Friday, March 14, 2014

Banning Bossy

March 14, 2014

There is apparently a movement to "Ban Bossy." You might ask what that means. Well as far as I can tell from the story on TV  there are some girls who are intimidated by being called "bossy" by their classmates. I'm going to assume that is mostly male classmates. They are not perceived as "feminine." So Sheryl Sandberg, the CEO at Facebook has started an awareness campaign to ban the word "bossy." And it is endorsed by Beyonce! They claim that girls will not show their leadership potential if they risk being labeled as bossy. Bossy, not assertive or intelligent. Bossy.

Really?!! This week I went to a reunion planning meeting at Sacred Heart Academy, my all girls high school. The four of us there talked about how "quiet" we were in high school and how we didn't become "bossy" until we started working. All those wasted years! I noticed the really popular girls were not at this meeting. And all of us there are successful women. Successful, in spite of being bossy. Imagine how far we could have gone if we WERE bossy in high school!

So boys can be bossy and its called leadership but when girls are it's bitchy. Have we come this far only to slide back to the 50's? Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem, where are you? I have always encouraged my daughter to stand up for herself and in spite of how quiet I was in high school ( yes, I know how hard that is to believe) I am proud to be called bossy. Even if, in couples counseling, I believe I was referred to as domineering. Not so flattering but I hope just one person's opinion of me!

So Sheryl and Beyonce I ask you, how did you get were you are without being Bossy? It will take more than banning a word to change society. How about teaching our children to respect each other as individuals instead of stereotypes. That is the real issue here.

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