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s/o Parenting Choleric Girls - Ban Bossy Movement


Tmhearn
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Actually, I have seen it. I don't get it. Like...at all. But I'm the dad of 2 boys, so maybe its not for me...

 

Edited to Add: I have been known to tell my boys to "Quiet down and quit being bossy." or "stop bossing people around" and "stop nagging him/her/them." and to my beloved but 'spirited' youngest son Pal: "You are not the omnipotent lord and master of the universe, get out of my/his/her space and stop trying to boss people around." Especially my younger child. My mom would tell me that I was "not the boss" and such, my girl friends weren't 'bossy' because they were girls. If they were bossy it was because they were, in fact, bossy. My middle school nemesis was a know-it-all, bossy-boss boy.

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Yes, I have seen it. It certainly bothers me that girls are far more likely to be labeled as bossy than boys are, even when exhibiting similar behavior. The trouble is that I think a girl can be strong without being bossy and be bossy without being strong and I don't always like how the two are being connected.

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I've had to tell two of my children regularly not to be so bossy and only one of them is a girl. We have spent a fair amount of time around here discussing the difference between leading and being bossy. My dd is the one that tends to lean the most towards the bossy side so we have talked about how to get your point across in a way that is respectful to the humans around you. How to be strong in where you stand and what you believe, without telling someone else where they have to stand or what they have to believe.

 

I do think that girls are perhaps labeled as bossy more than boys in some areas, but banning bossy is ridiculous. Bossy is NOT the same thing as being strong and despite the word being sometimes misused, it is still a word that means something and that can be used to point out behaviour that is less then appealing.

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I try not to use the word bossy with my 6 year old because she has strong leadership skills. I'm teaching her how to correctly lead people without being bossy about it but she's definitely a take charge kind of girl who wants to be leader in a group. It's an interesting balance because I don't want to squash her natural tendencies but I do want her to lead kindly and take other people's wants and needs into consideration.

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This is a sore point with me because I went to a small rural school and was often the only girl in my class. I was often punished for doing the same things the boys were doing. My whole fourth grade year I never got to answer a question in class because the boys called out the answers. When I called out an answer I got punished. The teacher was female.The next year we had a male teacher who had to spend most of the year nailing down the behavior of the boys, but at least I got a chance to answer questions. He was the only teacher I had in grade school who was fair though. As an adult I see the unhealthy dynamics of this sort of situation and I know how it happens. There are certain patterns to social behavior and they are not fair, but they are to be expected.

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I like the Ban Bossy campaign. I can think of ways I'd do it differently, but it's a big step in a good direction. Women in the workplace, especially in traditionally male careers, have to tread a fine line between speaking up enough to be heard and being perceived as aggressive, bossy, or worse. Sometimes it's a no-win situation.

 

Beyond the "girl empowerment" aspect, though, I think it's a good reminder in a larger sense, to focus on correcting specific actions rather than labeling kids with negative personality traits. Telling any child to "stop being bossy" doesn't send a very clear message (I struggle myself with "be careful" -- what does that even mean to a kid? I try hard to give them specific, useful suggestions like "carry that big plate with two hands" or "hold the cup while you're pouring milk into it"). Explaining, as previous posters have mentioned, the difference between leading in a positive way and the negative behaviors we think of as "bossy" goes a lot farther toward building positive character traits.

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All 3 of my kids are bossy. My little one especially still needs to learn how to politely request things rather than ordering people around.

 

I certainly don't want my girls thinking that they need to be doormats. But there's a way to be firm while still remaining civil.

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Eh. 

 

People act in a bossy manner. They don't exist to be defined by one word.  

 

There are many children, male and female, who cross the line and need to be taught the importance of empathy and respect. I don't believe that banning the word will change what's really the problem (1. that adults who work with children should be dealing with situations, not creating labeling definitions 2. that "leadership skills" need to be tempered and grown). 

 

Banning the word is too easy an answer. It doesn't improve the whole problem.

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No one is suggesting a literal ban. This is an awareness raising campaign and the short alliterative name fits.

 

I've seen boys praised for personality traits and actions that girls are remonstrated for. A lot. And once they're not kids anymore, bossy isn't the word that people use most often either.

