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March 14, 2014

Smartest Thing We've Read This Week

Althouse:

2. Yeah, the ladies said "Ban"... so: Censorship alert!!! Beep! Beep! Beep! Did you bite at the bait? You're boosting their business. You did what they wanted you to do. Oh, how easy it is for women to manipulate men. Putting the man in manipulate. Some women wear push-up bras and red stilettos, and other women say I will control you. And those words impel you to dance your dance of freedom. Dance, man, dance!

3. Ha ha. It's a funny dance, that dance the BanBossy made you do. Mind if I stand off over here? I'm the standoffish one.

4. From over here, in my corner, here's how it looks. There's no banning. There's only pressure to think about the meaning of the things we think and say, to be more aware of the connotations of the words we use. "Bossy" is one word that conveys more gender meaning than the people who use it might realize. There are other words — "shrill" and "hysterical," for example — that you might want to notice are used more quickly against females and that might be unfair or dispiriting.

5. There are words that are used against men too, and women — some women — may feel energized to level the competition by cutting down men.

6. Why don't we all become more conscious of the meaning of words and of the basis of our opinion about other human beings? Why don't we become more generous as we interpret the experiences of other people and interact with them? Why don't we engage in the finest aspects of the life we are given and really try to understand each other and to use language in a way that expands and enlightens our shared existence?

7. See how my point #6 isn't at all viral? You don't feel spurred to talk about that.

Tempest + Teapot = Traffic.

I don't think I've ever heard a man described as "bossy", but just let him publicly display the kind of decency sensitivity or consideration for others that I expect of an adult human being and he's likely to be called pussy-whipped, henpecked, gay, weak, [name your pejorative].

This is almost as idiotic as the shrill, hysterical (ooh! that sounds condescending, doesn't it?) whining about this story.

I keep trying to imagine a world in which conservatives don't complain about liberals interpreting every random news story through the lens of identity politics (while interpreting every random news story through the lens of their own brand of identity politics).

Really, people of all kinds. The universe is not trying to oppress "your kind", whatever kind you identify with this week. Person up.

UPDATE: Dear Lord, make it stop:

The real reason Knox is causing so much consternation is not that she was in porn, but that she thought she had a right to both be in porn and have access to a college education.

No, the real reason she is causing so much consternation is because, like Ms. Sandberg, she deliberately stirred it up. And because most people think she's beclowning herself.

Please don't ask me to feel sorry for a girl who had a full ride to Vanderbilt and turned it down to attend a school she now claims not to be able to afford. The kind of math used in basic budgeting is generally taught well before middle school.

Those women's studies classes don't seem to be producing the critical thinking skills one might expect from a college grad. Color us tres shocked.

It has been a stupid week.

Posted by Cassandra at March 14, 2014 06:32 PM

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I would beg to differ! Haven't you been reading the captions this week?!?
phtthtthttttt!
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at March 14, 2014 07:09 PM

}}} The universe is not trying to oppress "your kind"

The universe? No.

Certain groups? Yes.

Certain groups with power? F*** yes.

I haven't read the tempest in a teapot story yet. But the notion that 'x' is attempting to oppress 'y'? Yeah, it really *is* true sometimes.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 14, 2014 11:59 PM

My response:


==================================

}}} 4. From over here, in my corner, here's how it looks. There's no banning. There's only pressure to think about the meaning of the things we think and say, to be more aware of the connotations of the words we use.

Oh, give me a freaking BREAK.

That's how this crap ALWAYS starts. "Be rEEEEEEEEsonable!!!" they say. "Just THINK of how WWWWWWwwwwwweeeeeee might feel!!!" they say.

Then some BITCH FROM HELL (note how I just avoided the word "Bossy", just for you) Brings a LAWSUIT against a man (or more likely, simply THREATENS ONE against a man's employer and he loses his job.

FUCK you and your "BE REASONABLE".

Men are %$^$%$%$# SICK AND TIRED of "being reasonable".

This is no different a whine than the gun controlling victim-disarmament LACKWITS who want GUN OWNERS to "be reasonable... all we want is for you to consider THE CHIIIIIIILdren!?!? Surely THEY matter to you, don't they?"

"Think of how weeeee feel"?

Frankily, men have been thinking of how women feel for over a century now -- and what we've gotten is marginalized, treated like dirt, and generally saddled with nothing but lifelong responsibilities while being stripped of all respect and authority over things we have been told we're supposed to care about.

F*** your reasonable. [Edited out rest of word - Cass]

Now THIS you can "ban".

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 15, 2014 12:11 AM

Sorry, Cass. On this you're wrong. Althouse is wrong.

YOU need to think about how WE feel, for once.

We're sick and tired of this kind of "think of how we feel" crap.

I've thought of how women feel for my entire life. Hasn't gotten me laid freaking once. Hasn't gotten me anything other than a few random empty words of "appreciation" on rare occasions.

I have, however, lost a job that I BUSTED MY ASS FOR because some female made outright lying claims about me having said something in the work place, which is not what I ever said.

All this is is YET ANOTHER salvo for feminist NAZI BITCHES to screw over men by making bogus claims that make the workplace into a hostile, screwed up and intolerable (because of *intolerance*) environment.

I don't have to LIKE you much to work with you. But I do have to TOLERATE you in order to work with you.

This is something MEN have learned how to do for millennia, getting better and better at it all the time.

And what is happening in the workplace is that it's getting totally ephed up because too many women don't GRASP that key fact -- in the work environment, TOLERANCE matters more than FEELINGS.

If I don't like you, I can avoid you often. But if I DO have to deal with you, it's more important that I TOLERATE what I dislike about you because GETTING SOMETHING DONE matters FAR more than how I FEEL about working with you.That's what WORK is all about -- COOPERATION TOWARDS A GOAL.

And this is what women don't grasp, near as I can see -- even otherwise sensible ones such as yourself.

You need to learn to tolerate things -- people and what they say -- that you don't LIKE -- because when it comes to work, THAT DOES NOT MATTER.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 15, 2014 12:22 AM

OBH:

I don't know how someone gets such a skewed view of the world. I expressed an opinion you didn't agree with and your response is to attack me on a site I pay for?

Doesn't sound terribly tolerant to me. No one's suing anyone in this scenario. They merely expressed an opinion you don't care for.

I'm sorry you lost your job but the fact is that most employment is at will, meaning an employer can terminate your employment for pretty much any reason (with a very few exceptions) or even no reason at all.

It has always been this way. When I was a little girl, a constant theme in the show Bewitched was that Darren was always in fear of his arbitrary boss firing him for some stupid reason or another having nothing to do with feminism. I'm female, and I have to watch what I say at work. So does pretty much every person I know.

I don't tell certain jokes, I don't discuss politics, and I certainly don't get into contentious social issues.

When we're at work, we're on someone else's turf and working for someone else's dime. We don't have the same freedoms we do in our free time, and if we choose to work for an employer who is willing to fire people arbitrarily, we are at greater risk than if we try to work for someone who is reasonable and fair.

You seem to have constructed some narrative about how feminists caused you to lose your job, but the truth is that people have been getting fired for all sorts of frivolous (and non-frivolous) reasons for centuries.

I disagree with you about having to tolerate everything at work. Were I an employer, I wouldn't tolerate someone using foul language (especially around clients) or dressing like a hooker or coming in drunk or proselytizing for their political party or religion during working hours.

These things are not illegal, and they can do them all they want after 5 pm. But they're simply not appropriate in most workplaces. Apparently your employer had strong feelings about what you were alleged to have said, and didn't care about due process. But again, that's the at-will nature of most jobs - I don't think we want to live in a world where employers are forced to litigate to terminate an employee.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 15, 2014 09:19 AM

On the subject of arbitrary firings, allow me to remind you of this story:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/iowa-court-oks-firing-female-worker-irresistibly-attractive-article-1.1226068

A woman is fired because her married boss can't control himself around her and court upholds the firing.

The problem with the Internet is that people cherry pick grievances - focusing on some, completely ignoring others, and then conclude that the Multiverse is out to get them. "They" always win, "We" always lose.

Except the world really doesn't work that way.

I'm sorry that men have had to "allow" women into the workplace, but both men and women vote and we all have the power to change the laws. If you think a particular law is unjust, work to change it. You'll have to convince your fellow voters that your proposed change is best for everyone (not just your identity group) but if your cause is just that shouldn't be too hard.

And if you have tried your hardest and can't convince anyone, maybe things aren't quite as simple as you've made them out to be. Or maybe your remedy makes things better for your group, but worse for others.

Tell me what law you want to change (not that this would necessarily have prevented an employer from terminating an at-will employee!). Do you want laws that force employers to litigate before they can fire anyone?

