You Can Call Me Bossy

Citizens of the world unite!  Avoid the word ‘bossy’ because it might lower a young girl’s self-esteem!

Here we go again.

My niece Jacqui has grown up knowing that she is bossy because we use every opportunity to remind her of how bossy she is.  My two daughters Julianne and Caroline, too, have bossyness running through their identical DNA. Furthermore, in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary beside the word ‘bossy’, you’ll see a picture of my sister Becky.  In fact, ‘Becky’ is oftentimes a euphemism for ‘bossy’, as in, “Quit being so Becky!”

Incidentally, all three young women’s respective self-esteems are solidly intact.  Becky’s self-esteem was never in question.

beyoncebuttI visited the “Ban Bossy” site, and I was intrigued to see that one Mrs. Z (neé Knowles) has served herself up as a spokeswoman (not a ‘spokesperson’; she’s a woman for crying out loud) for the campaign to ban the word ‘bossy’.  Hm.

Then my ADD took over, and I decided, since I have some of her earlier stuff on my playlist, that I’d listen to some Beyoncé just to see if I wanted to download anything else of hers.

I Googled “Drunk in Love” since it’s a duet with her husband, Jay—you know him as Mr. Z.  I gave it a listen, and, like most popular music, (even the music I listened to back in the 70s), I had to look up the lyrics, although all we ever had were the album notes and only if they were included.  Once again, I digress.

Anyway, this is what Mrs. Z rhapsodized about her husband:

“I’ve been drinking, I’ve been drinking,
I get filthy when that liquor get into me.
I’ve been thinking, I’ve been thinking,
Why can’t I keep my fingers off it, baby?  I want you, na-na.
Why can’t I keep my fingers off you, baby?  I want you, na-na…”

Okay, so Mrs. Z got a little tight, a little wound up, went home, and made frisky fun with her husband, I get that.  But, because it’s a duet, Mr. Z obviously had to weigh in:

“Foreplay in the foyer, f*cked up my Warhol.
Slid the panties right to the side, ain’t got the time to take drawers off.
On sight, catch a charge I might,
Beat the box up like Mike in ’97 I bite.
I’m Ike Turner, turn up, baby, no, I don’t play…”

Then he finishes off the third verse with this gem:

“Sleep tight, we sex again in the morning
Your breasteses (sic) is my breakfast, we going in, we be all night.”

Oh, my.  Well.  I can see why she doesn’t want to appear “bossy”—her old man might beat the crap out of her just like Ike Turner did to his wife Tina “What’s Love Got to Do With It” Turner, or maybe he’d bite off her ear  á la Tyson v. Holyfield (props to Jay-Z for not mentioning the rape conviction).  And, you know, I’m not so sure I’d care for my husband talking about my panties like that or having my “breasteses” for breakfast.  He normally has an Egg McMuffin™ or a large coffee from Dunkin Donuts, but not my breasteses.

Furthermore, my man might be bigger than I am, but I guarantee he’d never think of laying a hand on me or even joke about it.

In all seriousness, I don’t give a fiddler’s fart (my nod to St. Patrick’s Day) what Beyoncé and Jay-Z do in the privacy of their foyer or any other room in their castle, nor do I care about their song lyrics.  They have a right to sing whatever they wish to sing, regardless of how silly, misogynistic, sexist, or offensive it may be to some people.  Doesn’t bother me.  For the record, I like Beyoncé’s music.

Why don’t these lyrics bother me?  Because I respect their right to create song lyrics, even ones that are, on their face, tasteless and crude like the ones I’ve pulled out of “Drunk in Love”.  However, though I’m not a billionaire hottie with a voice like hers, I, too, reserve and deserve the right to use the word ‘bossy’ or any other word I want to use for that matter.  I’m a big girl.  Let me take the heat if what I say is stupid, offensive, jerk-like, or otherwise unseemly. You’re not the boss of me.

In fact, I’m going to go a step further.  I submit to all of you who appeared in the “Ban Bossy” video:  To Beyoncé, to my favorite comic actress Jane Lynch, to my diplomatic role model Condoleeza Rice, to Mrs. Affleck who was so adorable in 13 Going on 30, and to designer of the timelessly stylish wrap dress Diane Von Furstenberg, quit being so bossy and don’t you dare tell me what words I can use and what words I can’t!  Again, you’re not the boss of me!

Fair enough?

I don’t know about you, but I get a sick feeling in my gut whenever I hear someone invoking the word ‘ban’.  Read up on The Nuremberg Laws.

There was some big time banning going on in Nazi-controlled Europe in the first half of the twentieth century…

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Following my years as an elementary and middle school teacher, I decided I wanted to spend the second half of my life just writing. Currently, I work as a technical writer for a software company, fulfilling my passion for writing and editing, and in between the times I'm trying to figure out how to put really complicated ideas into words the rest of the world can understand, I write novels. The Gym Show, published in March 2014, is my first novel. I'm already half-way through with my second novel--a title soon to be revealed. The creative side of me loves to write, but the teacher in me loves to edit, so let me help you craft your message, write your articles, mend your prose, and get people to read what you've written. Contact me at

2 thoughts on “You Can Call Me Bossy”

  1. What can I say? I was there with you and every word .MIss you and your sister. Thank you for my birthday message. Rae Elaine!


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