My Aha Moment from #BlogHer’13: Thank You Sheryl Sandberg


I could feel the woman in the seat next to me stiffen as she tapped her trim, pink nails against her Kindle.  Crying makes people uncomfortable, especially when they’re sitting next to you on an airplane.  I had tried to keep quiet about things, face the window and go about my cry in silence, but it’s a cramped space on a plane.  It’s hard to remain an anonymous crier.

I cry on airplanes often when I fly alone.  I’m out of my element when airborne, out of the place where I feel the need to be strong and composed.  On airplanes, I’m not in an environment where I need to be in command, for myself, for my work, or for my children. I also don’t have my normal busyness or distractions to keep me from facing my emotions, so on Thursday, en route to BlogHer ‘13, I sat in the window seat of an airplane headed to Chicago and cried for a good hour over a comment made to me days earlier, an accusatory comment that had hurt me because I had feared there was some kernel of truth in it.

When finished with my cry, I turned to the passenger next to me and smiled.  “What are you reading?”  I asked, pointing to the woman’s Kindle.  We had a lovely discussion about books and our reasons for going to Chicago as if my breakdown had never happened.  It was over, which is another reason why I love a good cry.  I got it out, I released it, and I was ready to give my all to the conference.

There are many things I could tell you about BlogHer ‘13.  I could recall some of the great breakout sessions I attended or about the compelling Voices of the Year presentation.  I could tell you what a gift it was to meet many of my dearest blogging friends in real life.  But what I want to tell you about today is the talk that Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, Author of Lean In, and inspiration for the Lean In movement, gave on Saturday morning.

Sandberg talked about the deep rooted biases that as a society, we have against women, and how these biases start early.   From a young age, we don’t look at boys and girls with equality.  Sandberg gave the great example of how we are much more likely to call our girls “bossy” than our boys.  When was the last time you called your son bossy?

Sandberg’s example made me think of the many double standards with gender roles we have in this society and how women are scrutinized mercilessly for certain things whereas their male counterparts get a pass.  The sad part is, it’s not just men scrutinizing women, but it’s women scrutinizing their own.

Sandberg’s emphasis on this double standard made me think of a story.  Thirty years ago, a husband and father and trusted professional in a small New Jersey town left his wife and children and ran off with another woman and never looked back.  He didn’t look back for birthdays or graduations or trips to the emergency room or dance recitals or school plays or to help comfort his daughters when they suffered their first broken hearts.  He didn’t look back for holidays or good report cards or bad report cards or when his girls got in trouble or when they had great success.  He didn’t look back once.

Despite his actions, people were forgiving of this man.  His personal choices didn’t hurt his reputation or his career, and the overall reaction from the community was a shoulder shrug or a, “That’s just what men do.”  He was vindicated over and over again.

Thirty years later, when this man’s daughter, a struggling single mother of three children, decided to move away from her home state with her kids in order to give them a better life, a move that would create distance between their friends, their family, and their father, yet a decision that she thought through cautiously and from all angles, she was vilified.  She was told that such a move would cause irreversible damage to her children.  She listened to accusations such as these over and over…

…some made by the same people who vindicated her father.

We need Sheryl Sandberg and we need more people like Sheryl Sandberg to remind us that the gender gap is not yet closed.

holding hands

We need to stop criticizing and start supporting.

We need to stop making motherhood a competition.

We need to stop making womanhood a competition.

We need to stop comparing and feeling less than or greater than.

We need to stand up for each other and with each other and say things like, “You go girl,” a lot.

We need to support the decisions other women make for their children and their families, even if it’s not something we would do ourselves.

When we’re questioned on a decision we make for our families, we need to start asking any person who questions us, “Would you be asking me the same question if I were a man?”

More than anything, we need to trust our decisions and instincts.  We need to trust our hearts.  We need to believe in ourselves more than anyone disbelieves in us.

Thank you BlogHer ‘13 for hosting Sheryl Sandberg.  And thank you Sheryl Sandberg for your words.

