To lean in or not to lean in?

‘If we truly want gender equality, we need to challenge the assumption that more is always better, and the assumption that men don’t suffer as much as women when they’re exhausted and have no time for family or fun. And we need to challenge those assumptions wherever we find them, both in the workplace and in the family.’

David Beard posted those words in his article criticising Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ theory (and book) encouraging women to work harder and make their points stronger if that is what is required for their success. And I feel that even if Sheryl is often right, David makes some good points too – maybe not so much in relation to feminism itself but to family in our times.

Sheryl’s book is needed and I am happy that it made so much noise. I am actually really, really happy to see just how much criticism it has provoked too – if it would be ignored we would not have an issue, right?  But Beard is right – for those of us who are fortunate enough to live fairly harmonious lives the issue of long working hours, commuting and isolating kids in the meantime is pretty serious. Only that I do not think it is necessarily the other side of Sheryl’s ‘coin’ – it applies to both men and women, to all couples who decide to build a family and get at least one more job – path to their own, individual success outside of their family. It is not easy and I do agree that the right balance is the key. I just wish the issue of work-home balance and women’s path to success were not in the same pot anymore…

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