What’s the cause of gender inequality, in the workplace and otherwise? Could we blame gender inequality solely on blatant sexism, or is there more at work? Sheryl Sandberg’s message about the gender inequalities of the workplace is quite interesting. Rather than blame it blatantly on sexism, she brings up three key points about what women aren’t doing that would help them excel, to get higher up. Her three points were to sit at the table, make your partner a real partner, and don’t leave before you leave. While these may be directed at women of business, it can also be applied to ladies such as Gertrude and Ophelia.
Sheryl’s first bit of advice was to sit at the table. She talks about how women have to step forward, show more initiative. Sheryl takes about how you won’t get anywhere if you’re always watching from the sidelines, if you’re not sitting at the table. This advice would be best geared towards Ophelia. Throughout the play, Ophelia is played and manipulated by both Claudius and Polonius. She allowed herself to be used as part of Claudius and Polonius’ scheming. If Ophelia were to take Sheryl’s advice to heart, she’d have rejected the notion of being manipulated so easily.
Sheryl’s second piece of advice was don’t leave before you leave. Don’t think you’re going to lose before the game even starts. Ophelia is tragically flawed in this sense. Before see even talks to Hamlet to get his perspective on their relationship, she’s accepted what her father told her. Ophelia doesn’t even try to fight for the relationship, she’s given up on it, even though she still has so much of herself invested. Ophelia is heavily reliant on her father, and as a result, she lost her only crutch when Polonius died. Rather than looking for support within others, such as Gertrude, she loses it. She effectively left before she left, going insane with the thought of losing her only support.
Sheryl’s third piece of advice was to make your partner a real partner. Work together with them, and by doing so, it helps ease the load, and brings you both closer together. This advice could be applied to both Gertrude and Ophelia. Throughout Hamlet, Gertrude has mostly sat on the side, acting mostly oblivious to her husband’s actions against Hamlet. If Gertrude tried getting closer to Claudius, if she had tried making her partner a partner, she could have avoided death by Claudius’ poison. Ophelia also would have found benefit in Sheryl Sandberg’s message. Ophelia never once actually confronted Hamlet about her feelings, and the doubts put in her by her father. Instead of confronting Hamlet about her doubts and fears, she simply accepts what her father tells her.