Why Parents Should Stop Describing Their Daughters as “Bossy.”
The Girl Scouts, Condoleezza Rice, Michelle Obama, and Beyoncé want parents to ban the word “bossy” as a word to describe their daughters.
Why? “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood.”
The Girl Scouts and Sheryl Sandberg’s LeanIn.org partnered together to create BanBossy.com. (If you weren’t aware, Sheryl Sandberg is Facebook’s COO.) The #BanBossy movement has enlisted celebrities such as Jennifer Garner, Alicia Keys, Madeleine Albright, Tory Burch, Victoria Beckham, Katie Couric to support its message. BanBossy.com’s mission is to get parents to pledge to ban the word “Bossy” and words like it, such as “Pushy” and “Stubborn” and instead use words that encourage girls to be strong, brave, ambitious, and to lead.
The website also has some great downloadable PDF’s for girls, parents and educators with tips and activities to encourage leadership skills. Like this one:
Talk About the Word “Bossy.” Calling a girl “bossy” when she asserts her voice – a word we really use for little boys- send the message that girls should not speak up. Explain to the girls in your life that “bossy” is a word often used to make girls feel bad about speaking up. Brainstorm examples of moments when “Being Bossy” is a good idea. Talk about what you stand for as a family when it comes to speaking up and take steps to make sure the members of your extended community support your daughter when she speaks her mind.
Are you ready to #BanBossy? Learn more about the #BanBossy pledge at BanBossy.com.