The "Minnesota Nice" Edition
He waves listeners before we get started. We have an important fever to ask you. We'd like your help. We've put together a survey. So we can learn more about listeners like you and make your favorite podcasts. Even better. This is your opportunity to tell us what you like tell us. What you don't like? It's a survey that should take just about fifteen minutes to complete. You can visit slate dot com slash podcast survey to participate. We appreciate your feedback. Thanks in advance. The following podcast contains explicit language. Hello and welcome to the waves birth Thursday. February fourteenth, the Minnesota nice addition. I'm Christina Ricci staff writer at the fleet and posted the sleet podcast outward and today's episode of the waves. It's a very special episode of the waves. We have all three hosts in one room. It's a party in hair. So here with me in our New York studio is sleep at a to'real assistant, Rachel Hampton. Hey, Rachel, Christina good to have you back. And joining us for the first time on the podcast is Ashley Edwards, senior news and politics editor at refinery twenty nine welcome. Adding having me so happy to have you are topics for the week. We are starting off with Ted Bundy, the nineteen seventies serial killer who is the subject of two very slick cultural products this year, then we'll talk about Senator Amy klobuchar the latest democrat to enter the twenty twenty presidential race and the subject of a growing list of allegations that she is a terrifying toxic boss who mistreats her staff and finally we'll discuss efforts by Uber, Marriott and civilians to spot and stop human trafficking in the wild. And whether this kind of community surveillance is helpful or harmful for our sleep. Plus segment today, we have another fantastic listener question. Y'all have been killing it lately. This one is about plumbing is modern plumbing sexist because we still can't flush tampons down the toilet sign up for sleep plus to find out. And if you're not a member yet you can start your free to trial by visiting sleep dot com slash the waves. Plus, please do that. All right. Ted Bundy, everyone's favorite serial killer. I know this is I was surprised to see there's two things to watch about Ted Bundy this year net. Flicks has a new four part documentary series out. It's called conversations with a killer. The Ted Bundy tapes, and there's a fictionalized treatment of bundy's life in crimes that's coming out later this year a film starring Zach Franck just premiered at Sundance. Ashley, you wrote a recent piece about both of these things as your take a so I mean, I think that Ted Bundy for this the younger generation is something new. So for the first time, I always knew Ted Bundy. But for the first time a lot of people are really getting into like what he's all about. And I was never like a serial killer like obsessed. So I was watching along with everyone else and doing my research along with everyone else. And which struck me I didn't do a movie up the documentary. What struck me was that they kept repeating over and over about like how good looking and smart. He was but they never backed that up with any sort of like details are fact it just. Felt very contrived. And my whole take was that, you know, there was nothing special about him for him to be such a like cult hero at this point. I think that he really benefited from white privilege, and the fact that he was, you know, a stereotypically good looking man, he white man, he wasn't drooling at the mouth. He was in. He could string a sentence together. So he became this mythical figure that I just don't think really existed, and that was at the expense of all the women. He so brutally hurt it's upwards of hundreds when people say in that story gets lost. When we treat him like, he's some some sort of super villain when he really was just a creep who hated women pretty much. Yeah. It is interesting to think about the fact that like us the for his cult hero. And even though I think there are very few people out there who would you know, idolize Ted Bundy is like a role model or something. There is a sense when we talk about when we like. Scribe desirable characteristics killer. Yeah. And I think that he is like the archetype of a serial killer. People say, he's smart. He's charming, and when you really look at the facts, and it doesn't hold up. He was accepted into law school. He dropped out. He was getting good grades at all. And there was no proof that he sort of learned his female victims in like a bar or like was so charming. They just went off with him. He attacked women at night, he snuck up on them, he snuck into the Cayo mega sorority house in Florida while these women were sleeping after they had gotten home from. I think it was a party and he attacked two of them. Or I think it was four of them in their beds while they were sleeping two of them died. So he wasn't going up to women and bars in kind of wooing them. Also, the women he kidnapped at the lake in when he first started killing he would use a Reuss like he said, he broke his arm. He was in a cast. He needed help. He impersonated a police officer. So this. Isn't like some evil genius. This is just like a cowardly guy who was able to get away for so long because it was the nineteen seventies did not have DNA police departments weren't communicating and I think that whole part of it get lists loss in and it's really disrespectful for the lives. He ruined kind of talking about him like this. Yeah. Rachel, what did you think of the series? I was kind of surprised at the choices. I made in terms of letting him talk for so long and say nothing he wouldn't feel. He was just spinning like he always does and court where he just says whatever comes to his head, and it doesn't entire it doesn't give any explanation or excuse or any inside into his crimes, which is what this is the radically be doing do any of that. Yeah. The whole point of the documentary was that, you know, there are