Acton Institute Powerblog

‘Ban Bossy?’ Let’s Look At The ‘Research’

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Remember the “Ban Bossy” campaign? Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook created the “Ban Bossy” campaign, recruiting a horde of celebrities, in order to make sure that girls didn’t feel put out by being called bossy in the 4th grade and thus ruining their entire lives. (“Being labeled something matters,” says actress Jennifer Garner in the Ban Bossy campaign video. So does developing a thick skin.)

Now, however, Christian Hoff Sommers of the American Enterprise Institute is here to tell the truth: the research that the “Ban Bossy” campaign relies on is wrong. Skewed. Misinterpreted.

We don’t need to ban bossy for our girls. We need to teach them to read and interpret scholarly materials.

Elise Hilton Communications Specialist at Acton Institute. M.A. in World Religions.


  • Michael

    Perhaps I’m missing something here but it seems to me that equating bossiness with leadership is a canard. Are the alternative leadership models, servant leadership and leading by example no longer valid? In fact I believe that bossiness is correctly viewed with some disdain by those whom the bossy would seek to lead. Telling people what to do is seldom an effective leadership strategy unless there is associated virtuous behavior by the would-be leader. For instance, bossiness is an appropriate way to describe the Obama administration’s war on gender income disparity when, in practice, the White House pays women 88 cents for each dollar it pays men.