|Shoes: Lotus, Dress: Vestique, Purse: Marshalls|
Like a BOSS
The term "BOSS" is very "in" right now.
It's normally used to describe someone who hustles, gets things done, doesn't let fear, temporary failures, the opinions of others, or even the odds deter them from their goal. Most of the time it is used as a compliment. Especially to women from other supportive woman. You'll see lots of inspiring quotes thrown around social media about "being a boss", acting "like a boss", describing something as a "boss move".
And I for one friggin' love it.
I like women who cut to the chase, get shit done, have dreams, goals, opinions, take leadersip positions, have something to say, somewhere to be, somewhere they want to go, vision.
For far too long women have had to choose between drive, motivation, education, careers and traditional attractiveness, partnership, or being judged as "too much". Some women feel that they are "too much" of one thing so they have to be less of another.
If you're "too" attractive you have to play that shit down because people will assume you are too attractive to also be smart, opinionated, funny, or driven. And... if you aren't traditionally "sexy", well then you're probably really intelligent, dedicated, humble and wholesome. If you're "too aggressive" people will get turned off, "too direct" well then you're a bitch. But if you're "too quiet" "too shy" "too meek" then you'll get steamrolled over in life. If you get financially supported by a man, then you're a gold digger, a leach, not self-motivated. If you don't, that's okay... but don't make more money that that man because that's emasculating. I'm generalizing of course, but there is a scene in the first Sex and the City movie that sums it up perfectly...
Carrie and Miranda are in a drugstore looking at Halloween costumes lamenting about how the only choices for women are the "Sexy Nurse" or the "Ugly Witch". They start to laugh it off and then pause for a moment and comment on how that scenario is pretty much an analogy for the proverbial boxes women are put in by society. Pick one, you're either a sexy slut, or an ugly bitch. Those are your choices.
You may be thinking.... Geez-US... who pissed, Melissa, off today? Well, if you know me personally you know that this soliloquy is not actually out of character. I wear the badge of feminist quite proudly. However, some shit did go down today.
I had a mid-year review today at work. I was told that I am..."incredibly skilled, valued, intelligent, and a strong leader with exceptional communication skills". In the next breath however I was also "suggested" that I be "mindful of my tone, not be quite as direct, and be careful of how aggressive I can come across... oh, and double check to be sure I am not short with people when I am communicating".
You see, I work in a corporate setting. This corporate job requires me to be clear, consice, direct, strong, influential, to work in the midst of a lot of change, oh... and to deal with mostly men who are older than me, educated in an entirely different field then me and to negotiate with them about money. Lots of it.
When I first had the review I was a little "put off" but when I got off of the phone call I kept thinking a bout it and I got full fledged pissed off. The skills I need in order to survive and thrive in my job are the same ones I am being warned about. I'm told to influence, to not be a pushover, to get a lot of information communicated in minimal time and to get things done in an environment that is ever-changing... but today's conversation made me feel that I should do it with a smile, not forget to leave out the pleasantries, and make other people feel warm and fuzzy. Don't be a "bully" (yes... that word was used). I couldn't help but wonder if the guys on my team, who are also great at their job, are ever lectured about being a bit more "soft, kind", and friendly"? Hmmmmm... probably not.
I care about people. A lot. I show gratitude for my team members, co-workers, family, and community pretty often. I get excellent reviews from my business partners and take the time to train my teammates to grow and thrive. However, I also get shit done. I talk fast, move fast, don't avoid conflict, give my opinion, and am not overly concerned with winning Miss Congeniality. Being nice is great but it is not enough, you also have to get the damn job done.
I'm pissed that in a conversation today I was told "you're great at your job, but you don't want to come off as short or bullish do you"? Well.. you know what?
Maybe I do.
Maybe being "bullish" has served me pretty damn well so far.
I wonder if the soft, kind, sweet, conversational women on my team were given a bonus last year simply for being nice? I doubt they were. I'm sure they were told to lead, be more aggressive, less of a pushover, influence more, to be stronger.
I hate thatyou have to straddle the line... never being "too much".
We can be both.
We can be good at our jobs, we can get shit done, wear short skirts, do our hair, take care of our bodies, read Russian literature, care about politics, go to church, be stay at home moms, choose to go to get our doctorates or stop after high school to make babies and be around to raise them. We can be a bit loud, opinionated, smart, sassy, and take the lead without being made to feel like we are bitches. We can be single, married, work outside of the house or inside of it. We can be soft-spoken or not. You don't have to choose pretty versus intelligent. Soft versus strong. Saintly versus heathen. Materialistic and superficial versus deep.
You can be whatever you want.
All of it.
**And a special shout-out to my manfried who listened to be vent, sent me a supportive text, is proud of himself AND proud of me, respects himself AND respects me and isn't the least bit turned off about how "too much" I am. BIG props to you.**