The Ban Bossy movement

The recent “Ban Bossy” movement highlights a trend in American discourse I have encountered both in personal discussions and online. Reason magazine’s Scott Shackford discusses some of them here.

Permit me to add a few things on the matter. To be fair, some of these views go beyond the tenets of libertarianism, but I feel they are applicable even if others of the same political views do not share them.

(1) The use of language in this country has been utterly butchered by the combination of an incompetent education system, a growing hostility to intellectual growth and development beyond that of the brute, the rampant use of euphemisms and the appalling ignorance of words and their definitions. This happens all the time in politics. “Sharing” is translated to mean “theft,” “compassion” becomes “hate,” and “tolerance” means “accept what I believe or else.” This makes it next to impossible to have a civilized conversation with the ordinary person who does not have the slightest clue as to the true meaning of the word or subject being discussed. In a sense, they speak an entirely different language.

(2) Such a campaign is the direct result of an authoritative, totalitarian attitude Americans have come to passively accept when it comes to social norms. Example: someone says something that upsets me. Rather than interact with him and try to persuade him through plain and clear reasoning, I will use the violence and coercion to shut him up. Hence the campaign is called “ban” rather than “end the use of the word bossy by changing hearts and minds,” though my title is little long, which makes it hard to repeat mindlessly as they intend for people to do.

(3) Consider it put this way: It is a group of people trying to tell other people to stop calling them a word that refers to people who like to tell other people what to do, i.e. they don’t like being described accurately. These people have no sense of irony. Is it too much of a stretch to suggest that the ban bossy movement is headed by and undertaken by people who are in fact bossy? It’s sort of like violent men forming an army and invading a country to prove they’re not violent after being called barbarians. As someone once told me, a person’s best defense against an accusation is to simply avoid doing that which they are accused of doing.

(4) This campaign, led by a woman, is also directly related to the rampant and subversive lie girls are continuously taught in schools from kindergarten to college, in society, and by their mothers that being an overbearing, unbearably officious control freak is empowering and demonstrates leadership abilities which in fact it usually explains why boys and later men can’t stand them. Case in point: On Twitter, I encountered a woman who made the following remark: My daughter comes home complaining that kids are calling her bossy. I praise her for being a leader. Empower her. Note that you will not see men (at least those who look remotely masculine) join this movement or have boys comprise any segment of the “victims” of this word. Boys are not accused of being bossy. They are told they are being a jackass. Fathers, in contrast to mothers, have far less qualms telling their sons to stop being a jackass. You will also never have a movement called “Ban Jackass” by a man because it is a useful word to describe stupid behavior that men like to point out in other men.

(5) I knew plenty of bossy people in school. They acted like everyone’s mother and constantly told them what to do while lashing out at anyone who did the same to them. They criticized others continuously, possessed a clear and obvious sense of self-righteousness, and were utterly incapable of allowing anyone to do anything because if they were not there directly in control the sun would not rise in the morning. The bossy girls, however, were the worst. They thought they were Hau Mulan when they’re Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts. Unlike the guys, however, we were forbidden from pointing this out.

(6) If you want to know the difference between a leader and a bossy person, read Band of Brothers. Then watch the HBO miniseries. There, you find the difference. True leaders don’t tell others what to do. People listen to them and follow them because they’re going somewhere. Bossy people tell others what to do and force them to obey because if given the choice they would be ignored. Some might argue that the latter fits the description of a parent, but I would submit the parent-child relationship is different.

(7) This campaign will be just as (un)successful as the – and I’m wincing as I write this – “slut-shaming” movement. To put it bluntly, both stem from the psychotic unwillingness to accept being described accurately using words that have had, have, and always will have negative societal connotations. Rather than having the moral conviction to stand by their beliefs and actions in spite of this, they are so emotionally insecure that they feel they must get the approval of everyone around them in order to feel free. Additionally, in their twisted sense of logic, societal pressure is considered to be a form of aggression or violence.

As Romeo said to Juliet, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Likewise, “a bossy person by any other name would irritate the hell out of me just as painfully.”

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