As for the conference, I had a great time.

And I didn’t cry once on the plane ride home.


My Aha Moment from #BlogHer’13: Thank You Sheryl Sandberg — 105 Comments

    • Amen! We need to fight for each other! Even if our choices are different! Especially when our choices are different!

    • Thank you Kim. There is no room for competition and no need for it. And yes, I am so glad I was there to experience this. It was *exactly* what I needed to hear!

  1. Oh, Ilene. I should have been reading this on an airplane because it brought tears to my eyes. How anyone could vilify you is beyond me. I’m sure you have your moments like the rest of us because you are human, but you exude goodness and light more than anyone I’ve probably ever met. EVER.
    We women have GOT to stop judging each other and viewing our family and professional lives as a competition. SO WELL SAID. The double standard we use when regarding men and women is terrible. I could have gotten whiplash from nodding in agreement at everything you written. (and I’ve GOT to read that book)
    And now I will give *you* and enthusiastic and heartfelt, YOU GO GIRL!! Love you!! –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted…CAPTCHA, I *STILL* WANNA PUNCH YA!My Profile

    • We really need to stop the competition and the judgement! Oh my gosh! The judgement! I will take a “you go girl” from you any day, Lisa. And I love your words and your support – today and always. xo

  2. So glad you got to go to the conference and what an inspiring speaker! Sometimes the people who should be supporting us the most are the harshest critics. There’s judgements on whether you should stay home, or work, judgements on how much time you should invest in one kid vs another, judgments on whether you get enough time for yourself (or too much). And when you are going through a separation, divorce, people feel they have the right to ask, comment and give opinions about everything! That always amazed me! I remember one person telling me it was not nice that I didn’t allow my ex to have the kids more than I did. At the time, he had them all he wanted to have them; they were young, and this was the agreement that WE had made, and it worked for us and them. But all of a sudden, I was a a bad mom for withholding them from their Dad. But don’t worry, times have changed over time. Now I’m just a bad Mom because most other woman “could never go without seeing their children”, and somehow I have let this happen (and they would NEVER let it happen to them). Be strong! Just stay focussed on what is best for your own family. Have faith that it will all work out – because, it will. xo
    Leah Davidson recently posted…My GirlMy Profile

    • Oh, Leah, you are so right. And it’s so sad, the it’s like a vicious cycle of judgement and opinions. I remember a mom in town who balked last year that I put my youngest in “full day” pre-school because I wasn’t working full time at the time and it was selfish that I would want the time to myself (she would “never” go without seeing her kids, etc. etc. etc.) I don’t mind the questions because I think there are people who really want to know the logistics of my situation out of pure curiosity or because they are in a rocky marriage and trying to put themselves in my shoes – but I do mind the Inquisition – and there’s such a difference! I know you know what I’m talking about!

  3. Lovely reflection. I, too, loved the speech by Sandberg, and her comments about how we raise our daughters. I loved that many times during the conference, the MEN were asked, “How do you do it?” We always assume that women have to balance home, family, and work, but men don’t…. I love your list and yes, we need to pay attention to the questions we ask women but never think to ask men. Great post.
    Sarah | LeftBrainBuddha recently posted…Mindfulness and Gratitude: Travel, a Journey, and BlogHerMy Profile

    • Thank you Sarah. I’m guilty of this myself -asking the women certain questions versus men. But I think after listening to Sandberg, I’ll be much more mindful of this! It was lovely to meet you!

    • Thank you my friend. I’m glad you get the plane crying thing. It’s almost an auto response at this point! But it always feels good to let it all out. So wonderful to meet you in person!