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Bossy does not equal "leadership skills".  Bossy is wanting other people to do what you want, when you want it.  It does not take their needs, preferences, or free will into account.  Bossy little kids are not leaders...they're tyrants.  I know, because I was one of them. :D  I wanted other kids to play what I wanted to play.  I didn't care what they wanted to do.  Bossy kids think their way is the only right way.  Bossy kids have no consideration for the feelings of others.  That's not leadership skills.  Unless you're practicing to be a dictator of a small country.

 

I think bossy kids have leadership potential, but they need to be taught.  They also need to be told that their behavior is wrong and unacceptable.  Nobody wants to be bossed around.  Nobody wants to be treated like their opinion doesn't matter.  Nobody wants to be used.  When my kids acted bossy, they were reprimanded for it, not told they have "leadership skills".  People want to follow a natural leader.  People run from a little bossy-pants. Learning to treat others with respect, being kind, trying to meet the needs of those around you in a loving way, with genuine concern for their welfare, shows leadership skills.  Bossiness doesn't play into that in any way, shape, or form.  I think this campaign is way off the mark.

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No one is suggesting a literal ban. This is an awareness raising campaign and the short alliterative name fits.

 

I've seen boys praised for personality traits and actions that girls are remonstrated for. A lot. And once they're not kids anymore, bossy isn't the word that people use most often either.

LucyStoner, I think that is the ultimate point. Once they aren't kids anymore, bossy isn't the word people use. It starts with bossy. It often ends with bitch.

 

What many on here are describing are typical toddler and preschooler behaviors. Of course, everyone needs to be taught leadership skills and molded into good leaders. The majority of young children aren't naturally born with good diplomatic skills. :-)

 

The point of the campaign is to raise awareness about how girls are often treated differently than boys for acting a certain way. As the campaign points out, by middle school many less girls are interested in leadership than boys. This is a campaign geared to the elementary age, in my mind. As well as a general idea to help shape skills as opposed to just labeling personality traits at a young age.

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I hadn't heard of that campaign, but I think it might be good to raise awareness.  I've seen "Little Miss Bossy" and "Sassy" written across girls' T-shirts often enough.  I don't ever see it on boys'.  Drives me nuts.

 

 

 

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LucyStoner, I think that is the ultimate point. Once they aren't kids anymore, bossy isn't the word people use. It starts with bossy. It often ends with bitch.

 

What many on here are describing are typical toddler and preschooler behaviors. Of course, everyone needs to be taught leadership skills and molded into good leaders. The majority of young children aren't naturally born with good diplomatic skills. :-)

 

The point of the campaign is to raise awareness about how girls are often treated differently than boys for acting a certain way. As the campaign points out, by middle school many less girls are interested in leadership than boys. This is a campaign geared to the elementary age, in my mind. As well as a general idea to help shape skills as opposed to just labeling personality traits at a young age.

I have frequently observed, and personally experienced, women being called a bossy bitch for totally healthy and diplomatic behavior that just flew in the face of gender expectations or didn't kowtow to the boys and men. This isn't about condoning selfish or rude behavior from anyone. It's about not labeling someone bossy and someone else a good leader for the same totally acceptable behavior based on their sex.
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Bossy does not equal "leadership skills".  Bossy is wanting other people to do what you want, when you want it.  It does not take their needs, preferences, or free will into account.  Bossy little kids are not leaders...they're tyrants.  I know, because I was one of them. :D  I wanted other kids to play what I wanted to play.  I didn't care what they wanted to do.  Bossy kids think their way is the only right way.  Bossy kids have no consideration for the feelings of others.  That's not leadership skills.  Unless you're practicing to be a dictator of a small country.

 

I think bossy kids have leadership potential, but they need to be taught.  They also need to be told that their behavior is wrong and unacceptable.  Nobody wants to be bossed around.  Nobody wants to be treated like their opinion doesn't matter.  Nobody wants to be used.  When my kids acted bossy, they were reprimanded for it, not told they have "leadership skills".  People want to follow a natural leader.  People run from a little bossy-pants. Learning to treat others with respect, being kind, trying to meet the needs of those around you in a loving way, with genuine concern for their welfare, shows leadership skills.  Bossiness doesn't play into that in any way, shape, or form.  I think this campaign is way off the mark.

 

So true!

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Nonsense. 

This campaign lacks any sort of intelligence and I think going with it is degrading to women because of it. 

