I've been pretty reserved about the new "Ban Bossy" campaign spearheaded by Sheryl Sandberg and others. While I appreciate everything she has (and is) doing to increase awareness of gender disparities and discrimination, I can't help but side with the author on this particular point:
[I]t’s so frustrating to watch Lean In try to expand girls’ options by restricting the way we talk about them. It’s counterintuitive, and it makes feminists look like thought police rather than the expansive forward-thinkers we really are. Sandberg knows better — the Lean In stock-photo effort proves it. If she had released a report about how stock photos perpetuate negative stereotypes about working women, the response would have been a collective shrug. Instead, Sandberg created a set of alternative images — and we all talked about them. I wish she’d taken the same approach to boss.
Now, anyone has to admit that "Ban Bossy" is one heck of a soundbite and Sandberg is nothing if not a smart businesswoman who understands media dynamics and what it takes to make headlines. I'm hoping as this campaign moves forward, she will put more emphasis not on banning the word "bossy" itself, but by encouraging those who are tempted to categorize a girl's behavior as such, to instead think of the behavior in question more as leadership skills.