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“I would love for my younger fans to read  What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? by Marianne Schnall. It’s a collection of interviews and essays by great women, including Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Melissa Etheridge. They will inspire you to become a better leader.” —Beyoncè Prompted by a question from her eight-year-old daughter during the 2008 election of B “I would love for my younger fans to read  What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? by Marianne Schnall. It’s a collection of interviews and essays by great women, including Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Melissa Etheridge. They will inspire you to become a better leader.” —Beyoncè Prompted by a question from her eight-year-old daughter during the 2008 election of Barack Obama—“Why haven’t we ever had a woman president?”—Marianne Schnall set out on a journey to find the answer. A widely published writer, author, and interviewer, and the Executive Director of Feminist.com, Schnall began looking at the issues from various angles and perspectives, gathering viewpoints from influential people from all sectors. What Will It Take to Make A Woman President? features interviews with politicians, public officials, thought leaders, writers, artists, and activists in an attempt to discover the obstacles that have held women back and what needs to change in order to elect a woman into the White House. With insights and personal anecdotes from Sheryl Sandberg, Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Nancy Pelosi, Nicholas Kristof, Melissa Etheridge, and many more, this book addresses timely, provocative issues involving women, politics, and power. With a broader goal of encouraging women and girls to be leaders in their lives, their communities, and the larger world, Schnall and her interviewees explore the changing paradigms occurring in politics and in our culture with the hope of moving toward meaningful and effective solutions—and a world where a woman can be president.


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“I would love for my younger fans to read  What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? by Marianne Schnall. It’s a collection of interviews and essays by great women, including Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Melissa Etheridge. They will inspire you to become a better leader.” —Beyoncè Prompted by a question from her eight-year-old daughter during the 2008 election of B “I would love for my younger fans to read  What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? by Marianne Schnall. It’s a collection of interviews and essays by great women, including Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Melissa Etheridge. They will inspire you to become a better leader.” —Beyoncè Prompted by a question from her eight-year-old daughter during the 2008 election of Barack Obama—“Why haven’t we ever had a woman president?”—Marianne Schnall set out on a journey to find the answer. A widely published writer, author, and interviewer, and the Executive Director of Feminist.com, Schnall began looking at the issues from various angles and perspectives, gathering viewpoints from influential people from all sectors. What Will It Take to Make A Woman President? features interviews with politicians, public officials, thought leaders, writers, artists, and activists in an attempt to discover the obstacles that have held women back and what needs to change in order to elect a woman into the White House. With insights and personal anecdotes from Sheryl Sandberg, Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, Nancy Pelosi, Nicholas Kristof, Melissa Etheridge, and many more, this book addresses timely, provocative issues involving women, politics, and power. With a broader goal of encouraging women and girls to be leaders in their lives, their communities, and the larger world, Schnall and her interviewees explore the changing paradigms occurring in politics and in our culture with the hope of moving toward meaningful and effective solutions—and a world where a woman can be president.

30 review for What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?: Conversations About Women, Leadership and Power

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sameer Vasta

    Reading Marianne Schnall’s What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?, over the past month has been difficult. The book, a series of interviews with civic and business leaders exploring the role of gender in politics and leadership, decries a lack of progress, but is inherently optimistic. Published in 2013, almost everyone interviewed in the book is certain that a woman president is imminent, and many call out an eventual presidential run by Hillary Clinton in 2016 as the expected breaking of Reading Marianne Schnall’s What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?, over the past month has been difficult. The book, a series of interviews with civic and business leaders exploring the role of gender in politics and leadership, decries a lack of progress, but is inherently optimistic. Published in 2013, almost everyone interviewed in the book is certain that a woman president is imminent, and many call out an eventual presidential run by Hillary Clinton in 2016 as the expected breaking of this highest glass ceiling. If you had asked me the same question four years ago (or even four months ago), I would have answered similarly: not only was it time for America to elect a woman president, but that president should be Hillary Clinton. We all know how that turned out, and most of us are still reeling. When I see the abhorrent actions of the current POTUS, I think of this passage in What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?, articulately astutely by Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi: I can guarantee you: if you lower money and increase civility, you will have many more women. And that's what we have to do: create our own environment. We've been operating in an environment that has not been friendly to the advancement of women, especially now that it's become so harsh and so money driven. The 2016 election was the opposite of civil. It was marked by an ugliness of discourse that I had never witnessed in my life, and was defined by overt misogyny and bigotry. The current administration—especially with the example of Betsy DeVos’ nomination to Secretary of Education—is driven by money. Power is given to those who give to the powerful, not to those who want to help the less fortunate. The current climate is money-driven and uncivil; as such, we still don’t have a woman president, despite having a candidate who was one of the most qualified people—woman or man—to ever run for the position. This makes me sad, frustrated, and angry. I am thankful for the leaders I have had in my life—most of them strong, inspirational, incredible women—who have taught me, through their words and action, what it is to be civil, and what it is to have grace under fire. Any one of them would make an excellent president, and perhaps one day, one of them or someone inspired by them, will accede to that office. We may not have gotten a woman president in 2016, as so many predicted in Marianne Schnall’s What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?, but if the women in my life are any indication, we’ll have a strong group of contenders in the near future. (The preceding was an overview of the notes I took while reading Marianne Schnall's What Will It Take to Make A Woman President? in February 2017. Originally published on inthemargins.ca .)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. Most of the interviewees were insightful and I always love reading what they have to say anywhere, but I think this might have worked better in essay format, rather than as dialogue. It was interesting to see the liberal/conservative differences in language when exploring why we haven't had a female president up to this point. Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars. Most of the interviewees were insightful and I always love reading what they have to say anywhere, but I think this might have worked better in essay format, rather than as dialogue. It was interesting to see the liberal/conservative differences in language when exploring why we haven't had a female president up to this point.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Hella

