I’ve been hearing and reading a bit about this idea of banning the word bossy because it is most used against women in authoritative positions and it sends a bad message to little girls who are more often called bossy than their male counterparts. Now the solution to the problem is to ban the word bossy. Why don’t we, instead, try to educate a bit more on why it is women may be seen that way when they are in positions of power? A history of the struggle for women’s equality might be insightful as to why women may feel more of a need to prove themselves. Or the idea that women are more often seen as the caregivers and may then be seen as bossy since they are the ones who oftentimes make decisions. I’m not ranting about wanting the freedom to call little girls and powerful women bossy (I’m sure I have been called the word once or twice in my life, but it was obviously insignificant enough for me to not even really remember). I’m just saying that banning a word is not a solution to the problem.
In fact, that’s just about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard or read. Oh, wait…is it ok to use the word stupid? Lackluster individuals may feel offended. Seriously, unless you never use words, you are bound to offend or upset someone sometime. I like to call that life. Welcome to it.
To be honest, I’ve never really given much thought to the word bossy, but if we all start banning words we don’t like, eventually we may have no words at all, and thus, no way to express ourselves and our feelings. I can think of several words that are offensive and should not be used in front of children, yet the liberality in which they are used these days now seems to suggest it’s ok. Bossy is not the B word that should concern us. Where are our morals? I find the lack of those to be offensive.
Do we allow people to use synonyms of the word instead or will we also ban domineering, pushy, overbearing, controlling and officious?
Then there is the whole idea of physically banning a word. Has it ever been done? How do we do it exactly? We would have to take it out of the dictionary and then search out and remove it from any piece of literature ever written. I suppose we could have book burning festivals. We would also have to come up with a punishment to use against offenders. Community service? Jail time? Or maybe we could just stone them or lock them away in camps? If we heard somebody say it, how should we react? Responding would show we recognized the word. Perhaps staring blankly at the perpetrator, indicating the use of an unknown word, would be the best reaction, and then specialized, trained professionals would be signaled that the word had been uttered and they could come take the individual away.
Look, if people want to call me bossy or whatever else, so what? You cannot ban opinions…or can you?