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A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug: The Working Woman's Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  291 ratings  ·  58 reviews
A rallying cry for working mothers everywhere that demolishes the "distracted, emotional, weak" stereotype and definitively shows that these professionals are more focused, decisive, and stronger than any other force.

Working mothers aren’t a liability. They are assets you—and every manager and executive—want in your company, in your investment portfolio, and in your corner
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published November 14th 2017 by HarperBusiness
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4.06  · 
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 ·  291 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Best for: Men (because you need to be told); mothers working outside the home who are looking for some support.

In a nutshell: Tech journalist Sarah Lacy makes the case that motherhood is an asset to the workforce, not a detriment.

Line that sticks with me: “It was the men — not the kids — that had proven to be a net negative on many of these women’s careers.” (p 206)

Why I chose it: This is another book by someone in the tech world that my husband thought I might find interesting. He’s recommended
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Am I really the first one to review this? I am a Badass Feminist Warrior!! I can't wait for this book to come out so I can recommend it to everyone. In this memoir/advocacy/social science gem, Sarah Lacy rips the veil off the patriarchy that so many people seem to want to hide. This insidious piece of our society has been haunting me since last year's election. It was so refreshing to hear Lacy call out the men who are responsible for it, while also being vulnerable about her own experiences. I ...more
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Sharing her own experience working her way up in Silicon Valley & creating a company while raising 2 kids, and presenting stark facts showing how little we respect professional woman for being anything other than ticking time bombs waiting to request time off for doing crazy things like getting married & have babies— Lacy lays out how far we are from a 50/50 society and how, perhaps, we can do better to examine how we ended up so behind other
Morgan Schulman
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
It's hard for me to give this three stars because there was some amazing five star material here. This book 100% gets it right when the author talks about concepts; she is very good at synthesizing information and she makes a strong argument for what I've always believed – that is, working mothers are the best workers because we are forced to practice efficiency, teamwork, self-sacrifice, and time management more than anyone. Working mothers can't afford to sweat the small stuff.

The book loses
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a good addition to the women's empowerment cannon, but it's not particularly different or groundbreaking. The motherhood angle sets this book apart from some of the others, but I didn't hear anything I haven't seen before in other places. There are some humorous phrases, mostly involving curse words I'm not used to seeing in books, and I enjoyed Lacy's no-nonsense strong guidance. I like to read one of these sorts of books every now and then to remind myself why my husband and I are jugg ...more
Kay Kuever
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018, real-book
Sarah Lacy is the pissed off older sister/feminist mentor that I never knew that I wanted and needed so badly, especially after withstanding this last year. A lot of the topics Lacy covers throughout the book really resonated with me in a way that I wasn't expecting considering that I thought I was going to have a tough time relating to her based on her beginning thesis of being a working mother. Instead, I ended up having my own "aha!" moment.

Having recently quit a job in an extremely male-domi
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: feminism
There are times when I was reading this book, I told to myself “Thank you Sarah Lacy, that’s exactly what I wanted to hear today !! “.

Women in different countries and regions face different challenges. Coming from an Indian origin, I have witnessed a lot of bright women drop out of workforce at some point or the other. I can’t say that I see this in public services, but certainly in tech. I have always wondered what caused them to do so, is it a part of opt-out revolution or the guilt of not be
I've followed Sarah Lacy's reporting on men behaving badly in Silicon Valley for a while, so jumped at the chance to see her at a live interview. She brought down the house, and I got a copy of her book to boot, signed "You are right, the world is wrong."

The book is a solid mix of personal stories, academic research, and interviews, and Sarah Lacy's voice throughout the narrative makes it all the more compelling. Who else could pull off titling a chapter "You Don't F*** with the Women of Iceland
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Some interesting studies cited, but in trying to make the point that we should stop discriminating against mothers in the workplace, Lacey overbalances and overattributes her success to becoming a Mom. Didn’t love it.
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
love, love, loved. If you're a working mother, or just a working woman, you have to read this book.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
It would be far too easy to gush over this book, to say that it should be required reading for every woman who works outside the home, or has a daughter who does. It would be ridiculously simple to refer to the author, Sarah Lacy as one of the most important feminist voices of the modern era. Those things would be easy and simple because they are both true.

