Ban Bossy

The Trouble With 'Ban Bossy'

Call me a crazy anarchist, but social pressure against bossing people around strikes me as a good thing.


Ban bossy! Wait—that wasn't what you meant?

As a footnote to my colleague Emily Ekins' post about the "Ban Bossy" movement, I'll link to Mollie Hemingway's article on the subject in The Federalist. The whole thing is worth reading, but this is the passage I want to highlight:

even if there were a sex differentiation…it's not the one described by the campaign here: "When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a 'leader.' Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded 'bossy.'"

For crying out loud. Has anyone been near a public school classroom recently? I have never in my life ever heard anyone call an assertive little boy a "leader."

You might be able to convince me that the term "bossy" gets applied to girls more than boys. But it'll be hard to make me believe that people across the country are telling bossy boys they're budding leaders. Teachers and other school staff tend to find that sort of behavior disruptive, and as for the kids—well, they're certainly capable of following the lead of other children, both male and female, but in my experience they're not prone to throwing around the l-word. In any event, bossiness and leadership are not the same thing.

Beyond that: Of all the things kids call each other, is bossy really one we want to discourage? Call me a crazy anarchist, but social pressure against bossing people around strikes me as a good thing. Of course there are ways to do this that are constructive and ways to do this that are mean; and it isn't always obvious to a kid, or even a grown-up, which is which. I say this as the father of an eight-year-old girl who's been complaining recently that a friend is too bossy but who doesn't want to offend her by telling her so. Learning how to navigate that kind of social dilemma is an important part of growing up. Telling children to strike the word "bossy" from their vocabularies adds absolutely nothing of value to that learning process.

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  1. Take away bossy and all that’s left to the little darlings is conniving.

    1. Hey, we still have ‘manipulative.’

      1. Yeah, but ever since they banned the ‘c-word’, ‘manipulative’ by itself is empty and hollow.

  2. When a little boy asserts himself, he’s drugged into submission. Yet when a little girl does the same, she is strong and powerful.

    1. +1

    2. When a little boy asserts himself, he’s drugged into submission exerting his privilege. Yet when a little girl does the same, she is strong and powerful smashing the patriarchy.


  3. When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a leader, and by “called a leader” I mean “sent to the principal’s office” or worse. I love it when reality-challenged feminists womansplan to me what it’s like to be male.

    1. +2

  4. “Call me a crazy anarchist, but social pressure against bossing people around strikes me as a good thing.”

    See, that’s the problem with libertarians, not wanting to boss people around.

    1. +1 “freedom is slavery” banner

  5. “Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

    Orwell, banning “bossy” before it was cool. What a hipster, huh?

  6. Well if we get rid of “bossy” what word should we now use for “fond of giving people orders; domineering.”

    1. Statist? Progressive? Soon-to-be demonstrator of his new Bronze plan?

    2. Not that I think “ban bossy” is a good idea or anything, but perhaps…domineering?

    3. Assholecuntbitch?

    4. Fascist?

    5. She-wolf?

  7. I’ve called my daughter bossy. Because sometimes she’s being bossy (telling her friends what to do even if they don’t want to do it). I’m sure CPS will be knocking on our door sometime this evening.

    1. Do you call your son that when he does the same thing, because that is kind of the point of the entire ‘campaign.’

      To be honest, I can not recall every seeing anyone call a little boy ‘bossy.’ It is not a huge deal I would think, but it is interesting that we reserve that word as a rebuke for girls.

      1. “but it is interesting that we reserve that word as a rebuke for girls.”

        I see absolutely no evidence that we reserve this word for girls…

        1. I will admit, I can only offer my recollection of my experience, I can only claim it makes some sense to me.

          1. Are you around young boys often?

            1. Relatives and friends have kids, some of them boys. I do not work at a school or whatever. Do you?

              1. I have younger relatives. One of them is around 10 and is sometimes sullen/bossy. He gets reprimanded for it.

                1. Bo Cara is right. English doesn’t attach gender to words, but Bossy is an feminine term, just like sassy or bitchy.

                  An equivalent masculine term would be something like Jerk. A girl can be a jerk, but but most use it only for males.

                  1. Technically I think they can’t.

        2. Even if the word is used more on girls, wouldn’t it make more sense to campaign to apply it more to boys as appropriate? Or do these people think that bossiness is a positive characteristic that should be encouraged?

