LEAN IN

Wonderful job, Sheryl Sandberg.  But we have some more advice…

The new feminism is pragmatic and career-oriented.

“Having it all” is out.  Setting realistic, community-oriented goals is in.

No gender is an island.

Working together, anything can happen.

In the pragmatic “Lean In,” spirit, here’s more practical advice for women:

STAY ON

We refer to the following clever scenario, but  “Stay On” can mean any ‘working’ of a system to your advantage:  You are commuting by train.  Maybe you are taking the train to that big interview. You are dressed solidly but not flamboyantly.  You are researched and prepared. You buy a ticket for the next stop, and then you pretend to miss your stop.  You stay on. The result?  You get a free ride (pretending sleepiness or distress) to the next stop, or even to the end of the line.  This might be a small advantage, but every advantage counts. You need to always be thinking this way! Working the system (and boldly in public) like this, it must be emphasized, works as well for women as it does for men.  Men tend to work this way more often, but there’s no reason why women can’t profit in ways like this, too!

MARRY UP

This is a great pile of advice: Women, there’s no shame in this! First, there’s plenty you can bring to the table, and it doesn’t have to be money! Marrying up doesn’t have to be an ‘end’ strategy; it can be the beginning of a new, independent, productive life.

DIG IN

Women, stop being weak, fat and frumpy!  Women eat less fat and protein than men, but why shouldn’t women build muscle, too?  The word is slowly getting out that “fat is the new fiber.”  Animal fat is necessary: 30% of calories should come from fat—says the American Heart Association!  Non-fat milk and non-fat yogurt and all sorts of “lean cuisine” is not healthy! Never mind the ‘baking/eating cookies syndrome,’ which is only part of this issue. Women are starving—from misinformation.  If you avoid fat in your diet, your body stores it!  Women who avoid fat and protein are starving themselves—and then they guiltily fix it by snacking on sugar and carbs—which leads to obesity, low energy, disease, and failure.  This is real simple: Meat-eaters are winners, and meat-eaters tend to be men.

KNOW WHY

The chief reason for unhappiness and intellectual confusion of all kinds, according to a new study by Scarriet, is not looking for the why behind the what in attempting to figure out the world.  The what is the essence of what your peers are saying, the accepted wisdom of the social sphere, the “best-seller” knowledge, the buzz, had for free, which most people go by.  You find it in all those insightful little articles you read and the pretty pictures you look at. Dig deeper, and find out why something is the way it is—and you will have an infinite advantage over everyone else.  This is especially useful advice for women, who tend to rely more on social information and fixate on the what of injustice, rather than the often nuanced, or hidden, or even missed-because-too-obvious why.  Knowing the true cause of something will not only make you smarter, it will make you happier: less traumatized, less victimized/obsessed.

LEAN BACK

For every successful ‘lean in’ strategy, there are thousands of successful ‘lean back’ strategies, which really means: saving valuable time and energy. This strategy may be the most important one of all. It’s the understanding that happiness is the end of existence, and any effort is wasteful if it puts off happiness.  You may not want to do all the things necessary for material success—and think of the sorrow involved if you may not need to do all those things but wasted your life doing them anyway.  If you love something enough, you will do anything to get it, and you will be happy while you are going after it—and that’s OK.  There’s no need to apologize for not sacrificing your life for something you don’t really want.  Whenever “sacrifice” is involved, you need to stop and think: why am I doing this?  Another advantage to the ‘lean back’ strategy:  it permits one to look around and assess a situation before one gets embroiled in it. It would be a terrible mistake to equate the ‘lean back’ strategy to laziness and hedonism: this is to miss the whole point.  Women are more likely to be guilt-tripped out of this strategy, which men, watching and learning as they lean back, do all the time.  Women, don’t be guilted!  You can do this, too!

Lean In may be helping women, but we guarantee Lean Back, Know Why, Dig In, Marry Up, and Stay On will help women more.  (OK, maybe “Stay On” is a bit of a joke, but it reminds women to think outside the box a little, too.)

Women, this is real life, and it is your life.  Lean anyway you need to lean.

16 Comments

  1. Diane Roberts Powell said,

    February 12, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Tom, I realize this was an attempt at humor, although I didn’t really find it very funny. Women have more fat on their bodies than men do. That’s why we have boobs and curvy butts. This is nature’s way of making sure that a woman has enough fat on her body to nourish a fetus, and to breast feed it after it’s born. I’ve never even heard of Sandberg. Is her book as insipid as this post of yours is?

    • thomasbrady said,

      February 12, 2014 at 2:52 am

      Sandberg is Facebook CEO. Her book is supposedly a phenomenon. I couldn’t decide how funny to be. I decided not to go for total laughs. Diane, I know women have more body fat than men. But there’s an obesity epidemic and it’s because of diet ignorance.

