Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Michelle Obama Kills "Lean In"

For many years now I have disputed “lean in.” For these same years some feminists have embraced “lean in” as the solution to their problems, in work and in life. Other feminists have criticized Sheryl Sandberg for not fomenting rebellion in corporate offices, and for seeming to suggest that if women were more assertive they would receive better promotions and bonuses.

In truth, “lean in” is an amalgam of assertiveness training and macho posturing. More often than not, it bespeaks a bad attitude and backfires on those who are practicing it.

In a better world, it would not have been lingering in the Zeitgeist all these many years. But, now Michelle Obama has driven a stake through the heart of “lean in.” With a well placed expletive.

To her great credit, I hasten to add. Michelle Singletary reports in the Washington Post:

I’ve never liked the “lean in” movement.

And now I can say that out loud because former first lady Michelle Obama recently spoke some real truth during her promotional tour for her new book, “Becoming.”

At a Brooklyn appearance last weekend, Obama talked about her marriage, motherhood, work and balancing it all. How do you achieve success without sacrificing too much?

“I tell women, that whole ‘you can have it all’ — nope, not at the same time; that’s a lie,” Obama said. “It’s not always enough to lean in because that s--- doesn’t work.”

True, women today can have much more than their grandmothers had, largely because of increased lifespan and lower infant mortality. But, they should understand, Michelle Obama says, that a woman cannot be all things to all people at all times in all places. It might be the case that a woman will need to spend less time at work and more time bringing up her children. Since the latter activity does not last forever, she will still have plenty of time to pursue career opportunities.

Anyway, hats off to Michelle Obama for following our lead and for killing “lean in.”

1 comment:

sdharms said...

lucky her that she married well and he provided -- she also got "breaks" (no show jobs), and from the media no truth about her no-grow garden, and her no-workout workout. She is such a FRAUD.