      2. “…but it is interesting that we reserve that word as a rebuke for girls.

        My brother (male) was called bossy for bossing me around. The next door neighbor boy (male) was called bossy for bossing his brother around. You would have to go three doors down to find the girl (female) who was called bossy, but she and her brother (male) were both called that word because they both bossed their little brother around.

        Until this newspeak shit popped up this week I would never have guessed the word was such a sexist slure.

        1. Sure, I can not contradict your experience, only say what mine is. Here’s one thing I experienced, not only were girls called ‘bossy’ but they often were called ‘Miss/Missus Bossy Pants.’ I do not think I have ever heard the phrase Mr. Bossy Pants (in fact, I think this is why Marc’s use of it infra is so funny).

          1. I call my son Mr. Bossy Pants all the time when he starts telling random people what they can/can’t do when we’re out in public.

            If the shoe fits…

      3. My son hasn’t even mastered the art of holding up his head. Ask me again when he starts giving his pacifier orders.

      4. I call guys bossy, moo cows, bitches, etc etc on the internet all the time. But then, my keyboard has Tourette’s syndrome. So it is protected under the ADA.

  8. When a boy asserts himself, he’s expected to back it up with something credible, whether that be knowledge, skill or brawn.

    If he can’t back it up, he’s rightly cast aside as a pretender and no one will really take him seriously until he can prove it. The smart ones learn early when to assert themselves, and do so only when needed. It’s a completely natural and instinctive process, also brutal and unforgiving, as it should be if you want to lead and people to follow you. Bullshit walks and your followers don’t want to be screwed by some schmuck, who conned them for some quick and cheap power.

    When girls want to walk in that world on a regular basis, they are welcome to it, as soon as they stop whining about how mean everyone is.

    1. How do you explain Obama then?

  9. The usual magical thinking. They believe by banning a word, they can ban what the word describes, and/or ban what people think when using the word.

    Protip: some little girls are manipulative, self-centered, domineering little things. Saying you can’t call them bossy doesn’t change the fact that they are manipulative etc. Nor does it make being manipulative, etc. OK.

    Stupid progs. Instapundit has an interesting speculation that this is battlespace prep for Hillary! 2016: they’ve focus-grouped her negatives, and bossy came out on top. I like the counterpunch, though: a “Ban Bossy” bumpersticker next to a picture of Hillary! with the circle/slash.

    1. Aren’t some boys manipulative, self-centered and domineering? Why is it that different words – and different value judgements – are applied to similar things when different people involved?

      1. I could see it being a sort of internal callback to a time when mother was being scolding. That probably accounts for a lot of the difference in feelings, and therefore difference in description.

        If this phenomenon truly exists, is as prevalent as claimed by these ladies, and finally, a problem, it strikes me as crusading against a problem that is on the wane.

        Especially considering the growing number of women in the workplace, stay at home dads, and never-punish-or-say-no styles of parenting becoming popular.

        1. Well, like I said the last time this came up I can’t prove anyone’s motivations but I know what I know. I’ve always been fascinated by language – especially the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis – and I think language is more metaphorical rather than sounds or squiggles.

          I don’t think that taking an honest look at how words influence our thoughts and perceptions is a bad thing. Being forced to do so, not cool, but being asked nicely is no bad thing.

          1. Susan, I think more than would admit on this board are fairly conservative people. Part of what it means to be a conservative is to like traditional ways, including traditional vocabulary, to feel like such things, usually that in which people grew up around, are natural, ‘the way things are’, and good, and that only a silly agitator would try to see questionable assumptions underlying them. And this gets them, well agitated.

            Also, some of it is a well earned reflex that many have to anything that appears to be proposed by a ‘feminist,’ since many people so labeled do in fact push for restraints on liberty.

      2. I think “bossy” is used in lieu of something harsher. Boys can’t respond with crying and protestations of feelings being hurt.

        1. Well, the point is that a ‘boss’ is a good thing that we want girls to aspire to.

          1. But good bosses aren’t bossy.

      3. Yes. It is my experience that by the age of 7 or 8 the boys have sorted themselves into “snivelers” who will run to an adult when they don’t get their way and “bullies” who will enforce their will by threats. Young boys tend to be less respecting of someone who runs to adults for authority — this seems to be totally cultural to me, but it may be a result of the hormonal differences between boys and girls. I suspect that the social aspect they could change if they wanted to address making girls better leaders of mixed gender teams would be to allow young girls the same freedom to roam around with light supervision that boys get. I suppose this would get me accused of wanting young girls to be kidnapped and raped by the people who want to ban bossy, though.