Do you want laws that make it impossible for employers to set standards of behavior within their own businesses?

What is it you want, OBH?

Posted by: Cassandra at March 15, 2014 09:32 AM

Observations:
- Ann Althouse really is good, but not nearly as entertaining as the local villains.
- The porn star at Duke is *perfect* for tabloid style MSM; it has sex *and* mocks an 'elite' institution.
- Nobody cares what Ruth Marcus thinks, except Ruth Marcus and the three (?) actual paid Slate subscribers. Bill Gates vanity publication.

- OBH: FYI, its not becoming for a man to whine about women ranting over anything. If an individual woman that matters to you rants inappropriately, then you should take it up w/ her alone, in private.
. . . and, oh BTW, this is Cassandra's place, into which she welcomes her personal friends, plus a few strays.

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at March 15, 2014 04:59 PM

Hi Cassandra,
*True* story!:

For awhile I was a back office (administrative) manager for about 80 people, in six different groups. Two of the groups were predominately female.

The most awkward situation, except for a couple firings, I ever faced involved complaints about what two women were wearing.
- one young temp wore short skirts (that yes, showed off mighty fine legs).
- the other sometimes wore a blouse that exposed a little cleavage.
. . . neither was deliberately 'flashy,' that I noticed (or maybe simply not to me), nor a flagrant violation of our dress code.
>>> the complaints came from other women! (of course)

Exercising my very best discretion (or maybe fear), I enlisted the aid of one of my most experienced female employees to gently suggest the 'offenders' dress a little more professionally (I don't really know what was actually said).
>>> end of issue. (also end of the show)

Very Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at March 15, 2014 05:09 PM

}}}} Doesn't sound terribly tolerant to me. No one's suing anyone in this scenario. They merely expressed an opinion you don't care for.

I'm sorry you lost your job but the fact is that most employment is at will, meaning an employer can terminate your employment for pretty much any reason (with a very few exceptions) or even no reason at all.

Cass, I lost a job which I did well because a woman didn't LIKE something I said to her about something, and decided to MAKE UP things that were much in exact line with the kind of stuff you're advocating.

It's a subtle form of intolerance when you start telling people that the words they're using to describe their behavior are the problem and it cannot possibly be the behavior they're describing. And the attitude you show is what LEADS to discriminatory practices in the workplace.

}}} I expressed an opinion you didn't agree with and your response is to attack me on a site I pay for?

No, I attacked the OPINION. You think this is wrong? That's purportedly why you're expressing the opinion.

Then I took the time to come back and try and offer a more extensive explanation of why it was wrong, to boot.

The idea that some guy can lose his job because some woman decides she doesn't like him and makes up something he said to her and there NO EFFORT to expect evidence, to offer due process, or to do anything except take the accusation on face value is just flat out wrong, and creates a ridiculously hostile environment.

I guarantee you that, if you turn that around, that if *I* make an accusation, there's going to be more than ample "due process" for HER.

I'm trying to get across to you that this stuff does not play both ways. There is nothing "egalitarian" about it. It inevitably morphs into hostile, anti-male workplace rules and expectations.

And the fact that you and althouse are both attempting to POO POO this even though it's clear that it's striking a chord among men says perhaps you should be thinking about WHY it's getting men so ticked off, even though YOU see it as something minor and insignificant.

Maybe this is somehow relevant to men's experience in a manner equivalent to what women are concerned about when they speak of men being sexually crude and rude to them because they don't appreciate the intrusion into their workplace camaraderie.


Are women wrong to react so strongly to "men being men"?

Perhaps there's more to it than you're grasping, just as "men being men" might be more significant than men once grasped... Hmmm?

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 04:42 AM

}}} It has always been this way. When I was a little girl, a constant theme in the show Bewitched was that Darren was always in fear of his arbitrary boss firing him for some stupid reason or another having nothing to do with feminism. I'm female, and I have to watch what I say at work. So does pretty much every person I know.

1) This is NOT what we're talking about.
2) That was a TV show.
3) I never USED to feel like I was walking on eggshells in the workplace, 20+ years ago. EVERYWHERE you go, nowadays, you have to watch carefully ANYTHING you say about ANYTHING for fear of "giving someone offense". That has not always been the case, and it's that way only because of this stupid "think of peoples' feelings" crap that has utterly and completely TAKEN OVER our society.

In itself all of this stuff seems reasonable. But, as with so many "reasonable" notions, the idiots have taken that notion and run straight off the end of the earth with it.

It's not enough to TRY and be considerate and thoughtful. If you FAIL to consider whatever loony thing every single person finds "offensive" you're an eeeeevil person who needs to be turned into a homeless person.

Nowadays anyone announces that they're "offended" by something said or done, it becomes some giant Federal Case that can quickly get you terminated for things having nothing to do with the job and which USED to be understood as part of the requirements of a job -- as I noted before -- to GET ALONG.

You don't have to LIKE your co-workers, but you SHOULD be working on tolerating your differences because you're not there to FEEEEEEL good, you're there to ACCOMPLISH A GOAL, to get something done. So instead of getting into a high dudgeon at every slight, you get a thicker skin, and just ignore stuff most of the times. Unless someone is doing something particularly egregious (grabbing their crotch and waving it at you... touching you in a clearly intentional and inappropriate manner) people should be working towards MORE tolerance, not MORE SENSITIVITY.

We've got an ample supply of "sensitivity". What we need today is far more TOLERANCE.

P.S., I will apologize for the vehemence of my response, but I AM offended by how lightly you take the male attitude regarding this, which clearly WE do consider important. And I think you should be asking yourself FIRST -- why is it that it seems important? Rather than discounting it right from the start as overwrought and hysterical.

I'm put in mind of this passage from The Myth of Male Power:

"Essentially, women's liberation and men's mid-life crises were the same search for personal fulfillment, common values, mutual respect, and love. But while women's liberation was thought of as promoting identity, men's mid-life crises were thought of as identity crises. Women's liberation was called insight, self-discovery, and self-improvement, akin to maturity. Men's mid-life crises were discounted as irresponsibility, self-gratification, and selfishness, akin to immaturity. Women's crises got sympathy, men's crises got a bad rap." - Warren Farrell -

Men's viewpoints get blown off. All that matters is how *women* see things... :-/

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 04:59 AM

}}} I'm sorry that men have had to "allow" women into the workplace, but both men and women vote and we all have the power to change the laws. If you think a particular law is unjust, work to change it. You'll have to convince your fellow voters that your proposed change is best for everyone (not just your identity group) but if your cause is just that shouldn't be too hard.

Cass, RIGHTS don't get voted on. Mmmm?

It's not about "allowing women into the workplace". You're trying to turn this into a MALE gender bias issue, and that's just flat out CRAP.

It's about how women -- primarily feminists, but clearly YOU aren't acting against this, either -- have twisted key aspects of the workplace environment to make them inherently anti-male in ways that have nothing whatsoever to do with work or even with simple decent human interaction.

They force into the workplace the misandrist-feminist depiction of women as helpless victims of men always unable to do anything for themselves and liable to get "the vapors" at the drop of a hat because some man DARED to say something she did not want to hear.

Guess what? Sometimes, in the workplace, you and all the people around you NEED to hear things you may not want to hear. It doesn't matter what the gender of any of the people involved is.

Cass, the sort of thing you're talking about INEVITABLY gets turned into not just "consideration", but REQUIRED BEHAVIOR before long.

Triggering and the Return to Victorian Perceptions of Women

(which links to):

Trigger Warnings--A Ludicrous Step Toward Censorship

The latter of those has a comment (not by me, and not seen by me prior to this writing, but which shows others can see the same issues I've commented about earlier):

"When an organization becomes feminized, priority shifts from efficient and profitable production of goods and services to development of labyrinthine rules for the comfort and security of women. Ossification and organizational death are inevitable."
- Uncle Elmer

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 05:15 AM

}}} Tell me what law you want to change (not that this would necessarily have prevented an employer from terminating an at-will employee!). Do you want laws that force employers to litigate before they can fire anyone?

Do you want laws that make it impossible for employers to set standards of behavior within their own businesses?

Not in the least.

What I want is for the workplace to RESPECT the way the law works when it comes to serious allegations of misbehavior.

I WANT employers to stop treating "a woman offended" as we treat "a woman raped", and stop presuming that all women are wonderful angels with no propensity to be #$%$#%#$%^ people, who would NEVER lie, NEVER misunderstand, NEVER blow things out of reasonable proportion.

I WANT an employer to have a positive attitude towards "due process" in the workplace, and, if someone makes a serious allegation, that they expect it to be in some manner backed up by evidence. I expect them to want to talk to other witnesses, to make sure that the ACCUSED either intended to do something wrong or at least had a chance to make amends or otherwise state their case.

