Caitlin Donohue’s book about women politicians describes their challenges as well as successes. (Courtesy Chelsea Starr)

‘She Represents’ tells stories of modern women politicians

Book for teens digs deeper than ‘girl power’ volumes

“She Represents: 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics … and the World” is a journalistic-style book for teens containing profiles of 44 women in politics and their path to leadership. Author Caitlin Donohue, a San Francisco native, spotlights prominent female figures on different sides of the political spectrum. such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

“I think this new generation has had it. They’re concerned about their future and our planet. They’re not willing to put up with the same [stuff],” said Donohue. “I want to make sure that these teens have the knowledge that they need to continue to be the incredible leaders that they are.”

“She Represents” includes a diverse list of women that introduces readers to unfamiliar names in politics such as Virginia House Delegate Danica Roem and Minneapolis Councilwoman Andrea Jenkins. Both made history when they were elected in 2018 with Roem being the first openly trans state representative elected in the U.S.; Jenkins was the first trans woman elected to a major U.S. city council and the first openly trans Black woman elected into public office in the U.S. Her city council has fixated news outlets since it announced plans to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department in the wake of George Floyd’s killing.

“[Representation] is not just about getting [queer, trans and people of color] into office because it makes us feel good, […] it’s because when they’re there, they make big changes,” said Donohue.

Despite the title and vibrant illustrations by Briana Arrington, Donohue wants to make it clear that “She Represents” isn’t another “girl power” memoir meant to glorify these 44 politicians. Instead, she presents each of the women profiled as the “complicated professionals” that they are.

Donohue mentioned U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a well-known name in the media and politics, as an example of a politician who is treated like a celebrity. Although she thinks AOC is an incredible politician, politicians have to negotiate and make decisions that might not be in line with their political values, and so, it’s up to constituents to hold these admired politicians accountable.

“[Politicians] are complicated just like us, and [they] have very specific life experiences that have led them to have [their] values,” said Donohue. “We have to recognize those values and think about how their life stories lead to their political positions today. I think the more we learn about [politicians] biographies, the more we’re able to understand their positions on current issues and even predict where they’re going to come down on future issues.”

BOOK NOTES: She Represents 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics … and the World

Written by: Caitlin Donohue

Published by: Lerner Books

Pages: 216

Price: $17 (paper), $37 (hard cover)

Info: https://www.donohue.work/she-represents

Literature

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

 

Just Posted

People exercise along the closed Great Highway on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Could the Great Highway become a great city park?

Permanent closure would require extensive public outreach, safety and traffic management plans

The City requires the recycling or reuse of debris material removed from a construction project site. <ins>(Emma Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
<ins></ins>
Permits proposed for haulers of construction debris to achieve zero-waste

San Francisco plans to tighten regulations on the disposal of construction and… Continue reading

Flames and smoke overtake a tree as the LNU Lightning Complex fire spreads in Fairfield, California on August 19, 2020. (JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)
Many wildfires near full containment, but officials fear continuing hot weather

By Molly Burke The Sacramento Bee Thousands of firefighters continue to battle… Continue reading

False information on Twitter and other platforms can be manipulative and destructive.<ins> (Courtesy photo)</ins>
Social media can turn us against each other

Only empathy can alleviate the hate spread by misinformation

School district officials hope a new assignment system will make the student body at schools more diverse, as well as offer more predictability for parents.<ins></ins>
School assignment system set for major overhaul

SFUSD board weighing proposal that would limit choices, offer increased predictability

Most Read