I’m not one to wad my panties unless I’ve scored front row tickets to see Journey in ’87 and Steve Perry is at the ready for my best pair of grannies to grace his face. The means in which we get our phone numbers to rockstars will never change.
This week saw an announcement in support of the Lean In movement by powerface, Sheryl Sandberg. I won’t bore you with all of the details that you can read in well-written, journalistic types of articles, so catch yourself up by reading this. Because I am not about to become The Boring One.
Here’s the thing about all of this for me.
No one ever called me bossy when I was a little girl and it pissed me off.
It pissed me off because I was a little girl who wanted to be The Boss and no one in the classroom or on the playground or when choreographing rollerblade routines in the cul-de-sac (where I was especially dictatorial) seemed to think I had the assertive moxie to call me bossy.
But what if someone had called me bossy?
Would I have thought they were pandering to my dreams of becoming a leader with a magic human chute?
Or would I have thought they were calling me a cow?
Words have always had official and unofficial meanings. I think we can collectively agree that we have Urban Dictionary to thank for a lot of those unofficial ones.
Let’s take a second to look at the use of the word ‘bossy’ over the years:
Mid 19th Century: a cow or calf
The 1950s: a term used for someone/something swell, cool, hip, awesome
Other times after those past two times that are mostly right now: a person willing to control a situation, a bitch, describing something that epitomizes coolness, exceeding a typical weight limit
I completely agree that there is a laundry list of societal change that needs cultivating for women in leadership. I’m tackling that laundry list at home with my son. I’m teaching him, by explication in conversation as well as by example, that boys and girls are equally important in the world of successes. And while success is defined by individual perception, no one type of private part is more deserving of achieving success than another.
I also know for certain that a word (especially one with infinite innocence in comparison to some of the other words that are muttered in regard to successful women) is not what snowballed into the glass ceilings we blowfish for decades before we’re sufficient candidates to stand on the upper floor where our male subordinates can wax poetic about the up-skirt view they now have and how “that’s probably the only way she got to where she did anyway”.
Maybe let’s make the initiative less about banning our words & sexy-time body parts and more about our wisdom-machines?
::does a cartwheel::
::breaks a vase::
::runs out of Pottery Barn::