The reason why this is an anti-male workplace environment, Cass, is because men have learned to tolerate in the workplace. They know that the job goal is what matters, not feelings -- so if they are "hurt" by something, that's not particularly relevant to the job. You blow past it unless it's clear the person is deliberately being nasty. You ignore it as best you can if the person is just clueless (which is often the case). And you don't blow it out of proportion when it's some trivial difference, like, say, using the word "oriental" instead of "asian". Yes, I had some woman try and make a big hairy deal over that one time. She was neither, of course. Get A Life. It was nothing other than the Lefty tactic of getting into a high dudgeon over trivial crap so as to keep people off balance and scared of you... aka "obedient". But you've "offended" them. And that is Very Very Important when it comes to getting a job done. Because she's a woman, and if she wants to, she can make all manner of claims up and they won't be investigated in any way at all, they will be taken as truth written on tablets next to a burning bush.

Men generally don't make a big deal over this kind of thing. Yeah, there are some but nowhere near as many men as women will raise any issue over stupid crap like that.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 05:34 AM

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 05:56 AM

http://www.imagebam.com/image/4b2476314682037

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 05:58 AM

I WANT employers to stop treating "a woman offended" as we treat "a woman raped", and stop presuming that all women are wonderful angels with no propensity to be #$%$#%#$%^ people, who would NEVER lie, NEVER misunderstand, NEVER blow things out of reasonable proportion.

You have offered precisely zero evidence (your opinion, while important, doesn't prove anything) that this is actually going on, though.

You've presented a one-sided argument consisting of a lot of unsupported statements about "how things are". If this is truly how things are, it should be easy to find and present evidence, but you don't do that.

This is what Thomas Sowell calls "arguments without arguments" - you simply assert something and then expect everyone else to accept it.

In all the time I have been working, I have never even ONCE known a man to be treated the way you describe. Not once. I have, on the other hand, seen men openly sexually harass their co-workers. And I've seen women complain and nothing is done. I've had it happen to me (and I did not complain - I just made it clear to the people involved that the behavior was unwelcome and unacceptable, and that next time my reaction would be a more public one. Luckily, that sufficed.)

You're talking a lot about how you feel, but that also is not an argument. You don't know a thing about whether the fact that your accuser was a woman had anything to do with how your case was disposed. For all you know, it could have ended the same way if the accuser had been male.

And I hope you're not doing what the MRA crowd accuse feminists of doing - one woman does something and you blame all women.

I WANT an employer to have a positive attitude towards "due process" in the workplace, and, if someone makes a serious allegation, that they expect it to be in some manner backed up by evidence. I expect them to want to talk to other witnesses, to make sure that the ACCUSED either intended to do something wrong or at least had a chance to make amends or otherwise state their case.

It would seem your real beef is with your employer. The likelihood of this happening without laws that mandate is pretty slender. But you don't want those laws?

So what's the answer?

Posted by: Cassandra at March 16, 2014 09:17 AM

One more thing, OBH.

The whole trigger warning thing, while stupid and annoying, is not anywhere close to being a universally or legally mandated practice. That a thing exists at all in certain social circles or professions is not evidence that it is ubiquitous.

You're making a lot of airy generalizations about men and how they behave in the workplace, but they don't match my experiences at all. I've worked on and off for over 35 years. Never once, in all that time, have I seen a woman lose her temper at work and berate other employees. I've seen men do this several times.

Yet I don't make general statements about how "all men" are or about how the workplace is anti-female. I can accept that some men - a minority - tend towards bullying or aggressive behavior but that most men control themselves. You seem to be generalizing from a single bad experience, so naturally you see "evidence" all around you that what happened to you is extremely common (and that in some weird way you haven't quite explained, feminists are to blame).

Here's where you and I differ.

When I see a person acting badly at work, I don't look at their sex and ascribe their behavior to sexism. When I read the article about the woman being fired because her married boss lacks elementary self control, I didn't go off on some "all men are horndogs with no self control" tangent.

Bad people exist in the world, and they have always had the ability to harm other people. The fact that the vast majority of people I've encountered at work who act like this happen to be male is something I have taken on board, but I don't conclude from it that men in general are likely to behave that way because these folks are in the minority. And yes, I've had men lie at work.

I had a man report me to the State Equal Opportunity Commission (there's some irony for you). He lied about pretty much everything he told them. I suppose I could have concluded from this one instance that men are more likely to lie than women, or that they're sexist, or any number of things. But I would have been doing so on no real evidence.

So I just said, "OK, I ran into a snake. I'll be even more careful next time." Snakes exist in all walks of life. If your employer did what you claim, then maybe your employer was a snake. The thing is, you'll never know what transpired behind closed doors.

A few months ago, a man not employed by my firm was accused of doing something at a site we work on. He was summarily told to clean out his desk.

No explanation was given to him whatsoever. He wasn't informed who his accuser was, or even what he was accused of. One of my co-workers did know what the cause was, and the poor guy hadn't done anything wrong. And no, it wasn't a woman who brought the complaint. It was a man.

You seem to be assuming a narrative that fits your view of things. It makes sense of your firing, but it's not really based on evidence (but rather on your feelings and on you fitting it to some larger scheme in which women are never fired without explanations or investigations and men are always the only victims.

But the real world doesn't work that way.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 16, 2014 09:37 AM

One more thought. I've heard the "certain groups with power" argument many times before.

What power do feminists have that is denied to men? I can't think of anything they have access to that men can't do.

If they have power, it's because some of them have organized politically to fight for their policy preferences. What keeps men from doing this?

Men still dominate all branches of government, and not by a small margin either. Why do so many guys go on about feminists as thought they had some special power denied to others?

Posted by: Cassandra at March 16, 2014 09:42 AM

OK, I'm about to read your response, but I haven't yet.

But add another man to your list of "shrill, hysterical males" who are generally offended by this whole "ban bossy" crap, Patterico.

Don’t Call Me Bossy!

I have to wonder, Cass -- is it just that all males are blind to this, and OOONLY women can see it? Or is it possibly that it is something significant that YOU AS WOMEN just don't see?

And, gosh gee whatta surprise, others there who have the same interpretation where this comes from that I do -- see the comments, but I'll offer my own, first, then those of "The Other Dana" who posted there:

Mine:

Few would disagree that women in places of power still struggle against stereotyping, and too often do not garner the same level of respect as their counterparts.

I'm sure there are random exceptions, but this is, and has been for decades, utter CRAP.

Men have been cooperating for millenia, first in hunting groups and war, and then more and more in civilized endeavors, as well as those former.

They've learned to handle and recognize a certain pecking order, and how to respond to it. This is taught to them as children, and the male children themselves have been self-selected over time for their ability to respond properly to it -- it's a skill, like anything else.


Women have not been taught this kind of thing, and their social patterns, as children, don't teach them any of it.

So, wow, what a freakin' surprise, they don't do a particularly good job of matching up with that pecking order, or sending the right cues to the men around them.

THIS IS NOT SEXISM. If a man calls a woman "Bossy", what it means is she's probably pretty crappy at reading and sending the right cues as she gives instructions and takes in information from her subordinates.

It's got nothing to do with her being a female -- if a guy behaved the exact same way -- mirrored the same incorrect social cues -- he's going to be thought of as a lousy boss -- and have the same exact response from most male employees.

Will they USE the term "bossy"? Possibly not. But it's the same either way... a sign of an incompetent executive in some minorly significant way, which may or may not matter too much in the workplace, but is clearly a shortcoming the supervisor, female or otherwise, could probably stand to work on.

Banning the word is not going to fix the problem.
The problem is not the word.
Nor is it the perception.

The problem is the failure of the female executive to learn to read and respond properly to social cues that have been worked out, and been working, for tens of thousands of years.

The problem is that women can't accept the notion that they MIGHT be the source of the problem, not sexism.

From TOD:

The solution is to understand what bossy actually means. Dictionary.com defines it as “given to ordering people about; overly authoritative; domineering,” with synonyms including “highhanded, officious, dictational; overbearing, and abrasive.” It is, in effect, exercising authority poorly, being a poor leader or manager, and men can fail at these things just as easily as women. A good manager or leader conveys instructions well, and his subordinates follow instructions because they have respect and confidence in their superiors. The word “bossy” may be applied to women more frequently than men — failing male leaders have other words more frequently applied to them — but the real problem with the word bossy is that it indicates failure on the part of the boss, and the strident feminists cannot really accept the notion that women can fail.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 06:15 PM

}}} You've presented a one-sided argument consisting of a lot of unsupported statements about "how things are". If this is truly how things are, it should be easy to find and present evidence, but you don't do that.

