Charlotte Hays

Although the Rutgers University faculty and students are rising as one to try to block her from delivering the commencement address this spring, Condoleezza Rice is able to ignore such minor ignominies and concentrate instead on something that really, really matters: banning the perfectly good English word bossy.

Bossy, you see, is a sexist word. If you call a little girl bossy, you will stunt her growth. Or something.

Sporting their brand new “Ban Bossy” buttons, a high-powered trio of anti-bossy bosses—former secretary of state Rice, Facebook COO and Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg, and Girls Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez—talked to Parade magazine last Sunday about the pressing need to put yet another word on the politically incorrect list.

As the magazine put it, they “aim to change the conversation about girls and leadership.” We were treated to some of the personal trials that led them to undertake this worthy crusade.

“Ninth graderSheryl Sandberg wasn’t shy about raising her voice,” Parade notes. “But the message she got from a faculty adviser didn’t praise that trait. ‘She’s too aggressive, too bossy,’ the teacher said. ‘You don’t want to be bossy.’” Parade comments—rather needlessly—that “luckily” little Sheryl "didn’t listen.”

Condoleezza Rice who has been viciously attacked by the Left shares her own story, though it is hard to imagine that this is really a tramatic moment or the worst name the brave female conservative has been called.

“I remember when I was six years old,” Dr. Rice shared, “we were having an event at school where different dolls were on display. I said that the tallest doll needed to be on the end, and my little friend said to me, ‘Oh, you’re just so bossy.’” And you thought growing up in segregated Birmingham, Ala., was the challenge!

Ms. Chavez's recollection was more uplifting. “Instead of teaching me how to cook, my mother taught my brothers how to cook, and me how to run a board meeting,” she said. Can't say that hasn't paid off, can you? Ms. Chavez, by the way, has held up as role models for adolescent girls such peerless leaders as former speaker Nancy Pelosi and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. If you call Kathleen bossy, she'll cancel your health insurance policy.


Charlotte Hays

Director of Cultural Programs at the Independent Women's Forum.