  4. Move over, Cheryl S., and make room for The Fierce Diva! You are such a powerhouse and an inspiration, Ilene. What a well-thought out take on gender bias. I’m sorry you have to deal with other people’s judgment and baggage, but I’ll cry on an airplane (or anywhere else) with you anytime. And then we’ll laugh, giggle and hug and move on our with our big, beautiful lives. You’re not alone – you “go, girl!”
    Mary @ A Teachable Mom recently posted…Hey, Stacy Keibler – I Call Dibs on Your BrainMy Profile

    • I’ll take a “you go girl” from you any day of the week. And yes, the cry feels good but then it feels even better to move beyond the cry and just “go.” Speaking of crying, I practically had tears in my eyes when I met you at BlogHer. talk about life moments – one of my first blogging friends that you are. xo

  5. As a mother of one girl and one boy, your words made me think about how I parent my children differently. Sure, they are unique individuals, but I need to make sure I am not widening that gender gap in my own home. I need to make sure my daughter never feels less than because she is a girl. Thank you Ilene, for a lot of food for thought.
    Dana recently posted…Summer Book ReviewsMy Profile

    • I didn’t even realize how guilty of this I was myself until I heard Sandberg speak. And like you said, my kids are unique individuals, but I’m going to try my best to never call my oldest, who is a girl and a total powerhouse, “bossy” again!

  6. I’m crying right now, Ilene, because I want to hug you and then go punch those naysayers in the face (too harsh?). After Sheryl’s keynote, my table leaned in and had a great discussion about gender roles. Included at that table were bloggers from India and China. The Chinese woman had been put under house arrest for being an activist. Her husband, also an activist, was put in jail to punish her. I don’t know when we’ll get rid of those stupid accusations and questions. All I know is that we won’t get rid of them if we listen to them and comply.

    You go girl!

    p.s. I miss you already!
    another jennifer recently posted…Saving the ChildrenMy Profile

    • You’re right. We will only change as society if we change as society. I left BlogHer with a new resolve as far as the gender gap goes. Sandberg’s words made me feel stronger. Or maybe feeling stronger was a result of all the muscles I worked from carrying around all that swag? Anyway, I miss you already too! Can’t wait for next year!

  7. While my own journey wasn’t compared to that of someone before me, I so understand this, because I made a careful and thought out decision the very same way and my children are thriving. That said, I am also sitting in the company of three very confused children whose mother made a not-so-well thought out journey, on a whim, for a man. *Le sigh* It is so hard, but having walked through pieces of this journey with you, you seem to be more like me! 🙂 I’m so glad you had this epiphany!
    Single Mom in the South recently posted…Sorta Homemade Blueberry Pancake MuffinsMy Profile

  8. Someone was just angry because you are making your own decisions and they wish they had the courage to do it, too. It’s jealousy. I’m envious, too. Not because I want to be in your exact position… but because I sort of almost have and I know what is out there when you open yourself to it.

    I was a single mom of four. I did not do everything in the same order you did, but I did eventually meet a man, move near the ocean, and start a life which makes the life I lived for the first thirty years of my life seem like a past life. Like something I read in a book or saw in a movie. It’s not at all as if that was my life and those were my struggles.

    I can not wait to see pictures of your new digs, you and your kids enjoying the beach, hear tales of all the new adventures you are about to have, and enjoy my little view into your new world.
    tammigirl recently posted…Update: What I Have Been Thinking Lately. Because Doing is HardMy Profile

    • I wholeheartedly agree that the comments are about “them” and not about “me.” I so get this. There were some chinks in my armor last week, hence my airplane cry, but I’m going to a better place in every way possible – and I love that you’ve lived this path and are on the “other side” to remind me how good it’s going to be. xo

  9. Bang. I’m so glad you recognized the double standard being applied to you. Fucking assholes. If you want, I’ll come curse them out. I can even friend them on facebook just to post curse words on their pages. I’m good at that. OKOKOK not really mature, but I still think it’s highly effective.

    As to double standards, I see a lot of them down here in the South. My son dances. Ballet. It raises the old eyebrows, yes it does. And within the dance world, he’s a superstar, at six, because boys are SO rare.

