Men who know what they want and go after it are called ambitious and leaders. Women who know what they want and who go after it are called bitchy or bossy. At the poker table they are all known as the other B word … The bettors. In poker the bettor is the aggressor – Aggression is good at the right time but in some instances it is reckless and unproductive. You could liken it to the difference between being bossy and being a leader.
There has been a lot of discussion about banning the word bossy (#BanBossy). But will that really make a difference for young women? Bossy people want folks to follow them but often lack any real substance and have little to offer . At the poker table this person would be known as the bully. Leaders on the other hand motivate people and have a vision. These people are the missiles at the poker table – Focused and calculated. Leadership is inspirational bossy is not. So to substitute bossy for leader is not necessary a productive move.
There is no question that the gender gap exists in many areas including the use of slang words, but it’s possible that sometimes things are blown out of proportion making an issue where there really is none. True you don’t typically hear men being called bossy, bitchy or catty and I do not recall any women being referred to as reckless, a hooligan or a ball-buster. But the real issue at hand is how you respond and what actions you take.
In my book “PokerWoman, How to win in Love, life and business and using the principle of poker” I relay the story of an incident in the 2008 World series of poker. The 7000+ person tournament was down to the final 20 players and there was one woman left standing in the game. The required bets (the blinds) go up as the clock moves on so time is important. One of the players was taking too long to make up their mind on a hand so Tiffany Michelle “called the clock” which means the player now had only one minute left to make a move or forfeit the hand. This was perfectly within her rights to do but the men in the game and the media blasted her for being an aggressive bitch. The backlash she received was extreme.
Fast forward several months later to the European World Series of Poker where a male player Bengt Sonnert faced a nearly identical situation and called the clock on his opponent. The difference was this time there was no media frenzy and the incident went barley noted.
A double standard. Boys will be boys and Girls will be bossy bitches.
Yes it would be nice to eliminate words that are considered derogatory to females but more importantly is the ability for girls and women to define who they want to be for themselves and create their own language for success.