The Hustle

Every Friday morning on the way to school, the radio station my mom listened to played Disco music. Rubberband Man, Disco Lady, I Got You Babe, but nothing sounded more dreamy and Disco than The Hustle by Van McCoy. Maybe it was my mom reminiscing about her days as a drum major in high school leading the band to that song, but it’s always held a soft spot in my heart and on my playlists.

That is until recently.

Now, the world seems obsessed with the idea of the hustle – the unyielding, unresting pursuit of more money, more expertise, more clients, and more respect on the Internet. Or more simply put, women’s pursuit of the hustle.

It would take 5 seconds to scroll to someone I follow on Instagram giving me a business pep talk or teaching me how to launch a course to a target audience of women. My inbox is flooded with other women asking me to listen to their podcasts where they interview an “exhausted mother of three who still found time to launch a business” or something along those lines.

And we’re all doing it. We’re all playing into this hand of we have to do X to be enough. We have to get to Y in order to take a moment to breathe. We have to accomplish Z before we can stop asking, “Is this okay?”

I’m rereading Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski, and as I looked down at the book today, I questioned why I was reading it.

It’s well-written, succinct, interesting, and helpful, yes. I’d gladly recommend it to anyone. But this afternoon, it hit me that my husband doesn’t read books like this.

He isn’t in constant pursuit of being better. He doesn’t have a business coach advising him on what he should do next. He isn’t working to prove himself day in and day out to anyone who will listen. And he sure isn’t fighting to be paid what he deserves.

Are women being sold a lie in the form of the hustle? Or am I just being overly sensitive to the differences of men and women in the workplace?

Maybe I just answered myself.

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