IN SO MANY PLACES, and at so many times throughout human history, men have known the economic and political and social advantages of patriarchy. Biology has been helpful also: men are larger and stronger than women – not in every case, of course, but as a tendency. Being a man is, for the most part, a good deal. There is also the downside, and it would be impossible to represent life as a man without speaking of this also.
GREETINGS, Comrades. Today we’re chatting about Grayson Bruce, the nine year-old North Carolina fan of My Little Pony who was bullied by schoolmates when he brought a rainbow-colored backpack to his Buncombe County elementary school.
IF YOU HAVEN’T yet heard of Sheryl Sandberg’s Ban Bossy campaign, here is a video, and below is a brief overview of the Facebook COO’s effort, in which she is joined by Condoleeza Rice, Beyoncé, Jennifer Garner, Diane von Furstenberg and Jane Lynch:
When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy.” Words like bossy send a message: don’t raise your hand or speak up. By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys—a trend that continues into adulthood. Together we can encourage girls to lead.
Pledge to Ban Bossy.
LAST WEEK the Conservative Party of Canada’s Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Keith Ashfield, improvised some lines in an otherwise scripted event staged to cheerlead the 2013 federal budget. At the Morena family home in Fredericton, New Brunswick, he complimented eldest daughter Grace, observing that she is ‘a great cook’ who will one day ‘make a wonderful wife for somebody.’
It wasn’t long ago that one would hear it said the world will be a different place when women are in charge. But then came the masculine regimes of Indira Gandhi — from whom a politician as dirty and ruthless as Richard Nixon recoiled — and Margaret Thatcher. From then forward, the essentialist claim that female leadership is distinct from its male counterpart could be put forward only with laboured qualifications and irony.
Continue reading “The Problem with Identity Politics”
Readers of this humble column of mine know that as a matter of principle I defend the right to unfettered expression of any and all persons, regardless of point-of-view. The other and necessary half of this social compact requires that I subject to deliberation the jingoism, fear-mongering, and stupidity which from time to time result when this right is exercised. And so, Dear Reader, I give you Mr. Charles McVety. Continue reading “I Give You Mr. Charles McVety”