There is a book by a Facebook lady executive and multi-googlionaire called ‘Lean In’ that has been lying around the house like a dirty dish or a lost sock.
So last Sunday I picked up this book by the sly Sheryl Sandberg that women around the world have been ranting about since its publication, but that I suspected was a sandbag against the male armies, as so many things in this new millennium are.
And here are the ten things I learnt, and rephrased, on how women need to ‘lean in.’
One – Women need to learn to be ambitious in the pursuit of their goals. More importantly, they need to make men their allies in this pursuit of their success. How? By leaning hard on the chap, and letting him know from now on, he will have to do house-work.
Two- Women must learn to pursue their careers at all costs, like a cheetah after an antelope, without constantly worrying if they are being bad moms, wives or daughters. Success forgives everything. Oh, and learn to keep your hand up at seminars, and interrupt speakers. How dya think Shebesh succeeded?
Three – when you want to change things, whether in the workplace or at home, know that you cannot please everyone. So go ahead, tigress. Buy that home furniture you read about in ‘Dorcas’s Décor’ and if he is displeased about the change, especially the loose change left on his credit card, he can stuff it — in the sofa!
Four – (I like this one). To stop their careers from stalling, younger working women should learn to seek ‘sponsors’ such as their older male bosses. Ladies, learn to hang out with your male superiors and bond ( non-sexually) in the bar. This means learning to hold your Jameson whiskey, and love the Premier League.
Five is humour. Everyone likes a smiling woman with an sense of humour, especially if she is easy on the eye or blessed with certain anatomical assets. What men don’t like is female atom bombs that go off, pardon the pun, periodically.
Six – paradoxically, of course, men like damsels in distress too. Sheryl Sandberg confessed that she once cried on the shoulder of her CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
This can make a man feel like rescuing you, especially if he is 26 or 62. So let your God-given water works flow like the fountain of plenty. That’s why we came with tear ducts.
Seven – lean in on your man to maintain certain traditional roles, like paying the bills, handling the finances and providing technical support. Your role is to see to the kids’ activities, entertain guests and make sure there is food in the fridge. That way, you will always have plenty of your own money, ha ha.
Eight – if the man catches on that you are not just leaning in, but sitting on him, ka Wangu wa Makeri, tell him he needs to stay ‘positive and responsive’ or else the kids will be emotionally disconnected, or worse, retards when they are adults.
Nine – if anyone cracks a risqué joke in your presence, threaten to report them to HR in the office. Fear is what creates a leader.
Ten – and once the ‘Queen Bee’ in the office, forget about this sister to sister mentoring things. There can only be one queen in a beehive, because where there are two queens on the same turf, it’s a corporate catfight. I mean, just look at chess.