The Problem With Sheryl Sandberg’s Ivory Tower Feminism

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By Suzanne Venker | 12:19 pm, May 11, 2016
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There’s nothing more insufferable than an ivory tower feminist who insists on forcing the world into a box — her box. Facebook COO-turned social justice warrior Sheryl Sandberg is on a mission. Sandberg made clear her feminist agenda several years ago, when she announced this to a group of college graduates (and later reiterated in her Lean In campaign): “A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes.”

A lofty goal, indeed — one that demands a complete restructuring of the way America operates. And so began Sandberg’s true occupation (because clearly, running Facebook isn’t it): to upend human nature and to change the world, one campaign at a time.

To begin, she insists that girls who are bossy — as Sandberg says she once was (and hello, still is) — are misunderstood. Parents and teachers should encourage these girls’ obnoxious behavior because curbing it will stifle their leadership spirit and keep them from being successful like Sandberg. Hence, Sandberg, in her infinite wisdom, began a campaign to ban the word “bossy.”

That wasn’t enough, though. Sandberg then went on to insist that America has a “toddler-wage gap,” what with the gender-stereotyped manner in which we parents raise our kids. It seems parents are part of the reason there’s a pay differential between women and men. How so? We’re teaching our boys to take out the trash and teaching our girls to set the table. And since the former takes longer than the latter, parents are sending a message to boys that they don’t have to work as hard as girls do on the home front. Clearly, this leads to women dropping out of the workforce later in life to tend to matters at home.

Which is a problem, since home is the last place feminists want women to be. Women should be out running the world instead because, clearly, men suck at it.

And now Sandberg has a new ambition: politicizing her husband’s death by pretending to understand what life is like for single mothers. Ms. Sandberg lost her husband, Dave Goldberg, in a tragic accident last year; and in a recent Mother’s Day Facebook post, she writes this: “For me, this is still a new and unfamiliar world. Before, I did not quite get it. I did not really get how hard it is to succeed at work when you are overwhelmed at home.”

Ms. Sandberg may be overwehlmed, but she in in no way “gets it.” As a billionaire, she can afford all the help in the world. Nevertheless, being the good progressive she is, she claims single parents need a “safety net” and calls upon the public (read: taxpayers) to support single, working mothers — a longtime feminist goal.

“Since the early 1970s, the number of single mothers in the United States has nearly doubled,” she writes. “Today, almost 30 percent of families with children are headed by a single parent, and 84 percent of those are led by a single mother.”

That a Harvard graduate can’t see the irony of her own words speaks volumes. It is the politics of people like Sandberg that has caused a rise in single motherhood and subsequent surge in poverty! They are the ones who want to reduce the social stigma around single motherhood, who encourage women not to “settle” for men (even the fathers of their children), who urge young women to value personal actualization above the well-being of their children.

All of this can work well enough for the privileged upper class. But this sort of thinking subjects the children of poor, single mothers to misery — a kind of misery that can’t be cured with taxpayer money.

Those who are genuinely concerned about poverty should be equally concerned about the decline of marriage. Marriage is the single best predictor of overall well-being, financially or otherwise, for children. This is also true for adults, and it is true without regard to race or ethnicity.

But marriage is not on the feminist mind. Indeed, marriage and motherhood are the enemy of big government, which feminists need to achieve their goals. That’s why they’ve been dismantling the American family since — oh, right: the 1970s.

Sheryl Sandberg may have been called bossy as a child, but has since become a bully.

An elitist, feminist bully. And they’re the worst kind.

Suzanne Venker ( is an author and former teacher. Her forthcoming book, to be published February 2017, is
The Alpha Wife’s Guide to Men & Marriage: HOW LOVE WORKS.