As an unknown war rages on, a plane evacuating a group of schoolboys from Britain is shot down over a deserted tropical island. What semblance of order they establish soon disappears as they devolve into warring factions. They do not have the maturity to keep the common good and individual welfare in balance. War between the two main faction erupts: a boy dies and as the skirmish spreads so to does a fire. Soon the whole island finds itself engulfed in flames which catches the attention of a naval warship. An officer in discovering the boys shocks them back into “reality”. While they break out into tears the officer awkwardly turns away to give them a moment to pull themselves together.
Yes this is summary of William Golding’s Nobel Prize winning dystopian novel: The Lord of the Flies. But this is something much more at the same time. This story is the fun-house mirror image of our society.
Being Bossy Resurfaces
I bring up Golding’s work to address this what I read today. I have addressed it also in this post (How We Ruin Young Girls || But What if She is just bossy?)but I felt the need to talk more about it:
Sheryl Sandberg! is speaking out about the gendered nature of the word “bossy”—the way that men get to be the boss (competent, powerful, in control), while women are coded as bossy (nagging, domineering, stepping out of their place). Sandberg, along with Condoleezza Rice and Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez, is leading a campaign to “ban bossy” and
send anyone who uses it to girl-jailencourage people to recognize that language is powerful and they should wield it accordingly.
I do not want the word banned. It would be a great disservice to language and to perpetuating something which crippling society now as we speak. When I look at the corporate world – bankers laundering drug money or CEO’s who lobby for policies which hurt their fellow citizens – I see those young boys in the lord of the flies. A boss is foremost a servant to the company and to its workers. He or She maintains the balance between individual welfare and common good. A good boss leads by example and listens.
The word boss is comparable to “dinosaur”. We have evidence that they exist but when we look around we do not see them. Today’s bosses are powerful. They are in control because they are abusive and willing to exploit workers willing to work more hours for less pay due to the current recession. Their gains are as ill-gotten now as they were 200 years ago on the plantation. What good is power if it is ill-gotten?
Quote from 11 Ways To Tell If Your Boss Is A Psychopath: ” In the aftermath of the corporate chaos that marked the last decade, this question is becoming ever more important. If recent estimates are true — that one in ten CEOs are psychopaths” The work place is ruled by cruel and abusive boys masquerading as men. There is a reason why the corporate world was referred to as an old boys club. Despite looking like adults they are narcissistic, power-hungry, manipulative, uncaring, deceitful, controling etc.
A point about Children
Banning the word bossy doesn’t address the underlying issue. The underlying issue is greater than the male vs female issue. Our society produces broken children. When broken children “grow up” and have children of their own they continue the cycles of abuse To your right are just some frightening stats on child abuse. Did you know that about 30% of child abusers will abuse their own children?. There are other more subtle points in how our society maims its children
Edmund Leach claims that the decline of the extended family has isolated the nuclear family and placed emotional demands upon it which are unbearable. The inevitable result is conflict both within the nuclear family and within societies as a whole as the nuclear family creates barriers between it and the wider society breeding suspicion, fear and social conflict.
R.D. Laing claimed that the nuclear family grievously restricts the process of self-development and “generates both an unthinking respect for authority and an us-them mentality which contributes to harmful and dangerous distinctions between Gentile and Jew and Black and White.”
David Cooper concludes that the family inhibits the development of the self and conditions its members not to accept the shared norms and values of an harmonious society but to submit to the dictates of an authoritarian, repressive capitalist one.
Whether it’s a man or woman I would like to see CEO’s work from a place of psychological maturity. Some one who is mature finds value in others, and doesn’t see them as a means to an ends. Someone who is mature does not manipulate people.
The qualities we associate with bosses are not based in the kind of maturity I am talking. I’ve been working since I was 16 and I have one awesome boss. Their gender had nothing to do with the fact that they earned my respect and I earned theirs. It’s amazing to work with a real boss. It’s life altering especially when it happens in the beginning of your career. I’d hate to see women following the same script in an attempt to prove to the close-minded among us that they are equal. I think addressing the deeper issues will be must more beneficial in the long run…
Do you get you what I’m saying?
just my $0.02
I agree with you, my blogging buddy. Too often, our society applies a small bandage over an open wound and expects it to heal. We all know this is not the case. Until we address and examine the causes, old wounds continue to fester. Nice job! Much love and naked hugs! 🙂
I agree wholeheartedly. Being a good leader has nothing to do with bossy behavior. A person that has leadership skills has equal parts charisma, innovation, intelligence, and oration…usually to the point where others will follow them just because most people enjoy having a leader.
People who are bossy, on the other hand, force their followers to do what they say. They do this by taking advantage of gentle/quiet people, bullying, speaking over others, and in extreme cases some physical/emotional abuse may occur.
Worlds of difference!
I agree with your conclusion.
At the moment, the word “bossy” has a specific gender related association though.
Why not just call them “jerkoffs”? Gets to the point, and it’s not gender specific.