Banning the word ‘bossy’—useful or counterproductive?

Kelsey Vickers
Perspectives Editor

While we were out of school during spring break last week, women across the U.S. were starting a campaign aimed at the empowerment of women.
The chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg, joined together with various celebrities to ban the word “bossy.”
For a long time now, she’s criticized the use of the word when describing young girls who are considered assertive or who have leadership roles.
Prominent women such as Michelle Obama and Beyoncé have joined in with Sandberg’s campaign.
While I think it’s great that they want to inspire females to not be afraid to be assertive, I find this whole campaign to be pretty counterproductive.
There are a few reasons why I don’t think it’s a worthy cause, one of the biggest reasons being that it’s a pretty arbitrary word to even consider banning.
I wouldn’t put the word “bossy” in my top 10 list of derogatory names to call women, or anyone else for that matter.
Sure, I would say that women are called bossy more often than men.
There are worse things people will call you in the world.
Maybe I’m out of line, but it seems like these women are just hunting for more reasons to play the “victimized female” role.
Being called something you don’t like isn’t just a problem with women.
We all get called names we don’t like.
I think what’s more important is learning how to disregard what others say.
My other issue with this campaign has to do with some of the women involved.
While I do like Beyoncé, I find it humorous that she decided to get in on this “ban bossy” campaign.
She identifies as a feminist and wants to ban the word bossy—of all things —and yet she uses the word “bitch” in more than one song on her new album, especially in her song “Flawless.”
It’s definitely not what I would call a feminist-friendly song.
Good thing she didn’t call anyone bossy, I suppose.
While I don’t think they should attempt to ban the word “bitch” either, I would be much less surprised if they did.
Also, I don’t really think females over the age of 12 get called bossy anymore.
If you’re in your 20s and above, I’m pretty sure your vocabulary is enhanced enough so that you can think of one or two more fitting terms than “bossy.”
I just don’t think this “bossy ban” is conducive to what they’re trying to achieve.
If you want to empower young girls, I think you should be teaching them to be themselves and not be affected by what others call them.
As for the rest of us, we have bigger concerns than being called “bossy.”

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