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July 1, 2014

Sheryl Sandberg, the author of “Lean In” and Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, says she wants to improve the lives of girls. She has gotten a lot of people on board with her – Beyonce, Condoleeza Rice, Jennifer Garner, Jane Lynch – and even the Girl Scouts.

So what are this illustrious collection of people up to? They have a website with some resources for leadership, but their main campaign – their raison d’etre – is a campaign to ban the word bossy.

Whaaat? You have the power of Facebook behind you, Sheryl. You have important friends. You have one zillion Girl Scouts. And your Big Idea is “Ban Bossy”?

Help me. Is it getting hot in here, and not in a “so take off all your clothes” kind of way? I mean seriously. This whole thing is making me talk like a parakeet.

This makes girls look weak, like they can’t handle a little word. You know how you handle girls being called “bossy”?

Say “It’s ok if people call you bossy. Being bossy is fine.”

Then you’ll have to have other talks about boundaries and taking people’s feelings and needs into account and so on but yeesh. It’s nothing to base a movement on.

How about fighting for educational opportunities? Or equal pay? Or better representation in legislatures? There are lots of things you can do for girls, Sheryl. Banning a word isn’t one of them.

  1. Viviane permalink
    July 1, 2014 21:53

    I totally agree with you there, there is still so much to do for/with girls and women in this world. What makes me laugh is your title, because in French slang, a “nana” is a girl…

  2. Gretchen permalink
    July 2, 2014 04:08

    Exactly. Teach all kids that it’s not OK to call people names. Help them develop real self-esteem and be able to roll their eyes and move on if somebody’s trying to hurt their feelings. Raise independent, compassionate, resilient children and a word won’t be a problem. “Ban bossy” is absolutely ridiculous. (Not a mom but was bullied as a child and honestly the best advice was “Just ignore them and they’ll go away.”)

  3. July 2, 2014 14:20

    We could not agree more, which is why a group of us banded together to form This is Bossy. is all about reclaiming bossy.

  4. July 3, 2014 10:47

    The thing is, as a leader, a boss let’s say, you’re supposed to be bossy. So, if we’re to Lean In, we should be bossy at times as we’re apparently focusing on being so successful at everything. But, hey, I don’t agree with her writings, so it’s no surprise I don’t agree we should give up bossy. Why do we still have to work so much freaking harder and be so perfect or WE ARE FAILURES. Whatever, not buying it.

  5. July 4, 2014 00:43

    Getting tired of your endless good judgement and common sense. Why cant you ever be just flat-out wrong, or even misguided?

  6. cindymaddera permalink
    July 7, 2014 08:22

    I have been struggling with how I feel about not just this bossy business but for the whole push into science and technology. Which sounds odd coming from a scientist, but it’s like they want all little girls to be scientists now. Why can’t we encourage them to seek out a career that will fulfill them? Whether that be science, math, or baking.

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