Should We Ban Bossy? 5 Bloggers Weigh In
A year or so ago, a meme popped up in my Facebook newsfeed: “I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to instead be told she has leadership skills.” Sure, I thought. I understood what the meme (which I now know as a quote from Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook) was getting at and, on the surface, it made sense. I probably hit the share button. And when the Ban Bossy campaign appeared in my feed last week, my initial reaction was the same. Of course! I’m all for supporting girls as leaders! But as I read further and dug deeper, I started questioning my initial enthusiasm.
And that is the internet at its best – exposing us to a range of ideas and encouraging us to think critically about the world around us (if we let it). I’m still not sure where I stand, but I suspect that – as with many things – conversation is more important than position.
Supporters of the campaign make some valid points, as do those who disagree. Below five fabulous bloggers share their thoughts and offer us for food for thought. Read what they have to say, check out the Ban Bossy website for yourself, and then tell us: Where do YOU stand? And, more importantly, why? ~Ellie
“Ban Bossy” is a clever campaign and it has certainly started a national conversation. However, I say we should do exactly the opposite. Instead of banning bossy, girls everywhere should be embracing it. Owning their inner bossy can actually become a badge of courage and conviction for young girls. And, who knows, the Girl Scouts might even create a “Bossy” badge. Wouldn’t you love to have one of those?
As the mother of three girls, I understand the double standard the supporters of #banbossy are trying to eradicate. However, I find it difficult to support this movement because being bossy is not a characteristic to encourage. I think we can help teach our children to be true leaders who inspire loyalty and command respect and who can either assert themselves or defer to the opinions of others as the situation demands it, without tolerating bossy, domineering behavior. Eliminating a word from the lexicon does nothing to distinguish the stigma against girls in leadership positions, and it doesn’t nothing to teach kids about the true attributes of leadership. We should work to ban bossy as a behavior, not as a catchphrase.
Megan Hernandez Crutchfield of Absolute Mommy
How many times have I said to my girls, “Don’t be bossy”? Obviously the days have long past since girls are expected to be seen and not heard. So what is so wrong with bossy? The “ban bossy” campaign isn’t a bra-burning moment. It isn’t a book-burning moment. Simply put, it’s a movement to take a word and change the conversation
Sheryl Sandberg misses the point, again, in her latest “ban bossy” campaign. The problem isn’t that we tell girls they are bossy, the problem is that we teach girls to use bossiness as a way to get ahead rather than instilling true leadership skills. I’m a strong advocate of workplace equality, but the road is long, messy and full of hard nuanced conversations. Sandberg’s latest campaign focuses more on tweetable soundbites rather than creating solutions that advance (all) women in the workplace.
Jessica of Four Plus An Angel
I can think of so many words that should be banned. I’m sorry but bossy just isn’t one of them. I get that it has an annoying connotation and it’s generally used in relation to girls not boys but really can we pick one of the ten gazillion other causes out there and divide the celebrities and money among them? Let’s end the trafficking of girls and decrease their suicide rate and pour even more effort into stopping them from being harassed at school and home and work. We don’t need a new campaign. We don’t need to shine a light on something else that is cracking. We need to fix what is already broken.
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This post was compiled by Ellie, our Family Room Editor