At primary school, I was the bossy girl.
I was the one who announced what game we would be playing at lunchtime, instructed my fellow pupils on how to improve their colouring in efforts and always thrust my hand into the air first when the teacher was allocating class responsibilities.
I have clear memories of being told to stop. Of being told by teachers and other adults that “nobody likes a bossyboots” and to “stop being pushy”. By the time high school came along, I had gotten pretty good at hiding it. Or at least, hiding it whenever I was around boys. Because that was always the underlying, unspoken element of the ‘don’t be bossy’ message.
It was another, just another way of saying “girls aren’t supposed to be in charge. And when they are? Well, boys don’t like girls who tell them what to do”. And for most teenage girls, where popularity and opinion of boys are obsession #1, there isn’t any stronger incentive to sit down, shut up and go with the flow.
But it turns out, I wasn’t the only one. Not by a long shot.
And this week, some of America’s most impressive women have banded together to call on us all to stop using the word ‘bossy’. Why? Because what bossy actually means is having leadership skills. A bossy person is someone who likes to take charge, who is ambitious, who has ideas and influence, and wants to use them. ‘Bossy’ is simply a term our community applies to girls when we attempt to repaint these incredibly positive traits as negatives.
If you were a bossy girl or know someone who was, share this post with them and remember to use the hashtag #banbossy