Look out! The Self Esteem movement has a new poster child and it’s name is #BanBossy. They are coming for your girls…and their self-worth too.
“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” – BanBossy.com
I’ve spent the majority of my primary and secondary education in a rigorous college preparatory curriculum heavily concentrated in math and science. Building on that foundation, I pursued an undergrad and graduate college education and professional career in the male dominated field of Engineering, and throughout my career as an engineer I cannot ever recall being called “bossy”.
At least not to my face.
I’ve been called “driven.” I’ve been called a “team player.” I’ve been called an “effective leader.” I’ve even been called “intimidating” and a little stand-offish, but “bossy”? No way. The only time I can recall ever being called bossy was by younger siblings/cousins who didn’t like it when I had to lay down the law in loco parentis. But it seems that with this latest whinefest about a word is more about protecting perceived feelings instead of teaching our children how to deal with adversity. Having someone call you “bossy” has more to do with that person’s projection of their own inadequacy. In my experience, this is more often than not due to someone who refuses to respect you. And that, my friends, is a personal problem on their part.
It’s bad enough this nonsense is on a website but add to that the likes of Michelle Obama, Beyoncé and the Girl Scouts endorsing this hot mess and what you get is the Word Police trying to make people stop what they think is an insulting word in order to control young girls. Even more messed up is it was the Girl Scouts who taught me to be “bossy” and not apologize for it.
“You may not love me, you may not even like me, but you WILL respect me.” – I’m Bossy by Kelis
Back in the day when I was a cookie-hustling badge earning Girl Scout, the organization taught me that girls can do anything and the means to do so was leadership. Learning what it means to lead, how to lead, and how to follow in order to be a good leader. Integrity, mentoring, and most of all—how to give and earn respect. We were taught there would be obstacles to us as girls, but with these three skills we would learn to overcome them with confidence to have the world see us as equals based on our abilities and not our gender.
Encouraging girls to be leaders at a young age has less to do with what the self-esteem movement thinks their being called will affect them, and more with introducing them to bright career paths that inspire them to lead and command respect from all for doing so.
All while being bossy and owning it, like a “boss.”
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