Dumb rhetorical(ish) question. In our current cultural climate, is it cool to strive for forthright femininity AND a Nietzschean-level of achievement?
Hey! Why not.
But is it realistic? Can we dodge the qualifiers, judgements, contingencies? (You know the answer to that.)
“Lady Boss.” That term makes me wanna bash my head with a rusty shovel. Not only does it demote women to a subcategory of bosshood which is lesser than its root, but it often unwittingly ascribes traditional feminine characteristics to the job of bosshood.
I guess in a practical sense this isn’t a tragedy. Many of those qualities are helpful for people in management positions. And you know, I have maternal instincts and empathy and all that. I will happily bake you cupcakes. I also like mascara and manicures and shoes that click when I walk. But if I decide to not act like your mommy-wife, I’m not a shitty boss. I’m a regular one.
Slate’s The Waves podcast unpacked “Lady Boss” as a concept a few weeks ago. I dropped a little audio excerpt of it here (95 seconds) because I’m like, goddamn it.
TRANSCRIPT OF MY FAVORITE EXCHANGE... HANNA ROSIN: NOREEN MALONE: (Beat.) HANNA ROSIN:
…um… the “Boss Lady” is totally in command of her emotions, and she’s better than you at everything and she’s not apologizing for it, she’s not feeling bad about being… you know sort of leaving anyone in her wake, she’s, she’s not… um… she doesn’t need to read like management guides… ah… on like, how to, you know how to get a raise at work, she was—
Right, she might write one—
She writes them, yeah exactly—
Exactly. Is that, do you think that’s a fair assessment of the “Boss Lady?”
Ughk. I hate women. I don’t wanna be a woman anymore.