 

Obviously being bossy is bad and boys and girls both need to be called out on it with the correct label of "bossy." Just because people often mislabel leadership skills or "speaking out" or "speaking up" with bossy, doesn't mean bossy should no longer be used. Would you ban a term of classifcation in science because people frequently misclassify something under that label?  NO.  That would be ridiculous.  Let's not encourage ridiculousness and thoughtlessness.

The campaign should focus on using the word correctly and consistently with both boys and girls. Obviously leadership skills are good and need to be encouraged and praised in both boys and girls consistently and correctly. Make these the focus and you'll get far more support from women. Some of us don't want to be associated with flawed logic and sloppy argumentation.

Now, let's all go look at formal logic curriculum so our girls and boys don't grow up to be people who respond with emotions rather than logic the way the people who started this campaign have done. It was a situation where good intentions were  badly applied in a ridiculous way.

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I guess we have to define "bossy," but in my mind, bossiness comes from a lack of leadership, not from an exercise of it.  When I think of a "bossy" kid, I think of an intelligent,  verbal child who, in order to feel more in control, makes constant appeals to the "rules" or reminds other kids constantly about what they are "supposed" to be doing or try to stop kids from doing what they think is problematic.  Some kids naturally end up leading because other kids sort of look to them to do so.  We used to do all kinds of "team building" exercises in school, and I think we often looked to the same kids to sort of organize and direct.    Bossiness is different, because the other kids really aren't looking to that child for direction. 

 

The kids who were bossy in my childhood were not necessarily the same kids who had charisma and leadership qualities.  When I think about the students who seemed like natural leaders, they were not the same kids I would have called bossy.  I did go to a k-12 school, so I do remember which kids were really bossy and which ones emerged as leaders through the course of our schooling. 

 

I discourage bossiness in my kids, because it's social a handicap.  People (kids and adults) often dislike the bossiness displayed by some children, even if they otherwise like the child.  I know being "liked" is not the most important thing in childhood or life, but I think bossiness really can be irritating, and I would think I was doing my children a disservice not to gently remind them and help them filter their own bossy instincts.   Most people react badly to bossiness even if the person being bossy actually IS the boss and is in charge.  I can think of "bossy" Moms, and they drive me crazy.  I can think of "bossy" bosses, and that's no fun either.  And definitely boys are capable of being bossy. 

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I personally hated bossy girls when I was a child, but played well with leaders. Different traits. As adults, the bossy girls still want to tell me what I should and shouldn't do as a parent, homeschooler, woman, whatever. I still don't like them :P but a strong leader motivates me to be a better parent, homeschooler, woman, whatever. I hate to think of parents encouraging girls to become MORE of the annoying judgey type of woman. Teaching girls with strong personalities to encourage, lead, and stand up from themselves is what you should strive towards.

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Bossy does not equal "leadership skills".  Bossy is wanting other people to do what you want, when you want it.  It does not take their needs, preferences, or free will into account.  Bossy little kids are not leaders...they're tyrants.  I know, because I was one of them. :D  I wanted other kids to play what I wanted to play.  I didn't care what they wanted to do.  Bossy kids think their way is the only right way.  Bossy kids have no consideration for the feelings of others.  That's not leadership skills.  Unless you're practicing to be a dictator of a small country.

 

I think bossy kids have leadership potential, but they need to be taught.  They also need to be told that their behavior is wrong and unacceptable.  Nobody wants to be bossed around.  Nobody wants to be treated like their opinion doesn't matter.  Nobody wants to be used.  When my kids acted bossy, they were reprimanded for it, not told they have "leadership skills".  People want to follow a natural leader.  People run from a little bossy-pants. Learning to treat others with respect, being kind, trying to meet the needs of those around you in a loving way, with genuine concern for their welfare, shows leadership skills.  Bossiness doesn't play into that in any way, shape, or form.  I think this campaign is way off the mark.

 

Very, very well said!!!!

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I can see what the campaign is getting at, but I think attacking the word is wrong. It's about the attitude toward female roles and behavior.

 

When I was in law school we had a discussion in a mediation class on a similar issue. Basically, the problem we were discussing was that men are seen as aggressive (in a positive way) while women exhibiting the same behavior are called bi**** for the same behavior. Men are praised for acting in a manner and women are denigrated for acting the same way.

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Now, let's all go look at formal logic curriculum so our girls and boys don't grow up to be people who respond with emotions rather than logic the way the people who started this campaign have done.

