Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys? University of Wyoming Is Under Fire For Mascot

images-1 The University of Wyoming has long rallied around it mascot of the cowboy and it markets the school with the slogan “The World Needs More Cowboys.”  That marketing campaign however has triggered a backlash against the mascot and objections that it is racist and sexist and culturally insensitive.  Willie Nelson warned about this in his song “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys” when he sang “Them that don’t know him won’t like him. And them that do sometimes won’t know how to take him. But apparently not everyone agrees.”

In an interview with the Chronicle of Higher Education, Donal O’Toole, a professor in the department of veterinary sciences and the president of the Faculty Senate, denounced the line as “a sexist slogan.”  Associate professor Ellen Currano described the anger of faculty at the slogan.  Christine Porter, an associate professor of community and public health insisted that “It’s very 1950s to think that ‘boy’ somehow includes ‘girl.’”

Cowboy can be treated as inclusive of both genders.  Today we often substitute gender specific nouns. Thus, I rarely say “firemen” or “policeman” today as opposed to “fire fighter” or “police officer.”  The problem is that there is not a readily available gender neutral alternative for “cowboy.”  “Cow poke” is not a common phrase and “cow puncher: would trigger a PETA protest.  Saying “The World Needs More Cowboys and Cowgirls” is a bit long and excludes other genders under current guidelines including genderless students.  The alternative is to treat “cowboy” as inclusive, including images of female cowboys.  That is what many female members of Congress do in calling themselves a “congressman” (though “representative” is available and I tend to use that term).

Gaucho1868bIn other articles Native American groups have objected to the slogan as racist.  It is relevant to note that other countries have cowboys like the gauchos of the pampas.  Many references to females are still “gauchos” though you do see some references to “gauchas” when you are only referring to a female.  Collectively, the reference is still “gauchos.”

I have previously expressed my concerns over the removal of long-held mascots and names in colleges.  Some changes are warranted but many reference social and cultural touchstones that can be presented in a proper context.  Cowboys are obviously a part of the heritage of the state as are Native Americans.  I do not see why both cannot be honored or why the term cannot be inclusive.  That does not mean that the campaign is racist or that it (or the mascot) should be dropped.

That is not to say that the criticism should be dismissed. The concerns of Native American students is particularly compelling.  Of course, schools named after Native American tribes or figures have been challenged as cultural appropriation or racist.   An alternative approach is to bar those mascots and names are present offensive imagery as opposed to honoring groups or identifications.

Wyoming honors the toughness, independence and adventuresome character of “cowboys.”  Many cowboys were African American or hispanic. It is an image that resonates deeply in the state.  The concern is that we toss such touchstones as non-inclusive rather than make them more inclusive or to present them in a better context.

In the end, however, Nelson saw this coming:

Cowboys ain’t easy to love and they’re harder to hold
They’d rather give you a song then diamonds or gold
Lonestar belt buckles and old faded Levi’s and each night begins a new day
If you don’t understand him and he don’t die young
He’ll probably just ride away
Mamas’ don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks
Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such
Mamas’ don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
‘Cause they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone
Even with someone they love
Cowboys like smokey old pool rooms and clear mountain mornin’s
Little warm puppies and children and girls of the night
Them that don’t know him won’t like him
And them that do sometimes won’t know how to take him
He ain’t wrong he’s just different
But his pride won’t let him do things to make you think he’s right
Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don’t let ’em pick guitars and drive them old trucks
Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such
Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
‘Cause they’ll never stay home and they’re always alone
Even with someone they love
Mamas’ don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys
Don’t let ’em pick guitars and drive them old trucks
Let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such

34 thoughts on “Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys? University of Wyoming Is Under Fire For Mascot”

  1. More balderdash and hokum posted here for the mouthbreathers, trolls and klan-wanabees. The University of Wyoming will tactfully explain how they aren’t St. Johns or Syracuse and will retain their mascot which provides a reference to the historic role that the “Code of the West” and yes, “Cowboys” played in the development of the “Cowboy State”, and which is eloquently represented in the State Motto of Wyoming, which is “Equal Rights.”

  2. I’m glad there’s nothing important going on in the world so concern trolls can annoy the normal population with hypersensitivity to everything that could possibly be construed as somehow offending someone somewhere. I’m as left as they come but there’s a point at which this sort of thing becomes absurd. As a practical matter cowboys as a mascot aren’t racist, they don’t represent cultural insensitivity or anything else problematic. They are a symbol of the west and those who spend time and effort whining about something like this need to focus on things in this world that are actually important such as, for example that our President is a mentally unstable lunatic, our environment has become so polluted it is altering the climate in vast and very negative ways that could, eventually, threaten civilization itself. And those are just a few things they could put their energy into. But whining is easy so there you are.

