The Girlboss Era is Over. Welcome to the Age of the Girlloser.
Women are just supposed to just jerk off to our own smug sense of satisfaction, day in and day out, until we’re just piles of Boniva dust.
When I turned 28, everyone started asking me when I was going to have a baby.
No, wait, stay with me — I know you’re like, “Great, another one of those fucking essays about how it’s okay to not have babies, JESUS CHRIST LADY, HAVE THE BABY OR DON’T HAVE THE BABY! IT’S 110 DEGREES IN OREGON AND CALIFORNIA’S CONSTANTLY ON FIRE! NO ONE GIVES A FUCK IF YOU CREATE ANOTHER BEING WHO MUST EXPERIENCE THE UNENDING NIGHTMARE OF HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS, OKAY!??”
But this isn’t that, I swear. I tried to start this essay the way you’d usually start an essay about a cultural topic — by trying to set the historical scene, give some background, yadda yadda yadda — but why bother? You were there.
If you’re reading this, you were there when, in 2014, Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoroso wrote a book called #GirlBoss — a youthful update of Sheryl Sandberg’s bestselling 2013 empowerment-through-middle-management tome, Lean In. You were there, too, when Amoroso’s book sold half a million copies and got turned into a turd-ish, one-season Netflix comedy. And you were there, still (possibly in your Kings of Leon t-shirt), in the years that followed—years when a bazillion young women who were already rich but would like to become richer began shilling feminist suitcases and feminist yoga pants and feminist day planners and feminist underwear and feminist memberships to Barbie’s Dream Holiday Inn Business Center.
And you were definitely there when the whole thing came tumbling down, as expose after expose after expose revealed how girlbosses weren’t enlightened leaders at all—instead, they dished out abuse, upheld harmful business practices, and replicated the same exploitative power structures as every manboss. It turns out that absolute Instagram power corrupts absolutely.