February 03, 2015

Bossy? Think Again. #banbossy

Bossy.

When was the last time you heard this word? Who was it used to describe?

My 3-year-old daughter.

She's so bossy. I wonder where she gets that from?!

Me. She gets it from me. 

Call me crazy, but, I never really thought negatively about the word bossy -- probably because I've heard it all my life. I like to lead, to delegate, to organize, to produce, to manage, to be efficient and effective. I guess you could say I'm a little bossy. 

But don't.

It wasn't until my younger cousin (who has a very similar personality to me) brought it to my attention. Simply put, she said to stop using the word bossy to describe us. 

Why?

Because it's usually girls, or women, who get labelled "bossy."

Think about it: when was the last time you heard a man pegged as bossy? 

I can't tell you when. 

Men are often described using strong, powerful words: authoritative, skillful, a force to be reckoned with, a tough leader. Women, on the other hand, are bossy.

Just for fun, I Googled the word "bossy". Here's what came up:

BOSSY: fond of giving people orders; domineering.
"she was headlong, bossy, scared of nobody, and full of vinegar"
synonyms:domineering, pushyoverbearingimperiousofficioushigh handed,authoritariandictatorial, controlling; 
informalhigh and mighty
"we're hiding from his bossy sister"

Interesting use of the pronoun "she", isn't it? Or is it? What about "sister"? 

I've never been one to harp on the inequities of being a woman, blah, blah, blah, but this is a whole lotta bull. 

And I'm not the only one to think so, either. 

On a more positive light, the first website to come up when searching the word bossy pledges to ban this degrading word:www.banbossy.com. (#banbossy) This website wants to encourage girls to be seen as leaders, and provides many tips on how to "flex your leadership muscle". 

Young girls and women NEED female leaders to look up to: politicians, scientists, entrepreneurs, engineers, teachers, doctors, lawyers. They need to know that being a confident person isn't tacky or negative, especially if you're female. Girls can be taught from an early age that delegating and dictating are two different tasks, and that being an effective leader means being a respectful one, too. 

I work in media; I embrace social media, traditional media and mixed media. I value words, the power they hold, and the potential to inspire and uplift through wordplay. But some words are poisonous.

My name is Julia Suppa. I'm a mom, I'm a TV producer and host, a blogger, a sister, a wife, a friend, a volunteer. I work hard, play hard, juggle many things at once and I try to be good (make that great) at everything I do. I'm a leader, a team player, an organizer and often, a delegator. 

I'm efficient, direct and respectful -- but I'm not bossy.

And don't call my daughter bossy either.

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