WOMEN IN POLITICS

January 15, 2020 at 4:30 am

Actress and comedian June Diane Raphael is inspiring women to “Represent” with her step-by-step guide to running for office.

Aired on January 14, 2020. 

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>> FOR MOST OF RECORDED AMERICAN
HISTORY, POLITICAL POWER HAS
LOOKED A CERTAIN WAY.
PORTRAITS OF POWER CALLING
IMAGES OF MEN DRESS IN THE
SUITS.
HOWEVER, AFTER THE 2018 MID-TERM
ELECTIONS WHEN WOMEN ACCOUNTED
FOR MORE THAN 100 SEATS IN
CONGRESS, IT WAS CLEAR THAT
CHANGE AND REPRESENTATION IS
UNDERWAY.
BUT WHAT OBSTACLES CAN DeTHEY
FACE GETTING TO OFFICE?
AND FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN
RUNNING WHAT SHOULD YOU KNOW
BEFORE ENTERING THE RACE?
THE WOMEN'S GUIDE TO RUNNING FOR
OFFICE AND CHANGING THE WORLD,
ACTOR, COMEDIENNE, WRITER, JUNE
DIEANNE RAYFIELD GIVES WOMEN A
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO RUNNING.
IT'S NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> I PREFACE THIS BY SAYING IT
IS A MARVELOUS BOOK AND INFUSED
WITH GREAT HUMOR WHILE STILL
FOCUSING ON VERY SIGNIFICANT
ISSUES.
THAT'S A DIFFICULT BALANCE TO
ACCOMPLISH.
SO MY COMPLEMENTS TO YOU RIGHT
OFF THE BAT.
FIRST QUESTION.
I'M ALWAYS CURIOUS, I'VE WRITTEN
A FEW BOOKS MYSELF.
I'M CURIOUS FOR WRITERS AS TO
WHY THEY DECIDE TO FOCUS WITH
ALL THE OPPORTUNITIES YOU HAVE
ON THIS PROJECT.
AND YOU TALK IN YOUR
INTRODUCTION LETTER THAT YOU DO
ABOUT WHAT GOT YOU TO IT.
GIVE AS YOU QUICK SENSE OF THAT.
>> AFTER THE 2016 ELECTION, I
WAS FEELING, THERE IS NO OTHER
WAY TO PUT IT.
DEVASTATED.
AND HUMILIATED AT HILLARY'S
LOSS.
AND I WAS CONSIDERING RUNNING
FOR OFFICE.
I KNOW I'M NOT THE ONLY WOMAN IN
AMERICA WHO FELT THIS WAY BUT
PRESIDENT TRUMP'S PRESIDENCY
CERTAINLY MADE ME FEEL LIKE,
WELL, SHOOT.
MAYBE I CAN DO THIS, TOO.
AND DID I SOME GOOGLING AND I
COULD NOT FIND A LOT OF
INFORMATION ON WHAT THE FIRST
STEPS WOULD BE.
I THINK THAT CIVIC ENGAGEMENT IS
KEPT AWAY FROM A LOT OF US.
MAYBE ON PURPOSE.
AND WE DON'T, FOR MOST WOMEN, WE
THINK THE PROCESS IS MISS TEAR
JUST OVERWHELMING AND ALSO BEST
LEFT TO OTHERS TO DO.
I REALLY SET OUT TO WRITE A
GUIDE BOOK TO ANSWER THOSE
QUESTIONS THAT I HAD.
KATE BLACK WAS SOMEONE I FOUND,
THE CHIEF OF STAFF AT THE TIME
AND SHE HAD ALL THE INFORMATION.
SO WE REALLY SET OUT TO
DEMYSTIFY PROCESS, TO MAKE IT,
YES, FUN, DARE I SAY, AND
ACCESSIBLE, BUT ALSO FILLED WITH
GRANULAR DETAILS ON HOW A RUN
FOR OFFICE COULD LOOK IN A VERY
REAL, VERY FULL LIFE.
>> LET ME ASK YOU A BIG PICTURE
QUESTION.
IN PUTTING THIS ALL TOGETHER,
WHAT DID YOU FIND IN TERMS OF
THE BARRIERS?
BOTH THE REALITIES OF BARRIERS
AND MAYBE MORE IMPORTANT, THE
PERCEPTION THAT WOMEN HAVE OF
THE BARRIERS?