        1. Wow, that seems pretty harsh/cynical to me. Don’t you know any young boys who are just good kids, neither tattle-tales or bullies?

          1. Yes, sorry. I meant the boys who engage in the same behaviors that might get a girl of similar age labelled bossy. There are lots of good kids of both sexes out there.

          2. So you think that women are in reality more likely than men to employ nagging and guilt tripping as strategies to get what they want than are men (perhaps because they have been taught to do this and perhaps that because there was a time when they had few other options)? And that one of the reasons feminists or conventional statist feminists now have no credit, and have all their suggestions rejected, is because as classic nags they have too often been the little girl who cried wolf, whining about alleged aggression sand fictive grievances for personal gain? (And should we rewrite Aesop’s fables, since little boys are always crying wolf and getting their hands stuck in jars, while little girls evade wolves and bargain with tricksters?)

      4. Aren’t some boys manipulative, self-centered and domineering?


        Why is it that different words – and different value judgements – are applied to similar things when different people involved?

        You’re assuming the conclusion here.

        I commented on bossy girls, because that’s what this campaign is about. If you start a conversation about girls, don’t be shocked if the conversation is about girls.

        1. Maybe, but without a comparison such statements have no meaning. And, the discussion is about using a word loaded with negative connotations to describe behavior based on gender.

          And I don’t see it as question-begging as much as it is stating what should be obvious. Look no further than pop culture and you’ll find that what counts as bossiness is idealized in male heroic archetypes and vilified in female archetypes (if you’re a gamer then check out Samus Aran or the Lara Croft reboot).

          1. “Look no further than pop culture and you’ll find that what counts as bossiness is idealized in male heroic archetypes…”

            Most people don’t associate bossy with heroic. Most male “bossy” types are portrayed as villains: see King Joffrey. A petty, entitled attitude is not lauded in males any more than females.

      5. Yes, some boys are. Some girls are. And when someone exhibits the behavior associated with a word… they are that word.

        Is it a “gender slur” when women call selfish and inconsiderate men an “asshole”? How often do women get called “asshole” isn’t that usually a word associated with men? Or “jerk” or “dick”, right?

        There’s nothing wrong with associated gender assignments for words.

        Don’t be such a panty-waist.

    2. I would think cold hearted Grandma would have been her biggest negative.

    3. So – mendacious, evasive, inauthentic, thick, chunky, seen better days, closet case – how many other words and phrases will be banned for 2016?

  10. Seems like this may be a counter-productive movement to the extent it increases the stress of inter-gender workplaces or management relationships.

    I’m sympathetic to the argument against saying “bossy” even while I’m unsympathetic to any social campaigns to ban words. But I’m skeptical this will do a whole lot of good for anyone, except the people who get a kick out of being activists.

    1. One suspects this discussion is based on somewhat ignorant assumptions and a lack of context. I think the actual location of the gender inflection is that “traditionally” little boys are i. Situations where being the boss is often ok, and even a challenge to be mastered and a duty to be accepted by leading a team or a hike etc. lLittle girls decades ago had fewer activities where being a leader was required and hence the term “bossy” actually refers to illegitimate attempts to lead when the bossy individual has no earned authority and is just indulging their own whims and seeking gains in status, control of the Barbie dolls on the floor, etc. So “bossy” is a legitimate concept that refers to a real vice, that of inauthentic and unearned control based on a spurious claim to be a leader. It should be a gender neutral term now, even if it wasn’t originally, just as slut (or cad) should apply to both sexes now. Banning “bossy” is akin to banning “black humor,” “black hearted,” by claiming such terms are racists. I find Mary Daly and her word games fun too, but mainstream feminists long ago lost most of their respectability as anything more than a cliquish, middlebrow, nagging, guilt tripping, silly cult.

  11. My wife went on a tear about this yesterday. She wants to replace bossy with bitchy and see if Sandberg likes that better.

  12. Why would anyone listen to an officer of Faceboook about ANYTHING other than possibly a new money-making scheme?

  13. I thought Bossy was s stupid cow.

    1. Another good counterpunch: Ban Bossy, next to a picture of a cow with the circle/slash.

      1. The Chik-Fil-A cows are kind of bossy Bossys.

    2. The etymology of bossy does indeed come from cows (bos) and not from workplace heirarchies (boss). So you could make the case that bossy is just the feminine of bully.