    Quando non capisco qualcosa, non mi piace qualcosa, non accetto qualcosa, cerco la risposta nei libri. Questa volta, il 9 novembre, mi sono svegliata con il bisogno di molte risposte.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rosebud

    This was a compilation of interviews with several folks, both men and women, most whom I'd heard of. There was a recurring theme about the reasons we've never had a woman president and the hurdles women will have to overcome for this to happen. However, one of the most interesting aspects of this book was the recurring theme that boys and girls are still taught so differently at young ages so that by the time girls are eight to ten years old, they believe a woman cannot be president. In fact, th This was a compilation of interviews with several folks, both men and women, most whom I'd heard of. There was a recurring theme about the reasons we've never had a woman president and the hurdles women will have to overcome for this to happen. However, one of the most interesting aspects of this book was the recurring theme that boys and girls are still taught so differently at young ages so that by the time girls are eight to ten years old, they believe a woman cannot be president. In fact, the author of the book was inspired to write this book when Barack Obama was elected the first time. On that day, she was explaining to her daughter that he was the first African American president. In the discussion it came up that a woman had never been president, and her daughter asked "Why?" Thus the book! Also, one of the interviewees said that her six-year-old daughter told her that a woman couldn't be president. Hopefully, things will change in the near future and women will participate not only in the presidency, but also in increasing numbers in our Congress, our businesses, and as leaders in our society.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Greta G

    Wishful thinking. It will take a woman who is flawless and ten times better than her male counterpart. Because a man is permitted to make errors in his career, but a woman is not. A man can have a bad hair day, a woman can not.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    From The Book Wheel: Have you ever wondered what it would take to have a woman president? If so, then this is a great book for you to pick up.  What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?: Conversations About Women, Leadership, and Power by Marianne Schnall. In it, Schnall (Executive Director of Feminist.com) asks a wide variety leading figures this exact question and gets just as much variety in her answers. Reaching out to men, women, politicians, businesspeople, and activists, she interviews From The Book Wheel: Have you ever wondered what it would take to have a woman president? If so, then this is a great book for you to pick up.  What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?: Conversations About Women, Leadership, and Power by Marianne Schnall. In it, Schnall (Executive Director of Feminist.com) asks a wide variety leading figures this exact question and gets just as much variety in her answers. Reaching out to men, women, politicians, businesspeople, and activists, she interviews influential figures such as Nicholas Kristof, Gloria Steinem, and (of course)  Sheryl Sandberg. What I liked about this book what that the tone was conversational and it felt like I was actually listening to the interviewees tell me their stories. Unfortunately, it became a bit redundant. I would have preferred essays from various figures giving their answers to one question, but instead the book was written in a Q&A format and I ended up skimming some parts because I had already read it 10 times. For the full review, click here.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Beverly

