'Ban Bossy' campaign up for debate

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(WJLA) - Let’s face it – the Washington area can be a bit of a mecca for women who wear a “bossy girl” label. But even here, opinion on the Bossy Girl campaign, which aims to ban the word altogether, is divided.

This mother of two girls says that the whole idea of a ban is a bit too, well, bossy:

"It sounds to me like it's a little too much intervention," says Karie Womack of McLean.

But others are embracing the idea of banning bossy:

"I think it's rude! It teaches girls not to lead," says Burke resident Agnes Andrade.

"It has a harsh sound to it -- it's not ever meant in a complimentary way, it seems like," adds Beatrice Wiesner.

Facebook executive and former Treasury Department official Sheryl Sandberg is leading the campaign, and told Nightline’s Cynthia McFadden that she is teaming up with the Girl Scouts, top female leaders, and high-profile celebrities.

Sandberg was often labeled a bossy girl by peers and siblings, even a teacher who told her best friend to “avoid that bossy Sandberg girl.”

"We know that by middle school, more boys than girls want to lead," explains Sandberg. "And if you ask girls why they don't want to do it, they don't want to be disliked and they don't want to be called bossy."

But as ABC found with a group of first-grade girls, it’s not just the word that’s a problem, but the whole concept of how girls should behave.