December 04, 2018
Former first lady offers blunt riposte to Sheryl Sandberg’s dictum at event in Brooklyn before apologising for her language
Michelle Obama on ‘leaning in’: ‘Sometimes that shit doesn’t work’
Michelle Obama has reportedly offered some unusual criticism of the “lean in” philosophy of feminism espoused by Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg: “That shit doesn’t work all the time.”
The former first lady made the remarks at an appearance at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn over the weekend, media outlets reported.
Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead is the title of a 2013 book by Sandberg, in which she encourages women to get ahead in the world of work by asserting themselves and “leaning in” to their ambitions.
Obama was appearing in New York as part of her tour to promote her own book, the memoir Becoming, which has become a rapid bestseller.
“That whole, ‘So you can have it all.’ Nope, not at the same time,” she said. “That’s a lie. And it’s not always enough to lean in, because that shit doesn’t work all the time.”
Surprised by the language, the crowd erupted. Obama quickly apologized, according to the magazine.
“I forgot where I was for a moment!” she said.
Obama subsequently announced the Paris and Berlin stops on her book tour will be rescheduled, to accomodate her attendance at the Washington funeral of former president George HW Bush.


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