I was recently told I am naive and offensive. Told that by somebody I had never met or had any interactions with.
Why, you ask?
Because I support women entrepreneurs but do not invest in, what she called in her email, 'girly' industries, like fashion. Apart from the obvious issue - the person took the effort to chastise me but failed to even glance at our website, where we clearly explain why we focus on specific industries and not on others, this email made me pause.
I paused not because I suddenly decided to change our investment criteria. No. I strongly believe we are focusing on the biggest gaps in venture capital finance for women founders and will continue to do so. It made me pause because, according to the email, women working in fashion "would not be happy to have their profession called girly".
Somehow the word girl has come to mean something weak and incapable.
And it happened with our consent.
On our watch.
It happened through emails like the one I got the other day. Through this upside down version of feminism.
Personally, I am a girl. I like some stereotypically 'girly' things like Jimmy Choo shoes, nice clothes and manicured nails. But I also like cars, do most of my own DIY and while walking my dog in the rain can be easily mistaken for a half drowned rat or a muddy farmer.
I am also a proud mother to my little girl and want her to grow up proud and comfortable with who and what she is.
We don't see that many men objecting to being called guys! So why have we started to take offence at being called girls? After all, WE ARE GIRLS. The wonderful, beautiful spectrum of girls and women that we all represent. Smart, courageous, tenacious, determined, amazing girls.
So isn't it time we re-claimed our own identity? Isn't it time we stood proud of who and what we are? There are real battles to fight out there. Personally, I don't have time for the imaginary ones!