Lean In for Equality

by | Mar 11, 2015 | Justice, Sports

March is Women’s History Month and a time to celebrate the gift that women are to each of us, our Church, and our society. Which naturally leads me to think of lacrosse and pro wrestling.

When I think of testosterone-laden sports that are high on the bro scale, pro wrestling and lacrosse are up there with football to take the cake. Combined, the two sports cover a wide swath of manliness that manifests itself not only in how a man presents himself (sick flow for lacrosse, signature t-shirts for wrestling) but also in relating to women. And neither has a particularly strong pro-woman track record given their history of objectification and violence.

Which makes recent tweets with the unique hashtag #LeanInTogether by two of the sports’ biggest stars so much more newsworthy for me. Check out this tweet from WWE legend Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson:

And this tweet from lacrosse legend Paul Rabil:

#LeanInTogether refers to the book Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and the movement for women’s equality that has arisen from it. What I love about Lean In is its inclusive message for men and our need to work with women for greater equality for women. The easy-to-navigate website includes easy sets of tips for men in relating positively in the workplace as well as at home. Here are just some of the tips:

  • Tip for managers: “Audit who’s doing service work and make sure it’s distributed evenly between women and men—and that women are not doing additional work without additional reward. Encourage rising stars to pursue line roles and celebrate the women who do to set an example for more junior women.”
  • Tip for male coworkers: “When you introduce female coworkers, emphasize their accomplishments; this helps counteract any preconceived notions about their competence. Push back when women say that they’re “not ready” or “not qualified” for an opportunity…”
  • Tip for men at home: “Be an active and involved dad. Help with homework, read books together, talk about your kids’ daily experiences and dreams. You don’t have to be perfect—you just have to be engaged.”

Lean In has other simple tips and videos for bringing about genuine, lasting society where women’s strength and ingenuity are affirmed and celebrated with and by men.

All of that too much? Then simply use the #LeanInTogether hashtag to show that you celebrate gender equality and healthy relationships between men and women. It’s so inclusive even a lax bro and pro wrestling aficionado can do it.


Cover image courtesy Flickr user Ithaca Wang, found here.


Vinny Marchionni, SJ

vmarchionni@jesuits.org   /   All posts by Vinny