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Rachel Bloom’s “Lady Boss” Is a Refreshingly Honest Working Woman’s Anthem

#LadyBoss

In a new music video for Vanity Fair’s Founders Fair, a conference celebrating female entrepreneurs, Crazy Ex Girlfriend’s Rachel Bloom gives a refreshingly honest look at the struggles of Leaning In.

We may love our stone cold Miranda Priestly types, but many of us—myself included—grapple with the pressure to act approachable and friendly, even to dudes like here’s-my-unsolicited-opinion Derrick. Imposter syndrome is real! Ruth Bader Ginsburg pillows are great, but not even the inspirational stare of Notorious RBG is enough to fully muffle the fear of catastrophic failure that we try to cover with copious amounts of explanation points in our emails. Of course, there’s also animosity between women who feel forced into competition with other women, and the eternal question, “How much boob is too much boob?”

Bloom always does a great job of addressing topics of gender in song, and the way “Lady Boss” goes between what feminist women know they should be able to do (ask for raises with confidence, not care about male approval) and what the reality can be is true and hilarious.

This bit of the chorus is my internal monologue, pretty much every day:

“I want you to do what I want
But let me say it in a nice way
Oh, right, I shouldn’t care if you think I’m nice!
Do you think I’m a bitch?
Well, I don’t give a shit!
But if I do give a shit, does that make me weak?”

“Lady Boss” reminds me a bit of her older song “We Don’t Need a Man” which alternates between an empowered anthem about female independence and the sadness (and occasional break-down) after a breakup.

The ending, where the women suspend the music video to talk to Taylor about her animosity (“Deep down, I just think your success is my failure”) suggests that what we need, rather than Lean In slogans that push women to replicate aggressive male leadership, is to dive into these greater structures and open conversations about how patriarchy informs workplace inequality.

What do you think about “Lady Boss,” lady bosses?

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