Who's afraid of the big 'bossy' word

Who's afraid of the big 'bossy' word
Singer Beyonce in a still from the campaign video for #banbossy, a campaign started by former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg to encourage people to stop using the term against women.

Two weeks ago, I took a quiz to find out which Game of Thrones character I am.

Surprise, surprise: I got Cersei Lannister, the bossy, cunning queen of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, who wonders why her dad can't see that she's the best one to rule them all in the popular fantasy TV series.

I laughed at the result.

Bossy is a word that gets thrown at me a lot.

Now, I'm reading that former Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is trying to ban the word, with the help of a stellar group like the Girl Scouts of America, pop star Beyonce, actress Jennifer Garner, fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg and former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

It's not just to take care of delicate female feelings.

In a public service announcement video for the #banbossy female empowerment campaign released over the weekend, fittingly enough for International Women's Day, the stars say: "By middle school, girls are less interested in leadership than boys and that's because they worry about being called bossy."

Added Sandberg: "We need to recognise the many ways we systematically discourage leadership in girls from a young age - and instead, we need to encourage them."

I get it.

Bossy, feminist, pushy, stubborn - I've heard these words used on me whenever I have to stand in for my boss and argue about a story or denounce my male bosses for their insensitive remarks about women sometimes.

Some words like "feminist", I say sure, out and proud.

Some inherently negative words like "bossy" and "pushy" make me scratch my head.

"Am I not just doing my job?" I wonder. "Is ambition and having an opinion wrong?"

My friends call me bossy too - so much so that when I turned 29 last year, they made me a "Baws" headband.

Sure, I'm mouthy. But I have to be. I'm not even 1.5m tall and people literally bump into me because they don't see me.

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