Why are people so angry about the ‘Ban Bossy‘ campaign? Facebook’s CEO Sheryl Sandberg, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Girl Scouts USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez spearheaded the idea. The goal is a simple one… encourage girls to feel more confident and comfortable as leaders. Sounds like a good thing to me… but holy hell… as SOON as the campaign was released all I heard was negative backlash.
“I mean… how can you ban a whole word?? Is banning the word bossy really going to help girls?” I heard on the radio on my way to work.
My twitter feed was FULL of op-ed articles of people bashing the concept. “Well, if my daughter can’t handle being called bossy, she has way bigger problems.”
I saw a lot of people commenting that this campaign encourages a ‘victim’ mentality. (since the term is not exclusive to females)
Did any of these people actually read what the campaign was about? It encourages girls to lead. To get the conversation started. There are fewer female leaders out there, and the issue with that starts young.
According to the Ban Bossy website, there are more male heroes in children books. In classrooms, girls are called on less often and get interrupted more. Also, between elementary and high school girls’ self-esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys.
I’m an executive producer at a top 20 market TV station. As a manager in a male dominated field, I can tell you it’s not easy. I have been treated differently for doing the same thing a man has done, only because I am female. I have been called bossy and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Maybe they should have called this the ‘Ban Bitchy’ campaign? I wonder how that would have gone over with 7 year olds? But I never cared about what people called me, because I was raised to be confident in myself.
That is the main point of this campaign, which is what people would see if they weren’t so caught up in the freaking title of it. The site suggests young girls try to speak up more in class, to take on things that seem challenging, trust your inner voice, and to stop apologizing before speaking. (this is the best piece of advice, I think a lot of grown women in the workplace say sorry way too much!) It also has great suggestions for parents and teachers.
If you want to think there is no difference between men and women in the workplace you are wrong. So why don’t you get angry about THAT people… instead of getting so upset about the name of the latest public service campaign that addresses it.