MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A new campaign encouraging women to lead aims to convince people to stop using the word “bossy.”

The Ban Bossy campaign is sponsored by the Girl Scouts of USA and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.

Powerful female celebrities and politicians have supported the campaign in a new PSA.

The movement claims describing women as “bossy” as children lowers self-esteem and holds women back from pursuing leadership positions later in life.

University of Minnesota Gender Studies Professor Catherine Squires says it is part of a pattern lingering from the past.

“It goes back to perception that women should not be in powerful positions,” Squires said.

Northeast Minneapolis mother and artist Sarah Edmonds agrees the expectations for women’s behavior begin at an early age.

“Even with my daughter, there is still a push to make sure girls act nicely,” Edmonds said.

Skeptic Brett Lincoln does not see the campaign as valuable, saying it is up to adults to teach children how to react to words, not ban them.

“If someone calls you bossy, forget about it and say you are assertive and aggressive,” Lincoln said.

Squires said even though celebrity backing helps gain notoriety for a campaign like this, everyday people make long-term changes in culture happen through dialogue and awareness.


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