The best way to ensure the next generation grow up in a more equal and tolerant society? Give children the tools they need to feel empowered, to stand up to discrimination and challenge injustice in society when they are confronted with it.
That’s exactly what superstar parents Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively aim to do with their two infant daughters, James and Ines. And it’s as simple as choosing your words carefully.
We already know that Blake Lively’s least favourite word is “perfect”, the connotations of which she feels are used to manipulate women into conforming to unachievable standards.
Ryan Reynolds has his least favourite word too, which he has banned from being uttered in their household – and that’s the word “bossy”.
“There would never be any negative connotation for a man being a boss,” Lively tells Glamour magazine. “So to add negative connotation on a woman being bossy? It’s belittling. And it doesn’t encourage them to be a boss.
“So do I know how to be the best parent for a daughter? No, I have no idea. All I can do is share what I’m thinking – and learn from others.”
Turns out, they aren’t the only ones who want to get rid of negative words used to stereotype women. A recent survey of over 2000 women found “bossy” among 20 of the words they’d most like to be cut from the dictionary. Also on the list were “hormonal”, “bitchy” and “drama queen”.
Almost three quarters of participants wanted to level the playing field, and use the positive words so frequently used to describe men in the workplace, such as “confident”, “courageous” and “resilient”.