#BanBossy… The movement started by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg in which she wants to ban the word “bossy” as she says it is detrimental to the future success of women. The reasoning behind the push to ban the word as stated at banbossy.com:
“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.”
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with encouraging girls to lead, banning a word is not the way to do that. The movement is supported by celebrities such as Beyonce and Jane Lynch. Jane Lynch is a comic so fuck her for working to ban a word. Beyonce wants the word bossy banned but doesn’t say anything about her husband Jay-Z using “bitch” and “hoe” and “nigga” in all his songs. What’s more detrimental to women? Calling them bossy or repeatedly referring to them as hoes and bitches? If Beyonce is so concerned with words that may hold people back wouldn’t she have something to say about the word “nigga” being used in all these songs by her peers? She’s a god damn hypocrite and has no room to talk.
The overall message of the ban bossy movement I support, encouraging girls to speak up in class, not apologizing before they speak, trusting themselves, and basically to be more confident. All things we should be teaching all kids. The only one I didn’t agree with was the part about “don’t do other people’s work” which, settle down, the only reason I graduate high school is because I would have girls do my homework for me.
But again it all comes down to the question, does banning words fix problems? And the answer is no. There are words I agree shouldn’t be said and I make a conscious effort to not say, such as faggot. I used to say that all the time growing up, “you’re being such a fag man.” Never thought twice about it, everyone said it. But then I became very good friends with a gay guy who explained to me what it means to them and from then on I never said it again. We should make an effort to choose words more carefully based on the context they are used in. But banning word doesn’t fix a problem.
Banning the word “faggot” doesn’t erase homophobia. Banning racial slurs don’t erase racism. The worthless pieces of shit who are going to hate people for no reason other than their skin color, sexual preference or religion will always feel that way until their useless bodies are buried. Women in this country have not been kept out of leadership roles because the word bossy has been around; they have been kept out because white men have dominated society since its inception. They were able to keep the power through use of things like religion, intimidation, voter suppression, suppressing education, and unfair pay. It is only recently that women are making strides in the work place. We are seeing a rise in women CEOs and women politicians, not because a word is being banned but because they are fighting for what they deserve. It has always been that way. The civil rights movement didn’t happen because Martin Luther King sat around petitioning to have bad words banned; he and all his peers took to the streets to create change. That’s how things are done.
It is honestly a shame that is how things have to be done, but it is. It is also a shame that in 2014 inequality is still disturbingly present but the people in charge will always fight as long as they can to stay powerful.
The answer, as it usually is, is education. Educate your daughters to believe in themselves from a young age, educate your sons that girls are equal and can drive trucks and be fire fighters. Denis Leary said, “racism isn’t born, it’s taught. I have a 2 year old son. Know what he hates? Naps. End of list.” Racism, sexism, and homophobia all these things are taught and unfortunately they will always be taught. But as society as a whole gets more tolerant and educated the numbers of these assholes will drop; more opportunity will present itself for everyone to actually succeed and the American dream will finally become a reality; instead of a catch phrase.