Ban Bossy

You would’ve had to have been living in a cave for the past year to not have heard about Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s 2013 book, “Lean In.”

I read the book and am aware of its criticisms, but overall, I think there was solid stuff within.

Frankly, I’m not sure I could lean in more to my own career. I’m already leaning so deeply that I feel like Michael Jackson in his “Smooth Criminal” video.

A new angle on the Lean In movement just caught my attention, because this time it’s aimed at girls.

Ban Bossy is a campaign to get girls to empower and assert themselves. Here’s a quote from the Ban Bossy website:

When it comes to girls and ambition, the pattern is clear: girls are discouraged from leading. When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy”—a precursor to words like “aggressive,” “angry,” and “too ambitious” that plague strong female leaders. Calling girls bossy is one of many things we do to discourage them from leading. It’s no wonder that by middle school, girls are less interested in leadership roles than boys, a trend that continues into adulthood.

This section of the website has some particularly good tips for parents. The comments surrounding displays of too much confidence that can lead to ostracization, pleasing others at personal expense and avoiding conflict to maintain popularity made me smile. Are these situations limited to childhood? I think not.

You know what?

I’m ok with being bossy. And I want my daughter to be, too.

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