Dr. Paul on the “Bossy” Double Standard

In honor of the current feminist insanity to remove another word from the human vocabulary (if it is applied to women) Dr. Paul has decide to offer up an old writing, incorporating the new twist. PE

Double standards are bad business.  And ladies, Dr. Paul takes a very dim view of the practice.  As always, I am here to help you overcome such social maladies and move on to a more functional life.

When it comes to functionality, I’m your huckleberry.

Nowhere is the double standard more obvious than the age old idea that goes something like the following:

When a man is angry or “in control,” he is powerful and assertive. When a woman is angry or “in control,” she is just being bossy.

This one, ladies, really chaps my ass, so to speak.  First, as I said, I hate double standards. God knows I live with enough of them.  But there is something about this one that really chaffs my cheeks more than any of the others.

It is not just the unfairness or the antiquated thinking.  This one gets my dander up because it is, well, because it is true.

You see, many, many women in this culture, and more than a fair share of men, don’t know the difference between being strong and being rude and overbearing. And the difference is obvious to everyone except those who are bossy.

Do I need to say that again?

If you are ignorant of the nature of strength and leadership, it likely has you trapped in bossy mode when what you are probably seeking is respect and a sense of authority; two things that are much easier to come by when you understand what they mean.

Don’t worry. Dr. Paul is here to help those that can be helped. We have to start with some real basics for a lot of you, so we better not waste any time.

First, getting people to do what you want isn’t necessarily power or strength or respect or true authority. Getting them to want to do things, however, is all those things and more.

When people follow your lead and give you their time and energy because they respect you (not just because they are paid), now, that is strength. When people do what you want because you complain till the sound of your voice is like fingernails on a chalk board or because they fear you? Well, that’s what we call just being bossy, a bitch, a jerk, an asshole, prick, dick or any other number of names that human beings regularly use for tyrants who don’t know the difference between leadership and bullying.

Sure, some of those word imply sex – both of them. And all of them convey the same idea. People don’t like, petty, power hungry people of either sex.

Deal with it, bossy.

Let’s look at this from another angle.  How many times have you heard a woman say, “People tune out my ideas or don’t listen just because I am a woman?”

Now, how many of the women making this complaint were respected leaders?

How about none?

Strength is about standing on your ideas without the need for approval, not whining till people validate them and pat you on the head for being so brilliant.

Not everyone is going to listen to you or even give a damn. Get over it; it’s called life, and no, it isn’t fair. Or as my father used to say, “Fair is what you pay on the bus.”

If someone calls you bossy, even better, if several people call you bossy, the best thing you can do is get a mirror and self assess; determine whether they have a point, and if applicable, put the brakes on your bossiness and start figuring out how to lead.

And how about this for a newsflash? Leaders command attention, but not by acting like they are desperate for it.  There are women like the many women who write for this site. You think no one here is listening to them? They are strong, independent women. Do you hear anyone around here at “misogyny central” calling them bossy?

But I must admit that women like these have a sneaky little trick up their sleeve.

They actually have something to say worth listening to. They pull people in. They don’t drag them or bully them. So they get respect and are considered leaders in their respective areas.

Imagine that. For some reason these women think that what they have to say is supposed to have inherent worth. They don’t just assume that because they are talking that it makes them worth listening to.

And they bring something else to the table that seems to do wonders for their credibility.

Competence. Things like writing skill; knowledge on particular subjects; and a self-assurance that does not hinge on forcing others to agree with them, offer feigned respect or avoid words they don’t like.

Are we learning anything here?

Once again, conviction, respect, and competence; strength.

Whining, petulance, and manipulation; take your pick of pejorative, including bossy.

Now write that down 100 times on the chalk board.

The same goes for demanding respect when you have not earned it.

I have some news for you on that one.  You can hashtag this #sillybullshit to the moon and back, and respect will still be earned.  It’s not a prize that comes in every box of Gender War Cracker Jacks; it’s the natural consequence of good character, competence and actual, not manufactured, personal strength.

It is equally repelled by whining and manipulation. And it is, despite what anyone tells you, one of the few things your sex cannot be cashed in for in any meaningful way.

You should always keep that last part in mind, because much of this stuff is rooted in the manipulation; in the power of social coercion, which is very, very different than real power.

Your sex card is great for getting compliance. It works with the average guy like dead shrimp in front of a hungry catfish (though if you are really attractive it makes a lot of average women hate your guts). But where men are concerned it is also why they invariably lose respect for you, or never develop it in the first place. And trust me, no matter what they say, they don’t respect you when you play that card. And they shouldn’t.

How else could it be? If you don’t respect yourself enough not depend on your sex and social politics to control other people, then don’t whine about double standards, even the ones that actually exist.

And that is what all of this powerless wailing about leadership vs. bossy boils down to.  It is just another load of hokum designed to help you demand that which you have not earned from people with enough common sense not to give it to you in the first place.

I will leave you with a couple of suggestions; food for thought, as it were, for women who get called bossy; who, in keeping with the point of this talk, feel like they are regarded as officious harridans instead of the powerful leaders they imagine themselves to be.

One, eliminate the words “As a woman,” from all dialog you have with the world at large.  Dr. Paul gets nauseous when he hears this one.  When you have a chance to get people to listen to your opinion, prefacing everything you say with “As a woman,” is like shouting out “My opinion has more weight because I have a vagina!” It is literally begging people to ignore you.

And two, dump all the focus on how you feel about words.  People in leadership positions, if they have the guts to be surrounded by anything but a bunch of “yes men,” excuse me, “yes persons,” are going to get called lots of things by lots of people. No one cares. It is part of being in charge. It is part of being on top, or even in the middle, to know that plenty of people would like to knock you down. The least of your worries is their vocabulary for your shortcomings.

Needless to say, “As a woman, I feel…” is the double whammy of death. Every utterance of this monstrous and quite deserved killer of respect and power should come with its own handgun and target to stick to your foot.

If you want shape people’s perception of you as a human being instead of a set of genitals, or a bossy woman, let your ideas and facts speak for themselves. And learn how to lead people toward sharing your vision.

If you can’t do that, you’re no leader, and you are not strong, whether you are male or female.

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