Why I Take Issue with the Term “Girlboss” 

Hello, lovelies!

I read Sophia Armoruso’s novel Girlboss last month. I picked it up from my local bookstore while searching for blogging inspiration. In the book, Armorouso details her journey to become founder and CEO of the company Nastygal. While the novel is rich with inspiration, the namesake – the term girlboss – is a sticking point for me.

What is a girlboss?

Quite simply, a girlboss is a woman who is in charge of her life.  The term often brings to mind words like cute, and nickname.

The key question I ask surrounding the term is this: Why can’t we all just be bosses? After researching the term, I began to wonder why we can’t all be ‘bosses’?

What’s the hype?

The term originates from the brilliant work of Sophia Amorouso. As I mentioned above, she wrote this memoir on overcoming adversity, and defying the odds. I deeply respect Amorouso’s work. The term girlboss has deviated from it’s original purpose and meaning.

So, why take issue with the term?

1. The term is used out of context

Many women who refer to themselves as “girlbosses” use the term to promote their business. Of course, female entrepreneurs are truly inspiring. But does referring to oneself as a girlboss elevate one woman’s business over another?

2. Gender qualifier 

Adding words like girl, honey, or babe to the term boss reasserts gender qualification. The term girl often has a cutesy connotation. It automatically categorizes women, though the term intends to break women from the typical mold.

How do you feel about the term ‘girlboss’? 


4 thoughts on “Why I Take Issue with the Term “Girlboss” 

  1. Hi Erin, dropping by from Facebook!

    To me, “girl boss” doesn’t evoke a sense of cutesy-ness or girly-ness, though I of course respect that it does for some people. After all, we all have different perspectives on things based on our own experiences in life.

    Like you, I read the book too but I felt it resonated with me. To me, being a boss is hard. But being a boss who is also a woman/lady/girl is even harder due to all the more obstacles we have to face than men to reach the same level. So, to me, the term “girl boss” actually elevates a woman’s standing if she were to be placed beside a man who has also achieved – equally – whatever she has in terms of career. It tells me she is more capable than him.

    I don’t see one girl boss as being “more” than another girl boss. I think just being “girl” is hard enough lol.

    Loved your alternative take on this, nonetheless!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t take any issue with the term. I do see a lot of female entrepreneurs using it. I don’t think it elevates one over the other…I think that it’s meant to be more of a encouraging sort of thing. Like the phrase “like a boss” or “boss”.
    I see what you are saying about gender qualifying it with “girl” and it being a cutesy thing. For me I tend to use girl not to be cutesy but just as a term. Just like if say guy instead of man. Or dude or chick..lol. I don’t base anything I do on me being a female/woman/girl. I use the term girl but it in no way suggest I’m not grown or independent ❤.
    Great article to get you thinking!

    Liked by 1 person

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