Why I’m Feeling Uncomfortable with Some of the Women Spaces Online

black and white Hustle-printed ceramic mug on table

For years, I’ve positioned my brand and business as being for “women.”

My colors were more “feminine” and even the language and messaging I used were to “speak” to entrepreneurial women. I had several clients who were men so I didn’t think I need to be more accommodating than that.

My perspective was always “my voice is my voice and either you resonate with it or you don’t.”

I’ve come a long way from who I used to be and in that growth journey, I’ve had to confront how I am contributing to the social issues that aren’t in alignment with my values.

I always felt a certain way about feeling like I needed to cater to the male demographic. The criticism I always got was that men wouldn’t resonate with my flowery language or “girly” colors. I was told I needed to be more “neutral” and I said no, each and every time. At the time, my thought process was that I didn’t want to center men with a brand that was rooted in empowering women to step into their authority. 

To some extent, I still feel this way but it’s evolved into something more inclusive, or so I hope.

I never wanted to adjust my brand to accommodate people who weren’t the audience I wanted to speak with.

So much of everything is already centered around men and I didn’t want my brand to feel like another form of catering to patriarchy. Taking my messaging and using it to support men who already have the world handed to them, didn’t resonate with me.

And as inarticulate as I probably was about it back then, I better understand what it means now.

I’ve changed and I would like think that so has my worldview. I am constantly checking in to see how my work may negatively impact the same audience who I want to support with my expertise.

In this ongoing re-evaluation process, I noticed a disconnect from the spaces I used to frequent, specifically with the Latina entrepreneurial circles.

Some days I feel like a spiteful hater. Other days I feel like a chaos agent. Neither of those are accurate representations of my intentions.

One day, I looked around at the women who were in my professional circle and something clicked. Their brand and voice never changed. They were who they’ve always been. I realized it wasn’t them…it was me.

Boss this and that never really resonated with me and even more so now. I don’t want to be a “boss.” I simply want to exist.

I’m getting older and the hustle culture bullshit I used to believe in doesn’t sit right with me anymore. As I distance myself further from the communities I once felt at home with, I now find myself even that much more conflicted and alone in that confusion.

I can’t isolate this from my life as a whole because in other areas I felt a stark disconnect and didn’t understand why. Maybe it was an awakening. I don’t know.

It could be as simple as I outgrew the “rise and grind” lifestyle. 

As I started questioning what exactly was the point of no return, I noticed a pattern. 

There’s a strong undercurrent of “mean girls” when you have a group of women who use feminism to reinforce the systems they claim to want to dismantle.

Hustling in heels meant putting a black dress on ambition typically afforded to men.

And I get it. I do my best to avoid knocking those with high ambitions. I still have them myself.

What I was questioning was whether these communities were actually trying to effect change or if they were simply rebranding the same oppressive hierarchy…but in pink. 

I cannot speak of how dynamics play within other groups because that is not where I’ve been navigating my professional career. As much as I try to not pigeon hole myself as a Latina entrepreneur, it’s very much a marker for my brand and business.

Most of my audience and clientele have been Latinas and as someone who likes to sit back and observe (while also putting my foot in my mouth), the beige brigade is highly invested upholding patriarchy because it aligns with their agenda.

It’s not an anomaly that a sizable portion the Hispanic voting block votes enthusiastically with the GOP.

Whether that’s an indication of how race, socioeconomics, and political power contribute to the inequalities they pride themselves in fighting – I’ll let the experts further muse on that. 

These observations (aka opinions) are simply what contributed to my desire to divest from most of the cliches I used to engage. The unraveling tour didn’t stop there though. One day I’ll muse about the cognitive dissonance within the “love and light” space.

This original rant was meant to speak to how I’m reassessing within myself what it means to be a woman and how much of that identity is indoctrination so that I can uphold the status quo. I feel like I need to give that reflection more time to percolate before publicly sharing my imperfect observations.

To be continued…

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