9 thoughts on “Is the Lean-In Conversation Going to Leave Out Single Women?

  • March 12, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Argh, not again with the compulsory marriage and/or kids.

    ” what those single women will lose is not a place in the boardroom but a way to buy food”

    yeah true that. I could grouse on and on it I didn’t have to haul my single butt to the workplace now–can’t be late because it I get fired I LOSE MY HEALTH INSURANCE AND SALARY AND HAVE NOTHING TO FALL BACK ON, AHEM.

  • March 12, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Thanks, Bella. Haven’t read the book, but in reading the coverage of these discussions I have noticed that there is something incredibly married, married-with-kids, wealthy, and educated about them, as if these are the only types of women who exist and the only types of work are corporate executive jobs or academic positions. So not only do the discussions exclude singles, they also exclude women who work as nannies and cleaning people and cashiers and cops and soldiers and waitresses and bus drivers.

    • March 18, 2013 at 9:13 am

      I totally agree with you Simone! I haven’t read the book yet either, have read a lot of reviews and it does seem to exclude many, many types of women. But sadly I am seeing this everywhere on the web as well, not just books. There are a zillion “Life Coaches”, “Business Coaches”, “Consultants” etc…But they are primarily targeted at 25-40, women, professional, educated, six figure jobs, wanting to improve their lifestyle and work for themselves. They are not even remotely including or considering, women whom are not educated, divorced, mid-life, blue collar workers….Major exclusion as if we don’t exist or not worth talking about..

      • March 18, 2013 at 3:50 pm

        Shelley, I observed much the same thing about coaches and consultants ignoring single women over 40. I am in the process of developing a business designed to help us swim instead of drown in the social pressures, and pump up the every-day-happy in living single. You might not believe this but nearly everyone I ask, ‘what is your biggest hope or fear, concern, issue, disappointment, challenge about being single and near or over 40,’ simply say getting married or finding a man. As the old saying goes, the first step is recognizing the problem. There are thousands of web resources and coaches about how to get un-single. I’d like to help with how to be single, from how/why to live for yourself to how/when to reset a circuit breaker. Seems like single is label that has to be cut out before you can wear the dress. I prefer to be the designer.

        PS- If you or anyone else wants to answer my questions, I would very much appreciate it.

  • March 12, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Thank you for bringing attention to the plight of the single women.

    I’m so tired of society assuming that just because we’re 30+ and single, we don’t want a supportive relationship and we are naturally more aggressive. As a consequence, single women don’t get the same care and attention that married women.

    You’re right about the job situation. I worry about keeping my job because if I get fired I have no financial or emotional support. At the same time, just because I’m single there is a tendency to place more responsibilities on me because I “have so much free time”. So not only are the support system lacking for single women, but the expectations placed on single women are incommensurate.

  • March 12, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    Don’t really have anything to add, just wanted to point out that everyone who’s posted has mentioned a spouse as an advantage if you lose your job.

    While that would help, it assumes that you’re able to continue on one income. That might not be possible, depending upon the situation. The spouse might have a low-paying job. Or you might have a situation…a major health crisis, etc…that might exceed one person’s income.

    Or the spouse may contribute to or cause the financial crisis. If you’re married to someone with an addiction it can leave you in financial ruin

    • March 13, 2013 at 12:09 pm

      Yeah, the real solution to loosing your health insurance with your job is universal health care, not marriage!

  • March 13, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I watched Sandberg’s TED talk. Well, part of it. I couldn’t stand it. I don’t usually care what people wear but I think in this case the fact that Sandberg wore high, high heels is symbolic of her message: It reflects the sexist double-talk of women’s freedom while forcing them into torture instruments that also shows up in her assumption that women must be sabotaging ourselves because we’re so worried about our husband and children (it’s not only singlist to assume this!). Excuse me?!? So, it’s our own fault that we’re not succeeding?!? Why is this celebrated as news? That’s the good-old blame-the-victim story again. And I think another example of how singlism and sexism are intertwined for women.

    To me, then, this talk (and I presume the book) is an example of systems justification: We assume that the system we’re living in must be good and therefore any issues must be the fault of the people who confront that issue. Sandberg is defending the “incredibly married, married-with-kids, wealthy, and educated” status quo, as Simone has put it so well.

  • March 15, 2013 at 8:16 am

    My exact thoughts, I had to confront a situation yesterday where a vendor undergoing a performance review by an FCC advisory committee sub-group opened the meeting with a slide show of an employee’s baby and cat. The sub-group– who is supposed to be acting in the best interests of the public –defended the vendor. Later, one member of the sub-group referred to the vendor’s employees as Trent’s Mom.

    But I was the unreasonable one for pointing out this was inappropriate. Still not sure what I am going to do. They don’t understand the integrity of the performance review process was pierced, at a minimum. I asked, would you start your performance review by showing your boss photos? The response: yes, depending on the relationship. Well, I never get the chance to develop that relationship, and, frankly, neither should the vendor.

    PS- this vendor gets paid by that line item on your cell phone bill that says, Regulatory fees and charges.


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