Michelle Obama Disses Lean In Because “That Shit Doesn’t Work”

Image Via Unpacking the “F” Word

Lean in. The buzzword that is overused by ignoramuses, geniuses, and everyone in between thanks to Sheryl Sandberg’s book of the same name. For those who are lucky enough to not have heard about Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, the book is all about strategies to help women move ahead and achieve success at work. Sounds good, right? But it isn’t. This philosophy basically states that if you are a woman who wants to be successful, you can do it simply by being more assertive and grabbing opportunities. You know, just like men.

Now if you are aware of how the world works, you know that there’s much more at play here than a female being as confident as a male colleague in her place of work.

For starters, a confident woman is called bossy or bitch. Because even in the work world, gender double standards are as prevalent as ever. Like the above image shows, patriarchy at home and at work sets women way behind men in the race of life. French comic artist Emma best explains how women are expected to be the manager of household chores. And according to PayScale,” the gender pay gap is real, and it gets worse as women move up in their careers.” Lily Allen nailed it when she sang ‘Hard Out Here’ back in 2014. Hmm. Maybe she was kind of inspired by Lean In, which came out in 2013. Race issues aside, Lily certainly captured the everyday sexism in the music industry and the world in general. It is hard out here for us women. You can check out the hard-hitting, NSFW video here:

Career advice like Lean in only works on paper.

Why? Because it is based on the false notion that men and women are on equal footing. Therefore if women are struggling to achieve work-life balance and achieve their personal and professional goals, it is their fault. It’s not just Sheryl’s book that’s the problem. The Internet is littered with sexist career advice for women – some subtle and sugarcoated, some right in the face sexist. I couldn’t agree more with this Quartz article that says that all career advice for women is a form of gaslighting. Even Sheryl has admitted that “leaning in” has not produced the results she expected.

Let’s cut to the chase (because I could critique forever): what does Michelle Obama suggest instead of leaning in?

First off, how did she get involved in this situation in the first place? Well, last Saturday, the former first lady made a stop at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to promote her recently published book Becoming. While speaking about work-life balance—a topic generally unavoidable for successful and married women—Michelle bluntly said that doing great in both your career and marriage at the same time is a pipe dream. Wait, what she said is legendary, so here’s a direct quote:

“Marriage still ain’t equal, y’all. It ain’t equal. I tell women that whole ‘you can have it all’ — mmm, nope, not at the same time, that’s a lie. It’s not always enough to lean in because that shit doesn’t work.”

As refreshing as her truth bomb is, doesn’t it suck that even in 2018, marriages are not equal partnerships?

Women have to sacrifice a lot more than men in a relationship. If they are working, they barely get any time to rest because they have to work just as much at home as at their jobs. Guys, it’s up to you to step up and share the load. If you don’t do your bit, be warned: the women of tomorrow will be WAY more intolerant of your bullshit as the women of today. The same goes for the corporate world as well: if you don’t change your policies, many women will refuse to settle for less and head to companies that give them the respect and remuneration they deserve. It won’t even be a choice, it will happen naturally. Like it should. For as Michelle said, “we all have to find the people who believe in us.”

What is your take on Lean In? And on this post in general? Let me know in the comments below.

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