Sheryl Sandberg’s business advice book, Lean In, was heralded as a defining moment in attitudes to women in business. But, Dawn Foster argues, it proposed a model of feminism that was individualistic and unthreatening to the status quo, and of limited relevance to women struggling to survive under austerity.
She explains how ‘trickledown’ feminism offers little material gain for women collectively, and shows how grassroots campaigns led by women have scored victories in housing, immigration, employment rights and cuts. Instead of focusing on choice or lifestyle feminism, what would happen if mainstream feminism could throw its weight behind those suffering at the sharp end of austerity? Instead of leaning in, she argues, we need to disrupt, to shout back, to lean out.
Image credit Graham Turner.