Is "Lean In" Faux Feminism?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Working women found in the Lean In gallery of Getty's updated stock image collection. (Getty)

It's been more than a year since Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg released her book "Lean In," which encourages women to be ambitious and confident in the work place. The book spent more than 16 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list and fueled a lot of chatter about a new era of feminism.

"I don't pretend to have the answers for all women and men, but I really want the world to be more equal," Sandberg said in an interview with Oprah Winfrey. "I really think we'll all be happier, and our businesses will perform better, and what leadership is will change. And I took a deep breath, and I'm doing it and I want other people to do what they would do if they weren't afraid.”

Oprah and other pundits dubbed Sandberg "a new voice of revolutionary feminism." But preeminent black feminist author and activist bell hooks says Sandberg's "lean in" philosophy isn't all that revolutionary. 

Click here for part I of this interview.


bell hooks

Produced by:

Allie Ferguson


T.J. Raphael

Comments [8]

Louise from Haddock, Ga

She's a corporate tool training women to be corporate slaves.

May. 13 2014 01:08 PM

Bill OReilly couldn't a said it better. Bell hooks knows nothing, she's the kind of academic Marxist who brought the gulag to Cambodia.

May. 12 2014 08:44 PM

"Because of the greed of our nation, people confuse some kind of material success with the notion of freedom". Brilliant!

The Lean-In Model encourages women to play by men's rules (as ms. hooks says "imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy"). Feminism says let's re-write the rules at a foundational level so we're all happier.

May. 12 2014 04:33 PM
Robert Thomas from Santa Clara

Risible Marxist flatulence aside, It's certainly true that Xerox is a technology company and that Facebook is not.

May. 12 2014 03:51 PM
ivan obregon from nyc

"Revolutionary feminism" prudishly and rather foolishly scarlet-lettering Beyonce as a "terrorist" is even more sexually neurotic, narrow-minded and absurdly repressive (Bill O' Reilly would even agree with her) than the selfish, narcissistic bourgie neoliberal me-me-me "Lean In" model......Neither "choice" of these types of feminism speaks to most american women's needs, concerns and wants their own.

May. 12 2014 12:57 PM

Thanks the Goddess there are thinkers like bell. At last someone who has thought beyond the slick shine facade of Lean In PR. Finally, unafraid to use words like patriarchy, capitalism, white supremacism.. all in one breath, to get to the real core of the matter. At last - a true thinker. As an elder feminist once siad - we must keep vigil. So futher to another comment here - yes, we need to be reminded, again, and again, of women's past achievements and how we got there.

May. 12 2014 12:56 PM

Thank God "thinkers" like Bell Hooks are confined to academia and NPR, where they can do no damage!

May. 12 2014 12:10 PM
Lily from mn

I have been saying this from day one. One more example of devaluing women and the work we did in the feminist past. (I would say accomplishments, but it seems we didn't accomplish that much.). Of course, books and ideas are rewritten for each generation, but I do think our feminist history is largely forgotten today.

May. 12 2014 10:02 AM

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