Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Women and Men: Lean In

"My greatest hope is that my son and my daughter will be able to choose what to do with their lives without external or internal obstacles slowing them down or making them question their choices. If my son wants to do the important work of raising children full-time, I hope he is respected and supported. And if my daughter wants to work full-time outside her home, I hope she is respected and supported, but also liked for her achievements." ( Sheryl Sandberg Lean In) 

WOW! Talk about a conversation opener! If you want to rock the discussion in a book group, choose Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. If you have ever thought "women have lost ground in the equality fight," read this book.  It will stir some latent feminist feelings whether they are pro or con.

It is about women leaning in at any age and possibly at any economic level. It is written by the newest generation of executive woman. Sheryl Sandberg speaks about finding your career path with your foot on the gas pedal. She talks about how men have to step up their game at home and at the office to help women achieve their goals. She considers the most important decision in life is selecting the right life partner. Curious, don't you think it ought to be whether you are a man or a woman?

During Woman's History Month, we owe it to ourselves to stretch and reconsider where are we today as women. Yes, we have the right to vote. (When mother-in-law was born in the United States, women didn't have it.)  Women can get birth control without their husband's permission. (My mother's generation wasn't so lucky.) We have Title IX (I didn't have it growing up, but my daughter was a full recipient.)

We still don't have equal pay for equal work. We still have childcare,  issues. The Family Medical Leave Act issures a job, but how it operates depends on the employers generosity.  Flex-time, paid sick days, and reasonable health coverage still are family issues.

We still have trouble convincing women to register to vote, to learn about the issues, and to get more involved in politics. We still have trouble supporting other women when we think that our opportunities might be in jeopardy.  We are hesitaant to mentor other women.

I rarely do book reviews, but after I watched Sandberg's interview on Sixty Minutes and I have started following the link on Facebook.com about Lean In, I kne the book was a must read for every woman who has been told that "it wasn't lady like..."  Get on the list at the library, you won't regret it.


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