Why The "Ban Bossy" Campaign Does Not Resonate With Me

This woman will not join the "ban bossy" campaign:

...because I won't let another woman who has personal issues with a gender-less universal word, control my speech. I will allow no one to boss me around, not even one who tells me not to say the word bossy. I don't have a boss, rather, I work with people whose job it is to direct, supervise and manage whole systems to which I contribute.

Who cares what others think a certain word may mean? I may not tolerate or accept it, but I will not assume another person's issue. I have been called many things since I was a a little girl. No one was there to tell the others to stop saying words or call others names that may be construed as negative. Not even my mother. She told me and my sisters, and brothers for that matter, that words will only inflict pain if we allowed them. My mother, who was a very strong woman raised me and my five sisters to be independent, strong and not to take any nonsense from anybody. We were Girl Scouts too, in fact we were Girl Scout leaders. I attended international encampments with Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from other countries. I am still a Girl Scout, for life. It saddens me that the Girl Scouts of America is joining this "political correctness" campaign in banning words, as if banning a word will automatically instill self confidence or miraculously make everything better. Think of the words banned by the grammar police. Are we better as a society because the words were banned? Did it make the situation better for those who were presumed victims? The word "bossy" is a universal word. A man or woman may be called bossy. People may think I am bossy. You know what? Maybe I am, sometimes, it is good to be bossy, especially when you are responsible for the welfare of others. I want a bossy fireman, policeman, lifeguard, doctor, nurse, social worker or crossing guard to be so when protecting the life of others are their responsibility. Most of the time I just think of myself as a strong, determined, diligent, talented and hardworking woman. Did I say I have a healthy dose of self confidence too? 

I was not always confident. I was shy and meek when I was a little girl. Some kids were mean and cruel. They even hit us or struck us because they were bullies. My mother knew about the other children's ways. She did not like it but she told us that we had to stand up for ourselves and not to accept any form of cruel, unkind, impolite or ill-mannered acts. She also told us to protect one another. So one day, it was with great satisfaction that I went home with a torn dress having fought with the neighborhood bully and struck him back when he hit my sister and brother. My brother, ever the pacifist did not fight back and just walked away. My younger sister cried in pain. I was so enraged that I picked up a rock and started pounding on the bully. My brother restrained me but I managed to inflict enough pain and fear on the bully that from then on, the only thing that bully did was call us names. When we went home, Mother advised me to not resort to violence as my first move, but I appreciated the fact that I was not punished for fighting back.

I find the "ban bossy" campaign rather silly. I am disappointed when I saw Condi Rice on that video campaign. I never thought of her as a bossy person but rather very intelligent and accomplished woman and a most eloquent Secretary of State. When she gave her testimony to Congress, I was so proud of her. Now, as for Beyonce, I don't know what to say. First of all, I have never seen a public image of her wear anything without revealing some body parts  that I would normally cover. I have not heard or cannot name a song she has sung or written. I read a news item about her and her husband who I understand is a rap singer in an industry where the words "bitch", "ho", "cunt" and "pussy" are used to describe women. Now, am I going to ask for a movement to ban those words? No, they don't apply to me and I cannot help it if some people have very limited vocabulary, mostly vulgar words.

Here is a real movement worth joining: Ban animal cruelty, poaching and illegal trade of animal parts. Save the rhino, elephant, tiger, pangolin and every endangered species being decimated by poachers for bad and false medicine. Help and save those who truly need our protection. 

Red for Illustration Friday. The finished drawing is here.


Marion said...

Ces, I'm with you all the way. I just rolled my eyes when I heard about it on the 'news'. I'm sick and tired of RICH, entitled women telling ME what I can and can't say. That woman who heads Yahoo and wrote that ridiculous book, "Lean In" or "Scream In" or something stupid like that, has gotten on my last nerve. She's a millionaire married to a millionaire and has her own private nursery at work and she's supposed to be our example??? PLEASE!!!??!! She can't know any-damned-thing about MY reality. That is one of my soap box issues.

I say to you, "GO, GIRL!" Thanks for speaking up about this. In a world where so many people are out of work, in pain, losing homes, are without healthcare...the word 'bossy' is the very least of our problems. xo

Rick Forrestal said...

Point well taken.
Have a beautiful Spring Sunday, Ces.

Bella Sinclair said...

I applaud the basic message of the campaign -- that one should not be judged or punished for being assertive or taking leadership roles (regardless of gender, really). And to my recollection, I have never heard a man be called bossy. They tend to be called much worse. But you have a point. The "Don't do that. No. No. No" approach tends to make people dig in their heels and feel...well, bossed around. A more positively reinforcing message would be better and less likely to face backlash. As for role models...Beyonce and Victoria Beckham? Really? Hardly who I want my daughters to look to for inspiration. You know, if we are going to ban words like bossy, let's also ban words like sissy. We need a few more compassionate, nonviolent humans around.