Sunday, March 16, 2014

On Banning Bossy

I'll be honest, the first I saw of the "Ban Bossy" movement was on a friend's Facebook page where she had a knee jerk, antagonized reaction to the idea. I'll sum up her thoughts by saying, her opinions were unfounded at best. Either way, she brought "Ban Bossy" to my attention since immediately after reading her comments, I had to look it up and find out why she was ranting. This lead me to Ban Bossy's Official Page. I was not surprised by the connection to the Girl Scouts, they generally seem to be interested in what is good for the majority of up and coming young ladies.

My personal interaction with the Girl Scouts has left some indelible marks on me.

The next day, Sunday, I mentioned the whole thing to my mother before going out to run errands only to come home to a copy of the March 9th 2014 Parade sitting on my writing desk. It featured the article, "3 Influential Women, One Powerful Message: What Condoleezza Rice, Sheryl Sandberg, and Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez want girls everywhere to know". Other than Condoleezza Rice, I had no idea who either of these other women were.

For those who don't know what "Ban Bossy" is about, here's the short version: The word "bossy" is a word which, unfortunately, is often used against young women in an attempt to remind them that they are not to be leading. Therefore, it disproportionately discourages young women from being willing to lead or speak up. Thus, the word needs to go.

This is a laudable goal, but I have to wonder how well this strategy is going to work. Consider the history of prohibition in this country. We have a day devoted to Banned Books. Prohibition as an actual law didn't do all that well. Words we are told not to use, regardless of the reason why, become the words with an unhealthy draw (e.g. Fuck, Nigger, or Bitch). We don't really seem to like being told what to do. So I have to wonder what the backlash of this will be. However, I fully intend to support the movement regardless. I'm an aunt watching several little girls grow up and I want them to grow up as strong as they possibly can.

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