Girl Boss Feminism


“Hello Gals!” Look at all of you sexy wildcats; all part of the Girl Boss Feminism movement. Hope you are all ready to SMASH that glass ceiling today, so that you can not only be as good as those smelly old men working at the top of the building, but better! Look come on, if I can do it, then you can too. And with regards to any especially males who attempt to get in your way, just don’t have it! Push them out of the way, push someone else too out of the way if you feel the need to. As you don’t have to worry, because YOU are more than just some strong woman, but you are a Girl Boss!

Some of you reading this, probably are not actually too keen on this idea. But ask yourself, if you had the opportunity where you were guaranteed fame and fortune on the grounds that you worked for 16 hours a day, then would you take it? Yet you know that this most certainly is not going to guarantee you success, even if you are among one of the more privileged people in society. Because to actually become a “girl boss” in the traditional sense, usually means that people need to have plenty of money in the first place, whilst being white and having the correct connections is also certainly a help! Therefore it becomes pretty apparent that girl boss feminism may not be as promising as it may look to begin with. This way, we ought to all ask ourselves how empowering this movement really is, if its main aim is to seek out kind of equality in a world full of inequality…

What is a Girl Boss

Alright, so I have waffled on quite a bit, but if you hadn’t heard of the expression “girl boss” before, then according to the free dictionary, it refers to a “confident, capable woman, who pursues her own ambitions rather than working for others or settling down in life.” Although the definition doesn’t explicitly state this, it seems that a Girl Boss is generally used to describe a woman working in business. Generally a CEO or an entrepreneur. A prime example of this would be the role of Sophia Amoruso in founding Nasty gal, which resulted in a netflix show, based on her story. Many other women will have obviously been associated with this term, but many have also adopted it for themselves, including Lilly Singh, writer of “how to be a barister”, Nicole Lapin, author of “Boss Bitch” and Ivanka Trump, writer of “Women who Work.”

Constraining

While the idea of a girl boss may seem very empowering at first, as already mentioned, there are very few women who are in the position of having the opportunity of becoming a “girl Boss.” This means that the idea of being a girl boss is very limited to a negligible number of women, meaning it is hardly inclusive.

Not Really Feminism

From this, I cannot see how this can be a form of genuine feminism, when it excludes the vast majority of women. Now of course some could hope, but any woman of colour seeing this movement would immediately know that it isn’t for them, as the vast majority of all known “girl bosses” are white. Furthermore, anyone who is from a working class background can forget it. Feminism really needs to be about supporting and empowering ALL women, and about challenging the structural kind of “man’s world (click the link to get to a wonderful song) we are living in. Which has led to individual issues, based on sexism, which people of all genders have to face. The firm “cheer”, where many saw Monica Aldamia as the classic girl boss, shows how Girl Bosses may not be as feminist and “empowering” as some women would like to think they are. However the business showed a lack of commitment to feminist causes, which has arguably been obscured due to her simply being a female navigating a male dominated sphere.

Feminism + Capitalism=

So if you search the term “girl boss”, then apart from different articles coming up about it, you will also find there are a good number of “girl boss” products which you can buy. Yeah, not too surprising. As an example, a young women a few years ago may have felt empowered by wearing a “girl boss” Te-shirt, by associating herself to this term. The clear irony here is that women with very few, if not no rights and with barely enough pay to survive on, would have been behind making them. Moreover the broader message about girl boss culture, is of course about equating a kind of financial success, thus twisting feminism toward capitalism.

Do YOU Want to be a Girl Boss

We can all see how problematic this term is, nevertheless with the persistent pressures of accomplishing success, it is not too surprising why so many young women would want to aspire to it. Even if it is not something we are immediately aware of. Yet someone who is busy all of the time, even if they are working on things which they want to achieve for themselves, is not likely to be living the best life. Just think what they may be missing out on. And even if someone does manage to “break that glass ceiling”, ending up with millions of pounds in their pocket, and becoming well known, is not necessarily going to be happy. In fact, I can imagine it is an incredibly lonely life. Going back to the fonder of nasty gal, she stated that while she was managing to accomplish so much, she once got photo shopped into a group of people.

But at the same time, some do strive to become successful, and are likely to consider wealth at least as an indicator of success. White women are in this strange position of intersectionality, where their gender obviously acts as a constriction, yet their race is a massive privilege. Therefore trying to break boundaries may seem like a really inspirational thing to do. But before any of us try to work ourselves to death, or attempt to push someone out of the way, remember that neither of these choices will really achieve true equality,, or true happiness for anyone.

