Lean In is a men’s movement. Yes. You heard me.

leaninguy

This guy is thinking how he help you lean in. No really.

 

Recently I published some thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In book and movement. They weren’t the nicest thoughts. Well some were lovely, and some were not so lovely. You can read for yourself here.

And then the editors of Lean In site, contacted me based on a referral from a friend to write a personal story for the website. Immediately I disclosed the past piece- and to my surprise they seemed to want me to write for them EVEN MORE.

imageI admit I was hesitant at first. I was feeling hypocritical but I pushed forward and eventually told a story that has been in my mind for close to 20 years. It had a big impact on me, and each of these small victories help to build up my confidence in my own abilities. Like little shields of success, these moments are added to my armor one at a time, making me who I am today; fairly invincible when faced with sexist or ridiculous push back because I have lady parts. That’s right. I just said lady parts.

There was a thought that I wasn’t able to fully express on Lean In and I think it is worth talking about here.

Without MEN, the concept of Lean IN will fail.

Wait- what- Marcy? Isn’t this a women’s movement?

Well yes it is. Sorta.

But ask any woman who has had success leaning in and kicking ass against the odds- they almost always can point to a man who helped give them the strength and support to make it happen. Perhaps  a spouse, a relative, a sibling or in my case- many of my male colleagues. In fact I still have a few male colleagues who empower me to achieve all my goals. Not just the goals they think are okay for a woman to aspire to…BUT ALL OF MY GOALS. And The Husband? He pretty much is waiting for me to become the CEO of the world. He never ever even alludes to the concept that I couldn’t have total world domination because I AM A GIRL. He is a big part of my confidence armor.

So my point?

This isn’t a women’s movement. This is a FAIRNESS movement.

The goal is to even things out, by removing limitations and false perceptions. And in order to achieve fairness we need men and women to make that happen. We need men who are willing to be champions for capable women. We need men who are okay with a female boss. Men who aren’t insecure. Men who don’t feel threatened by beauty and brains. Men who want the best for the job- regardless of their sex. Strong male leaders who STAND UP and LEAN IN to sexism around them.

MEN aren’t always the problem and  in many ways they are our answer to leaning in successfully. Which means- identifying the ‘enemy’ is harder than it looks. Not all men are against women succeeding. In fact, there are women out there doing more damage for the movement than their male counterparts.

So I encourage you to thank a guy today. The guy who treats you no differently than ANYONE else (male or female). The boss, the partner, the neighbor, the colleague, the relative- the WHOEVER gives you strength to know you matter just as much as the next guy.

Because you know what ladies?

You are the next guy now.

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