You Read the Book . . . and Then What?

June 26, 2013

Forgive my cynicism but I’m having a difficult time believing this spate of female inspirational books are having the same impact as they would lead us to believe.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is a force of nature and her book, Lean In is a national bestseller. I’ve heard her speak and don’t deny that she makes a good case for women’s advancement in the business world but, when I hear that some people are saying that her book is going to spark off a new wave of the feminist revolution, I have to yawn.

Through the centuries, there have always been waves of feminism but they amounted to little more than a singular burst of energy by the masses and a more sustained effect by a small minority.

If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say that the progress that women have made in the business world has been because the men in their lives gave their approval and lent their voices to their cause. Women are not known for supporting other women.

Do you remember the Equal Rights Amendment? There were countless debates with women telling other women to vote for it and yet there were so many women who opposed it that it has yet to be ratified.

When it first came out, women weren’t even asking to join the military. They just wanted fair and equal treatment accorded to men under the Constitution. I’ve often wondered how you can be a woman in today’s world and not want equal rights.

If the ERA is still a contentious subject among women, how can we even start to imagine that from these ranks will be a tidal wave of female leaders?

Ms. Sandberg, and others of her ilk, are in the minority. The rest of womankind are not rushing out to take on the business world and break through the glass ceiling.

From the earliest times to present day, women have been shown to be more interested in their love life than in pursuing careers. They don’t want leadership roles; they want a loving relationship. They want a good-paying job that lets them have a balanced life more than they want to climb the corporate ladder of success.

So read these books. Get inspired by them, but don’t imagine that hordes of women will want to sacrifice the life they have to fill leadership roles.

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