FOR THEM RUNNING FOR OFFICE.
>> I THINK THAT THERE ARE THE
VERY REAL EXTERNAL BARRIERS THAT
EXIST.
AND THEN THERE ARE THE INTERNAL
BARRIERS.
AND THE VERY REAL EXTERNAL
BARRIERS ARE AROUND MONEY AND
ACCESS TO WEALTH.
AND HAVING PERSONAL WEALTH, OR
ACCESS TO WEALTHY CIRCLES MAKES
THE PROCESS A LOT EASIER.
ALSO, WOMEN HAVE A HARD HE TIME
FUNDRAISING.
WOMEN OF COLOR HAVE AN EVEN
HARDER TIME THAN WHITE WOMEN.
AND THESE ARE FACTS AND THEY'RE
REAL AND THEY'RE SOMETHING TO
CONSIDER.
THEN THERE ARE THE INTERNAL
BATTLES.
THE FEELINGS AROUND, ARE WE
QUALIFIED ENOUGH?
THE FEARS THAT WE'RE GOING TO BE
EMBARRASSED.
WE'RE GOING TO BE SEXUALIZED,
HUMILIATED IN SOME WAY IF WE
TAKE A STEP INTO THE PUBLIC.
ARENA.
AND THE BOOK DOES NOT DISMISS
THE FEARS OR SAY THERE IS NOT A
REALITY TO THEM.
BUT WE ALSO OFFER WOMEN, I HOPE,
A LOT OF WAYS TO COMBAT THESE
INTERNAL FEARS, AND TO ADDRESS
THEM.
AND I THINK ULTIMATELY, BY
PROVIDING WOMEN WITH A CHECK
LIST, AND A PASS AND A ROAD MAP,
THAT THEY CAN REALLY WORK AND
THAT THEY CAN REALLY INTERACT
WITH, BY THE END OF IT, MY HOPE
IS THEY'RE REALLY ARMED FOR THIS
PROCESS IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
AND THAT WHAT THEY REALLY WALK
AWAY FROM, THE BOOK WITH, IS THE
KNOWLEDGE THAT THEY'RE NOT ALONE
IN THIS.
THAT THIS IS NOT SOMETHING
SOMEONE DOES ALONE.
THAT THEY ARE GOING TO BE
ENGAGING A LOT OF PEOPLE AROUND
THEM TO MAKE THIS HAPPEN.
>> WHY DO YOU THINK?
YOU MENTIONED THE
QUALIFICATIONS.
I WAS STRUCK BY A COUPLE THINGS
IN THE BOOK.
ONE WAS THAT SURVEYS HAVE SHOWN,
EVEN MEN WHO ARE NOT QUALIFIED
THINK THEY'RE QUALIFIED.
EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED
THEY'RE PROBABLY NOT QUALIFIED,
THEY SAY YEAH, I'M QUALIFIED ON
RUN FOR OFFICE.
SO MANY WOMEN WHO ARE HIGHLY
QUALIFIED MIGHT QUESTION THAT
ABOUT THEMSELVES WHY.
DO YOU THINK THAT IS?
>> YEAH.
WELL, I THINK HONESTLY, IT IS
BECAUSE WE LIVE IN A SEXIST
CULTURE.
AND WOMEN ARE NOT PRIMED AS
LEADERS.
WE ARE NOT PRIMED THE BELIEVE
THIS IS FOR US.
I THINK REPRESENTATION MATTERS
AND SO IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE
YOURSELF AS SOMETHING WHEN YOU
DON'T SEE MUCH MODELING FOR IT.
SO I THINK THERE ARE A NUMBER OF
REASONS WHY WE'RE INTERNALIZING
THESE MESSAGES.
AND WE'RE INTERNALIZING THAT THE
PATRIARCHAL CULTURE THAT WE LIVE
IN.
WE'RE ALSO A PART OF IT.
AND IT SEEPS IN.
SO I THINK THE FIRST STEP, OF
COURSE, IS TO IDENTIFY THAT
THESE ARE MESSAGES AND JUST
THAT.
THAT THIS IS NOT SOMETHING
INHERENT THAT'S TRUE.
AND THEN WORK TO DISMANTLE THAT.
>> THE CHAPTERS, THEY'RE ALL
INTRIGUING.