    I was disappointed in this book because it was more of a rallying cry for Hillary Clinton to be the 2016 Democratic candidate and for her to be the next president after Obama. There are great interviews with women of all political levels and parties. There are even stories of the backlash that Hillary Clinton faced in the Democratic primaries against Obama in 2008 and from her own party that claimed to be the open and inclusive party for all. If the book had stuck with those interviews (Republic I was disappointed in this book because it was more of a rallying cry for Hillary Clinton to be the 2016 Democratic candidate and for her to be the next president after Obama. There are great interviews with women of all political levels and parties. There are even stories of the backlash that Hillary Clinton faced in the Democratic primaries against Obama in 2008 and from her own party that claimed to be the open and inclusive party for all. If the book had stuck with those interviews (Republican, Democrat, Independent, Green, etc.) then it would be the seminal book for women in politics of all parties to read about the up hill and down hill battles that are faced by women running for local, state, federal and president. However, you have to wade through the Clinton cheering squad by the author to get to the real stories that are what I wanted to read. Hopefully, the abridged version of this book takes out the Clinton cheering squad.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily Satifka

    Beyonce endorsed this book. Nuff said.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    It was odd to read this book, first published in 2013, in 2021. So many people back then were saying that Hillary Clinton could be president, would be president in 2016. Well, we know how THAT turned out. So 7 years later, what will it take to make a woman president? We're a little bit closer with a female vice-president and there are probably more women in Congress now than there were in 2013. And that's really the key: in order for a woman to hold the highest office, we need more women in the It was odd to read this book, first published in 2013, in 2021. So many people back then were saying that Hillary Clinton could be president, would be president in 2016. Well, we know how THAT turned out. So 7 years later, what will it take to make a woman president? We're a little bit closer with a female vice-president and there are probably more women in Congress now than there were in 2013. And that's really the key: in order for a woman to hold the highest office, we need more women in the lower-level positions to go through the pipeline and gain the experience needed. The book is organized into conversations with different women and men, with each conversation consisting of the same set of questions. (Depending on how the conversations go, some people get different questions.) I kind of wasn't ready for this format, so it wasn't really my favorite as I got started. I was hoping for more of a researched book as opposed to straight-up interviews. So yes, this book is still timely. I learned about a lot of women and organizations that I didn't know existed, and I'm certainly going to do more research on my own about how to get involved. Because if there's anything my recent reading has taught me (Raising the Resistance, Rethink) it's that women need to be involved. We are capable. We are needed. Favorite quotes: "...setbacks are always an opportunity for a comeback." - Mary Fallin "I don't want us to, in our eagerness for men to finally put an oar in and row their share, become openly grateful, which is a woman's tendency. There's no reason to be grateful to people who are doing what they should have already been doing all along." - Robin Morgan "...we live these very Judeo-Christian values on the one hand, but on the second hand, the capitalism that drives our culture is so loaded with gender inequities and use of sexual behavior and sexual innuendo in this supposed Christian culture...The hypocrisy of our culture sometimes...we talk about being fair and just, but we are sexist and homophobic." - Don McPherson "I always say that boys who are raised by women...there comes a point when they are told, explicitly, that what your mother does is beneath you. And what she does is less than what your father does, or has less value, and you're not to do those things...My daughters put on my shoes and clog around the house, but if I had a son, would he put on his mother's shoes and clog around the house? Our homophobia tells that boy, "No, that's wrong."...For a lot of boys, it's troubling. It's like, What do you mean? This is the woman who bathed me, who fed me, who does all these things-still does all these things-and I'm being told that who she is, is less than." - Don McPherson "...culturally we still tell women that they need to be mothers, first and foremost, above all else, and if you're not a mother first and if you don't put your identity as a mother first, then you're doing it wrong, and I think that's scary to a lot of women-no one wants to be thought of as a bad mother. And obviously of what that means culturally: Being a mother first means staying at home. It means not putting your kid in daycare. It means not taking a promotion. And I just don't buy into that. I think that we need to change the way we talk about motherhood." - Jessica Valenti "Everyone is essentially brought up not to be a girl, right? I think from the time all of us - women, men, boys, and girls - are born, we're taught that the worst thing you can be is a girl. That to be a leader you should never be a "girl". To be a man, you should not be a "girl". To be a woman, you can't be a "girl". So it must be pretty powerful to be a girl if everyone's taught not to be one. What is it about being a girl that everyone's so scared of?" - Eve Ensler

