lean in/lean out/

This is what happens when you have something else to do; the resting brain has you think of something so special that you must share.

Or is it that you must share because you don’t want to do those things you have to do?

Either way, this is about the season, and how things are oh-so often synchronistic.

All this talk lately about Sheryl Sandberg and her book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. This is the publishers’ description of her book:

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential.

Oh, I see this is going to be a long entry. I’m including a lot because I know you don’t have time to look at it all.

Then there was the article from New York Magazine, The Retro Wife; Feminists who say they’re having it all—by choosing to stay home:

But what if all the fighting is just too much? That is, what if a woman isn’t earning Facebook money but the salary of a social worker? Or what if her husband works 80 hours a week, and her kid is acting out at school, and she’s sick of the perpetual disarray in the closets and the endless battles over who’s going to buy the milk and oversee the homework? Maybe most important, what if a woman doesn’t have Sandberg-Slaughter-Mayer-level ambition but a more modest amount that neither drives nor defines her?

and at the end of the article:

Kelly loved her old profession and does not want to be painted as betraying the goals of feminism. She prefers to see herself as reaching beyond conventional ideas about what women should do. “I feel like we are evolving into something that is not defined by those who came before us,” she says. By making domesticity her career, she and the other stay-at-home mothers she knows are standing up for values, such as patience, and kindness, and respectful attention to the needs of others, that have little currency in the world of work. Professional status is not the only sign of importance, she says, and financial independence is not the only measure of success.

And another reaction in the Atlantic:

An up-to-date manifesto on women and work should steer clear of encounter groups and boys-must-play-with dolls rhetoric. It should make room for human reality: that in the pursuit of happiness, men and women often take different paths. Gender differences can sometimes be symptoms of oppression and subordination. But in a modern society they can also be the felicitous consequences of liberated choice—of the “free to be you and me” that women have been working towards for generations.

I was very happy to listen to a great discussion yesterday on CBS News This Morning with “New York Magazine’s Lisa Miller [from the magazine article above], Cosmopolitan’s Joanna Coles and Debora Spar of Barnard College speak about Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg’s “lean in” argument, and how it differs from a new “lean out” trend seen among some women.”

You can watch it at CBS (I can’t get it to embed here.) Here’s a photo of the group.

View image on Twitter

And then there was this valuable and frank reaction to the foolish CNN reporter on the Steuvenville trial;stop talking at us or about us. We’re in the room.

And when we frame all women as being someone’s wife, mother or daughter, what are we teaching young girls?

We are teaching them that in order to have the law on their side, they need to be loved by men. That they need to make themselves attractive and appealing to men in order to be worthy of protection. That their lives and their bodily integrity are valueless except for how they relate to the men they know.

The truth is that I am someone’s wife. I am also someone’s mother. I am someone’s daughter, and someone’s sister. But those are not the things that define me, or make me valuable in this world. Those are not the reasons that I should be able to live a life free from rape, sexual assault or any kind of violent crime.

I have value because I am a person. Full stop. End of argument. This isn’t even a discussion that we should be having.

So please, let’s start teaching that fact to the young women in our lives. Teach them that you love, honour and value them because of who they are. Teach them that they should expect to be treated with integrity because it’s a basic human right. Teach them that they do not deserve to be raped because no one ever, ever, ever deserves to be raped.

Above all, teach them that they are people, too.

I cannot add anything to that.

But I will.

How does this relate to me?

Part II to follow.

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