 

I would reply the same exact same way to critics of the campaign.  People see a campaign attempting to address the disadvantage young girls are at when it comes to perceptions of leadership..... and respond "boy yeah I can't stand bossy kids!!!" and "why doesn't this address BOYS problems"?  I think it's absurd that this particular board, which has seen a lot of posts about the damage some women have experienced from patriarchy movements, is instantly scornful of this particular campaign.

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Encouraging girls to speak up and be leaders is great, but I've honestly never heard those traits labeled as bossy. Bossy is the person without authority who tries to make everyone do what they want. That's not leadership, though it certainly involves assertiveness. It is sometimes a positive trait and sometimes not; particularly in crisis response being bossy can be beneficial,but in day to day interactions it is irritating to most people. I can't see how a campaign that focuses on not labeling girls as bossy is going to change anything...

 

In my own family growing up, the bossy siblings were in fact girls. The boys mostly just did their own thing and didn't fuss about what anyone else was doing. They could be leaders (for both good and bad) by just going out and doing things, or by loudly stating their opinions...but they didn't spend much time directing other people. A couple of my sisters were constantly telling everyone else what to do. That too could be both good and bad. It was mostly bad if I was the one being told what to do, I did not take well to being directed :)

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This is what we should teach our boys and our girls: a leader is someone who does what should be done and inspires and encourages others to follow. A true leader does not manipulate or coerce people into doing what they want. A true follower is not someone who is bullied or coerced, a follower sees someone lead in a direction they recognize as good and they join in to forward the cause. Throughout our lives we will have many chances to both lead and follow; we should choose to do both with integrity, confidence, and humility.

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I would reply the same exact same way to critics of the campaign.  People see a campaign attempting to address the disadvantage young girls are at when it comes to perceptions of leadership..... and respond "boy yeah I can't stand bossy kids!!!" and "why doesn't this address BOYS problems"?  I think it's absurd that this particular board, which has seen a lot of posts about the damage some women have experienced from patriarchy movements, is instantly scornful of this particular campaign.

 

Because addressing one problem (singling girls out for bad behavior that exisits in both boys and girls) by implementing a problematic solution to a completely different problem (banning the useful term "bossy" instead of addressing its misuse with girls sometimes) isn't the intelligent or rational thing to do.  That reinforces the stereotype that women can't think logically or objectively-traits that should be encouraged in men and women.  When you do teach both men and women to think logically and objectively, the patriarchy problem goes away-so does mislabeling bad "bossy" behavior as "speaking up" or "speaking out" or real leadership.  Banning bossy does nothing to address either problem.  It's a bad reflection on women to make the arugments and propose the mindless solutions the campaign proposes.  It's like going to a quack for untried medical treatment because a real doctor misdiagnosed your real illness.  Both fail in addressing the problems at their root. Both are a bad reflection on women as less intelligent and rational than men.  The ban bossy campaign is a failure all around. No, I don't support nonsense just because it's good intentioned.  I support real, rational, logical solutions to specifically defined problems because they're right.

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Because addressing one problem (singling girls out for bad behavior that exisits in both boys and girls) by implementing a problematic solution to a completely different problem (banning the useful term "bossy" instead of addressing its misuse with girls sometimes) isn't the intelligent or rational thing to do.  That reinforces the stereotype that women can't think logically or objectively-traits that should be encouraged in men and women.  When you do teach both men and women to think logically and objectively, the patriarchy problem goes away-so does mislabeling bad "bossy" behavior as "sepaking up or speaking out" or real leadership.  Banning bossy does nothing to address either problem.  It's a bad reflection on women to make the arugments and propose the mindless solutions the campain proposes.  It's like going to a quack for untried medical treatment because a real doctor misdiagnosed your real illness.  Both fail in addressing the problems at their root. Both are a bad reflection on women as less intelligent and rational than men.  The ban bossy campaign is a failure all around. No, I don't support nonsense just because it's good intentioned.  I support real, rational, logical solutions to specifically defined problems because it's right.

 

Did you read anything about it other than the slogan?  The leadership tips are useful, really.  Speak up. Don't apologize for your contributions. Trust your instincts. Find practical ways to turn your goals into reality.  These all sound like common sense on the page, but, these are all things that too many grown women still struggle with.  I don't think it's mindless at all, or a bad reflection on women.

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I think most people (well, at least I'd like to think so) can get behind the ideas that the group is promoting.  But I honestly am turned off by their use of the word bossy.