    And yesterday, I spent most of the morning telling him to quit bossing his sister around, because seriously, he’s a bossy little shit some days.
    Jester Queen recently posted…Anger, and Mercy, and the Spaces between our heartsMy Profile

    • Oh, Jessie, this may be one of my favorite comments from you ever. I love that your son has broken the mold and is so successful at dance at such a young age. And I love that you would throw down people on Facebook for me. xo

  10. I feel awful that I’ve missed your writing lately (mi vida loca). You always make me feel so validated and this is such an amazing post.

    I agree that we need to support each other even if we don’t always understand the choices made by our “sisters.” When we stop the competition and accept our friends for who they are, the relationships evolve to new heights.

    Martha recently posted…James Perse Private Sale for JulyMy Profile

    • Yes! Every relationship can evolve to new height when we just accept. It’s that simple and we complicate it so. And I love thinking about all of us as sisters.

  11. Amen, Can I give you a virtual standing ovation? I was so jelly of the blogher tweets this year, last year I was SO overwhelmed at the conference but I think it was honestly because I wasn’t ready. I was ready this year! Sheryl Sandberg is an inspiration and she makes me think way out of the box, she makes me feel like I don’t have to stay quiet, or mind my manners (in a female driven sort of way) and I LOVE that. I am so happy you got your cry on too, because Lord knows we need it. All the time. Such a fantastic post girl!
    Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama recently posted…Home Preparedness Seminar With The Home DepotMy Profile

    • Oh, Nellie! Thank you for that Amen, my friend! And that virtual standing O. And I’m with you in minding out manners in that female kind of way. I think at times, we worry way too much about being “nice” or not hurting other people’s feelings or worrying about what others will think – on such an unconscious level. I think I’ll listen to myself more closely – how I talk to myself and ask myself “why” I’m making certain decisions after listening to Sandberg.

  12. Sounds like it was such a perfect speaker for you to hear. I’m so glad you got to experience that.

    And what a powerful question to ask!

    So lovely to get to see you again, even if just for a brief moment. We’ll have to plan something when you are down near me. xo
    Shell recently posted…To Ma’am or Not to Ma’amMy Profile

    • Oh, we will absolutely plan to see each other again once I move! But yes, I was so happy to run into you! Literally! On Thursday night!

  13. I’m crying with you right now because I often cry on airplanes for so, so many reasons. It’s the one place I feel most out of control, because I suppose it’s where I am very out of control and I don’t generally like that so I have to place my trust in the pilots and the air traffic control. So then I release so many emotions.
    I’m also laughing because I often call my SON “bossy.” Let’s just say both of my kids are great leaders.
    So with you, my friend. I thought about you a lot during these last few days of BlogHer and I’ll think of you a lot during this beautiful journey that I fully think is fully awesome.
    Tamara recently posted…The Memory Keepers.My Profile

    • I would love to sit next to you on an airplane and then the two of us could have just totally cried together! And I would have loved to have been with you at BlogHer as well! It was so great to see your photography there! A piece of you was definitely there with us!

  14. You go girl! I recently read ‘Lean In,’ and would find myself nodding my head and murmuring ‘Yes, Yes!’ I made my husband listen to countless passages from the book because so much of it rang true and made sense. I’m so glad you had the opportunity to go to Blogher and listen to Sheryl. Thank you for sharing this experience and your personal story with us. I know I speak for so many of your blogging buddies when I say that we support you wholeheartedly!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted…Handful Bra Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    • Thanks Nicole. I love and appreciate the support and listening to Sheryl was life changing. I’m so glad I was there – for her and for so many other different reasons.

  15. This resonates with me for so many reasons, and I’m glad you were in the right place at the right time to hear what you needed to hear. It’s a tough thing, being held under a microscope and examined by people who’ve not walked an hour in your shoes. Bravo to you for taking YOUR steps despite it all.
    Lisa recently posted…Dear 99.7 The Point…I’m Mooing at YouMy Profile

    • Thanks Lisa, I just love this comment and agree with it wholeheartedly. And that’s the thing. None of us walk in anyone else’s shoes but our own – so what right do we have to judge?