      1. No. He published his thesaurus and I bought my own copy on Amazon. How else can I copy my talking points properly?

        🙂

  3. Now the left goes after Cowboys! I’m sick of them all! WHO do they like?? The freak show in London? Is that what they approve of? It’s time to COWBOY UP!!! Univ. of Wyoming…. that message is to you too. Stop being such puppets. And tell the left to go straight to hell.

    1. this is a moment similar in some ways to the Chinese cultural revolution of the 60s when unhinged young people destroyed many lives and valuable cultural aspects of the ancient Chinese civilization in a moment of radicality that Mao in his demented dotage foolishly encouraged

  4. “That marketing campaign however has triggered a backlash against the mascot and objections that it is racist and sexist and culturally insensitive.”

    Excuse me. What the heck is racist, sexist or culturally insensitive about being a cowboy? Can you tell what color skin, that all important indicator of worth, the logo is? Nope. There are cowboys of every race and ethnicity.

    “Cow person” sounds stupid. Like these faculty members who went to work at a university with a history of ranching and agriculture, and then became incensed at the slogan and logo.

    As a rider, married to a horseman, with real cowboys amongst my family and friends, I take offense at anyone’s taking offense to the term “cowboy.”

    1. The school cannot change its logo or slogan to anything celebrating or admiring of Native Americans, either, as that will instantly be challenged as racist and insensitive.

      None of those faculty and pundits opposed to the “cowboy” could actually put in a regular day’s work on a ranch, let alone any of the high intensity days. They’d probably show up around the horses in Birkenstocks and be distressed at a pile. They don’t have the very grit that the logo represents as an admirable quality for students.

      The very fact that an academic would view “cowboy” with offense shows a divisive attitude towards the people of the very state employing them. It is this disdain for working Americans that is one of the top complaints against Liberal elites.

    2. and they take offense to you taking offense! remember what their icon rosa luxembourg said btw, “marriage is slavery!” so you exposed your self as a victim of patriarchal social systems of oppression right there karen! to say nothing of the fact that having a vaguely northern european first name identifies you as an inheritor of millenia of systemic racial oppressions of whomever your ancestors outwitted in the quest for survival. they wont be happy until you are ashamed of your very own existence!

  5. The appropriate word would be Cowpuncher. That could mean any gender or absence of gender or whatever. Then, of course, PETA would chime in. Kids couldn’t use the term. Ya can’t win.

    I’m reminded of the Smothers Brothers, ‘Cowboy’s Lament’.

    This nonsense is extremely necessary in light of our present predicament of the buffoon in the White House. It provides comic relief. Trump is not funny.

    1. issac – we did not elect Trump to be the comic relief, we elected him to be your worst nightmare. 🙂 So far, all is going to plan. 🙂

      1. Well, we’re on the same page, Trump is America’s worst nightmare. The greater nightmare is that a significant percentage of Americans are delusional and actually believe that this dolt has something to offer, anyone but himself.

        1. Yo, Issac, so why don’t you move to Cuba or Venezuela? looks to me the leaders there are right up your idiotological trail.

          After 8 years of 0bummer…still out to lunch eh?

          SamFox

          1. Sam

            You must be one of the dupes that voted for Trump. I can tell by your argument, the quintessential ‘love it or leave it’ routine. No, I’ll stay and fight for change. Now you should realize that Russia is accepting dupes, especially after Trump went over to Putin. That must hurt, your champion turns out to be Putin’s lap poodle. There has never been a greater disgrace to America than Trump. Trump is probably eyeballing Cuba right now, great beaches for condos for the Russian oligarchs.

            1. i welcome the opportunity to visit a Trump hotel in Cuba. that is a great idea. i am tired of overly priced Cuban food in Miami. and i like casinos. C u there isaac

            2. issac – Obama was Putin’s butt boy. He said the Cold War ended in the1980s during the debates with Romney. Scored points with that.

              1. It’s tiresome to hear Republicans bashing Obama for detente with Russia. It’s desirable for the same reason its’ desirable under Trump: they have nuclear fire and destruction aimed and deliverable to all our homes. On this point Obama had the right idea.

            3. issac, gee, you comment lacks so much intelligence I don’t know where to start. Uhh, It is YOU the one who is hurt. Mr. Trump WON!!! Get over it! Crybaby…

              Putin’s REAL lap poodle helped sell Uranium 1 to, drumroll….RUSSIA!! Hilldabeast & it’s ilk made that happen.

              Also it’s ass-ociated ilk & it were the ones doing the Russia thing with the fake dossier to help Strozk with his insurance policy. Where did they go to get the Trumped up jive they used to get a warrant to spy on the POTUS candidate they are so afraid will cut off their taxpayer gravy train? OH YEAH! They fabricated most of the toilet paper dossier with help from, another drumroll…RUSSIAN agents.

              Compared to Mr. T, YOU are the great disgrace. You and all your fascist Dimm ‘progressive’ psychopathic obstructionist fake news LIARS…

              You useful idiots got a new name. Thanks to Cass Sunstein you are now known as Easy To Manipulate Homer Simpsons.

