In the run-up to the publication of Sheryl Sandberg’s new book (and manifesto), “Lean In,” the media have been full. Not so much of coverage of the book, which, it seems, many commentators have not actually read, but of the media firestorm surrounding the book. First the usual suspects (Maureen Dowd, and the relentlessly self-publicizing Pundit Mom) piled on. Then credentialed feminists like Jessica Valenti and Joan Walsh sprang to Sandberg’s defense.
The funny thing about the debate is the tone of surprise. Why in the world did this happen, the feminists ask. Who would have thought that Dowd would take an opportunity to smack down a stunningly successful (and stunning) woman? When did Pundit Mom start arguing that no one should say boo to the women who stay home, or, say, marry rich, work from home and self-publish?