"We need to challenge the assumption that more is always better"
March 8, 2015 4:17 AM   Subscribe

Recline, don’t ‘Lean In’ (Why I hate Sheryl Sandberg)
Sheryl, have you ever stopped to consider that all this “leaning in” is ruining life for the rest of us?

Long ago, before Sandberg’s book “Lean In” convinced me to change my ways, I had a life. I had friends, family, children. I had hobbies. I had a job, too, of course, but I also took occasional vacations, knocked off work at a sensible hour and got eight hours of sleep each night.

Then I read “Lean In” and realized that I was self-sabotaging slacker.
…Ladies, if we want to rule the world — or even just gain an equitable share of leadership positions — we need to stop leaning in. It’s killing us.

We need to fight for our right to lean back and put our feet up.

Here’s the thing: We’ve created a world in which ubiquity is valued above all. If you’re not at your desk every night until nine, your commitment to the job is questioned. If you’re not checking email 24/7, you’re not a reliable colleague.

But in a world in which leaning in at work has come to mean doing more work, more often, for longer hours, women will disproportionately drop out or be eased out.
posted by Lexica (48 comments total) 72 users marked this as a favorite
 
Yes, thank you. We need more people to call out Lean In as the apologetic for the bosses that it is.
posted by Myca at 4:35 AM on March 8, 2015 [74 favorites]


My wife just quit a job in a tech startup because it was actually, literally nearly killing her (according to blood pressure checks). This is what the future looks like tho.
posted by colie at 5:09 AM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


My motto: lean into your couch.
posted by pwally at 5:09 AM on March 8, 2015 [24 favorites]


I find it very hard to believe this woman was so dumb as to follow "Lean In" so religiously (she seems pretty smart). More clickbait for the mommy wars. I do agree, though, that the new 24/7 workplace some industries have developed is bad for all of us. Rest is important for avoiding burnout and keeping the brain sharp and innovative!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:12 AM on March 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


So many people living their lives according to what they believe other people's expectations of them are, instead of how they would like to ...
posted by walrus at 5:16 AM on March 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


I feel like an atheist reading a fundamentalist's "Wait... what if there... is no God?" essay.
posted by Auden at 5:16 AM on March 8, 2015 [64 favorites]


I actually think that regardless of who takes the lead on the "second shift" the ubiquity of work is bad for everyone.

But I'm competing just to keep my job with ambitious child free 30 year olds so it's 8:20 a.m. on Sunday and I just did 2 hrs of work, 1/2 hr of summer camp registering, and I'm about to make spelt pancakes for the kids.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:22 AM on March 8, 2015 [14 favorites]


The idea that every last drop of energy and motivation should be squeezed out of a person is fucking obscene. We are not lemons.
posted by absolutelynot at 5:23 AM on March 8, 2015 [91 favorites]


Of course it's Sheryl Sandberg's fault, it's always her fault somehow. I mean, let's ignore that our unbalanced corporate culture has been going on since the Industrial Revolution and gender inequality since forever. Let's ignore that Lean In was published in 2013 and the author's professional life can be counted in decades (but even before that Sandberg was the ruiner of things by being an aerobics class instructor).

It's hard to engage with the main, fairly straightforward, thesis when it's buried beneath so much misdirected hate and polemics. For a glimpse of the future of work culture, see Sweden's experiment with six-hour work days.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:32 AM on March 8, 2015 [57 favorites]


Is it more feminist to proudly have kids and to not be ashamed of motherhood, or to feel guilty about having kids because you will be perceived as not dedicated enough to your career?

My friend wrote a blog post about how difficult it is to have a kid and how she felt like she had to hide that fact with regard to her availability for gigs and teaching. And in the end climaxes with one of those "but now I'm not ashamed anymore and I am proud to say I Am Woman, I Am Mother, Hear Me Roar."

But I can't help but think, dude, I know tons of musicians with MULTIPLE kids, who still do gigs, still teach, deal with parenthood, and don't seem to feel the need to proclaim their greatness or act as if the world owes them something. You want a kid? Have a kid. Is this attitude a result of books like Lean In?
posted by ReeMonster at 5:46 AM on March 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


Seconding ThePinkSuperHero and Foci for Analysis. I mean, the author of the piece was a counselor to the U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2011, and she's a Georgetown law professor. I don't believe for a second she was laying around reading novels and underachieving before "Lean In" came out in 2013.