 

I never, ever was a bossy child.  That wasn't my style, and I wasn't a leader.  It would have been helpful if someone had worked with me on the ideas Ban Bossy is promoting. Their leadership tips for girls are excellent.  But I wouldn't have been at all interested in a group called Ban Bossy because that wasn't me at all.  I'd prefer to see a group that wants girls to be leaders to engage all girls, not just the assertive ones. And if you call it Ban Bossy, it is about the assertive girls.

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I think it's absurd that this particular board, which has seen a lot of posts about the damage some women have experienced from patriarchy movements, is instantly scornful of this particular campaign.

Instantly? You wrongly assume that this is the first we've heard of the campaign. It's a false dichotomy to suggest that one must support this campaign or support the oppression of women. Hogwash.

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Instantly? You wrongly assume that this is the first we've heard of the campaign. It's a false dichotomy to suggest that one must support this campaign or support the oppression of women. Hogwash.

I  guess I assumed the criticism was "instant" or shallow because all of the complaints against it dealt with the title, not the substance. But I don't know where I suggested that anyone here supports the oppression of women.   I don't think that's remotely true. I do think the implication of the criticism here is that there is not a need for this sort of campaign.... that it's a waste of time since boys and girls have the same needs.

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How very timely - my girls and I just had a long discussion about this today (brought on by civics class).  I asked them what strong, confident women who speak their minds are often called, any my 15-yr-old answered "bitch" right away. I do think that it starts by calling strong, confident girls bossy, and that there is not a male equivalent. 

 

Now, I do agree that there is a difference between bossy and assertive, or being bossy and being a leader, and all genders should be taught the difference. What this campaign focuses on is how females will be called one of the 'b' words even when their behavior does NOT merit it - it's bossy for little girls, and bitch for anyone in or past adolescence. 

 

For those who haven't noticed this, perhaps it isn't strong or pervasive enough in your sphere to be easily noticed, but try to make a conscious effort to see when bossy is used in your hearing.  Does it address true (negative) bossiness? Is it applied equally to males and females? If you make a point of listening for it, you may be surprised at what you haven't noticed. 

 

Also, try to notice the more subtle stuff. Listen and see how often you hear girls being told to "be nice" or "stay sweet," or that "people won't like you if you do that." Again, how often is it justified, and how often is it said to girls versus boys?  

 

 

Actually, I have seen it. I don't get it. Like...at all. But I'm the dad of 2 boys, so maybe its not for me...

 

Edited to Add: I have been known to tell my boys to "Quiet down and quit being bossy." or "stop bossing people around" and "stop nagging him/her/them." and to my beloved but 'spirited' youngest son Pal: "You are not the omnipotent lord and master of the universe, get out of my/his/her space and stop trying to boss people around." Especially my younger child. My mom would tell me that I was "not the boss" and such, my girl friends weren't 'bossy' because they were girls. If they were bossy it was because they were, in fact, bossy. My middle school nemesis was a know-it-all, bossy-boss boy.

 

I am glad that you (and your mom!) will call out people for behavior regardless of gender. But, being male and having only sons, I do suspect you simply never noticed how often the b-words are applied to females when they would never be applied to males. 

 

No one is suggesting a literal ban. This is an awareness raising campaign and the short alliterative name fits.

I've seen boys praised for personality traits and actions that girls are remonstrated for. A lot. And once they're not kids anymore, bossy isn't the word that people use most often either.

 

Yes, to all of this, and yes to the point that it is an awareness campaign meant to make people think. If you have an obnoxiously bossy little girl, by all means call her out on it  :laugh:

 

Encouraging girls to speak up and be leaders is great, but I've honestly never heard those traits labeled as bossy. Bossy is the person without authority who tries to make everyone do what they want. That's not leadership, though it certainly involves assertiveness. It is sometimes a positive trait and sometimes not; particularly in crisis response being bossy can be beneficial,but in day to day interactions it is irritating to most people. I can't see how a campaign that focuses on not labeling girls as bossy is going to change anything...

In my own family growing up, the bossy siblings were in fact girls.  <snip>

 

Of course you haven't heard the traits labeled as bossy; the problem is when girls are labeled bossy when they exhibit those traits. I think such a campaign can change things by making people think twice about what they are saying, and by making the word less acceptable in classrooms and such, where young people spend a great deal of time. It can also encourage and validate the females who do hear it unfairly. 