    • drew said,

      February 13, 2014 at 4:29 am

      Please don’t call it a “fetus”.
      Call it a child – or a baby – or a human life…
      almost anything except that awful word.

      Other than that I agree. Until reading Tom’s comment below, I had no idea she was a Facebook CEO and author.

      • Diane Roberts Powell said,

        February 13, 2014 at 4:43 am

        Drew, I wasn’t trying to be political. I thought it was only Christian fundamentalists who get hooked up on that word.

      • powersjq said,

        February 13, 2014 at 3:13 pm

        “Fetus” is a medical term, used because it has a quite precise meaning. Wikipedia gives the etymology as going back at least as early as the great medieval encyclopedist Isidore of Seville (around 620 C.E.). It would seem that physicians have distinguished between offspring in utero and offspring ex utero for a long, long time. Cringe if you will, but I think it likely that there are good reasons for _keeping_ that distinction crisply delineated.

      • noochinator said,

        February 13, 2014 at 7:41 pm

        The great conservative sociologist Robert Nisbet had an interesting take on the subject of abortion:

        http://www.wtf.com/threads/abortion-robert-nisbet.38734/

  2. noochinator said,

    February 12, 2014 at 12:59 am

    Tommy, this is a side of you I’ve never seen. I gotta say, I like it!

  3. Diane Roberts Powell said,

    February 12, 2014 at 2:58 am

    Yes, but men are getting fatter as well and they have less of an excuse, n’est-ce pas?

    • thomasbrady said,

      February 12, 2014 at 3:32 pm

      Diane,

      According to the WHO, worldwide, obesity increases with income and women are more obese than men.

      http://www.who.int/gho/ncd/risk_factors/obesity_text/en/

      When obesity is measured, women’s natural body fat is taken into account.

      But of course you are right: it’s a complex issue and not at all confined to women.

      However, isn’t it safe to say that men generally don’t care how much they weigh as much as women do? That women worry a great deal about their weight (for whatever reason)? And yet, because women are misled on the fat issue, millions of women experience unhealthy weight gain by (ironically) cutting fat out of their diet? That’s the real point.

      And it’s more than just a weight issue. Fat allows absorption of essential vitamins, lack of fat in the diet can lead to depression, etc.

      The information is out there: saturated fat is essential and good for you (in so many ways) and not bad for you and you should eat lots of it. Then why, when you go into any market, is every yogurt they sell non-fat, even though this makes yogurt taste crummy? And yet people will eat non-fat yogurt with sugar in it, and believe they are ‘eating healthy.’ Who are these millions of people? Most of them are women.

      How many times have you heard someone say, “Bacon and eggs! Don’t eat that for breakfast, it will clog your arteries! Eat a bagel, instead! That’s healthy!” Wrong. And I’m guessing more women than men avoid bacon and eggs—mistakenly believing they are eating ‘healthy’ by having a bagel, instead.

      • noochinator said,

        February 12, 2014 at 6:28 pm

        Tom is onto something here. Americans are ignorant about nutritional matters, being blown like a weather vane from one fad to the next. Hardly anyone, man nor woman, knows how to cook nutritious food anymore, or even what’s nutritious and what isn’t. And why? Because American culture venerates the making of money above all else: above preparing healthy food, reading good books, listening to good music — it’s just make money and spend money, and how either one is done isn’t really that important, so long as it’s done at a high rate….

      • Diane Roberts Powell said,

        February 12, 2014 at 11:25 pm

        Are you a nutritionist now too? Just kidding. Actually, oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, or even corn flakes, would be a better choice than bacon and eggs or a bagel. Oatmeal is very healthy and it’s also very cheap.

        • February 12, 2014 at 11:39 pm

          I’m into Grape-Nuts and milk meself….

        • thomasbrady said,

          February 13, 2014 at 12:37 pm

          Oatmeal is cheap. Bacon and eggs are much better for you than oatmeal. There you go, Diane, that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Dietary choices are holding women back.

          • Diane Roberts Powell said,

            February 14, 2014 at 12:00 am

            Ok, go ask a few nutritionists and doctors, if your views are correct, and get back to me.

  4. noochinator said,

    February 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    “Lean into discomfort” is a phrase used in management theory. Tom, I think you should consider freelancing for women’s magazines! Or maybe try writing a romance novel, if you think you’ve got the knack. You’ve certainly got down the tone of earnestness…..

  5. noochinator said,

    February 14, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Different families have different nutritional “profiles” — i.e., one family can eat a lot of salt without harm, another is susceptible to heart attacks if salt is consumed. So one’s “food wisdom” is tied into knowledge of one’s family’s genetic inheritance. Know thyself, and thyfamily too, in those there is wisdom….


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