Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Sometimes, you have to push

navarrette column sig

By
From page A11 | May 29, 2014 |

SAN DIEGO — A little girl can break her daddy’s heart with one question.

A few days ago, my 9-year-old daughter – noticing I was in a suit and not my usual, casual attire – asked me where I was going, and I told her. I had been invited to judge a high school debate competition. She asked what that was all about, and I told her it is where two teams square off and make well-constructed arguments, trying to convince a judge of their point of view.

She asked, “Can girls do that?”

I can’t imagine my 7-year-old son would ever ask such a question about whether boys would have these opportunities. He just assumes he can do anything he wants.

It both surprised and saddened me that, upon hearing about the world of high school debate, my daughter’s first thought would be of limitations, barriers and closed doors. She wanted to know if she’d be welcomed there.

Foolishly, I thought our society was past this sort of thing. Earlier generations raised sons and daughters with different goals and expectations. Boys went to college, and started careers. Girls got married, and started families.

In our home, as in many modern homes, we don’t think this way. I expect my daughters to be just as successful as my son, if not more so. If they put in the effort, the sky is the limit.

Now, because of recent events in the world of journalism, I’ve had to wonder whether – once my daughters become successful – they will get labeled as “pushy” by some jealous colleague or small-minded boss trying to put them in their place.

You mean there are pushy folks in journalism? You don’t say? I’ve been writing for nearly 25 years, and I’ve worked for three different newspapers. I’ve been pushed around plenty, and I’ve pushed back. I’ve yelled and cursed and hung up on editors. I once saw two colleagues nearly come to blows after a supervisor insulted a subordinate. I’ve been reprimanded for challenging the boss.

Newsrooms are not for the faint of heart. It’s a hyper-democratic environment in which everyone has a point of view. It’s expected that you’ll fight for your stories and defend your opinions. You’re not supposed to fold under pressure. You’re supposed to – dare I say it? – push.

So what in the world was Arthur Sulzberger Jr. thinking? The publisher of The New York Times recently said that Jill Abramson was dismissed as executive editor because of “arbitrary decision-making, a failure to consult and bring colleagues with her, inadequate communication and the public mistreatment of colleagues.”

Is he kidding? An executive editor made “arbitrary” decisions? She failed to “consult and bring colleagues with her”? Why, alert the media!

At all three of the newspapers for which I worked, the people at the top “consulted” with the rest of us by sending out office memos telling us about changes to be made, and how it was going to be from now on. But then, in most of those cases, the top bosses were men. No one expected them to take a survey of employees before acting, or move forward on projects only after reaching a consensus. When they plowed ahead with boneheaded decisions, no one called them “pushy.” They were seen as strong, decisive and firm. Often when they failed, they were rewarded with a promotion. So they “failed up.”

My daughters probably won’t have that luxury. So, faced with the question, I quickly offered an answer.

“Yes, honey, of course, girls can do that,” I said. “In fact, some of the best debaters I’ve seen – at the high school and college level – were girls and women. You can do anything a boy can do, and, if you work hard, you can do it better. Remember that.”

She smiled, hugged me and walked away. I hope she went to study her vocabulary, or practice speaking in front of a mirror.

Later that day, the high school debate competition went off without a hitch. The teams – two boys versus two girls – were exceptional, and evenly matched. Both were assertive in arguing their positions. They challenged one another aggressively. But in the end, the girls won.

The lesson: No matter what your gender, if you want to be the first across the finish line, you have to push.

Ruben Navarrette is a nationally syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group. Reach him at [email protected]

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • 2realMay 29, 2014 - 5:39 am

    Its a mans world.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JagMay 29, 2014 - 8:45 am

    Wow I am surprised Ruben, No illegals Viva La Mexico story so she can be what she wants, as long as she is a legal citizen.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksMay 29, 2014 - 9:55 am

    Ruben, take your family to TX, AZ, Kansas or Alabama, just to name a few. They'll really get a good education about equality. SO glad you didn't put "journalist" and "integrity" in the same sentence! ;)

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895May 29, 2014 - 10:05 am

    He lives in San Diego. Isn't that bad enough?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 40 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

.

US / World

 
 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 3 Comments

 
Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7