An activist and public affairs strategist’s intelligent, no-nonsense guide for women seeking to hold elected office.
While feminist movements have helped women make inroads into the halls of power, the world of politics is still dominated by males. In this take-charge guide, Sive offers practical advice to women on organizing successful political campaigns that can help women become anything from PTA presidents to U.S. senators and beyond. Using her own experiences along with stories from political women at the municipal, state and national levels, Sive tackles such issues as branding, image management, networking, fundraising, handling the media and dealing with the challenges of gender. Women must learn to shrug off sexist criticisms (“If being blunt and efficient means being called a bitch, so what?”) but also be ready to “haul out the pink sweater” when necessary. They must also learn to play hardball if they want to win since “softball is only played at campaign photo-ops.” At the same time, women must also know when to put aside differences and negotiate compromises. Failure is an inevitable part of the process as well. And to be successful, women candidates need to be able to transform loss into an opportunity for a future win. Above all, women must adopt a no-limits attitude to achieve power. The higher the position they seek, the more likely it is that they will have to make sacrifices, including those affecting the work-life balance. Commitment to a political life is no easy task, as Sive makes abundantly clear. Yet leadership positions for women are now not only possible, but necessary since the laws that benefit women ultimately benefit their families and everyone whose lives they touch.
Essential reading for aspiring female policymakers and political leaders.