The world of social media has literally been taken over by feminists and their movements over the last few months, causing a feminist debate that could easily last a while. Being a female, I've felt obligated to at least hear these women out and see what they have to say in terms of helping other women.
Out of all the feminist organizations out there, one has stuck out in particular, leaving me feeling discouraged as well as disappointed. "Ban bossy" is a new movement by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg that is meant to empower young girls and turn them away from the stigma of being called bossy. After researching the organization, I found that while "ban bossy" does celebrate a great message of girls being confident and always speaking their minds, I don't find "bossy" a term so derogatory to the point that most girls feel they cannot be confident. If anything, I feel they embrace that and put it to their own advantage.
To me, "bossy" could easily have many connotations. I believe someone who is bossy as a leader; someone who doesn't easily give in to submission, nor do they take defeat as an easy way out. It's a term of empowerment. Yet the other connotation can easily be seen wrong as well. Often when we have a voice, we can abuse it and use it to serve ourselves rather than others, thus bringing people down in the process. Even with that in mind, banning the word bossy still doesn't make sense.
I remember back in kindergarten how the word "bossy" floated through the air in pointless playground fights. Back then, the bossy ones ruled the playground, and everyone had to do what they said or fear an unknown consequence. Looking back on it now, it sucked but when I think about those kids now and who they might be, I hope that they've taken that early childhood confidence and turned into something positive. Confidence and being bossy can be positive if taught that way. When we treat things like they can only be negative, then that's all they have the potential to be. If we can teach young girls how to use the power that they have, then we wouldn't have to ban bossy.
While I can totally give Sheryl Sandberg props for getting the attention of millions in her campaign and advocating for a great cause, I can't find it in me to really disconnect with the word "bossy." I'd never want to use it in a harmful way but banning the word completely doesn't make much sense to me either. So many words now-a-days have connotations that could either positive or negative depending on whose mouth it's coming from, but that doesn't mean we should ban them completely. While I understand that her organization is directed towards younger girls, I feel like we're limiting their choices in society. If a person is bossy, let them embrace that. Teach them the boundaries so they know what lines to cross and the ones to stay away from.