Here is why I’m loving the #BanBossy campaign:
Not because I think banning a word is the end game or point. Not because we shouldn’t “reclaim” the word “bossy” and make it a positive, leadership-affirming word for girls. No, I am loving the campaign because when I was a kid and I was called bossy…they really meant “bitch.”
I am not the biggest fan of the entire Lean In movement (another blog post for another time) nor do I think you can solve the world’s problems with “banning” anything. But if we can change the narrative on “Bossy” if we can TALK more about why girls are called “Bossy” and boys aren’t…if this means #BanBossy gets it started than WHOO HOO.
Think about it, #BanBossy is already generating a ton of social media buzz. A ton of talk. A ton of discussion about girls and leadership. That means IT IS WORKING.
Now some of you don’t have the negative connotation that I do with the word “Bossy.” I get that.
However, I do. This speaks to me, directly.
Bossy was never meant as a compliment. It was never meant as one of list of things I was, and still am, that anyone would put in the “positive” pile in the pro and con sheet of my life.
But I was just doing what the boys did. I was simply taking charge, just like the boys were. And for those who would argue “Well, Erin, maybe you weren’t nice.” Were the boys “nice” when they told everyone what to do? And if they were mean, were they called anything even close to “bossy” or were they heralded as a “strong leader that didn’t take anyone’s shit?”
I’m raising a son and a daughter and my husband and I try VERY hard not to pigeon hole them with gender stereotypes, but sometimes things slip out. For instance the other day I told my daughter to “act like a lady.”
What the hell does that even mean? I can’t even remember what she was doing, and I quickly backtracked and talked to both of my kids about what I had said.
Which is just another reason why I think the #BanBossy campaign is exactly what we need, because I know when you call me Bossy, you really mean Bitch. And I’ll be damned if you are going to call my strong, independent daughter a bitch.