Dear Ban Bossy Campaign: If Being Called a Name Makes You Totally Shut Down, You Probably Aren’t Leadership Material

This is an open letter to Sheryl Sandberg and the Ban Bossy Campaign:

Recently, a group of rich, powerful celebrities came together and decided to ban a word they don’t like.

The Ban Bossy campaign argues that for a little girl, being called bossy is one of the worst things imaginable.

They say it is enough to totally discourage girls from pursuing leadership roles or having any ambition whatsoever.

First, If you want to show people being bossy isn’t a bad thing, or at least not a thing to be put down, you shouldn’t start a crusade to ban a word in a country that values free speech.

This movement is basically saying we can tell you what do do, and don’t you dare call us the word that describes what we’re doing.

It would be like if a bunch of jerks went around hitting people and demanded they not be called jerks.

I agree with the campaign that words matter, but if being called a name is enough to make you totally shut down all your goals and aspirations, you probably weren’t leadership material in the first place.

Could you imagine a President that resigned because someone disagreed with their policies, or a musician that smashed their guitar because someone didn’t like their song?

On my last video, I had people telling me they hope I die of cancer infected by aids and I couldn’t have laughed harder.

The message to young kids shouldn’t be, “hey, if you don’t like something, get a bunch of celebrities to guilt and bully people into making them stop.”

Instead, Wouldn’t a better message to young girls be, “Hi kids, I’m Beyonce and people used to call me bossy. How dumb do they look now?”

I thought of ending the video by calling the people in the ban bossy movement bossy, but that’s not what I want to do.

I think we should encourage girls to be strong and ambitious. Strong enough to be able to weather being called a silly name.

Strong enough to not expect the world to bend for them when they don’t like something.

Be brave, be you…don’t predicate your self worth on what other people think. Because if bossy is the worst thing you’re ever called, you should count yourselves lucky.

Follow the author at or on Twitter @PatVKane

About the author: Patrick Kane

Patrick is a political activist based out of Boulder Colorado. He is currently employed by several of Colorado's preeminent think tanks and has worked in the liberty movement since he was fourteen.

View all articles by Patrick Kane
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