      But that’s not its modern usage. Bossy means to boss around, to be domineering and controlling. It does NOT mean to be a cow.

  14. Good to see near-universal pushback and ridicule of this bossiness.

    1. Good point. How is a bunch of women telling us what we can and can’t say not bossiness personified?

    2. Of course it gladdens your paleo heart, people getting uppity and outside of social conventions always puts a paleo into a tizzy.

      1. Yeah, funny how libertarians don’t cotton to people, like Sheryl Sandberg, getting uppity and outside of social conventions bossy.

        Who coulda seen that coming.

        1. Libertarianism does not preclude social campaigns, she is not, to my knowledge, advocating government measures to keep people from saying the word.

          1. For all intents and purposes, Facebook is a sort of volunteer for the government.

            1. For all intensive porpoises! Tow the goddamn lion!

        2. Wasn’t she almost on that plane that crash-landed in San Francisco?

      2. And your support of this Ministry of Truth style initiative is indicative of what on your part, Bo?

    3. Feminists have jumped the shark. Now that the LGTBQwerty movement wants to send people to jail for not baking cakes and force taxpayers in DC and San Francisco to pay for the transsexual surgery of anyone who moves to those cities and demands one, I’m beginning to think the only just response to conventional gay and feminists activists is “shut the fuck up bitch.”

  15. If you call a girl “headstrong,” she can take it as a compliment, even if you’re really faulting her behavior.

    1. Willful, spunky, strident, stern, aggressive. You can see how this censorship won’t end.

  16. I do not see this as a literal attempt to ban the word bossy, but rather an attempt to make people think about ways that may seem subtle to them but which might undermine girl’s confidence or push them into a certain ‘gender role.’ That strikes me as a good thing. As Mill said in On Liberty, social convention and pressure can be pretty smothering in itself.

    1. If she really wanted people to “think about it”, she wouldn’t be using such dogmatic language. Like I and others have already mentioned, the bossiness is in the attitude and children need to learn that it’s the wrong way to ask for something.

      1. Lots of campaigns and marketing are built around simple slogans.

        I get your point about the wrong way to ask for something, but again I think that is not the point, rather it is the selective reservation of the idea for girls.

        1. But Sandburg doesn’t even know that it’s selectively reserved for girls. Her whole philosophy is based on the anecdotal evidence that she laid out in her book. She spent a lot of time writing about the bossy thing in there

          Basically she didn’t like people calling her bossy and she has heard anecdotes from other women to the same effect, so she started a campaign without looking for any negative instances. That makes her dumb as well as self-absorbed. Why should I feel sorry for her or her imaginary victims?

          1. She starts with her own experience, that bossy seems reserved for girls, and her knowledge that there are a relatively lower number of women in leadership roles in business, and she combined the two in a campaign she hopes will promote people thinking about how to not discourage leadership ambition in young girls. I frankly do not see the evil in that.

            1. I didn’t call her evil. Lots of people are self-absorbed, that doesn’t make her Hitler. She’s also dumb. You didn’t make her argument appear any more valid.

              1. Well, I would not think it is dumb to go out with your own experience like that. Several people here have noted that in theirs too the word seems selectively used more for girls. I guess it would have been better to do some kind of linguistic survey, but as I said I think the entire campaign is not really focused on literally banning the word as much as it is on a broader ‘awareness’ of the ways we might subtly undermine young girls.

            2. Yeah, well my anectdotal experience is that I have never encountered ANYONE calling ANYONE of either gender bossy for merely being assertive or exhibiting leadership qualities. I have also never experienced anyone being called a leader for simply being assertive or being bossy.

              In my experience people of either gender are called bossy when they actually are bossy but it is FAR more likely that little girls will exhibit that behavior pattern than little boys

              1. “it is FAR more likely that little girls will exhibit that behavior pattern than little boys”

                Maybe you just notice, and are bothered more, by it when girls do it?

                1. Yeah not so much, I have 4 kids at home, 2 girls and 2 boys. My boys have their own issues but bossy ain’t one of them

                  Same with their friends and classmates

                2. Nice try at guilt tripping there Bo Cara. In reality I think until recently little girls have fewer activities where they are given the opportunity and challenge to be leaders, and hence when they trey to assert control over others (years ago I saw this with my own sister and her friends, where one little girl would routinely take control of all the dolls when they played, and order the other children about) in situations where it isn’t leading for the good of a project or group, but simply for self-indulgence and status they are called “bossy.”

