So, I have had this little struggle lately. It’s all about the word “bossy” as it refers to woman. As you may know, there is a movement to educate society NOT to call a female bossy.
Of course, I have a story. When I was in 2nd grade, I came home from school and my Mother “sat me down” and said, “Someone told me that you are very bossy at school and that you make all the girls do whatever you want to do. Is that true?” Of course I asked, “Who told you that? Was it one of my teachers?” I was confident it was not a teacher –because I was always teacher’s pet. My Mother responded, No it was not a teacher –but I am not going to tell you the name of the person. She then asked the same question again, “Are you bossy?” I replied as follows: “No, I am not bossy. I ask everyone if they have any ideas on what to do and they never do. So then I just tell them exactly what to do. If someone had a better idea, then we’d do something different –but not one of the girls ever has a better idea.” My Mother then told me not to be so bossy. I paid no attention to that advice.
It was years later that I learned it was my older Cousin who told my Mother I was bossy. Of course it is the same Cousin who worked at UndercoverWear for 25+ years and in fact, I was her boss. She was well paid and traveled around the world courtesy of UndercoverWear and/or my “bossiness.” So I personally do not have a problem with the word bossy.
However, I decided to research the reasoning behind the Ban Bossy movement. Sheryl Sandberg, CEO of Facebook, the Girl Scouts, Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, Condoleezza Rice, Jane Lynch, Marlo Thomas, and Diane Von Furstenberg all have joined the “Ban Bossy” movement. These accomplished women cannot all be wrong. They strongly believe that young women who are called bossy–back off–and this is one of the reasons there are not more women in high corporate positions.
I looked up the definition of bossy–here it is: Fond of giving people orders; domineering. Honestly, it didn’t bother me that much–maybe didn’t love the word domineering. Then I looked up the synonyms for bossy; pushy, overbearing, imperious, officious, high-handed, authoritarian, dictatorial… Ouch that stung!
Of course the Urban Dictionary gave this definition of bossy: Describes a girl who is the alpha-female or the queen bee. “She is gettin paid, stayin fly, and is the leader of her crew. Respected by all, loved by some.” (While I don’t understand want “staying fly” means, again, I was not offended by the description. Being me, I then looked up the synonyms in the Urban Dictionary. Ready: mean, bitchy, annoying.
Have I solved my dilemma? No! I am more confused than ever. So I am asking for your help. Let’s take a vote and please make your comments on my Lifetini page. And when you decide, I will absolutely follow your lead. See I’m not that bossy.
Of course my alternative would be,“Yes in business I’m bossy–look where it got me” OOPS –I promise I’ll follow your lead