Pentagon Brings ‘Lean In’ Feminism to the Marine Corps

By Jonah Bennett Published on December 4, 2015

Members of the military will have a chance to attend “Lean In” gender equality classes put on by Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg.

These groups function as safe spaces to discuss gender issues for service members. This Pentagon effort aims to make men and women more comfortable deconstructing gender, The Free Beacon reports.

The Marines recently posted the memo online. Part of the reason for the Pentagon’s partnership with Sandberg’s organization is because it may increase retention among women.

“Lean In Circles are small peer groups who meet regularly to learn and grow together,” the memo states. “Lean In Circles will enable both female and male Marines and civilian Marines to come together to share experiences and advice on overcoming challenges in the military and create a safe and confidential place to discuss gender issues.”

A total of 72 Lean In Circles now exist in the military.

The Lean In website includes a section instructing men on how best to strive for equality.

“Don’t wait to be asked — step up when you see dishes in the sink or laundry piling up,” the website states.

Another recommendation is for men to challenge gender stereotypes by giving their kids toys usually reserved for the opposite sex.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Thursday he’s opening all military combat occupations to women and granting no exceptions, not even to the Marines, who requested several exemptions. The services now have until Jan. 1 to submit plans for integration, and officially, all combat occupations will open the beginning of April.

Carter participated in a Lean In Circle at the Pentagon in September.

“DoD is a learning organization, and Lean In Circles give our people a way to do what they do best: learn through mentorship, peer to peer and bottom up, by brainstorming with colleagues and by being able to let their guard down,” Carter said.

These circles can be held before, during or after work hours.


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