Because I'm not a freaking psychologist who makes such studies happen. I've talked to a lot of guys, and they do confirm their own concerns and see the same problems I do. But that's nothing in the form of objective proof.

So, yes, I'm making an assertion, at this point, with limited proof.

I'm suggesting you take it as -- not proven truth -- but possible, and if true, then that you grasp that it's an important thing that is interfering not just with the workplace environment but also with gender relationships -- in the workplace and likely outside of it.

Until women stop automatically playing the "sexist!" card, just as blacks automatically play the "racist!" card, when it comes to dispute, there's not going to be any improvements in things.

}}} In all the time I have been working, I have never even ONCE known a man to be treated the way you describe. Not once.

So far as you KNOW. You're saying you've actually been carefully aware if anything like that might have been happening, that you actually looked for evidence to support such a claim even when your employer did not?

}}} I have, on the other hand, seen men openly sexually harass their co-workers. And I've seen women complain and nothing is done.

Rip the bastard's balls off. I have no problem with this. And yeah, I agree, it happens and should not -- or that the women do complain but they wind up getting screwed over, not the male (ex-GF of mine got transferred to another location, which was in a very bad part of town -- nothing happened to the manager)

OTOH, my ex-GF in that instance was an outrageous flirt and often sent signals that were pretty strongly in favor of more attention than she really wanted. Other women hated her. You can likely guess the type I'm talking about. SHOULD the manager have been sent packing for "misreading" her signals? Not as sure about that as you might be. When a woman is sending the wrong signals, is it always the man's fault for the wrong interpretation?

That's not suggesting that's the case in many, much less most or all such scenarios -- but it does happen. And it's not good to just automatically find for the woman across the board. They can be screwing up the situation at least as much as a man.

}}} It would seem your real beef is with your employer. The likelihood of this happening without laws that mandate is pretty slender. But you don't want those laws?

Oh, geez, you are in COMPLETE DENIAL.

No, my beef is with the lying BITCH who made shit up that I never said. I have a secondary beef with the employer for taking what she said as gospel, but that's an additional problem.

Funny how you fail to notice that the primary problem was a lying woman, not the employer itself. They simply handed her power she had no business having.

And I have news for you -- it already IS law, thanks to various workplace "harassment" legislation.

The whole notion of "comments about sexuality creating a hostile workplace enviroment" makes it easy to construct a vague and thus irrational context while retaining an actionable definition of harassment which no rational person would take issue with. We're not talking about making blatant sexual gestures, putting up naked pictures, or having clearly sexual objects lying around. We're talking about how it's gotten to where someone can raise SERIOUS workplace issues about a comment about someone OUTSIDE the workplace (i.e., not a co-worker, nor another employee) being "pretty" or "attractive" and nothing more. THAT is now a "hostile workplace environment", esp. if the female in question is willing to lie about what was said.

If there's no problems, why do I find, within seconds of looking for them, lots of information on dealing with false harassment claims?

http://www.academicmatters.ca/2011/10/false-allegations-of-sexual-harassment-misunderstandings-and-realities/

http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/defense-against-false-rape-harassment-insult-claim-634114.html

http://www.howcast.com/videos/418160-How-to-Defend-Yourself-Against-a-False-Sexual-Harassment-Charge

And it's not just recent --
http://www.thefire.org/false-harassment-accusations-a-moral-outrage/
That's from 2005, and it's FIRE.org, hardly a fly-by-night operation looking for frivolous cases.

}}} The whole trigger warning thing, while stupid and annoying, is not anywhere close to being a universally or legally mandated practice. That a thing exists at all in certain social circles or professions is not evidence that it is ubiquitous.

And I'm not claiming it is. But it USED to be just something thrown around on radical feminist blogs. Now you have at least two significant universities looking at basing official policy on it. Yeah, that's not a slippery slope we're headed down.

If you think this whole "anti-Bossy" thing isn't being floated up to be used to silence comments about Hillary's utter failure in many aspects of people management, you're just being unusually clueless, Cass. You will see it used to shut down all manner of comments -- valid, rightful ones with merit -- about Hillary's bad, bitchy attitude towards people. The term will be tossed out to silence any thread in which they are losing any argument which centers on Hillary's incompetence in management.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 06:58 PM

}}} What keeps men from doing this?

What, indeed.

About 25 years ago, a grad student at UF attempted to form a "NOM" (vis-a-vis, "NOW"). He did so within the stated guidelines for such organizations at UF, which included having a faculty sponsor. Jumped through all the hoops to become a recognized on-campus organization.

Shortly thereafter, the faculty sponsor bailed on him, and it was strongly suggested that it was because the sponsor was pressured by colleagues (as in, "don't think you'll ever get tenure") to do so.

All efforts to find a new sponsor failed. No faculty member was willing, or able, to take the heat for supporting them. Which, if you think about it, is pretty ridiculous. It clearly could not only deal with men's advocacy issues, but it could be a forum for inter-gender communication.

And clearly, what should have happened is that a sponsor -- preferably a senior faculty member -- should have been ordered to take on the role, so as to remove all heat from that person.

That's what would have happened if there had been a "feminine issue of importance" that could not find a sponsor, you can bet your ass.

This isn't an identical case, but it shows how such policies can be used against men -- make a stupid joke, get thrown out of school.
http://www.thefire.org/victory-at-university-of-new-hampshire/

Why, Cass, are there "women's studies" programs all around the country, but almost no "men's studies" programs...? And no, don't get fooled by them getting renamed to "gender studies". They still aren't about men, unless they are GAY men. Or Trans.

I repeat what Warren Farrell said:

"Essentially, women's liberation and men's mid-life crises were the same search for personal fulfillment, common values, mutual respect, and love. But while women's liberation was thought of as promoting identity, men's mid-life crises were thought of as identity crises. Women's liberation was called insight, self-discovery, and self-improvement, akin to maturity. Men's mid-life crises were discounted as irresponsibility, self-gratification, and selfishness, akin to immaturity. Women's crises got sympathy, men's crises got a bad rap."
- Warren Farrell -

All efforts to raise consciousness regarding men in the last 20 years have been completely marginalized. They are blown off (much as you and Althouse have done) with the same kind of indifferent, downright sneering attitude that feminism used to complain about -- rightly, I'd assert -- in the 1960s.

In case you're ignorant of it, women now outnumber men in colleges: In 2003, there were 1.35 females for every male who graduated from a four-year college and 1.3 females for every male undergraduate. That's ten freaking years ago -- but for the last 10 years, has there been ANY substantial effort to increase recruitment of men to attend college?

F*** NO. In fact, in most locations, they're still FAVORING WOMEN when college applications are considered and a limited number of slots are open.

When those numbers were reversed, men for women, it was a big deal about how "unfairly" women's collegiate prospects were treated. It was used to call for far more efforts to openly recruit women to attend colleges.

Now that it's men sorely in the shade?

**crickets**.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 07:22 PM

}}} When I see a person acting badly at work, I don't look at their sex and ascribe their behavior to sexism. When I read the article about the woman being fired because her married boss lacks elementary self control, I didn't go off on some "all men are horndogs with no self control" tangent.

No. But did you also go digging into it to figure out what the hell was REALLY happening, or did you just accept the feminist mantra that it couldn't possibly be a CORRECT decision by the judge?

I cite the behavior of my ex-GF as an example. If a woman keeps flirting with a guy in an overtly sexual manner, and he, as manager, fires her over it after making sufficient efforts to warn her to stop, and documenting the situation (which clearly he must have done to convince a judge of what she was doing)... is that HIS control problem, or is it possible a problem SHE has?

I'm not saying that's the situation. I HAVE NOT taken the time to really investigate the case we're talking about. But, unlike you, I DO grasp that the way the MEDIA spun it might not reflect anything accurate about the situation.

And if you have issues with that, I have two words for you -- Martin/Zimmerman. Anyone paying attention to that knows there was insufficient evidence to convict Zimmerman, that, while he MAY have gotten away with something, the facts surrounding the case are pretty ambiguous, and lend credence to GZ's story, in ways he could not have been prepared for when making his initial statement.

So I ask you -- did you actually take the media's word for it on what that judgement said, on what actually happened, despite having seen how the media jumped all over the TM/GZ case with all the interest in The Truth of a career criminal looking at a life sentence?

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 07:33 PM

}}}} You seem to be assuming a narrative that fits your view of things. It makes sense of your firing, but it's not really based on evidence (but rather on your feelings and on you fitting it to some larger scheme in which women are never fired without explanations or investigations and men are always the only victims.

