Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham & Jennifer Garner Campaign for Banning Use of 'Bossy' as a Word

By @snksounak on
Singer Beyonce
Singer Beyonce performs at the BRIT Awards, celebrating British pop music, at the O2 Arena in London February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville

International celebrities do not hesitate much to come together for a social cause. This is especially true among female celebs who have always been quite enthusiastic about raising their voice against gender discrimination. Now prominent names like Beyoncé, Victoria Beckham and Jennifer Garner have come under one roof for a brand new campaign online to ban words like "bossy" that apparently encourage gender discrimination.

The online campaign is initiated by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook. The campaign, which encourages young girls to speak up and lead, is endorsed by LeanIn.Org, a non-profit organisation by Ms Sandberg. The official Web site of the campaign raises question why an assertive nature of a young girl is termed as "bossy" when a similar attitude shown by a young boy is recognised as his leadership qualities. It also reads that words such as "bossy" convey a "message" that girls should not "speak up" or "raise" their "hand." The leadership qualities of a girl are nipped in the bud in primary school. Girls get "less interested" in being a leader than boys in middle school. Eventually, when they reach adulthood, the trend continues - the campaign explains.

There are several other celebs getting together for the campaign. There are major names like Condoleezza Rice, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jimmie Johnson and Jane Lynch. An interesting video featuring Beyoncé finds her saying that she is not "bossy". Rather, she is "the boss". While we may wonder if such a word can be banned from our language practice, Time had a look at words which have been proposed to be banned. Here are some of them.


There was a campaign in Greece against LGBT groups, which asked for a ban on the word "lesbian." The case was, however, dismissed in court in 2008.


The U.S. government banned the word in 1883 from being used in forecasts as it was argued that the word was likely to cause unnecessary panic among the public. The ban got lifted within 3 years. However, there was a ban again in 1887, which was lifted in 1938.


Lake Superior State University in Michigan made a list of misused and overused words which were generally useless. Selfie, named as "Word of the Year 2013" by the Oxford Dictionaries, topped the list.


Several women's groups in the world, including Britain's Women's Institute, find the word derogatory. There are alternatives like homemaker which is preferred instead.

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