March 10, 2014

My daughter is not bossy!

strong women

From the time my baby girl could talk, she had strong opinions that she would  make known to everyone in the surrounding vicinity.  I remember looking at that little half pint and deciding even then to describe her behaviour as ‘directive’ as opposed to ‘bossy’.  The word bossy has a negative connotation to it and I didn’t want my daughter to hear or feel the subversive implications or suggestions behind that word and choose to silence her own voice in order to conform.  According to this new initiative by Ban Bossy, “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. Together we can encourage girls to lead.”

Epic #banbossy

Brie is strong and intelligent and in order for me to foster those qualities in her, I need to encourage her to speak out, take the lead (yes, she can do this even as an introvert),  be authentic and self-aware.  I want her to open her eyes to see this beautiful world and decide where she can make a positive difference.  I am choosing to give her as many tools and resources as possible to help shape her leadership skills.  I’m also choosing to subvert the media’s messages about womanhood.  In watching the documentary Miss Representation, I realized that I need to unapologetically fight for my daughter’s positive self image, aspirations and future.  This is my road to Selma.

I realize that these lessons cannot start and end with my daughter.  I need to teach my son to listen to women, and respect them.  He needs to know that he also has the power to encourage fairness and gender equality.  He can be a man who is not anxious about having a girl be school president to his vice presidency; who works hard in his job regardless of whether his boss is a  man or a woman.  These are character strengths that I want to build into both of my children.  I want them to know that rights are not optional for some but actual for all.  I want my kids to know they have the power to advocate for what is right.

Today, I played this video for both of my kids and we talked about the power of words.  They are still fairly young but they can start to think and dream about who they want to be and how they want to be described.  My daughter can be whoever she wants to be.  She is a strong, intelligent, kind and directive girl who will grow up to be a strong, intelligent, kind and directive woman:  a phenomenal leader in whatever field she chooses.

 

Comments

  1. It’s impressive to be so outspoken and determined in such a young age. I’m proud of Brie! I wish I was the same back when I was younger. It would have saved me from all unnecessary hurts and wasted time. 🙂

  2. Brie is strong and awesome! Def a leader!!! Not afraid to stand up for what she believes in! You have done a great job with the kids Char! They are beautiful. Love u sis.

  3. I dont think the word itself has power and if it does it is very ‘wishy-washy’ as in grown females are forever “like a boss” or “boss B****” if you choose to degrade yourself with that word then yes it has power. However, if you’re a child and someone calls you bossy… I dont feel like it has power. Your child will probably not think anything of it. I think its absolutely WONDERFUL that youre teaching her so young to be strong and go for her dreams…I wish i was BOSSY..or a leader what have you. I think people make mountains out of mole hills sometimes we give things power that shouldnt have power. Does that make sense?

    • I hear what you’re saying Brittney. I have been described as ‘bossy’ but along my journey I have chosen instead to describe myself as ‘strong’. I feel like sometimes words like ‘bossy’ are used to describe little girls in the same way words like ‘bitchy’ are used to describe grown women. I want my daughter to know that when people used words like that to describe her or other women, it is a put down, the sentiments behind those words aren’t positive, supportive or nice. That being said, I want her to know she can be whatever she wants to be, regardless of the names that people will call her along the way. She has to know her own mind, be aware of her own strength and not allow haters to bring her down or make her feel bad about who she is, (her character, personality, physique, mind etc.) or who she aspires to be.

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