Banning bossy is silly

So there’s a new campaign out there supported by the Girl Scouts and the First Lady and some other big names, and it’s about banning the term bossy because it’s sexist and prevents girls from being leaders.

First, can I say that it does seem a little bossy and childish to say that someone can’t say something? I feel like next you’re going to tell them to stop looking at you.

Second, I’ve always been a good student, and I’m fairly organized so I’ve been put into a lot of leadership roles. The only times I’ve been called bossy is when I took a leadership position that was not given to me or when I abused my power. When I would take charge of a play situation without considering the others who were my equals, I was not being assertive, executive material. I was being bossy. When I took the opportunity of being in charge of my brother and used it to order him around, I was not being the boss. I was being bossy. It takes time to develop leadership skills. It takes self control and patience not to abuse leadership positions. Maybe, just maybe, some of these inexperienced leader girls were being bossy and needed to be taught how to be a good leader. Maybe instead of just putting people into leadership roles, we should instruct them on how to be good leaders.

Third, the ladies leading this charge, the ones who were deeply hurt by being called bossy, are leaders now. Being called bossy didn’t stop them from leading. They didn’t say “Oh no, someone has called me bossy. I guess I can’t be a leader.” It might have hurt their feelings, but it didn’t stop them from using their leader tendencies. Hopefully, it did lead them to examine the way that they had led others. It wasn’t nice, calling people bossy, but the little people being pushed around by harsh little leaders probably don’t have much better social skills themselves, yet.

Fourth, maybe we should ban the term jerk or a certain swear word that begins with “a” and ends with “hole” because that is what we call guys who are bossy, among other terms. People don’t respect men for being bad leaders, either. They get called names, too. Hopefully, they reflect on this and stop it as well. Or maybe the President and Justin Timberlake and Donald Trump and Gene Simmons and the Boy Scouts should go to work on that one? I would be amused by that campaign.

Fifth, and finally, must every girl (and boy) be the boss? Must that be their goal? Is it ok for some to want to be the teacher, not the principal? The nurse, not the doctor? The sales rep, not the manager? The paralegal, not the lawyer? The mommy, not the professional? Or should we ignore that people are different? That people may have different abilities and skills and passions? It’s not even possible for us all to be the leader. That’s called anarchy. It has never worked. The Ban Bossy people have a problem with women making up 5% of Fortune 1000 CEOS and 19% of congress. Do you know that many CEOs work 90+ hours a week? Maybe most women are smart enough not to want that job. Maybe women choose not to be politicians because if we can’t handle being called bossy, how are we going to handle the abuse the media hands out? Who wants to be Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton? Not me. The media are vultures. What if the disparity happens because *gasp* women are different from men? Never mind. That can’t be right. Men are from Mars. Women are from Mars. I’m pretty sure that’s what they meant.

Now, if you’re a good leader, people will just call you by your name maybe even with your title attached because you’ve earned some respect. If you’re a good leader, you won’t be drug down by jealous people who have nothing better to do than call names instead of work hard to succeed. However, being a good leader is a skill to be learned. If we’re too busy telling other people what to say and do, we probably won’t take the time to observe and learn from those who are doing it well. So let’s stop banning bossy and spend our time learning from leaders that we want to emulate instead.

As for me, I’m going to focus on the little girls I have around me, my daughters and their friends, and teach them through talking and modeling what a strong yet humble feminine leader looks like. Hint: It has nothing to do with Beyonce. Some of her lyrics are an abomination to female dignity.

What’s your take on banning bossy? If you could ban any word, what would you ban? I’m considering “redonkulous”.

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