MAJOR SPOILERS for Girlboss ahead. It seems to me like a hazard of being an ambitious woman is having a partner who can’t support you. Such is life on Netflix’s new show, Girlboss. Loosely based on the life of Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, Sophia on the show seemingly has it all — a great business on the verge of success, great friends, and an amazing boyfriend. Well, about that last point… It turns out that Shane and Sophia's relationship on Girlboss is rather complicated because Shane is a cheater — and Sophia doesn’t need that crap in her life, to be honest.
The first 11-and-a-half episodes of Girlboss show Shane as an angel of a boyfriend — he’s with Sophia, who is seen as a wanton woman of sorts, and she is so lucky to be with him because he is patient with her and her whims and her business. And he’s in a band, and they’re on tour, but he’s still so attentive to her needs! That’s why the moment that Sophia sees Shane receiving oral sex from a member of his band stings so much. Shane looks like this outwardly awesome guy — the “Nice Guy” of Girlboss — and instead he’s just another cheating jerk who couldn’t communicate with his girlfriend about his wants and needs.
The part I hated the most about Shane’s cheating was that it throws Sophia off her game. She’s about to open up NastyGal.com to the world, and all she can think of his what she saw when she went to surprise Shane in the studio. Their eventual break up (and her live takedown of him in the studio, which I loved) was necessary because it opens Sophia up to taking care of her baby — her business — and most importantly, taking care of herself. Who needs Shane when you are about to be an e-commerce wunderkind?
This trope is so tired — the manic pixie dream girl and the straight-laced guy who takes it all in stride — because it proliferates the idea that women should be quiet and well-behaved and cool, and if they’re not, they should be grateful for the men who “put up” with them. Basically, if you don’t fit the mold of what a woman is supposed to be, you get what you get and you don’t get upset. This sort of internalized (and outward) misogyny really grinds my gears. Women should not be othered because they have aspirations or thoughts or feelings that go against the norm.
You don’t need a consolation prize of a man because you want to focus on launching a career or working toward a degree. Women’s opinions and feelings and desires are just as valid as any man’s, and if your partner can’t jive with that, get a new partner. Don’t change who you are. Sorry that Sophia was too busy working on her hot career to have sex with you, Shane, but she deserves better. All women deserve better than a “meh” partner.
On Girlboss, Sophia is honest about what she wants out of her life, and it’s a shame that Shane couldn’t be, too. On the plus side, ditching Shane opens Sophia’s life up to a great deal many possibilities, and it teaches her that it’s what she wants that really matters.