Geek Feminism Wiki

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Geek Feminism Wiki

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead is a 2013 book by Facebook COO and board member Sheryl Sandberg. It encourages women to make ambitious choices in their careers ("lean in") rather than choices that lead towards lower status positions ("lean out").

It is widely criticised by intersectional feminists for its assumption of a large amount of agency on the part of women, and for its focus on the privileged women who have some amount of this agency. Some geek feminists report finding it useful or interesting in some respects, particularly the parts that are Sandberg's memoir and personal experiences, rather than advice to other women.

Criticisms of Lean In on intersectionality grounds

  • Dig Deep: Beyond Lean In by bell hooks: "Although Sandberg revised her perspective on feminism, she did not turn towards primary sources (the work of feminist theorists) to broaden her understanding. In her book, she offers a simplistic description of the feminist movement based on women gaining equal rights with men. This construction of simple categories (women and men) was long ago challenged by visionary feminist thinkers, particularly individual black women/women of color."

  • Julie Pagano live-tweeted a read-through of Lean In in 2013: "Even if you’re talking about yourself, it’d be awesome not to refer to pregnant women as whales."