Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

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“Gymboree once sold onesies proclaiming ‘smart like daddy’ for boys and ‘pretty like mommy’ for girls. The same year, JCPenney marketed a T-shirt to teenage girls that bragged, ‘I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.’ These things did not happen in 1951. They happened in 2011.”

“Research over the last four years has consistently found that in comparison to children with less involved fathers, children with involved and loving fathers have higher levels of psychological well-being and better cognitive abilities. When fathers provide even just routine childcare, children have higher levels of educational and economic achievement, and lower delinquency rates. Their children even tend to be more empathetic and socially competent.”

“Aiming for perfection causes frustration at best and paralysis at worst.”

After many months of some of the strongest women in my life (my mother, my partner’s mother, my partner’s sister, and my boss, just to name a few) telling me to read Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, I finally made a point of sitting down and finishing it. I’m very glad I did.

It’s not that the book is difficult to get through, on the contrary it’s actually a very quick and interesting read. Even though I started it weeks ago I think the reason it took me so long to finish it was because of the dedication on the first page. I had heard this book was somewhat of a feminist manifesto, so I found it interesting that its author thanks a man, her husband, for making “everything” possible, before the book has even begun. I remember thinking to myself, well if this book is all about how I don’t need a man, why is she owing her success in its entirety to one right now?

I’m glad I finished the book however, because Mrs. Sandberg (the very successful COO of Facebook) answered that very question wholeheartedly. This book is not about how women don’t need men; this book is so much more than a (self-described) feminist manifesto. She even addresses that word that many women shy away from: feminist. Over the years it feels like the word “feminism” has picked up a negative connotation. News flash people – being a feminist doesn’t mean you’re some bra-burning socialist lesbian with a deep-rooted hatred for men. Being a feminist simply means that you support equal rights, opportunity, and respect for both women and men in the workplace, and at home. Mrs. Sandberg has a husband who happily and willingly shares both household and breadwinning duties, thus helping her make “everything possible”. I get it now.

The book is written in a very approachable, and conversational tone, with many examples that will have, I believe, both men and women nodding in understanding and agreement. This book is just as important for men to read as for women, especially men who have girlfriends, wives, sisters, daughters, nieces, and female coworkers. It discusses being comfortable sitting at the table, sharing household responsibilities, and it brings to light the competition between women in the work place, and how we need to build each other up and not tear each other down. Since I really want all of you to read this one I don’t want to say much more other than it is eye opening, honest, and refreshing.

Thank you Mrs. Sandberg for saying a lot of what needed to be said, and bringing this discussion to the forefront.

DEFINITELY check this one out folks.

xo

OMPP

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