              Yippie kiyaaa!

              SamFox

              1. Haha. “Uranium One.” As if. Tell me the one about “Benghazi” next.

                this is to “I never heard a troglodyte meme that I didn’t get tattooed across my lower back” sammie

  6. News flash! An irreducible number of faculty are attitudinizing jack-wagons. The only oddity here is that the inanities are the issue of the professional schools rather than the arts and sciences faculty. And they’ll probably get what they want. Condign punishment for them would be a resolution of the trustees and a resolution of the student body (passed by referendum) which declared them chumps to which no one should pay attention. That, of course, will never happen.

  7. ” And we saw that happen when two kooks came along, who the Bundy’s previously kicked off their property, went to Las Vegas/ murdering two police officers and a civilian. ”

    Yes, I remember that & most are still very watchful & hope the nut cases are stopped before they act. Hell there was a new report of an old Clinton insider saying he’s thinking about acting & kicking Rand Paul arse.

    I could hardly blame Paul if the guy gets close to him Paul shoots him out of fear for his life after whats already happened to Paul.

    I used to be very supportive of AG Sessions & that he would act to contain the lunatics, but he’s been no where to be seen on these issues.

    It’s late for me tonight & I’m checkin out but I wanted to post this better video looking back at the Bundys/Battle Bunkerville a year later.

    I, Infowars, Bundy’s, Hammons & the late Leroy Finacon,(sic), are not against law enforcement. We just demand law enforce that is not corrupt so the citizens can be proud of them.

    David Knight the Infowars reporter at Bunkerville now has his own show at Infowars daily in the mornings, Real News.

    His shows Director was killed a couple of days ago when an SUV T boned him on his motor cycle. Left 4 young kids & a wife.

    I don’t know way to post this other then another reminder for us all to try to get up & try to do something decent in the world as none of us know when our number might be up.

  8. This is silly. Many of the cowpokes were African Americans, some were Spanish Americans and a very few were female. That is how it was even if it is over romanticized.

    1. What are these idiots going to do with Calamity Jane & Annie Oakley? How about Roy Rodgers wife? I live in AZ & know a few cow girls. I was even a real cowboy for brief time when I worked for a rancher. Road a horse, chased cows, rounded them up for market & loaded them up in a big trailer. Even learned how to neuter a bull to make him a steer.

      These weasels are really serious about altering the history of the USA. To bad they didn’t move away when Mr. T was elected as many of the crybabies promised.

      SamFox

  9. We were and still are the Custer County Cowboys. Nobody seems to have a problem with it. Must be those squishy Easterners moving into the state. 😉

    1. LOL Excellent Darren! The guy’s pretty damn good.

      And a timely article by Prof Turley as I’ve been following many important issues for years.

      Remember 4 years ago? The Bundy Cowboys against the now known & proven Criminal Fed BLM on many more then one account.

      Land Rights, & all their other Rights…..

      I teared up a bit watching a couple of these vids of the Battle of Bunkerville.

      Those Cowboy weren’t wearing Mask & hiding behind a known 100 year old Commie/Authority Flag like thew Prog Lib Soy Boy Snowflakes..

      Those Cowboys Showed they faces and Proudly Flew the American Flag~

      Those Cowboys Didn’t Run, They Didn’t Back Down, They were Proven to be in The Right & on the correct side of history.

      The Bundys are now out of Jail after 2 Phk’in Years being Abused.

      The Hammonds, out of Oregon, have been Pardon by Trump.

      Yet the corrupt Judges & the LEO involved in the corruption there have yet to be charged & arrested.

      BTW: The Oregon Ranchers the Hammonds were Punished as part of Hillary’s, Rosenstein’s, Mueller’s, Obama’s direct involment in Espionage against the USA selling 20% of the US’s Uranium to Russian.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV7uF5-rGig

      1. I remember that incident well. My wife and I watched the last video you displayed, though it was on a TV network I believe. I sympathized with the cowboys in that whole affair, as the basis leading the culmination in the standoff was based entirely on federal bullying.

        I’ve seen the same harassment happen here. There is a remote town in Chelan County named Stehekin. The forest service for decades continually harangued the local population and it was almost obvious they wanted nothing more than to run them off the map. So when I saw the standoff’s conclusion, where the cowboys drove their cattle from under the bridge, it appealed to me.

        I thought the entire federal response was ridiculous. Sending tactical teams in there was just asking for an incident to happen. You have to wonder what the thinking was to risk an armed confrontation over a herd of cattle. If a penalty was to be assessed, just estimate a value for the animals and request a writ before the courts. Even if every LEO on the front lines there was professional and well disciplined, there is a high degree of risk the event will attract some wing-nut who will light a spark that leads to a conflagration. And we saw that happen when two kooks came along, who the Bundy’s previously kicked off their property, went to Las Vegas/ murdering two police officers and a civilian.

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