People dismiss my confidence as ‘sass’

It’s really patronising


The cliché of sassy is usually a sidekick, a sometimes-loud-sometimes-rude-always-quick-with-the-comeback -finger-clicking-one-who-tells-it-like-it-is-with-no-sugarcoating woman. Always a female.

Over and over again people take any moment of being smart, witty or straight up fabulous and turn it into so-called sassiness. It makes pure, fiery confidence into a joke, or meanness, something lesser than it is. The word sassy isn’t the problem; its attitudes towards female confidence being seen as bitchiness, which is the problem.

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Helen Mirren, said it herself earlier this year when she said that being called sassy was insulting, saying that the world needed new words for “female power and funniness and smartness.” Calling a girl sassy because she proved you wrong and you’re upset about it, just proves how uncomfortable you are with powerful, funny and smart women.

Sassy is used as a sexist word, it reduces women and demonstrates a lack of tolerance for female power. Under a guise of female-empowerment, sassy is just another insult. Its definition appears complimentary, but you may as well call me an arrogant brat if you call me sassy.

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It takes knowing and loving yourself to have confidence to do your own thing, to speak your mind, and calling it out as sassy is rude. If you’re wrong and a woman points it out, it’s because you’re wrong and she has the confidence to say so, rather than just step back and be quiet like you expect her to. People don’t feel the need to assign confident, abrupt men with a word like sassy, they’re just being male – confident, abrupt women, are just women too. It may be a new trend to use the word, but it’s just the latest version of a woman being called a bitch for being assertive but a man being called a boss. We’ve moved on from bitch, but this is no better.

If I say something in a tone you might consider too bold or too intimidating, that shouldn’t be a reason to treat me like a joke. Why? Because I am not sassy, I am confident and happen to speak my mind like men do all the time without a ‘that’s not very coy and female’ filter. Stop calling confidence sassy, stop calling any woman who says something sarcastic or witty or clever, sassy.

I have no problem with the word sassy, sometimes people are sassy, finger clicking in a Z motion, yaaas queen sassy, but all confidence is not sass just because it comes from a girl. Honestly, I’d rather you said “calm down love”.