Ban Bossy: Lifetime TV's Message to Young Girls

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Unfairly judged and labeled because she's not a man?

Barbra Streisand and Steven Spielberg are both seasoned film producers and directors; legendary perfectionists, they're known for showing up on time and fully prepared. They expect nothing less, and will accept nothing less, from their colleagues.

Why then, is Spielberg called a "strong" producer/director, while Streisand is often called a "bitch"?

Lifetime TV, the cable network for women, has launched a campaign in partnership Girl Scouts and LeanIn.org, to address the often culturally accepted mislabeling and name calling which discourages girls from assuming leadership positions.

Though Streisand doesn't participate in the Ban Bossy campaign, an impressive array of women do. Former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, actresses Jennifer Garner and Jane Lynch, fashion maven Diane Von Furstenberg, and Facebook's chief operating officer: Sheryl Sandberg, among others; they offer a strong, supportive message to young girls.

Sandberg is the woman behind Lean In, an inspirational organization designed to help women achieve their goals. Lean In has an active website and message board where women can seek support, get information, and network. The organization also offers monthly meetings where hands-on support can be found.

Sandberg appears in Lifetime's Ban Bossy PSA, now posted at YouTube. Presumably, the video will also air on Lifetime.

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Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg says: Ban Bossy and encourage girls to lead.

"When I was growing up, I was called bossy," Sandberg says in the video.

"I think the word 'bossy' is just a squasher," says Glee's Jane Lynch.

In a scant but impressive 67 seconds, the women shine a light on words like bossy, pushy, and stubborn, words that are often used to discourage young girls from pursuing their dreams.

"Being labeled something matters," says Jennifer Garner.

"Girls are less interested in assuming leadership positions than boys," says Beyonce.

"And that's because they're worried about being called bossy," says Lynch.

The women, and a few men, call upon people to ban words like bossy and encourage girls and young women to be themselves. To lead.

"There are no limits," says Rice.

"Dare to be you," says von Furstenberg.

"I'm not bossy, I'm the boss!" proclaims Beyonce.

Check out the video below.

You can take the pledge to ban bossy at banbossy.com.

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4 comments
Glenn Darwis
Glenn Darwis

If you're a good leader and possess the ability to motivate and guide others you'd most likely never hear those words spoken to you. This is a superficial campaign that, most women would agree, does nothing to empower women and creates an issue that distracts from coming up with meaningful avenues to empower women and gain real leadership skills. If you're being called bossy it's because you disrespect others and can't portray a vision that others will share. If this was a guy I'd call him an asshole.

John LaForgia
John LaForgia

Not saying I don't agree with the sentiment of the show, I do and appreciate anything that will help my daughter do well in the world, but you're generalizing again. "they're known for showing up on time and fully prepared. They expect nothing less, and will accept nothing less, from their colleagues." Little iffy on the "on time" part, but that's me in a nut shell, and if you're not pulling your weight, expect to be told so...and I'm called a dick or jerk 9 times out of 10 (and am mostly okay with that, all cards on the table), not "strong". Generalizing, even for a good cause, is still not the best way to get a message across.

Steve Tidd
Steve Tidd

Barbara Streisand is called a bitch probably 'cause she treats people like crap. It has nothing to with her gender. It has everything to do with what goes around comes around.

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