I'm an Entrepreneur, Bitch.
So, what do you do? The question for the modern generation that bamboozles us more than these confused cats... From not understanding your title, to not being able to say all of your responsibilities in less than a minute, just wanting to scream it out, to sensing the insincere response from the interviewer, we all know this question has risen quite the controversy these days; but at the end of the day, we all know we just want to blurt out, "I'm an Entrepreneur, Bitch."
For Meena Harris, the question of her employment prompts a sense of pride and irritability, to which she just wants to give the above response. So, with her desire to blurt this out, she developed a line of graphic tees that accomplished just that.
After graduating from Stanford University and Harvard Law, Meena had an interested career path, dipping her toes into the female sector of entrepreneurship - a very new territory at the time (and still now).
"Women’s economic empowerment is the most important factor in achieving equality. Women can change their own economic status, as well as that of the communities in which they live, but too often women’s contributions go unrecognized, their work undervalued, and their promise unrealized. 'I'm an entrepreneur, bitch' is a movement for women's equality that recognizes, values, and empowers women's work through the support of female entrepreneurship. Specifically, "I'm an entrepreneur, bitch" identifies the great disruptors of our time as the women who are innovating on the paradigm of what it means to "have it all" by shifting the binary conversation to their own terms and bringing their total selves -- intellectual, spiritual, and physical -- to entrepreneurship, thereby rewriting the rules about what it means to be an entrepreneur. These women are, in their own right, pushing gender equality forward and promoting the economic empowerment of all women."
We were lucky enough to sit down with Meena and ask her about her experience and her company.
What did you do right after you graduated?
Soon after I graduated from Stanford in 2006, I worked for a small startup called “The Facebook.” When I was there with just over a hundred employees, we all had a feeling that we were part of something special, but I’m not sure anyone could’ve imagined just how significant the company would become.
What compelled you to make the shirt?
Like many sectors, the entrepreneurship space has a gender problem. I wanted to create a platform for regular women who start their own businesses to make a bold and empowering statement while embracing a shared identity that is grounded in self-affirmation and expressive self-confidence.
Tell me something I should know about the project:
What has become one of the most exciting and fulfilling aspects of the project is our beginning to partner with other women-owned businesses. I’ve been completely blown away by many of these women and I am especially inspired by their creativity, vision, and drive.
About your target audience, which is primarily women aged 25-50, which is the pique time to start a family, how do mothers respond to wearing your shirts in front of their children?
A lot of my customers are moms. For those with children who are old enough to read, we’ve largely agreed that, so long as you’re willing to give your kids a lesson on feminism and the cultural process of re-appropriation, wearing the tee in front of them is just fine! In fact, it’s educational. :)
Do you feel people misconstrue the meaning of ‘Bitch’ despite you using in in an empowering context?
Some people are uncomfortable with cursing generally or have a flat rule against using the word “bitch” in any context. But if you understand and identify with the ethos of the tee, you’re not going to misconstrue the usage of the word in this instance.
Do you think men appreciate your cause?
Absolutely! I’ve had several male customers who have gifted tees to women.
How do you feel about the people that have worn your shirt thus far?
Seeing so many different types of badass women wear my shirt allows me to appreciate the brand’s broad appeal and really makes this feel like it could be a movement.
How do you feel the t-shirt can make a difference in this inequality?
If one of the first steps towards eradicating inequality is to inspire substantive dialogue, the tee would seem like a great conversation starter!
Tell me what you’d like to see this project accomplish?
Eventually I want to see this project foster real relationships, creative partnerships, and valuable social contributions through the process of women actually taking action to support other women. I hope that it becomes more than an online network.
Thanks Meena for teaching how to use 'bitch' as an empowering term, and that the top dog isn't always male.