The Young Businesswoman & The "B" Word: Why girls like me catch hell for not playing nice

The Young Businesswoman & The "B" Word: Why girls like me catch hell for not playing nice

I am not nice. When I'm handling my business affairs I am considerate, fair, and respectful of others, but I never want to be associated with the word "nice." In my line of work (the music biz,) "nice" girls who are tame, don't set boundaries, and let people walk over them get the shaft, and not in fun way. They get the shaft in a "wow, I just got screwed over and it's nobody's fault but mine because I should have been more assertive about handling my business" kind of way. Of course, in the pursuit of success, some people do confuse ambition and bitchiness. But that is not solely a female thing, because I have to be honest...I have worked with some guys who's actions showed me that the word "bitch" is 100% gender neutral. And those guys were not bitchy in a fun, Perez Hilton kinda way. They were bitchy in a "wow, I can't believe this guy just threw a public temper tantrum because he couldn't get a third VIP pass " kind of way.

With that being the case, why is it that women STILL get branded as bitches or divas or "on the rag" when we are standing our ground?  I'm not exactly a feminist, I enjoy taking full advantage of being the bustier sex. However, in an era of Ellen DeGeneres and Beyonce, isn't the public used to seeing examples of strong women by now? I have seen plenty girls be called dirty names by people who took thier assertiveness as bitchiness, whereas in similar situations my ambitious and sometimes more aggressive male friends have been met with respect. So basically if I had been born with an "outty" between my legs instead of an "inny" that would make me more respectable???

I resent the common misconception that women tend to make decisions emotionally. To say it flatly, that's dumb as hell. In the back of my mind, I know that whenever I speak up for myself, even when I do it in a businesslike, proactive way, I run the risk of having this issue. It doesn't happen often, just enough to sorta piss me off. Have any of you ladies out there experienced the same thing? It's like some people have a problem with treating females like professionals! True, I don't wear a business suit, I don't even own one. However, when it comes to getting things done I am deeply in touch with my inner Condoleezza Rice, all the pragmatism that has no place in the rest of my life gets used in my business dealings. In my opinion, being ambitious means having the drive, confidence, and tenacity to get to the next level while building lasting relationships with the people who are helping you get there. That's reasonable, right? And since I happen to be less reasonable than most females, I am forced to believe that I am not the only lady who thinks this way. The fact of the matter is the pressures are greater on fems because people have different expectations of us, and that's bullshit stupid. You can have whatever expectations of me that you want, but don't expect me to play along.

When I first realized the "bitch" classification was a recurring thing, like any thinking person I had to evaluate myself to figure out if I was, in fact, being a bitch. I totally do have "bitchy" moments, but they are typically reserved for use on guys I'm dating or friends who drag me out to lame parties that I don't wanna attend. Girls who are bitchy tend to repel worthwhile people who refuse to allow anyone to walk all over them. They show a lack of appreciation for the people around them and are unable to build strong relationships with others because nobody wants to help out the ungrateful, demanding bitch, right? Well, in my case, when I look at the people who I work with the most, I'm pretty pleased.

My big bro & co-producer Matt Hennessy is an accomplished and well-respected engineer, we grew to be great friends over the few years we have been working together and I have even become pals with his wife (who happens to be far cooler than him!) Ira Antelis is another person who I have known for several years, he mentored me when I was first starting my career and I still do business with him now. In fact, we recently did a project for Hasbro together. If I was soooo terrible and bitchy then why would he keep hiring me for all these years?

Two recent acquaintances of mine who make me feel like I am doing something right with my life are Andrea Samuels (my make-up artist)  and Marta Cebrat (my stylist.) These ladies are uniquely talented and well known in their respective fields. To be honest, working with them has made me more confident about my body and my looks because they are just able to make people feel so pretty. Being in the fashion industry, I am sure that both of these ladies have seen their fair share of bitchy diva disasters. Yet, they are always happy to work with me and go out of their way to make the things that we do together awesome. And I can't forget Liza Lee, my new manager. She came on board in the midst of turmoil (NEWSFLASH: My life is turmoil) and has been my biggest supporter since the day she found out I existed. She is accomplished in the music industry & frankly doesn't need me to continue to be successful, but the fact that she is so enthusiastic about helping me get ahead is further proof that I am not the person who's the bitch, it's the person who thinks I'm a bitch who's being the bitch! Again, it is difficult for me to believe this is not the case for many other girls like me. The proof of this is the rapid rate at which women are advancing to positions of power in numerous fields in this country.

We've all heard the expression "Nice guys finish last." Any ambitious person knows that being assertive, going after what you want, and being persistent is what makes someone a winner. And while there may be some who do not understand the role that being respectful, courteous, adaptable, and grateful plays in getting ahead, THEY DO NOT represent all women. Moments often arise in business dealings when a person has to knuckle up and dispense a dose of kick-ass, nobody can expect a woman to become a people pleasing doormat in those situations. That's outdated, and not in a retro, groovy kinda way. It's outdated in a "I'm leaving now, don't call me until you're ready to do some real business" kinda way.

Filed under: blogging, friendly advice


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