Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Book Review)

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So I’ve had this book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg* sitting on my “to read” shelf for ages and I’m not gonna lie to you, I didn’t want to read it because of pre-conceptions I had about it due to things I thought I had seen and read in the media about it. My first impression of this book what that it was by a fancy business woman, telling regular folk like me how to put family-type achievements aside in favour of “Leaning In” to my career for the good of all womankind/feminists. Where did I get these thoughts about the book from? I think mostly from me half-listening to social media comments about the woman and the book and the topic, and not really paying attention to what the message of the book was really about, but totally subscribing to the rabble:rabble:rabble and the hype.

I’m happy to say that my preconceived notions about the book were dead wrong.

I ended up deciding to read the book, in spite of the fact that I had my doubts about it, because I figured reading it would give me fodder for a really scathing blog post / review, and it did, but in the opposite way than I had expected.

As it turns out, I’m really glad that I read this book because the message to women is not “screw having a family, rule the world through business”, but a much more important message.

The message to the book is that both women and men need to “Lean In” to the roles that historically have been closed to them. Women need to take the steps, make the choices and demand the equality that leads to success in the workplace. And in order to support that idea, men also need to “Lean In” to taking responsibility for their families, taking on half if not more of the household and child rearing responsibilities.

In making it easier for a woman to say “yes” and “sit at the table” in her career, men are helping women to break the stereotypes of the corporate glass ceiling.

I know I’m probably not explaining all of the concepts of “Leaning In” properly, what I will tell you is that there are some very good ideas in this book about how to make the workplace more welcoming to women, and people with families in general, and making stay at home fatherhood a more mainstream concept. All of this benefits everyone. There is no reason why a woman should feel inferior if she finds herself in an “old boys club”. If women had more support in the home, then they could dedicate themselves to being more of a presence in the upper levels of business and management, making it a better work environment for all the women coming up behind them.

This book also talks about the fact that if a person choses to “lean out” of the business world, it shouldn’t be make extra difficult for that person to do so, and it also outlines some ideas on how to “step back up to the table”.

Again, this review is not doing the book justice. Just go ahead and read it. I recommend it to anyone, man or woman, who has a job, a family, or neither, or both.

Yes, Sheryl S. has had a privileged life to get her where she is, but she’s clearly also a smart cookie whose ideas work for all levels of business and career stage. It certainly had some smart ideas in it that made me stop and think.

 

*this is not a sponsored post, but that is an affiliate link up there, just so you know.

On raising boys (or, yes, boys can wear pink too)

on raising boys 3As a woman who grew up in a house full of women, and whose family is dominated by girl children, it was a huge shock to me when my first kid came out a boy. Literally. We didn’t find out which version we had while I was pregnant, and all my life I just assumed I was destined to have girls. To this day I still look at my life and I’m all like “wow, living with boys is just… wow…”.

And there are many different things about raising boys vs. girls that I’ve struggled with, and continue to struggle with. Yes, I know I’m not the first mother in the world who has been faced with raising boys, but I’m fairly certain that I’m part of a cohort of women raising boys in what is turning out to be a growing culture of raising strong, smart, independent girls and women. Where whole advertising campaigns and youth initiatives are focused on raising girls to be the best they can be. And where does this leave me? A mom of boys? It’s very confusing, that much is for sure.

To start off, I was a girl, raised by my single mother, along with two of my sisters. An all-girl household, we were taught to be confident, smart, and much to my mother’s eternal chagrin (especially when we don’t agree with her), very strong-willed.

I was mentally prepared from a young age to know that when I had children, I’d be raising girls who liked both Barbies and Hot Wheels, were sci-fi fans and knew the difference between using a flat iron and a curling iron, and that yes, you can in fact, curl hair with a flat iron which is better for not leaving burn marks on your neck and arms anyways. These are things I was certain of.

Then came my boys, and I wouldn’t trade them in for the world. I thank my lucky stars for boys because I’m absolutely terrified at the prospect of raising girls through teenagehood in these crazy times.

There seems to be so much pressure on parents and society in general to re-think the way we raise girls. And as well there should be, girls have gotten a bad rap in society thus far. But where does that leave those of us raising boys?

I’ve gotten many invites to join in on this ball or that run raising awareness of what girls can do, but I don’t have girls so I don’t really fit in. There are girls clubs at schools where they work to build confidence in the maths and sciences, but I sometimes feel like those kinds of clubs will make my boys feel left out. I want my boys to have the chance to join nerd clubs that INCLUDE girls so that they can see math and science is fun, and girls can do it just as much as the boys can.

Of course I believe that the current focus on helping girls to achieve the same things boys can achieve is important, but at the expense of our boys? Boys learn differently than girls do, where are the programs that help them achieve when they find themselves struggling? Maybe they’re out there and I just haven’t had the opportunity to see them in action. I’m still a newbie at this whole parenting thing, after all.

These are the things that I know:

Rape is wrong. I hope to teach my boys to respect women. Full stop.

Pink is for boys and girls. While there IS a Pink Power Ranger, there ISN’T a Pink Ninja Turtle, but this speaks more to the problem of toy manufacturers marketing differently to boys vs. girls. That’s a whole other blog post.

And speaking of pink: boys can wear pink and girls can wear anything BUT pink. I reeeeeally wish clothing manufacturers would get the hint. I shouldn’t have to shop in the boys section to get my niece a batman shirt, and I shouldn’t have to shop in the girl’s section for a pink shirt for my son to wear to school on international anti-bullying day. It’s stupid and frustrating.

