<em>“There are no good girls gone wrong, just bad girls found out.”</em>
Anna Maria Chavez, the CEO of the Girl Scouts of America, and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, want to ban the word “bossy.”
They used the word ban. Americans. Chavez is entrusted with an organization that helps mold and shape young female minds in America and Sandberg is responsible for a website where young girls are essentially enslaved zombies—and they want to ban the use of a word on American soil. That is frightening.
If either of these, ummm, assertive women was capacitated with the power to ban that word, would they really do it? What punishment would American citizens face for speaking a word? And would sports fans still be able to discuss the amazing career of former New York Islander Hall of Famer Mike Bossy?
I think we all know that this was a publicity stunt. And like most self-serving acts of promulgations, it was done as a means to garner attention. The declaration that we should ban a word because it might be harmful to young girls is so nonsensical that it worked in its desired effect.
This is a spurious act of grandstanding. A method by which to discuss a larger issue—that being, the promotion of self-esteem and confidence in young women. But if your initial premise is so completely ridiculous, the sincere message these women wish to convey is tainted before it is ever brought to the fore.
By bringing the issue of how words can affect young women, the “Ban Bossy” brigade is enforcing the belief that women cannot survive in a world where, from time to time, people are going to hurl insults at you.
The premise is this:
If someone uses a word that is meant to demean you, throw a hissy fit, demand punishment, and act insulted because those words might have a damaging affect on you.
I personally cannot think of a more counter-productive argument as to how to prepare young women for the world that awaits them then to culture their minds to believe the way you succeed is by complaining about language.
Bossy. They are complaining about the word bossy? Calling a girl bossy will stop them from succeeding? Usually, if a woman is bossy, it is because they are the boss of something. Or, at the very least, they have shunned the belief that women should be meek and submissive in the workplace and assert themselves. By being called bossy a woman is acknowledged for doing things her own way. We should laud that!
If Chavez and Sandberg really want to help women there are better things to ban. They could start with cheerleaders.
The very name is offensive. Don’t lead a school or a business or the world…lead the cheers. Cheerleaders serve no purpose. Not one football or basketball game was made better by a gaggle of Eva Brauns waving pom-poms. Cheerleaders are the enforcement of the Alpha mentality from Huxley’s “Brave New World.” The objectification of the beautiful girls as the epitome of school spirit comes from a misogynist mindset. The frumpy girls who are in the academic clubs are the ones who will someday rule the world.
Ban Lena Dunham. Her HBO show “Girls” is the worst thing a young woman can watch. She is not funny. The characters she writes are the antithesis of both feminism and empowerment. And her fetish for appearing nude on her show is why men ogle over cheerleaders.
Ban the Old Testament. No reason to elaborate on this one. Female characters on soap operas get a better read than those whacky women of religion have had to endure as their legacy for over 4 millenia.
And, since Sheryl Sandberg decided to open herself up to the conversation, ban Facebook! For every young girl who is using Facebook to enhance their future, there are 5,000 who use it for selfies, incessantly trite complaining, One Direction obsession and a conduit by which predatory companies and men can locate their potential victims. Facebook turns young women into two dimensional, non-human characters. And Sheryl Sandberg is a billionaire hypocrite because of it.
I have a 17 year-old daughter. I do not need words to be banned for me to feel secure about her future. She has spent her entire junior year of high school buried in textbooks so that on her first day as a student at Utah State University she may have up to 18 college credits. She is cynical about the world around her. She is shrewd with her logic. And if someone ever calls her bossy, she will take it to mean that she has power and they don’t.
Hillary Clinton might be the next president. I damn sure know she is bossy. Angela Merkel is the Big Chair in Germany. Given what is going on with Russia, I am exceedingly happy that she is bossy.
Language is the most powerful tool in history. It can motivate, cajole and manipulate the masses to great or horrific ends. And the self-esteem issues that young women face are mountainously imposing. Any effort made to show young women that the world is theirs for the taking is a worthwhile endeavor.
Banning a word because it is a perceived slight is supercilious in theory and pernicious in application. Teach young women that the world around them can be cruel. Teach them that overcoming adversity is a virtuous trait that leads to success. And teach them that being bossy means others see them as in command.