Women inspire a generation to ‘Ban bossy’

Tyler Harrison
Staff Writer

Maureen Roberts, a Girl Scout troop leader in Claremont, believes Girl Scouts and the “Ban Bossy” campaign are good partners.

In an attempt to ban the word “bossy,” Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer  of Facebook, spearheaded the campaign in early March to encourage girls to pursue leadership roles.

“Girls should be able to have a strong personality and be who they are without the negative connotations,” Roberts said.

Sandberg joined forces with Girl Scouts of America to remove the negative connotation behind the word bossy and inspire a new generation of female leaders.

“Girl Scouts is widely respected already, there are so many girls involved,” Anne Moriya, troop leader of Troop 1087 in Ontario, said. “It’s a good way to get the word out to girls when they are young.”

Moriya works at a law firm as office administration.

She said she has sometimes felt others do not take her seriously because she is a woman. She was once labeled bossy at work.

“There is a negative connotation to the word,” Moriya said.“It’s uncomfortable and a little offensive. It can turn a conversation from pleasant to bad.”

Moriya’s daughter, Rebecca, is a 14-year-old student at Charter Oak High School. She is a girl scout, vice president of her freshman class and captain of the junior varsity cheer team. In her leadership positions, Rebecca has been called bossy.

“It makes me feel insecure, like I should shut my mouth and not say anything,” Rebecca Moriya said.

She supports the campaign and plans to use her position as vice president to introduce it to the student body.

Rebecca Moriya has always had the support of her sister, but believes the various celebrity endorsements will grab the attention of her peers.

Roberts’ daughters Ryan and Delaney also support the campaign.

Delaney Roberts, 8, said she thinks Girl Scouts helps her develop leadership skills.

“I learn about leadership, being kind to other girls and people, animals, selling cookies and making food,” Delaney Roberts said.

Ryan Roberts, 10, wants to ban the word bossy from the English language.

“You should be a leader and say what you need without being scared to be called bossy,” Ryan Roberts said.

The campaign has joined forces with female celebrities like First Lady Michelle Obama and Beyoncé, who declared “I’m not bossy, I’m a boss.”

The campaign’s website states: “When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a ‘leader.’ Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded ‘bossy.’ Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood.”

More information can be found on the campaign at banbossy.com.

Tyler Harrison can be reached at tyler.harrison@laverne.edu.

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