A Chapter by Chapter Review of Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis
The subtitle of Girl, Stop Apologizing is “A Shame-Free Plan For Embracing and Achieving Your Goals,” so I approached the book as encouragement for entrepreneurs. It is for women who want to start businesses and make money. The third behavior Hollis suggests is “embrace your ambition.”
This section is another short chapter. The first section that was only three pages was Excuse 2: I’m Not a Goal-Oriented Person. Like that section, this section doesn’t seem warranted. Some people don’t have a lot of ambition, but for women who want to be entrepreneurs, this is behavior they already have. “Embrace your ambition” isn’t advice for an entrepreneur, but Hollis doesn’t acknowledge it.
“A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work.” (110) This statement is the definition of ambition from Oxford Dictionaries.
“We can see ambition as a good thing only until it’s our own.” (110–111)
“We need to start having a very real conversation about why we accept truths about ourselves as women that we would never consider for men. If it’s not true for everyone, then it shouldn’t be true for anyone.” (109)
I hold men and women to different standards, depending on what is being measured. Men and women are fundamentally distinct. It makes a difference if we are talking about having babies or getting a promotion.
When it comes to ambition, men and women can have the same drive, especially when comparing them individually. A male CEO and a female CEO probably have the same determination. The problem is when discussing the group as a whole, as Hollis does here. She makes sweeping generalizations about what society thinks of men and women, which I believe is sexist.
It’s just evidence that everyone should be treated as an individual. Why do we need to separate people into their genders? Why do we need to talk about men vs. women? What if you just encourage PEOPLE to embrace their ambition.