Sheryl Sandberg Lean In Power Analysis

1829 Words 8 Pages
The elevation of women into the key sectors of power however is a growing attitude in feminist thought. The popularity of “Lean In”, a philosophy coined by Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, in her work “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead”, promotes a trickle down theory of equality for women whereby women in power, by nature of having direct experience of gender inequality, particularly inequality in labour, both paid and unpaid, will naturally seek to end these inequalities when given the opportunity to do so.
There are many deeply flawed presumptions made by such a theory.
One suggests that women, upon achieving a certain position of authority, will not experience pressure from the external forces that elevated her into that position
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To Sandberg, only a woman in her position having personally experienced the pain of travelling while heavily pregnant would have thought to introduce such a benefit and the result of her experience benefited herself but also all other pregnant women in her company as a result.
For example, in her attempt to explain the perils of the many burdens women are socially expected to bear, and the path to a better work/life balance, Sandberg states:
“You can’t do it all. No one can have two full-time jobs, have perfect children and cook three meals and be multi-orgasmic ’til dawn … Superwoman is the adversary of the women’s movement.” (Sandberg, 2013)
The presumption is that the economic reality that forces women to take up multiple jobs, alongside being the primary carer of her children in addition to the various roles foisted upon her in the home, is in fact a choice made by that women and by simply being assertive and rejecting the need for a woman to be all these things, she can focus on bettering herself and her position in life, and therefore progress the struggle for women’s liberation one individual at a
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Sandberg, as a woman who can afford high quality childcare, employ people to take on the gap left in domestic chores at home and can work and “lean in” without the economic and social pressures that effect the time lower income women have is in a uniquely privileged position. Her experiences are individual, personalised and subject to her own personal circumstances. Her “Lean In” philosophy applies to a small number of women of a similar class background to Sandberg and ignores the economic, social and racial influences that dictate oppression and women’s experience of

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