It all feels click-baity, and this whole genre annoys me - why is Sheryl Sandberg the ultimate evil? Because she's a woman, and thus an easy, safe target? She merely spelled out the rules to a game that she did not invent (though she has succeeded within its bounds). I see Sandberg more like Emily Post in a way - spelling out the rules so more people can have a fair shot. Sandberg is not perfect, and not the reformer that the system needs, but everyone can't be everything - and she gets 10x the criticism of any other Silicon Valley exec just for telling us what the status quo really is.
posted by fermezporte at 6:14 AM on March 8, 2015 [40 favorites]


I think there is a certain truth in that you need to sacrifice family life and so on if you really want to be very successful (unless you're very lucky or extremely talented or both). I'm a man, and one of the reasons I don't have kids (yet) at 38 is that I've chosen not to because I figured I needed to work on my career first, both because kids would take time away from it (I'd like to do an equal share of parenting when I do have kids), and also because I haven't wanted to have kids before I'm economically quite comfortable. I can't imagine how hard it must be for women.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:34 AM on March 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Brooks wrote a follow up entitled Slack Nap Snooze on FP, which also has rebuttals from Ann-Marie Slaughter et al, and Kristin Lord et al. From the latter:

Ladies, we are making ourselves, and each other, nuts.

I suggest a new (if somewhat facetious) mantra: "Who Cares?"

...

Many things hold women professionals back, but women also hold each other back by thinking that what other women do is somehow a reflection on them — as leaders, as mothers, and as people.

posted by snuffleupagus at 6:38 AM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


Any piece that says "Ladies, we need to" is silly to me, including this one.

Sheryl Sandberg is giving advice to women who want the variation on happiness and success that she has. As such, if you follow her advice and it does the things she says it will and you're miserable, that means the things that make her happy don't make you happy, meaning her advice is not for you. Which is great!

It makes me irate that ANYONE still tells women that "we" need to do more of this or less of that or put our feet up or whatever, and to the degree Lean In was received or marketed that way, it's crazymaking too. But there is no one way for women to live and be happy, and this piece is just as blinkered about that fact as anything Sheryl Sandberg wrote. Some people like being busy. Some people like being at the center of a tornado of activity. If you want to decry the ubiquity of work and the way it forces people to give up their personal lives, I'm with you. But that doesn't need to come in the form of extrapolating from your own feelings to a universal "CAN'T YOU ALL SEE YOU'RE MISERABLE?"

Bonus maddening: Nobody who frames a piece like this as "hating" someone for saying something she doesn't agree with is helping anything.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 6:52 AM on March 8, 2015 [34 favorites]


Ooo, manifesto time?!

You probably aren't one of the ten thousand or so people out of seven billion that can plausibly rank up to change the course of society. So do the minimum required to live at your comfort level within the strongly moldlike intelligence of our economy (yaaaay paperclip distributed profit AI!) and enjoy things until the end, whatever that happens to be.

Not having kids helps.

As does having a variety of hobbies.
posted by Slackermagee at 7:01 AM on March 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


We need to fight for our right to lean back and put our feet up.

Here’s the thing: We’ve created a world in which ubiquity is valued above all. If you’re not at your desk every night until nine, your commitment to the job is questioned. If you’re not checking email 24/7, you’re not a reliable colleague.


Look, I think businesses could do a better job with more flexible work options and not demanding unreasonable after-hours work too--and also that it frequently makes good business sense to do so--but there's an element of silliness to this argument. There are only a limited number of people who will be able to make VP at Apple, tenured professor at Harvard, partner at Cravath, etc.--and many more who are ambitious enough to want it. Generating more output (i.e., by working more hours) is certainly a legitimate way to differentiate yourself. The path to CEO is never going to be one where you head home at 5 and turn off your phone, for men or women.
posted by dsfan at 7:07 AM on March 8, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'm ok with people on the ceo track working as many hours as they want. I'm less ok with creeping expectations of longer (usually unpaid) hours for everyone, along with constant contact and responsiveness.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:13 AM on March 8, 2015 [60 favorites]


Soon, the rewards of leaning in doubled.

Then they quadrupled. Then they began to increase exponentially.


On the contrary, they had already begun to increase exponentially at the beginning of the first sentence!
posted by escabeche at 7:41 AM on March 8, 2015 [47 favorites]


Generating more output (i.e., by working more hours)...
yeah, this is bullshit. hours worked is an utterly terrible proxy for actual contribution to an enterprise. worse than LOC, and that's pretty fucking bad. that so many still think 'hours-worked' means anything is solely a testament to stubbornness and a celebration of willful ignorance.

