And because I heard it over and over again, I started to believe it was true. I was never told that I had qualities that made me a good leader or praised for taking charge – I was told I was bossy.
Growing up, when I was with friends or my little sister (especially with my little sister) I was the one who would organise, create and delegate the games we’d play. I was a loud and a confident leader.
However, when it came to the classroom or mixed sports team I became shy. It only got worse the older I got; I wouldn’t run in PE in case I was laughed at by one of the ‘popular boys’, and I wouldn’t raise my hand in class because I thought I was wrong.
"...I wouldn't raise my hand in class
because I thought I was wrong."
For me the one place I was able to flourish and be a leader was Girl Guides, because as sad as it is, being away from boys was empowering for me. And sadly, I know this is true for so many girls.
Words have power.
The language we use and the way we act towards children and young people affects how they perceive themselves and others. It shapes generation after generation of girls who don’t think they’re good enough, and boys who think they are entitled to a higher level of respect than women.