I Am Finally Sick of the Term ‘GirlBoss’ & Here’s Why
Okay, I’ve been reading stuff for a while about people being really over (and even insulted by) the term #GIRLBOSS.
Honestly, I’m not the kind of girl who gets easily ruffled by a word. I am pretty lax and easy going about a lot of things, and the sort of stuff that gets a lot of feminists’ tails in a tizzy usually doesn’t bother me too too much.
I choose to go forward in life believing that MOST people are well-intentioned and don’t mean to be insulting and try to be their best in this world. Even when people sort of slip up and say something that sounds a little offensive, I try to reason it out that deep down they are a good person and it doesn’t MATTER at the end of the day.
( If they are not a good person, that’s a different story. And I can usually tell from a mile away if they’re not! Not to toot my own horn but I am a good judge of character… It’s one of my stronger suits. )
Yeah, other people have made very solid points about the “girlboss” distinction dumbing down the notion of a woman being a boss versus a man being a boss, and categorizes a female boss as something “cutesy” and “nicknamed” versus what we really are: just a BOSS.
Ever since I started taking note of all of the controversy around the word, I stopped using the term myself because I do respect the idea that “girl bosses” are just BOSSES and it’s kind of silly to distinguish us as anything other than that.
But it still didn’t really bother me personally when other people would use the word with good intentions and usually even with excitement — for a long while.
With a bunch of other BOSSES at the WANT Panel this summer! PS Katie Horwitch (ultimate #BOSS) is on my podcast today… listen, listen, listen!
But now it’s finally starting to bother me…
However, lately, I’ve finally reached the point of annoyance. All of the girl boss, lady boss, femme-boss, “SHE-E-O” verbiage is really getting old in my book.
YES, us women are badasses. YES, we run companies and manage other people (male AND female) and bring our own unique and intelligent edge to everything we do and conquer in the workplace.
And the original usage of #GIRLBOSS stems from an inspiring place — Sophia Amoruso’s awesome memoir about overcoming adversity, defying the odds and building a super successful multimillion dollar company out of her O.G. eBay vintage shop.
SHE is a girlboss, because she COINED THE TERM. Her company is called Nasty Gal, so it works for her. She is a gal, girl, boss, CEO, badass, street smart intelligent human, all of it.
So I liked it for her reasons. And I still love Sophia and what she stands for — a lot. But NOOWWW all of the “lady boss” chitter chatter popping up freaking everywhere is driving me nuts. Why, you ask?
First of all, the term is being thrown around out of context. I feel like a lot of females who start a business and start calling themselves a “girl boss” use the idea of being a “girl boss” to promote themselves to other “girl bosses.”
( Okay, I’m done with all the “quotes” now because you get it, it’s a girl boss. Bye quotes. )
As a business owner, I am all about reaching out to other people for help. Other women and men alike. And I am also all about helping other women and men alike when they come to me for help.
I do not choose to give MORE advice or special promotion or massive discounts in my blog promotion to someone just because they are a girl who is a boss. I choose to give more advice, special promotion, and sometimes even free promotion to someone based on WHO THEY ARE.
How they approach me, how genuine they are when they come to me for advice, with a question, or with a real and authentic and inspiring approach to asking me to promote their company or share my tips.
I do free stuff for people A LOT. But I don’t do it because they are a girl boss. Or because we are “sisters” or all that mumbo jumbo.
FOR EXAMPLE //
People ask me to promote their companies / brands / food / clothing / what have you all day every day. It’s part of my job. It’s awesome, I feel lucky for it, and I am not saying this to make myself sound cool (it’s not that special — if you have a blog, people contact you all day to promote stuff too!).
I try to view every inquiry with the same eye — meaning, a young female entrepreneur coming to me asking me to share their product or an already successful middle aged dude coming to me asking to share their product — I try to view them all the same and base my responses off of their personality, their genuine personal interest in working with me, how they treat me, and what their product IS!
Of course I am inspired by young (and old! and middle aged!) female entrepreneurs. How could I not be? We’ve overcome a lot to get here. But calling yourself a girlboss to me doesn’t give you a free pass to assume that because you are female — we must collaborate or I should step down from my usual standards and not charge you, etc.
You’re a female boss, but don’t you want to be treated like a BOSS? A boss!!! It’s so rad that you are a boss, and pigeon holing yourself as a girl boss is just getting tacky.
Ya feel me?
I love, love, love the idea of girls of any age breaking into the entrepreneurial life. My mom, at the age of 62, just started her fashion blog! That is AWESOME. Am I extra inspired by her because she is a WOMAN breaking into the blogging/entrepreneurial world later in life? Yes, I am. She is amazing.
But the idea of calling her a GIRL BOSS Or a LADY BOSS or whatever it is people are throwing around right now just bugs me. My mom is as feminine as it gets… her entire lifestyle and blog is geared toward women, about women, meant to inspire women, and written by a woman.
Is there any NEED to call her a girl boss? No. She is a boss. She has every right to be just as boss as my dad, my brother, or any man we know for that matter.
She is a BOSS.
She is an entrepreneur.
She is a blogger.
She is a fashionista. She is a NASTY GAL, as Sophia would say!
See?! Is my mom not the BOSSIEST?!
And if anything, I would prefer to call her a BABY BOOMER BOSS or a STYLE BOSS or something like that because I am much more inspired by the fact that she is pursuing a new passion later in life and has gathered the courage to start something new and out of her comfort zone — not because she is a woman.
Women do cool shit every day. Women rock. Women run successful companies, write books, get degrees, work their butts off, bear children, inspire others, all of it — every still day.
So I am inspired by my mom in particular not because she is a woman, but because she is a person who is pursuing their dreams.
Some of my most dedicated TBB readers are male, believe it or not. MOST of my readers are female, but my diehard male readers are some of my favorite humans on this earth.
If one of them were to start a company and reach out to me for help or advice, I would GIVE IT TO THEM! Just like my young female readers.
I guess it just peeves me when someone says “well, from girl boss to girl boss… help me out.” OR, “from sister to sister….” GAG ME. GAG ME. (Trust me, people say it to me every day. EVERY DAY.)
If you are working hard, kicking ass, taking names, building your brand, setting your soul on fire — you have my respect.
You are a boss in my eyes.
You don’t need to have employees to be a boss.
You don’t need to call yourself a GIRL BOSS to gain the respect of other women in the space.
So many BOSSES!!! And all women. Who knew? 😉
If you’re a girl and you’re an entrepreneur, trust me — people will take note. If you’re working hard and treating people well and approaching people you admire with respect — they WILL help you.
Now, if you resonate with being a GIRL BOSS for other reasons, more power to you! I would never tear another woman (or person) down for using a term they genuinely relate to and enjoy.
I’m just saying… let’s cut back on the overall distinction between bosses + girl bosses. We are all just BOSSES.
Working hard, being awesome, and being nice to people will continue to get you ahead and grow your business. And always be NICE to other women, and support them without any need for competition or anything else — I’m just saying DROP THE LABELS! They’re dumb.
Asking for special favors or shouting from the rooftops that you are a girl boss is just getting sort of tacky.
Most of the people I work with ARE WOMEN! Because they are talented. And awesome. Not because they are women.
I was thinking about this all night long, couldn’t fall asleep + had to say something about it! What do you guys think? I am definitely open to other opinions here and would love to hear them. I am not trying to be negative, I am just trying to get a conversation going about a word that I think ultimately has gotten really silly + WAY overused in all the wrong contexts.