I have always considered myself a leader in the classroom. However, as soon as I heard the word “bossy,” I stopped raising my hand and drawing attention to the fact I wanted to ask questions and be assertive.
When a little boy asserts himself, he is often called a leader, yet when a little girl asserts herself, she risks the chance of being labeled bossy, pushy or even stubborn. This discourages females from taking control and standing up for themselves.
Lean In, a nonprofit for female empowerment, has teamed up with Girl Scouts and celebrities such as Beyoncé, Condoleezza Rice and Jennifer Garner to ban the word “bossy.”
As Jane Lynch puts it, the word “bossy” is a “squasher.” “Bossy” makes girls less interested in leadership than boys. Because of this, many girls are significantly less interested in assuming leadership roles by the time they enter middle school. Unfortunately, this trend follows into adulthood.
Girls’ self-confidence can drop up to 3.5 times more than boys’. However, this can change by encouraging females to stand up for themselves and assert their independence by taking on more leadership roles. Instead of calling a vocal female “bossy,” take a deep breath and praise her leadership skills.
We should encourage girls to be confident in the classroom, in themselves, and in life. I know whenever I’m called “bossy” it takes a knock at my self-confidence and makes me refrain from sharing my voice.
My advice to girls and young women is don’t let anyone stop you. People can’t tell you what to do. Speak out for what you believe in. If someone tells you you’re incapable, bossy or stubborn, use that as motivation to prove them wrong.
This is why I am taking the pledge to remove “bossy” from my vocabulary. I pledge to encourage young girls to be strong and ambitious. I am taking the pledge to ban bossy, and you should, too.
If you believe in empowering women to be leaders, visit banbossy.com. You can also follow the movement on social media by using #banbossy.
Take the leap by removing “bossy” from your daily conversations in order to encourage girls to transform into strong leaders.