We could do that. Or we could get a bunch of fabulously successful women together — say, a former secretary of state and the current COO of Facebook — and have them reassure girls that there’s nothing wrong with being “bossy.” The tagline writes itself: “They used to call me ‘bossy’ and now I’m the boss.” (In fact, Beyonce says almost exactly that at the end here.) Intercut scenes of Sheryl Sandberg chairing a meeting, Condi Rice addressing a big crowd, Beyonce onstage, etc. Wear “bossy” as a badge of pride. Instead of “banning” the word, whatever that means, you take back its power. Instead, this.
Here’s the website, which is co-sponsored by the Girl Scouts. The easy publicity will, I trust, come in handy if/when Sandberg runs for Senate in California in a few years. At the risk of upsetting the Narrative here, we all understand that it’s boys, not girls, who are falling behind in school, yes?
“Girls outperform boys in elementary school, middle school, high school, and college, and graduate school,” says Dr. Michael Thompson, a school psychologist who writes about the academic problems of boys in his book, “Raising Cain.” He says that after decades of special attention, girls are soaring, while boys are stagnating.
“Girls are being told, ‘Go for it, you can do it. Go for it, you can do it.’ They are getting an immense amount of support,” he says. “Boys hear that the way to shine is athletically. And boys get a lot of mixed messages about what it means to be masculine and what it means to be a student. Does being a good student make you a real man? I don’t think so… It is not cool.”…
At some colleges, they’re getting so many more qualified women applicants than men applicants that the schools are doing something that might shock you.
“To make a class that’s 50/50, they’re practicing affirmative action on behalf of boys,” says Thompson. “Girls are so outperforming boys in school right now, one statistician said he took it out to its absurd endpoint and said at the present trend, the last man to get his bachelor’s degree will do so in 2068.”
Nothing wrong with teaching girls to be more assertive, but if you’re looking at classrooms for evidence of gender disparities and the one you seize on has to do with “bossiness,” not the one about a gigantic achievement gap that’s being covered by “60 Minutes” and the New York Times, you might have an agenda you’re pushing.
Exit question: Where’s Hillary? I can’t believe she’d pass on an easy self-promotion opportunity like this.