This book is witty, yes, but it’s also wise. It’s a gift from one woman to many others, of the author’s experience and insight, and while it’
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
A book about being a working mom? And kicking butt? Yea I was all in. I was looking forward to something motivational and uplifting for moms and working women.

I admit I have mixed feelings about this book, though. It comes on quite strong, sharing all the statistics about the patriarchy and how difficult women still have it in the working world. I did like the memoir aspects and the struggles our author went through with her own business and parenthood that were sprinkled throughout all those ch
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfic
I got this book because it had a cool title. I think I may have seen it reviewed in a magazine somewhere.

I hadn't heard of Sarah Lacy before this book, although apparently she is famous. She write about technology things and that's just not my cup of tea. So, when she talks about herself and her business in this book, I personally found it a little boring. It was objectively well-written, it just wasn't my jam. Also, I can't conceptualize the idea of "silicon valley start-ups". Lacy's world is
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a bit of a slog, and to be honest I'm not totally sure why.

I wasn't interested in the details of Ms. Lacy's personal life, but I really enjoyed the personal bits included in Shrill, which I finished recently. I think it might have been partly that all the details share were superficial. She says she had trouble forgiving her husband, but give no specifics about why her marriage fell apart other than she and her husband grew apart. It was hard to relate to her circumstances without more
The subtitle of this book is “The Working Woman’s Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy,” which instantly had me intrigued. While I don’t consider myself to be a feminist (though obviously I think women should have equal rights), I am most definitely a working woman and working mother. I was glad to see a book about working motherhood that validated many of my thoughts and feelings.

Sarah Lacy is a successful technology journalist, writer, and business owner. I hadn’t heard of her prior to this bo
Vassiki Chauhan
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I saw this book in Strand Bookstore in New York, and the next time I went there I bought it. I have been grappling with issues surrounding gender based discrimination in the workplace, so it was the perfect time for me to read it.

Sometimes when a woman writes about her own experience, there is immense pressure to make sure that the voice of no woman is left out. This is an incredibly difficult task. But the exciting thing about being asked to think about personal experiences in this way is that
Shannon Clark
Jan 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having bought this book when it was published I only just finally got around to reading it. I’m very glad I did - it is a deeply personal book more so perhaps than most technology industry books but as a father it is also a very recognizable story.

Full disclosure first - while not close to Sarah Lacy or Paul Carr I was (am to a limited degree) a part of the tech/blogging world when they were both at TechCrunch and I was there for many of the disrupts (usually with a free badge). I worked for va
Jan 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug" counts Sarah Lacy’s decade-long journey, in her words, from “sexism denier” to “badass feminist warrior.” Take Silicon Valley, with all of its opportunity and optimism, and pull back the curtain. It’s also a system with warts and scars and chewed-up remains of many idealists. Only by taking this objective, multi-faceted view to the startup ecosphere, can we truly examine our biases and question the limitations that have been placed on all of us.

With her writing
Lauren Johnson
Jan 25, 2019 rated it liked it
First few chapters were great, for me personally, because I am an expecting first time mom. Great insight and stats on the 'Maternal Wall'. I felt the book took a detour through her issues with Uber and had a lot of name dropping of silicon valley VPs. It then went in to how she thought her divorce was one of the best things to happen to her besides her two kids. Which then transitioned to statistics on single-city-moms, then to Iceland, and China. It seemed a bit disjointed towards the end but ...more
Ann DuHamel
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book, because of its title. But it's grossly misnamed - it should be something like "The Working MOTHER's Guide to 'Overthrowing' the Patriarchy of Silicon Valley."

A lot of the book is the author's own personal story (not all that relevant to actual useful strategies for overthrowing said patriarchy) and stories of the tech industry in Silicon Valley (yawn). There are some useful statistics, but so much of it is anecdotal, and some of the conclusions she draws from t
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was engaging and the arguments compelling - well worth reading for everyone. I felt fired up by much of the data and found myself excited to dive in each night. The chapters on Iceland and China were particularly interesting - we have a ways to go for working moms/women, but I think we can get there.

