(Tl,dr at bottom)
So a couple days ago I saw this video floating around on tumblr. It’s basically a new ad campaign encouraging girls and women to speak up in classrooms and essentially stop being afraid to take leadership positions or be more involved or vocal in classes.
And it’s twitter hashtag is “Ban Bossy.” And I don’t know about you, but I for one, understand that twitter hashtags are a way to simplify a complex idea to gain momentum. It’s catchy, short, and sticks in your head. And “Ban Bossy” does a pretty good job of that.
But no. Looks like America doesn’t agree with me. As of March 11, the popular YouTube video at 900K hits has 4K dislikes compared to 5K likes. And the comments are filled with complaints.
Viewers complaining about how “banning words” isn’t going to solve any problems. Making jokes about impeding free speech. Saying that bossy is a gender neutral term. Men get called bossy too! And of course, the usual sexist commentary I would HATE for a middle school girl to see if she were to happen upon this campaign.
You know the worst part? It’s not even anonymous YouTube commenters who are bringing down this campaign. Forbes, The Guardian, and even CNN all shame the campaign for either being ineffective (ban a word like bossy and other words will pop up that attack women just as much) or that being called bossy isn’t the worst thing out there for women.
And I really want to yell at these people that they are missing the point.
This campaign isn’t about telling people to cut a word out of a dictionary. It’s about telling young women that they shouldn’t be afraid of voicing their opinions and becoming strong leaders.
I feel like everyone who criticized this campaign just looked at the hashtag, devalued the whole thing, and proceeded to whine about it on a national scale. If you look at their website, they have a whole section on leadership tips for girls, telling them to raise their hands more often in class, not be afraid of getting answers wrong, and to stop apologizing when they speak.
They have sections for parents, teachers, managers and troop leaders to make sure they don’t add to the problem of silencing young women by making sure boys and girls get paid equally for household chores,
This is a freaking GOLD MINE of an ad campaign from an educational standpoint. And everyone is IGNORING it because of a stupid hashtag. Hell, in all their articles, they admit that yes, women are being called bossy more than men, and yes, women have a harder time advancing in schools and in the job market.
So WHY THE HELL are they criticizing something as stupid and inconsequential as a hashtag when they could be SUPPORTING THE CAUSE.
The campaign is spearheaded by the Girl Scouts of America and the video features prominent women in strong positions (Condoleeza Rice, Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chavez, and of course, Beyonce).
TL,DR: Here’s what you need to do. Go like the video and leave a positive comment encouraging young women to speak up and lead. In an area where women are already being shot down, more negative discussion doesn’t help anyone under 18 feel like they deserve to participate more in the classroom. Education is very important to me and I hate it when minorities (women, people of color, etc.) get the short end of the staff and people just continue to beat down on causes that try to support them. Wow, what a sucky tl,dr.