But it is easy enough for the densest executive to understand.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:37 AM on March 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


DO NOT SPIT
- The Management
posted by flabdablet at 8:48 AM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


... do the minimum required to live at your comfort level within the strongly moldlike intelligence of our economy (yaaaay paperclip distributed profit AI!) and enjoy things until the end ...

Sir, you have described my life to a "T." Why, between you and me we're practically a movement.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:50 AM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


The aerobics instructor thing is weird. Wasn't being an aerobics instructor the kind of hobby that people like Sheryl Sandberg are blamed for us not being able to have?

I don't know. There's a lot wrong with American work culture, but I think Sheryl Sandberg is mostly a symptom, not a cause. And as someone who has chosen to lean out for the sake of my happiness and mental health, I'm much more interested in ensuring that the rest of us are able to have a decent standard of living and a degree of security, even if we're never going to be COOs of Facebook, than in worrying about what the Sheryl Sandbergs of the world are up to.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:09 AM on March 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


Excuse me, have you got a couple of minutes to talk about Slack™?
posted by sneebler at 9:13 AM on March 8, 2015 [12 favorites]


When housekeepers and other women employees at a Hilton DoubleTree Inn in Cambridge, Massachusetts owned by Harvard University were seeking union representation for better working conditions and more self-empowerment in the workplace, they invited Sheryl Sandberg to do a "Lean In" circle for them to teach them some of Sandberg's negotiating advice, but Sandberg flat out refused to do so. See, it seems that Sandberg's "lean in" advice only applies to white-collar women, not pink collar.
posted by jonp72 at 9:15 AM on March 8, 2015 [40 favorites]


Yeah, corporate types tend to be anti-union, so little surprise there. Sandberg will continue to sell playbooks for patriarchic capitalism as somehow good for women. Of course she's a symptom, but in this case the cause is made of symptoms, and it's more than ok to criticise this particular symptom.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:26 AM on March 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


I don't think the author is really challenging patriarchal capitalism, though. She's arguing that the rules of patriarchal capitalism should be changed for the people, like her and Sandberg, at the very top.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:33 AM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm ok with people on the ceo track working as many hours as they want. I'm less ok with creeping expectations of longer (usually unpaid) hours for everyone, along with constant contact and responsiveness.

Yes, agreed. A large part of why I quit my last job was because the company culture was one in which it was almost a point of pride to brag about how long you stayed up at night pushing out proposals ("I was working on quotes until 10 o'clock last night", "You're lucky, I was up until midnight!"), how many late night phone calls you took and late night emails you responded to, how much of your weekend was spent working, how long it had been since you took a proper vacation since you're so busy with work, etc. And I'm just speaking about what was expected of everyday salespeople to be minimally successful at the job, not necessarily upper management track roles.

It should come as no surprise that the most successful people at my office tended to be those who were unmarried and childless or those whose children were already grown. There was virtually no way to be successful in this position while simultaneously having a marriage/parenting role that was in any way equitable to the other partner. I'd love to think this job was just an anomaly in terms of "Choose between being successful as a parent/spouse or successful at the office", but I doubt it.
posted by The Gooch at 9:33 AM on March 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


The problem with people that have been mistreated and taught an ideology that benefits people around them more than themselves, is that when members of this mistreated subgroup stand up to encourage all the others to submit (often receiving benefits above the rest of their subgroup for doing so) they become a very powerful tool of enforcing the harmful system.

So I think it IS worth pointing out how harmful this is, even if she is both victim and perpetrator of these harmful ideologies. Certainly in her current position she is gaining a lot of money and status off telling other women what to do, even though her advice is unlikely to actually uplift a majority of the people she claims it will. That's problematic on her part even if symptom of a sick culture. When sick people are upholding unhealthy conditions for others for their own gain,it's still crappy even if also a symptom of larger systemic problems. The status quo is upheld by individual people who reinforce it and feed off it so individual behavior and changing it is still part of making systemic change.
posted by xarnop at 9:54 AM on March 8, 2015 [19 favorites]


Amen xarnop.

