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Book Review: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Lean in : women, work, and the will to lead

I scoffed at this book when I learned about its existence. After all, clearly the rich facebook lady was just trying to make another million.

Luckily, I have a taste for irony. Or, perhaps, a strong interest in books and media that I think will go against my queer-feminist-reallyreallyleftist-worikingclass/poor values system. I got in line for the book with like 300 other people in my library system, got it after a couple of months, and read in in a couple days. I have to admit, the fact that millions of people are reading Lean In means something really good for America. Yep, I said it. And I’m gonna take things even further: It might even be kind of like a Second Sex for the 2013-plastic-pop-internet age.

Sure, the information and inspiration in the book is best suited for college educated white ladies. And sure, it kind of creeps me out that lots of the argument and discussion is poised within a capitalist framework. But that’s how america thinks– that’s what’s on teevee.

Sandberg and her co-writer cite all kinds of sexist injustices both in the “spheres” of work and home, they point out double standards, wage differences, messed up gendered socialization, and way more that leans to inequality in the workplace and beyond. If you’ve taken womens studies 101 you know this stuff– but most people haven’t taken womens studies 101. She even pulls out the “F Word,” and actually identifies herself as a feminist in the penultimate chapter, and has lots of paragraphs explaining why. What other “inspirational bestseller nonfiction” is doing that these days?

Sure, the book has some problems (e.g., I felt like the 2nd half of the book had lots of paragraphs that focused too much on relationships and not enough on the revolution), but it really exceeded my expectations with its good research and straightforward feminism (in a mainstream arena– eek!) that will maybe help people start finally identifying as feminists and standing up for themselves…

 

Get a copy at your library

 

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