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Chelsea Green Blog

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.


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..