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Leaders, celebrities pledge to stop calling little girls ‘bossy’

Ban Bossy

Tweeted by Sen. Patty Murray

SEATTLE – Political leaders, celebrities and every day Americans are taking a pledge today that supporters hope will impact little girls everywhere.

The ‘Ban Bossy’ campaign is a movement begun by the Girl Scouts to end the use of the term when describing girls who speak up and lead.

“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,” reads the introduction on the Girl Scout’s official blog today.

Celebrities like Beyonce and Jane Lynch are featured in a series of online and on-air video public service announcements.  Other prominent women taking the pledge today include Condoleezza Rice, Diane von Furstenberg, Katie Couric and Washington Senator’s Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell.

“Never let anybody tell you you can’t achieve something.  I’ve always found that if someone tells you you can’t do something it’s usually because they’re afraid you will,” wrote Murray on Twitter.

Supporters point out that girls are often discouraged, at a very young age, from taking leadership roles because of labeling and name-calling.

Social media is playing a key role in the effort as those taking the pledge to stop using the term bossy are sharing that pledge with their followers on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #BanBossy.

Take the pledge yourself here >>>> #BanBossy <<<< and then tell us you did below in the comments section!

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8 comments

  • Sandy

    Rather than ban a word try encouraging learning the definitions! Good leadership is leadership…not being bossy. I know plenty of people male and female who are bossy…not leaders. Let’s grow up and be responsible, not change orr ban a word because we want everyone to feel better.

  • Scott

    Can't believe you would consider this news. All the words that are allowed to be said on TV these days and this comes up ???

  • otto burgess

    i cannot believe that a news organization of any kind would be part of a ban on a word. that is just another form of cencorship. where does it end? what would it be replaced with, because it will?

  • Judy

    As a mental health professional, I believe "bossy" in reference to a girl is sexist and would tend to herd the child into the traditional role of follower, rather than a leader. Yes there are bossy kids, but when you want to break leadership qualities, especially for girls, it's easy to use the derogatory term "bossy" to hurt a child. Children are sensitive and want to fit in, we've worked too hard to give equality to girls.

  • James

    Merriam-Webster defines bossy as "inclined to domineering, dictatorial". I'm sorry people. I don't want either my daughters or sons being domineering or dictatorial. And when they act that way I shut it down. Being bossy has nothing to do with effective leadership. It's a form of leadership… bad leadership, but not effective leadership. Perhaps Hollywood and the pop culture music stars should stick to what they do best, namely making overpriced, bad movies and singing songs about having sex in the back of limos (Beyonce). Let us parent our kids and instill morals and character into them and you go back to doing whatever it is you do. Really the word you are looking to ban starts with a B and I'm in full agreement. Just have the courage and conviction to say it.

  • Sue

    I am completely surprised at the comments I am seeing in regard to this story. The point of this movement is that girls who exhibit the same characteristics that a boy would use in a given situation are labeled differently. Where a boy is considered a leader a girl is considered the B word (as alluded to by James), bossy, stubborn, and overbearing. It isn't the word that is at the heart of the matter here. It is the fact that girls who show leadership behavior are treated with a completely different set of responses than those shown to boys. Get off the band wagon and take a more thorough look at what they are trying to accomplish here. We want our girls to grow up with the strength to stand up and be the leaders we all know they can be.