GOOD

Sheryl Sandberg to Women College Grads: What Would You Do if You Weren't Afraid?

Studies show that even after college, women are less ambitious than their male peers. Can answering this question help?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAxQXZbhyvM&feature=youtu.be

"They create this dream about going to college and finding a job, finding themselves, but really there are so many things holding women back." That's just one observation in the above video by a woman who answered this question: "What would you do if you weren't afraid?"


Indeed, thanks to the negative messages women and girls hear about leadership (girls who lead are too "bossy"), fear is holding many women back from achieving their dreams. Now the "What Would You Do if You Weren't Afraid" project, a just-launched effort from Lean In, the organization started by Sheryl Sandberg, author of the bestselling book by the same name, wants to help women overcome our society's gendered notions about leadership.

One million American women graduate from college this spring, but "if your graduating class is anything like mine," Sandberg writes on Lean In's blog, "some of your classmates have already pinpointed a path to the future, while others may not even know where to begin." However, says Sandberg, "no matter what route you choose personally, I am writing to appeal to you to take on a critically important cause that will improve the lives of all: building a more equal world."

How do we build a more equal world? While there is much work that men need to do for full gender equality to be achieved, Sandberg is all about ensuring that women overcome their fears and reach for that brass ring of leadership. Except, right now, that's not exactly happening. As posted on the What Would You Do if You Weren't Afraid Tumblr, not all women are leaning in: "Studies show that even after college, women are less ambitious than their male peers. They avoid leadership roles. They are afraid to speak up."

The hope is that women will be inspired to share on the project's Tumblr what they'd do if fear was not a factor—and then take action in their personal lives. Given that women as a whole are on the receiving end of sexist messaging that leadership is just for boys, it's certainly a question worth responding to even if you didn't go to college or you're not a recent college graduate.

Click here to add answering "What Would You Do if You Weren't Afraid?" to your GOOD "to-do" list.

Articles
AFP News Agency / Twitter

A study out of Belgium found that smart people are much less likely to be bigoted. The same study also found that people who are bigoted are more likely to overestimate their own intelligence.

A horrifying story out of Germany is a perfect example of this truth on full display: an anti-Semite was so dumb the was unable to open a door at the temple he tried to attack.

On Wednesday, October 9, congregants gathered at a synagogue in Humboldtstrasse, Germany for a Yom Kippur service, and an anti-Semite armed with explosives and carrying a rifle attempted to barge in through the door.

Keep Reading Show less
Communities
via Andi-Graf / Pixabay

The old saying goes something like, "Possessions don't make you happy." A more dire version is, "What you own, ends up owning you."

Are these old adages true or just the empty words of ancient party-poopers challenging you not to buy an iPhone 11? According to a new study of 968 young adults by the University of Arizona, being materialistic only brings us misery.

The study examined how engaging in pro-environmental behaviors affects the well-being of millenials. The study found two ways in which they modify their behaviors to help the environment: they either reduce what they consume or purchase green items.

Keep Reading Show less
Culture

One of the biggest obstacles to getting assault weapons banned in the United States is the amount of money they generate.

There were around 10 million guns manufactured in the U.S. in 2016 of which around 2 million were semiautomatic, assault-style weapons. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry's trade association, the U.S. industry's total economic impact in 2016 alone was $51 billion.

In 2016, the NRA gave over $50 million to buy support from lawmakers. When one considers the tens of millions of dollars spent on commerce and corruption, it's no wonder gun control advocates have an uphill battle.

That, of course, assumes that money can control just about anyone in the equation. However, there are a few brave souls who actually value human life over profit.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via Reddit and NASA / Wikimedia Commons

Trees give us a unique glimpse into our past. An examination of tree rings can show us what the climate was like in a given year. Was it a wet winter? Were there hurricanes in the summer? Did a forest fire ravage the area?

An ancient tree in New Zealand is the first to provide evidence of the near reversal of the Earth's magnetic field over 41,000 years ago.

Over the past 83 million years there have been 183 magnetic pole reversals, a process that takes about 7,000 years to complete.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Pixabay

The final episode of "The Sopranos" made a lot of people angry because it ends with mob boss Tony Soprano and his family eating at an ice cream parlor while "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey plays in the background … and then, suddenly, the screen turns black.

Some thought the ending was a dirty trick, while others saw it as a stroke of brilliance. A popular theory is that Tony gets shot, but doesn't know it because, as his brother-in-law Bobby Baccala said, "You probably don't even hear it when it happens, right?"

So the show gives us all an idea of what it's like to die. We're here and then we're not.

Keep Reading Show less
Health