Honestly, I can’t complain. I’ve been busting my butt to bring my 2nd grade career goal to life
O…..m…..g……We’re not even at the halfway point in August, and I’m already pooped. I needed to take a break last week from my weekly writing schedule just to catch my breath. But I’m back. Honestly, I can’t complain. I’ve been busting my butt to bring my 2nd grade career goal to life (for the first quarter – the second quarter, I wanted to be a senator….although I haven’t ruled that one out yet).
With that being said, I’m back. (Yay!) Last week, between all my running around, I started thinking about my first job. Well…real job. After high school, I got a job in retail; for the sake of protecting people’s delicate sensibilities, I will keep the actual location a secret, but hopefully you can read between the lines and figure out my place of employment. One of my managers there was a woman who was polite when needed but definitely not pleasant. The general consensus amongst the staff was that she was a major b****. Now I was never able to figure out if she only acted like this at work in order to maintain order or if she carried that persona every where she went. I’m going to lean towards the latter however. She seemed to relish in not having many friends and being a solitary type of person. She was selfish, she enjoyed spending her money….she was all about her and only her.
When I was younger, that type of mindset seemed horrifying. I had always been raised to think of others first. Nice girls may not have the most fun, but that wasn’t the type of fun that I wanted to have anyway. Being labeled a b**** (see, I can’t even bring myself to spell out the whole word) was the crowing jewel in a list of superlatives designed to remind a woman that she had strayed from the path designed for her by society. If there was one thing for certain, it was that I did not want people to think that I was a b****. Those type of women were loud and abrasive. They did not wait around for permission. They did what they wanted when they wanted.
Nice girls may not have the most fun, but that wasn’t the type of fun that I wanted to have anyway
A shift in my perception began to take place in college. The same type of women that had previously horrified me were running the campus. They were in charge of the orgs. They were involved in everything. They were making things happen. People wanted to be around those women. They were taking charge and not apologizing for it. For the first time, I heard the term “bad b****” and I didn’t know what to think . It combined the two personalities traits that I had feared being branded throughout adolescence but it was being used as a term of endearment and empowerment. Suddenly, my role as the nice girl had slid to the bottom of the totem pole. I waited too long to share my ideas in meetings. I didn’t speak to anyone outside of class. People knew me as nice but nothing more. It was no longer nice girls finish last….it was nice girls would be lucky to finish at all; if they made it out without being trampled on it would be a miracle.
After college, the mythos of the b**** continued to grow. The bad b**** was now joined by the boss b****. This was a woman who did what she wanted. She made her own rules. She handled her business. She didnt’ take crap from anyone. She eschewed traditional femininity and yet, was still seen as the pinnacle of female beauty. She lived the life she wanted to live regardless of the consequences – because those consequences only applied to everyone else. Sometimes, I couldn’t help but wonder if this was merely a ruse. If there was still a nice girl hiding out under there. Or maybe the opposite was true. Maybe the mean girls from the worst parts of our lives had figured out a cheat code. They could go on doing and saying whatever they wanted and dismiss it as being a boss b****. Nice girls became unicorns. A chasm in womanhood began to develop. You were either a nice girl who did what she was told and never made an imprint on the world, or you were a b**** proudly wearing your scarlet B on your chest and not caring what the rest of the world thought.
People knew me as nice but nothing more. It was no longer nice girls finish last….it was nice girls would be lucky to finish at all; if they made it out without being trampled on it would be a miracle.
This isn’t to say that I’ve never done anything morally ambiguous to claw out a slice of achievement for myself. I just don’t understand why there has to be one camp versus another. As I’ve matured, my nice girl has gotten more brazen. She’s become more assertive. She’s not afraid to do what she needs to do, regardless of what others think. But she still likes to take care of others. The moniker of B**** has never quite felt right with me. Even when the term is said out of admiration or empowerment, I can’t help but recoil a little. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned and can’t quite get over what it used to mean to be a b****.
I don’t think it has to be a case of Dr.Jekyll/Mr.Hyde. I don’t understand why the finish line is exclusive only to boss b****. People are going to talk regardless. I say straighten up your crown, put on some lipstick and give them a hell of a show.