Facebook COO and Lean In Founder and Boad Chair, Sheryl Sandberg has teamed up with former Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice and Girl Scouts USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez in a campaign centered around empowering young girls to be leaders.
The campaign, called Ban Bossy, calls for people to stop using the word to decribe young girls because it sends a message that discourages them from taking leadership roles in what follows them from childhood into adulthood. Ban Bossy also has enlisted top celebrities such as Beyoncé, Jennifer Garner, and Jane Lynch.
The campaign declares:
“When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.”
It’s a sentiment that has been shared by many, including rapper Nicki Minaj. In her 2010 MTV My Time Now documentary, Nicki discussed the negative connotations behind being an assertive woman standing up for what she wants. In a business where being on stop of your game is necessary, she says the privilege of being “bossed up” is reserved for her male counterparts.
Yet “bossy” has been embraced in a taking-the-word-back kind of way by celebs like Kelis, with her 2006 hit song “Bossy” and Tina Fey with her New York Times Bestseller Bossypants.
What’s your take? Is banning bossy the answer to empowering young girls or can the campaign use some work?
Let us know in the comments section below!