Nicole Baute from The Star asked me to share some of the central messages of No Excuses when she interviewed me last week. Here is an excerpt from that interview.
You called your book No Excuses. Do you think that women are coming up with excuses for why we aren’t getting a little more power and a little more pay?
The honest truth is that my title was Unlimited and the publishers made me change it. They wanted something more controversial. I tend to take the positive approach. I think this is the moment for women, but I did want to sound a clarion call to women to say, this is a moment, but you have to take it. Things won’t just happen.
Why would you have preferred Unlimited?
Because I am hopeful, I am optimistic and I believe that this is just an incredible time for women.
Why is now an incredible time?
Well, the rest of the world knows it. I’m not sure we always do. For example, the World Bank has done studies that found that Parliaments that have 30 or 40 per cent women on them make better decisions, they have less corruption, the performance is better. Marketers know that women buy 85 per cent of the goods.
That old thinking, why is it still persisting?
It’s hard to change a culture while you live in it. And by the way, it’s easier sometimes to change the law than it is to change a culture. We’ve been able to change most of the laws, we’ve removed most of the legal barriers. It’s the cultural barriers that are difficult to contend with now.
You wrote about how your life changed a lot after getting married as a teenager and having children young, and that you realized that you could have more control over the car you were driving, and turn it around. How did you make that happen?
You do it by doing it. First, I started college and just being with other people who were learning and doing things changed how I looked at everything. I immersed myself in reading and I became involved in the civil rights movement. I realized at one point that women have civil rights, too. That was an epiphany.
You got fired up.
I got fired up. There’s nothing better than being ticked off about something to fire you up.
Come back on Thursday, when I’ll share more of the interview here on the 9 Ways Blog. If you don’t already have a copy of No Excuses, The Progressive Book Club is giving away free copies of my book to readers who join the book club by October 27th.
I’ll be speaking on Book Talk Radio tomorrow with Salon.com’s Joe Conason. RSVP to join the discussion. And if you’re in Arizona, join me this evening for a No Excuses event at Changing Hands Bookstore.