How the “Girl Boss” Movement is Feeding off Your Trauma

by | Oct 16, 2023 | Feminine Leadership, Somatic Mental Health, Women's Health and Fitness

I’m just gonna start this bluntly: modern day feminism isn’t working and the “girl boss” movement is part of the problem.

The original feminist movement in the 1960’s was absolutely necessary..but it hasn’t shifted as we’ve grown and evolved.

Many things have changed since the original movement in the 1960’s, and we are now living in a time where it’s expected of women to be in the workforce. However, society hasn’t adapted to what women actually need in the workforce to thrive – not to mention the demonization of women who choose to stay home.


What trauma?


Speaking to my generation of millennials, we were raised by the daughters of the 1960’s feminist movement. Our mothers saw the direct impact of this fight when they were young. They felt the oppression that catalyzed the movement and witness the victory. Because of this, many of us were raise on a survival mindset disguised as empowerment. A conflicting explicit message of “you can do anything” clashing with the implicit message of “you better work your ass off to stay safe and protect this ‘freedom’ generations before you fought for”. This is what we received as passed-on generational trauma. Couple this with the continued patriarchal system making us believe we need to compete with men in the workplace, bear children and still uphold the household perfectly and we have the result of burnt out women everywhere.

Originally, trying to keep up with men was a necessity. Women had to fight to survive in the workforce – a man’s world. These women learned the ways of men, adapted on how to work with and against them and found empowerment through achieving their own success despite these challenges. But over time, without enough adaptation of our needs in the workplace itself, the achievement of success has been at the cost of women’s health and feminine essence.

Unfortunately, much of society has accepted the fact that we should just work like men while simultaneously believing that we should still be 100% attentive mothers and spouses all while keeping a pristinely clean home. But it’s not just society’s projections. Many of us have internalized these aspects of being a working woman and a loving partner and mother – effectively compounding the issue. As a result, we have pushed and forced ourselves to accomplish this level of perfection unable to achieve it and simultaneously feeling burnt out and blaming ourselves for the burnout. In essence, we end up living out and experiencing the implied survival messaging from our mothers while waiting and craving to experience the empowerment side. Enter the “we can have it all” and “girl boss” narratives.

Women’s empowerment gone wrong

Women’s empowerment should be encouraging women to listen to and trust their bodies and personal desires. Now, I’m not saying that a woman’s desire can’t be to work (hello, I love my job!), but it’s the narrative that work and power will bring us the most joy that is troubling.

The fact is, encouraging us to go after power is only feeding off of the wound of feeling oppressed by men for generations. It’s ok to want to be powerful – but why do you have to find power through traditional ways of a 9 to 5 job designed by a patriarchal society? If you desire is to be the best mom and homemaker there is, why can’t you feel powerful in that?

Additionally, it’s not even the fact that we are working 9 to 5 jobs, but how we are expected to show up at them daily. Energetically, showing up to “push”, “force” and constantly “do” are masculine traits. As women, we run on our infradian rhythm (our menstrual cycle). How we show up in the world on day 8 is incredibly different from how we are designed to show up in the world on day 20. Women’s empowerment should be about encouraging you and employers to understand a woman’s body and the power and perspective she brings to her work with each phase of her cycle. REST is paramount. PLAY is paramount. These are values not held highly in our working system. Trying to work as the system is designed – as men, in competition with men – is robbing us of the rest and play we need to thrive.

We are burnt out from living in our masculine energy too much and the “girl boss” movement promotes this. The messaging pushes you to remain in your masculine and compete with men and is effectively keeping us unhealthy and tapped out.

So what do we do about this?


First of all, if you identify with the “Girl Boss” and you feel you are embodying a healthy sense of feminine empowerment then by all means tell me to go fuck myself; but I’m guessing if you are still reading this something about what I’m saying is resonating.

You can absolutely be a bad ass in the workplace, as a mom, and as the leader of your life while still being feminine. Playfulness, sensuality, rest, and indulgences can be part of your success – it doesn’t always have to be a grind.


Priority #1: Take Care of Your Health

Let me repeat: your body does not operate like a male body. If you don’t know how your cycle works go read this blog now and check out my resources page for more support. Start noticing how you feel during your cycle. Start noticing how you feel – period. Do not push yourself when your body is telling you to stop. Eat foods that feel nourishing to your body. For the love of God, get some sleep! Surround yourself with people and things that feel emotionally and mentally nourishing instead of depleting. TREAT YOUR BODY LIKE A FUCKING GODDESS.

I take all of my clients through a protocol of figuring out what’s best for their body for optimal health and optimal productivity. Schedule a 15-minute Discovery Session with me now to do the same for yourself.


Priority #2: Assert Yourself

What does it feel like to use your Girl Boss/Boss Babe bad-assery to assert your needs for rest and balance? If that makes you bristle a bit, then you aren’t as bad ass as you think you are (yeah, I said it, take a breath, you got this).

Girl, you have climbed the corporate ladder, you have passion and know what you want – you deserve to feel fucking amazing! Stop working for other people and start working for yourself. Are there obstacles in life that might limit you, yeah…but when has that stopped you before?

And if assertiveness has always been difficult for you, we can work through that. It is a muscle you can flex in addition to nervous system control and trauma healing.


Priority #3: Manage Your Nervous System

Embody the feminine to move through those stuck emotions. The feminine is meant to feel the wildness of the emotional range. Because we are meant to feel also means we have the capacity for it! Your capacity may have changed over time due to life experience and big and little trauma – gently invite emotional responses that you can handle and follow them all he way through to help your capacity for big emotions grow.

Perfectionism, being a work-a-holic, etc is a trauma response. Be gentle, but let yourself feel and let go. Learn mindfulness tools and find a trauma-informed coach or therapist you trust to get you through the sticky parts.


Priority #4: Change Your Vision

Become ok with the fact that we don’t need to compete with men. Be ok with the idea that generations before us pushed us a little too far. Become comfortable with the knowledge that your body needs more rest than society allows and that’s ok. Allow yourself to envision a life of success, health, and balance all in one.

In Conclusion…


This is an invitation to examine your relationship with your job and career as it ties in with your self-worth. Are you operating off of trauma? Are you trying to prove your worth to an idea that women need to be the same as men?

Consider the impact your mother or father had on your growing up when it comes to success or career.


Questions to ask yourself:


1) What did I learn from my mother about a woman’s self-worth in this society? What I did I learn from her about work or a career?

2) What did I learn from my father about a woman’s self-worth in this society? What did I learn from him about work or career?

3) How do I feel about the work I do and how I show up? Does this feel good? Do I want to continue?

4) What is truly important to me? (Take a few deep breaths here – ground into your body by feeling it connect to your seat and feeling the breath expand and contract the torso). Now answer again: what is truly important to me? How would I ideally want to show up for myself to make an impact on the world?


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