  16. I honestly got chills reading this post. I’m so glad you went and found a kernel of greatness, of *your* truth, to take home with you. I have cried in countless airports, on countless planes, because I think you’re right: it’s when we have nothing else we can focus on.

    I’m so thrilled to have met you in person! Good luck on your move. Your kids will be fine. You will be fine. Someday everyone will realize that, and if not, well, whatevs, ya know?? xoxoxoxox
    Deb @ Urban Moo Cow recently posted…That Time I Didn’t Spend $2.60 on a Blanket Out of SpiteMy Profile

    • I was so happy to be in the right place at the right time and at the right frame of mind to get with what Sandberg was saying and how to apply it to my circumstances. She was awesome. And of my gosh! YOU are awesome! I am so glad we go to meet, my friend. So very glad. xxoo

  17. I’m so glad that you went and got to hear a dynamic speaker. I never really thought about the fact that we call girls bossy, but not boys. That will definitely get me thinking. It is interesting how we can think we are doing things different and changing but then realize that perhaps it hasn’t changed as much as we think. Thanks for the thought provoking, amazingly well written post.
    KC @ The Real Thing with the Coake Family recently posted…How to Make PlacematsMy Profile

    • Thank you my friend. I think there are things that are so ingrained in us, that we don’t even realize we “think” that way – you know? Sandberg brought a lot to light for me! So grateful to share this!

  18. I picture you crying and reflecting and going “there” and then pulling yourself out of it and carrying on. That just seems so you. 🙂 Those moments are what propels us to move forward and grab life’s handlebars by the hands and squeeze tight for the ride. Yes?!

    I believe people that judge so harshly and question our choices so disrespectfully are truly aching in their own skin over things that have nothing to do with our actual decision/life. Yes?!

    I pity those people. Because their pain is unresolved… therefore their state of existence will always be unbearable. Remind yourself that and look to them with compassion because they don’t have what you have.

    Beautiful piece as always. Beautiful you. Yes?! 😉

    • Yes, yes, and yes! I am the one who cries it out and carries on and I love that I’m that way. It’s good to cry and then it’s good to let it be and go on. And yes, I do believe in compassion for those who say hurtful things to us. Because they are always in more pain than we are. xo

  19. Sing it sister! Although I often call my own son bossy (he is!), what I hate is that strong, outspoken women with drive are called bitches while the make counterpart is highly revered.

    I’m sorry that someone had the power to make a strong person like you cry because of their judgment. Many people will judge you no matter what you do so be confident that you are doing what is best for you and your children and know that you have a ton of supporters both IRL and virtually. Screw the haters no matter who they are! Love to you Ilene xo!
    Melissa Burton recently posted…A Brooklyn Tradition Lives On!My Profile

    • Oh, Melissa! I love your words and there is no room the haters. No room at all. And yes, why is it that strong outspoken women are bitches and our male counterparts are highly revered? We MUST put an end to this!

  20. Ilene, I think you are one of the bravest women that I know. To give up your life and your comforts, to get rid of most of your stuff and just GO FOR IT, for a chance for a better life for you and your children. It amazes me. I hate it that you’ve been demonized for that. I think you’re incredible.

    Two things – I get very emotional on planes too.
    And secondly – I just called my son bossy about an hour ago. He is really very bossy!! And I think it’s cute when my daughter bosses people around. I see great potential in them both! 🙂

    Love you girl. Don’t stop believing.
    Alexa recently posted…Home Again, Home AgainMy Profile

    • I love you too – and I’m going to visit you once I’m a southern gal. And I love how many women in this post have revealed to me that you all call your sons bossy!