these two men who back in the day in. I think it was nineteen eighty Ted Bundy said I will talk to a. Journalist or in this case a pair of journalists if they agree to investigate my case and prove me innocent. And so these two journalists were like sure cool. Yeah. Do that. That sounds like a great deal, and they recorded all these tapes with Ted Bundy. And so I went into it thinking like we're going to, you know, really learn about like his motivation, and how he how he ended up escaping from jail twice, and you know, killed women across the country at a time. When serial killing wasn't really a thing that people did. But there there I kept waiting for that. And it was just random. He just rambles all the time. He doesn't say anything at all. And that's what really struck me especially in court, he represented himself, and the part that made me the most infuriated with the judge and the sentence in. It was like, you know, this was such a waste of life. I mean, you could have been a great lawyer. I would've loved to practice in front of you while he was sentencing him to death and nothing he did in court like show that he. Would ever be a lawyer? He was insane. In fact, one of his one of the members of his defense team was saying that every time he had to make a choice between something that would benefit him or benefit the state. He chose the thing that benefited the state, you know, he like asked the police officer to describe in detail like the gruesome scene that he found at the cuyahoga house. You know when no defense team in the history of the world. No competent defense team would ever ask a police officer like go into more detail about just how bad this killing was. But it did make me wonder, you know, the fact that he didn't say anything like what is the point of a documentary like this? And is there some sort of benefit to trying to like reverse engineer, some logical train of thought or series of events that lead to a serial killer becoming a serial killer. Because I that's not compelling to me. I think there were so many questions that would. Have been compelling to look into like hang on. I made a list of some of them. Like the effect that he had on American fear. The fact that this was really the first time. There was an American serial killer women were being told to walk in groups of twos or threes and lock their doors, and, you know, don't leave your keys in your car. Because apparently that was a thing that people did at some sometimes Ted Bundy was stealing cars, and that was part of how he got from place to place. Why did this particular type of man this like straight white, quote, unquote, good looking man, why did that not become the avatar of danger in America? You know, why does everyone keep saying in the documentary? Like, he didn't look like the type of guy who would kill all these women. Guy like someone I would avoid if I saw him on it. And I was reading Tori, Telfer's peace, and she kind of she touched on this in a really great way about how we're so fascinated with serial killers because it seems like kind of remove sort of fear like we're not worried about that. We're worried about you know, school shooters, and and mass shooters can that's a real reality. But when you think about Ted Bundy anything about mass shooters, they all kind of look they have similar sort of looks. And they have people who know them will kind of say the similar things about them. Like Ted Bundy there were people who were like, yeah. He was a nice guy knew him. But then there are other people his ex girlfriend broke up with him because he was just a Lou in like adrift and not motivated and people who worked with him on his his fence that he wasn't like brilliant. He was awkward. He was knows picker at a nail biter. Also, a part of it is just start unwilling to really get to the bottom of what is motivating both serial killers and most measure. Which is like violent misogyny, most mass shooters have some sort of domestic violence SARS their past Ted Bundy, obviously hated women, and I think it just comes down to a fundamental unwillingness to admit that the humdrum misogyny that drives most our society is what's driving these men because if we omit that then we're all culpable. I go back and forth, though. Like one thing that kind of bothered me about the documentary. Was there were these montages where they would do like really quick flash of like butterfly opening its wings and like lady looking hot. It was supposed to be like, you know, all these things that Ted Bundy experienced in his childhood, and he he himself at one point tried to convince everyone that watching porn was what made him a misogynist serial killer. But if they the director who also directed the Zach Ephron film, which we'll talk about in a second. I feel like he was trying to make the case that there was that. There was something. In society that created Ted Bundy. And I don't know if I'm ready to accelerate me. Yeah. Blame like misogyny is obviously a part of why his, you know, killing sprees manifested in the way that they did. But I don't know that there's that we can really say that anything is at fault for something like Ted Bundy, and I'm not a psychologist, but I was reading up and a lot of psychologists say that like some if you believe in like good and evil when people are just born evil, and it's just something in their brain. Like, they don't have that part of your brain or doesn't operate that has empathy. And I don't know if that was him. But also people psychologists who worked with him and psychologists say that people who are sociopaths or psychopaths or not like they're not mentally ill. They understand what they're doing. So I'm not sure if he ever had a chance of being normal. They said he was abused with the child, maybe. But there are a lot of people who were abused as children aren't serial killers. So it's. What is the factor that made him such a brutal serial killer? I don't think we'll ever know got confluence of. Yeah. Actors