Sheryl Sandberg, a very successful business woman, whose most recent accolade is becoming COO of Facebook, is embarking on a campaign to "Ban Bossy". She thinks that by ridding this word from children's vernacular, we can start to empower women at a younger age. "They're bossy as little girls, and then they're aggressive, political, shrill, too ambitious as women." The list goes on.
And it's SO TRUE! Seriously, think back to your playground days. If you were the one organizing the game, picking the teams, planning the birthday parties, you were called BOSSY. By boys and girls. Of course, someone had to do it. But over time, we are conditioned to pipe down and let the "boys" be in charge. This can range all the way from a boy starting the game of tag, to a guy "subbing" while the teacher takes a phone call, to a male manager having another man as his backup while he is out of the office. It is a fairly consistent pattern throughout life.
Please check out the Ban Bossy campaign at BanBossy.com. (I am not being paid to say this, I just think it's great!) There are many resources for parents, teachers, girl scout leaders, and anyone else who is interested in empowering girls. They have also partnered with the Girl Scouts to help get the word out and directly impact young girls who are learning the power of being a woman.
They also have a "Things We Love" section highlighting strong girls around the world who are making headlines. Included is the viral story about the seven year old girl writing to LEGO and practically demanding more female products from Lego. You go, girl!
I know a lot of you readers have children (or are planning to soon), care for children, work in schools, etc. YOU CAN HELP SPREAD THE WORD!! Girls need to know that it is okay to be assertive, speak their minds, and take charge. Sandberg is quick to point out that this does not include bullying or being a "mean girl". This is also something we can help with...
Be an example: make your household an open book, get your girls involved in Girl Scouts, perk their interest in math and sciences (generally male dominated), teach her about successful women, ask her to speak up. Think of the dynamic changes we could make by the time our children are grown!
Please check out their website and I encourage you to share one of the graphics on your Facebook/Twitter/Blog. No one suffers from awareness!