But the real world doesn't work that way.

Cass, you are extending my comments in ways and into ideas I've never expressed. I've tried to get across to you that the workplace is far more hostile to men than to women, simply because men generally are not likely to take the same tracks of getting at someone they don't like. If you don't believe there are gender differences in this, you're in sore need of some consciousness raising.

Women tend to be much more passive-aggressive, while men are more confrontational. And men are a lot more likely to be tolerant of workplace differences than women, particularly liberal women. You don't see this because you aren't one, so show less propensity to do it yourself, and extend incorrectly from your own attitudes to that of those females around you.

She was not the only woman who tried to give me crap in the workplace by abusing this harassment crap. I had a co-worker ask me specifically about an issue he was having in the workplace. I was honest and gave him a polite opinion, wording it as carefully as I could as not being criticism, just acknowledgement of there being a difference which resulted in a problem (specifically, it dealt with him having an exceptionally strong accent that made it sometimes difficult to understand him). A woman who overheard a part of it tried to get me formally reprimanded for talking about the subject. I know for a fact that she did not like me. The person in question didn't complain to anyone. But she decided to take offense at my attempt to help him figure out what he was having a difficulty with regards to. I should have left him completely in the dark, instead of being solution-oriented, and making him aware of what I believed was the problem.

The guy in question often dealt with blue collar workers for whom English was not their native language, meaning that his accent was a clear issue in communicating with them, since their own English was often none too good. *I* could understand him but could easily see how someone else might not.

Much more important that no one ever be offended than that this issue come to his own attention, so that he could choose, or not choose, to work on it as a personal improvement choice.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 16, 2014 07:47 PM

It won't surprise anyone to learn that I agree entirely with Cassandra. Behavior that's bossy in a woman makes a man officer material or a fine candidate for a raise and increased responsibility. Strong! Charismatic! Do I want to ban the word bossy? No, I want to point out the fatheaded assumptions it usually masks.

Nor can I scrounge up much outrage over a guy who wants to be in the delivery room over the objections of the mother of his child, whom he's taking to court, for Pete's sake. "But I still have to support my own child! Wah." Hard to imagine how unpleasant that relationship must be in general. It's such a bad idea for people who despise each other to procreate.

Posted by: Texan99 at March 16, 2014 08:14 PM

A bossy man isn't any more attractive to me, at least, than a bossy woman. I like strong women just fine. Strong men, too, as far as it goes.

Posted by: Grim at March 16, 2014 09:30 PM

A person who is truly "bossy" (i.e., overly fond of ordering other people about) is annoying, male or female.

The question I took the article to be asking was, "Is it really accurate to call a female who is assertive, "bossy" simply because we're uncomfortable with assertiveness in a woman?"

Would we call a man who acts exactly the same way bossy? What Tex calls 'fatheaded assumptions' are exactly what I was deriding when I brought up the way men who act decently and display an adult awareness of other people's feelings are called idiotic names like "pussy whipped", "sissy", "weak".

Here again, there are actually men against whom those terms could fairly be used. But simply displaying a trait that is valuable in *all* humans isn't a good reason for doing that, and I've seen good men made to feel ashamed of their own decency far too often to applaud such unthinking labels.

I get gender roles. If I didn't, I would hardly have agreed to be a stay at home wife and mother for two decades. But they can be carried too far, in which case they function more as a straitjacket than a useful framework.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 16, 2014 11:04 PM

A person who is truly "bossy" (i.e., overly fond of ordering other people about) is annoying, male or female.

Well, that's the real trick, as Han Solo would say. You can't ban the word if it's a good word for expressing a bad thing we'd all like to condemn.

What we're really talking about isn't the importance of banning an inaccurate and hurtful word. We're talking about its proper scope.

Posted by: Grim at March 17, 2014 12:46 AM

This reminds me of the grotesquely tortured arguments people on the right put forward to justify those jerks who stood outside a female dorm/sorority yelling, "No means no. Yes means Anal." A few points:

1. I just re-read the article, which is so mild that it's hard to believe people are going into conniptions over it. Nowhere in the article does it suggest actually banning anything.

What it does suggest is that individuals stop and think before labeling girls/women with an insulting term. If you go to the ban bossy web site, you'll see an individual, voluntary pledge to avoid using the word.

Hardly the coming of the 4th Reich! If you want to continue using the word, you are perfectly free to do so. Sheryl Sandberg isn't going to track you down and cut out your liver :p She has no power over you.

2. Now that I think of it, I don't think I've ever actually used the word, "bossy". Can't think of a time when I ever needed to. So if I *decided* (because that's what this is about) to never utter the word again, there are plenty of other words for the same trait left in the English language.

3. There are lots of words of this kind used to insult one sex (often for displaying the same trait we praise or don't shame in the other). Slut, harridan, shrew, shrill, hysterical (OK, that one my husband says he has used wrt men), diva.

And there are words used to shame men (wuss, pussy, sissy, girl, hen-pecked, milquetoast). Note that for some of these words, there's no real counterpart for the other sex. We don't talk about women who are "penis-whipped", for instance. And we have no pejorative label for a male who sleeps with a lot of women (Oh wait - yes we do: stud. Which is a *compliment*, supposedly, though for the life of me I've never understood why). I consider a lack of selectiveness in one's sexual partners to be foolish, not admirable.

Finally, there are words that have no particular male/female context (they're frequently used to describe people of both sexes): overbearing, rude, officious, aggressive, promiscuous.

It's not a particularly onerous burden to be asked to think before we speak, or to try to be a better and more understanding person.

When simple exhortations to think a little before opening our big yaps produce such overwrought responses, I'm inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to those who ask for people to do so of their own free will. You know, voluntarily?

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 07:58 AM

I haven't read the article at all. Like Althouse, I was chiefly amused by the dances made everyone do. But I am as amused by the one dance as the other. :). Nobody likes bossy people, but neveretheless it can be made into a human rights issue not to call them out if we paint it as a gender studies issue.

Heck, nobody likes bossy people less than Tex. The Pied Piper must have written this piece! ;)

Posted by: Grim at March 17, 2014 09:29 AM

I think Althouse, here, commits the same sin she incorrectly ascribes to the detractors.

She is correct that "ban" doesn't mean a legal "ban" under threat of jail, but socially discouraged usage.

But the detractors aren't making the claim that it is. They know and accept that this is a social not legal discouragement. Even OBH, who is hopping mad, recognizes that this is to be a social convention and no one is going to jail. Even employers who fire people with no interest in the truth do so under social, not legal, conventions.

She takes the detractor's statements and takes them up to 11 to distort their message. And then claims that's what the detractors are doing while implying that *she's* being neutral.

I generally like Althouse. She does a good job of taking an issue sideways, but she palmed a card here.

On the actual issue, I'll just repeat my first thought the first time I saw the "I want every girl that's been told she was bossy to be told she has leadership skills" message on Facebook (back before it became a thing):

If you think "bossy" and "leadership" are synonyms, you are the reason we have bad leaders *and* bad bosses.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 17, 2014 09:57 AM

Behavior that's bossy in a woman makes a man officer material or a fine candidate for a raise and increased responsibility.

I'd strongly disagree. I had a platoon sergeant in the army (male) who took great delight in ordering his platoon members around. I don't recall calling him being called "bossy", but "tin-horn dictator" did get thrown around a bit. To contrast, in the same unit, I also had a female platoon sergeant who was strong, assertive, and decisive. But never once did I hear her described as "bossy". And anyone who would describe her as "go along/get along" clearly never met her.

Posted by: MikeD at March 17, 2014 10:11 AM

And to be clear, it's normal for a senior NCO to order his/her soldiers around. SFC Nameless above (the tin-horn dictator) would cross the line with it. I don't think it's appropriate to tell one of your soldiers to go pick up your lunch for you.

Posted by: MikeD at March 17, 2014 10:13 AM

Nobody likes bossy people, but neveretheless it can be made into a human rights issue not to call them out if we paint it as a gender studies issue.

Anything can be made into a human rights issue (just look at the MRA types complaining that being nice doesn't get them laid - who knew there was a right to demand that women have sex with you if you're nice enough to them?). Feminists have put forth similarly ludicrous claims.

Just to clarify (in case this isn't clear), I thought the whole "ban bossy" article and shtick were a dumb and needlessly antagonizing way to make a thoughtful point. The thesis was put forward in a way that was calculated to raise hackles right and left - and it has. Why so many people are so eager to conform to the stereotypes they object to is a mystery to me, but it's a free country.

But [Over]reacting to a suggesting that doesn't involve actually banning anything in a way that mischaracterizes the point of the article doesn't help, either.

