Given these blatant class and race-biases, there is something profoundly illiberal - and fundamentally incongruous - in the re-envisioning of liberated womanhood as a reorientation of affect and as a better balancing act. US women do not need to change their attitude; they need, first, job security, good childcare, livable wages for the work they do, and physical security.
If Sheryl Sandberg is serious about sparking a conversation, then perhaps she should start by asking who the cleaning women at Facebook are and how much money they take home every month. Do they have a viable pension plan? Do they receive paid holidays? And what kind of childcare services does Facebook offer them?
Indeed, it is extremely disturbing that for these high-powered women the “woman problem” is no longer about social justice, equity and women’s emancipation - as if these have already been achieved - but about affect, behaviour modification and well-roundedness.
Articulated at a time when Western liberal democracies are loudly decrying women’s lack of freedom in the Muslim world while lionising gender equality in their own societies, it actually makes a kind of cultural sense to shift the conversation away from the gendered division of labour and profound social injustices upon which US liberalism itself is constituted.
The turn to the language of balance, internalising the revolution and a happiness project, in other words, puts the burden of unhappiness, failure and disequilibrium once again on the shoulders of individual women while diverting attention away from US self-scrutiny with respect to its own “woman problem”.
— Hijacking feminism - Catherine Rottenberg