Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Girl Scouts CEO Anna Maria Chávez wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal about the word “bossy.” This is Sandberg:
When I was in junior high and running for class vice president, one of my teachers pulled my best friend aside to warn her not to follow my example: “Nobody likes a bossy girl,” the teacher warned. “You should find a new friend who will be a better influence on you.”
Sandberg and Chávez go on to argue that the word “bossy” undercuts leadership potential in girls.
Social scientists have long studied how language affects society, and they find that even subtle messages can have a big impact on girls’ goals and aspirations. Calling a girl “bossy” not only undermines her ability to see herself as a leader, but it also influences how others treat her. According to data collected by the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, parents of seventh-graders place more importance on leadership for their sons than for their daughters. Other studies have determined that teachers interact with and call on boys more frequently and allow them to shout out answers more than girls.
Peggy Drexler penned an answer for CNN. She thinks if the point is to encourage leadership in girls, why not embrace “bossy?”
The focus should be on how to reclaim the positive and indispensable nature of “bossiness,” turning it from a word used to describe the domineering and unlikable to one used to describe those very necessary qualities for those who lead.
Sheryl Sandberg is bossy, and it’s a quality that likely played a pretty key role in helping her become one of the technology industry’s most successful women. So, how about an initiative to reclaim bossiness as a point of pride?
As the Malaysian Airlines disappearance continues into the fourth day, many of us remain (perhaps a bit sheepishly) transfixed by the story. In the age of Google maps that allow us to virtually wander remote deserts, constant phone and internet connection and minute-by-minute flight trackers – it seems nothing short of spooky that a giant jet could simply vanish and we’d be left waiting to find some sort of physical evidence.
An op-ed from The New York Times’ Editorial Board calls for a switch to better technology that would keep us from relying on the outdated black-box communication system:
It’s worth asking why, in this era of instant wireless communication, investigators must hunt down a physical object that stays on board the plane. Why isn’t black-box data transmitted in real time?
Perhaps this will be the future of airline data collection – but in the case of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, we’ll just have to wait the old-fashioned way for answers.
Every week, Kerri asks the Roundtablers what they are reading. Here are the books mentioned by today’s guests:
Repa Mekha is reading “Black Man Emerging,” by Joseph L. White and James H. Cones III.
Nekima Levy-Pounds is reading a history of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling called “Simple Justice,” by Richard Kluger.
It’s the 60th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision.
Op-ed pick: Why Americans choose a big house over a safe retirement
“Many buyers decided that the largest-possible house (with an equally large mortgage) was a better idea than a retirement fund or their children’s education.” Read more →
2 books about climate change and other picks from our Roundtable guests
Every week, Kerri ask our Roundtable guests what they are reading. Here are the books mentioned today: Tom Scheck: “The Orphan Master’s Son,” by Adam Johnson. Patricia Lopez: “A Fighting Chance,” by Elizabeth Warren. Steve Perry: “The Whole Story of Climate,” by E. Kirsten Peters, and “What We Know About Climate Change,” by Kerry Emanuel.
“Americans overall spend over six billion hours and $168 billion every year to file their returns.” Read more →
3 book picks from Roundtable guests
Two novels and two works of non-fiction including a biography of a beloved American artist. Read more →
David Stuart MacLean — the author of the wonderful new memoir, “The Answer to the Riddle is Me” — offers his recommendations for great books to get you through the rest of winter. If you missed David on The Daily Circuit this week, take a listen here. His story will make you grateful for all your Read more →
The Guardian’s Heidi Moore – a frequent guest on The Daily Circuit – published an op-ed piece last week on why she’s decided to boycott broadcasts of the Sochi Olympics. While most of us are tuning in to follow everything from figure skating to the luge competitions, Moore argues that Russia’s stance on gay rights and the Read more →
These were recommended by our guest, writer Nicole Helget. Read more →