The recent “Ban ‘Bossy’” campaign is a fine example of clueless modern uplift and feminist-influenced do-goodism. That is, it is idiotic.
Jesse Walker, writing at Reason, makes a case for common sense:
You might be able to convince me that the term “bossy” gets applied to girls more than boys. But it’ll be hard to make me believe that people across the country are telling bossy boys they’re budding leaders. Teachers and other school staff tend to find that sort of behavior disruptive, and as for the kids — well, they’re certainly capable of following the lead of other children, both male and female, but in my experience they’re not prone to throwing around the l-word. In any event, bossiness and leadership are not the same thing.
Beyond that: Of all the things kids call each other, is bossy really one we want to discourage? Call me a crazy anarchist, but social pressure against bossing people around strikes me as a good thing.
The eloquent Mr. Walker is so sensible that I almost hate to expand on his points. But I think the witlessness of the bossy-obsessed ninnies is in danger of getting lost here. As near as I can make out, they are not a little bit wrong, they are wholly off-point.
“Bossy” is a cute word, and thus appropriate for girls. When boys behave similarly, they are called “pushy” or, more directly, “asshole.”
I wasn’t very bossy growing up, but adults and other kids often tried to make a “leader” out of me because I wasn’t bossy, but was instead usually polite, smart, articulate, and even empathic. Bossy people make terrible leaders.
The anti-bossy meme proves idiotic: these alleged adults have forgotten the difference between a competent bellwether or organizer or avant-gardist and the pushy little a-holes who get called “bossy.”
But then, the campaign seems to be little more than a typically smug Made for Upworthy meme, a way for “liberal” celebrities to feel better about themselves while they look down from on high at the hoi polloi . . . who don’t know how to raise children. Par for that course.