THEY RANGE FROM BIGGER PICTURES,
YOU TALK ABOUT FUNDRAISING.
WHERE DO YOU GO TO FIND THE
MONEY?
YOU MENTIONED EMILY'S LIST AND
THE ROLE THEY CAN PLAY.
YOU EVEN FOCUS ON HOW TO SORT OF
MICRO FOCUS.
YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT WHAT SHOULD
YOU WEAR.
WHAT SHOULD YOUR UNIFORM BE?
TALK ABOUT THAT CHAPTER.
>> THAT WAS A REALLY DIFFICULT
CHAPTER TO WRITE AND I STILL,
I'M NOT SURE WE SHOULD HAVE
INCLUDED IT.
THE REASON WHY IS BECAUSE FOR SO
MANY WOMEN, BEAUTY STANDARDS ARE
COMPLICATED AND POTENTIALLY
DAMAGING, AND SO TO WRITE
ANYTHING THAT PRE DESCRIBED WHAT
TO WEAR FOR WOMEN WAS VERY
TROUBLESOME TO ME.
YET WE GOT SO MANY QUESTIONS
WHEN WE STARTED TO TALK TO WOMEN
WHO WERE CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR
OFFICE ABOUT THIS VERY SUBJECT.
A LOT OF THEM JUST WANTED TO BE
TOLD WHAT TO WEAR SO THEY COULD
MOVE ON WITH THE REST OF THEIR
CAMPAIGN AND FOCUS ON THE THINGS
THEY ACTUALLY CARED ABOUT.
SO ULTIMATELY WHAT WE CAME UP
WITH IS A REAL, CHOOSE YOUR OWN
ADVENTURE.
IF YOU WANT TO GO OUT AND BUY A
WHOLE NEW WARDROBE, YES, WE GIVE
SOME SOUGSS OUTFITS THAT MIGHT
WORK.
IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SPEND ANY
MONEY AND TIME ON IT, WE TELL
WOMEN TO GO INTO THEIR CLOSET
AND PUT ON SOMETHING THAT MAKES
THEM FEEL REALLY GREAT.
AND IF THEY DON'T WANT TO THINK
ABOUT IT AT ALL, JUST MOVE ALONG
TO THE NEXT CHAPTER.
BECAUSE IT IS A BIT OF A BERMUDA
TRIANGLE.
BUT IT TURNS OUT, SOME THINGS
THAT ARE IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE,
IT IS A BIG ISSUE FOR SO MANY
WOMEN.
>> WE ARE A VISUAL SOCIETY.
AND YOU KNOW --
>> ABSOLUTELY.
>> MEN OF ADVISERS TO TELL
TWHAEM COLOR TIE TO WEAR.
>> I THINK FOR WOMEN, MEN PUT ON
A SUIT AND THEY SEEM POWERFUL.
FOR WOMEN, IT IS A MUCH TRICKIER
THING TO DO.
SO WE DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE
THAT COSTUME OF POWER TO JUST
PUT ON.
FOR WOMEN, A LOT OF OTHER
FACTORS THAT COME INTO PLAY.
>> I TALKED ABOUT THIS INFUSION
OF HUMOR BUT IT IS POWERFUL
HUMOR AND INFORMATIVE HUMOR.
TALK ABOUT HOW YOU UTILIZE THE
CHECK LIST AT THE END OF EACH OF
THESE CHAMTS AND HOW THEY BUILD
UPON EACH OTHER?
>> WE START BY REALLY ASKING
WOMEN TO JUST SAY IT OUT LOUD.
TO TELL SOMEONE OUT LOUD.
AT THE END OF THE CHAPTER, THEY
GET TO CHECK A LITTLE BOX.
I THINK GOING THROUGH THE BOOK
AND CHECKING THAT BOX, HAVING
DONE THE WORK AND RESEARCH FOR
WHATEVER THAT CHAPTER IS ASKING
YOU TO DO EMPOWERS WOMEN TO FEEL
MORE READY TO DO THIS.
SO MANY OF US, I MEAN, I'M ONE
OF THESE WOMEN.
I LIKE TO KNOW THAT I'VE DONE
ALL THE WORK AHEAD OF TIME
BEFORE I CAN GO DO THE THING.
BUT YES, THERE IS A CHECK LIST.
