. ⁠⠀

(I’ve seen a FLEB promote their husband as a coach to their women clients using the job title “Chief Masculinity Officer”!!!!!!)⁠⠀

And…pffffffft to all of this. ⁠⠀


Culture Making Business Practice #3: 

Build and Highlight Our Own Power⁠⠀

This culture-making business practice is possibly the easiest, and the hardest.⁠⠀

Easy: just refrain from doing this :)⁠⠀

Leveraging or displaying proximity to male power – if we can even access such a thing! – reinforces the patriarchal norm that only grants some women power & social approval as a function of their relationship to men.⁠⠀

Harder: We’ve got to build our own generative power, display it & share it

What is the female lifestyle empowerment brand (FLEB)

and why is it a problem?


  • Conform to the cultural demands of Ideal Femininity in order to rise
  • Reinforces gender dualist/binary


  • Display wealth, privilege & leisure in order to manufacture social authority over other women


  • Use the language of feminism & social change to bait a women into following/buying… while doing (oppressive) business as usual.
  • Conflates individual success with collective empowerment (they are not the same thing)


  • Teach women how to style themselves as saleable, consumable objects in order to ‘succeed’
  • Asks us to erase ourselves in order to perform a brand character

In other words: Get visible for YOUR ideas & YOUR work.⁠⠀

Also: interrogate (and retire!!!) the gender binary (masculine/feminine) for how it erases all other genders & reinforces sexist beliefs.


Kelly Diels teaches culture-making entrepreneurs & creators how to develop a substantial body of work that changes EVERYTHING -- your life, your industry, our world. (AKA Thought leadership for people who cringe at the phrase "thought leader".)  Her Sunday Love Letter can help you surface *your* unique method, step by step, week after week. www.kellydiels.com/subscribe

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