Published by victoriarose002

Hiya, I am an 18 year old blogger from the UK. I generally post about topics surrounding social, cultural and political commentary although I also aim to write some personal posts too... I am currently studying A levels, and as well as writing I like music, complaining and going to cool places. I encourage any comments, constructive criticism or any blog post suggestions. While don't hesitate to contact me at vickyyrose.02@gmail.com for anything blog related :)

17 thoughts on “Girl Boss Feminism

  1. Hi, hope it’s okay to comment on your post. It’s my first time reading your blog. Oprah Winfrey would be considered a non-white “Girl Boss” if it means a woman who has made her own money working for her personal empire without getting hitched, tho, right? And Feminism is the wider “label” which includes or intersects with Girl Bosses… it doesn’t matter if every feminist is a Girl Boss or wants to become one. And certainly not all girl bosses are feminists. Look at Margaret Thatcher. She didn’t like feminists at all, and felt a certain amount of playing to men was important politically and yet was considered an Iron Fist of Great Britain for soooo long. Feminism is inclusive. But not all feminists are and that’s ok. People are at different levels of understanding, experience and empathy… so feminism is mostly feared, belittled or misunderstood. Which is Perfectly human… And I don’t think anyone actually feels Ivanka is a Girl Boss, ‘cuz she was handed everything and didn’t/doesn’t really work for her own money. She even has nannies for her children. Anyhow, Thanks writing food for thought and for the forum!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey, thankyou for taking the time to read and comment on this post. It is true that there are some really inspirational women who could be labelled as “girl bosses”, and while I do not know too much about Oprah, I know that she is a great role model and inspiration to many, and I am sure she has done many great things. And true, not all “girl bosses” are feminists. However I still feel that the term “girl boss” is problematic, because in many cases, women who become girl bosses are only able to do so because they are born into privilege, and have the right money and connections to enable them to succeed. Making the girl boss movement not particularly empowering. Although feminism is such a broad topic, and there are so many different factions within it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thanks for taking time to reply. I dunno, maybe there are “factions” among the feminists as a “movement” but the common ground of the principles/ philosophy remains solid and intact. Women’s rights are human rights. We are the sole/soul owners of our bodies and are capable of making our own choices about our personal/private lifestyles. Access to education and learning about the diversity among feminists, no matter what the problems or divides, actually makes feminism stronger. It’s okay to face the disconnect including what you are speaking to… in terms of classism/ privilege. But I think that’s more about classism and not the core issue of feminism. Intersectional feminism is an attempt to find and explore that common ground.
        Anyhow, that’s my two cents worth! I appreciate your discussion / forum. Thanks again.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hello! Maybe this will help? Here’s a quote (and I’ll find a direct link to follow this quote…) to the introduction of feminist work(s) by bell hooks “Simply put, feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression. This was a definition of feminism I offered in Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center more than 10 years ago. It was my hope at the time that it would become a common definition everyone would use. I liked this definition because it did not imply that men were the enemy. By naming sexism as the problem it went directly to the heart of the matter. Practically, it is a definition which implies that all sexist thinking and action is the problem, whether those who perpetuate it are female or male, child or adult. It is also broad enough to include an understanding of systemic institutionalized sexism. As a definition it is open-ended. To understand feminism it implies one has to necessarily understand sexism.

        As all advocates of feminist politics know, most people do not understand sexism, or if they do, they think it is not a problem. Masses of people think that feminism is always and only about women seeking to be equal to men. And a huge majority of these folks think feminism is anti-male. Their misunderstanding of feminist politics reflects the reality that most folks learn about feminism from patriarchal mass media.”  (~quotes from bell hooks, chapter 1 ‘FEMINIST POLITICS Where We Stand’ in Feminism is for Everybody)

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Thankyou for this, and I actually strongly agree. the issue is not with men as such, but it is relating to sexism in general and the results of the patriarchy. This of course is a subject which I ought to, and will, explore in more detail in time.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Well, It’s about men… yes. Sexism is about men. The patriarchy is about keeping women inferior and as servant class generally…
        but so how about U take some time with this… maybe this can help? This is about the “mother tongue and the father tongue” so to speak… Patriarchy is about how men treat women as property. I am not sure U are understanding any of my comments… but I am willing to keep trying. Thank you again for being open to this discussion. I am not “arguing” with you btw… I hope this next post helps? Much of it is transcribed, but there is an original link also.
        https://girlpoweracademy.wordpress.com/category/ursula-k-le-guin/

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Okie dokie, here’s the first chapter PDF to the book by bell hooks: https://excoradfeminisms.files.wordpress.com/2010/03/bell_hooks-feminism_is_for_everybody.pdf
        Lemme know if you find it interesting? And if you want any more links I’d be happy to assist! I met bell hooks in a workshop I took my freshman year of college. She was part of a group of professors teaching about diversity before our school year began. At the time, I really didn’t know much about her, just that she was considered very important as writers and “thinkers” go.
        I don’t know what she’d think of the whole “girl boss” thing. She’s as humble and down to earth as she is fierce and self possessed.
        Hope you enjoy!

        Liked by 3 people

  2. 💜 …especially if YOU!!! CHOOSE!!! to Run Across The Road to “push someone out of the way” who is not even in YOUR!!! Way; it Seems that “pushing someone out of the way” becomes ADDICTIVE!!! a Firmly Formed Habit of Addiction that May Spill Over in to Personal Life at Great Personal Cost

    …💛💚💙…

    … ♡

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Completely agreed on this one. Girl boss concept is just very narrow, excludes most women, it basically does not take into account the notion of privilege. Girl boss is like a capitalist socially acceptable upper middle class white washed version of Feminism. Girl boss is everything but intersectional. It is like a non threatening version of Feminism that capitalism will ‘allow’ as it is not too much. X

    Liked by 1 person

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