In her new book, Pearls Politics & Power, former Vermont Governor, Madeleine M. Kunin describes dirty politics as one of the many barriers to running for office for women. “The biggest deterrent for women is the nature of politics itself. Too many women cannot envision themselves in an arena where their portraits are rarely seen. Many women wish they could do policy without being sullied by politics,” said Kunin.
The perception that all politics is dirty and that it has little to do with public policy is a major deterrent for women. Not only can’t they see themselves there, they are not sure they want to see themselves there. How do we convince women that the rewards are worth the price of admission?
Politics is inevitably about conflict; it is the chamber in which opposing opinions and values meet and clash. Unlike a discussion at a dinner party, where the conversation is usually civil and no one else has to know who said what to whom, pubic life is sometimes nasty and always public.
There are three thresholds that women have to step over before they can see themselves as candidates for public office: raising money; giving up time; and losing privacy.
To read more, purchase Pearls, Politics and Power at www.amazon.com.