Business leader Sheryl Sandberg caused an internet sensation with her new campaign to ban the word "bossy" this week....But the greater question is: Why are so many American men allowing themselves to be bossed around? Hen-pecked men have become part of the landscape of Americana, captured in countless commericals, cartoons and television shows like "Everyone Loves Raymond," "Two and a Half Men," and "Yes Dear." This very phenomenon was depicted in a "Local View" column by Jonathan Shapiro in the Wall Street Journal, where this compliant man declared, "Do Not Put Me In Charge."
Many American men are willingly allowing women to boss them around in exchange for romantic favors. They see courtship and marriage as another time to hide their emotions, just as they did in the playground kickball game, the paper chase in the classroom and in competing on the social ladder for friendships. These "mirage men" will listen to a woman go on and on about herself and her problems for hours on end if they believe a kiss and more await them on the other side of the conversation. Chameleon-like, they will adapt the woman's values, interests and goals and do whatever she commands, within reason, if they think it will result in romantic success. Former "Partridge Family" television star turned reality show/talk show host/disc jockey Danny Bonaduce accurately described this type of courtship and marriage as he experienced it first-hand in his life, saying, "I'm not captain of the ship at home. I'm barely first mate."