Ooh look, women think they can do business

As of today, ‘Mumpreneur’ has officially made it into the Collins dictionary.  It’s always been a word that makes me really angry, but actually adding it to the dictionary, giving it the official “this is an acceptable word to use” has made me really rage today.

We don’t have seperate words for men in business depending on whether they have children or not.  Most of the time we don’t know if they have children or not, and interviews certainly aren’t based around how they manage to juggle business and a family life.  It’s just not that important compared to their business skills.

And yet, women can’t just be in business.  They can’t actually be entrepeneurs.  Instead, we get this horrible and cutesy ‘Mumpreneur’.  Like they’re not really in business, and don’t take it too seriously.  This word actually finds a way to tie even the most brave and dedicated business women back to the kitchen sink.  Don’t be threatened guys, don’t worry, these women aren’t serious competition.  They’re just women playing at business to stop the childcare getting too boring.

But the bit that makes me really angry, is that words like this have been created by people who like to say “I’m not a feminist but…”.  It’s both excusing and justifying traditional gender stereotypes, while at the same time taking for granted all the things feminists have fought for over the last 100 years.  It’s a way of not taking women seriously, without actually coming out and saying that women shouldn’t be in the workplace. 

Except this is EXACTLY what this word suggests – women are mothers first, and entrepenurs second.   Mumpreneur isn’t a cutesy phrase that does no harm.  This is a word that is seriously undermining and undervaluing women’s position in the workplace.  And telling me it’s so well used and well understood that it should appear in the dictionary – well that makes me angry.


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