  21. Well, I’m fairly new over here and don’t know your whole story but I’m pretty sure that I’ve read enough to get the story you shared in this post! I’m so sorry that people/family haven’t been supportive of you and your decision to do what you feel is best for your children. I hope that you have people in place that do support you in your new home!!!
    Kim recently posted…Last Day in ParadiseMy Profile

    • Thank you Kim. There is a lot of support for me and I feel very fortunate for that. But sometimes, all I “hear” is the negativity – hence, that was the case last week. Sheryl Sandberg’s words definitely got me out of my funk and helped me get my Fierce back on!

  22. It sounds like you got your confirmation that moving is the thing to do. If it means putting distance between you and toxic people — male or female. So glad you had a great trip to BlogHer. For me, with getting away — completely removed from my normal routine — I can see clearly and things that seem so big at home aren’t really that imposing in comparison to all that is out in the big wonderful world. You go girl.
    Jamie@SouthMainMuse recently posted…Life with kids. Or 10 photos that might serve as birth control.My Profile

    • Yes, I loved getting away for that reason! And I loved going to BlogHer. And the distance will be good between some and sad between others but in the end, I am looking forward to this and ready for this, regardless of what the naysayers think!

  23. I’m so glad you had a great time…and what words of wisdom you took away from it…it is so true that it seems women can never do anything right no matter what they do. We need to quit doing this to each other. Again thank you so much for sharing your story…it’s not easy to be so raw…but you do it…and we’re all so glad you did.
    Natalie recently posted…Potty Break…Monster Style!My Profile

    • Natalie, you are so sweet. And I am so glad I heard those words for myself as well as a reminder for all of us how important it is for us to support one another.

  24. Sing it, sister. We’ve come a long way … but the journey isn’t over yet, and we can’t move forward unless we do it together. Time to drown out the double standard. You go, girl. 🙂
    Justine recently posted…HappyMy Profile

  25. Oh Ilene. It makes me so upset that people would vilify your choice. We’re all humans and we’re all trying our best and you, my friend, have so much goodness in you. We do need to support each other more instead of tear each other down. You are going to be amazing, you know that? I have the utmost faith in you and your journey. I’m so glad that you got to go to BlogHer and experience it. Like Tamara, I’m laughing because I can’t even tell you the number of times during the day that we tell Everett that he’s bossy 🙂
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Double the SweatMy Profile

    • I am so glad that the boy moms call their boys bossy! I feel better about this! I do! And I so wish you had been at blogHer with me – but also so grateful that I’ve met you IRL. xo

  26. We do need the support especially of our friends and family. Why we take the time to belittle, gossip and tear down one another has always puzzled and angered me. I always want to shout, “But don’t you want that same freedom to pilot your life, to take risks, to move forward into the unknown?”

    We could all have quite a party if we’d on the plane with you. Probably our attempt at a massive simultaneous group hug would have made the plane lurch, though. . .

    Glad you got lots out of the conference and shared the wisdom here!
    Kim recently posted…Mirror, mirror, you don’t own meMy Profile

    • I so wish you had been on the plane with me! As you know, I though about you in Nashville. You and I, the new faces of the Southern Belle 🙂

  27. Ilene, I didn’t want to be that woman but I think I might be. And I’m so sorry to any woman I have judged differently than a man just because they are a woman. Why do I think this? The story about your father. My first husband told me that if he couldn’t have me he didn’t want the children. And he walked away. I tend to forgive him more for his honesty and I don’t really harbor any bad feelings towards him. I can’t honestly say that I would think the same way if a woman walked away from her kids like that. Even if she said the same things to her husband. I really need to think on this and make sure that I’m supporting woman.

