“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 (Lean In, 2014).”
Above are the words featured on Ban Bossy’s homepage. Created by the CEO of Girl Scouts USA and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, the campaign has already achieved enormous success in the short time its been up and running. The hashtag #BanBossy has been trending on both Facebook and Twitter. Many celebrities have also jumped onboard to support the cause, including Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, Jane Lynch, and Diane Von Furstenberg.
While some may not consider this topic an issue, the website does offer some scary insights and statistics for the future of girls all over the world, which all have the ability to be shared to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google Plus with the simple click of a button. According to the site, between elementary and high school, girls’ self esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys. Data also shows that girls are twice as likely to worry that leadership positions will make them seem “bossy” (Lean In, 2014).
Social media has proven to be a fundamental medium in getting the message that it’s okay for girls to be ambitious out to its target audience. I know I personally have seen the above video shared a number of times to my Facebook feed.
While the campaign has generated a lot of criticism, I think there is some truth to the idea that girls are afraid to take on leadership positions. Given my strong-willed personality, I am sure people have called me bossy before behind my back, but I know myself and believe that term is being misused. There is a difference between being bossy and being ambitious, and I think any campaign that could potentially produce strong leaders in the generations to come is a beautiful thing.
Lean In (2014, March). Ban Bossy. Encourage Girls to Lead. Retrieved March 20, 2014, from http://banbossy.com