 

I'm sure the bossy siblings in some families are indeed girls, and the bossy siblings in other families are boys. That's one of the points. 

 

 

Because addressing one problem (singling girls out for bad behavior that exisits in both boys and girls) by implementing a problematic solution to a completely different problem (banning the useful term "bossy" instead of addressing its misuse with girls sometimes) isn't the intelligent or rational thing to do.  That reinforces the stereotype that women can't think logically or objectively-traits that should be encouraged in men and women.  When you do teach both men and women to think logically and objectively, the patriarchy problem goes away-so does mislabeling bad "bossy" behavior as "speaking up" or "speaking out" or real leadership.  Banning bossy does nothing to address either problem.  It's a bad reflection on women to make the arugments and propose the mindless solutions the campaign proposes.  It's like going to a quack for untried medical treatment because a real doctor misdiagnosed your real illness.  Both fail in addressing the problems at their root. Both are a bad reflection on women as less intelligent and rational than men.  The ban bossy campaign is a failure all around. No, I don't support nonsense just because it's good intentioned.  I support real, rational, logical solutions to specifically defined problems because they're right.

 

I strongly disagree. First of all, people will not address a problem if they aren't aware there is a problem. Second, raising awareness via the catchphrase is indeed backed up by concrete ideas and solutions - check out the web site. Third, this campaign is not in any way mislabeling 'bossy' behavior as leadership. They are opposing the mislabeling of leadership behavior as bossy! 

 

 

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For those who haven't noticed this, perhaps it isn't strong or pervasive enough in your sphere to be easily noticed,

Oh, believe me, I have noticed how powerful women are treated and talked about, and I've noticed and experienced much much worse. I am glad your girls have a Mom who wants to talk about the these issues and help them navigate the special challenges of being female in competitive situations.

 

I just think banning 'bossy' is a silly way to approach this problem and an unfortunate way to 'name' the campaign. And Sandberg has confirmed in interviews that she really would like the word banned, though the issue isn't really the word but what it represents. I get that. And I am happy to have those issues talked about, and applaud the efforts, but I just wonder why she couldn't have marketed it better. Or maybe te fact that we are discussing it means she got what she wants.

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I think the idea of paying careful attention to how we think of and characterize strong women is a conversation worth having. I think putting that under the heading of "Ban Bossy" is silly, but that's probably because I point out to my 10 year old that he's being insufferably bossy at least a few times a day.

 

I will say that I think the argument that "when boys act this way they get called assertive and told that they're natural leaders" is hogwash. Having seen what happens to my oldest, and seeing what happens with those sorts of boys in the youth groups I lead, no one calls those boys anything remotely positive. They'e characters as jerks, controlling, demanding, sexist (even if they treat both boys and girls the same, the girls view it as sexist towards them), jackasses, even labelled as potential abusers. It's an entirely different set of names and judgments, absolutely, but let's not pretend that bossy boys are made out to be heroes or anything.

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I think the idea of paying careful attention to how we think of and characterize strong women is a conversation worth having. I think putting that under the heading of "Ban Bossy" is silly, but that's probably because I point out to my 10 year old that he's being insufferably bossy at least a few times a day.

 

I will say that I think the argument that "when boys act this way they get called assertive and told that they're natural leaders" is hogwash. Having seen what happens to my oldest, and seeing what happens with those sorts of boys in the youth groups I lead, no one calls those boys anything remotely positive. They'e characters as jerks, controlling, demanding, sexist (even if they treat both boys and girls the same, the girls view it as sexist towards them), jackasses, even labelled as potential abusers. It's an entirely different set of names and judgments, absolutely, but let's not pretend that bossy boys are made out to be heroes or anything.

 

Yes, sure, bossy boys are often called bossy. When they exhibit bossy traits, they may be called out for being, yep, bossy. 

 

That is not the point. That is not the problem. The problem is when females are called bossy not only when they exhibit bossy traits, but also when they take the lead in a positive way. When they use their voice, when they take up space, when they don't give way to the boys. 

 

There will be no actual 'banning' of bossy, of course. It is a quick, clever slogan designed to garner attention (which it is doing). If it causes people to think of what they can say instead of bossy, I think that's excellent - even when the word is accurate, is it helpful?