That said, I completely agree with Yu-Ain and Mike that leadership is NOT the same as bossiness. As I said earlier, though, like the word "slut", "bossy" is often used to undermine women who are not actually being bossy. And I do have a problem with that, just as I have a problem with words like "pussy" being used to insult and label men who are simply decent and considerate.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 10:27 AM

As I said earlier, though, like the word "slut", "bossy" is often used to undermine women who are not actually being bossy. And I do have a problem with that, just as I have a problem with words like "pussy" being used to insult and label men who are simply decent and considerate.

Words are used to hurt others. That much has always been true, and will likely never change. For example, a man who acts like a jerk is frequently (and even by me occasionally) referred to as a "dick". Is that kind? Well, no. Is it justified? Probably not, one should rise above the level of the jerk, but I (for one) am hardly perfect, and don't always do as I should. While we're at it, I'll point out things I've noticed that are used to describe one gender, but rarely another (though I'm sure this is getting into PG-13 territory). I've never heard a woman called a "son-of-a-bitch", nor have I heard a woman called a "bastard". I've never heard a man referred to as "hysterical" (except in the context of a comedy performance), but then again, that IS based upon female anatomy. I've actually heard both men and women as having "balls" but have also had that word used to describe something as terrible. Never heard anyone ever refer to something or someone as being or having "ovaries". Don't know why, but that strikes me as interesting. I'd say it's because they're internal organs, but people do refer to others as "having a heart", "lacking brains", being "a walking stomach", and even "venting your spleen". So internal organs aren't ignored.

But the question remains, what then is to be done about the use of words to hurt others? Pointing out a problem is well and good, but having a solution is better. I freely admit, I don't have one.

Posted by: MikeD at March 17, 2014 10:43 AM

When I think of "bossy" in connection with girls, I think of a few girls I've seen around my son at about the age of 11 or 12. At that sort of magical age, they can get very domineering, out of what I take to be insecurity about their chosen 'boyfriend's' devotion and a desire to make clear to everyone around (especially other girls) that the boy in question is claimed.

That's not leadership, of course, and you'd be unwise to praise them for it. In fact, it's something they're going to have to be talked through if they don't naturally grow out of it as they develop more confidence. Eventually it ends up pushing away the very one they like.

Of course, you also have to explain to the boy why the girl he was always friends with is suddenly beating him up all the time. It's kind of sweet, in a way, but it's got to be done.

Posted by: Grim at March 17, 2014 11:16 AM

"bossy" is often used to undermine women who are not actually being bossy.

Maybe so, but when I envision "bossy" I see one kid standing over another with their hands on their hips or waging a finger exclaiming, "No, no, no. You're playing with it wrong! You're supposed to do it *this* way!".

What I don't want to see come from this campaign, and what I easily see happening, is when Susie tells Timmy that he's playing with the LEGOs wrong, Timmy will tell her to stop being bossy. Susie runs over to the teacher (who is statistically likely to be female), "Timmy called me Bossy" and the teacher will punish Timmy for using "a bad word".

Where what I think should happen is for the teacher to tell Susie to mind her own business.

If Johnny did it to Timmy usually a strong shove in the chest gets the point across. And any whining by Johnny should be met with the same response by the teacher: Mind your own business.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 17, 2014 11:23 AM

I put it in the same category as "uppity." In my experience it does not describe behavior so much as a departure from the expected submissiveness for a category of people.

Posted by: Texan99 at March 17, 2014 11:37 AM

The difference between "uppity" and "bossy" is the difference between claiming an equality to which you aren't entitled, versus claiming an authority to which you aren't entitled.

It's no surprise that our society doesn't have many legitimate uses for the first concept, however expressed. (Perhaps disrespectful children.) The second concept is one we really need.

Posted by: Grim at March 17, 2014 11:56 AM

What I don't want to see come from this campaign, and what I easily see happening, is when Susie tells Timmy that he's playing with the LEGOs wrong, Timmy will tell her to stop being bossy. Susie runs over to the teacher (who is statistically likely to be female), "Timmy called me Bossy" and the teacher will punish Timmy for using "a bad word".

Yes, that could happen but I think it's pretty unlikely. You have objected many times to "we can't do/say that because...slippery slope" arguments, so I'm kind of surprised to see you suggest this particular slippery slope is different, somehow.

Or maybe I am misunderstanding your point - if so, please let me know where I got it wrong.

I think of a few girls I've seen around my son at about the age of 11 or 12. At that sort of magical age, they can get very domineering, out of what I take to be insecurity about their chosen 'boyfriend's' devotion and a desire to make clear to everyone around (especially other girls) that the boy in question is claimed.

Hmmm. Why does your son put up with this? I can't say I ever saw anything like that when my boys were growing up, but it sounds obnoxious.

Of course, you also have to explain to the boy why the girl he was always friends with is suddenly beating him up all the time. It's kind of sweet, in a way, but it's got to be done.

I don't think that's sweet at all. Again, that's obnoxious, borderline dysfunctional behavior. Why would your son want to be around anyone - male or female - who acts like that?

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 11:59 AM

...the question remains, what then is to be done about the use of words to hurt others? Pointing out a problem is well and good, but having a solution is better. I freely admit, I don't have one.

I don't know.

I taught my boys that how you say something is at least as important as what you say. If you don't like a particular behavior, labeling someone "bossy" or a "slut" is probably not going to make them receptive to what you're complaining about.

On the other hand, talking to them and saying, "You know, I like you but when you do X or Y that really bothers me. Here's why..." is a LOT more helpful (and more likely to result in the other person at least listening to you).

I don't care for name calling. Never have, never will. It rarely if ever produces good results, though I am not perfect in this regard and when I get cranky, I've occasionally been known to call someone a moron online.

I never do that in real life, or with someone I hope to influence or persuade. I don't even do it online when I'm talking to someone directly.

Describing behavior as bossy doesn't bother me as much (though frankly I still don't see how it helps to use loaded terms like "slutty", "bossy", or "henpecked"). Like I said before, you can say something in a way that people might just listen to or you can use loaded terms that get even third parties' hackles up.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 12:08 PM

I don't want him to be. That's the point of teaching him how to think about it, and, for those responsible for the girl, why they ought to talk to her about what she's doing.

It's only sweet in the sense that she really does like him, and is just fumbling out of youth and inexperience. One of my favorite examples came from a few years ago -- I think I mentioned it to you in an email at the time -- when he was playing a game with some girls at one of the Scottish Highland Games.

"What are you playing?" I asked him.

"We're playing a game where I am a knight, and they are princesses," he said in response.

"That sounds like a fun game," I replied.

Just at that time, one of the young ladies came up, stomped her foot, and shouted: "Princess Game! Now!"

"I gotta go," he said, and ran off.

That's kind of bossy. :) And in a way, it's cute. But it's got to be trained out of them, because as you say, it's not functional behavior for an adult. Overcoming that natural tendency is one of the purposes of good parenting and education.

Posted by: Grim at March 17, 2014 12:11 PM

I couldn't agree more, Grim. Especially this:

...it's got to be trained out of them, because as you say, it's not functional behavior for an adult.

I would be so appalled if one of my kids acted that way, and I'm really glad you're raising your son to understand that he shouldn't have to put up with rude, obnoxious behavior... even from a girl.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 12:24 PM

I don't care for name calling. Never have, never will. It rarely if ever produces good results, though I am not perfect in this regard and when I get cranky, I've occasionally been known to call someone a moron online.

What?!?! You're not the saintly and infallible figure I assumed you to be? Shocked! I'm shocked to find there is gambling going on here!

But frankly, name calling, in my experience is usually not directly done once people are out of high school. It becomes a more behind the back kind of thing (or in my case, behind the wheel). I cannot imagine an employee complaining to a supervisor that they are "bossy", but I can see them saying it about a supervisor. And frankly, if someone ever called another person a "slut" in my office, I'd pretty much expect them to at least be written up if not packing their desk within the day.

Look, I understand, we all get frustrated with our fellow man (or woman) from time to time. I've said I get it behind the wheel, mostly because I'm a hot head and venting lets me dump the anger more quickly, but it's not something of which I am proud. But I agree that name calling is never productive, heck, most times even just yelling is counter productive. The most egregious example I can think of is when you see someone yelling at a cop who's giving them a ticket. In what possible way is yelling at the cop going to result in him going, "You're right! I'm going to tear up this ticket. Thank you for yelling at me and showing me the error of my ways!" (here's a hint, it's not). And yet people do it anyhow. I'll leave you with my favorite example of this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXY2fImfr7Y

Posted by: MikeD at March 17, 2014 01:42 PM

Oh, I will warn of bad language.

