When a girl tries to lead, she is often labeled bossy.
Boys are seldom called bossy because a boy taking the role of a boss does not surprise or offend.
As someone who was called this for much of my childhood, I know that it is not a compliment.
The stories of my childhood bossiness are told (and retold) with great amusement.
Apparently, when I was in elementary school, I taught my younger siblings, David and Michelle,
to follow me around, listen to my monologues, and scream the word "Right!" when I concluded.
I was the eldest of the neighborhood children and allegedly spent my time organizing shows that I could direct and clubs that I could run.
People laugh at these accounts, but to this day I always feel slightly ashamed of my behavior
(which is remarkable given that I have now written an entire book about why girls should not be made to feel this way, or maybe this partially explains my motivation).
Even when we were in our thirties, pointing out this behavior was still the best way for my siblings to tease me.
When Dave and I got married, David and Michelle gave a beautiful, hilarious toast, which kicked off with this:
"Hi! Some of you think we are Sheryl's younger siblings, but really we were Sheryl's first employees—employee number one and employee number two.