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Weekend Reading on Women's Representation November 24th, 2023

Dear Readers,

As autumn leaves gracefully bow out, the RepresentWomen Team reflects on what we are grateful for. To all who have stood with us, believed in our cause, and supported the creation of a political landscape where women's voices are heard – this Thanksgiving, we raise a heartfelt toast to you! Your unwavering support is the secret ingredient that makes our mission possible. With your belief in what we're doing, we're carving out a seat at the table for women in politics. In this week’s Weekend Reading, we'll peel back the curtain and shine a spotlight on the faces and insights of the remarkable RepresentWomen Team. Each team member will share their favorite books and podcasts, what makes them feel grateful, and a quote or poem that resonates with them. So, as we express our gratitude this Thanksgiving, stay tuned for an inside look at the powerhouse team working to change women's representation in politics for the better. 

Nora Weiss, Communications Intern

Favorite politics podcast: You’re Wrong About

Favorite feminist book: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi  

This holiday season, I am especially grateful for my family, who provide me with unconditional love, support, and guidance. I am also immensely thankful for all of my incredible friends, who never let me forget my worth and who always lend a listening ear. Because of the wonderful people in my life, I am able to pursue my passions fearlessly and wholeheartedly!  

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.   

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.   

When you see me passing,

It ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of my heels,   

The bend of my hair,   

the palm of my hand,   

The need for my care.   

’Cause I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

From Phenomenal Woman, written by Maya Angelou

Steph Scaglia, Research Manager

Favorite Podcast: FiveThirtyEight Politics 

Feminist book of the year: Females by Andrea Long Chu 

Of course, every year, every month, every day, and in each moment, there is so much to be grateful for - too much to share in a paragraph. But in the context of our work, I am extremely grateful for the continued commitment and dedication of our team members and our fellow changemakers in the democracy reform space and women’s representation space. 


Valencia in the ’90s, nowhere

were the oranges, except one slight

sight from the train’s blur. I burnt

my nipples right off the bat. No way

you could be as pretty as the girls

in Valencia, topless and tanned

all over. Pale blue hostel sheets

were barely bearable. All night, 

I thought I’d die when the moon

came in, and I’d wake to the pinching

skin. But I didn’t die. I went right

back the next day but in a T-shirt

and didn’t try to be pretty, just

swam like something ordinary,

something worthy of the sea.

–– Ada Limon 

Marvelous Maeze, Research Associate

Favorite politics podcast: The Brown Girl’s Guide to Politics

Favorite feminist book: Women Are Different by Flora Nwapa

I am thankful for my family, friends, and mentors. I am inspired by brave women who stand up for what is right, even if it means that they will be treated unfairly. Lastly, I feel immense gratitude towards those in society who encourage us to be compassionate, empathetic, and kind in the face of adversity. 

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I'll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still, I'll rise.

From Still I'll Rise by Maya Angelou

Alissa Bombardier Shaw, Outreach Manager

Favorite Podcast: POLITICO Playbook's Daily Briefing

Favorite feminist book: Girl. Woman. Other. by Bernardine Evaristo

With so many unexpected changes taking place this year (and every year, really), I’m grateful for our capacity as people to grow, adapt, and learn. I’ve learned so many valuable lessons this year and even more about myself. I am also grateful for the opportunity to work alongside a team that shares my passion for making our democracy more equitable. I will be forever thankful for the support from my loved ones, who continue to encourage me no matter how far away I might be. 

When you fight for what is just, prepare to meet opposition. Remember, it is the good in us that stands in front of what needs protecting. There will always be reasons to back down but there will always be more to push forward.

From Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

Ria Deshmukh, Digital Engagement Associate

Favorite Book: All About Love by bell hooks 

Favorite Political Podcast: The Problem With Jon Stewart

As the end of the year approaches fast, I think about all my friends, family, and the RepresentWomen Team, who have all supported me this year as I transitioned from college to a career. As I start to conclude another year with RepresentWomen, one of my favorite quotes from bell hooks resonates with me. Thank you, RepresentWomen, for providing an outlet where I can channel my passion for understanding society and creating positive social change.

The heart of justice is truth telling, seeing ourselves and the world the way it is rather than the way we want it to be. More than ever before, we, as a society, need to renew a commitment to truth-telling.

From All About Love by bell hooks

That’s all for this week, Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

-The RepresentWomen Team


RepresentWomen's mission is driven by the incredible support of compassionate individuals like you. Your generosity has fueled our efforts to reach gender balance governance. Today, we invite you to join us once again in advancing systems-level reforms that have proven to have a significant impact on increasing women's representation in politics. By donating now, you can invest in a future where our government is representative of the people it serves. Imagine a world where the barriers holding women from political leadership are dismantled, and their potential is fully utilized. Your donation can turn this vision into a reality. Donate to support our work today!


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