2.4.14

#BANBOSSY



'Ban Bossy' a campaign initiated by Facebook CEO and 'Lean In' author, Sheryl Sandburg, is part of the wider drive for gender equality. Backed by the likes of Beyonce and Victoria Beckham, Sheryl wants to ban the word bossy - a word commonly associated with young girls who aspire to be leaders. 


Last week, I did a class presentation on the re-anchoring of words to change their negative connotations and we included this current topic. I agree that the word Bossy can discourage girls from being confident, putting up their hand and leading. It has faced a mix response in the press, yet the negative ones can't seem to see the big idea - for me it's not so much literally banning the word, but more about encouraging young girls.
I have always been called Bossy. At school, by teachers, friends and even my own parents. I know that at times I have felt like that was a negative label, and yes it can have connotations of perhaps selfishness and ignorance to other people, but to be honest, I love being bossy.
I have been brought up to be educated, and have confidence in myself and what I believe. There has been many situations where I have "taken the lead" with great joy - let's be honest, some people are extremely lazy when it comes to group work or making decisions. I am one of those people that hate to delegate, because I frankly think I can do a better job - this is something that I have improved on over the last few years, but probably because I try to surround myself with intelligent, capable and like minded people that I trust are on my level. 
There has been two incidents over the last year or so to do with my bossiness. Firstly, when I was offered a job at the School I used to attend, I was in two minds about whether I was going to University. My place had been accepted but I hadn't told my parents. My new boss and former head teacher simply said; "You go home tonight, and you tell your parents that you are off to University - I am not carrying that knowledge without being able to tell anyone. The thing is Michaella, You may be very bossy, but I am bossier" 
Luckily, at my school, both as a member of staff and student, being bossy isn't such a bad thing. We have an incredibly intelligent female head teacher who encourages and embraces bossiness and leadership. I have been given fantastic opportunities to do my own thing and that comes down to being bossy, being a leader and demonstrating how I can get the job done - and she was right, she is bossier than me!
Secondly a couple of weeks back, I was informed that one of my fellow students had called me "bossy" behind my back. Why she felt the need to say so behind my back, I don't know, because it is something I fully embrace. Being a little older (and perhaps a little wiser) than my classmates I love helping them out, advising them and taking a leading role sometimes. I also love taking a back seat and learning from them too. But, as my friends assure me, they love my "bossiness" - which they see more as "being organised" and "having my sh*t together". 

Let us not confuse bossiness with drive, confidence, determination and leadership. If you are the person calling other people bossy, perhaps actually you should consider what you could be doing to be more like them. So far, being bossy has done me a lot more good than bad, and it is how I intend to stay. 


Laura Bates, founder of Everyday Sexism Project rightly said, "Bossy might not be the worst thing a girl can be called today. But in a society that continues to keep women down with negative name calling, including charmers such as "crazy" and "slut", being called bossy still has the power to turn a young firecracker into a wallflower"

Perhaps it's not about banning the word bossy, rather celebrating and owning that word.
As Beyoncé said: I'm not Bossy, I'm the Boss.

M x

Please check out both the BAN BOSSY website and the EVERYDAY SEXISM PROJECT.

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