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Tom Finneran: Banning Bossy, Killing Common Sense

Friday, March 21, 2014


Funeral services for common sense will be held tomorrow morning.

Cause of death: Bossy women.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the campaign to ban the word “bossy”. Unbeknownst to about 99% of normal people, the word “bossy” apparently has a dreadful effect on the self-esteem and career goals of girls and young women.

Now you can’t make this stuff up. Nor do you have to in modern America for our leading growth industry today is the victim industry. If you’re not a victim of some utterly obscure and far-fetched “ism” or “phobia” then you simply have not yet met some similarly obscure and far-fetched professor who will tell you absolutely nothing about economics or history or literature but will happily give you chapter and verse on the victimization of everyone on Planet Earth.

The “Ban bossy” campaign appears to be headed by a few women with too much time on their hands. Lead among them is Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and the author of the oh-so-trendy book “Lean In”. Ms. Sandberg has been joined in her bullying bossy campaign against common sense and the English language by that paragon of feminism Beyonce. Need I say more?

Before I iron my shirts, do some laundry, go grocery shopping, and prepare dinner tonight, let me expound upon my own victim status, for you see, I am a married man, the father of two fully grown daughters, and the grandfather of three granddaughters (and four grandsons who just happen to fully agree with me). I know “bossy” when I see it. Sometimes I see it in the mirror, sometimes I see it in my bride, and sometimes I see it in my daughters. Indeed, when I think about it, the three granddaughters are pretty bold and bossy too. I live in a gulag of bossiness and I’m mostly on the receiving end of it. Pity poor old me. I’m a victim of cold heartless women...

One glaring irony of Ms. Sandberg’s and Beyonce’s campaign to ban the word “bossy” is that you have to be pretty damn bossy yourself when you want to tell other people how to speak. So listen up Sheryl and Beyonce -- I’m not buying your baloney.

Apparently the “bossy” hate crimes you two suffered as young girls did not deter you from pursuing your dreams and achieving success. Are you so gifted, so talented, so god-like in your ability that you and only you were able to break through the stifling suffocation of being called “bossy” once in a while? On behalf of all the humble peasants I thank you oh Lords for allowing us into your exalted presence…

Beyonce as feminism’s icon is hilarious, as she publicly degrades herself on America’s biggest stages. Some husband she’s got there too. What’s up with him, other than surrendering to the bossiness of the Almighty dollar? I know less about Ms. Sandberg but is it even remotely possible that in this day and age of loud lousy vulgar language that the word “bossy” leaves emotional scar tissue and wreckage in a young girl’s life? Don’t make me laugh.

This contrived campaign is absurd. The word “bossy” ruins women’s lives! If that’s not an insult to every woman alive, I don’t know what is. Is the fairer sex, so obviously smarter and much more capable in so many ways than we Y chromosome humanoids, really so mentally delicate that they become unhinged at the utterance of such an equal opportunity gender-neutral word? If so, we’ve fallen even faster than I thought. Perhaps we should go back to the frontier days of women shooting rifles, chopping wood, and tilling pasture. Call those women “bossy” and their response would be “damn right, now shut up and get to work you fool”. Now that’s bossy. Don’t take the title away from such women. They earned it and thank heavens they did. They kept America moving not whining. They fed and lead families, they won wars. Tougher than tough, wiser than wise, they were leaders. They’d laugh at the thin skin and self-absorption of Ms. Sandberg and Beyonce. They’d also wonder if all of America’s women today were so silly and so shallow…

Gotta run—I have to iron a shirt but I’ll see you tomorrow at the funeral for common sense, with Beyonce and Ms. Sandberg serving as the high priestesses of nonsense.


Related Slideshow: Women Leading in Central Massachusetts

Who are some of Central MA's high-level female bosses?  GoLocal takes a look at some of the leading women in the region in their respective industries, in the private and nonprofit sectors.  

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Lisa Piehler


Piehler has been the Regional CEO of the American Red Cross of Central and Western Massachusetts since 1993, overseeing a regional area of 1.7 million people in over 200 cities and towns in Central and Western Massachusetts, and a staff of 30 and 400 volunteers.

Prior to working at the American Red Cross, Piehler was the Director of Parks and Recreation for the city or Worcester. Piehler received her bachelor’s degree in park administration from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree from Clark University with a concentration in non-profit management.

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Victoria Waterman


Waterman is currently the CEO of Girls, Inc, the non-profit organization meant to help girls navigate through the challenges of growing up female and to gain the skills and confidence to achieve their dreams.  Waterman had previously been President of Leading Women Massachusetts, an organization that provides leadership development solutions for women in organizations.

