Like the other 5,000 bloggers at BlogHer ’13 last weekend, I listened to Lean In author Sheryl Sandberg talk about the principles of leaning in. I haven’t read the book, though it’s in my queue with about 47 other books I intend to read this year. I had reservations about the Lean In model– in part because it feels too close to “bend over” and I feel like why do I have to change my posture to try to fit into a man’s world? Blah blah, I’m bitter and ambivalent. That’s not news.
After hearing Ms. Sandberg’s talk, I have fewer reservations. As I heard it, leaning in is for every women, regardless of her goal. It’s for those who are fighting in the board room, the cubicle, the courtroom, the trading desk or the front desk. It’s also for women who are home with their children. Basically, it’s for anyone with a vagina and a dream. I was won over by the inclusiveness of her message, though put off by the gigantic, bigger-than-a-Big-Gulp beverage that Ms. Sandberg was drinking during her interview. My assumption is that her jumbo tumbler was full of a caffeinated beverage and I’m thinking to myself, if it takes that much caffeine to get to 10:30 AM, I’m not sure my heart can take the stress of leaning in.
Yes, that was a judgment. Yes, I will be accepting the opportunity to vigorously debate any and all of this in the comments below.
For me, if there is any inspiration to be drawn from the concept of leaning in, it must come from women I know who are doing it right this minute. Ms. Sandberg is a great figure for the head of the movement, but I’m a foot soldier and I need other foot soldiers. It’s from my peers that I will get ideas and inspirations of how I too could it all– raise my moppets, hold on to my law career, write fiction, blog my ass off, and remain married.
So, here’s a present for all of us. THIS POST from Welcome To the Motherhood. It’s a follow-up to this piece here a few weeks ago before Carinn had returned to work. Now, she’s back and she’s an illuminating example of how leaning in takes creativity, partnership, and guts. She’s got all of that. I’m tempted to lay it on thick about how awesome her husband is, and while I’m pretty sure he’s amazing, this is about Carinn and praising her partner for stepping up is condescending to him and all the other men who are doing this all the time. It’s also what men should have been doing all along. Just sayin.