  10. 4 out of 5

    Bookish Jen

    As many of my fellow citizens know, men have been running this pop stand we call the United States since 1776. I fully expect we’ll have a lady President in my life time and it won’t be when I’m an old lady dribbling into my Depends. However, I can’t help but wonder, “Why haven’t we had a female President? Other countries have been led by women, including Great Britain, India, the Philippines, Israel, Switzerland, Ireland, Chile, Germany, Liberia and Pakistan. What is taking the good old USA to g As many of my fellow citizens know, men have been running this pop stand we call the United States since 1776. I fully expect we’ll have a lady President in my life time and it won’t be when I’m an old lady dribbling into my Depends. However, I can’t help but wonder, “Why haven’t we had a female President? Other countries have been led by women, including Great Britain, India, the Philippines, Israel, Switzerland, Ireland, Chile, Germany, Liberia and Pakistan. What is taking the good old USA to get with the program?” Marianne Schnall, writer and founder of the website Feminist.com, wonders this herself and now she’s asking other noteworthy people on why we haven’t had a woman President and what will it take to make this happen in her book, What Will It Take to Make A Woman President?-Conversations About Women, Leadership and Power. Schnall’s quest started innocently enough. Shortly after President Obama was elected in 2008, Schnall’s then 10-year-old daughter asked, “Why haven’t we had a woman President?” This simple inquiry put Schnall on a quest to find out why America has never had a woman President and she found some pretty big guns to ask them this very thought-provoking question. Not surprisingly, many of the people Schnall interviews are women who have spent time in the political trenches. These people include Republicans like former US senators Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Olympia Snowe, GOP political strategist Ana Navarro, and the Governor of Oklahoma, Mary Fallin. On the Democratic side, we have current US Senators, Kirsten Gillibrand and Claire McCaskill, former Speaker of the House and current Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile. Other notables interviewed by Schnall include feminists both young (Jessica Valenti) and not so young (Gloria Steinem). Journalists, broadcasters and writers include Soledad O’Brien, Pat Mitchell, Maya Angelou and Melissa Harris Perry. The world of business and academics is covered by Sheryl Sandberg, and Anita Hill. Celebs like Joy Behar, Kathy Najimy and Melissa Etheridge also give us their two cents worth. And don’t worry; this book isn’t a total estrogen fest. Schnall also includes the men by interviewing Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom, and former member of the NFL and social activist Don McPherson. Now just why haven’t we had a women president? Answers vary, but many agree that sexism still plays a major part every time women dip their toes into politics. Don’t agree with me? Well, people have actually questioned whether Hillary Clinton can be a grandmother and President at the same time. Seriously, did anybody ever question George H.W. Bush or Jimmy Carter if they could be grandfathers and President at the same time? ::Crickets chirping:: And let’s not forget that because of sexism women are often judged on their looks and their outfits, or are seen as too emotional who can’t handle the rough and tumble world of politics. Or if they can handle the rough and tumble world of politics they’re branded as cold, bitchy or bossy. What else could be keeping a woman from becoming president? Until recently, there was a dearth of strong female political role models. Often women are not encouraged to get involved in politics, whether it’s running for office or running a campaign. Women sometimes don’t have access to the huge amount of money that men do (running for office ain’t cheap, kids). And speaking of kids, undoubtedly a majority of childcare falls on women and a lot of them may eschew politics until their children are grown. Furthermore, our media can be brutal when covering female political candidates. The mainstream media may be considered liberal (it’s not), but it can be downright reactionary or irritatingly condescending. Years ago the New York Times did a piece on women in politics, specifically the chance of having a woman in the Oval Office. This piece was published in the Times’ “Style” section (as opposed to the news or opinion section) and was illustrated with a fancy pink purse emblazoned with the Presidential seal because we all know ladies love pink and purses! However, at the same time we are dealing with sexism, lack of role models and political leaders, family challenges and the media, women also put up their own personal barriers. Some of us don’t believe we have what it takes to run for office. We still see power, leadership, self-promotion and ambition as unfeminine and unattractive. Hopefully, as more women gain access to higher positions in politics, business, academics, media and entertainment, these antiquated ideas will dissipate. Or as Senator Claire McCaskill puts it, “Women have to be taught that ambition is ladylike.” We know the reasons why we haven’t had a lady President. Now what can we do about it? Answers vary, but the interviewees offer several ideas on how to get women to run for office. They include women demanding more access, increasing our confidence and willingness to put ourselves on the line politically, and promoting women as ideal political candidates who can bring a fresh perspective to governing. And just what are these fresh perspectives women can bring to governing? According to the interviewees women bring new perspectives and are willing to reach across the aisle to build consensus. Women are collaborative and acknowledge the importance of relationships. Now this may sound like stereotypes (I’ve worked with women who exhibited none of these traits), but don’t they sound like things desperately needed in the world of politics? I enjoyed reading What Will It Take To Make a Woman President, and I appreciated everyone’s thoughts, ideas and opinions. I would have appreciated Schnall interviewing the average woman and man off the streets to get their input, but I also understand the importance of people who have actually been there and done that political-wise. The year 2016 may seem a long time from now but it is a Presidential election year. And not surprisingly Hillary Clinton’s name is mentioned a lot as a potential candidate. But there are countless other women who can run for President. Is the United States ready for a President with lady parts asks What Will Take To Make a Woman President? The answer is a resounding “Yes!” And it’s only a question of when this will happen and what action steps we can take to make this a reality. Originally published at The Book Self: http://thebookselfblog.wordpress.com/...

