There is a new movement sweeping North America that I thought you’d be interested in. It’s called Ban Bossy . It was launched by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Girl Scout CEO Anna Maria Chavez. The goal of the public service campaign is to empower girls to become leaders by removing the negative label of “bossy” from our vocabulary and promote gender equality.
In a video Sheryl and Anna Maria talk about how confident girls are often labeled “pushy” or worse “bossy”. Whether it is said directly or implied, girls get the message: Don’t be bossy. Don’t raise your hand too much. Keep your voice down. Don’t lead. And don’t stand out in a crowd, its unattractive! So girls often learn at an early stage not to lead, not to take charge and to be content to follow.
Celebrities Jennifer Garner, Beyoncé and Condoleezza Rice have joined the campaign and in a recently released video talk about being discouraged as young girls to lead or take charge and being negatively labeled as bossy.
Interestingly the campaign has all the hall marks of a great marketing plan, including:
►a simple, clear message
►a memorable, repeatable catch phrase plus
All of which are some of the reasons why it has spread so quickly around the world. That doesn’t mean it is not without controversy. Some skeptics believe:
► “bossy” applies to both boys as well as girls…really how many boys have you called bossy?
►the campaign is detrimental to boys and stereotypes girls
►the idea is ideologically one dimensional and too simplistic
To be sure “Ban Bossy” does not apply to every girl but, it does remind lots of us that the fight for equality has moved from:
●the suffragette parades of the early 20th century
●to the feminist writings and manifestos of the 1960’s
●to video clips like “Here is where I…” video
But, the message is still the same; you can be whatever you want to be.
You go girl!
Kitty Pope #14 April 2014