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Women Should Preferably Marry Other Women, Says Sheryl Sandberg

Illustration for article titled Women Should Preferably Marry Other Women, Says Sheryl Sandberg

Yes, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg predictably touches upon the mythical work-life balance in her recent interview with PBS/AOL's Makers Project. (Sandberg, who once pumped breast milk while on Google conference calls, said there's "no such thing" as that balance.) But she also makes some more provocative comments about gender inequality, not only in the workplace — where she thinks success and likability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women — but at home, a space she thinks is "number one" in terms of rethinking gender roles:

"In America, if a couple works full-time, the woman does three times the amount of childcare and two times the amount of house care the man does, and that's if they both work full time. Essentially, he's got one job, and she's got two to three. So when it comes time to drop out of the workforce, who do you think drops out? ...We must change the expectations of who does what in the home."

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Having trouble convincing your male partner to pull his own weight? Maybe you should consider marrying a woman, says Sandberg:

"The most important thing — and I've said it a hundred times and I'll say it a hundred times — if you marry a man, marry the right one. If you can marry a woman, that's better because the split between two women in the home is pretty even, the data shows."

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Sandberg, who is married to Survey Monkey CEO David Goldberg (who, although not a woman, is "amazing") said it took her years to feel comfortable admitting she regularly leaves work at 5:30 to be home in time for dinner with her two children. She hopes that her "confessions" will inspire other career women to feel less guilty, whether about spending time with family or, conversely, working "too hard" for a mother:

"I feel guilty when my son says, 'Mommy, put down the BlackBerry, talk to me' and that happens far too much. I think all women feel guilty. I think what's interesting is I don't know many men who feel guilty. I don't know a lot of men who feel guilty for working full time, it's expected that they'll work full time...I wonder if there were more shared responsibility if more men would feel guilty too and women would feel less of it."

Sandberg's full interview is broken into 36 mini sound bites, perfect whenever you need an inspirational pick-me-up.

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DISCUSSION

Why is it that all of the articles I see about this are about women who are executives, or women who have their own consulting businesses? Most women aren't CEOs and don't own their own consulting businesses. They have jobs where they are considered expendable to a great degree, and where they don't have many choices about their work schedule or people they can delegate some tasks to if they want to go home at 5. What do they do to make it work? Are they supposed to think Cheryl Sandberg is talking to them?

This is getting to be even worse than all the college admissions articles that make it seem like every high school senior in the country is trying to get into Princeton.