Also, one thing that really bugs me about her Lean In philosophy is that it just doesn't scale to the millions upon millions of working-age women out there. It's fundamentally a race to the bottom to out-compete colleagues (whether men or women) for a limited number of high-pay, high-status positions that afford the luxury for one to publicly ruminate on how one's inside-straight draw came good on the river, and putting that down to Correct Approach To Life rather than the luck of the draw. I'm not saying her success is strictly due to luck and not her hard work, but there's only so many jackpots.

Any approach to the modern work/life quandary that doesn't start with accessible and affordable childcare (& parental leave) is poop. IMHO.
posted by amorphatist at 10:30 AM on March 8, 2015 [18 favorites]


So many great comments here. So much wrong with the idea that everyone is supposed to want to have a Sheryl Sandberg career. So much wrong with the idea that you can't be good at your job, valuable at your office, and admirable as a human being if you don't have that ambition.

I'm really good at my job. And my job is in the public interest. I work hard at my job. But I don't look at my email on the weekend. I don't work hours that they don't (or can't, as the case at my job is) pay me for. There is nothing wrong with the answer: Where do I see myself in five years? I see myself really excelling at the tasks given me, in a work environment that suits me, doing a job that not only matches my moral compass, but allows me to live comfortably with perks like health insurance and paid time off.

But you try getting anyone in charge to respect you for that answer.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:39 AM on March 8, 2015 [18 favorites]


and she gets 10x the criticism of any other Silicon Valley exec just for telling us what the status quo really is.

No, not for "telling" it but for supporting it. There's a major difference between the two, and that's why the criticism would be justified. It's the difference between a scientist describing something, and a biased subject living it.
posted by polymodus at 11:02 AM on March 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


No, not for "telling" it but for supporting it

My argument isn't that Sheryl Sandberg is a perfect person above all judgement, or that corporate culture is awesome and above all reproach. But she is a woman who has described a system that existed before she arrived on the scene, and if no one intervenes, will continue to exist after she leaves. No, it's not a great system, and yes she has a stake in upholding it.

But it bothers me that the 10% of execs who are female are disproportionately expected to clean up the system. I see the same demands made of Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer, much, much more often than I see similar criticism of male tech execs.
posted by fermezporte at 11:18 AM on March 8, 2015 [14 favorites]


Yeah, frankly, I think the hate-on that people on the left seem to have to have for Sheryl Sandberg is rather disturbing and symptomatic of the fact that we need women to be perfect people before they can dare to comment on the world. Yes, she is describing a very particular sort of woman (and she makes no secret of it, if you read her book). But as someone who does care about advancing up the corporate ladder, even if that makes me a sell-out in the eyes of my left-wing friends, I appreciate her advice. It's possible to simultaneously want women to be able to be successful in a corporate environment, given the constraints that are operating today, and want to change those constraints. If you read her series of articles in the NY Times, it is clear that she understands that the system is warped, and wants to fix it. She's certainly someone I'm far more willing to get behind than Marissa Mayer, who won't call herself a feminist, and believes that there are no gender problems in tech.
posted by peacheater at 11:39 AM on March 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


I do think you should "lean in", but work is so far down the list of things that are worth "leaning into", as to become completely unimportant.

Lean in to love, family, joy, travel, or whatever lifts your soul.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:47 AM on March 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's possible to simultaneously want women to be able to be successful in a corporate environment, given the constraints that are operating today, and want to change those constraints.

If that's possible then it's also possible to feel ambivalence about people in positions of power and privilege who seen from the other side of the curtain are just individuals trying to navigate a tight line.

The criticism is justified. Whether it's too much criticism is a different issue.
posted by polymodus at 12:30 PM on March 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have a hard time blaming Sheryl Sandberg for anything about our current sick, destructive work culture. I work at a place, and in a field, where literally nearly nothing cannot wait until tomorrow, if necessary. We are not emergency workers or disease researchers or military or law enforcement or anything that actually requires working outside of normal work hours and days, or being on call in any way.

AND YET, among my colleagues I am either regarded as weird or having an enviable super power because I don't check email before 8:30 or so in the morning, and stop after around 5:30 in the afternoon, and only work on weekends when there is a specific work need scheduled then. I get so, so many emails at 9:30pm (or later, or 5:00am), it's depressing how many of my colleagues have a terrible work/life balance.

To do this, I have had to learn some discipline: my work time must productive, I am always policing myself so I don't, e.g., accidentally read Metafilter for an hour when I was just looking something up online, and so on. But from all over I see and hear that so, so many working adults have bad or no boundaries with work, by necessity and/or choice, it's no wonder that suicide rates among the middle-aged and depression and anxiety rates among young adults are off the charts.

