Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

So the banning begins..

Posted by Anonymous
  • 17 Replies

While I agree that bossy is over used, I don't agree with banning. If we ban bossy why not all the other negative words? Why stop at words? When they are finished banning words they will ban things we like to do.
Posted by Anonymous on Mar. 12, 2014 at 9:51 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
by Anonymous 2 on Mar. 12, 2014 at 9:53 PM
Youll need to post the article. I have no idea wtf youre talking about.
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Mar. 12, 2014 at 9:54 PM
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's latest headline-making action is a new "Ban Bossy" campaign, which aims at getting rid of the word "bossy." Her nonprofit group,, has even teamed up with big names like Beyonce and Condoleezza Rice to produce a public service announcement to stop using the word "bossy."

In a weekend op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, co-written with Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez, Sandberg put the word at the center of the problem of unequal treatment of girls and boys, noting that girls who lead are more often described as "bossy" and "overly ambitious" while boys who lead are described as "strong" and "determined."

Sandberg raises valid points, and as a powerful woman her voice adds much to the ongoing conversation about why it's important to insist on equal treatment of, and expectations for, boys and girls, and men and women.

But while Sandberg isn't wrong that "bossy" is disproportionately directed at girls and women, and usually with negative connotations, the problem isn't the word itself, but how and when the word is used. Ban "bossy" and other words will spring up in its place: "Bitchy," "cold" and "aggressive" come to mind.

Instead, the focus should be on how to reclaim the positive and indispensable nature of "bossiness," turning it from a word used to describe the domineering and unlikable to one used to describe those very necessary qualities for those who lead.

Sheryl Sandberg is bossy, and it's a quality that likely played a pretty key role in helping her become one of the technology industry's most successful women. So, how about an initiative to reclaim bossiness as a point of pride?

Bosses are bossy, plain and simple. As Sandberg even notes: "...if you look at my childhood, if you look at the childhood of most of the leaders we talked to, they lived through being told they were bossy." And, well, look where they are now.

In fact, moving to abolish the word "bossy" risks sending the message that there's something wrong with those characteristics associated with bossiness: taking charge and speaking your mind. Again, the problem isn't the word, or the behavior, but the reaction to the behavior, and the acceptance among women of the word as a disparaging one.

There's also the very important fact that by focusing on how to foster those girls who, like Sandberg, grow up inclined to lead rather than follow—to boss—a message emerges that leadership is the only road to success. And that's just not true.

Initiatives are commendable, as is any opening of dialogue. But it's hard not to interpret "Ban Bossy" as a reaction to the tepid response Sandberg received to her last initiative, "Lean In," through which she was criticized as being too privileged to be a valid motivator.

With "Ban Bossy," she certainly makes an effort to position herself as among the downtrodden, one among many who've been victimized by "the other B-word." But there's some overreaching going on here.

Let's not forget: There is evidence that girls and women aren't in fact being overlooked, or discouraged into meekness. Girls are outperforming boys in schools. More women than men are graduating college and going on to earn as much, if not more, than their male partners. Fortune's latest ranking of America's 500 largest corporations includes more female CEOs than ever.

Things aren't perfect, of course, but they're getting there, as women—and men—embrace not only their bossiness, but all those other qualities that lead them to live lives that are fulfilling in any number of ways.

The lesson to children, and to the parents and teachers who raise and nurture them, should be that there is pride in being opinionated, motivated and motivating—that is, bossy.

There is also pride in being not-so-bossy, and in recognizing whatever other specific traits make them special, whether they go on to become leaders or not. There's a word to describe that, too: individuality.

Follow us on Twitter @CNNOpinion.

Join us on Facebook/CNNOpinion.

The opinions expressed in this commentary
by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 9:54 PM
1 mom liked this

 I love this movement!

by CAFE SASSY HBIC on Mar. 12, 2014 at 9:56 PM

And I though this was about CM, lol

by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 9:56 PM

I'm so over Beyonce

by Anonymous 3 on Mar. 12, 2014 at 9:58 PM
I highly doubt they're actually insisting upon legally banning a word.

I understand what they're getting at and I support it.

There is indeed a big difference between being bossy and being a leader, but the social applications are off. The terms are being used interchangeably for girls, but properly for boys.

It's a valid discussion they're trying to start, I think.
by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 9:59 PM

I think we should ban "r*tard" first! Bossy smossy Geesh 

by Anonymous 4 on Mar. 12, 2014 at 10:00 PM
yep banning peanut butter has turned into banning words.
by on Mar. 12, 2014 at 10:00 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting mhaney03:

I'm so over Beyonce

by Anonymous 5 on Mar. 12, 2014 at 10:01 PM

I shall go out and say it more now.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)