Tag Archives: current events

Why I Won’t Ban Bossy

ban-bossy-badge2If you don’t like a word and you’re a massively influential figure, just have it banned.

That’s the mindset of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who is making headlines this week for starting the Ban Bossy campaign. Basically Sandberg feels little boys who assert themselves are told they’re displaying leadership skills by teachers and parents, while girls are called “bossy.” The result, according to Sandberg, is girls become hesitant to speak up and reluctant to take on leadership roles as they get older. So the author of the renowned Lean In book says the answer is simple — ban the word bossy.

Except, in my opinion, the only thing that should be banned is this contrived Ban Bossy marketing ploy.

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Keep Buffer Zones Around Abortion Clinics Intact

UltrasoundIn 1973, the US Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide and affirmed a woman’s right to have control over her own body. And ever since then, conservative opponents have been doing their utmost to chip away at Roe v Wade.

Now, on the 41st anniversary of the landmark case, it’s under attack more than ever.

So, if you’re new here, it’s time for a disclaimer. I’m a man. And while I understand a man giving his opinion about abortion is about as popular as men talking about the trials and tribulations of childbirth, the issue I’m focusing on today is a Massachusetts case currently in front of the Supreme Court. A case involving the legality of a 35-foot buffer zone in front of all clinics, that keeps anti-choice protesters at bay.

And that is something with which I’m all too familiar.

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Guns are the Problem, Not Phones in Movie Theaters

guns_theaterIf you haven’t heard, a 71-year-old retired police officer shot a 43-year-old husband and father in a Tampa movie theater on Monday. The reason? The victim was using a cell phone and the shooter didn’t like it.

Yup, you read that right. Curtis Reeves, a former police captain and head of security at Busch Gardens, got into a verbal altercation with Chad Oulson who was texting his child’s babysitter. As the story goes, Reeves went to get the manager but came back into this theater alone — armed with a .380 handgun. The argument continued, escalated, a bag of popcorn was thrown at Reeves, and then — BOOM! Reeves shot Oulson and killed him. Shot his wife in the hand as well.

You’d think the reaction to this awful story would be one of horror and repulsion at Reeves’ behavior. Shooting a man dead because he was texting in a movie theater? Not only that, it was DURING THE PREVIEWS — the movie hadn’t even started. At worst it’s rude and discourteous to use a phone in a theater, but surely no one can justify murdering someone because of it. Right?

Wrong. And “wrong” describes this country’s warped and misguided gun culture.

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Q&A with Drew Brees: Fatherhood, Family & Football

breesI get a lot of PR pitches. I turn down a lot of PR pitches. But when one of them says “Would you be interested in an interview with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees,” you sit up and pay attention.

After I made sure I wasn’t being Punk’d by one of my idiot friends, I quickly and eagerly agreed. I mean, this is Drew Brees. Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees. The guy who holds the single season passing record with 5,476 yards. And even though he’s not a member of my beloved New England Patriots, I like Drew on a personal level because he’s a notoriously devoted husband, father of three little boys, and genuinely nice guy by all accounts.

Heck, aside from his elite athletic prowess and the fact that he’s a millionaire star athlete, we’re practically the same person!

But seriously, I was so excited and honored to get this opportunity. Even though I worked as a journalist for a long time and interviewed some pretty big names, I still get a kick out of talking to celebrities. Especially when it’s someone like Drew, who combines my love of football and fatherhood. And with so much going on in the NFL right now (concussion issues, player safety, locker room bullying, etc) it was a perfect opportunity to get a peek behind the curtain.

This opportunity comes courtesy of Tide’s “Color Captains” program, in which 32 NFL players (one from each team) capture pictures of their team colors in celebration of fans and football throughout the season.

So without further ado, here’s my Q&A with star NFL quarterback Drew Brees (and there’s a distinct possibility I may have jabbed him about losing to the Patriots earlier this season).

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Is This the Next School Shooting?

school_shootI’ve never served in combat and I’ve never had to literally fight for my life, so perhaps I have no right to talk about fear as if I’m truly acquainted with it. But for a split second yesterday, I know I felt it. And it was profound.

All correspondence from Will’s elementary school is done by e-mail. Usually it’s bake sales, special events, and to tell us buses are running early or late. But yesterday, as I sat 40 miles away at work, I received a school e-mail with a one-word subject heading that paralyzed me with a kind of fear I never want to feel again.

“Lockdown.”

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