    Regarding your move, I think you are brave. It is something I considered many times but was to afraid to do. Thank you for having the strength.
    Carli recently posted…F.I.T. Interview: Kristin Empowers Her Kids to Get MovingMy Profile

    • Oh, Carli, so need for sorry. Honestly, I think we have so many unconscious biases as a society – and that’s part of what Sandberg brought to light for me. We don’t even know we’re doing it. It’s so ingrained in us. And I also have to respect anyone who is as honest as your ex – even thought I can’t imagine the pain you had to deal with beyond those honest words. And you, my friend, are a strong, strong woman. xo

  28. I also cry on planes. And you capture those feelings so beautifully.

    Yes – lets start supporting and trusting. I am in awe of your move and I know you are doing the right thing for your family.
    Tricia recently posted…Out of wordsMy Profile

  29. I cannot imagine anyone making you feel bad for what you are doing but I know the feeling on a much smaller scale. Leo goes away for business all the time and no one thinks he shouldn’t go. I go to a blogging conference and suddenly my priorities are screwed up and I’m selfish. You, my friend, have the strength of a warrior and I am so glad I get to be on this journey with you!
    AnnMarie recently posted…BlogHer: Part 1My Profile

    • It’s not a smaller scale. It’s the same scale because the feelings are the same, whether they are over going to a blog conference or moving. It makes us feel the same inside. So I am with you and I understand that pull and that toggle – although I’m so glad you were there with my in Chicago (I’m still glowing over meeting you!) and so glad you are on this next journey with me. xo

  30. Powerful post, Ilene. I’m so glad that you went to the conference and had time to experience this speaker. It sounds amazing. There is definitely a living breathing double standard. I was just talking to my girlfriend about this today. I’m sorry for the tough times you’ve had to endure, but I can’t help but feel a new and exciting chapter is here for you and your kids. Good stuff, my friend!
    Adrienne recently posted…Haters Gonna Hate: Writing Sponsored PostsMy Profile

    • Thanks my friend! It is good stuff – and Sandberg definitely helped me see the double standard which has helped enormously stave off the negativity I’m facing.

  31. I read this yesterday and loved it. But I want to know when we will be able to stop writing these kind of lists of things we shouldn’t be doing? What female has missed this message?? That’s what frustrates me.. we all say it but it still exists. I laughed at the “bossy daughter” line because our youngest is that way and we’ve been calling her our “future CEO” since she was 5 and showed the first signs of “bossy” 🙂
    Kristen Daukas recently posted…Ten Things That Make Your Blog a Hot MessMy Profile

    • Oh, Kristen! I am so glad you call your girl your future CEO! That makes me smile! And I have to agree that I wish I didn’t have to write a post like this. One day, hopefully one day EVERY female will get this memo.

  32. Oh Ilene, you are so right. For some reason, men are often held to a different standard as women, and I don’t understand why that is. I’m so glad you were able to go and hear Sheryl speak…it sounds like it was incredibly inspirational! Sometimes it just takes someone to say something in a way that speaks to us!
    Michelle recently posted…Honored And InspiredMy Profile

    • She really spoke to me at the right place and the right time. And about that double standard – hopefully the time is now to fix this!

  33. I had just finished reading Lean In the week before BlogHer ’13, and was really eager to hear Sheryl Sandberg speak. I was blown away by the number of hands raised when the audience was asked if they were ever called bossy, and the utter lack of hands when asked if their brothers were. The double-standards that exist for men and women is infuriating (are we really living in the 21st century?). And you summed it up so well at the end…as women we need to be building each other up and supporting one another, not tearing each other done. Well said, Ilene!
    Bev @ Linkouture recently posted…Reflections from a #BlogHerNewbie: Part 1My Profile

    • Thank you Bev! I have to read Lean In now. She really got me all fired up – in a good way! And I am so bummed I missed you at BlogHer. Next year?

  34. you are such a beautiful writer and a beautiful soul, thank you for sharing so many moments with us.

