Blake Lively recently revealed that her least favourite word in the English language is ‘perfect’ – primarily because it is used to understand, control and simplify women by some in society.
Now she has revealed that another word has been banned in her household – this time at the bequest of her husband, Ryan Reynolds. And the taboo has been put in place in a bid to empower their two young daughters, James and Ines.
“[In the past], we’ve joked that my daughter is bossy,” Lively explained to Glamour in its September 2017 issue. “But my husband said, 'I don’t ever want to use that word again. You’ve never heard a man called bossy.'”
The Age of Adeline star continued: “There would never be any negative connotation for a man being a boss. 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.”
Reynolds and Lively aren’t the only people who want to ban the word ‘bossy’ for its misogynist undertones: in a survey of more than 2000 British women, ‘bossy’, ‘hormonal’, ‘drama queen’ and ‘bitchy’ were among the 20 words they wanted to be stripped from the dictionary.
And 72% of women said that that they would like to see women more often described as ‘confident’, ‘resilient’ and ‘courageous’, just as their male counterparts would be.
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Speaking about the results, former Girls Aloud star Nicola Roberts – who is one of the celebrity ambassadors for the campaign – said: “Female strength is something to be celebrated and encouraged, not diminished by unfair labels to undermine their passion and drive.
“Women are too often called ‘bossy’, ‘feisty’ or ‘attention seeking’, now is the time to change the conversation and rewrite the vocabulary we use to empower women and not let others define us.”
It not surprising that Lively and Reynolds – who has made no secret of his feminist credentials – are keen to help their children start life on an equal footing to their male counterparts, particularly considering the threat President Donald Trump poses to women’s rights.
Speaking to elle.com in 2016, Lively said that she planned to imbue her little girls with the following advice: “Just use your voice. Don’t let anybody silence you, ever.”
And, in a recent interview with Men’s Health, Reynolds said becoming a father is “the best thing that’s happened to me”.
“I don’t take a second of it for granted,” said the Deadpool star. “I’m also really lucky: my work is intense for periods, but then I can also take time off, and a lot of people can’t, so I’m grateful for that.
“I love watching my kids grow and evolve, and I hope that I get to do that for a huge amount of their lives… until they kick me out.”
Images: Rex Features