  11. 5 out of 5

    Allison Bishop

    I read this for a women’s wellness book club - it’s definitely not something I would pick up on my own. Overall I’d say it was interesting, and made for great book club conversation. It was published in 2013, just after Obama got reelected. I was mostly struck by how far we’ve come in the past 7 years. A lot of what I read seemed kind of dated already (although of course much of it remained true). What I had a hard time with was that it got very repetitive. There are 29 interviews in the book, bu I read this for a women’s wellness book club - it’s definitely not something I would pick up on my own. Overall I’d say it was interesting, and made for great book club conversation. It was published in 2013, just after Obama got reelected. I was mostly struck by how far we’ve come in the past 7 years. A lot of what I read seemed kind of dated already (although of course much of it remained true). What I had a hard time with was that it got very repetitive. There are 29 interviews in the book, but the exact same question was posed to all of them, so it felt like having the same conversation again and again. But I liked that the people interviewed spanned the entire political spectrum.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ratina

    This book made me want to better myself as a woman and to become a better leader. I mean I read Beyonce's review at the top and knew I had to read this book. Many great women were interviewed for this book - all with different backgrounds and views. I think this book is an important piece to read and become educated on, especially after the election we just went through that felt so defeating as a woman. This book made me want to better myself as a woman and to become a better leader. I mean I read Beyonce's review at the top and knew I had to read this book. Many great women were interviewed for this book - all with different backgrounds and views. I think this book is an important piece to read and become educated on, especially after the election we just went through that felt so defeating as a woman.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Megan Grint

    Cool collection of esssays!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Janna Mac

    Too damn positive & naive because it was pre-2016 presidential election. This book is painful to read in 2020.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie Elwood

    What an empowering book! A series of interviews with both women and men who are at the forefront of the push for equality, this book makes the case for the need for increased participation by women at the highest levels in many spheres of life. Currently, women hold only 18% of the seats in Congress. As Gavin Newsom writes: "If more people knew that Cuba, China, Iraq, and Afghanistan have more women in government than the United States of America, that would get some people upset." One thing tha What an empowering book! A series of interviews with both women and men who are at the forefront of the push for equality, this book makes the case for the need for increased participation by women at the highest levels in many spheres of life. Currently, women hold only 18% of the seats in Congress. As Gavin Newsom writes: "If more people knew that Cuba, China, Iraq, and Afghanistan have more women in government than the United States of America, that would get some people upset." One thing that comes through is that sexism is still acceptable (witness the number of times women in high-ranking positions have their weight or looks mentioned in interviews). But it is the call to be your authentic self (instead of relying on outdated gender roles for all of us) and to voice your views that makes this book a rallying cry for every human being.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie McDaniel

    This is a series of essays about women in power, what it will take for a woman to be elected President of the US, and why there hasn't been one before now. There are twenty-nine people interviewed, men and women, politicians and pundits, journalists and writers and musicians, from all sides of the political aisle. This book was published three years ago, but of course it is all the more relevant now, with the woman most often mentioned in these pages (hopefully) poised to make history. This is a series of essays about women in power, what it will take for a woman to be elected President of the US, and why there hasn't been one before now. There are twenty-nine people interviewed, men and women, politicians and pundits, journalists and writers and musicians, from all sides of the political aisle. This book was published three years ago, but of course it is all the more relevant now, with the woman most often mentioned in these pages (hopefully) poised to make history.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Yay vaginas!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    305.4092 S357 2013

  19. 5 out of 5

    tiffany

    good information for younger girls but it was far too repetative for me

  20. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    I thought this book was great. She interviewed many of the great political, academic and spiritual thinkers of our time. There were many refreshing ideas and viewpoints. I would recommend this book.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Howard

  22. 5 out of 5

    Briana

  23. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rosanne Dates

  26. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

  27. 5 out of 5

    Aubrey S

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sydney

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sierra

  30. 4 out of 5

    Greta

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