Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Being a woman and our place in this world have been on my mind heavily. I've read quite a few books that really made me think about what I want for myself as a woman, and Lean In answered so many of my questions.

My sister, Tracy, saw Sheryl Sandberg on Good Morning American, and she bought the book. Once she started reading it, she thought that it may be something that I might like based on the conversations that we have been having about women.

Well, I LOVED this book. I started reading it on Tuesday night, and I rushed home yesterday to devour every word of this book.

I have always thought that "I am to radical," "I am on the wrong track," "What I want  for my life is not attainable," and this book helped me to see that I am ok.... I can have what I want for my life.......

When I bought my condo ten years ago, one of my sisters asked me "What about when you get a husband?" At that time I was not thinking about getting married; I was not even dating anyone seriously. So, I could not understand why she thought that I should be making decisions based on a husband and kids who were no where in sight. I figured that I would cross that husband and kid bridge when I got to it. But, I needed to deal with the NOW, and the NOW was the fact that I was a working, single woman who wanted to own property, and so I bought a condo.

Also, I love to go away in the summer to study different topics. It is such great professional development, it really helps to keep me passionate about teaching, and I love to learn. But, I have had so many people tell me that once I get married, I would not be able to do these programs anymore. People made me feel that being married would take away any freedom that I would have for personal growth. They never thought that I may marry a man who respects that I love to learn and that we would do whatever it takes to make sure that we both do the things that enhance us.

These are just a few examples of the things that have been on my mind, and I must admit that I feel very vulnerable sharing them.

Lean In spoke to my heart.

Here are some of my take aways from this book:

1. "We (women) internalize the negative messages that say it's wrong to be outspoken, aggressive, more powerful than men. We lower our expectations of what we can achieve. We continue to do the majority of the housework and child care. We compromise our career goals to  make room for partners and children who may not even exist yet" (P.10-11). 

2. In talking about her own life Sheryl states "By the age of twenty-five, I had managed to get married and divorced. At that time, this felt like a massive personal and public failure. For many years, I felt that no matter what I accomplished professionally, it paled in comparison to the scarlet D stitched on my chest. Almost ten years later I learned that the "good ones" were not taken... "(P.20).

3. "Our country lags considerable behind others in efforts to help parents take care of their children and stay in the workforce. Of all the industrialized nations in the world, the United States is the only one without a paid maternity leave policy (P.25). 

4. "Employed women reap rewards including greater financial security, more stable marriages, better health, and, in general, increased life satisfaction." (26). I would like to add that Sheryl in no way makes it seems that a woman needs to work outside of the home, but she does say that is awesome that women have choices.

5. "Fear is at the root of so many of the barriers that women face. Fear of not being liked. Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of drawing negative attention. Fear of overreaching. Fear of being judged. Fear of failure. And the holy trinity of fear: the fear of being a bad mother/wife/daughter" (P27). 

6. "Hard work and results should be recognize by others, but when they aren't, advocating for oneself is necessary. As discussed earlier, this must be done with care. But it must be done" (P.63)

7. Anyone who wants her mate to be a true partner must treat him as equal - and equally capable- partner. And if that's not reason enough, bear in mind that a study found that wives who engage in gatekeeping behaviors do five more hours of family work per week than wives who take a more collaborative approach (P. 105). 

8. When looking for a partner, my advice to women is date all of them: the bad boys, the cool boys, the commitment-phobic boys, the crazy boys. But do not marry them. The things that make the bad boys sexy do not make them good husbands. When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks that women should  be smart, opinionated  and ambitious...... These men exist and, trust me, over time, nothing is sexier (P. 111).

9. "If I had to embrace a definition of success, it would be that success is making the best choices we can.... and accepting them" (P.134). 

10. "The more women help one another, the more we help ourselves" (P. 157). 

Even while writing this, I am feeling a lot of doubt, and Sheryl talks a lot about doubt in her book. I am thinking "I hope that my readers do not think that I am against marriage," "That I am some radical feminist," "That I hate men," "My career means more to me than family....."

Well, today I am publicly denouncing those feelings of self doubt that I sometimes have about my feelings and thoughts about being a woman and what I want for my life; I am who I am!

I can not control what people think about me, and I will not try to. I am who I am!

Sheryl Sandberg is an incredible woman, and I am so happy that she had the courage to write this book that will FREE a lot of women like myself.

Sheryl, I am Leaning In!

Sheryl Sandberg


Jacqueline said...

Carole, thanks! I will read the post a link......

Elizabeth said...

AWESOME blog name...great post.

THANKS for sharing.


Stopping by from Carole's Books You Loved March Edition. I am in that list as #15.

Silver's Reviews
My Book Entry

Jacqueline said...

Elizabeth, welcome aboard! So glad to have you.... Going to your book entry right now!

Carole said...

Jacqueline - a big thank you for joining in the Books You Loved link up. I am going to read this book for sure (especially since I have also heard that she has been dumped on by some for writing it!).

Thank you too for following Carole's Chatter and I see you have put me in your sidebar - I am honoured. I have followed you right back.

Jacqueline said...

You are so welcomed Carole.. I enjoyed reading about all of those wonderful books.

Thanks for following!

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