Do We Still Have to Lean In?


Sheryl [Sandberg] has made her husband, Dave, the role model for the perfect husband. She has said many times that the most important factor in her success was the husband she chose. And as late a week ago, she was saying that men need to do more, they are not doing enough, they need to take more responsibility. And, again, she held up her husband as an example. . . .

So then, I would like to know why was he on vacation in Mexico without Sheryl and without the kids? What was it a vacation from? Who was he with?

Why was Sheryl in DC instead of going to get the body? Why was Sheryl in DC instead of home with her kids? Why does Dave take a vacation when Sheryl is scheduled to be gone?

I wouldn’t ask so many questions except that Sheryl keeps telling me to lean in, but she doesn’t tell me how she does it. I ended up spending my 401K on household help, scaling back my career, and taking my kids on business trips that were magical at first and a bore thereafter. . . .

She tells me she and her husband try to make sure one of them is home with the kids, but it’s not what we have seen in the last five days. She doesn’t tell us if she has nannies. She doesn’t tell us how often she is away from her kids. All she tells us is that leaning in depends on her husband.

So can she lean in now? Can you lean in if you don’t have the perfect husband? What if it’s too late to get the perfect husband? She doesn’t address that, but maybe she will now. I have a feeling that the spokesperson for high-flying careers is going to get a lot more informative and helpful now that she’s a single mom. All the money in the world can’t buy a substitute for a parent showing up to kiss a skinned knee.

  1 comment for “Do We Still Have to Lean In?

  1. -----
    6 May 2015 at 12:58 am

    Think of Dave and Sheryl as a Bill and Hilary-like team having an pre-20th century economic marriage rather than a more fragile romantic marriage. Both couples are (or were in the case of the Goldberg-Sandberg coupling) in it for the money, etc. One also saw this in the Sanford marriage (until, unlike Hillary, Jenny couldn’t stomach Mark’s straying) as well as in the John and Jacqueline Kennedy’s union.

    Although considered to be the norm these days, romantic marriages (marrying for love) are relatively new in human history and highly unstable. That’s why the so-called seven-year itch (that actually occurs after about three years) is so common. Aided by no-fault divorce, romantic marriages tend to end when the couple falls out of love.

    Looking at economic marriages from the outside, those accustomed to thinking in terms of romantic marriages are inclined to think of these relationships as odd couples. Yet, given the right pairing, they can be highly stable and successful.

    It isn’t that economic marriages are loveless. Rather romance isn’t the primary bonding element.

    Economic marriages tend to have roles each partner is expected to play. An example of this is the designated parent described in Sandberg’s Lean In. As a result, although no longer necessary, economic relationships even work for homosexuals and lesbians married to each other for social reasons.

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