Mass media (along with [Sheryl] Sandberg) is telling us that by sheer strength of will and staying power, any woman so inclined can work hard and climb the corporate ladder all the way to the top. Shrewdly, Sandberg acknowledges that not all women desire to rise to the top, asserting that she is not judging women who make different choices. However, the real truth is that she is making judgments about the nature of women and work – that is what the book is fundamentally about. Her failure to confront the issue of women acquiring wealth allows her to ignore concrete systemic obstacles most women face inside the workforce. And by not confronting the issue of women and wealth, she need not confront the issue of women and poverty. She need not address the ways extreme class differences make it difficult for there to be a common sisterhood based on shared struggle and solidarity.
It’s never too late to hear from bell hooks! The author, feminist and social justice activist just penned a review of Sheryl Sandberg‘s best-selling book Lean In, which many have celebrated for encouraging women to break the corporate glass ceiling, and it is on point. I read Lean In and while I found it had some interesting and helpful advice for someone like myself (a white chick in a managerial position at a media company), I was also bothered by how much more hoopla surrounded its publication in comparison to the many other truly radical and revolutionary books from feminist thinkers who take women of all races and economic statuses into consideration. bell hooks full review of Lean In is well worth a read — or three. [Feminist Wire]