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LISTEN: Madeleine Kunin: In Women Representatives, US Lags Behind

Former governor of Vermont and author of Pearls, Politics, and Power Madeleine Kunin spoke to Better World Books‘ Dana Barrett (No, not that Dana Barrett) at the recent Green Festival in Washington DC about women in politics, the recent elections, and her new book.

They discussed the things that make some women hesitant to go into politics (many women can’t stand conflict), as well as some of the qualities women possess that would translate well to the world of politics: women are consensus builders, and they are more likely to reach out and be sympathetic to groups outside the power structure, perhaps because they themselves have been outside it for so long.

LISTEN NOW: Madeleine Kunin on Paging Authors Podcast

MK: What shocked me in researching this book is how the United States ranks with the rest of the world. We are, as of this election…17% of the Congress today is female. You know, Iraq and Afghanistan are 25 and 27%. So, why in this democratic country, where women have all the opportunities for education and leadership—why are we behind the rest of the world?

Some of the answers are that women still, and I talked to a young woman after my talk this morning, and she said, “You know, you’ve got to say this again and again.” She volunteered in the Obama campaign, worked with women and men, and she said the guys, you know, when they failed, they sloughed it off. “Oh, too bad. Somebody will fix it.” The women always took it personally. So, sometimes we take the battleground of politics too personally. She also said the women worked twice as hard as the men, and she said a lot of the guys are going to go back home and run for office. And the women aren’t saying that. So, with this, you know, historic election where so many young women and young men were involved, it’s my, you know, hope, and my plea almost: “Don’t stop now!” You know, if you got a taste of politics, you found out it makes a difference, you helped elect this agent of change, Barack Obama—stay with it! And, you know, put your toe in the water yourself, and you might find the water’s fine.

Visit the betterworld.com blog for more.


Q&A with Kate Raworth about her radical new book, DOUGHNUT ECONOMICS

Q: First things first: Why did you want to write this book? A: I studied economics at university 25 years ago because I wanted to make a difference in the world and believed that economics – the mother tongue of public policy – would best equip me to do that. Instead, its theories left me […] Read More

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

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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