Ok, we should probably try to define what a diva truly is before even answering that question. For a minute I thought that Beyonce did that a long time ago…
But if being a diva simply means killing it like Queen Bee, then why was I upset when my bestie Rahima said that New York kind of made me one? That’s because there is this negative, bitchie and whiny connotation behind the word diva. As a New York girl, “Stop being such a diva!” is something I hear all the time – and I swear that it’s (almost) never justified. I’ve noticed a few typical situations that provoke people to call a woman the D word:
#1 She clearly states what she wants
#2 She clearly states what she doesn’t want
#3 She voices her opinion even if not asked
#4 She complains when she doesn’t get what she earned
#5 She has high expectations of people around her
Wait a minute…if you replace “She” by “He,” you have the description of every single man across the five boroughs. New Yorkers are known for being confident, bold, and anti-bullshiters.In this City more than anywhere else, hustlers were born and are celebrated. So why are we called divas when men would be called hustlers? Well, probably for the same reason why we are sluts when men are bachelors. Taking risks, being determined and ambitious are characteristics that make great men and, apparently, not so great women.
Has becoming a New Yorker changed my behavior and the way I interact with people? Maybe. But the consuming nature of life here changes anyone. New York women may be more demanding than the average person, but that’s because New York demands more than the average place. While the City keeps us just as busy as men – if not more because, let’s face it, we have to stay fly – we still have to work harder to be on equal terms. Yup, for every 77 cents that we make, they get one dollar…and we should be softer?
As much as I’m feeling Beyonce’s definition, people use the word diva as the sexist version of a hustler, and not like she intended. But New York women are just standing their ground like anyone else. They are not divas, they are true hustlers…in heels.