Waterman, who has 20 years of experience in the mortgage banking industry in the marketing sector, received her bachelors of science in marketing from Bryant in 1985.  Waterman's awards include the Stevie Awards Honoree for Women in Business in 2010 and the excellence in Board Leadership in 2012. 

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Deborah Penta


Penta is the Founder and CEO of Penta Communications, the regional integrated marketing, advertising, web, interactive media, and public relations firm.  

Penta has helped senior level management teams develop shape strategic and effective marketing, advertising and public relations programs, and has served on the Board of Directors at Worcester County Food Bank, the Board of Directors at Worcester Regional Research Bureau, and the Board of Directors at Worcester Community Action Counsel. She received her bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College and her executive education from Harvard University.

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Laura Sen


Sen has been the President and CEO of BJ’s Wholesale Club for over 4 years, having previously over 20 years of experience with BJ’s, including having roles as Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President of Merchandising and logistics,Vice President of Logistics, and Senior Vice President of General Merchandise.

Prior to working at BJ’s, Sen has nearly 30 years of experience in mass retail, working with Zayre Corporation and Jordan Marsh Company.  Sen has served on the board of Saint Coletta and Cardinal Cushing Schools of Massachusetts and has provided support to non-profit organizations including the Women's Inn at Pine Street, the Neely House and the Cardinal Cushing Centers Springtime Event.

Sen received her Bachelor’s degree from Boston College.

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Liora Stone


Stone founded Precision Engineering with her husband Peter in 1988. Located in Uxbridge, Precision Engineering focuses on custom metal sheet fabrication.

The company has grown to include 40,000 square feet of manufacturing, assembly and warehousing space, encompassing two physical plants within Quaker Industrial Park.

Stone is a graduate of Syracuse University.

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Susan Engelkemeyer


Engelkemeyer was appointed the 7th President of Nichols College on August 1, 2011 and was officially installed on October 21, 2011, where she now oversees  a student body of 1,500 students.

Prior to working at Nichols College, Engelkemeyer worked for Babson College, Ithica College, and the Charlton College of Business at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Engelkemeyer received her Bachelors degree from Stephens college, her Ph.D in Industrial Management from Clemson University, and her M.B.A from East Carolina University.  She serves as a peer review team leader for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business and served on the board of directors for GOAL/QPC for 20 years. 

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Paula Rooney

Rooney, the 13th President of Dean College, as according to the school's website has overseen enrollment that has "more than doubled and overall retention has increased substantially, while new baccalaureate partnerships and programs have been launched to complement the college’s established associate degree programs.

In addition, campus improvements such as new building construction and renovation and Dean’s wireless technology environment have dramatically transformed the campus" -- and under Dr. Rooney’s helm, "Dean College’s financial status has been solidified as endowment has quadrupled from $7.9 million to $32 million."

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Gail Carberry


President of Quinsigamond Community College, Dr. Carberry holds Certificate in Small Business Management from Springfield Technical Community College, a B.S. from Worcester State University and Master’s and Doctorate degrees from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, specializing in organizational development, strategic planning and staff development. 
She currently serves on numerous local, State and national Boards including the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, Latino Education Institute, Bay Path Regional/Vocational High School Foundation, National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship, Worcester Educational Collaborative, Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, Central Mass Workforce Investment Board, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, Worcester Business Development Corporation and the Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives. She co-chairs the Mayor’s Commission for Hispanic Education Excellence and chairs the Early Education Matters Task Force.
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Kristin Carvalho


Milford National Bank President and CEO Carvalho is both a prominent corporate and community figure, who with the bank has supported causes such as the Massachusetts Lions Eye Research Fund, the WMRC radiothon, and while at the bank. and received an “Outstanding” rating from the Massachusetts State Division of Banks for its Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) compliance. 
“Very few banks achieve the ‘Outstanding’ rating so we are particularly pleased to have achieved this,” said Carvalho at the time.  “As a community bank, our primary focus is to help people in this area buy homes and finance small businesses. Earning the ‘Outstanding’ rating is an indication that our efforts are successful.” 
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Tina Sbrega

President and CEO of GFA credit union,  Sbrega has been Director of the Massachusetts Share Insurance Corporation, Trustee for Mount Wachusett Community College, and Trustee of Heywood Hospital Credit Union and Freedom Credit Union, and acquired a credit union technology service in Rochester, New York. 


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