Turbo Fast Giveaway (Netflix Canada #StreamTeam)

Hi Hi!

Netflix_Web_Logox300Happy to announce that my lovely new friends at Netflix Canada love me so much that they offered me a great giveaway for my readers! Yay! No, just kidding, I’m sure they love me just as much as they love all of their other fantastic #StreamTeam members, it’s just that I’m so excited to have the chance to offer such a great giveaway!

In celebration of their Netflix Original series Turbo Fast, enter below for your chance to win a free six month subscription to Netflix Canada along with a fun party watching kit including some Turbo swag, popcorn and a few other cool items! But never mind all the snacks and swag, you can win a free six month subscription!!! How awesome is that?!!

If you don’t already subscribe to Netflix, this is your chance to start. Binge watching will be your new jam. If you already have a Netflix account, the free six months will be added as a credit to your account, secure in the knowledge that your binge watching will continue uninterrupted.

So what are you waiting for? Enter via the rafflecopter widget below and good luck!

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The world-famous super-powered snail Turbo and his posse of adrenaline-junkie buddies from the Fast Action Stunt Team (FAST) go on daring new adventures, take on the most outrageous challengers and find the craziest ways to keep their city safe.” – Netflix Canada

NOTE: This giveaway is open to Canadian Residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Netflix_StreamTeam_BadgeI’m a member of the Netflix Canada #StreamTeam and receive compensation for these posts in the form of a Netflix membership and streaming device. Of course as always, my opinions are my own. That said, I’m happy as a clam to post about Netflix goings-ons because if you know anything about me, it’s that I watch a LOT of tv and would marry Netflix if my husband wasn’t already engaged to it.

Kids these days (#StreamTeam)

If there’s one thing I’ve learned since becoming a member of the Netflix Canada #StreamTeam, it’s that no matter what you do, you can’t convince a 4-year-old to watch something they’re not in the mood to watch. Woe is you if you get his favourite show of the day wrong.Turbo_en_US_571x800

Case in point. The preshus is randomly obsessed with whatever show strikes his fancy. Last week I heard that the Netflix original series Turbo Fast had some new episodes premiering on April 4th and I was really excited to get early access to them.

Now, granted, he’s 4, so the preshus really doesn’t understand the concept of “this is a newly released episode so be excited because ZOMG New Episode!” This fact of life translates well for adults (what do you mean I have to wait a whole year for new House of Cards episodes!?!!), but not so much for a kid who is happy watching episodes randomly and out of order, over and over, and over again.

So, while I’m very excited that for once, I can watch a new episode of Turbo Fast and not be able to recite the dialogue verbatim, the preshus just wants what he wants, when he wants it, and this week he wants Pokemon (save me). At least he’s over the Power Rangers…. for now…

Netflix_StreamTeam_BadgeI’m a member of the Netflix Canada #StreamTeam and receive compensation for these posts in the form of a Netflix membership and streaming device. Of course as always, my opinions are my own. That said, I’m happy as a clam to post about Netflix goings-ons because if you know anything about me, it’s that I watch a LOT of tv and would marry Netflix if my husband wasn’t already engaged to it.

My Writing Process – Blog Tour

I was invited by the totally cute and absolutely brilliant Ericka Clay to participate in a Writing Process Blog Tour (check our her post here), and of course when I managed to get around to responding to her email a week later I said yes, because I’ve got all kinds of free time, and because this is the neatest blog tour I’ve seen going around in a long time. Also, that was a really long sentence. My apologies, I’m tired.

As you may or may not know, I’ve been dipping my toes in the water that is learning how to write fiction, and this blog tour is a quick and easy way for me to let you in on a bit of my process thus far. So let’s jump in, shall we?

1) What am I working on?

Publicly I’m working on practicing my writing craft. I’ve promised myself that I will write more fiction more often, including writing down any and all ideas for stories that come to mind. Privately, I’m trying to come up with an idea for my first major writing project. (That’s code for my 1st novel)

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It doesn’t in that I don’t quite know what my genre is just yet. In an alternate universe I’m a science-fiction epic novelist with a dystopian twist. I’m working towards that.

 3) Why do I write what I do?

I want to write that kind of novel because it’s the kind of novel I love to read the most. The Handmaid’s Tale* and The Chrysalids* were the two novels that I loved the most as a youngling. I’d like to try my own one day.

4) How does your writing process work?

I don’t know yet as I’m still new at this, but for now I’m trying to get into the habit of writing down any and all fictioney type things that pop in to my head. Ideally I’d like to have one day a week where I just sit and write, but since that’s not about to happen anytime soon, I’m settling for 10 to 20 minutes here and there, whenever inspiration strikes.

Now, my job in agreeing to participate in this blog tour was to a) publish this post yesterday and 2) tag 3 people to carry the torch. I didn’t do either of those things so to make up for it I’m tagging ALL OF YOU! That’s right. If you read this post all the way to the bottom it’s now your turn to participate and post your Blog Process. Answer the four questions above and link back to this post. Leave me a comment so that I can read all about your process. It’s sharesies week, ok?

Ready, set, GO!

 

WhatMeWrite

PS, follow me on my writing journey on my series What, Me Write? over at TipsyLit.com

 

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