 

It might be interesting to challenge yourself to ban bossy from your vocabulary for a week - what would you say to your son instead? What is the actual, specific problem? If you are already explaining the actual, specific problem to your son, what is the word 'bossy' adding? 

 

Also? Your youth group sounds like a tough crowd. When teen boys are bossy around here, they get called annoying, not sexist and potentially abusive. 

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I'm going to go way out on a limb here, and I'm sure some will greatly disagree with me.    However, I think there is a point that might be considered.

 

Irl, tbh, I see and have known of FAR more bossy women than men.   

 

I have known women with great leadership skills.   (It might seem odd to some but in my complementarian church, I have not seen them looked down on in any way--they are given things to lead, or more commonly, they find them themselves. :) )    And I've known men with great leadership skills.

 

I've known men who are controlling and who are jerks.    They are not accepted anywhere that I've seen--or rather, the people who fail are accepted, but their actions are not considered OK.   Even in the business world, aggressive behavior in men is looked down on.    For the most part, though, the lower emotional level in the men I know pulls them away from telling people what to do, and moves them towards simply going forward, which many people will follow.  

 

I've known a few men who are bossy, and rarely even read of them,  but I've seen many women who are.   I'm not sure what the difference is.  Perhaps it's in the use of words or the way instructions are given.   Perhaps it's because women in the business world feel the need to show they are capable.    But it seems to me that women are far more likely to be bossy, while men may be controlling in other ways.    

 

I don't think it's ever right to call women bossy when they are not being bossy, but are showing genuine leadership, and I'm sorry that some here have experienced that.   

 

However, I do think there's a point to calling a spade a spade, and perhaps in the process being able to teach kids better leadership skills.  

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We do have different societal expectations for men and women (which appear as expectations for boys and girls too).  We expect men to be brave, etc. - this manifests specifically when we require them to do things like sign up for the draft.  We have a much stronger societal expectation for women to nurture their infants and small children; this manifests in maternity leave and relative aversion to women who go into politics with very small children in the family, etc.

 

Thus, it's not surprising that we also have criticism of certain behaviors in the two genders; girls are less often called "sissies" than boys (who are expected to begin to be brave, strong, etc.) 

 

You can go too far in either direction: westerners tend to be uncomfortable with a Saudi system, for example, that precludes women from a lot of sectors of public life and has strict expectations of the responsibilities and identities of men; however, we have historically had (and do still in most of the west) some distinction in gender roles and identity, which helps organize and stabilize society.

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No one is suggesting a literal ban. This is an awareness raising campaign and the short alliterative name fits.

 

I've seen boys praised for personality traits and actions that girls are remonstrated for. A lot. And once they're not kids anymore, bossy isn't the word that people use most often either.

 

This. It is not at all about excusing overly bossy behavior. The point is that girls are labeled "bossy" (yes, a negative trait) even when they aren't being bossy, when they are being leaders. It is about the fight to change the way people perceive the same (appropriate) leadership behavior differently when it is exhibited by a male or female. It isn't about banning the entire use of the word bossy! It is about getting people to stop using the word as an insult for young women in order to undermine their leadership potential.

 

It is about banning the B word (they use bossy for young girls, but it's a different word for adult women, same concept) for women for behavior that is considered "strong leadership" in men. This aims to start the conversation with younger people, I would assume, in the hopes that as they grow up, they will try to change the current culture.

 

It isn't necessarily the way I would campaign for change, but I can appreciate that others know how to reach a broader audience in a more effective way than I would.

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I am tired of constant pc campaigns. I think, I have the right to use terms, and people within earshot have the right to be offended. Period. I don't know where I would draw the line - profanity around kids? I don't have a perfect answer. I just think we are getting so sensitive and weak. It is getting tedious, and making true expression stilted. I also find it offensive that people think I can't hold my own as a female. If someone calls me bossy or b*tchy, I would just say some (hopefully more witty) version of, "Yep, and don't you forget it."

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NPR recently talked about women in politics.  They are often treated differently.  If they are passionate about a particular thing they are often described as "emotional".  A man would unlikely be described in that way for the same reason.

 

It's that way with actors too. An actress who will butt heads with the director is a bitch. An actor who does the same is difficult to work with. Very different. One is a personality label the other is a behavior.  