Posted by: MikeD at March 17, 2014 01:45 PM

That was awesome :p I am *so* sending that to my son.

Yesterday we were driving down I-70 and saw a state trooper had pulled over a minivan.

He was shaking his finger at the driver (I assume she was getting an earful, and based on the way she had been driving, probably deserved it). He looked very calm, but I could tell he was ticked.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 01:49 PM

OMG. I hadn't gotten to the point where he starts squealing like a stuck pig.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 01:50 PM

"But the question remains, what then is to be done about the use of words to hurt others?"

Yanno, I was always taught, and have taught the VES as well, that sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me. As a kid, that was a simple rhyme to help me understand the relative importance of *things*. Words, in reality, are nothing more than agreed upon sounds to convey an agreed upon meaning. They absolutely cannot hurt you....if you don't let them. You, and only you, have the power to ignore or fulminate on them. This is what I've taught the VES. Sticks and stones, in their reality, can cause physical damage. Words can only hurt you if you let them.
Don't. Let. Them.
One of the hardest things I've tried to teach not only the VES, but a few younger friends as well, is the answer to this question: What will *they* think about *such and such* about me?
My answer is always: Why do you care what *they* think?!?
The point being that if the words/thoughts are not true wrt you personally, why do you care what they say? If they are true, in some aspect, and it causes you consternation, then you have a choice to either change or not. Either way, you have still retained the power of whether or not something said has hurt you.
It is definately not an easy skill to master, but in this path lies sanity (hush your mouth, Princess) and the ability to gain perspective.

My .03....keep the change.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at March 17, 2014 01:58 PM

I have to wonder, Cass -- is it just that all males are blind to this, and OOONLY women can see it? Or is it possibly that it is something significant that YOU AS WOMEN just don't see?

I'm confused. I'm not "all women" (nor are you "all men". How do you generalize from one or two cases to half of humanity? Do all men see everything the same way? Do all women? If so, how do you explain the fact that this Dana woman disagrees with me?

I suspect that generalization may be part of the disconnect here. You keep doing it, and I reject it. Here's an example of the kind of broad generalizations you keep throwing out (and I'm not convinced of):

Men have been cooperating for millenia, first in hunting groups and war, and then more and more in civilized endeavors, as well as those former.
They've learned to handle and recognize a certain pecking order, and how to respond to it. This is taught to them as children, and the male children themselves have been self-selected over time for their ability to respond properly to it -- it's a skill, like anything else. Women have not been taught this kind of thing, and their social patterns, as children, don't teach them any of it.

Most men (and most women) cooperate. Some men and women don't. Regardless, "Women" in general seem to be doing quite well in today's hierarchical workplace so once again, I'm a bit confused. This sounds very similar to a lot of the stuff on MRA/PUA sites - they construct elaborate explanations for pretty much everything but rarely if ever present any evidence to back any of it up.

I don't think in mindless lockstep with all women because I have ladyparts. The discussions we've had on this site for a decade now have left me pretty certain all men don't see things exactly the same way either.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 01:59 PM

Sly, I agree with you but since this is a difficult thing for adults to do, I don't expect it of children.

If adults are going to err on one side or another, I prefer them to err on the side of being careful about labeling other people. That said, no one can hurt us without our permission.

That doesn't make it right to hurt people. It's just a defense against something that many times should not have happened in the first place.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 02:02 PM

"Sly, I agree with you but since this is a difficult thing for adults to do, I don't expect it of children."

Interesting, it was expected of children when I was growing up. I fully expected it of the VES as well as of any of my nieces and nephews - or any kids that stayed at my house, for that matter. If you learn it as a kid, is really that hard as an adult?
0>;~}

And, it has nothing to do with whether it right or not. It's life. Life throws many things right, wrong and indifferent at us. We don't get to choose the lessons or the where or when that they present themselves to us. One of those lessons we're supposed to take in when learning that sticks and stones can break our bones, but words can never hurt us, is that is a hard lesson to learn, and therefore we should hope to temper our words in the future to prevent such from happening to others.
You know, that Golden Rule thing we had a discussion about last year.

Posted by: DL Sly at March 17, 2014 03:22 PM

One of those lessons we're supposed to take in when learning that sticks and stones can break our bones, but words can never hurt us, is that is a hard lesson to learn, and therefore we should hope to temper our words in the future to prevent such from happening to others. You know, that Golden Rule thing we had a discussion about last year.

Agreed :)

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 03:29 PM

"Agreed :)"

THUD
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at March 17, 2014 03:59 PM

Guess we're gonna have to agree to disagree; there's a guy being shrill on this very thread . . .

Posted by: CAPT Mike at March 17, 2014 04:08 PM

You have objected many times to "we can't do/say that because...slippery slope" arguments, so I'm kind of surprised to see you suggest this particular slippery slope is different, somehow.

The slippery-slope type arguments can come in very subtly different flavors.

The typical slipperly slope argument is that a change from A to B necessarily implies going all the way to C. That is the typical logical fallacy.

The statement that the *probability* of C given A is less than the *probability* of C given B is a different matter.

The first implies that one must proceed to C, the other only says it is more likely.

That one has gained 20 pounds in the last year doesn't *require* one to gain another 20 pounds this year. But it does make it more likely.

And sometime baby-steps to a larger goal is the strategy: see magazine limits. We were assured that 10 rounds was OK. That is until NY said it should only be 7. Am I really to beleive that they won't want to limit it to only 5 later despite assurances to the contrary? We called the 10 round limit a lie and were accused of the "slippery-slope fallacy" only to be proven right.

I don't think such an expressed incrementalism is at play here. That requires far more "enemy action" than I am willing to ascribe to it's proponents who I think are wrong, but well-meaning.

But schools do bend to social pressure and they do bend too far sometimes. Is putting a kid in time-out for "name calling" *more* unreasonable than suspending a kid for a Hello Kitty bubble gun? The latter happened even though no one thought Zero-Tolerance policies (not even it's detractors) would go that far at it's inception.

Will it *necessasarily* happen? No. And we should not argue against it on that basis.

Is it something to keep in mind as we perform our mental calculus and weigh the pros and cons? I think we should.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 17, 2014 04:52 PM

"The difference between "uppity" and "bossy" is the difference between claiming an equality to which you aren't entitled, versus claiming an authority to which you aren't entitled."

I'd find that more convincing in a culture in which the authority were not so much more readily granted to one group than to another. In a perfect world, "bossy" would only mean "inappropriately overbearing." The problem lies in our different assumptions about what's inappropriate, depending on the target of the observation.

Posted by: Texan99 at March 17, 2014 05:14 PM

But schools do bend to social pressure and they do bend too far sometimes. Is putting a kid in time-out for "name calling" *more* unreasonable than suspending a kid for a Hello Kitty bubble gun? The latter happened even though no one thought Zero-Tolerance policies (not even it's detractors) would go that far at it's inception.

Well, you're probably talking to the wrong parent here :p

My boys got in trouble for name calling. Interestingly, they were never verbally abusive to me, even as teens, but then they were raised to know that sort of talk was not going to be tolerated by either me or their father.

I have trouble viewing these things through the lens of politics. I don't see a single thing wrong with articles asking people to consider how damaging labels can be. They have no real power to make me do what they want. If they start agitating to pass a law, then I'll go ballistic like everyone else.

Until then, I think not acting like a jackwagon is pretty much compatible with civilization. Awareness campaigns that ask people to voluntarily change their behavior don't offend or frighten me even when I don't think they make all that much sense or think the campaigners are going about it the wrong way. That tends to carry its own punishment :p

Coercion is a different story.

Absent social pressure, men would still be saying incredibly insulting things like, "I'd never vote for a woman - she'd get PMS and blow up the planet." Social pressure isn't a bad thing, per se.

I'd much rather deal with social pressure than a law. And I do think that in some cases, when we shame any attempt at social pressure, we end up with ridiculous laws. I don't see how civilization can survive if we're so touchy that we define coercion down to the point where even fairly mild articles are thought of as dangerous.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 17, 2014 08:17 PM

}}} (just look at the MRA types complaining that being nice doesn't get them laid - who knew there was a right to demand that women have sex with you if you're nice enough to them?).

Yes, Cass. just keep DIGGING. :-/

It's NEVER about the "right to get laid".

It's about women whining and bitching ENDLESSLY about guys treating them like SHIT and then ignoring (or worse still, putting in the "friend zone") any guy who treats them decently.

It's about women SELECTING for guys who treat them like crap, then claiming ALL guys are shitheels because that's their experience.

You MIGHT notice how this applies even, to the discussion at question.

You don't deserve to "get laid" because you're nice.

