When a girl takes the lead she’s often called bossy, yet when a boy’s bossy he’s seen as a leader, so say influential American women such as Facebook COO Sharon Sandberg, Girl Scouts USA CEO Anna Marie Chavez and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. In a recent piece to discuss the “Bossy Campaign” the cover photo on Parade magazine shows two girls standing back to back with the caption, “Don’t call us bossy.”
There’s a caveat that states rude or bullying behavior isn’t the same as “bossy,” but I think they’re synonyms for each other. Anytime anyone comes across as bossy, whether that person be male or female, it’s not a positive interaction. In fact, showing leadership is a far cry from being bossy.
Why can’t a girl be a nice leader? Why can’t she be confident, smart, and strong while also being funny, kind, and sensitive? Why must she be either/or?
Let’s be more concerned for girls turning on the television, tablet, computer or smart phone in 2014 and seeing so many American women and girls glorified in the media for crazy antics or good looks—just about anything besides showing strong character or minds. Instead of focusing on that other b-word, let’s try these to help girls:
- Encourage positive female role models in girls’ lives.
- Mothers, be mindful not to talk down about yourself in front of your daughters. Instead of talking about dieting or being “fat,” walk the walk and show girls what healthy living is.
- Keep girls involved in sports or physical activities.
- At a very young age, if a girl wants to dress herself, let her. It’s a huge confidence booster and sends the message at an early age she is competent to make choices and complete tasks on her own.
- Remind your daughter she is a cherished being who should not give herself away so easily to a boy as so many girls do today.
- When math or science prove difficult, remind girls nothing worth doing comes easy.