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Celebrities join Sheryl Sandberg in a campaign to ban the word 'bossy'

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Cynthia McFadden and Jake Whitman reported on a story on ABC's "Good Morning America" on March 10. According to their report, Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook and author of the best-selling book, "Lean In" has launched a campaign to ban the word "bossy."

Sandberg has recruited a group of celebrities to help her with a national campaign claiming the word discourages girls from taking on leadership roles. The reason celebrities were asked to get involved is because celebrities are often role models in some people’s eyes. The messages they send in this campaign are enough to influence young women.

Celebrities launching the "Ban Bossy" campaign:

  • Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
  • Girl Scouts USA CEO Anna Maria Chavez
  • Singer Victoria Beckham
  • Singer Beyonce Knowles
  • Actress Jane Lynch
  • Actress Jennifer Garner
  • CNN foreign correspondent Christiane Amanpour

The goal of the "Ban Bossy" campaign is to help girls and women feel more confident and comfortable as leaders.

Those who agree with Sanberg argue that the word "bossy" is negative and is a put-down that stops females from pursuing leadership roles.

Sandberg says:

"We call girls bossy on the playground. We call them too aggressive or other B-words in the workplace. They're bossy as little girls, and then they're aggressive, political, shrill, too ambitious as women."

Sandberg said she hopes the campaign will open a dialogue with parents and teachers, to eliminate the use of the word "bossy." However, she concedes this is not really as simple as banning one word.

Los Angeles-based psychotherapist, Stacy Kaiser says, “The word ‘bossy’ is a word that a lot of women are uncomfortable with. It makes them bite their tongue and not stand up for themselves. If the word ‘bossy’ goes away there is a hope that women will embrace their strength in a positive way."

Visit the Ban Bossy website to find out who the many partners and celebrities are. You will also see tips for parents, kids, teachers and others about how to encourage young female leaders.


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