We seem to have collectively forgotten that LIFE IS NOT ABOUT WORKING. It's not about vocational or material success (beyond feeling like your work contributes to the world and is morally acceptable to you, and earning enough to satisfy existential needs). Life is about your experience of it, each and every day--every moment--because no matter how long we each get, it will be over too soon (and surprise us when it is). I can only blame Sandberg for perpetuating a worldview and lifestyle that has been so very rewarding for her, she is far from the cause of it. She's a symptom, and a reinfection agent, but not a cause, and this is not fundamentally a sex-based issue (though women are obviously affected more and in more ways).
posted by LooseFilter at 12:35 PM on March 8, 2015 [19 favorites]


LIFE IS NOT ABOUT WORKING

Life is about different things to different people, and whether it's cool with the rest of us or not, some people are extremely happy being primarily driven by their love of the work they do. This is where we get into trouble, as far as I'm concerned. What life is about is something it's awfully hard to state definitively. I'm certainly not equipped to do it.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 1:23 PM on March 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


...the luxury for one to publicly ruminate on how one's inside-straight draw came good on the river, and putting that down to Correct Approach To Life rather than the luck of the draw

Oh, yes. The 'job creators' I know can tell you all 'bout the bootstraps.
posted by j_curiouser at 1:45 PM on March 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


LIFE IS NOT ABOUT WORKING

Life is about different things to different people, and whether it's cool with the rest of us or not, some people are extremely happy being primarily driven by their love of the work they do.


Sure, but what's not cool is pressuring people (either tacitly or explicitly) into making their lives about working when that is not what that person wants. Systematically the American corporate culture does this, and while Lean In is a method that shows women it's OK to do this to meet their own goals, it is (as LooseFilter says above) a perpetuation of a dangerous system.

Regardless of whether someone's passion is their work, it's oppressive to force a coworker, subordinate, or anyone else to change their work/life balance accordingly.
posted by a halcyon day at 2:05 PM on March 8, 2015 [13 favorites]


Of course, sure. But here again, we're talking about the difference between defending people's right not to make their lives one way and declaring that no life can legitimately be that way. It's not that different from declaring that life is not about raising children and without other work, you're wasting your life (a thing I do not believe, but a thing people have been known to say). Life should not HAVE to be about work. But I can't tell other people what their priorities should be. The answer to being forced to follow other people's model is not to try to establish the superiority of your model, but to acknowledge that there's more than one.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 2:17 PM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I guess I can't really find it in me to object to a little impassioned rhetoric from the people who don't want work to take over lives when the machinery of an entire socioeconomic system is arrayed against them in that regard. Not to mention that, in the absence of legal safeguards, these two models can't exist independently in any stable fashion: capital will use the work-for-work's-sake faction as a cudgel against the others until the expectation is that everybody conduct themselves as if they lived to work.
posted by invitapriore at 2:44 PM on March 8, 2015 [8 favorites]


I popped back into this thread because the discussion is so relevant and yet so unhelpful.

So I am 44 and in the middle of the U curve and having a midlife crisis with two kids in tow. I probably could have used Sandberg's advice during my decade of infertility because I did dial back my career at times because I thought for sure I would be pregnant soon. I felt a kind of moral obligation to create a life that suited my goals, which are moderately ambitious at work -- I want to do a good job and have a hand in direction and vision, but no need to be top dog.

I also want to be a good parent and have a home that does not feel crazy all the time and have good ties to my neighbours and my community and my friends and family, and participate in helping my parents out when they need it.

And I thought I had matched things up well but then the 2008 recession hit and now my job is trying to do way more than my team used to with fewer resources, that is, people, and I am watching the 30 year olds I mentioned earlier in the thread quote-unquote Lean In and that is great, for them, I think it's lovely, but I also think that if I don't keep up with them I'll lose my job. Also, my job involves more than it ever did in the past. I deliberately created relatively middle-management ambitions and am working 9-10 hr days and having to be on email etc. a lot of the time and it is nowhere near enough.

Part of that is my pocket of my industry went from a monthly cycle to a daily/hourly cycle. But from my personal network I can see that it's not just my industry; social networking has opened so many doors but it has also meant that when you go home at night you are still networking and when you post pictures of your lunch with hashtags you are branding and suddenly the boundaries are just in flux.

