“Bossy.” Over the years while this label has died down a bit, I noticed there was some campaign or another to ban the word “bossy.”
When I first stumbled across the news my immediate thought was “WTF?!” What are we going to propose banning next? Breathing for some?
Bossy is one of the many words that was and sometimes still is ascribed to me. Bitch is another one.
A former sister-in-law once called me bossy and argumentative. Maybe that explains why she did nothing to stop her brother from beating the crap out of me in her living room? Others have said that I am controlling. Both might very well be true but guess what? It is my life! Oh, it is my body as well, by the way!
“Teach the girls ownership.” That would be my recommendation but no one is asking me.
Feminism was the rage of the day in my formative years. By the time, I was 9 years old, my mind was filled with ideas that I am a strong Jamaican girl who can be anything I wanted. That included being “bossy.”
My mother, strained and nonexistent as our relationship was, was a “bossy” woman. The women I saw on political platforms in Jamaica throughout the 1970s were bossy women. The lady who came by every Saturday morning with her basket of produce on her head was bossy. My teachers, spiritual coaches and most of my female friends are all bossy women.
Just as we have with other words, it seems we have taken “bossy” back!
Teach Girls Strength
Instead of teaching our girls to be afraid of words, let us show them, and walk for them how to be leaders in their lives. Some of the same people who called for the ban of words, etc are the same ones demonstrating materialism, bling and superficiality as the essence of a “good life.”
The feminist movement, like so many such movements, had its weaknesses. Yet, a “bossy” movement would serve our girls well now more so than the call to ‘bootiness’ that is so pervasive. Had a young lady tell me once how much talent is involved in publicly shaking and jingling your butt cheeks for men to ogle.
My daughter told me years ago that the said family member told her she was “as argumentative just like your mother.” Nothing could have pleased me more! It means that she would not be anyone’s doormat. And now at 35+, she is not!
People Will Call You Names
There’s a difference between rude and arrogant as against being confident and speaking your truth. If someone wants to call me bossy for being the latter, let them. Was it the Queen of Bossy, Madea, who said, “People will call you many names but it’s what you answer to that’s important?”
Let us spend the time, effort and money teaching our children self-respect, respect of others, self-love and love of others. Then words such as “bossy” will either not apply or certainly will not matter.