Patricia's Reviews > Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
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did not like it

A well-meaning but ultimately misguided springboard for a larger conversation on feminism in the American workplace. While I applaud Sandberg for her success and for shining a light on the subject, I have to admit I found myself side-eyeing to exhaustion while I labored through this book.

It isn't Sandberg's message I had an issue with. Who would? I am a feminist and Sandberg was preaching a gospel I subscribe to: Women! Be fearless in who you are and what you decide to aspire to be! A beautiful message and one worth listening to

BUT I can't deny that much of Sandberg's book was not written for me or other public non-ivy league graduates, grew-up-on-the-fringe-of-middle-class women like me. I say this acknowledging that it is totally probable (if not reasonable) to enjoy books not specifically "meant" for you. But I found myself being sold on the idea that Lean In was written to inspire women busting their butts in their 9-5. With honesty, this book is for women who have obtained or were born into a certain degree of privilege. To her credit, Sandberg shares some insight into her public school education leading to Harvard. To which she reminds of quite often that she was dubbed the geekiest girl in her class and how she found herself so ashamed for being so much smarter than everyone! (MAJOR SIDE-EYE) But not too much later she starts discussing how dumb she felt for being the only person in her Freshman class at Harvard to have missed reading the Iliad from translation and in Greek. In that moment, Sandberg felt what so many young women feel on a daily basis: a lack of access. So, after she shared that memory, I was surprised that she didn't emphasize how these factors could impact women's ideas on leadership.

The subject of feminism and female leadership extends beyond the desirable tax bracket.

I know people will argue that Sandberg is writing from her experience and her experience is colored by her privilege and I agree. So with that, I will say this--if you're looking to read a text on female empowerment encompassing ideas on motherhood and professional success while being a privileged woman of the majority, then I think you may really find some substance here.

For the rest of us, dust off your Bell Hooks and get to reading.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 12, 2016 – Shelved

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