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    5 Common Girlboss She-E-O Traits

    Uncover the traits that define the modern 'She-E-O' with our exploration of 5 common Girlboss characteristics. From unapologetic ambition to unwavering resilience, delve into the qualities that set female leaders apart. Learn how these inspiring traits propel women to success in the business world, and discover your own path to becoming a dynamic and empowered leader.

    By Anna Myers / Jan 07 2024

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    “Just a girlboss building her empire,” reads my least favourite type of Instagram caption in the world. We know enough about history in 2022 to come to a pretty conclusive answer about this one: imperialism is bad, people! And while we’re at is, can we leave girlboss feminism in 2014, where it belongs?


    Because the end of the girlboss era is here, and it’s been happening for quite some time. 


    In case you’ve been living under a rock, the demise of the girlboss has been well documented: from the OG girlboss, Sophia Amoruso, to The Wing’s Audrey Gelman, Thinx’s Miki Agrawal, influencer Rachel Hollis and so many in between, positioning yourself as an empowered (and empowering) feminist while going against what feminism stands for in the first place is out. It should have never been in, really, but oh well ––we live and we learn. 


    There’s been some attempt at rebranding #girlboss-ism as “just a girl trying to make it in a man’s world,” which is fair enough in theory, but not so much in practice. For The Guardian, Marth Gill writes: “Is it really hypocritical or immoral to be a member of an oppressed group and care only about your own success? Follow the logic and the only group with no obligations at all is the one with no experience of oppression – rich white men.” 


    She continues to say that “surely success for even one woman should be counted as a (very small) feminist victory,” which sounds reasonable, of course, but here’s where I object: rich white men in power do contribute to the success of other rich white men. For the most part, men in power benefit, promote, support, and help other men succeed. That’s the patriarchy for you, baby!


    If women can’t do the same, and do it in a way that aligns with the principles of intersectional feminism (taking into account the many different ways each woman experiences discrimination) then who the hell is going to do it for us? 


    To inspire you to build less of an empire, and more of an empowering community, here’s a list of 10 common traits of girlbosses and She-E-Os, aka… what not to do!

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    a girlboss will parade her bump but fire pregnant employees or cut down their maternity leave

    As a former Nasty Gal employee alleged in a lawsuit, it turned out that Sophia Amoruso’s girlboss haven was actually “​​a horrible place to work for professional women who become pregnant.” Because haven’t you heard? You just need to have feminist in your IG bio, you don’t actually need to act like one! 


    The lawsuit said “Nasty Gal systematically and illegally terminates pregnant employees, without offering them the four months of unpaid leave guaranteed for new mothers under California law.” 


    Proudly feminist Thinx also treated its pregnant employees with un-feminist disdain, limiting parental leave at a meagre two weeks. Time to expect more from our feminist heroes, gals!

    a girlboss always has a fantastic opportunity ready for you, babe

    “You’re Not A Girlboss — You’re Just Trapped in An MLM Scheme,” writes Holly Hobkirk for one of my favourite sites, The Financial Diet. Multi-level marketing schemes like Avon, Arbonne, Younique, FM Fragrance, Amway, and Nu Skin work by targeting vulnerable women with the sort of #hustlehard mentality typical of the girlboss, and promises of great riches to come in no time. “The harder you work, the more money you will earn,” their recruiters say, all the while calling you “babe” and telling you “your future is in your hands''... except that over 99% of recruited MLM sellers actually lose money. Uh-oh.

    a girlboss will leverage her woke status for profit

    The weeks and months following George Floyd’s murder brought upon what VOX called a “racial reckoning in women’s media,” a crucial moment in which companies like Refinery29, Man Repeller, and Who What Wear received seemingly long-overdue backlash for their tone-deafness, empty allyship and a culture of racial microaggression. From an executive mistaking a black employee for a caterer, to blaming the company’s lack of diversity on “not enough applicants of color,” to firing “multiple staffers of color shortly after the coronavirus pandemic hit the US,” the list goes on and on and on. 

    Image credit: Pinterest

    a girlboss will relate herself to harriet tubman

    This one is just ––there are no words. Rachel Hollis, of “Girl, Wash Your Face” face received extensive backlash just last year for her pull yourself up by your bootstraps message, plagiarism allegations, and her expressed desire to “live a life that most people can’t relate to,” as “most people won’t work this hard.” An example of the woman she relates to, and calls “relatable AF”? Harriet Tubman. My oh my.

    a girlboss will talk you through how she orgasms...wait, what?

    Actually, it was instructions on how to squirt, thank you very much. The complaint by former employees against Thinx’s former CEO Miki Agrawal is quite something: it details how the SHE-e-o (that’s how Agrawal refers to herself) would make comments about “the size and shape of her employees’ breasts, an employee’s nipple piercings, her own sexual exploits, her desire to experiment with polyamory, her interest in entering a sexual relationship with one of her employees, and the exact means by which she was brought to female ejaculation.” I have questions. 



    And she’ll do it all with a cosmopolitan in hand!


    I know, I know, I love Sex And The City, too, but we’ve got to be real with each other: this scene kind of started it all. “Ladies, let's just say it. We have it all,” Samantha proclaims in season three’s tenth episode. “Great apartments, great jobs, great friends, and great sex… We have baby quiche delivered, and eat it, too.” And it was downhill from there.

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