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Thursday, October 13, 2022

Bossy Girl

Recently I noticed my sons got into the habit of describing my toddler neice as "bossy". She is an assertive girl who knows her own mind, exactly like her father. They heard my niece called this from other family members and it stuck in their mind. 

I asked my sons if they would call their cousin "bossy" if she were a little boy. They paused for awhile and one said, "I don't know, probably not. I don't think I've ever called a boy bossy."

I then explained how I had been called a "bossy girl" my entire childhood and they needed to stop calling their cousin this. I'm 39 and still struggling with my leadership gifting because I don't want to be the "bossy girl".

It didn't help I had an abusive mother who kind of messed up how I viewed women authority figures. Add in a Conservative Christian culture that confuses leadership with Lordship, and you get a woman who is scared to embrace her calling as a leader.

I know some have tried to redeem the term "bossy girl" to "girl boss", but why qualify the term boss at all? I am a leader who happens to be a female, not a female leader. 

I am a leader who submits to God, which affects how I lead. Natural leaders need to learn how to not be bad bosses, to not lord their ideas and wants over others. Leadership is not Lordship. But that doesn't mean we don't lead when called. 

All this to say, please be aware that your words stick with little girls who are showing traits of being a strong leader. It can take years to untangle the term "bossy girl" from our identity.

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