It was the day after Boxing Day of 2019 when Forbes put up an article chronicling how popular American celebrity chef and entrepreneur, Ayesha Curry, is helping women turn their passion into a livelihood.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? Sure does, it’s great stuff really. At least, that’s what you’ll find out if you’re not too pissed to read through the whole thing after it hits you that the article is titled: Ayesha Curry Is Helping Female Entrepreneurs Build Their ‘Fempire’.
Like, what’s that word? Fempire? Really? We’re doing this again, seriously? Those are the sorts of reactions that have trailed the piece since it was published.
Let this be the year we stop using words like “fempire” “SHEO” “womanpreneur” or any of its other annoying variations. Please. https://t.co/9zHiNKVvCE
— Adaku Ufere (@AdakuUfere) January 2, 2020
Sadly, that article is not even a one-off. The Ayesha Curry feature was the first episode of a whole new Forbes Women series curiously titled Fempire. Here we go again! Cue the groans.
As the article reads: “In the first season of Fempire, which premiered on ellentube last month, Curry provides up-and-coming female entrepreneurs with the advice and tools they need to build their businesses.
“Each episode sees her meet with different founders — among them a 10-year-old running a kid-friendly hygiene brand and a single mom leading a teen-focused nonprofit — determining their greatest weaknesses before sharing the guidance and resources they need to get their companies off the ground.”
See? Great stuff. So, why taint all that good work by tethering it to such a corny and cringe-worthy slang word like Fempire? Someone really thought that cool? Wow!
Frankly, that word is utterly disrespectful, demeaning, and disgusting. It’s an Empire, people! It can’t be anything else. Using the weird Fempire term just makes it seem as though the idea of a woman building an empire is an alien concept, or worse, something that has no right to happen.
The Fempire term is anything but an empowering word. It’s not a word designed to build women up or praise them for their accomplishments. It’s a word designed to segregate.
These buzzwords do nothing more than trivialize not only the ability of women to run businesses but immediately put them on the backfoot when it comes to getting ahead in the business world.
But Fempire isn’t even the worst of the lot, and thankfully, it hasn’t caught on like many other fundamentally derogatory slang words that are common in the entrepreneurship universe. And with some effort, like the one being into this piece, it may never catch on.
However, for those other unsavoury slang words that have somehow, unfortunately, become part of everyday lingo, the start of a new year serves up the chance to say good riddance to bad rubbish and dump them all.
Now, here’s a list of all those infantilizing and patronizing women-focused entrepreneurship slang words that should be trashed in 2020.
Entrepreneurship is entrepreneurship. A business owner is a business owner. And this whole idea of trying to infuse sex and gender into the mix should stay in the same place as 2019 — in the past.
Like, whoever came up with the idea that running a successful business while being a mom is something of an extraterrestrial feat that needs to be represented by such an annoying term as ‘Mompreneur’?
This kind of stereotyping, which reeks of male chauvinism and patriarchy, is just plain insane and it needs to stop this year. Especially as the term ‘dadpreneur’ isn’t exactly taking off in the same manner.
It can’t be okay to ask questions like: “How do you cope being a mom and running a successful business?’ That just implies that being a mom somehow automatically disqualifies one from succeeding in business.
It’s like saying it’s abnormal for people to be successful just because they are mothers, or worse still, female. How myopic!
Whoever coined this slang word must have thought they had stumbled upon something really cool and the fact that it somewhat caught on means that many people did too. But now it needs to go.
It’s common to find the word Shero/Sheroes in pro-women entrepreneurship conversations in today’s world. But at its core, that term is mostly belittling and insulting.
A hero is a hero, regardless of sex. And if you must distinguish, the proper term is ‘heroine’ — just be sure to spell and enunciate properly.
This is probably the worst of the bunch. The term ‘She-E-O’ is just starting to catch on as the slang word for company CEOs who are female and this one has to be shot down with urgency. Like, it really is insulting and absolutely nobody wants to be addressed with that term.
- Girl Boss/Boss Lady/She-Boss
The problem with trying to sound ‘cool’ these days is not knowing where to draw the line. And it hardly helps that there’s a thin, barely-visible line between cool and ‘uncool’.
Girl Boss, Boss Lady, and She-Boss are anything but cool these days and this has nothing to do with being ‘woke’. It’s just proper that anyone who is a boss should be referred to as such — no more, no less.
This slang word was popularised by the celebrity mother of a celebrity family, so it might be hard to get adoring fans to see it as anything but pure gold. But since we’re taking no prisoners here, it has to be stated that Momager is a terrible buzzword for women in business.
Kris Jenner, the mother of the ridiculously famous Kardashians, may have made Momager seem like a cool word to use to refer to women who are running big things but that term is inherently mortifying and should not only be trashed but also incinerated in 2020.
Featured Image Courtesy: Freepik