OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Banning the word 'Bossy'

As a young, ambitious woman, I spent most of my childhood trying to avoid the label 'bossy', and discouraged to speak up in school just because I didn’t want my friends to think that ‘I know it all’, or ‘I’m bossy’

Photo of DeletedUser
1 4

Written by DeletedUser

Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer of Facebook and the author of Lean In, has started a new campaign around banning the word ‘bossy’, to encourage young girls to become leaders. Sandberg states ” When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a 'leader'. Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded 'bossy'," and she thinks that creating awareness around the negative female connotations of the word will change perceptions and empower young girls.
 
As a young, ambitious woman, I spent most of my childhood trying to avoid the ‘bossy’ label and discouraged to speak up in school just because I didn’t want my friends to think that  ‘I know it all’, or ‘I’m bossy’. My parents always thought me to be ambitions and to speak up, however every time I spoke up in class, I was getting labeled as ‘bossy’ by my classmates, even by my teachers. My mom was shocked when my 8th grade teacher told her that I was a hard working, good student but I was way too ‘determined’.
 
‘Bossy’ is definitely a negative label for girls and boys and they send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By their first years in school, young girls are less encouraged to lead, and this continues into adulthood. Young girls should know that it’s ‘ok’ to raise their hands, rather than telling them to be nicer and be more compliant.

Inspired by (1)

Ban Bossy

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of DeletedUser

DeletedUser

Every woman has a story where they have been told that they are too determined, too assertive, or too aggressive. There has been a rise of feminism in pop culture in America. Women are challenging different concepts of western culture. For example, Beyoncé referring to herself as King B versus Queen B. Or her recent album having an emphasis of women enjoy sex and not being submissive to it. Women and girls are seeing a shift of culture where women are no longer accepting the stigmatized standards of being a woman.