YES, WE THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT IT.
I THINK IT IS VERY VALUABLE.
AND MY HOPE IS THAT WOMEN DON'T
USE THIS BOOK AS A CRUTCH.
IF THEY'RE ON THE FIRST CHAPTER
AND THINK, I'M READY TO RUN NOW.
I HOPE THEY CLOSE IT AND JUST
START.
BECAUSE I DON'T THINK WE HAVE
TIME TO WASTE.
>> I'VE OFTEN BELIEVED, A
COMPLIMENT FOR YOU IF I MIGHT,
WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHERE WE ARE AS
A GOVERNMENT RIGHT NOW, I TEACH
IN VARIOUS COLLEGES AND
UNIVERSITIES.
OUR FOUNDERS ENVISIONED THIS AS
CITIZEN LEGISLATORS.
NOT PROFESSIONAL LEGISLATORS.
ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE HERE.
WE'VE BECOME MUCH MORE GOVERNED
BY PROFESSIONAL LEGISLATORS
ALMOST AT EVERY LEVEL.
I THINK ONE OF THE GREAT VALUES
OF YOUR BOOK HERE, IN ADDITION
TO ALL THE THINGS WE MENTIONED.
LEARNING AND IN A WAY THAT'S
ENJOYABLE.
BUT IT ALSO PRESENTS A BIBLE FOR
PEOPLE, ALL RIGHT, IF YOU WANTS
TO BE A CITIZEN LEGISLATOR AND
YOU HAPPEN TO BE A WOMAN, COME
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS AND WE'LL
HELP YOU GET THERE.
THAT BEING SAID, IF SOMEONE SAID
TO YOU, OKAY, I'M A WOMAN, I'M
REALLY INTERESTED, WHAT IS THE
BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU CAN
GIVE ME ABOUT RUNNING FOR
OFFICE, HOW DO YOU DISTILL IT?
>> I THINK THE BEST PIECE OF
ADVICE I WOULD GIVE IS TO START
TALKING ABOUT IT.
THAT WAS THE FIRST THING KATE
SAID TO ME IN OUR VERY FIRST
PHONE CALL.
I THOUGHT IT WAS AMAZING.
SHE SAID IT WAS THE FIRST THING
WOMEN SHOULD DO BEFORE THEY EVEN
FIGURE OUT WHERE TO RUN.
OR WHAT THE EXACT REQUIREMENTS
WERE FOR THAT SPECIFIC SEAT.
THAT THEY SHOULD SIMPLY START
SAYING IT ALOUD.
THAT'S THE NUMBER ONE THING.
I TOTALLY AGREE THAT THE PROMISE
OF OUR DEMOCRACY IS ABOUT WE THE
PEOPLE.
THAT MEANS ALL OF US PEOPLE.
AND ONE OF THE COOL THINGS, COOL
FACTS IN THE BOOK IS THAT MOST
WOMEN ARE RUNNING BECAUSE THEY
SEE A PROBLEM THAT DIRECTLY
AFFECTS THEM AND THEY WANT TO
SOLVE IT.
NOT ALL MEN BUT A LOT OF MEN ARE
RUNNING FOR CAREER ADVANCEMENT.
SO WE SHOULD ALL WANT PEOPLE IN
OFFICE, MEN OR WOMEN, ANY
GENDER, WHO ARE RUNNING TO SOLVE
A PROBLEM THAT THEY SEE.
I THINK THAT IDEA OF CIVIC
ENGAGEMENT, WE'RE NOT REALLY
TEACHING CIVICS ANYMORE.
IT IS MYSTERIOUS.
WE DON'T OFTEN THINK IT IS
SOMETHING WE SHOULD DO.
I HOPE PEOPLE READ THE BOOK AND
WALK AWAY FROM IT THINKING, I AM
A PART OF ALL THIS THAT I SEE
AROUND ME AND THAT COULD MEAN A
RUN FOR OFFICE.
>> ONCE AGAIN, IT IS CALLED
REPRESENT, THE WOMAN'S GUIDE TO
RUNNING FOR OFFICE AND CHANGING
THE WORLD.
THANK YOU FOR SPENDING SOME TIME
WITH US.
IT IS WONDERFUL WORK THAT YOU
AND KATE DID.
WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME.
BE WELL.
>> YOU, TOO.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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