I’m not a feminist – in all honesty, I don’t even know what the word means. But, I am a woman and I believe that as women we deserve as much opportunity, as much respect, as much freedom and the same choices as men. I don’t think men and women will ever be equal – as there are some things each gender just aren’t built to do and aren’t made to cope with. But, I believe that men and women should be treated fairly regardless of their gender.
But over the last few years there have been some phrases that have made me uncomfortable – and more and more phrases are joining the pack as time goes on – Mumpreneur, Mumboss, Momboss and even Fempreneur. I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen a Dadpreneur, a Dadboss or a Mas(culine)preneur. Why? Because there is just no need for those words and I don’t think any men would even think to use them, let alone stand behind them, as a collective, giving weight to words that we just don’t need.
There are entrepreneurs and there are bosses and neither are gender specific. They are gender neutral, all encompassing and perfect for any individual and any role that they are doing. They are great words to describe people in managerial roles, directors of companies, self employed people and pretty much anyone in charge of anything.
But then new words have been created to describe women in positions of power and expertise, being a boss at whatever they set their mind to – in business or in family life. Mumprenuer – being a mum and an entrepreneur. Mumboss – being boss at all aspects of family life. You don’t necessarily need to work to be a mumboss, you just need to be boss at what you do – pretty empowering to women, right?
But no, I don’t think these terms empower women at all. If anything I think they just set women apart from men at a time when we have been working so hard to close that divide. They put women on a pedestal that just isn’t needed and if anything they cancel out any change that has been made over the last years to put men and women on an even footing.
So many men have successful businesses and are parents too. So many men are self employed but so many men work for other people too. There are many, many men working hard to provide for their families and there are men staying at home and looking after children too. They don’t need a term to empower them – they are just living their lives the best way they can in a society that already does so much to label people and stereotype them.
We live in a world where there will always be a gender divide in some way. As much as we try to get rid of this divide there will always be pay differences, jobs aimed more towards one gender and more opportunity for different genders in some work sectors than others. So let’s try not to increase that divide any further and instead stick to the labels, if we need them, that have always been there and have always worked.
If entrepreneur is good enough for Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey and Deborah Meaden then it’s good enough for me.