Recently, Beyoncé, Condoleezza Rice and others have produced a Public Service Announcement to ban the word “Bossy”. Am I the only one who watched with disbelief as some of the most powerful women on the planet declared calling someone (especially a girl) “Bossy” is now a pejorative and disparaging term? Really? Now we want to ban words and phrases because they are perceived as mocking and belittling? Some words are supposed to sting a tad and act as boundaries so we don’t venture too far from that which is good and wholesome. Let’s ban “blonde”, because after all, one person’s hair color is really another person’s joke.
Before we charge headlong into the hypocrisy of the PSA, I would like to suggest America has devolved from our wonderful melting pot into a hearty stew where the celery is offended by how firm the carrot still is and no one likes the gravy because it gets all over everything. Why do we have such a segmented society where by declaration each group can decide what the others mean with their words and behavior?
There were times growing up when my mother was “Bossy”. She had to be, or some things would never have happened (like me getting out of bed every morning). My wife is often “Bossy”, but in a good way, with love. You see, besides being a first grade teacher, she is the mother of two teenage boys. She HAS to be bossy sometimes, or children don’t learn how to read, or high school homework never gets turned in.
The PSA speaks to female leadership and the way girls shouldn’t allow others to define them in a negative way. I was always taught you never let others define you – “sticks and stones” etc. Besides the total disregard for the first amendment right to freedom of speech, the word police are also being very hypocritical in their deciding for everyone that being identified as “Bossy” is bad. That in itself is “Bossy”. I know Ms. Rice was bossy when she protected our country from countless terrorist attacks during her career. You can’t tell me Beyoncé isn’t “Bossy’ with her rock star demands. The word “Bossy” is not bad. Being bad is bad.
This brings us to the heart of the debate from a scriptural worldview. What happens to you is less important than how you respond to what happens to you. Is our self worth derived from what others think about us, or what God thinks? He thought enough of us to send His Son to die for us. God can be very “Bossy” and convicting sometimes. He has the right. He is sovereign. Many of the Saints in the Bible would be considered “Bossy”. From Moses to Paul, many men AND women often had to take the bull by the horns to get things done.
I would suggest for Christians today, we should “not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds so we may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” And “Whatever we do in word or deed do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks through Him to God the Father”, then “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”
When we can live like this, we will no longer have to worry about what words people use toward us and their intentions, and no one will have to worry about what we mean when we speak. Stop labeling and defining one another based on your preferences. That is actually counterproductive to the community we claim we want. Was that too “Bossy”?