Today’s “It Only Seems Woman-Positive” award goes to Patricia Handschiegel’s Huffington Post article: “The New Power Girls Style: More Sneaky Tips For Balancing Work/Life From Entrepreneurs and Executives.”
Okay, you lost me at “Power Girls.” Unless you’re a pre-teen, honey, you ain’t a girl. I always want to gag when intelligent, professional women insist on referring to themselves and others as “girls.” Do they do it because our youth-obsessed culture makes them feel irrelevant if they’re over 18? Or because they want to appear as unthreatening as possible? Don’t worry, men! It’s just us girls! Tee hee!
“Power Girls”, “Rules Girls”, “Cosmo Girls”, “Girls Will Be Girls,” I am fucking sick of Grown-Ass Women being called “girls.” One of my first Awesome Feminist Moments was when–at age 12–I witnessed the inimitable MamaSharper snap at a hotel clerk who referred to her and AuntSharper, Esq. as “you girls.” I think it went something like: “You can quit calling us girls. I prefer Dr. Sharper.” Suffice it to say, it made an impression on me, and I know it made one on that poor schmuck of a hotel clerk. Needless, to say, I’ve never heard the same pervasive juvenilization of successful men, except maybe for the phrase “old boys’ club” (an institution to which “girls” are never admitted).
Anyhoo, the article’s tips about work life-balance for Power Girls Women are nothing revolutionary: get organized, make time for yourself, exercise, drink plenty of water. Of course, the tips have to be “sneaky,” because God forbid “girls” be forthright and honest about their needs. But in the end, work-life balance is really all about claiming your girly girl-ness femininity:
Today’s successful women are balancing things better than ever, be it fitness, family, fashion – even femininity – to have the lives we hope to have. “When a woman taps into and owns her femininity and all of the innate qualities that make her a woman, there is no stopping the rise of her star – in career and life,” said Cindy Yates, co-author of Cashmere Glove: The Feminine Approach to Business.
Oh what the fuck ever, Cindy. (All due respect.) Stop it with the whole femininity vs. business bullshit! Seeing “business” as exclusively masculine is precisely the kind of sexist thinking that the women’s movement was supposed to help us overcome. So why is HuffPo–founded by a woman who’s no mincing girly girl–running an article that breathlessly condescends to the very women it’s supposed to be helping?