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Let’s Ban the Word Bossy!

A new PSA is out, by Beyoncé, Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook COO and author of Lean In), Condoleezza Rice, Jane Lynch, Jennifer Garner, and many more strong women, and men.  It’s focus?  Banning the word “Bossy”!

I personally can attest, being called “Bossy” is a buzz kill for strong girls everywhere.  ”Words Matter,” the PSA says, and for young girls who stand up and try to be leaders, and are told to sit down, because they are too “bossy” – words can matter a lot.

In a Girl Scouts study of 8-17 year olds, one third of girls who said they didn’t want to be leaders attributed their hesitancy to a fear of being disliked by their peers.

Bossy is a word that boys very rarely get called.

For boys, it’s considered admirable to be the leader of their class, group, or organization, but often girls shy away from these roles because they don’t want to be intimidating, or, wait for it, bossy.  Bossy girl can’t find boyfriends, right?

You may be wondering, “is it really that big of a deal?”

Well, between elementary and high school, girls’ self–esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’!  So, yeah, it’s kind of a big deal.

While women like Rice and Sandberg are fighting the big fight, becoming COO’s and Secretaries of State, we need people on the ground – teachers, parents, coaches, trying to get the right subtle messages across to our next generation of leaders, both boys and girls!

I don’t want my 7 year-old girl to have to ask me, “Mom, why are all the presidents boys?”

Did you know -

*Women still represent only 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs

*Women hold only 18% of the seats in Congress

*Only 5 out of 50 states have a female governor and, on average

*Male cabinet appointees outnumber women cabinet appointees in our states by a ratio of 2 to 1

You should also know that the United States ranks 98th in the world in the number of women in our national legislature!

Women are 50% less likely than men to even consider running for office. Of those, 30% less actually run, with only a fraction seeking higher office.  Maybe it’s because they’ll be considered “Bossy.”

Women are more than 50% of our population, so why don’t they have 50% of the leadership roles in every industry, at avery level?

And furthermore, why don’t men do 50% of what needs to happen in their homes?  After all, how am I going to be able to run for office, or run a company, when I have no help with the laundry, dinner, school pick-ups, doctor appointments, and bake sales?

No, banning the word “Bossy” won’t solve all of our problems, but, it certainly won’t hurt!

Wanna help?

Help a girl in your life assert herself!  Give credit to girls who work hard!  And, if you hear a girl apologize for speaking up, tell her not to apologize, her voice is just as important as anyone else’s!

Click here to check out banbossy.com.

Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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