‘Vote Her In’ author to discuss women in politics at Evanston literary event


Daily file photo photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Bookends and Beginnings. Rebecca Sive will discuss her book and the importance of female representation in politics at the bookstore Saturday, May 18.

Wilson Chapman, Reporter

Still reeling from the results of the 2016 election, author Rebecca Sive attended the 2017 Chicago Women’s March. During the march, she photographed several of the quarter million protestors in attendance. After looking through her pictures, she felt a surge of inspiration.

“I really felt there was something that might be done here,” Sive said. “A sort of case statement for why it’s so important for men and women to come together to elect our first woman president.”

Sive wrote “Vote Her In: Your Guide to Electing Our First Woman President,” released in 2018. The book, published by Evanston-based publishing company Agate Midway, outlines why America needs a woman president and then suggests plans of action. Sive’s photographs of the Chicago Women’s March are included in her book, with protest signs acting as chapter titles.

Sive will discuss her book and the importance of female representation in politics at Bookends and Beginnings Saturday, May 18. The event is sponsored by the annual Evanston Literary Festival. The expo is organized by the nonprofit Chicago Book Expo.

Festival co-organizer John Wilson said he and the other planners wanted to bring Sive to speak because they were looking for timely programming. The themes in “Vote Her In” appealed to the organizers — Sive’s discussion of the importance of women in political positions is one that reflects the dialogue surrounding the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Additionally, the book is relevant to the recent Chicago mayoral campaign, in which Lori Lightfoot was named the second woman elected as Chicago mayor.

“We try to bring speakers who will be provocative and interesting and controversial if possible,” Wilson said. “And we hope this event will help bring out who are interested in talking about the issues of gender in politics.”

Lynn Haller, the other co-organizer, said she is interested in hearing from Sive because the book touches on interesting topics regarding women in politics, like how a lack of female representation can lead to a dominantly male perspective on national issues, and her book suggests women politicians can balance the scale.

Haller said she expected the event to have strong engagement from the Evanston community. Sive was excited to attend the festival, she added, which she attributed to Evanston’s reputation.

“Authors who set up here know they’re going to get a really lively, engaged audience for their ideas,” Haller said. “Evanstonians are an educated bunch, so I think that people, especially people with an academic background, really like coming here and talking because they know they’ll get some real engagement, intellectually, from appearing here.”

Sive, who has written about women in politics since the 70s, said growing up in a politically active family sparked her interest in the topic from a young age. Sive said her passion for women in politics stems from a larger belief that having a female president would allow women to break the glass ceiling of other industries.

Sive said she hopes the audience will come away from the event with a greater understanding of why electing a female president is important and wants to inspire them to mobilize to achieve this goal.

“The notion that girls can be anything, can dream of anything, can do anything, is not really true until a woman does hold the highest office in the land,” Sive said. “The only way to get there is for all of us to come together and work on that.”

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