But it's kind of GALLING when women REWARD the shitheels for being shitheels and then treat the ones who treat them decently like dirt --- and THEN hear them whining about how bad guys treat them.

Yeesh.

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 18, 2014 02:51 AM

}}} I'd find that more convincing in a culture in which the authority were not so much more readily granted to one group than to another.

I'd find your arguments more convincing if it wasn't clear that you've long ago bought into the whole "women victimized by the Patriarchy" meme, hook, line, and sinker...

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 18, 2014 02:54 AM

}}} If you think "bossy" and "leadership" are synonyms, you are the reason we have bad leaders *and* bad bosses.

Agreed.

}}} I don't think such an expressed incrementalism is at play here. That requires far more "enemy action" than I am willing to ascribe to it's proponents who I think are wrong, but well-meaning.

The problem is that this is the entire history of lefty behavior for the last 5 decades or more. So yes, I DO express concern for it being just the first salvo in yet another war on free speech.

It's not very hard to take this and turn it into an exceptionally VAGUE "sexual harassment" argument more than amply sufficient to make employers go falling all over themselves to punish anyone even accused of it.

}}} Awareness campaigns that ask people to voluntarily change their behavior don't offend or frighten me

And if there was even the VAGUEST chance that is ALL this would remain, then I'd not be concerned with it, either. History suggests otherwise.

I've already made my case about the fact that it's got a huge chance of having nothing to do with FEELINGS, much less sexual bias, but incompetence in reading and sending social cues in the workplace, and is a direct assault thereby (IF I am correct, which I ack is not a proven thing) on the wrong thing -- the message, not the cause.


}}} How do you generalize from one or two cases to half of humanity?

And how do YOU -- > MARGINALIZE And yes, MARGINALIZE is the word, from Althouse's first paragraph of -- I QUOTE:

that James Taranto, Instapundit, and many others are talking about.

To which I've added at least one more PROMINENT male blogger... how do YOU marginalize that to only "one or two"?

Hmmm?

Are you starting to GET IT? Probably not.

This IS you being a "female chauvinist pig", Cass.

You're refusing to see something right before your eyes -- three major bloggers, and apparently some other minor ones, have seen fit to take issue with this. And, because YOU don't agree with it, you think it's blatantly not significant, and claim the men are being hysterical over nothing.

Well, in that case, women getting into a huff just because some guy wants to keep a playboy centerfold up on his cubicle wall are "just women being hysterical over nothing". N'kay?

No, I don't believe that. And you shouldn't believe the former, either. Taranto, Patterico, and Instapundit are hardly irrational men. When they all see a problem, maybe it means you need to do some self-examining to see if maybe they might be right, before you just blow them off. :-/

Posted by: OBloodyHell, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." at March 18, 2014 03:14 AM

OBH:

The "Patterico" post you linked to was written by someone called "Dana". Could be male, could be female. I don't know him/her. The name is more often used with women but I've known men by that name.

At any rate, the idea that simply because 3 prominent bloggers (two of whom have made some extremely odd arguments wrt to gender issues) disagree with me, somehow that proves I'm wrong doesn't make sense.

I disagree with other bloggers and pundits all the time. Whether they're "prominent" or not is irrelevant. The disagreement is with the argument, not the person.

Finally, it's ridiculous to say I'm just blowing anyone's argument off. When I disagree with someone, I almost always state my reasons. Failing to agree with you isn't the same as "blowing you off", and mischaracterizing my disagreement doesn't magically turn one thing into another.

You tell me that some phenomenon is widespread and a serious problem, yet you can't or won't provide evidence that it is to persuade me. Instead, you cite your feelings and other men's feelings. OK, I accept that you feel that way. I even (though I'm pretty sure you'll proceed to say I'm lying about this) care about your feelings. But feelings aren't evidence, and they're not enough to convince me. I don't make decisions on the basis of feelings - my own, or other people's.

Then you throw out having had ONE woman lie about something unrelated to sexism and getting you fired. Inexplicably, you can't seem to grasp that she could lie all day and night, but her lies can only harm you if your BOSS lets them. But you don't blame your boss. In the Sinclair matter, I've made my position quite clear wrt to holding senior leaders more accountable than subordinates. If wrong was done, your boss is MORE to blame than your co-worker (though she is to blame too) because your boss was in charge. I'm very surprised you can't see that, and my feeling (since you're demanding that I consider your feelings) is that you are fixated on the fact that the person who lied was female.

I don't think that way.

You claim to know what happened behind the scenes and what your boss was thinking when in fact you don't (and can't) know that. You weren't there.
Is it any wonder I'm questioning your reasoning? It doesn't hold together.

Finally, calling me a female chauvinist pig because I disagree with you is not an argument. It's just simple name calling, which is also not an argument.

Finally, let's just use two examples to address this:

Taranto, Patterico, and Instapundit are hardly irrational men. When they all see a problem, maybe it means you need to do some self-examining to see if maybe they might be right, before you just blow them off. :-/

Instapundit is one of the primary bloggers who has been flogging this false "purging/persecution of senior military leaders" meme. He never presents any evidence - he just links to some poorly researched diatribe or news story and then suggests there's something fishy going on. I've now written somewhere around 8 posts debunking the meme. So telling me that if he sees a problem, I should be persuaded is less than compelling.

Taranto, a writer whose work I normally enjoy, veers off on a tangent when it comes to working women and educated women and how they are ruining the world :p

I have written about BOTH of these topics extensively, doing hours of research to back up my arguments. So don't tell me I'm "blowing anyone off". Responding in detail to someone's arguments isn't "blowing them off". It's taking them seriously enough to do the work myself to see if there's merit in their claims. *That's* what gets my attention and respect: well crafted arguments that are backed up by something more than selected anecdotes and unsupported claims.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 18, 2014 07:55 AM

I'll make you an offer, OBH.

If you're willing to take the time to put together a well crafted argument, I'll post it on my site. I'm not interested in having you call me names on a site I'm paying for, but if you can direct your passion to the argument and not to ad hominems, I'll provide you a platform to make your case.

I realize that you've been away for some time, but I have "paid attention" to many of the claims put forth by the MRA movement. So that charge is particularly unjust. I have done a ton of research in the process. But there may be MRA authors who make better arguments than the ones I have already addressed.

If you want to put your side out there, I'll post it. I think that's pretty fair.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 18, 2014 08:00 AM

"women victimized by the Patriarchy"--Lordy, can't I laugh at men without feeling victimized? I can hardly complain about how things worked out for me personally. I'm Fortune's darling.

No one's ever called me bossy. I can be a jerk, certainly, but I'm more likely to be inappropriately detached than inappropriately overbearing.

Posted by: Texan99 at March 18, 2014 10:25 AM

I prefer BITCH myself:
Beautiful,
Intelligent,
Talented,
Charming
Hellion

I haven't figured out a similar framing for REPROBATE....yet.
heh
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at March 18, 2014 12:08 PM

Thinking back to the "bossy" girls I knew in school, I'm not sure "bossy" is an entirely bad thing to be called. The "bossy" girls tended to be leaders who had a lot of presence and drive, as well as ability to organize and direct others and to mediate and problem solve. Could they be a little overbearing at times? Sure (hence the term "bossy"), but we were in grade school. That's the kind of thing they'd hopefully learn to modulate as they got older.

I think one of them is a surgeon now. Another is active in our state legislature.

Anyway, this doesn't rank up there on my Top 10 List of Biggest Problems Affecting the World right now.

Posted by: colagirl at March 18, 2014 12:58 PM

6 year old boys can be pretty imperious, too :p I will admit to not caring for bossiness in anyone but it's certainly more understandable in children (especially small ones) and - as you say - most people mature and learn to channel it appropriately.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 18, 2014 09:07 PM

My boys got in trouble for name calling.

The issue is that if kid A is standing over kid B telling kid b that they are playing wrong, I don't really consider kid B telling kid A, "Stop being so bossy" as name calling.

Kid A should learn to mind their own business. I don't think kid B did anything wrong.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 19, 2014 09:49 AM

Sorry, didn't see this earlier. Busy week!

I don't really consider kid B telling kid A, "Stop being so bossy" as name calling.

I don't either. I was thinking when I typed that, that the campaign was about not labeling girls as bossy people. I'm fine with labeling behavior - just not people. Sorry for the confusication!

Posted by: Cassandra at March 19, 2014 06:10 PM

Sorry for the confusication!

No worries. Though if a person has an established history of the behavior, I don't really object to the labeling of the person.

At least not anymore than I do for labelling kids as bullies when they've shown a history for that, too.

Don't like the bad label, stop with the bad behavior. It isn't a problem to me until repentance isn't met with forgiveness.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at March 20, 2014 08:54 AM

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