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I am tired of constant pc campaigns. I think, I have the right to use terms, and people within earshot have the right to be offended. Period. I don't know where I would draw the line - profanity around kids? I don't have a perfect answer. I just think we are getting so sensitive and weak. It is getting tedious, and making true expression stilted. I also find it offensive that people think I can't hold my own as a female. If someone calls me bossy or b*tchy, I would just say some (hopefully more witty) version of, "Yep, and don't you forget it."

 

Everyone has a "right" to say whatever they want, obviously. But I think you are talking out of both ends here.  The campaign exists because girls are conditioned to be complaint rather than assertive.  You want people to be strong, not weak, so I'd think you'd be in favor of it. 

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I am tired of constant pc campaigns. I think, I have the right to use terms, and people within earshot have the right to be offended. Period. I don't know where I would draw the line - profanity around kids? I don't have a perfect answer. I just think we are getting so sensitive and weak. It is getting tedious, and making true expression stilted. I also find it offensive that people think I can't hold my own as a female. If someone calls me bossy or b*tchy, I would just say some (hopefully more witty) version of, "Yep, and don't you forget it."

Yes, you would have a witty comeback. But, a 7 year old doesn't usually have a witty comeback to their teacher...

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That is absolutely true.  It goes both ways.  And frankly, boys might even kinda have it worse.  A girl might get poked fun of.  A boy might be beaten up for certain differences.

 

I'd rather get beat up than experience the soul crushing social bullying girls experience. Of course, boys get frozen out too, and girls do get hit. 

 

But of course we're getting OT.  The fact that there are issues specific to boys doesn't mean we shouldn't have advocacy campaigns for girls. 

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I'm going to go way out on a limb here, and I'm sure some will greatly disagree with me.    However, I think there is a point that might be considered.

 

Irl, tbh, I see and have known of FAR more bossy women than men.   

 

I have known women with great leadership skills.   (It might seem odd to some but in my complementarian church, I have not seen them looked down on in any way--they are given things to lead, or more commonly, they find them themselves. :) )    And I've known men with great leadership skills.

 

I've known men who are controlling and who are jerks.    They are not accepted anywhere that I've seen--or rather, the people who fail are accepted, but their actions are not considered OK.   Even in the business world, aggressive behavior in men is looked down on.    For the most part, though, the lower emotional level in the men I know pulls them away from telling people what to do, and moves them towards simply going forward, which many people will follow.  

 

I've known a few men who are bossy, and rarely even read of them,  but I've seen many women who are.   I'm not sure what the difference is.  Perhaps it's in the use of words or the way instructions are given.   Perhaps it's because women in the business world feel the need to show they are capable.    But it seems to me that women are far more likely to be bossy, while men may be controlling in other ways.    

 

I don't think it's ever right to call women bossy when they are not being bossy, but are showing genuine leadership, and I'm sorry that some here have experienced that.   

 

However, I do think there's a point to calling a spade a spade, and perhaps in the process being able to teach kids better leadership skills.  

 

How can you say that you have known far more bossy women than men, but then go on to say that you aren't even sure what the difference is?  You can't call a spade a spade if you aren't sure what a spade is; you can't teach kids better leadership skills if you don't know the difference between bossiness and leadership. "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it" only works for Supreme Court justices.  

 

I am tired of constant pc campaigns. I think, I have the right to use terms, and people within earshot have the right to be offended. Period. I don't know where I would draw the line - profanity around kids? I don't have a perfect answer. I just think we are getting so sensitive and weak. It is getting tedious, and making true expression stilted. I also find it offensive that people think I can't hold my own as a female. If someone calls me bossy or b*tchy, I would just say some (hopefully more witty) version of, "Yep, and don't you forget it."

 

Of course you have the right to use any term you wish. There is no danger of this campaign taking that right away from you. Other people have the right to call you out on it, just as you say you would if someone called you bossy or bitchy. 

 

Honestly, I am tired of people who are tired of political correctness, and I am sick and tired of the phrase political correctness. It's a meaningless term that is used to dismiss ideas one disagrees with. It's used to make those people feel as though their concerns are trivial, and that they are being difficult by not going along with the way things have always been. 

 

Laurence Berg, who works in human rights, explains it really well: "According to Berg, the indignation people feel against PC ideas reflects the discomfort we feel when language and politics begin to pull away from the dominant values we grew up with." 

 

That's excerpted from a short article on that is well worth reading, he makes several good points: http://restructure.wordpress.com/2009/08/25/political-correctness-is-a-reactionary-term-against-the-loss-of-privilege/

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