Helllloooo there readers…any of them I have left, after all this erratic posting! I’m sorry. I just really don’t like writing just to put something up. I have to find something really moving or inspiring or something that fires me up to write. I know- so dramatic of me. I would just rather write about stuff that I think is cool or interesting, or think I would like to know/read about- rather than just tell you what I did over the weekend (no disrespect to any bloggers that like to do that, just not my cup of proverbial tea).
Anyways, I got something for you today. Cause it’s Friday, it’s going to be 60 today and well, I found something to annoy me enough to write about it.
Now we will play a short round of Mad libs (with my own personal twist) to introduce today’s topic. Just pick one of the words in the parenthesis to fill in the blanks.
THIS DAMN BAN BOSSY ________ (campaign, load of crap) IS ________ (really really great, annoying) AND I’M GLAD IT DIDN’T (come off as whining, totally came off as whining and didn’t catch on too much).
Let’s start with this. I know I’m a little late on the whole topic- everyone wore their shirts and tweeted their tweets last week sometime. But it just took me a while to marinate before I decided how absolutely pathetic and useless this really was. If you haven’t read up on it, look here or here.
Ok- so Sheryl Sandberg (Currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, went to Harvard, and was once the Chief of Staff for the US Secretary of Treasury) is all up in arms because one of her teachers in high school called her “bossy” and it hurt her feelings. I’m sure there’s a bit more to it than that- but what it comes down to is she is, and probably always has been an empowered woman who got shit done. I don’t think there’s a need to apologize, be ashamed of it, or let critics call you a name because of it that hurts your feelings so deeply. Apparently someone stepped on her toes and she got mad and started a campaign. Because that’s what powerful people do. They campaign. Or at least that’s what it seems like from House of Cards.
I think there is a huge misconception here. I think people are forgetting a small detail. You know, that fact that there is a huge difference between being a leader and being bossy. Leaders motivate, inspire, and energize their team. And they look at their “workers” as that, a team. Bossy people suck the life out of people, demand, and are rarely satisfied. And look at their “workers” as peons. It’s the concept of micro-management, versus giving someone a job and letting them figure out how to get it done.
Another flaw I find in this campaign is it’s posed as if the word “bossy” is gender specific. That boys are never, or can never be called “bossy”- instead they are viewed as leaders. Most people who have “Bosses” instead of “Leaders” (male or female) working over them-think their bosses are exactly that- bossy, jerks, arrogant, etc. And rightfully, so. The flaw is in the leadership, not the word.
Overall, I just think this makes women as a whole look weak, whiny, and pathetic. Like we have such hurt feelings over what people say about us. Or that it truly attacks the foundation of our equality or something. I think there are two thoughts that should flow through our minds if we are referred to as “bossy”.
1) What am I doing wrong?
2) What am I doing right?
‘Cuz #hatersgunnahate- amiright?
But instead Sheryl’s tactic is to start a campaign and get the Girl Scouts involved (And don’t tell me those Girl Scouts aren’t a little pushy when they’re peddling those Tagalongs outside the grocery store which you’re so desperately trying not to buy because you’ll eat the whole box in one sitting) anyways this campaign is centered around hurt feelings and how degrading a word is. A word that I (like most people) probably haven’t used since I was in the sandbox- and for those of us who haven’t caught up yet- it’s time to leave the sandbox. As for the young girls and future leaders she’s trying to impact- A) They don’t even care enough, and first chance some girl in middle school is mean to her- she’s going to call her bossy, or something worse. B) it’s part of growing up, you get picked on (note: getting picked on is different than being bullied) and it teaches you to have a thicker skin C) Lead by example. Don’t teach girls to complain over a word- teach them the essence of a better word so they won’t be called the negative word you dislike. AKA- RISE ABOVE IT.
I mean, I’m not saying words don’t hurt or are never degrading- but come on…”bossy”? What gets me most is she’s quoted having said; “I was called bossy when I was in ninth grade,” Sandberg recalled. “My teacher took my best friend Mindy aside and she said, ‘You shouldn’t be friends with Sheryl. She’s bossy.’ And that hurt.”
I would bet you ten bucks and a beer/shot combo that the teacher that said this- was a woman. And here in lies the biggest problem. I think more often than we’d like to admit- women are the ones playing the victim, and holding ourselves/each other back or pushing each other down. While I don’t neglect that women make 77¢ to a man’s dollar, and that women make up only 4.6% of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 company CEO positions either. However, as unfortunate as it is, big things take big time- and I think women have just as much to learn about empowerment and empowering one another, as men do.
I think equality is important, rather- imperative in our society, I just don’t think stomping out a word is how we achieve that. Women, fist-to-hip, tapping our toes, finger wagging, demanding people not call us bossy is the exact picture of bossy we are “fighting”.
Instead- why not focus on building up and encouraging women who lead with strength, grace, tenacity, and energy. Instead of women who feel they have something to compensate for, who are everything you would both dread and expect them to be.
Or, maybe for a minute- be proud someone called you bossy at all. Maybe you know what’s going on ahead of everyone else, and have the voice and courage to call it out- and make things happen. I don’t think bossy is always bad. It’s all in the delivery.
(I would just like to had three words to the end of this quote “or are becoming”) Also, for a way better/longer version of this post- read Bossypants by Tina Fey. You can thank me later.