equal-rights-620Feminism has been around for generations so how did it change over time? In the first chapter of the book called ‘Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead’, written by Sheryl Sandberg, talked about how we are no longer of the dark ages and more women are spending more time at work rather than just staying at home cleaning and raising a family. The book is focused on the typical American issue of working very hard to move forward professionally. She explains, talking about the issue of women in professional settings as they exist today. ‘Lean In’ is not just a woman’s problem, it is an American problem. This research summary is going to be about my opinions on the subject.

But Who really cares? Who besides her and other feminist groups has a stake in these clams? According to a new study by the Ponemon Institute, an independent research consultancy, women work harder than men. “Researchers observed 274 subjects working at companies scattered around the United States in financial services, consumer products, education, health care and energy. Approximately 53 percent of subjects were female and 47 percent were male. During a ten-minute experimental trial, female subjects worked 2.5 minutes compared to 2.1 minutes for male subjects without a privacy filter installed and 4.9 minutes versus 4.3 minutes for male subjects with a privacy filter installed. When given the opportunity to walk away during an experimental waiting period 38 percent of female workers walked away compared to 52 percent of male workers,” said Katie J.M. Baker in the Jezebel site article. Also, they noticed that men work less when women are around.

In school, while it is likely that both sexes are equally as focused on achieving but women dropout in higher numbers, it does not necessarily follow that women are more likely than men to complete college and attend graduate school, and make up nearly half of the country’s total workforce. “Women are fast becoming our most educated workers – they are attending school at higher rates, and they are entering a wide range of careers and deepening their work experience,” says on the accompanying fact sheet. Yet past gaps in education and experience appear to be contributing to a persistent pay gap between the sexes, a new report shows. Equal opportunity does not mean equal achievement. Girls are discouraged from expecting them to achieve. Women are likely to say they are as ambitious as men but few say they want to be lead.

Although, while the gender pay gap has narrowed over time, women who work full-time today make 78 percent of what men make, on average. The gap is even greater for women of color: non-Hispanic black women made 64 percent of what men made in 2013, and Hispanic women earned 56 percent of what men earned. Generational trends still could be contributing to the wage gap, the report says, because past disparities in educational attainment, job choice and experience take time to disappear from the labor force. With studies like that she felt the need to write about it to point out to people how that is not right.

When she published her book, not everyone agreed to what she had to say. Among the people that disagreed with her was a guy name Hook and he commented that she did not dig deep enough. She talked about men and women but did not bring up women of color at all with different traditions. He then also adds her definition of feminism, a move to end sexist exploration and oppression would not bring up a battle between the sexes. Many other critics are quick to point out the high perch from which Sandberg doles out advice. ‘Lean In’ does not speak to lower-income women or women of race. “Sandberg should not be raked over the coals for telling her life story, even if we do not see ourselves in it. That burden is on media and others to make sure that the stories of women of color in the workplace gets told. Also, there are plenty of brilliant women out there to choose from. Ursula Burns grew up poor in New York City only to become the CEO of Xerox. I genuinely believe that the place for us to lean in, as it were, is on those who have the power to tell more balanced stories. They both have power and responsibility to do so.” said Daniella Gibbs Léger in the Essence article site.

Sheryl Sandberg statement of how women are treated unfairly is extremely useful because it sheds light on the difficult problem of that the ‘Lean In’ movement has done a tremendous amount of work to enliven the discussion about equality for women. While not everyone may agree with Sheryl Sandberg, one thing is clear that Sandberg makes in her book is how we need to come together and support one another despite our different approaches. Putting down other women only hurts ourselves and the cause for equal rights. Success can be stressing on your family life because it requires all your attention. Adding to Sandberg’s argument, I would point out that I had my own experiences with dealing feminism. My cousin has two boys and I took them out to Toys R Us to buy them a tow for their birthday. In one aisle, there was the by section on one end and the girls on the another. When the two brothers ran to pick out the toy they wanted, one went straight over to the Ninja Turtle and Star Wars section while the other ran to the pink Trolls toys section. Instantly, I was thrown off because the target audience wasn’t meant for him but he really loves the movie a whole lot so why should I judge what he is into?

In conclusion, which Sandberg discusses in her book, many feminists would probably can agree with that she brought up a lot of good points that times are changing and some people that are stuck in tradition to the old ways needs to stop putting women down. In the book, she wrote about her divorce in her 20’s and how she felt it signified a personal failing, about how, as a girl, she felt ashamed when people called her “bossy”. She was filled with self-doubt while a college student at Harvard, even though she was near the top of her class. I can also relate to her because times right now are tough when looking for a job. I always work seasons and hope a company keeps me but then get let go in the end. As a man, I feel like I am not at the standards where someone like my age should be at in life right now. I am still figuring things out for myself, however, instead of giving up or keep working hard at jobs hoping they either keep me or give me more hours, I decided to go back to school and find a career that I can work happily in. I time to time can be still hard on myself feeling I got to prove someone but in the end it is part of the social game we play how we were brought up how to get around in life.

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  • Sandberg, Sherly. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead. They Say, I Say. Book. 2013. Pg. 642-658.