Straight Talk From Ann Richards

By , Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

On women's lack of interest in politics:

I think the biggest [reason] is that [women] now ... are achieving great things in any profession they choose.... People are so completely turned off by the way politics and government are portrayed. There is nothing positive said, ever, about public service. So who would want to go into that?

Tips for aspiring women pols:

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My advice to young women is to go into a profession where you can make a lot of money. Now. Then you can afford to be in politics without worrying about it.... If you want to do it by coming right out of college into a congressional office, well, great. You will learn a tremendous amount. You'll be able to run and create a political network that will help you. But you will not be able to afford it.... I'm just not going to go along with the fantasy that desire and good intentions will overcome the need for money - because they won't.

On juggling political life and family:

What makes me impatient are the pulp magazine articles which suggest that there's something wrong with a woman if she chooses a career over raising a family. A lot of us did both. We found it hard to do, of course. But that's because women are the principle caregivers in family life. I don't care how many men stand up and say, 'I help my wife every way I can.' The key point is: 'I help my wife.' - But it's still her responsibility.

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