A prominent female corporate executive has joined with the Girl Scouts for an initiative called “Ban Bossy.” It’s all about fostering female leaders. The theory seems to be that when assertive girls are called “bossy” by their peers, it’s a criticism. It’s “an insidious term designed largely to undercut women’s voices.” Ban the word, says Ms. Executive.
Ban insidious terms designed largely to undercut women’s voices? Why stop at “bossy”? Try these.
- Sarah Palin’s been called a “dunce,” “world-class idiot”
- Michele Bachmann was dubbed “president of Crazyland”
- Even Mother Teresa got some abuse: “a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud”
So much invective, so little time …
And then there’s the one every pro-life woman who has ever raised her voice has heard: “anti-choice.”
That’s definitely designed to undercut women’s voices. Anytime the discussion turns to Lila Rose or Charmaine Yoest or Abby Johnson, someone’s right there to slap on the “anti-choice” label. People praying outside abortion facilities occasionally hear it shouted at them. I’ve gotten it from a few elected officials in my own state – although no man has ever stooped to the term in my presence. It’s some female legislators who are free with it. Almost like mean girls, except they’re all grown up and representing thousands of people.
But anti-choice is just descriptive, you might say. Just a fact. Like the way an eight-year-old might call a classmate “bossy.” Just descriptive, just a fact. Designed to undercut, to silence, to shame, to mock. Language is a powerful tool, and a powerful weapon.
And still, pro-life women just won’t shut up and go away. God bless them, every one. And you know something? I’m guessing we were all called bossy when we were little. I know I was.
Ban bossy? Ditch anti-choice at the same time, and then I’ll know there’s something sincere going on.
2 thoughts on “I’ll see your “bossy” and raise you an “anti-choice””
“Well behaved women, seldom make history.” Sheryl Sandberg is setting up a lot of young women to think they can have it all – at the same time.
True. And the women who resist trying to have it all at the same time are the ones who will really have to embrace their assertiveness.