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Opinion

'Ban Bossy' creator brings her special brand of feminism to India

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Facebook,Ashe Schow,India,Ban Bossy,Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer and the force behind the “Ban Bossy” campaign, is now educating women in India how to be leaders.

Naturally, her first suggestion is to not be bossy.

The World Bank estimates that as of 2012 (the latest year data is available), just 29 percent of women in India over the age of 15 are working, but thankfully they now have Sandberg to tell them how to increase that percentage. By comparison, 57 percent of women in the U.S. over the age of 15 are working.

And if you’re wondering, Tanzania has the highest percentage of women in the workforce, with 88 percent.

1. Don’t be bossy

You’re not working because you’re bossy at work, or something. Sandberg told the women that men get to where they are based on their skills but with women, they are perceived as only succeeding because “either she worked hard or got lucky.”

Yes, that’s how every business everywhere looks at women. And what’s wrong with thinking someone worked hard? We certainly all think Sandberg achieved her success not because of luck but because of hard work and talent (is talent sexist? I don’t know).

Sandberg said not to view a woman’s success as being bossy, but as her having “executive leadership skills.”

That’s right, only male bosses can be jerks. Female bosses are just executively leading you. Hashtag equality.

2. Safety first

Sandberg is correct to note that safety in the workplace is necessary for women to succeed, and noted that India’s “zero tolerance” policy on violence is a step in the right direction.

“No country will reach its potential till all women reach their potential,” Sandberg said.

So odd then that Sandberg’s campaign revolves around making women fear a particular word.

3. Women work harder than men

“Most women in India work almost 10 times more than their husbands,” Sandberg said.

Sandberg spoke about the difficulties that women in India have trying to balance home and work lives. That sounds just like America.

Sandberg also didn't provide any evidence of that statement, so it's difficult to check, but given Sandberg's history of using questionable data to support her claims of gender bias, I have my doubts.

4. Helping husbands

“If you want to be nice to your wife, don’t buy her flowers, but do the laundry,” Sandberg said.

Go ahead and crash the floral industry, I’m sure they’ll make it somehow.

5. Don't think about your baby until you give birth

Are you about to have a kid? Cool, but you don't need to think about it until you're in the delivery room. Until then, stay focused on your job, your baby can wait.

Then, just leave it home and go right back to work, no reason to disrupt your life to take care of it.

Lovely advice, Sandberg.

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