Groups want to nix the word ‘bossy’

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A movement to ban the word bossy is gaining momentum on social media.

The movement was started by the non-profit organization Lean In, created by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and the Girl Scouts of America.

The problem Lean In and the Girl Scouts have with the word bossy is the fact that it is predominately used to describe girls, while their male counterparts, that display the same behavior, are described as “assertive” and “leaders.”

The campaign to ban bossy has lots of celebrity support as well. An ad featuring Beyonce, Jennifer Garner, Condoleeza Rice, Jane Lynch and more, has the famous faces saying they are on board to “ban bossy.”

Clinical child psychologist, Dr. DeAnn Harvey, talked about the kind of impact a word like “bossy,” with it’s negative connotation, can have on a young girl.

“If they’re constantly told not to be too bossy in their social interactions, as they get older, if they’re used to standing back, then there’s a chance that when they’re in other situations where they should take a stand or they should try to lead, that they may be less apt to do that because they’ve been told frequently to be careful or not be too bossy in their group interactions,” said Harvey.

Which she says means girls may tend to shy away from leadership positions. And Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, says the numbers support that, in that women get more than half of the college degrees in this country, but only 5 percent of fortune 500 CEO’s are women.

Ban Bossy has its own hashtag on Twitter and Instagram — #banbossy.

For more information on the campaign, which has garnered support from Beyonce, visit the website. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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