Join The Single Diaries’ first book discussion on November 29th.
It was 1992. I was five years old, and we were camping with my dad’s side of the family. All the cousins my age were boys, and I remember overhearing the parents saying “Look at her, she’s the leader” as I marched the five of us in a line through the campsite. At school, I was no different; I took charge of the games for my friends at recess. It wasn’t until fourth grade that I realized “bossy” was not a compliment from my peers. From that moment on, I made a concerted effort to change my ways… to be nicer to everyone and to take a backseat socially. (For the record, that didn’t stop me from aiming high academically nor in student council, but I knew that I would never be the most popular kid.)
“When a girl tries to lead, she is often labeled bossy. Boys are seldom called bossy because a boy taking the role of a boss does not surprise or offend.”
In Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, Sheryl Sandberg dives into issues women face in the workplace as well as issues that younger generations encounter due to long-standing gender roles. Join The Single Diaries‘ first book conversation as I discuss Lean In with my good friend, Huffington Post editor Jacqueline Howard. Pick up a copy and read by November 15th to send in questions: in the comments section of this post, via Twitter tagging @SingleDiariesXO and #SingleGirlLeansIn, or via email firstname.lastname@example.org. Sandberg writes “I am also writing this for any man who wants to understand what a woman—a colleague, wife, mother, or daughter—is up against so that he can do his part to build an equal world.” We invite our guy friends to read and join the conversation.