The Dismantling of Lady Boss-dom
Lady Boss, Girl Boss, Boss Babe, and so many other terms have been shared on social media, on products, and in women business movements. These terms for years now have been used in the growing women entrepreneur sector. It was a bandwagon that most everyone jumped on...myself included. So please tell me why these terms are suddenly getting shade from many women business owners?
As a woman starting a business in today's world, I use social media to promote my business but also to connect to other women in the industry. I enjoy seeing trends, sharing in their lives, and learning from their businesses. This whole time, I shared with them under this umbrella of Lady Boss-dom. I like it in the Lady Bossdom...the land of millenial pink softness with the edge of the perfect sharp edged bold black font. So color me surprised when this week, as I scrolled through my Instagram, I encountered a post where the words Lady Boss were placed on an image and then Lady was crossed out then another where it stated "Lady Boss...no, just Boss is fine!" Hold up, what?!
When did this change in climate begin? Why was this queendom being dismantled? And further, when did lady become a bad word that we placed a big red X over? And so my reflection began...
noun, often attributive
la·dy | \ˈlā-dē \
Definition of lady
1a: a woman having proprietary rights or authority especially as a feudal superior
b: a woman receiving the homage or devotion of a knight or lover
I mean, that sounds pretty hardcore right? (Shout out to Merriam Webster Dictionary) Maybe you want to slip into something less clinical and more current? Let's jump now to a community that I discovered on my quest to discovering why Lady Boss is getting a bad name, Obvi. First, let me start by saying Obvi...you had me at hello...I plan on going on your page again after writing this post and expressing my undying love for all that you are and all that you stand for because wow did I get inspired in the mere time I looked at your site and Pinterest...to be continued. But for now, I give you this image and a quote I found on Obvi's Pinterest page:
Powerful image and powerful meaning, right? What did they have to say over at Obvi?:
"Lady is a special word for us. This is our defining term, this is our chosen badge. We always capitalize Lady to reflect its power, our power, the power of everything in its definition. We are stronger together. We are the Ladies."
Girls, you are speaking my language here!
So, my quest for you, Lady Bosses of the world, is this - break down the terms that you are tearing apart and REALLY understand what those terms are saying. Lady, Girl, Woman, Babe...these words should never equate to you a lack of strength and power. Further, calling yourself a Lady Boss should not negate that you are a boss or make you feel like you are not equal to man who just calls himself a boss. In fact, I challenge you to look at these terms in an entirely different light - with empowerment. It brings me back to the entire Fight Like a Girl controversy that struck years ago and how that was then turned around by advertisers showing that "fighting like a girl" in fact meant being a badass. This is one in the same. Lady Boss doesn't mean that you are not a boss...it means you are a boss who is part of a divine sisterhood of powerful, strong, intelligent women who balance their power and softness to create a new level of being a boss.
And, hey, if you read this and still want to put a big X on all the Lady Boss memes and quotes on the internet it is entirely your prerogative and part of your own power to do so. Just understand what you are erasing. And, moreover, understand that it is shaming women for believing in the term Lady Boss is really just creating more barriers that we have fought so far to breakdown. All in all, Boss or Lady Boss, aren't we all just trying to make it out there? So continue your path, support one another's dreams, and live in your truth.