        2. Are you sure that is the point? Or is the point that we should be praising girls for bossy behavior, just as we allegedly praise boys for bossy behavior? (Otherwise why do they even bring up the latter point?)

          Because these are two very different things, and I can get on board with one, but not the other.

          1. I think it would be hard to say because from what I gather Sandburg does not see much, or at least some, of the behavior girls get called ‘bossy’ for as being this ‘wrong attitude in asking for things’ others here have mentioned.

            Maybe a more precise slogan would have been ‘do not call girls bossy when they are just asserting leadership behavior, but it is ok to rebuke them when they are being pushy jerks’ but that does not play well in a world of Twitter and such.

            1. I would say that even if girls are sometimes unfairly called bossy (which is totally plausible) that’s not a good enough reason to start a campaign against calling girls bossy.

              But I am probably unusual in that respect. I think discrimination abounds, but I’m still not a feminist because 1. You can’t control people’s thoughts and 2. everyone experiences discrimination. That’s life.

              1. I see your point, but do you dispute that social movements can sometimes bring about some pretty impressive changes in how people think in these matters? I mean, more than any laws that were passed the real accomplishment of the civil rights movement is that most people think a lot less racist thoughts these days.

                And, I would rather feminists be starting social campaigns than passing laws any day.

                1. I believe the civil rights movement was a result of declining racism, not the other way around.

                  1. You do not think the civil rights movement changed any minds?

                    1. He is disputing your assumption about causality, in the same way I am disputing your assumption about the location of the gender inflection in the term bossy. You are imagining that you and Sandberg are bringing a deeper or higher or more critical view of the situation to us than we had before, which is actually in its own way a “masculinist” “competitive” claim (read Lucretius metaphor on being a bird with a panoramic aerial view of the world as a metaphor for philosophy). We are saying you haven’t uncovered what is actually going on in the phenomenon so that your alleged insight is still a parochial occluded view.

                  2. Extremely likely, as with so many government regulatory schemes. Fortune 500 companies began implementing gay anti discrimination policies long before government started allowing gays to work in the military and the intelligence community.

                2. I wonder if you are correct about that latter part. I would suspect the vicious and destructive results of the dominant statist civil rights paradigm – de facto segregated state schools, attacks on school choice, the knock out game, double digit minority youth unemployment, taxpayers forced to support a class of race hustling community organizers and bureaucrats, attempts to censor speech, denial of college admissions to qualified white and Asian students, higher drop out rates of minorities admitted to competitive colleges – has not actually increased racial animosity in America. You also assume that the only option for a “social movement” is to ban the word bossy, as opposed to apply it to boys when they usurp unearned authority, or to give girls more options for earned authority. Again it is like banning baseball, rather than letting girls play baseball.

                  1. Extraneous “not” – that is to say proglodyte social movements have increased racial animosity

              2. Also, I’ve met many many more people who deserved the bossy title and received it, then people who didn’t and didn’t receive it. And since her argument is purely based on anecdotes, I’m not going to just throw out my anecdotes in favor of hers.

            2. Yes twitter and even facebook and blogposts do tend toward bumper stickers in place of thought. The question is, are conventional feminism and other proglodyte movements also based on a catechism of bumper stickers instead of thought.

          2. My understanding of “bossy” is “someone who insists on taking charge when there’s no need nor positive benefit to someone being the leader”. In my experience the behavior is exhibited by an adult attempting to compensate for personal insecurities.

            Maybe Sandburg is just an unpleasant person to interact with socially and professionally so her anecdotal evidence is skewed by the fact that she is in denial about her personality defects and chooses to believe that “everyone else” is just trying to repress her.

        3. Socrates didn’t nag. Or hector, if “nag” twists your panties. He asked questions that people found very difficult to answer.

    2. I do not see this as a literal attempt to ban the word bossy

      How is a Ban Bossy campaign not, literally, an attempt to ban the word bossy?

      1. You have to read what I wrote after the part you cut and pasted.

        1. I did. It was fucking stupid, and certainly not an answer to RC’s question.

          Parson me if I come across as trying to make you think.

