|Jeanne d'Arc on campaign. |
Unknown earlysixteenth-century artist.
Billionaire Sheryl Sandberg and her famous word-knight followers wish to ban the word bossy, so I hope from her position of might she will forgive me for teasing her a little! Because I expect she'll have the usual absurd results that attend the efforts of people who want to rule our words because language is like water and rushes and falls where it will. But it's curious to see her in armor with her bossy posse, tilting at a windmill. I is, inevitably, a rather ridiculous sight when there are so many problems in this world that are better worth the effort of a quest and campaign.
Language is a greater power than any billionaire can wield. History tells us that where language is forced underground, it will, like water, burst out in some surprising way elsewhere. Who knows where bossy will go next, now that she has hailed its powers in public? I don't give Ms. Sandberg much hope of victory in her knightly quest to pursue and skewer a word.
What's next? Surely a male billionaire will put on cuirass and helm and gauntlets and go tilt at that primarily guy-related term of endearment, asshole...
Elsewhere, pre-teen girls and women are beaten by the police for not wearing the proper hair covering. So let's ban bossy.
Elsewhere, women's faces must be hidden from the light of day because "the face of a woman is a source of corruption." So let's ban bossy.
Elsewhere, little girls finish their narrow educations at the age of eight. So let's ban bossy.
Elsewhere, a young woman was raped and destroyed internally by a phallus in the form of an iron bar. So let's ban bossy.
Elsewhere, three women were imprisoned for years in a private home and one forced to give birth in a toddler's inflatable pool. So let's ban bossy.
Worldwide, women with HIV acquire their disease primarily from longterm partners and the inability to exert any control over a husband or partner's choice not to use protection. So let's ban bossy.
Worldwide, 603 million women live where domestic violence is no crime. So let's ban bossy.
Worldwide, women comprise 9% of the police force. So let's ban bossy.