Woman up: 5 reasons I am not your #girlboss

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(1) We’ve worked hard to remove gender classification from professional titles. We don’t say girl doctor or female comedian or lady cop because it perpetuates the patriarchal norm that men are the standard and expectation while women in certain roles are the exception. This is still very true in a lot of male-dominated industries, but we want to continue to close that gap, right? When’s the last time you specified that a joke was from a really funny male comedian? You don’t. This is why a lot of women in film and television prefer to call themselves actors rather than actresses – because they are a man’s professional equal, not an adequate girl version of what men do best. So you’re not a #girlboss. You’re just a regular boss. That’s a good thing.

(2) It infantalizes powerful, successful, grown women. Your childhood lemonade stand was a girl boss venture. If you’re over 18, it’s time to woman up, ladies.

(3) You’re a boss. Period. You’re a good basketball player for a girl. You’re funny for a girl. You’re a great boss for a girl. Nope. No, thanks.

(4) It distracts from bigger, more complex, unresolved feminist issues. Let’s not declare victory before victory is won. Putting on a #girlboss t-shirt doesn’t solve much bigger problems.

(5) When’s the last time you heard a man call himself a #boyboss? Never.

The #girlboss trend isn’t all bad. It’s been a rallying cry for women who work hard, make things happen and want to be recognized. It’s been a way for women to connect with other women who get it. And it’s a way to stand united as one #girlboss front. But beyond fun, friendly, social encounters and inspiring internet dialogue, I find this to be a very tough title to take seriously out in the real world. Ultimately, it’s more about inspiration when what we need is action.

So no, I’m not your #girlboss.

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Katie Levans
| @katie_levans |
Co-Founder and Creative Director