Also, parenting is actually kind of hard. Where my family's balance has gotten blown up is on activities for a variety of reasons related to where are all the kids anyway?? In abacus class apparently...and fear because frankly, the school is boring my older child to death and throwing math club and martial arts at the problem is affordable where private school is not.

I might think it was okay for him to be bored if it were not my perception that with all the boundaries in flux, he needs to feel confident and networked in a way I am not and I do not trust, despite really, really wanting to that letting him play freestyle while I get more of my @#$#$#@ work done on my laptop and so on is going to do the job for him in this winner-takes-all direction things seem to be going. And that's just one child. My second is still young enough to be good with what he gets in daycare but that will change soon.

My parents never worried about that stuff, because as long as we were going to make it to university it was ok.

I am dead sure Sheryl Sandberg will be able to afford people to drive her child wherever or heck, just hire a whole school, go her, but I have to be up for Parks & Rec registration and drive around looking for second-hand skates if we lost the first-hand ones because we were rushing to swimming.

Some days I want to quit and stay home and be the not-boring and make my own yogurt and probably my family could eke by if there were no divorce or illness, but then I am now out of the job I used to love and would still love if only, dear god, the constant electronic questions/answers/comments/information would ease up sometimes.

If everyone behaves all the time to network at the highest level will it pay off, or will many people end up burned out and worse off? That is my social question, but it's also my question, how do you lean in without getting burned if you don't end up with a whack of cash up front to throw at all the rest of life. Because right now I'm in the trenches and trying to lean in because that's the new norm and man, I. am. tired.

I still do love my job though.
posted by warriorqueen at 2:50 PM on March 8, 2015 [24 favorites]


Things were different in my own childhood, but today, parenting has become a full-time job: it requires attendance at an unending stream of school meetings, class performances and soccer games, along with the procurement of tutors, classes and enrichment activities, the arranging of play dates, the making of organic lunches and the supervising of labor-intensive homework projects.

Gee, Ms. Brooks, you didn't have organic lunches and organized play-dates, and you turned OK. Better than OK, actually. So, why the heck are your demands so high in this area?

Maybe the ones that see success by leaning in also know the secret of calming the fuck down.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:00 PM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's possible to simultaneously want women to be able to be successful in a corporate environment, given the constraints that are operating today, and want to change those constraints.

It's possible that by the time you get there, you too will have a vested interest in keeping those very constraints in place. "I worked hard for that corner office. I sacrificed. I challenge all who come after me to just lean in."

not 'you' personally, but some significant collective 'you' that perpetuates these systems once they figure out how to profit.
posted by j_curiouser at 4:15 PM on March 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


In fact, she and I probably have some friends in common; we were college classmates, though I don’t remember if we ever met.

Where? Oh, haha, you know, in Boston.

Well, Cambridge really, more like, sort of near Harvard Square.

No, not Lesley.
posted by threeants at 4:28 PM on March 8, 2015 [9 favorites]


Rosa Brook "confesses" in a later column that her supposed "hate-on" for Sheryl Sandberg was really a case of a need to expediently dress up her opinions for clickbait. "But would any of you have read a column entitled, 'Why I feel that Sheryl Sandberg, whom I somewhat but not completely admire, is somewhat right about certain things while also being somewhat wrong about various other things'?" The more thoughtful version of her column also acknowledges that the underlying problem isn't whether to lean in or recline or drop out, but that there is no longer a stable or reliable way for most people to earn a living at one job: "For far too many, the disappearance of stable, full-time jobs with benefits — and the fraying social safety net — has meant a desperate struggle to find and keep multiple part-time jobs." To give her credit, she also does address "structural and legislative changes that have already taken place in many other developed countries." ("We need better and cheaper childcare for working parents; we need laws that guarantee vacation time and a living wage; we need school schedules that reflect the realities of modern life instead of being based on archaic agrarian schedules and the assumption that every child has a stay-at-home parent, and so on.") Her actual position is, unsurpisingly, more nuanced than this ridiculous "Sheryl Sandberg taught aerobics classes in college" piece would make it seem.
posted by blucevalo at 7:39 AM on March 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


LLLLLLEAN INTO A SLIM-JIM!
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:41 PM on March 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the hate-on that people on the left seem to have to have for Sheryl Sandberg is rather disturbing and symptomatic of the fact that we need women to be perfect people before they can dare to comment on the world.

There's a lot of that about.
posted by flabdablet at 9:01 PM on March 10, 2015


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