Tuesday, March 18, 2014

To Ban or Not to Ban Bossy: That Is the Question

Last week, LeanIn.Org, the organization founded by Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook and Lean In fame, teamed up with the Girl Scouts to launch a national public service campaign to “ban bossy.”

The BanBossy website provides this tidbit: “Girls are twice as likely as boys to worry that leadership roles will make them seem ‘bossy.’” And: “By middle school, girls are 25% less likely than boys to say they like taking the lead.” Indeed, early on, girls understand that speaking their mind makes them unlikeable. And who wants to be unlikeable? No one, least of all tweens just discovering how very fragile their egos are.

A campaign whose stated intention is to “encourage girls to lead” would seem fairly innocuous. Yet there has been a great flood of negativity from the Twittersphere and beyond. Today at Brain, Child Magazine's blogLauren Apfel and I discuss why the campaign fell flat for her while it resonated with me. 

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