There’s no such thing as a “bossy” boy.
There are only leaders, future presidents who will, one day, replace the sand box with an oval office to do what they do best: lead, direct, be bosses.
There are girls who do the same things. But these girls are never called “leaders” or “bosses.” They get the adjective of the word to mean that they are acting in a role for which they are not.
They are bossy when they seem to “act” like or pretend to be leaders, telling people what to do. And they are just “nice” girls when they don’t do these things, and that’s it.
As the parent of daughters who like to (ahem) lead, specifically other children who are twice their size, I get the problem with the “b” word. So I respect Sheryl Sandberg’s “Ban Bossy,” a new campaign against the gendered nature of “bossy.”
Ban Bossy is about encouraging us all to recognize the power of our words in shaping how we think. It’s about recognizing, out loud, that it means something when we verbally give men license to be the “boss” and women permission to be bossy, nagging, controlling, or bitchy.
Via Elle on Sandberg’s new initiative to ban bossy:
“Ban Bossy,” which they announced yesterday, is a call for people to strike the “bossy” descriptor from their vocabularies. Sandberg, Rice, and Chávez argue that the word is more pejorative than people realize—especially because it’s tacked on to women to snub them, while men are just praised as “bosses.”
According to Sandberg, Rice, and Chávez, the problem isn’t just that women and young girls’ feelings are hurt by the wordage. It’s that they’re often discouraged enough by it that they don’t speak up or assume leadership roles they’d succeed in. And that hurts everyone—men and women alike.
So, I get it and agree with it. No more bossy girls. Just boss girls. Boss women who know what they want and aren’t afraid to say it.
What do you think of Sandberg’s Ban Bossy movement or the gendered use of the word “bossy”?