Like the movie, “The Blob,” in which the featured creature grew in size with everything it consumed, the monster known as political correctness just got a whole lot fatter, thanks to Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy” campaign. With help of Beyonce, Condoleezza Rice, and Jennifer Garner, Sandberg released a video saying such things as, “Girls are less interested in leadership than boys, and that’s because they worry about being called ‘bossy’…Let’s just ban the word, ‘bossy’.”
The purpose of political correctness, over the years, has been to condemn labels that used to be perfectly okay for everyone to say, even in the eyes of those to whom they referred. Suddenly, these words must be replaced by some other word that means the exact same thing. All of this is done to supposedly protect self-proclaimed victims who are, all of the sudden, offended by these words, as if the use of the words causes them even the slightest bit of harm or inconvenience in their lives (which it doesn’t). Therefore, all of society must be inconvenienced by having to change their word choice. If they don’t, they’ll be publicly condemned as insensitive bigots (which actually does do harm).
In most cases up until now, politically-incorrect words have referred to races of people. But thanks to Sandberg’s campaign, now political correctness has been extended to include words that describe behaviors.
What does this mean for us Christians?
On the positive side, it’s good not to call people names. To say to someone, “You’re bossy!”, as an insult intended to make them feel bad is un-Christian. In fact, name-calling is the purest form of judgmentalism, which is one of the biggest sins in the Bible.
On the negative side, if we cannot speak of bossiness, then we cannot identify it, label it as inappropriate behavior, and try to teach our children not to behave that way. Sandberg’s video doesn’t just speak out against name-calling; it proclaims bossiness as righteousness. The Bible teaches the opposite.
What is bossy behavior?
It’s not merely exercising authority. Most employees understand that their boss has the authority to make decisions and take disciplinary action against those who fail to comply. To be bossy is to overstep one’s bounds by being too aggressive, arrogant, unfair, condescending, insensitive, manipulative, or to sum it up – to be on a power trip. Bossy people don’t just exercise power; they abuse it. And in some cases, they exercise authority where they were never given authority, bossing around people of equal rank. Bossiness is simply selfishness.
Many female business people have the wrong idea. They think that a woman needs to be tough, intimidating, condescending and mean-spirited to be respected; but then they complain that when they behave this way, they are called “bossy” or “a bitch”. However, men who behave this way are simply called “jerks” or “a-holes.” Their employees don’t respect them, either. When employees receive nothing but disrespect from their bosses, they show disrespect in return.
What people really do respect is good management skills. Most people know that the Golden Rule of, “do to others as you would have them do to you,” means that we treat all other humans with mutual respect and place them on the same level as ourselves. Even when we have different roles within a company, those with power are to treat their subordinates as brothers and sisters in Christ, just as the Bible commanded masters to do to their servants. Even books that teach how to be an effective manager promote the Golden Rule in their own words, because it works and is great for morale. These books warn against the condescending, mean-spirited style of management, because it’s anti-productive.
Women who want to be successful in the business world need to stop worrying about labels and start worrying about doing what works. If they do what works, success will follow.
Like all cries for political correctness, this one is ultimately bad for those claiming to be the victims. Most people see political correctness proponents as whining, cry-babies who have it so good that the technicality of other people’s word choices is their biggest problem. So when a people group has a serious, legitimate problem, society brushes it off as just another attempt make up a problem in order to play the victim, since the group has already established itself as victim wannabe’s in the eyes of society.