I was all set to sit down today to write out a lengthy post about the #banbossy campaign. However, I am going to strongly encourage all of my readers to check out this other blog post instead. Her words are so inside of my head that I’m left with very little else to say on the matter. But I do have a few words to add of my own. I have a blog, so of course I do.
First, I share her post as like her, I too am the parent of an assertive yet sometimes bossy boy. Yes, boys can be bossy, too. I have no idea where this idea came from that the only kids on the playground (or in the classroom or on a job) who are bossy are girls. Um, sorry, but just, well, nope. I believe most parents of school-aged children and/or anyone who’s had a micromanaging (AKA, bossy) boss of any gender can agree with me here also.
In addition, to the high-powered women who claim (loudly) to be on board with the campaign: If your being called bossy at a young age really left you damaged, beat-down, and uninspired, I’m sorry but I’m not buying that either. I’m looking at you, Beyoncé, Sheryl Sandberg, and pretty much every other major name that’s been at the forefront of this “cause.” My quotes are intentional there and hyperlinks have been intentionally left out above as I am also left questioning whether this is truly a genuine call for change or simply a marketing campaign veiled as such; again, please see names of those involved. What I will give them all credit for is that the campaign has worked, and abundantly so, whatever its true intentions. Just don’t tell me where to lean, please. Thanks.
Furthermore, using negative language and casting a villain by way of a word or person (or victimizing ourselves or our kids, especially our girls, because of said word(s) or person(s)) doesn’t do any of us any favors. The word “ban” conjures up a more negative connotation for me than “bossy” ever will; at least “bossy” is a descriptive adjective. And isn’t it a bit bossy for others to tell us to ban a word in the first place?
Lastly, I find it’s always better for our kids (or all of us really) to focus on the positive rather than the negative, be it in words, actions, or social (media) activism. It helps us all strive to be more productive, joyful, and active individuals, and that focus also provides a more positive model for our children to aspire to. Genuine assertiveness by our boys and girls starting at a young age helps all of us succeed, and so does recognizing and rewarding all that encompasses that positive character trait.
I choose to #AffirmAssertive alongside blogger Kristen Howerton and loudly applaud her perspective. Hopefully I’ve not been too bossy about it.