Friday, March 28, 2014

Our Take On: #BanBossy

Months ago Tori @ A Little Leigh Way and I began discussing starting a possible series on all things positively influencing women in the world. Last month we talked about Dove's #Selfie Campaign and this month's topic also has a hashtag. Seems to be a new trend ;)

If you haven't heard of the #BanBossy campaign from Facebook's COO Sheryl Sandberg in collaboration with the Girl Scouts. The campaign's mission is to "ban the word bossy" when little girls assert themselves. 

Ending the negative connotation of words and building confidence is a Warrior Queen mission. Building children up, instead of tearing them down with words like "bossy," is necessary.


The campaign has been very controversial, with many people misinterpreting it. As a journalist, I can tell that they picked "Ban Bossy" because it is an alliteration. They don't want to delete the word from the English language. Unfortunately, this is what many people are focusing on. 

While there's all of this negative feedback (including those from feminists), I think that the campaign has accomplished something: we're all thinking a little harder about the word bossy and when we use it. 

The truth is, no matter if you believe that the word is negative or if you own bossy [Like I do], words matter. The words we choose to use keep us in societal norms. Bossy is to little girls as crazy is to women. 

Tons of non-profits and organizations work daily to make more girl's leaders and the #BanBossy campaign has started many conversations that needed to be had. 

But what are we going to do about it? Are we going to end the use of the word, in the same way that we think we ended the use of "fag?" Or are we going to promote thought before we speak, and more importantly thought before we act. 

I've been called bossy my whole life, yet my mom never has been. She was always shy and quiet, and I've always been loud and assertive. When I was called bossy as a kid, I would feel offended. It never stopped me, but it does stop girls with less confidence. 

My solution?  We teach girls that, despite the words that you hear, you are a born leader and don't let anyone stand in your way. With that, we'll have more female leaders, more females educated and more opportunities for women and men! 

What's your take?
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  1. This is awesome! I actually haven't heard of this until I read this post.. The only thing I would disagree with would be if the term bossy is being used interchangeably with bully. I would be all for #banbossy if that was the case. Although the way you've explained makes perfect sense. Women shouldn't be taught to step down when trying to take charge and in return get called bossy. Women should be taught to become independent and strong, and if a lazy person needs to be told what to do...what better than a woman to be "bossy"?!

  2. You are so bossy! JK. I love this idea and hate negative words.

  3. I think you're right- whatever people's opinions on the catchphrase, it is definitely causing conversation!

  4. hahaha I AM though!! Well, I try to be more assertive than "bossy." I'm glad you're on board with me about the negative words! grr!

  5. Yes!! I definitely think we also need to stop the use of the word bully. Calling someone a bully almost makes it okay for them to bully. It gives them something to identify with. Whereas, if we ignored their attempts and stood strong and confident (taking charge), then they would stop!


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