With gender issues like pay equity for women actors and writers coming increasingly to the fore, girl squads can be seen as a positive step toward expanding female power in Hollywood, where ownership has been overwhelmingly male since the silent film era. For all its dictatorial overcontrol, however, the early studio system also provided paternalistic protection and nurturance for young women under contract. Marilyn Monroe was a tragic victim of the slow breakdown of that system: The studio made her, but in the end it could not save her from callous predators, including the Kennedys.
It is not appropriate for outsiders to take on leadership roles, since the result may actually be disempowering, as mentioned above. One of the key elements of this work is leadership development. While the organizer may be an "expert," her role requires her to stay in the background. In meeting with members prior to the initial group meeting, the organizer may help determine who might be most effective as a group leader. From the outset, small-group meetings are led by people from the community itself. The organizer then acts as a coach and de-briefer, rather than a leader.