I’ve been ignoring the Sheryl Sandberg led #BanBossy campaign as much as possible. It seems frivolous to me, in a world where women are routinely having their genitals forcefully mutilated, being put on trial for their own rapes or even harassed with something as simple as a wolf whistle when they leave the house, that there are women who are interested in putting in so much effort to ban a word that, until now, didn’t even occur to many as being part of the lexicon of oppression. But there’s hysteria for you.
When Beyonce jumped on board I knew the campaign was, truly, all kinds of crap. This is a woman who, in her HBO “documentary”, thrives on bossing people around. She orders a whole stage painted white, hours before a show. She has a song containing the lyrics “Bow down bitches”. And so she should. She’s in charge, and she’s a straight up boss, which is why so many people idolize her. No one likes Beyonce because her predominant quality is meekness.
People have been asking me what I think of the campaign, so I started doing some more reading, and came, very easily, to my initial conclusion: what sort frivolous shit is this? I was a bossy boots growing up, and aside from the occasional insecurity, I am generally still a pretty big bossy boots. My mum called me Screechy (from Care Bears) or Miss Piggy, and I always took a secret pride in being associated with these annoying, sure, but self-possessed, independent, strong female characters.
I will be the first to admit that there are times when bossiness is not warranted. On a relaxing lakeside picnic. During a board game. General low key social interactions. But there are instances when bossiness is pivotal. Like when you’re the boss, for instance. #BanBossy has missed the point entirely. “Bossy” doesn’t equate to “nasty”. It equates to “in charge”. And women, like men, are sometimes in charge.
The battle here for us is not protecting women from bossy, but in giving them respect for it. Because when a man is bossy, he’s all sorts of special. We should be motivating women to stand their ground when it comes to their convictions, while motivating their peers to give feminine control the respect that is given to its masculine counterpart. Focusing energy on banning a word like bossy is plain ridiculous. Boss bitches get shit done, whether it’s organizing their kids for school or presiding over a corporate board room, or both in the same day.
I, for one, am proud to be a bossy woman. It means that I’m never sold short on my desires, and that I’m able to lead people in professional and competitive environments. My only desire is that I wish I knew more bossy women–even a bossed up lady needs to be bossed into her place by another bossy broad from time to time. Even turning to pop culture as a reference, some of my favourite empowered female characters are bossy as hell: Buffy Summers, Mindy Lahiri, Leslie Knope. We should fly our bossy flags with honor–there’s nothing wrong with women being in control the way we always expect men to be.
If you’re not convinced, I leave you with the eternally wise words of Nicki “NO PICKLE JUICE” Minaj!