      2. Arguing with Blue Tulpa is an exercise in murderous futility.

        1. Who’s getting murdered?

          1. Just your dignity and common sense.

        2. JW, no offense, but if you go around thinking arguing with someone is futile because your arguing did not change their minds, you are going to experience a depressing amount of futility in your life.

          1. When I want your mewling opinion, I’ll ask for it, you pedantic twat.

            Until then, fuck off.

            1. Oh, so you jumping into me and RC’s exchange was not that then.

              You are too much JW.

    3. No, they literally want to ban it.

    4. As Mill said in On Liberty, social convention and pressure can be pretty smothering in itself.

      So you want to replace one form of smothering with another.

      Total amount of liberty advanced: -1.

    5. That’s nice, but then it seems one would point out the word should now be used in a gender neutral way applied to all. Trying to eliminate words from the language is akin to outlawing baseball rather than having female baseball teams or females on baseball teams. Why not outlaw the use of the word prostitute (whore, ho, etc.) including as metaphors for politicians or propagandists (and the whores among them would all support that) because many people tend to think only of female prostitutes when they hear that term? Banning words and hectoring people about their use seems to fit into a strategy of nagging, not some Socratic strategy of making people question their assumptions. I don’t buy your defense of her.

  17. The Tulpa/Bo thing is really desperate for attention. I politely suggest you ignore it.


    1. Yes, SIV, the guy who shows up on a child euthanasia debate with links to pictures of ‘huns bayoneting babies’ is not the troll, ’tis me.


    2. “I politely suggest…”

      needz moar bossy

    3. Oh, come on. No way Bo is Tulpa. Just an overly earnest law student with poor social (and html) skills.

  18. One of the problems with feminists is that when they act like bossy little hag-bitches, they think they’re exhibiting the character of leadership. No way would I ever want one of those stupid “bossy” little hag-bitches to be my boss.

  19. You know who’s bossy? Kennedy. She just won’t let Kmele get a word in edgewise.

  20. Does Newspeak get better every week? According to our latest poll 99.99% of proles say yes!


  21. I admit that I apply the word to my daughter frequently, because she frequently tries to boss me around, especially when we’re playing. I also admit that I think it’s curious, and wrong, that “bossy” is only ever applied to girls.

    But it’s a great word, with a perfectly good definition and a perfectly useful, negative connotation. Let’s use it more, not less.

    “Obama has really actetd like a Mr. Bossy-Pants since he was elected.”

  22. Little girls probably do get called bossy a lot more than boys do, which is interesting. It might be because it’s more socially acceptable to correct a little boy’s bossiness swiftly and severely, or it might just be a quirk of language where we call bossy little boys “shitheels” and “fuckstains” rather than “bossy”.

    But, fuck, is anything worse than a bossy little girl? Answer: Yes. When they grow up and do things like, say, start internet campaigns to pressure people to abandon perfectly good words.

    1. Would you call this guy bossy?…..600/01.jpg

      1. Huh, I didn’t know there were other Buck Angels.

        1. Dang! I should have known better that to try and fake you of all people here out with that.

          1. Which is gayer: a threesome with Buck Angel and Sarina Valentina or one with Loren Rex Cameron and Bailey Jay? Show your work.

            1. The Ghey is pretty much equal. And equally fun if you’re the adventurous type.

      2. Would you call this guy bossy?…..medium.jpg

        1. Absolutely – and no bad thing.

    2. Well, one person’s ‘pressure’ can be another’s ‘persuade.’

      1. But “Douchebag” is always the same.

  23. “Call me a crazy anarchist”
    What is so crazy about being an anarchist? The only morally consistent position to take toward the state is to reject it entirely.

    1. Too many people assume that anarchists all think that anarchy is an achievable goal. Of course some do. But for many it is a philosophical position about the moral status of government an power more than anything.

  24. This is not scientific or anything, but interestingly a google search of “Little Miss Bossypants” yielded 5700 results while the same for “Little Mister Bossypants” yielded six.

    1. That’s because of the suffix “pants”, you fucking twat.

      I’ll repeat what I said earlier this morning:

      This is a function of the way youngsters of both genders express themselves.

      Picture a group of kids trying to take apart a toy car and put it back together again. One of the kids is doing it wrong.

      To correct him, a little boy will very often say, “It doesn’t go like that.”

      But a little girl will very often say, “You’re not supposed to do that.”

      If you express yourself the first way, you will get called a “leader”.

      If you express yourself the second way, you will get called “bossy”.

      You will also deserve it.

