I know there are already plenty of people weighing in on the #banbossy campaign. I also realize I'm not usually one to step into the muddy waters of the political arena in my blog except this idea has bugged me from the second I started watching the commercial.
I have three girls. Three strong-willed, independent, and creative girls.
And yes, sometimes a bit bossy.
Did I just call my own kids a word that has suddenly become politically incorrect to say in public?
Yes, I did. My children, who I love dearly, CAN BE BOSSY.
I was a bossy child- just ask my siblings.
I have worked with many children and on the whole, most of them can be pretty bossy. Have you ever been around a three year old? A four year old? A teenager?
Being bossy is selfish. It's a self centered way of thinking. I want this...I want that...You're going to do this...Because I said.
A child has to be taught how to be assertive, how to have compassion and empathy, how to be a leader.
Because I'm sorry, if someone is calling you bossy- it's probably because you are. That person is saying, 'hey, you're not letting me have any say in this."
(Unless of course, they're just not nice and then we need to teach our children to worry less about what mean people think about us.)
When my older girls were little they played really well together but I would hear, 'you're taking all the imagination." Basically Abu was telling Bean- 'you're being bossy with me."
I don't want my girls to grow up and be the boss. The word 'boss' implies someone that doesn't care about anyone else, or anyone else's ideas. It's a word that says, 'hey, I think I'm better than you because I'm the boss.'
Ha, try that in a marriage. It's not very healthy, on either side.
We all hate the boss at work, right? Because we feel he/she doesn't care about us. Because we have no say.
But a leader. They inspire. They direct. They take the best of people and bring it out. They allow others to shine.
So I don't want to ban the word 'bossy' because it won't ban the negative behavior that a child- boy or girl- exhibits.
Banning a word won't automatically make leaders. Besides, if you're going to ban words, lets start with the really nasty and hurtful ones. Other 'B' words that aren't flattering to women. Oh, but wait- than all these female singers would have to rewrite their songs. Because somewhere in this mixed up world we live in, it's okay to call other women hurtful names. But boy, use the word bossy and we have totally destroyed the dreams of all girls everywhere.
The website has a quote, "When a little boy asserts himself, he's called a “leader.” Yet when a
little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like
bossy send a message: don't raise your hand or speak up. By middle
school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that
continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead."
Actually, as a woman and a Mom of three girls, let me explain to you what messages hurt the self esteem. What keeps a woman from finding her potential.
1. Allowing verbal, mean girl bullying to continue rampant in our schools. The word bossy is nothing compared to the crap that can come out of some girls/women's mouth.
If you're smart in school- than another girl will call you names for it. Guarantee.
If you like to play sports, perhaps you're even super good at it and you like to compete against the boys at recess. Some other girl will say you're doing nasty things with those boys.
The word bossy? Bullies don't even use that word. They go for ones that hurt: like hoe, whore, bitch, and more. -In elementary school.-
And it continues into adulthood. You want strong female leaders, than women: stop with the rumors, and the backstabbing, and the petty comparing that happens.
I have been around so many women that instead of building each other up, instead of sharpening and strengthening they say things like:
You want to stay home and raise your kids? Then you're lazy.
You want to go to work or you have to go to work? Then you're the worse kind of mother for allowing other women to raise your kids.
You don't want to take that CEO job because you choose more family time over a 80 hour a week job? Then obviously someone called you bossy and prevented you from finding your full potential.
2. Stop the damn photoshopping of models and women in images. I can't believe it's gotten to this point that we have to take a skinny person and digitally remove more 'fat' from her. Seriously? What the hell is wrong with our culture? I don't want my girls to think they have to look like they just walked out of a concentration camp to be beautiful.
That is not beauty. That is sick and disgusting and wrong. Lets just say it the way it is. It's WRONG! When our girls start worrying about fat on their butts and their stomachs and they start hating the way the look, then we have done something WRONG.
Every women I know, myself included, have stared in the mirror and made a mental list of everything that was wrong with our bodies. And it's sad.
The female body is beautiful, in all shapes and sizes and curves. I want my girls to think healthy and fit but I don't want them beating themselves up every morning because they don't look like the model on television or the actress in the movie or the gal on the cover of the magazine cover.
Because not only do most of these women spend a lot more time than the average women doing things to look good as part of their image- they also have a TEAM of make-up artists, hair stylists, and photographers that understand the importance of lighting.
On top of that: THEY ARE PHOTOSHOPPED beyond just normal color correction and such. They AREN'T REAL.
Yet, our girls compare themselves to these faked images and find themselves wanting.
3. If a girl is afraid to raise her hand in school, it isn't because she's afraid of being bossy. It's because our education system doesn't encourage free thinking, it doesn't encourage creative expression. It is developed to pass a test and I can guarantee a child that gives too many answers outside that drawn box of thinking, will stop raising their hand and reaching for their potential. A leader does not develop while filling out worksheet after worksheet.
A leader develops because of many different factors, one of them being having good role models. And I'm sorry, but having Beyonce as your spokesperson is not the role model I want for my girls. I don't want them singing songs about sex and dressing trashy and giving stripper numbers on stage. That's not empowerment of women at all.
Could we have some women role models that teach about building each other up, that speak with compassion and passion, that show girls that we don't have to bash men and bring them down- to prove we're strong and capable?
4. We need to teach our girls right and wrong and morals. And we need to teach them that they shouldn't care about what society thinks of them because society at this point is about being too thin, putting other women down, and idealizing 'role models' that think a women is only reaching her full potential if she is living their definition of what it takes to be a strong women.
Try raising strong, caring, compassionate, independent women in our current society- it's tough. Because as a Momma of three wonderful girls- I really feel like the world, the media, our culture, and society is against me.
And banning the word bossy doesn't even start to fix the problem.