Of all the things I get up in arms about concerning women’s issues, being called bossy is not one of them.
In fact, I don’t find “bossy” to be derogatory.
There are so many other more important issues concerning women today than being referred to as “bossy”. I get what Sheryl Sandberg and Anna Maria Chavez are trying to say that by calling little girls “bossy” in a negative context, we are inadvertently teaching our girls that to be a leader, to be a woman who takes charge is a bad thing because men don’t like it. We are teaching our girls to give up their dreams of being leaders because it’s not the role they were meant to fill. I call bullshit.
I grew up being called “bossy” and “stubborn”, always. I don’t take it as an insult. Maybe it’s because my dad always told me that if I had something worth saying then I should say it and not to back down. My mom taught me that where there is a will, there is always a way. For me that translated into work hard, bust your ass, embrace your bossy and be the leader. At my core, I have always believed that there is nothing that I could not do. I could be, do or achieve anything…all I needed to do was commit, work hard and make it happen. Being called bossy didn’t hurt me. Being called bossy made me feel empowered, respected and even a little feared and I thought that was awesome!
A vagina is not a handicap. For me, people underestimating me because of my sex is their fatal flaw not mine. Hell, I may have had to fight a little harder to get what I wanted but believe me once I got where I wanted, I’ve always impressed people with my leadership skills probably because they started off with such low expectations since I am just a woman.
I just had a conversation with my 9-year-old and I asked her about this. She said that she doesn’t take it as an insult. She said that a boss is a leader who is in control of the situation and she said she likes being that person. She said in her group in class, she is the only girl with 4 boys and every time that they work on problems, if there are 10 math problems, she does six and lets each boy do one. She said this is because she wants them done right. She says the boys call her bossy but she told them she doesn’t care and if they want to be in charge they can be but then they get to do the 6 problems and she gets to do the one and she added….and I still want my A. So if you think you can do it, go ahead. To which the boy, quietly declined and has not called her bossy since.
I am thrilled to know that my girls are not afraid to lead. I am thrilled that they don’t get offended for being recognized as strong women but I am troubled that she is learning that to get things done right, she has to do 60% of the work while the boys each only do 10%.
I think we need to teach the world to reward our girls for being leaders and not turning a personality strength into a flaw. Don’t ban the word bossy, ban narrow mindedness.I want to raise strong minded, strong willed, strong bodied girls who have every faith in themselves that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to and most of all, I want them to NOT be afraid to lead. I want them to embrace their inner bossy.