Bossy Without The Y

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“…yeah but most female bosses are bitches.”

A statement from my roommate’s boyfriend that resulted in a lot of emotion, sarcastic comments and a solid minute and a half of me and my roommate looking at each other wide-eyed going, “Ooooooooooh.”

He backed up his claim using some science jargon about how biologically men are inclined to lead because of their testosterone to which I responded with some snarky remark about how women can’t possibly be leaders because we’re too busy shedding our uterine lining and bleeding from our vaginas every month or something like that. Which to me, the bleeding from the vagina defense is always a good one when men refer to things women can’t or shouldn’t do.

Granted, he is a smart guy so his science explanation is probably true but I refused to look up these facts because I am a stubborn human being. However, I was confused how this backed up his statement that most female bosses are bitches. That was the moment I hopped on board the Ban Bossy campaign train.

When men are in charge they’re the boss but when women are in charge they’re bossy. This double-standard is exactly what the Ban Bossy campaign addresses while promoting leadership in young women. The Girl Scouts of the USA has partnered with LeanIn.org “to develop tips and activities to encourage all girls to lead.”  Big names such as Beyonce and Condoleezza Rice backed the campaign to spread the word about banning the word. Cosmo offers a great article on the topic stating that various powerful women were described using words such as crazy, too tough, bossy, stubborn, unapproachable, and brusque whereas men of the same positions and sometimes qualifications were described as audacious, determined, confident and out-spoken. This double-standard between men and women bosses discourages young girls from stepping up into positions of leadership for fear of not being liked.

In a piece on Forbes.com written by Tina Wells, founder and CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, she suggests instead of starting a campaign against the word “bossy” why not teach our girls to shrug it off? I understand that it’s not realistic to expect something like this to end gender inequalities and stereotyping as well as the benefits of having thick skin, but have you ever tried to convince a women she is beautiful who has been made to feel her whole life as if she isn’t? It’s not easy to do. The things we are taught, way we are perceived and words used to describe us at a young age affect the way we see ourselves, our opportunities and the world around us as we get older. Yeah, it sucks, and having the ability to shrug off every hurtful word somebody says to you would be ideal, but it’s not realistic either. Doesn’t it make more sense to eliminate the ways in which we are being hurt than finding ways to block it out? Agreed, we give words power, but if we can change the way people view women in these leadership roles why wouldn’t we go that route rather than trying to teach 7 year-old girls the concept of sticks-and-stones?

The sole purpose of this campaign isn’t to end the use of a word. What good would that do? It’s about encouraging and inspiring young girls to develop their leadership skills. It’s about respecting woman in positions of power without assuming they’re bossy, bitches or have done anything other than earn where they’re at in their career. It’s about picturing “the boss” as somebody other than a man. It’s about progression.

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The Unknown

The unknown. It’s a concept that puts many people on edge and has always made me uneasy. Take death for example. It’s not death itself that freaks (most) people out, it’s the idea that they can’t say for certain what happens after they die that drives the fear. I am definitely one of those people that lets that uneasiness drive my fear of death, but if there’s one illogical concept that makes me more anxious than death it is outer space.

Space. Infinite, vast, mysterious. I think for me, personally, it’s the idea that it goes on FOREVER (another concept that freaks me out) and we just carry on our day-to-day lives on this floating ball in the middle of this infinite structure that we know pretty much nothing about. I just never took the time to learn or think about space because I never could understand why anyone would possibly care so much. My mindset had always been that we have enough issues here on planet earth to worry about than the possibility that Mars may have had water at some point. As I was discussing my fear of space with a friend, he sent me this video and my mind was blown.

The idea that not only are we a part of the universe, sure a teeny tiny half of a speck, but that the universe is also a part of us is quite possibly the most inspiring thing I’ve ever heard. The same stuff that makes up this never ending vortex that scientist dream about knowing more of is within us. That just makes me feel like I can go out and conquer the world… or the universe.

Don’t even get me started about his fascinatingly disturbing truth. However, if that is true -that there is a species out there one percent smarter than we are- we should probably stop spending so much money looking because chances are they’re going to find us first… if they haven’t already.

Let Spring Spring Already

Tonight we prepare to set our clocks ahead and although it means losing one hour of precious sleep, it marks the transition to Spring.

I’m over winter. I was pretty much over winter when winter started. I always like to pretend I’m all about winter because I do enjoy skiing and cuddling up by the fire, reading a book and drinking hot cocoa until I realize that I barely get to ski over my winter break, my apartment doesn’t have a fireplace, and I go stir crazy when I can’t leave the fishbowl that my apartment complex sits in.

I’m ready for life to flourish on the dead trees outside my window and awkward tan lines from walking around campus in a t-shirt and shorts. I know we create fictitious times that are always a good way to “reinvent” ourselves, like New Year’s resolutions and our 25th birthday, but spring is my favorite time for new beginnings (maybe that’s just because I’ve been slacking on my New Year’s resolution so this is my excuse). It’s just that for me, as the weather improves so does my attitude and outlook on life. I’m a believer that our moods are strongly influenced by the weather and too much winter is a depressant.

So let spring spring like a slinky down the stairs because I am over the dead and drab that is this winter.

The Community that Cried Religious Freedom

I am a strong advocate for freedom to religion, and I really enjoy attempting to understand different faiths’ basic traditions and how they mold the ethical dimension of their followers lives. However, I am also a strong proponent for freedom from religion as well. Therefore, when somebody’s right to religious freedom infringes on another person’s access to basic human rights, a line is being crossed. This is why I was baffled by the bill that was trying to work its way through Arizona’s senate that would allow religious institutions to discriminate (basically) against homosexuals. I was happy to hear the bill was vetoed by Arizona’s governor, but I still couldn’t believe it had made it that far.

We have come a long way in promoting both religious justice and human rights and I feel even the proposal of such a bill is regressive in both areas. The “religious justice” reasoning seems like an excuse to ignorance rather than an advancement of a people. Rather than spreading acceptance of religion and religious freedom, this to me is a cop-out in this situation. Since religion ranks up there in topics that make people feel uncomfortable, crying “religious freedom” acts as a third rail that policy makers do not want to touch. When the religious freedom excuse is used in situations to oppress other people it de-validates other efforts in the advancement of acceptance of all faiths.

This promotes an interesting issue in today’s society as to what is hindering a person’s first amendment rights? Many different theorists, theologians, anthropologists and various other scholarly people have different definitions of what religion really is. The difficulty to define religion makes it that much harder to determine when the “religious freedom” excuse is really justifiable because what might have religious significance to one person, could be bologna to someone else, and who’s to determine religion from bologna?