NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Hundreds of thousands of people have gotten onboard with a national movement to ban the adjective ‘bossy.’ There’s a website, t-shirt and lots of celebrities all saying bossy is bad.
Now a North Texas soccer club is saying that they don’t care what you call them, but bossy is just the kind of girls they’re looking for.
If you had to describe the girls on the Sting Soccer Club elite team… well, player Kate Hajdu did a good job saying, “I’m very passionate and energetic.”
There are plenty of words members of the team prefer over bossy.
“I would not take it as a compliment,” Hajdu said. Another Sting Soccer player, 17-year-old Julie James, said, “As a girl, I do think it would cause me to step back.”
Sting Soccer – based in North Texas – prizes girls for their assertiveness.
CEO Brent Coralli said, “We want our young ladies to feel confidence, have the leadership to speak out.”
But the same quality can get them labeled with a word often reserved for women. For the girls on the field and a lot of their peers in the stands with mothers, bossy has a negative connotation.
“To me, it means just when someone is like ordering you around and you feel like it’s a little bit too much.”
Synonyms like pushy and stubborn often accompany bossy.
The ‘Ban Bossy’ campaign — launched by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg — features actress Jennifer Garner, singer Beyonce, and former Secretary of State Condoleezaa Rice all urging an end to the word.
In one of the public service announcements the women say, “You can change the world. Let’s ban bossy. Be brave. Be you. Ban bossy!”
In just a matter of months the Ban Bossy campaign has also drawn criticism. Some African Americans argue that not every culture considers the word derogatory.
NAACP Dallas Chapter president Juanita Wallace said, “It’s not an offensive word. I like to think I’m in charge.”
Wallace said she finds it empowering to be bossy. “Take the ‘y’ off and you’ve got boss.”
Wallace, a retired DISD reading specialist, said she doesn’t want to see the word go. “To ban a word is to decrease your vocabulary and I think we need to be increasing our vocabulary as much as we can.”
As for the young girls in Sting Soccer Club, they say the message is a positive one.
“It’s cool to see someone kind of stepping up for women and saying you can be assertive like men,” Julie James explained. “You can be leaders and you don’t have to be viewed in that negative way.”
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