Female panelists split on impact of Sandberg’s controversial novel ‘Lean In’

IWF lean in panel May 2013Although the panel was filled with smart, independent conservative women, Thursday night’s “Lean In” panelists couldn’t come to a consensus about whether Sheryl Sandberg’s controversial book was good advice for women, or just another dusty book to add to their bookshelf.

The book “examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential,” according to Amazon.com.

The nonprofit Independent Women’s Forum sponsored the debate, which was held in front of more than 300 people at the Decatur House in Washington, D.C. The IWF had previously announced that more than 100 people were on a waiting list to get a ticket to the event. The debate’s panel included Sally Quinn of the The Washington Post, Christine Rosen of the New America Foundation, Hanna Rosin of The Atlantic and Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the IWF. It was moderated by Fox Business’s Elizabeth MacDonald.

Schaeffer, who was complimentary at times towards Sandberg’s book, which attempted to tackle the complicated balancing act of work and life for women, was more leery of the government’s involvement with women’s movements.  She criticized Congressional bills like the Paycheck Fairness Act for making the workplace less flexible and more “fixated on Washington” instead of finding good employees.

“One of the things I liked about [the book] was that she did not offer any public policy opinions,” Schaeffer said. “She simply offered self-help.”

The four women on the panel shared personal anecdotes of their own lives – both as single and married women – to the largely female audience.

Quinn discussed several examples of her own hardships in her argument that the advice Sandberg was laying out in her book wasn’t just black and white. The editor of The Washington Post’s “On Faith” column, she felt that family issues occasionally came in the way of her rising to an even higher career position.

“It’s great to say ‘lean in’ but real life gets in the way,” she said.

The panelists were also unable to decide on a concrete definition of feminism or a unified opinion on Sandberg’s thoughts, which only strengthened their argument that women often have differing opinions on the role of the fairer sex and the feminist movement in the U.S.

“There’s nothing here that has to do with what’s appropriate and what’s not,” Quinn said.  ”It’s what works for you and your husband.  If you want to spend more taking care of the children, great.”

Rosin, who said that young people tend to shy away from the idea of feminism, added that she felt the role of women in American society is divided by socioeconomic differences, and not race.

Quinn also praised women in general, noting that they are more than capable of ruling the world than men.

“The whole idea of feminism is not to be a victim,” she commented.

Comments

Polititainment

Grover Norquist loved Burning Man
It’s official: Grover Norquist absolutely loved this year’s Burning Man festival. Before the blaze with co-founder of Burning Man Larry Harvey.He has created a wonderful festival/movement/Brigadoon pic.twitter.com/3iq5UzcPYG — Grover Norquist (@GroverNorquist) August 31, 2014 Burning Man. 65,000 participants. 1000s of works of art. Anyone who walks through BM and only notices nudity tells you only […]
Celebs gin up youth votes for midterms
THE HILL – With young voters more apathetic about voting and government than ever, several organizations are trying to woo the “selfie generation” to the polls this fall. “About half of those who vote in presidential elections do not vote in midterms,” explained Andy Bernstein, executive director of HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that partners with musicians […]
Maher to Cheney: light yourself on fire

As Hunter S. Thompson despised Richard Nixon with every drug-influenced fiber of his being, so Bill Maher carries on the torch for media provocateurs.

Colbert announces plan to defeat ISIS
President Barack Obama might not have a strategy for defeating ISIS in Syria, but never fear,  comedian Stephen Colbert has him covered. Colbert announced a unique plan Thursday night that involves raising Ronald Reagan from the grave, a captive radio audience and Monty Python-esque horse sound effects. “Remember in 1938 the radio broadcast of ‘War […]
Brand: ISIS better than conservatives
Actor Russell Brand took to Youtube Wednesday to compare terrorist group ISIS to conservatives, eventually coming to the conclusion that conservatives in power were worse than ISIS. Brand was recording yet another video aimed at attacking Fox News when he made the statements about ISIS. He was responding to Fox host Greg Gutfeld’s comments about Brand’s […]

White House

Obama notifies Congress of airstrikes in Iraq
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has sent official notification to Congress of his order for last week’s airstrikes and humanitarian aid drops to help Iraqis threatened by Islamic State militants. The White House on Monday released a letter formally letting Congress’ leaders know that Obama approved the mission that repelled Sunni fighters in the northern Shiite […]
Obama: The world seems really messy because of ‘social media’

President Barack Obama, speaking at yet another fundraiser with a script that's been recycled more than a Hollywood romantic comedy, had an unlikely culprit for the world's problems.

White House scrambles to control the fallout from Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ comment
It’s hard to imagine that there was any other reaction than full panic from White House staffers after President Obama uttered a fateful gaffe Thursday afternoon, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” The line quickly exploded on Twitter and on television — though not quite as much as the president’s tan suit — as it […]
GOP: ‘He’s not a king’
THE HILL – Whether lamenting the so-called vacationer-in-chief’s swing of a golf club or criticizing his handling of the healthcare rollout, Republicans are getting in the habit of comparing President Obama to a monarch. “It’s one thing after another. You know he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen […]
Obama’s Democratic fundraising just might ruin Labor Day weekend for the rest of us

Barely having returned from a 15-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Obama will spend is Labor Day weekend traveling to support his Democratic friends. The problem is, this means that Americans planning to take seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket won't be able to travel themselves.

Congress

When Congress was popular
THE HILL — If you’re not a paid staffer or blood relative, as the joke goes, you probably hate Congress. The institution is so unpopular that voters were more positive about brussels sprouts, head lice and root canals in one recent survey. But there have been a handful of times over the last 100 years […]
Cruz highlights issues for 2014, 2016 elections
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) elicited huge cheers from the audience at the Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” Saturday when he vowed Republicans would take back control of the U.S. Senate and “retire” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I’m convinced we’re going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better,” […]
IRS says Lerner's Blackberry 'destroyed'

A senior IRS lawyer has said in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's BlackBerry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun to investigate her involvement in IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Youth impact reason enough to pass jobs bills
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is in the midst of releasing 40 reasons over the course of 40 days that the Senate should take up the 40 jobs bills the House has already passed. While most of their reasons have focused on general unemployment and economic growth statistics, they turned their attention […]
UNEARTHED: Archival footage of Harry Reid smiling

From appearances, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derives little pleasure from his job, perhaps a deputy to the paragon of joylessness. But Red Alert Politics has dug into the archives to demonstrate that it wasn't always like this.