I guess, okay. So the Zack from film it did premiere at Sundance. But it hasn't been released in theaters yet. When is it supposed to be released? This is all I saw late twenty nineteen. Yeah. But we all have seen the trailer. The film is called extremely wicked shockingly evil and vile, which is what the judge said when he was sentencing Ted Bundy to death. So Sam Adams wrote on sleet, a a great review of this film. And he said if you wanted to make a movie about a jovial law student named Ted Bundy who was unfairly accused of the most heinous crimes imaginable. You could reuse ninety percent of the footage without changing thing. And the film. I mean, the trailer at least makes him seem super sexy. And it's it's told from the point of view of his girlfriend, his long time girlfriend and. And it seems to me like the film and the documentary are are trying to put the viewer in the position of wondering would I have known, you know, that this guy who seems totally normal. And maybe I'm physically attracted to was actually one of the worst. And like maybe second most deadly serial killer in America. What's the value in that? Like is that a point of view that tells us anything about ourselves? No. And I really liked Elissa Wilkinson's piece in vox about like how the film could have went like she made a lot of good points that it could have examined. How women are fast? Some women are fascinated with Celia serial killers or murderers in general because that's a phenomenon that still happens that like Scott Peterson still gets fan mail, and he was convicted of brutally killing his wife and this happens all the time. So that would be something to look at like who are the women and Charles Manson, the people who follow him like look at that. Like who are these women who have this morbid fascination and why like what in our? Diety make some women that could have been a better angle to go down. Besides like, oh, he was so hot. Like would. I have known like, I don't know. It just I haven't seen the film yet. So I've resolved, but I've read a lot of reviews and the same thing. So it also made me think of our Kelly who we discussed on this podcast a couple of weeks ago, and the fact that during his trial for child abuse and child pornography, a bunch of women were waiting outside the courthouse for him every day saying, you know, I love you are Kelly he actually met at least one of his victims because she was a teenager waiting outside the courtroom for him and Ted Bundy too. I mean, I I don't know that there were actually women's saying like take me Ted Bundy, but there were women who would flock to the courtroom and dress up like how his victims because they don't let us similar sort of lost Edeka and say, you know, one woman says in the documentary like every time he looks over at me. I think who could it could I be his next. Victim. I wonder if it's just the thrill that you can get from being so close to danger or if it's thinking like, oh, I'll be the one woman that changes him enough. Yeah. That'd be great thing to look into wish that, you know, the documentary or the film did that. And I don't think there's this kind of we all understand that women liked your crime more. But no one ever asks. Why was just this fact rely women joy true crime look about podcast murdering os? And then no one is ever really explaining. Why women are kind of fascinated by the mini ways? They could die. You think? I mean, I think it's also trying to confront why you're like if I know if I can see all these crimes and know the details of them, then maybe I can protect myself against them. Like, this kind of self instill protection from knowing these gruesome details, even though most of these women had no ideals coming and I think just confronting that is a weird cope. Mechanism for misogynistic violence. But I don't know if it's super healthy women, we are constantly more than we even think about on a daily basis, we're like confronted with fear like if you're walking home at night, and you see someone kind of like trailing you or walking through keys in your hand. So it's kind of like we we always have that in our minds. So maybe something about watching true crime like kind of help us alleviate that sort of fear like, oh, it's happening here. And like you said like, maybe if I can watch to see the danger signs of what's going to happen. And as you know, like you there's no way to predict random crime a lot of the time. So maybe that's an idea. Enjoy true crime. I would not consider myself murdering oh just learned that phrase yesterday. But I I don't know what it is. And that would be something great for people to look into and you had a real chance with Ted Bundy. And I think it was kind of wasted. Yeah. I was also fascinated by the fact that one of the women investigating. It was actually a bunch of men investigating his first couple of murders. And then they're like wish bring a woman on we need to interview some of these women who've been traumatized by him. So so that a woman came onto the case, and she was saying that a lot of women were calling in and saying, oh, I think this might be my boyfriend. And in fact, it was Ted bundy's girlfriend who tipped Scott him on the list of suspects for his first couple of murders. Of course, he wasn't you know, successfully arrested and confined for another several years. But I think that also just disproves the whole that he was like no one would have ever known, especially if so many women were calling in like, I think this could be my boyfriend like obviously there was nothing. So amazing about him that which is also very concerning very concerning that it could have been any number of middle age or will young young at the time young white men. And I I think that would be something too. Good to explore. Why do so many women? Why are they dating men that they think could possibly be serial killers? And like, I just kept thinking about his girlfriend, Elizabeth club for who is the one who tipped off to the