LeanIn.org and the Girl Scouts’ campaign to ban the word “bossy” certainly has good intentions. The word “bossy” is often used as a negative term to describe girls and women who speak and act with authority, while it’s rarely used to describe boys and men who act similarly. But is banning the word really the answer, or is changing the perception of it a better approach? But perhaps before we can really answer that question, we should be asking a younger generation of girls what the word bossy means to them. Check out this awesome video from She Knows featuring a bunch of adorable and smart little girls answering that very question. [She Knows]
I am decisively “meh” on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In foundation and its focus on a feminist movement driven by/benefiting capitalism, but I can get behind their latest PSA campaign to ban the word “bossy,” as it’s frequently used to describe and diminish ambitious women. Beyonce is down with it too, appearing in the PSA above (along with Jennifer Garner, Diane von Furstenberg, and Condoleezza Rice, amongst others) in which she states, “I’m not bossy. I’m the boss.” I just decided that Beyonce needs to do a song called “Bossy,” with that line as a lyric. And then it can be added to her soundboardt. Please? [NYMag.com]
Whoever is responsible for conceptualizing Pantene advertisements in the Philippines got it really, really right in this minute-long spot. Given that this is a commercial intended to sell haircare products, the clip almost seems out of left field in its simple, but powerful, social commentary. Consider this: Facebook COO and “Lean In” author Sheryl Sandberg gave the commercial, which parallels a man in the workplace (“persuasive,” “boss,” “smooth”) with a woman in the same position (“pushy,” “bossy,” “show-off”), her own thumbs-up. Granted, it doesn’t do much in the way of selling consumers on haircare, but I’m willing to bet Procter & Gamble enjoys more than enough cash to put out this ad plus 10 others schilling 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner. [via Fashionista]
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]
Most of talk around women in the workplace of late has been of the Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In variety. Women, argues Sandberg’s book, can break through the so-called glass ceiling by simply being more tenacious, proactive and self-empowered. The dialogue is often framed around getting women into positions of power, pushing for more female CEOs, and urging more women to brave the climb up the corporate ladder.
How wonderful for feminism to rally around the cause of elevating women to shake their fists against the vaunted glass ceiling, we think, abstractly.
But that’s not how most women live. Keep reading »
What would you do if you weren’t afraid? That’s what LeanIn.org, the organization established by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, author of Lean In: Women, Work And The Will To Lead, wants you to ask yourself. Would it be calling yourself a writer or a musician? Would it be asking for more money? Would it be standing up to men who sexually harass you? In this touching video and accompanying essay by Sandberg herself, Lean In challenges women to face our fear and stop being afraid to take risks. The ode to ambition is not an all-encompassing solution, but it’s a great start — just the encouragement a lot of us need. What would you do if you weren’t afraid? [LeanIn.org, IfUWerentAfraid.Tumblr.com]
There’s been a lot of discussion as of late about Sheryl Sandberg‘s bourgeois and somewhat apolitical version of feminism, Lean In. It seems like everywhere I look, the feminist discourse has been taken over by discussions of the ways in which women hold themselves back at work, how we need more women at the top, why Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer won’t call herself a feminist, etc. As a feminist with some serious socialist leanings, I am mildly annoyed by this, but I’m also kind of happy, because it gives me a chance to discuss how and why feminism must go beyond talking about how the most privileged women should be allowed to self-actualize at the highest levels possible, to the issues that concern that vast majority of the female workforce.
As I see it, there are really two issues here: 1.) “Lean In” feminism isn’t feminism in any traditional sense of the word, and 2.) even if we do decide to think collectively (and hence politically) re: women in the workplace, that’s not going nearly far enough. Read more at The Gloss…
No, that’s not the headline of an Onion article. It’s proof that sometimes people can admit they’ve done wrong and try to change it. Case in point: Cisco CEO John Chambers, who released an impressively candid memo to his company admitting that he hasn’t exactly “walked the talk” when it comes to supporting women in the workplace.
Chambers released the memo after he and his executive team met with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, author of the new book Lean In, about women in the workplace. Sandberg’s book (which, full disclosure, I haven’t read yet) outlines the dilemmas faced by women in trying to move forward in the work world while still raising their families. Keep reading »