EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

March 11, 2014

Editorial: Banning a word won't change little girls or boys

From Webster’s: “Bossy. Adj. Fond of ordering people around. Domineering.”

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte has turned bossy.

The New Hampshire Republican has joined the movement to ban the word “bossy,” at least when applied to girls. Why is Bossy Ayotte ordering us not to use the word?

Because it is sometimes used against little girls to keep them in their place. At least it is according to the nascent “Let’s Ban Bossy” movement.

To quote from the banbossy.com website:

“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a ‘leader.’ Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy.’ Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.”

This politically correct nonsense is sponsored by the liberal group LeanIn.Org and the Girl Scouts, who ought to know better.

The usual airhead celebrities, like Beyonce and Jennifer Garner, couldn’t wait to join the movement. And Ayotte was all too quick to jump in on their side. Doesn’t she have anything else to worry about than demonstrating her PC bona fides?

The idea of banning a word because it might hurt someone is ridiculous. Sticks and stone and all that.

For one thing, the word is gender-neutral.

Sure, Lucy in the cartoon strip “Peanuts” was notoriously called bossy for her domineering attitude toward male characters, especially younger brother Linus, who dealt with it by ignoring her, and Charlie Brown, who listened to her at his peril when she volunteered to position the football for his kickoff, only to snatch it away at the last second.

And, sure, boys often apply the word to their big sisters.

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