If I had a nickel for every time I was told that I was too intense, ambitious, passionate or outspoken, I actually might be able to pay off the student loan’s I’ve had to taken out. Jokes aside, my experience is not unique among other young women. Around the globe, girls and young women are being taught to keep quiet, to sit down, to be seen and not heard. This trend dismisses the goals and ideas of young women and teaches them take a silent role in the classroom, rather than speaking out. Qualities that are embraced for boys and men are considered too aggressive for women, who are denounced as bossy and too outspoken. When little boys are called these things, he’s branded a leader or an innovator. When a girl does, she’s out of line. This trend doesn’t just end when girls leave school. In the working world, women are expected to defer to men. We’ve all heard about the wage inequality that plagues women. In 2012, women made 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. If the same slowly placed change continues, it will take until 2058 for women to earn the same as men for the same job. The things we are taught during our formative years have an impact on our adult lives, and it’s time to make a change. Lean In is a nonprofit that was founded to encourage and support women through three ways: community, education, and circles or small groups. Lean In has partnered with the Girl Scouts of America to encourage girls to stand up and lead, to fight against the stigma of others to take control of their ambitions and to work for good. Together, they created the Ban Bossy campaign. I first heard about the campaign to Ban Bossy through a blogger, Carly Ann Heitlinger at CollegePrepster. She shares in my experiences, where as a girl, we were both indoctrinated that our place in the classroom was as a quiet observer rather than a vocal participant. Self reflection on these experiences have shown me that while I may be outspoken, confident and passionate but these qualities are the ones that push me to succeed in life. I’m grateful for those around me who encouraged me to speak out, and every girl deserves to have her words heard and listened to. Lean In and the Ban Bossy campaign are led by powerful, vocal, and confident women who envision a world without gender discrimination. Together, we can ban bossy.
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