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Other forms of creativity are no different. If we want to do more than just go through the motions, both love and work require a protected space in which creativity can flourish.
Today, most women can make money on their own and acquire rooms of their own — but they still get too little psychic space and too little time for the kind of unstructured, creative thinking so critical to any kind of success.
Perhaps the modern equivalent of Woolf’s “room of her own” is the right to stop “leaning in” all the time. There is, after all, much to be said for leaning out — for long lunches, afternoon naps, good books and some nice, slow hours in the La-Z-Boy.
Sandberg can keep right on leaning in if it makes her happy, but here’s my new feminist manifesto — call it a Manifestus for the Rest of Us.
We need to fight for our right to lean out, and we need to do it together, girls. If we’re going to fight the culture of workplace ubiquity, and the parallel and equally-pernicious culture of intensive parenting, we need to do it together — and we need to bring our husbands and boyfriends and male colleagues along, too. They need to lean out in solidarity, for their own sake as well as ours.
Women of the world, recline!
Rosa Brooks is a law professor at Georgetown University and a fellow at the New America Foundation. She served as a counselor to the U.S. undersecretary of defense for policy from 2009 to 2011 and previously served as a State Department senior adviser.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.