    I have long wondered why it often feels that women are in a competition rather than supporting each other…where does this come from? Why don’t we all feel there is more than enough for each of us.
    Amanda @runtothefinish recently posted…FEED10 Online Bake SaleMy Profile

    • Thank you so much my friend for your kind and thoughtful words, and I agree 100% that the competition is worthless – except for maybe in a 5K race? Off the track, we need to change things and change this mindset for sure. xo

  35. Yes yes YES. I completely geeked out over Sheryl Sandberg speaking, and loved what she had to say. People will tell me the gender gap has closed, but NO, it really hasn’t. In any case, I applaud you for making the best choice for you and your children.
    Plus, it was SO LOVELY to meet you. You’re extraordinary. 🙂
    Natalie DeYoung recently posted…An Introvert Goes to BlogHerMy Profile

  36. What a word Ilene! I was all geared up to hear about BlogHer but I wasn’t ready for this. I should have known I’d get a lesson over here. You chose a great piece to share. I agree 100% with your sentiments! You GO GIRL 😉 I am all about uplifting women and I’ll be in constant prayer for the safety and settlement of you and your children! Double standards are something I came to peace with over 10 years ago. I resolved to work around them. What else are we going to do???
    Joi @ Rx Fitness Lady recently posted…A Day in the Life: My Name is NOT JoanneMy Profile

    • I applaud you for working around those double standards and not letting them get in your way. But I would expect nothing less – nothing less at all from a strong and savvy woman like you. You have it going on in the best way possible. Thank you for your prayers!

    • I can’t wait to read Lean In! And BlogHer was such a life moment. It was amazing. It was so hard to choose one thing to write about, but this definitely spoke to me.

    • I agree that the women are doing this a lot to other women. Sure, there’s the boy’s club, but the girl’s club can be cruel. Really cruel. We have to find ways to change that.

  37. You go, girl! A million times over, Ilene.
    I heard about Sheryl Sandberg’s speech and I wish I would have been there to meet you as well.
    I my soul sucking day-job, I struggle with this as well. I am qualified and work hard, but my boss always calls the guys “his top guns” and the girls are just “the help”. Infuriating.
    I made a big change in my life five years ago when we just up and moved to Canada (and yes, there were the “you are ruining your children’s lives” voices all over the place) and I think it’s time for another change…
    Can’t wait to hear about your journey!
    Kerstin @ Auer Life recently posted…Whaddayathink?My Profile

    • Oh, wow! So you heard that too when you moved to Canada! Wow. And I can’t imagine how infuriating it is to be called “the help.” But YOU ARE a top gun, no matter what you’re called. If only the work force would get with that.

  38. I’m so glad I clicked over from Christine’s blog today. Great post Ilene! IT really is sad that all our years of “girl power” and we don’t seem any closer to be united. I sometimes wonder if it’s part of the X chromosome that makes us the way we are against each other?
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted…Finding Fitness After BabyMy Profile

    • Angela, I could not agree with you more. What’s the point in girl power if we can’t unite with it? I hope we can figure out a way to change this.

  39. Thank you for this – it hit close to home and you put a lot of things into perspective. Just like you, I was questioned many times about my choices when it came to my kids. I would and sometimes still attack myself for them but this gives me another way to look at it. Yes, its true – the gap between men and women is still there, no matter how many times people say that its not. Thank you once again dear friend. And I cry on airplanes too, especially when I’m alone ((Hugs))
    Krystal recently posted…The Good Side of AutismMy Profile

    • The gender gap is alive and well and women, unfortunately, get blamed for things that men are not blamed for. The biases run deep, and maybe we can be the generations that changes this for good. And there is nothing like a good cry on an airplane!

  40. I absolutely LOVE her. I even felt compelled to write about her book on my spot on the Internet, too. I also found her so motivational and inspiring. I think that the folks who criticize her or buy in to the controversy surrounding her haven’t actually LISTENED to her. I love this post. And I want to get on the BlogHer ’14 plane. I’ll sit next to you on that plane & we can cry together.
    allison recently posted…Where is Blogging Going?My Profile

    • Oh, Allison! I would love to fly on that BlogHer’14 plane with you! Or even just drink a glass of overpriced airplane wine and chat for that matter! I have a feeling it would be a great conversation!

  41. Pingback: “seek and speak your truth” ~ sheryl sandberg in “lean-in” | deep thought today

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