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A female boss’s take on Sheryl Sandberg's “Ban Bossy” campaign

  • Sheryl-Sandberg-AP.jpg

    FILE -- Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (AP)

  • beyonce-ban-bossy-ftr

     (Courtesy of Lifetime)

  • RTX13KM6.jpg

    Singer Beyonce performs at the Rock in Rio Music Festival in Rio de Janeiro early September 14, 2013. (Reuters)

So some popular girls got together and decided they are no longer going to use a particular word, and they decided we can’t use it either.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg teamed up with the Girl Scouts and other influential women to launch a campaign addressing a name that Sandberg says holds girls back from their true potential. 

The campaign called “Ban Bossy,” aims to address the issue that girls are not seeking leadership roles. Sandberg and her team blame it on the supposed fear girls have of being labeled “bossy.”

True strength is being bossy in a way that empowers others to greatness, not to degradation.

Yes, some words can hurt, objectify, and demean. But instead of “banning bossy,” let’s address the root cause of the problem. 

Are the instances of young girls being called bossy reaching the pandemic stage in our culture? Perhaps the bigger problem is the daily inundation of false messages foisted upon girls about their intrinsic value as human beings.

Sadly, girls are growing accustomed to words that truly devalue them in popular culture from TV shows and commercials, music, video games, and movies. 

Turn on the radio. Popular music is replete with the words b***h or a trick … both of which, by the way, can be found in “Ban Bossy” spokeswoman Beyonce’s song “Bow Down.” (Quite a bossy title, if you ask me.)

As a mom of two and the head of the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, I know the real problem today is not with women asserting themselves or being called “bossy.” 

If we truly want to protect and serve our girls in today's culture, then we must reject the misogyny being propagated by left-leaning Hollywood elites. 

"Bossy" would be a huge compliment compared to what Beyonce’s own husband says in his music. 

One of Jay Z’s most popular and long-lasting songs, “Big Pimpin’,” describes how he treats women: “You know I - thug ‘em, f**k ‘em, love ‘em, leave ‘em, cause I don’t f***in need ‘em, take ‘em out the hood, keep ‘em lookin’ good, but I don’t f**in feed ‘me.” 

The word that comes to mind after those lyrics is not “bossy”... it’s “hypocrite.”

The word “bossy” is gender neutral, and yet Sandberg's campaign wants to focus on the word being used as a pejorative aimed at females. 

I find this campaign to be in line with the feminist modus operandi

Feminists cry out for empowerment, which means they want someone to give them power, because they cannot earn it themselves; they are victims. 

They rail against patriarchy and claim women and men are the same, and yet they seem cowed by an innocuous word. 

True strength is being bossy in a way that empowers others to greatness, not to degradation.

“Let’s just ban the word bossy,” says fashion designer Diane von Furstenburg, in a short video for the Ban Bossy campaign. 

I truly wish it were that easy, ladies. 

“Be brave,” says Beyonce in the same video. Now read the lyrics of her latest song, “Drunk in Love,” and you tell me who the boss is here: “I’ve been drinking, I’ve been drinking, I get filthy when that liquor get into me. Drunk in love, last thing I remember is our beautiful bodies...hold up, stumble all in the house.”

Yeah, good idea for young women, Beyonce. Get so drunk you don’t remember who you had sex with. Now that’s empowerment! 

The women associated with the "Ban Bossy" campaign are right about one thing. If you change the words, you change the future. 

Words do matter. But why “ban bossy” rather than address the real problem? 

Today’s women are told in the workplace to assert themselves and speak up with confidence only to turn on the radio to hear that they are nothing more than a sexual “wrecking ball.” And sometimes the juxtaposing messages are touted by the same person!

The very women who call themselves feminists are cozy with the worst perpetrators of the problem. When the salon discussions of the left take on the billion-dollar-plus entertainment industry profiting from this verbal sewage, then we’ll see some change. But considering that they can’t even shun pedophiles, it doesn’t seem likely. 

The good news is that women have come a long way. 

More women are succeeding in education than men. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, during the 2009-10 academic year, more degrees were conferred to women than men: 62 percent of Associate’s degrees; 57.4 percent of Bachelor Arts degrees; 62.6 percent of Master’s degrees and 53.3 percent of doctoral degrees were conferred to women.

The U.S. has the highest proportion of women in senior management positions (43%) of any country in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (women comprise 47% of the U.S. labor force). 

Our country was ranked eighth globally in gender equality by the World Economic Forum.

Twenty-four percent of working American women are in professional fields (compared to only 16% of working American men). 

And 46 percent of American firms are owned or co-owned by women.

As a conservative, I am grateful for the smart, capable, and successful women on the right. They are continually insulted and threatened, because they speak their minds. 

“Bossy” would seem like a compliment compared to the words spewed on Twitter at women like Michele Bachmann, S.E. Cupp, and Laura Ingraham. 

It would take some serious bandwidth to list the names conservative women like Beverly LaHaye, Dana Perino, Dana Loesch, Mary Katherine Ham, Kerry Picket, Sabrina Schaeffer, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and others have been called. 

All the women on this list handle it with grace and bravely press on. They are simply leaders, and if that makes them "bossy," well, they’ve been called worse.

Penny Young Nance is president and CEO of Concerned Women for America