It's going to take me a few posts, I think, to resolve the questions Sandberg's book has stirred up in me while being fair to what she says. Right at the beginning, I'd like to underline that the self-accusations I made at the outset are just that: they come from me; I project them onto the backdrop of her argument.Sandberg invites women to lean in to the table, but by the time I finished reading her book -- and I hope you'll see this too, by the time I finish writing about it -- it's clear that there's room to envision different tables, different ways of leaning in. As well, as I move through the book and through my responses to it, I can alternately see myself as one of the women exhorted to lean in and as one of many who might feel excluded by it. It's easy to read Sandberg as speaking to other sleek, well-groomed, sharply dressed, confident-looking women, ten to thirty years younger than I. It's also easy to ascribe a collection of personality traits and career aspirations to those women and to wonder if my own contributions to Sandberg's proposed feminist project are being solicited at all. By the end of her book, I'm going to answer yes to these questions, with my own provisos, and I'm going to recommend the book to others, particularly to young women, including my daughters.
Meanwhile, though, I'd like to unspool my own career trajectory for you after spending considerable time over the past few weeks thinking, yet again, about how I got here from there. But let's leave that for another post. . . While I'm getting that one written, I'd love to know if you've read Lean In or even just read/heard some of the buzz around it. Pondside has already offered some thoughts about it in comments on an earlier post. I'm curious to know if/what anyone else thinks about the discussion Sandberg's started.