Leaning in to the Sandberg debate

April 12, 2013

Just a quick post before the next show comes out on Monday - actually, I have just heard from Mule Radio that it's coming out this afternoon. OK, so very quickly, a few days ago I gathered in a Greenwich Village apartment with five other women, all from Generations X and Y, to discuss Sheryl Sandberg's 'Lean In'. As I hoped, while some of us shared views about the book, there were a lot of different opinions floating about, and the more the wine flowed, the freer they became (and it was only Monday night). I'm going to list a few points here.

  • Everyone reads this book through their own very personal lens. Despite not being remotely Sandberg-like myself, I still enjoyed the book a great deal, and didn't feel browbeaten into being a superwoman. Others felt the book and Sandberg have now moved the conversation on feminism to being entirely about getting to the top, and find that very limiting. It sparks incredibly different reactions in people.
  • If you haven't read it because you've been put off by all the initial criticism of Sandberg as a rich elitist who couldn't possibly relate to a normal human, read it. Only once you've done so can you have an opinion. Maybe it won't be a good opinion, or perhaps a mixed one, but it is worth a read. And for the record, Sandberg comes off as very human (to me, anyway), and often quite humorous as well. Her co-writer Nell Scovell has probably done a lot of this work, but it's a well written book.
  •  Sandberg has started a conversation that is very much worth having. I began this show for a lot of the reasons Sandberg wrote the book. But her voice is infinitely louder than mine will ever be.