fact that like, oh, my boyfriend's named Ted, and he has a tan VW bug, and I found this weird laundry in his car, and you know, this that and the other thing he said, he followed a sorority girl, whom once like what was going through her mind like another theory that I have been wasn't presented in the documentary was like, okay. So she's a young single mother from what Bundy call a Mormon family a wealthy Mormon family. And I wonder if the fact that you know, these women are dating. Men who they believe could be serial killers has something to do with the pressure women felt at the time to like gain social power through relations to men, and like, oh, it's you know, it's worth it for me to be with this guy who might be a serial killer because I accrue all the benefits that I received from being with a dude an absolutely and he was well liked in his in the church too. And they all went to his defense when he was on trial for kidnapping that was his first like invasion, and the church was like, no he couldn't have done. Yeah. This LDS. Yeah. So it's like when you have those sorts of and then the people from the church were kind of confronting the woman who accused him of kidnapping was like, are you sure this was in him? So imagine that's what these women face everyday. Like, even if you have an abusive husband, you still have people around you who are like is it really none. That is that big of a deal. Are you sure? Like, maybe just making him angry. It's kind of same thing. We'll Ted Bundy to the extreme, obviously. But yeah. In your piece, Ashley which was called Ted Bundy wasn't special or smart. He was just white. Excellent time. You talked about the infantilism nation of Ted Bundy when he was in court tell me about what you meant by that. I felt that he was giving so much special treatment that no one like, especially a black crime suspect who would be accused of bludgeoning and having sex with corpses. Whenever he was allowed to just walk freely around the courtroom, and I've seen in a suit in a suit the judge actually toward his cell because he complained that he didn't have enough light to read to the judge took time out of his day to go tore his cell and was like, you know, what you're right. You don't have enough light to read and made him. He stay in a conference room. And yet he got better. So and I've seen videos of trials of gang members who are literally like chained to their seats in court, and it was like he was given so much treatment. And then when he was convicted sentenced to death, the judge kind of frame, but like he was just go young man who lost his way. Like oh. So he was like what thirty three other time. He was thirty three at the time. He wasn't a little like he would call him partner and young men in. This guy was convicted of killing multiple women brutally. It wasn't a guy who got caught up in a gang and stealing cars. It was a man who was stalking and killing dozens of women, and he was kind of just seen as you know, you know, he could have been great and his potential. Took over his victims like his potential mattered more than the victims lives that he stole their potential was never mentioned in the documentary. It was like a passing comment like, oh, she was a student here. And that was like, no one talks about his their potential, but Ted Bundy could have been a great lawyer or a really great Republican Senator or something because that's what he was also angling try to do eventually remembering your piece rejects posted against like the year that he died was the year that Donald Trump took out like full-page as convict what we're actually a group of children. They are such. Yeah. Thirteen and sixteen. Yeah. He wanted New York to bring back the death penalty to kill these kids who were not the at the time. We're not convicted in the media. They were called animals savages gang roving maniacs now that was like the dominant media headline. There was no sympathetic turn for any of them. And turns out they were gonna say where comp-. Completely innocent and up till this day. Donald Trump won't apologize. And he's still like, well, they must have been doing something wrong. So they ready had the presumption of guilt while Ted Bundy for whatever reason I because he's white was just assumed as being innocent or just a troubled Deng, man. Yeah. I mean, even though like I've never heard anyone to scrap. I feel like the word charming is like for very specific people like I've never heard like Trayvon Morin described as charming and interviews or by journalists before and it's like who has this power who do you relate to enough to find charming when like the media's predominantly step by men who look like Ted Bundy, exactly. So they, of course, the people writing with stories aren't going to be like, well, you know, what he looks like me. So he could be somewhat like you don't want to relate that his call his qualities to something that could be bad. When like we said in the beginning. Like, he looks exactly like someone who would be a healer. Yeah. No, definitely. All right. We'll hopefully someone will make a documentary someday answering the questions that you've just put. Listeners. Let us know what you think of the film and series. Do they glamorize Ted Bundy do they glamorous law enforcement, even though they're sort of also the villains story for letting him get away? So many times. You can Email us at the waves at slate dot com. This episode is brought to you by simple health. Simple health care that fits your life. They use technology to provide simple. Convenient and Affordable Care at home starting with online, birth control prescriptions and delivery with simple health a better way to get birth control. Is here birth control is a personal choice and simple health is discreet and comfortable option. No ladles on the package or telling it fifty year old man, your sexual activity, just you and your phone at home, you can get birth control perscribed renewed and delivered from wherever you are on your schedule. 