Much hay has been made over the last week over the campaign launched by Facebook COO and Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez called “Ban Bossy” – a movement that supposedly seeks to “empower” young girls by symbolically “banning” so-called hurtful words that allegedly “hold them back” from wanting to take leadership positions when they get older:
Can banning one school-yard word really change the world? Sheryl Sandberg says yes.
Sandberg — the chief operating officer of Facebook and author of the best-selling book “Lean In” — is spearheading the launch of a campaign today to ban the word “bossy,” arguing the negative put-down stops girls from pursuing leadership roles.
“We know that by middle school, more boys than girls want to lead,” Sandberg said, “and if you ask girls why they don’t want to lead, whether it’s the school project all the way on to running for office, they don’t want to be called bossy, and they don’t want to be disliked.”
Sandberg said these attitudes begin early and continue into adulthood.
“We call girls bossy on the playground,” Sandberg said. “We call them too aggressive or other B-words in the workplace. They’re bossy as little girls, and then they’re aggressive, political, shrill, too ambitious as women.”
Sandberg’s organization Lean In is joining forces with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Girl Scouts USA CEO Anna Maria Chávez to launch a public service campaign called “Ban Bossy.” The banbossy.com website gives tips for parents, kids, teachers and others about how to encourage young female leaders.
First, let’s dispense with the myth that “by middle school, more boys than girls want to lead” – it’s simply not true. In fact, the opposite is happening in classrooms all across America as a result of what is now commonly called the “war on boys.” While attempts at empowering girls starting at a young age are widespread, the push to practically neuter young boys are also going on at a rapid-fire pace … with disastrous results:
Contrary to what you hear in the political campaign broadsides, females are actually doing pretty well. In our elementary, middle and high schools, they earn the best grades, win most of the academic prizes, get suspended less and graduate at very high rates. That success helps explain why women currently dominate higher education, with many college campuses spilling over the 60% female threshold.
Workforce trends favoring women continue to rain down, with record numbers of women in the workforce. Well-educated women living in large cities out-earn their male counterparts. Their biggest challenge: finding equally educated males to marry.
Here’s why we need politicians to get past the pandering and posturing and propose solutions for the group truly in trouble: Boys account for three out of every five high school students who drop out of school. Boys make up 67% of the 5.8 million kids relegated to special education programs. The likelihood of any boy in special education graduating by age 21 is bleak.
Boys, regardless of race, ethnicity or economic class, are also more likely to struggle in reading. Forty percent of Asian fourth-grade boys who qualified for free or reduced lunch were functionally illiterate versus 32% of their female peers, while 37% of fourth-grade black boys who didn’t qualify for free or reduced lunch read at “below basic” proficiency, versus 26% of their female peers.
Young male high school dropouts are at least five times as likely to land in prison by adulthood than peers who graduate, according to Princeton University researcher Bruce Western, in part because boys who struggle in reading in first grade begin acting out and become discipline problems. They are also less likely to marry by the time they reach middle age because women with higher earnings don’t consider them marriage material. They are also more likely to have children out of wedlock, perpetuating the social ills that plague low-income black, white and Latino communities.
Educational and political leaders have long known the consequences of these boy troubles, yet have done little to address illiteracy and the other underlying factors.
Bingo. We’d rather conduct “feel good” campaigns where words are banned or … “taken back” (like “slut”?) and wage lopsided, hypocritical campaigns where girls are made to feel they can do anything while boys are feminized to the point they don’t know what to think or feel and as they grow into adults and become contributing members of society. Later, these same boys – who have now become men – are told by “society” that they are only allowed to have opinions on certain, select issues, with none of them relating to “feminist” staples like abortion, childcare, and other so-called “women’s rights” issues because, well, they’re not women, you see.
Which is where I call their bluff: Wanna contribute something meaningless to society by banning a word that has been used over the years as derogatory for both men and women? Fine. Have your little victory. But here’s what I want in return: If ridding the public discourse of words like “bossy” because they are “hurtful” to women ultimately makes them feel better about who they are, then let’s also rid society of this sexist notion that grown, educated men are not allowed to voice an opinion about right to life-related issues without unwarranted ridicule on the basis of his sex or … race, a despicable tactic I’ve seen used all too many times in recent history (“all I see is a bunch of old white men in elected positions trying to ban my right to birth control!!” is a common rallying cry). It’s an offensive tactic, not to mention – frankly – unAmerican. If we were to consistently go by this rule, then straight people in both major parties shouldn’t be allowed to opine on gay rights matters, and white people in both major parties should be told to keep quiet when issues involving the rights of black citizens pop up.
I could go on and on, but you get the point. Every issue on the table impacts us all – some more so than others, and some more directly than others, but the bottom line is whether or not it directly impacts you or me personally, it DOES directly impact society, and we all have the right to express our opinions without the militant left constantly trying to use ridicule, shame, and other types of intimidation tactics to try and shut people up. And while radical far leftists do have the right to attempt shutuppery tactics on their political opposition, that doesn’t mean people should back down out of fear from speaking their mind.
Modern “feminists” want people to think they own and control the conversation on women’s issues, and therefore can set the narrative and parameters of the debate. The only way for guys to dissuade them of such a mindset is to keep talking, keep reaffirming that they won’t let them shut them up, demonstrate the value and (hopefully!) wisdom of their opinions. Men have wives or girlfriends, daughters, sisters, mothers, grandmothers, and other close female relatives, friends, and colleagues so it’s natural they’re going to have opinions on pro-life issues, birth control, sex education, childcare, dating, etc. To say their opinions aren’t important or relevant on the basis of their sex is to relegate them to the back benches of society, where women once were before the true feminists of yesteryear stood up and said “no more!”
The blatant hypocrisy of modern feminists in this regard is staggering. If only they’d pause from molding new generations of victim classes long enough so that they might actually be able to see it.