Cornell psychiatrist Peggy Drexler gave us a "state of the woman" address at CNN yesterday, in which she listed the many "missteps" women made this year. While Sheryl Sandberg and Lena Dunham made gains, "a few of the year's biggest missteps serve as powerful reminders of what NOT to do in 2014," Drexler writes. Totally dumb moves by Miley Cyrus, Paula Deen, 60 Minutes' Lara Logan, and former IAC PR rep Justine Sacco threaten to chip away at women's progress. Drexler insists: "It's key to remember, as we enter 2014, as women make greater strides in the battle toward complete gender equity, that their words and actions matter."
Drexler says women have been guilty of tweeting without thinking, telling only half the story, muddling the message, and saying in private what they wouldn't say in public, among other things. What's remarkable is that men, of all people, have made missteps this year, too. These blunders threaten to derail men's delicate position of dominance in 2014. Here's what NOT to do next year, guys:
Tweet without thinking. One guy maybe threatened national security with his tweets this year! White House official Jofi Joseph was fired after he was discovered to be the troll behind @NatSecWonk. Joseph released internal White House information through the account, called Ari Fleischer a #jackass, and accused one of Obama's senior advisers of leaking Stuxnet. He apologized, but will it be enough? Can we trust men to keep tweeting? Jaden Smith gives us little hope.
Say things in private you wouldn't say in public. Or, say things to a reporter you wouldn't say on your highly-rated A&E reality show. Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson totally whiffed his GQ interview, letting it slip that he thinks gay guys are icky and racial discrimination in the South never happened. Can we continue to let men make lots of money by having their own TV shows?
Tell only half the story. Media critic Howard Kurtz made a whoopsie-daisy this year when he wrote at the Daily Beast that openly-gay NBA player Jason Collins hid his previous engagement to a woman from the press. Collins had, in fact, disclosed this information in his coming-out essay. Kurtz apologized for reading Collins' essay "too fast." After this blunder, we've surely lost some faith in male journalists.
Muddle the message. Teen crooner Justin Bieber had all the adoring fans in the world, but then he had to go and urinate in a bucket at a nice restaurant this year. And go on a brothel tour of South America. And wear objectively bad pants. And curse Bill Clinton! To borrow from Drexler: "In the end, the takeaway was clear: The act overshadows the talent. Chances are good that as we move into 2014, it's the [piss bucket] we'll remember more than [Justin's] songs."
Other missteps and tomfoolery. See: Rob Ford, Anthony Weiner, Lance Armstrong, Richie Incognito, Joe Biden calling the wrong Marty Walsh — twice, Shia LaBeouf's epic plagiarism, Rep. Steve King's thoughts on immigrants, President Obama's "keep your plan" lie, the Knicks.
Also this guy, during the government shutdown:
Big misstep. The state of men is fragile, at best.