empowerment / life stuff / writing

Bossy Boots

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When I was a girl growing up in Oldham if you were too outspoken or sought to take the lead you ran the risk of being called a bossy boots .This label was rarely applied to boys.

The put down taught you that by speaking up, expressing an opinion or attempting to take the lead you were somehow overstepping the mark. You were being too pushy. If for good measure the adult added the other put down that we children dreaded, ‘Stop showing off into the mix we were completely crushed.

Luckily for me my Mum was on hand as a strong role model to counter this by always telling me that I could be what I wanted to be and to encourage me to overcome my shyness. She scraped the money together to send me to drama and fencing lessons and taught me to be firm but kind.

The #Banbossy campaign that was started in the U.S in 2014 by Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg in partnership with the Girl Scouts. The goal of the “Ban Bossy” campaign is to help girls and women feel more confident and comfortable as leaders. One simple way to start this process they argue is by banning the word bossy.

“I was called bossy when I was in ninth grade,” Sandberg recalled. “My teacher took my best friend Mindy aside and she said, ‘You shouldn’t be friends with Sheryl. She’s bossy.’ And that hurt.”

What person springs to mind when you hear the word bossy? Is it a boy or a girl? Have you ever been called that? Do you think it is a good idea to get people to think about their use of the word bossy?

“Leadership is not bullying and leadership is not aggression,” Sandberg said. “Leadership is the expectation that you can use your voice for good. That you can make the world a better place.”

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