One program I found really interesting is something called the Ban Bossy campaign. The program’s main purpose is to get people to stop using the word “bossy” when talking about girls in leadership positions, because it takes away their ambition to rise to the top. This program is endorsed by celebrities like Beyonce, Jane Lynch, and Jennifer Garner and sponsored by people like Sheryl Sandberg and organizations like Girl Scouts. For more information on what this campaign does, click here.
For those of you who have read Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In, feel free to share your insights on what you think of this post (I shamefully admit that I have not gotten time to read it yet. It’s on my Thanksgiving break reading list, right after I finish the seventh Harry Potter). Anyways, I think programs like this – though they are undoubtedly not taken as seriously as they should be – are really important for those young girls who want to be leaders but are scared to put themselves out there. It isn’t uncommon for a man who is in charge, no matter how tough he is, to be respected and admired for it. However, when a woman steps into similar position, refusing to put up with unsatisfactory work, people usually describe her as “bossy” or “bitchy.” Furthermore, girls throughout childhood are continuously exposed to this stereotype and are always cautioned by their peers, parents, and teachers to not be aggressive or else they will suffer the humiliation of being disliked by their classmates. Girls are constantly judged for a variety of reasons, and the fear of getting shot down when trying to take the lead on some type of project just brings their self esteem down even more. I can definitely say from personal experience, that if I hadn’t been so afraid of failure – of being made fun of for telling people what to do, of not being taken seriously just because I’m a girl – maybe I would have made more of myself than I have by now. Although I can’t go back and change the past, I know one way to make sure less girls feel the way I did growing up, and this is by encouraging them to really push themselves to their highest potential.