Somewhere between 3.5-4 stars for me for a couple reasons. One, it is a bit jumpy and eclectic - part data driven arguments, part diving deep into her life, part her point of view not backe
This was good, but parts of it I didn't like. The beginning was great, and the end was very good, but the middle part wasn't that interesting to me, and seemed "complaining". She seemed a little "man-bashing", during discussing the context of her divorce and throughout other parts of the book. Additionally, she's very honest, and that's good, but can come across harsh (which is exactly what she says is a problem, with people thinking women who are bold are harsh - I get it!). She definitely lays ...more
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
it might seem to be preaching to the choir...
it is giving voice and focus to the choir.
it is not heavy handed
it may have a bit too much of the author in it (journalists do not seem to insert themselves into their articles) the insertion of the author into this a)makes it a narrative that b) gives a frame work and catalyst to all that is involved into this book c) the author is sociologist minus the title
the question is how to get others (those not in the choir)to read/listen/understand.

as with t
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has made me question the silicon valley workaholic culture that I feel like I'm addicted to. As a young male from Australia, I'm may not be an obvious target, but Sarah has exposed me to the bias and subconscious actions that I didn't realize where occurring, even by myself. She lays out a compelling case why dealing with these societal biases and supporting working mothers has an economic benefit to companies that are smart enough - if we can't 'afford' to solve this in the tech commu ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this one. Not every page was amazing but it is a solid read and a solid reminder of why we are often feeling so disheartened at work. The overarching theme is "its not you. this is real" and it gives dozens of anecdotes and suggestions for change. The epilogue at the end was as good as the Abby Wombach commencement speech. I didn't know who Sarah Lacy was before reading this but I won't forget her now.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
A great read which left me wanting to smash the patriarchy. My big qualm is that she focuses so much on motherhood being the key to this inner power. There is a little bit on "potential motherhood" working as well, but what about women who don't have that potential and do not possess a uterus (both transgender and cis women). Lacy could have been more inclusive regarding transgender women but I do appreciate that she talks about supporting women of colour. Definitely worth reading.
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Hum. I have a lot of opinions on this topic. I won't get into those. I'll say that this is really well written and most people should read it if you are in the tech world. That said, I think Sarah Lacy is downplaying just how difficult it is to be a woman in tech, particularly technical leadership. She cites facts, but her own life story is displayed with such a sense of optimism and energy that it takes away from the struggle.
Oct 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
I could not make it very far in this book. This book promises something in its title, but, in as much as I read, it was really just Lacy's encumiums to herself, her lecturing to herself in front of the mirror at how awesome she was. Reminded me Bossidy's Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done; the title made it sound like one thing, but it was really just self-praise.

Read 4%.
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book is as compelling as the cover. I appreciate the great storytelling and candid reflections from the author. I learned more than I expected ... difference between sexism and misogyny ... how I unintentionally support the patriarchy, even as a feminist ... why the good mom vs good worker choice is a myth. Everyone should read this book!
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
i found myself nodding in agreement with so many points. a must-read for women, whether they are moms already, might become mothers one day, or don't ever want kids at all, about sexism in the U.S. (still very much alive and well).
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“It’s only after living through a decade of these three attacks, watching these other journalists get attacked, watching the 2016 presidential election, and reading the work of philosopher Kate Manne and social psychologist Amy Cuddy that I began to see how simple, universal, and effective it is to destroy a woman’s credibility. Incompetent → Slut → Corrupt. Sometimes all those at once. One of the three will almost always stick. The three can be used to reinforce one another as well.” 1 likes
“Women getting run out of tech matters, because it’s where so much of the wealth creation and opportunity in the economy is right now. And it purports to be more of a meritocracy. So if it’s not simply a case of needing more women to enter the tech funnel, what gives? Is the tech industry just full of a ton of sexist bigots? Some, sure. Trust me, I know them. But the far more pervasive problem is one of unconscious bias and an overreliance on pattern recognition. VCs tend to rely on a gut feeling about an entrepreneur because they frequently don’t have a business or product yet to evaluate, or in many cases, even a track record to look at. And when you don’t have written-out, quantifiable qualifications to hire based on, bias creeps in.” 0 likes
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