Cited in Associated Press – Some Question Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy Campaign
“Some question Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy Campaign”
Leanne Italie of the Associated Press writes a compelling article about the Ban Bossy campaign missing the mark in its emphasis on the word “bossy.” In interviewing experts and children, she highlights a need for leadership skill building, and even being nicer.
The Ban Bossy campaign cites a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute in which girls reported being twice as likely as boys to worry that leadership roles would make them seem bossy. The fear of being seen as bossy is put forth as a primary reason girls resist such roles.
Alicia Clark, a Washington, D.C., psychologist whose specialties include parenting and couples counseling, lauded the campaign’s suggested alternatives to bossy and ideas for fostering leadership in girls, but she sees a broader sense of social anxiety at play.
“Girls experience fears and inhibitions about social acceptance more acutely, in the form of stress,” she said. In some cases, “Mean, bossy girls, as my 13-year-old daughter describes them, are closer to being bullies than they are leaders. And we know that bullies fundamentally feel insecure, hate themselves for it and assert themselves over other insecure people as a way of garnering a sense of control and dominance. This is not leadership. This is intimidation.”