Years ago I launched a local chapter of Femfessionals. I wrote about it here and have since received great support and feedback from women in my community. I love that our collective consciousness is focused on elevating women in all aspects of their lives. I loved Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean-In and am still a passionate supporter of Girl Scouts. The Ban Bossy campaign has been a huge PR success and I applaud all of the efforts that have gone into creating a cohesive message that celebrities, girl scouts, professionals and citizens can get behind and support. However, as you will read in my quotes from Leanne Italie’s Some question Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign, while this is a campaign that I support and believe in, I also hope that in our fervor to man-up our young ladies, we don’t let go of our efforts to raise kind, sensitive, aware, empathetic girls.

“There’s a middle to all of this. The middle is a little bit of restraint and a little bit of kindness. We want that for all of our children, male or female.”

Let me know what you think! I would love to hear your thoughts on the campaign, the issues it highlights, or your experience in either area.

Kindly,

Jules

4 thoughts on “Ban Bossy PR Campaign

  1. Although I agree with a number of Sheryl’s ideas, I don’t agree wholly. And I’m not particularly passionate about this campaign to ban the word “bossy”. I was told I was bossy as a young child. And you know what, I was. It is simply a descriptor for my behavior that helped me realize how I made others feel.

    In my preschool, in my elementary classrooms or on the playground – I truly did NOT need to be so “bossy”. We were all children, trying to have a fun time and when I tried to control other kids with my bossiness it only made me, as a 6 or 7 year old child, more miserable. Being called out as “bossy” helped me channel that “bossiness” into appropriate areas. It helped me realize that my friends weren’t happy when I relentlessly harped on them for not doing exactly what I wanted – and I wasn’t happy either (because, of course, they weren’t doing exactly what I wanted).

    What came out of being called bossy for me, was 1. A young girl that knew that compassion and understanding must always be present when in the company of friends, and 2. Acting like I was the boss of everyone was because I enjoyed leading and SHOULD be the boss someday – in an appropriate setting. In middle and high school I was often told I was a “leader”.

    If we ban the word bossy then first let us find a synonym for it that doesn’t begin with b-o-s-s? Right? Because that’s the issue. It’s perceived as a word that isn’t gender neutral. Maybe the best solution is to start telling a bunch of boys that they’re being bossy when they’re being bossy. It’s a descriptor.

    Can we focus this much energy on eradicating racial slurs and improper uses of “retard” and “gay” before we focus on something like “bossy”? Perhaps not – human rights is human rights. And the passionate need for those rights to be validated comes from the human you’re asking.

    This human thinks bossy is fine.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear Human:
      You are lovely! I agree that compassion and understanding must always be present when in the company of friends. That’s what I want my children to understand – my boys and my girls. I have always enjoyed leading, too, and agree that you SHOULD be the boss someday – in an appropriate setting. With so much attention paid to Mean Girls and Queen Bees and Wanna-Be’s, I fear we have lost that focus in raising our kids. Yes, be strong. Yes, be the smartest person in the room. Yes, be ambitious. And do all of that with a kind voice. We are a society that goes to extreme.

      And I agree, we need to work on much bigger issues. So go on with your bad, bossy self, Miss Emily! You rock!
      xo ~ Jules

      Liked by 1 person

  2. As the person who called the said Human Bossy on occasion, I will say when I read the book I had some trepidation and a moment of guilt thinking about how I might have ruined her.

    Luckily, as one can see she is completely fine and thriving in a mans world as a leader who was also once a girl scout and a bossy young lady.

    I knew beyond a doubt that her behavior meant she would be a leader someday and worked hard to channel her tendencies in that direction and wish I’d thought more about the actual word as I don’t ever remember calling my son bossy…but that’s probably because he wasn’t.

    We’d leave him home to “babysit” when he was 13, the bossy one was 7 and the baby was 2. We often joked and wondered while we were gone, how the bossy one, then 7 otherwise known as Emily was doing. We knew she was truly the one in charge and the 13 year old was just there to make us feel more secure about the situation.

    After reading Lean In, I did council a friend to perhaps not term her daughter as “bossy” when she said she was bossy too, as it really isn’t fair and I’m all about fair. It’s always just a matter of intention right? I believe by knowing that it isn’t really fair to girls that we might change the way we consider that statement because it is clearly meant to be negative.

    Right or wrong, I agree, let’s get rid of words that are more harmful and hurtful, but let’s be mindful of the mixed messages we send our children and work hard to encourage our girls to be leaders without making that seem to be a negative.

    Lead on ladies. Love you both. Lori

    Liked by 1 person

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