In the field of politics, women are discouraged from voicing their opinions and are seen as bossy, loud and overpowering when they make strong decisions. When men do the same, they’re seen as good leaders. There’s a real double standard. But we can change that, writes 17-year-old Abby Butler.
According to its definition, to be bossy is to be fond of giving people orders.
It is to be domineering, autocratic, dictatorial and oppressive and when I was younger I remember being called bossy a lot.
I distinctly remember running my first meeting for the volunteer group at my primary school and having that adjective spat at me by an older boy.
I was made leader of the group in Year Five, and this particular Year Six boy was clearly unhappy with that particular democratic process.
It may have been that I had decided he would be on the face painting stall at the school fete, but I think it was something much more ingrained that fuelled this discomfort with the situation.
Watch Abby speak to ABC News about her role as Youth Premier of New South Wales.
You only have to look as far as your own childhood to recognise where and why this divide occurs.
When I was younger I was told by the world that I could be anything; so as long as it could be dipped in pink glitter and there was a matching Barbie Doll.
Younger boys are taught to dream bigger: to be space explorers and captains of the sea. Grownups tell us that little girls become princesses, not politicians and little boys become builders, not ballerinas.
The patriarchal inequity permeates every inch and every moment of our lives.
It teaches grown men that crying equals weakness and that being in charge is strength. It teaches young boys that little girls seeking leadership are dangerous.
Writing this article I look around me and see a melting pot of the Australian youth of today; motivated, articulate and passionate about creating real change in their local communities and broader.
The disappointing reality, however, is that this trend is not being mirrored in the most critical aspects of our society. From the powerful halls of Parliament House to the boardrooms of big business, the fact is that women are not being proportionately represented.
At the crux of this underrepresentation is a culture dominated by double standards, where females are seen as bossy, loud and overpowering when making strong decisions, as opposed to men who are seen as strong and exemplifying values of leadership.