A recent campaign encourages people to ban the word “bossy,” because being called bossy apparently discourages girls from pursing leadership roles. “And this campaign is just indicative of one of the problems of feminism: the idea that women are still victims,” noted Karin Agness at a recent Heritage Foundation forum evaluating feminism. Not surprisingly, the conservative panelists gave the movement a failing grade.
Agness is the president of the conservative Network of Enlightened Women. She suggested that instead of avoiding the word “bossy,” aspiring girls work on developing a thick skin.
In Agness’ experience on campus, liberal feminists often cast conservative women in an unfair light. “To them, conservative women were just baby-making machines,” she said. “And this is how anyone who’s trying to bring a more conservative perspective to the topic of women on campus, that’s how we were treated.”
Mona Charen, a syndicated columnist, noted, “Women and girls are not failing to thrive. We have a problem with men and boys.” And boys, instead of being called bossy, are called bullies, she said.
Indeed, according to Christina Hoff Sommers, “Women in the United States now earn 62 percent of associate’s degrees, 57 percent of bachelor’s degrees, 60 percent of master’s degrees, and 52 percent of doctorates. College admissions officers were at first baffled, then concerned, and finally panicked over the death of male applicants.”
Given that the Democratic Party is looking forward to a possible second presidential run by Hillary Clinton, it is hard to believe that in America the glass ceiling isn’t breakable. But in the modern era, ensuring whether or not a certain number of women achieve political office, are represented in certain careers rather than others (such as the sciences), and receive the same—or more—number of degrees and senior level positions than men, tends to strike some conservatives as more an affirmative action movement than providing for enduring happiness. We have, after all, come a long way since the 1960s.
But for some, it’s not far enough. “What we really need is a new and energized women’s liberation movement that can fight for real changes in women’s lives,” wrote Jen Roesch for the Socialist Worker in 2012. “We can start by rejecting the moralistic scapegoating that blames women for our personal choices and putting the focus instead on a society that has failed us.” It’s society’s fault that single women aren’t able to thrive, argues Roesch. They should be able to thrive without “Kevin,” the stereotypical husband—and society should help them succeed.
Read my entire column at a new website, American Outrage.