"I asked them, 'How many of you have been called bossy because you wanted to speak your mind or be the leader of the group? How many of you feel like you are not taken as seriously or are interrupted more by your male friends and classmates?' All eighteen girls raised their hands.
A Special Girl Scout Blog post by
Community Programs Coordinator
Girl Scouts of Central Maryland
While every moment shared with the girls in Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s community programs is worthwhile and meaningful, there are some that leave a lasting impression on my heart and the hearts of others. One of these moments happened recently, when the Girl Scouts at St. Thomas Aquinas School in Baltimore City gave real-life meaning to the “Ban Bossy” campaign that has been picking up momentum nationwide.
During our four-week introductory Girl Scout program, “Get Financially Fit,” girls in grades six through eight had a chance to learn about entrepreneurship, budgeting, marketing, and sales techniques, all while discovering potential careers through leadership-building activities.
I opened up the floor for a discussion based on talking points from the Ban Bossy website in order to get a sense of the girls’ own experiences with the word “bossy.”
I asked them, “How many of you have been called bossy because you wanted to speak your mind or be the leader of the group? How many of you feel like you are not taken as seriously or are interrupted more by your male friends and classmates?”
All eighteen girls raised their hand.
While some giggled at first, they quickly realized that this was not necessarily a good thing. You could feel the tone in the room change as they recognized this unfortunate societal norm was something we needed to discuss and do something about. It was one of those moments when you get that painful knot in the back of your throat as you hold back tears because you are both hurt and empowered by what you’ve just experienced.
The good news is that I was speaking to a room full of lively, passionate, and insightful young Girl Scouts who shared great ideas on what it means to be a leader. We decided that Beyoncé said it best in her Ban Bossy video: “I’m not bossy, I’m THE BOSS.”
Using the “I’m a leader because…” posters given to us by GSUSA and Lean In, the girls took turns in pairs writing the reasons why they are leaders and posing for pictures during our mini-photo-shoot. Their answers were incredible, and hearing their different perspectives on what it means to be a leader was beyond gratifying.
Some of their answers included:
“I have a strong will.”
“I give good advice.”
“I’m confident and adventurous.”
“I am artistic and because I think at all times.”
“I try hard, I’m creative, and I’m an intelligent person.”
“I’m a friend.”
I have no doubt in my mind that these young ladies will become influential women of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place—both now and in their bright futures.
For more information on how you can #banbossy and encourage girls to lead, visit www.banbossy.com