Ban Bossy?


Yet again Beyonce has jumped on my feminist radar with yet another contradictory stunt. What, you ask? 'Ban Bossy' It's a campaign cultivated by Sheryl Sandberg, aimed at eradicating the use of the word 'bossy' in our everyday vocabulary, especially in schools. Reason being that the word 'bossy' apparently has a real impact on girls' lives, instilling in them (from a young age) a fear of taking leadership roles for fear of being socially ostracised. I see the logic in this, but I can think of one too many gender-coded words that could be substituted for 'bossy' that are far more detrimental to a female's self-esteem and discourages them from growing into assertive young women.
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The campaign states that behind the word 'Bossy' is an underlying regressive message of what women should be; submissive, subordinate and silent. 'Bossy'  is usually directed at ambitious females who are aggressively competitive, and in view of this, I think the campaign deserves some kudos for taking such an innovative initiative to combat gender inequality. However, what I have qualms with is the use of the word itself. Who uses the word 'Bossy'  in this day and age?
Lady Justice statue in High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja GRA
 The word that comes to mind in particular has been mentioned before, and has been adopted by the face of the campaign (Beyonce) in a derogatory manner. So I beg to question the rationale of this campaign. Yes, I think altering the mindset of young girls to see themselves as equals to men, and viewing competition positively is commendable. However, I think this campaign runs the risk of losing sight of this goal and focusing on that particular word instead of the party of words akin to it.

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Assertiveness in a man is commended, while its chastised in women. 'Bossy' women are regarded as b*tches, and comments such as "she needs to get some" are casually flung around the workplace to such women. What we fail to see is that bossy women can be happily married. Bossy women can be happy-go-lucky girlfriends who live for cocktail evenings with their girls. My point is, surely this campaign is misdirected. Successful women should be communing to put a positive spin on the word, rather than slam it or push for its banishment. In my view, this movement serves the purpose its striving to work against. Pinpointing this word as being the reason young girls grow into women who are more comfortable to be Deputies, or PAs when they are in reality, the brains behind the business is bull. To empower girls means to assert that the word Bossy is a derivation of the word Boss and it is something that should be dreamt of, rather than slammed down. Think Kelis' "I'm Bossy" and you'll see the point I'm driving home.
Onyxsta says...BLEURGH!! Be Bossy!