By: Abbey Bowen
Hello, everyone! This week I’m taking a break from blogging about health and fitness to address an important topic brought to my attention recently.
Some of the most powerful women in the world, including Beyonce, Condoleezza Rice and First Lady Michelle Obama, have come together to spread a simple message, to ban the word “bossy.”
When I first heard of banbossy.com, it took me about five seconds to fall in love with it. The main premise of the campaign is to ban the usage of the word bossy to describe young girls who are assertive and demonstrate leadership. Bossy, as argued by the founders and partners of the website, carries a negative connotation that discourages girls from participating in school.
This concept was derived from, the chief operating officer of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg’s book “Lean In.” The book was a response to the overwhelming feedback she received after giving a TED talk in 2010 titled “Why we have too few women leaders.” In this talk, Sandberg argued the ways women are held back by society and held back by themselves. Sandberg’s ideas have been credited for rebooting a recent wave of the feminist movement, and she can also be thanked for raising awareness to the harm done by the word “bossy.”
Now, this campaign is so near and dear to my heart because I, too, was called bossy as a child. To be honest, it did feel like an insult whenever someone slapped that label on me. I loved school, liked to answer the teachers’ questions and had no problem telling the other students when they were wrong. Somehow, all of this led others to believe I was bossy. However, I have been fortunate enough to grow up with parents who praised my assertiveness and drive. I can’t recall a time when my Mom or Dad ever called me bossy. Thanks to them, I have carried the empowerment bred in me from childhood into adulthood.
In the fall of 2014, I will enter my first semester as a law student at Marquette University. As I sit here now, I can promise you I wouldn’t have made the bold decision to become a lawyer if my parents had suppressed my desire to learn and lead.
I am also passionate about this campaign because I have two little nieces, one is 11 and the other is only one. They are both strong-willed and intelligent. I took the pledge to #banbossy because I don’t want anyone to ever make them feel like those characteristics are a bad thing.
Please join me and take the pledge to #banbossy so we can continue to raise young girls up to be strong, determined and confident. Think about it, if a young girl is raised to feel strong, powerful and confident, she will strive to be the best she can be for the rest of her life. She will strive to be mentally, emotionally and physically happy and healthy. More information on the Ban Bossy campaign, can be found on banbossy.com or leanin.org.
~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~