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Madeleine Kunin: “Stop, Look, and Listen” to Sarah Palin

Former governor of Vermont and author Madeleine Kunin (Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead) cautions us to look past the hairstyles, skirts, and glasses, and in the coming weeks and months listen to what Sarah Palin has to say about the issues that matter most: health care, the failing economy, and the world beyond Wasilla, Alaska.

From the article:

As a Republican conservative woman she has accomplished what no liberal Democratic woman could. She was able to bring her four-month-old baby up on stage with her while at the same time showcasing her pregnant teenage daughter and tag-along boyfriend. I remember the days when women candidates debated whether or not to include family photos in their campaign brochures. We weren’t supposed to let the voters know we had children because the question would inevitably be asked, “Who’s taking care of your children?”

How does Palin get away with it? She has managed to combine two personalities: the beauty queen mom and the hockey “pitbull” mom; tough and soft at the same time.

Combining feminine and masculine characteristics has been a challenge for women leaders, sometimes called “the double bind” or “damned if you do, and doomed if you don’t” dilemma as I describe in my book, Pearls, Politics, and Power. (Incidentally, Palin wore pearls in her announcement speech.) Remember when Hillary Clinton was considered tough enough to be commander in chief but not feminine enough to be likeable?

Palin has come up with a different formula. Conservative women who never approved of Clinton’s ambition, swoon over Palin and assume she can be both a good mother (because she continued her pregnancy knowing she would give birth to a baby with Downs syndrome) and a strong leader. The conservative badge covers up any hint of feminism which is still threatening to many voters.

What voters have to do in the final months of the campaign is stop gawking at this new female phenomenon and listen to what she is saying. And we have to keep in mind the most important question of all: is this woman fit to be Vice President, and possibly, President? Remember what you were taught before you crossed the street? “Stop, look, and LISTEN!”

Read the whole article here.


Revisiting Naomi Wolf’s Call to Patriots–10 Years Later

Reading Naomi Wolf’s book The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot today is an eerie experience. Written in 2007, it detailed the ways in which the Bush administration was beginning to chip away at the freedoms of American citizens. It outlined the ten steps dictators or would-be dictators take when their […] Read More

Chelsea Green: In the Media 2016

Oh, 2016. Where did the time go? Each year, Chelsea Green receives hundreds of mentions (well over 1000 in 2016) in the media both big and small. From interviews, to excerpts, to opinion pieces by authors we’re always working to make sure that the mission and message of each book is spread far and wide. […] Read More

Yes, America We Can Make It … Really

Uncertainty got you down? The political world may seem like it’s crumbling around us, but this we know: We can make it, America. Literally, we can make things. Houses. Gardens. Food. Below we’ve selected some of our classic how-to and DIY books (and some new favorites) to help you sustain your self, family, and community. […] Read More

Chelsea Green on Instagram: Our Most Popular Photos of 2016

What a year for Chelsea Green on Instagram! We began the year with 500 followers and are now fast approaching 4,000 photo-loving brewers, gardeners, cheesemakers, permaculturists, foodies, seed-savers, homesteaders, foragers, and more. Our most popular posts of 2016 say a lot about what makes you happy: mushrooms, innovative garden designs and techniques, tiny cabins, and […] Read More

Slack and Taut: Defining a System’s Resilience

A resilient future (or a resilient present, for that matter) needs to be slack, not taut. What do we mean? Core to the concept of a Lean Economy is understanding the need to move toward a “slack” market rather than one that is “taut.” When British economist David Fleming died unexpectedly in 2010, he left […] Read More
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