Words Can Hurt

Can you think of one word that is rarely used to describe boys but may change the life of a girl forever?

While you’re thinking, watch this:

The word is “bossy,”

and it has more weight behind it that you might imagine.

“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,” explains the Ban Bossy Campaign by Leanin.org, a nonprofit organization founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to empower all women to achieve their ambitions.

Here are a few other striking facts from Ban Bossy:

  • Between elementary and high school, girls’ self–esteem drops 3.5 times more than boys’.
  • Girls are twice as likely as boys to worry that leadership roles will make them seem “bossy.”
  • Girls are called on less and interrupted more in classrooms.

Want to spread the word … er … the message?

Visit Share Ban Bossy to pass along your favorite facts, tips, and quotes that promote girl power with a passion.

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I love this message. Raising two girls, I was acutely aware of the changes of self esteem that came with middle school years. Suddenly children who were great in math struggled. School fun was replaced with worries about looks, getting teased by boys and pressures to fit in. No matter how hard the parent tries to counter this, children make their own decisions on how best to survive the everyday school experience which, unfortunately, ends up shrinking their leadership qualities. We need more teachers working on this issue in their classrooms and encouraging and helping make it safe for girls to be leaders.

  2. Yes, it is about ” girl power”. I went to many schools growing up and one of the best was an all girl’s school because we were expected to become leaders. There was no question that we wouldn’t take on the world. There was not that line of demarcation between boys and girls and that subsequently made the students equal. Our entire society is placing the wrong values on what girls/woman should be and it starts so early now . By 4th grade the girls are all interested in “Fashion”, becoming ” famous” and not by deeds, only looks. Their studies take a very last place. It is so tragic. I was one of the ” bossy ” ones and I’m glad of it although often punished for being that way. Ok, it’s not “politically correct”, but I beat up the school bully in 3rd grade. That proved to my schoolmates that girls were equal at that time. ( mid 1950’s). It was a hugely brave moment and I felt totally justified ( which was agreed by all and sundry including parents whose children had been victimized by him .) I believe the tides are changing and more girls will be strong leaders ( but without the fists, that I needed to use )

  3. calle says:

    Ladies the B word that is used more often than “Bossy” has more damage than Bossy. I heard the word Assertive for men and hen pecking for women.
    The word “bossy” came from male bosses.

    It is someone’s job to “Boss” the crew.
    Today when older women apply to a job they are facing being interviewed by all those who will work for them. And these kids want someone to go out and drink with after work on Friday nights. They do not want a “Boss” they want a pal.
    Today many young women do not act like “young women” but more like men! Foul mouthed, can’t take little ones to the locker room at the “Y” as the room is blue with bad language.
    I would imagine that “MaryJanes” enterprise would not be this successful if she had not “bossed” the job! I see a boss as someone who cares enough to support lead and create a well run work place where all succeed.
    Weak bosses do not make good managers.
    Girls today have so many more opportunities than I ever had. If a blue color family girl can make it and succeed then today’s girls can too!

    I paid for highschool, college, cosmetology school, a graduate degree and continuing education.
    My most “Bossy ” boss Miss Jean M. Riggs was so tough but she created more department heads in all of her years at K-State than any other women I have known.
    MaryJane has made a huge difference and she made it on her own, and I bet those Forrest Rangers called her more than “Bossy”!

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