“I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told instead that she has leadership skills.” – Sheryl Sandberg
I realize the above quote is old news. It’s been in the news and blogged to death. There have been those who champion the cause behind it and others who cringe at the message it sends. I have to admit when I first read it I thought, “Exactly!” I am one that has heard often that I am bossy, especially as a little girl. A lot of it comes, I believe, from being a first born. But then I know a lot of “bossy” middle and baby born children too. So I don’t think it’s across the board first born. NOR is it just girls who can be bossy. I know a lot of bossy boys too!
The bigger issue I see is that when being called bossy it is always spoken in a tone of voice that brings condemnation. You knew, from the ways it was said, that being bossy was not a good thing. You quickly realized bossy was bad. So when I first saw Sandberg’s quote I thought, “YES! why not tell her she has leadership skills?
Since that first thought of agreement I have pondered the bigger message and all that it could entail. Now, months later, as I continue to see the quote here and there my heart aches (especially as I see Christian women hail their support) . It aches to the point that I can no longer be silent. The quote is meant to empower our girls. It’s meant to let them know they can be leaders, that they are leaders. On so many levels I agree. We do need to help our girls be leaders.
But as a Christian woman, mother, sister, grandmother and friend I want to empower our girls to be godly leaders NOT bossy. Bossy does NOT equal leader!
I want to empower girls, especially my granddaughter, to be strong, confident and beautiful. I want her to know that she can do anything that God has created her to do. I want her to embrace who God created her to be. He created her female and that isn’t something to be ashamed of, or be looked down upon. She is not less than man, but equal. God created her with unique qualities and a beautiful purpose. God created her to be a mother of life, to create, give birth, nurture and raise up new generations. This truth is for every woman whether she has given birth to her own child or not.
I want her to be empowered with the knowledge of who she is in Christ. To be confident because she knows she is God’s child. I want her to walk with dignity and grace. I want her to seek characteristics of a godly young woman who will a be leader with compassion, grace, mercy and love. I want her to lead in a way that desires the best for those she is leading. To seek justice for those who are less fortunate and to be an advocate for those who have lost their voice for so many reasons.
I want her to seek God above all else, to share the gospel without fear and to change her world because she knows that it’s Christ in her that changes us all. I want her beauty and power to come from the fact that she has been with Jesus not because she is bossy.