Woman hands out 'boy poison' note about embracing femininity at work

A woman has been handing out an empowering note in London's Kings Cross station to encourage women and girls to embrace their femininity in the workplace.

Twenty-year-old art director Sophia Tassew handed passersby at the station a handwritten message entitled "Boy Poison," which listed a series of instructions for being a dominant female. Tassew says the idea for the note "stemmed from working in environments that are dominated by men" and from being told to behave in a certain way at work.

"Give them direct eye contact, speak with a loud clear voice, always make sure your handshake is firm, don't apologise for talking about what you love," read the note.

"Don't apologise for talking about what you love. Stand up for your ideas. Confuse them with embracing all forms of your femininity and dominance at the same time," the note continued.

Tassew says working in male-dominated environments resulted in her "losing confidence" in standing up for herself and her ideas. "I think a lot of women might go through a similar thing where we're not sure how to react because we've been told to behave a certain way for so long," says Tassew.

Related: Gender pay gap by state

51 PHOTOS
Gender pay gap state to state ranking
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Gender pay gap state to state ranking

51. Louisiana 

Gender pay gap: 34.7%

(Ian Dagnall / Alamy)

50. Utah 

Gender pay gap: 32.4%

(CountyLemonade/Flickr)

49. Wyoming 

Gender pay gap: 31.2% 

(Philip Scalia / Alamy)

48. West Virginia

Gender pay gap: 30%

(J. Stephen Conn/Flickr)

47. North Dakota

Gender pay gap: 28.7%

(Tim Evanson/Flickr)

46. Alabama

Gender pay gap: 27.4%

(Danny Hooks / Alamy)

45. Idaho

Gender pay gap: 27.2%

(Philip Scalia / Alamy)

44. Oklahoma

Gender pay gap: 26.5%

(thefixer/Flickr)

43. Montana

Gender pay gap: 25.8%

(John Elk III / Alamy)

42. Michigan

Gender pay gap: 25.5%

(curiousjohn/Flickr)

41. Indiana

Gender pay gap: 24.8%

(ellenm1/Flickr)

40. New Hampshire

Gender pay gap: 24.3%

(cmh2315fl/Flickr)

39. South Dakota

Gender pay gap: 23.8%

(SuperStock / Alamy)

38. Mississippi

Gender pay gap: 23%

(Don Smetzer / Alamy)

37. Kansas

Gender pay gap: 23%

(Jim West / Alamy)

35. Iowa

Gender pay gap: 22.7%

(Ellen Isaacs / Alamy) 

34. Missouri

Gender pay gap: 22.6%

(L. Allen Brewer/Flickr)

33. Ohio

Gender pay gap: 22.2%

(sailwings/Flickr)

32. New Mexico

Gender pay gap: 21.9%

(Patrick Ray Dunn / Alamy)

31. Arkansas

Gender pay gap: 21.8%

(Buddy Mays / Alamy)

30. Texas

Gender pay gap: 21.2%

(Ian Dagnall / Alamy)

29.  Maine

Gender pay gap: 21.2%

(PHOTOPHANATIC1/Flickr)

28. Nebraska

Gender pay gap: 21.1%

(Ian G Dagnall / Alamy)

27. Wisconsin 

Gender pay gap: 21.1%

(Jeff Greenberg 5 / Alamy)

26. Illinois

Gender pay gap: 20.9%

(incamerastock / Alamy)

25. Pennsylvania

Gender pay gap: 20.8%

(dannyfowler/Flickr)

24. Kentucky

Gender pay gap: 20.1%

(toddmundt/Flickr)

23. Virginia

Gender pay gap: 19.8%

(JoeDuck/Flickr)

22. South Carolina

Gender pay gap: 19.8%

(Ellisphotos / Alamy)

21. New Jersey 

Gender pay gap: 19.7%

(Robert Quinlan / Alamy)

20. Alaska

Gender pay gap: 19.2%

(retro traveler/Flickr)

19. Delaware

Gender pay gap: 19.0%

(J. Stephen Conn/Flickr)

18. Tennessee

Gender pay gap: 18.5%

(Jim Nix / Nomadic Pursuits/Flickr)

17. Minnesota

Gender pay gap: 18.4%

(kla4067/Flickr)

16. Rhode Island

Gender pay gap: 18.3%

(Dougtone/Flickr)

15. Georgia 

Gender pay gap: 18.2%

(Ian Dagnall Commercial Collection / Alamy)

14. Colorado 

Gender pay gap: 18.1%

(Jesse Varner/Flickr)

13. Massachusetts

Gender pay gap: 18.0%

(Manu_H/Flickr)

11. Connecticut

Gender pay gap: 17.4%

(Dougtone/Flickr)

10. Vermont

Gender pay gap: 16.2%

(pthread1981/Flickr)

9.  Arizona

Gender pay gap: 15.9%

(Photoshot Holdings Ltd / Alamy)

8. California

Gender pay gap: 15.8%

(Robert Landau / Alamy)

7. North Carolina

Gender pay gap: 15.3%

(sevenblock/Flickr)

6. Florida

Gender pay gap: 15.1%

(FL Stock / Alamy)

5. Nevada

Gender pay gap: 14.9%

(D-Stanley/Flickr)

4. Maryland

Gender pay gap: 14.6%

(tim caynes/Flickr)

3. Hawaii

Gender pay gap: 14.1%

(Mauro Ladu / Alamy)

2. New York

Gender pay gap: 13.2%

(drpavloff/Flickr)

1. Washington D.C.

Gender pay gap: 10.4%

(Alexandre Deslongchamps via Getty Images)

Puerto Rico has the smallest gender pay gap, and it benefits women. 

Gender pay gap: -4.6% -- Women earn more than men by a small margin

(Fuse via Getty Images)

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"If you speak up you're seen as too overbearing and if not people treat you like you're a fragile doll that can only do certain things," she continues. She says it's "almost as if" people don't know how to handle the "feminine and dominant part of a woman," which she finds really confusing.

She says she chose to write about eye contact and verbal communication because she believes it has a "massive effect" on "how you're portrayed as a person" and how you make "your mark wherever you are."

Tassew named the note "Boy Poison" after seeing the name scribbled somewhere when she was researching Zines last year and she thought it had a nice ring to it. "I just wanted to write something out of a frustration but mostly a place from love. I guess some men feel insecure about really confident women. It's almost like kryptonite. Almost poison for some," says Tassew.

From her note Tassew says she wants women to gain "reassurance that they're not alone and we're in this together."

She says overall the note was met with 95 percent positivity. "The other 5 percent comes from older men who seem to think this is some kind of spell that actually creates poison lol," says Tassew. But, at the same time, she also received emails and messages from men to show their support for the note.

Since handing out the note, she's received around 200 messages from women all over saying they "needed" the note. "I actually had a lot of senior women in the creative industry tell me they can totally relate," she says.

Related: Female feminists in Hollywood

10 PHOTOS
Female feminists in Hollywood
See Gallery
Female feminists in Hollywood

Beyonce

(Photo: ROBYN BECK via Getty Images)

Taylor Swift

(Photo: Ethan Miller via Getty Images)

Vanessa Hudgens

(Photo: Rommel Demano via Getty Images)

Katy Perry

(Photo: Larry Busacca via Getty Images)

Lena Dunham

(Photo: Jamie McCarthy via Getty Images)

Miley Cyrus

(Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images)

Leighton Meester

(Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images)

Karlie Kloss

(Photo: Ian Gavan via Getty Images)

Emma Watson

(Photo: JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images)

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