This past week, several celebrities helped draw attention to a new campaign launched by the Girl Scouts of the USA and Leanin.Org, the nonprofit organization founded by Facebook honcho Sheryl Sandberg, author of the book Lean In.
It’s the Ban Bossy campaign, and the goal is to encourage girls to be leaders.
“I’m not bossy,” Beyonce says in the video. “I’m the boss.
As the site notes:
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.
She says sisters shouldn’t call each other bossy. And the word shouldn’t pop up on playgrounds as regularly and easily as it does.Deborah Tannen, in a column for USA Today notes that the word “bossy” has deep roots. And, says Tannen, a linguistics professor at Georgetown University, “bossy is not just a word but a frame of mind. Let’s agree to stop sending girls and women the message that they’ll be disliked – or worse – if they exercise authority.”
BanBossy.com offers several excellent downloadable PDFs with tips for girls, parents and teachers to help bring about change. Among the tips for girls: “Stop apologizing before you speak.” And, “Trust your Inner Voice.”
Along these same lines, actress Amy Poehler has created a web series called Smart Girls at the Party, “the show that celebrates individuals who are changing the world by being themselves.”
Each episode starts with a funny little intro by Amy. Episodes are available online for viewing and cover all sorts of topics, from interviewing famous women to un-famous women and girls, all of whom are doing interesting things. You and your daughters might enjoy checking out a few of the episodes. It’s lighthearted, but takes on serious topics and showcases women who are empowered in various way.
The jingle for the series, “Smart girls have more fun!”