You Can Call Me Boss(y)

In 2014, Leanin.org started a campaign called #banbossy. Its aim is to prohibit the use of the word “bossy” to describe out-going, self-assured girls and women.

After reading its website, I’m still unsure if they are literally attempting to ban people calling girls and women bossy, or that they just don’t  like it and they are asking you to politely stop. Either way, I read that there is (was) a petition you can sign promising not to use the word – but I can’t find a link to the actual signing page for the petition. It may be closed now since I am 2 years late, as usual.

I hate to criticize an organization with good intent – but I will because I think it does more bad than good.

It’s gained a lot of support, but I’m hardly the first to roast the campaign. For instance, Katie Yoder from NewsBusters notes the hypocrisy of Queen Bey’s support, pointing out the use of the word Bitch 9 times in Beyonce’s self titled album…

One thing I’ve learned recently in my quest to discover, research, and ultimately find feminism is that there seems to be varying degrees of it, with no clear agenda. Everyone from basic everyday people like me, to pop stars, to corporations are defining feminism on their own terms, in their own words.

Feminism for me is equality. If I expect the same career opportunities and rewards that a man has, I inherently need to accept and expect the same career risks and consequences that a man has. I don’t want any hand out. Being a leader isn’t easy. The leader takes the fall, absorbs the risks, and generally speaking, has to be the bad guy (or girl). Why not put our focus on teaching girls HOW and WHY it is important to be assertive and effective leaders, rather than how and why we should be butt-hurt over someone calling us bossy, or any other names for that matter? (Banning bossy doesn’t ban any of its synonyms – or worse).

If bossy is the worst thing I’m called in my lifetime, I’ll gladly accept it. I’ve called, and have heard others call men in leadership positions much worse. Let’s not get into the details…but c’mon, you know.

When you “ban bossy”, aren’t you simply teaching our young girls that sticks and stones may break your bones but words will RUIN you? DESTROY all your chances to be a leader in this world?

I think I’ll get behind teaching girls and women that no one, including their words, can define us. I want to teach them that there will be people in this world that don’t believe in us, people who will want to tear us down, it is inevitable – and so the gift I’d like to give all women and girls is the gift of THICK SKIN, not a bubble to live within.

So when you call me boss(y), I kind of like it. It means I’m not meek, mild, boring, tame, submissive, bland, fragile, indecisive, powerless, soft, spineless, or any other word given as bossy’s antonym.

Suck it up my little bossy buttercups 🙂

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We read to learn, to feel, to laugh, to understand others. We write to teach, express, communicate, to inspire others. I created Invisible Ink as an outlet of sorts, an area where I can organize the chaos; a place where hopefully I can be true to myself, and my readers. Writing is personal, it takes a brave and dedicated soul to formulate a piece and then share it with the world. That being said, I get just as much out of reading other's work as I do sharing mine ( I am always open to manuscript review swaps, just send me a message). Words read off a page evoke emotions. When taken out of context, or through an out of focus lens - anyone can mold the words, shifting their meaning to fit their agenda or distorted outlook. Staying true to form and myself, I won't censor my content, but I will censor my audience. Whatever lens you happen to be reading this through - I hope you enjoy!

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