      More little girls are called “bossy” then little boys because more little girls ARE bossy than little boys.

      1. “More little girls are called “bossy” then little boys because more little girls ARE bossy than little boys.”

        Perhaps that is how you see things.

        “That’s because of the suffix “pants”,”

        And why would the suffix ‘pants’ do that?

        “you fucking twat.”

        It is bad enough for you to be a jerk, but I am curious as to why you would so casually disregard the conditions our host asks us to observe on this site?

        1. I mean, traditionally it is boys that wear pants, so why would Mr. BossyPants be such a rare phrase, but Miss BossyPants such a more common one? I bet it literally has to do with the connotations that it is boys that are bosses and who ‘wear the pants,’ and so girls who are seen as intruding there are called out on it with that phrase.

          1. I bet it literally has to do with the connotations that it is boys that are bosses

            You would be wrong.

            The original expression is “smartypants”. The -pants suffix extended out from there.

            And that has much more to do with the culottes worn by toddler age children of both genders than anything else.

            1. Yep.

              Bo thinks all expressions obtained their current, modern connotations from the get-go. Which is totally fucking stupid.

          2. so why would Mr. BossyPants be such a rare phrase,

            Because it’s never been an insult to connote “pants” with boys. In fact, it’s usually been a complement – a boy became a man when he started wearing pants.

        2. Perhaps that is how you see things.

          That is how anyone who watches elementary school age children play for ten minutes will see things.

          And why would the suffix ‘pants’ do that?

          Because it’s an idiomatic suffix that is most often employed by girls and to girls?

          It is bad enough for you to be a jerk, but I am curious as to why you would so casually disregard the conditions our host asks us to observe on this site?

          We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic.

          It’s not a term of use, it’s a request. They specifically ask. Since calling you a fucking twat is on topic, but not civil, I figure that’s a 50% match and since we’re just talking about a request that’s pretty damn good.

  25. “What this generation of kids who can’t stand anyone telling them what to do really needs is a ban against anyone telling them what to do – because, like, that’s totally not cool.”

    Do you know how fucking crazy I get when I have to deal with some 20-something year old kid at a pool table, and I have to tell them that, No: we’re NOT just playing for fun, and NO: you can’t just interrupt the tournament to play with your girlfriend, and FUCK NO: we don’t suddenly decide that we’re playing ‘last ball pocket’ halfway through the game or, NO GODDAMIT: you don’t get to ‘go again’ if you hit the wrong ball, or JESUS FUCK CHRIST WHERE ARE YOU FROM?: when they say “oh but we don’t want to play the winner, we just want to play Teams with our Swedish friends?”, and after like the 25th “NO”, they simper off and start whispering to their friends, “Oh my god? these people are such ‘bossy dicks?! lets go to the other bar where I’m sure no one cares…’

    Basically, I consistently meet kids in their 20s that act like they’re spoiled 10yr olds who never had anyone ever tell them NO to fucking anything.

    The few exceptions have been so shocking to me that I’d pull them aside and be like, “hey man, what’s your story”? Almost invariably, they’d done a tour in Iraq. So, if someone tells you ‘nothing good came out of the Iraq war…?’ At least its something.

  26. Sandberg, et al: Your choices are “bossy” “bitchy” and “cunty”. Let the rest of us know which one you prefer.

    1. I think she’d prefer “butch”.

    2. The latter two wouldn’t work with my bossy niece, who’s only just turned 4, but honesty in a deceptively sweet voice does wonders.

      Her: “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO (go outside/sit there/do this/eat that)”

      Me: (in a quiet, pleasant voice) “Actually, I am because I’m much bigger than you and you can’t stop me” (smiles)

      Her: (stunned silence)

  27. Rand Paul campaign slogan: “Totally NOT bossy!”

  28. You’d think they’d be more focused on try to improve the social standing of tattletales. Even Mike Brady was against them. How can we run a proper police state if you don’t say something when you see something, out of fear of social ridicule?

    1. Cindy, you know by tattling on your friends, you’re really just tattling on yourself. By tattling on your friends, you’re just telling them that you’re a tattletale. Now is that the tale you want to tell?

  29. My cousin’s daughter was so bossy when she was in preschool that the teachers called her “the commandant.”

  30. “But, when a man pees standing up, it’s “normal,” but when a woman does it, it’s “weeeird.” “

  31. One can imagine she has been traumatized by the use of the term.

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