Recently I became aware of the global Ban Bossy campaign that’s been going on. It seems to be spreading like wildfire over all social media platforms, (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, there’s even a website dedicated to the cause) and so I thought that I might as well throw in my two cents.
Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg and her celebrity cronies are kicking up a fuss about the term ‘bossy’ which they say prevents schoolgirls from seeing themselves as future leaders. ‘The B-word’, as they’re calling it, demeans women and destroys their confidence. Therefore they think that parents and in particular, teachers, should avoid using the word because it puts girls down… How bossy of them!
Now, personally I’ve had the ‘bossy’ label attached to me since my toddler days. And I agree that I do have some bossy tendencies that like to make an appearance every now and then, but I’ve never lost sleep over it. At the end of the day that’s me and people can either accept that or take a hike! Being ‘bossy’ lets people know that they’d be crazy to mess with me because I’ll always give as good as I get. And so I view it as an empowering term that’s given me thick skin, rather than something that holds me back in any way. Furthermore you can’t escape being labelled, that’s life; we’re all stronger people because of it and banning one word will not by any means change that.
Additionally, I don’t believe that ‘bossy’ is a gender-specific term; my dad and 18 month old nephew are two of the bossiest people I know! So why Beyonce is trying to convince the world that ‘bossy’ is a soul-crushingly negative term reserved just for women, is beyond me. Oh Mrs Carter I had faith in you, why did you jump onto this ridiculous feminist bandwagon?!
The truth is that young girls these days suffer from much bigger issues than being called ‘bossy’. If Sandberg’s main priority and concern is to boost girls’ self-esteem, the place to begin is by altering their body-image perceptions. Because honestly that’s much more of a prominent issue.
So Sandberg and Beyonce, if you really want to help young girls then consider banning labels like ‘fat’ or ‘ugly’, not ‘bossy’ because it’s unnecessary and pointless. Forget this ridiculousness, people need to be paying attention to the real issues and epidemics going on in the world. Stop wasting our time and let us crack open a newspaper, skip ahead to the global current affairs section and remind ourselves of what real problems look like.