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Amy kluber char last week huffpost and BuzzFeed both ran pieces that contained a whole slew of allegations that Senator Amy klobuchar of Minnesota runs a borderline abusive workplace. There were multiple former staffers all anonymous, I think they said they and their fellow employees were belittled berated for every single wrongdoing in front of their peers, sometimes they'd be seed on their emails saying, you know, this. The worst press release I've ever read in my life. There were forced to endure emotional outbursts fits of rage. They were generally miserable in a few days. After those pieces ran on Sunday clue char announced she was running for president. So now voters outside Minnesota have a new reason to care about the working conditions in her office. So she has generally deflected these accusations. She says she loves her staff. She just has high expectations. She has a couple of staff members who've been with her for many years and some people some former staffers did speak on the record to say. You know, yes, she's a demanding boss, but not an abusive one other people are saying a man would never come under fire for this type of behavior. So what do you think? Rachel is there something there is she facing, you know, undue scrutiny because she's a woman who apparently yells and demeans her employees. I is a really tough question because I do think there is a level where she is receiving more scrutiny than a man really would. But this is also unacceptable behavior from anyone. And I think that we are conditioned into thinking, oh, tough bosses get the most out of their employees, and we're used to men being tough bosses. And now that it's kind of a woman doing it. We're like, whoa. Maybe maybe not maybe this is wrong, but it's always been wrong. And so I. Think that? I don't I don't really know. I think that there's a lot of like the fact that there was so much swirling around in congress in like open secret and she had like the highest turnover in stuff. I do think that maybe the reason it gained so much traction. And congress was that she was a woman. But I do think that this is ultimately just terrible behavior for anyone to be doing. And I think that we should be reporting on this. We should be reporting on this. When anyone does it m people have been reporting on this when I knew in does it. But no one really pays attention to those stories as much as this. Yeah. And you know, there was a Twitter thread going around the where a guy was like, hey, here are a bunch of stories from the mass decade of like male members of congress, and male, senators and other elected officials behaving abusively towards their staffs. You know, people do right about this. But the fact that it's I think also the fact that she is not only a presidential candidate at this point. But highly favored one, you know, she's from the midwest. She is. You know, more liberal than than average, but certainly more moderate than a lot of her other peers on the prairie elected with a pretty high margin acids twenty percent sheen change lakes, and she kind of had this image. And before I read any of these stories, I thought that she she seem like well liked and everyone really liked her. And I agree that I don't necessarily think this is sexy at all because people do especially in this time. I think workplace harassment of anytime is like at the top of people's mind. And if she was a man people would be reporting the same thing, and we have to think about it that she could potentially be running the country. And if she has such a high turnover rate who will St. no extremely high turnover rate, Donald Trump and people right nonstop stories about how it's the White House is in chaos, and that things can't really get done when people are operating under fear. So is that really somebody you want? As president who can't operate without making people feel so afraid for their jobs and their livelihood. I don't know. If that, I don't think that's sexism. I think that's just terrible behavior for anyone. And she's rightfully being called out in it. And she hasn't really addressed it. She just said, yes, I'm tough boss. But no, yeah. I feel like should piece is going to use that as a marketing point where she's like, I'm a tough boss who can take on Trump like I'll be the person who can really just dress him down. And that's I don't think we need more toxic nece like bullies, exactly. Just being bullying the the workplace. I've never had a terrible boss that point. But when you have even slightly bad boss, who's kind of condescending like you have that anxiety of like going to work like it's just like you don't want to do anything you feel paralyzed. So I can't imagine having to work where you're getting emails at three AM that are in all caps, cursing, you out or some of her aides that they have. Like very script. They had a falling. Let her vent don't interrupt. If you have to do this like that's something like devil wears product. But to the extreme. Okay. So I I should just say like, I don't find any of the behaviors described in these investigations defensible. However. I I was like why doesn't it bother me as much as intellectually? I know it should. And I think it's partially because you know, whether this fair or not I have this sense of jobs in congress as like inherently extremely demanding. I think of people who are frankly egotistical enough to want that job. They're they're probably all nightmares to work with. And you know, you don't run for office because you're a good manager like a good middle manager or something. Then maybe you'd be like, I don't know chief of staff or something like that. However, there were a lot of people in these pieces saying like I've worked in politics for so long. I've never had a boss like this. It does sound like there that this is sort of exceptional. But some of the stuff that she was doing I don't think is that crazy like some of somebody in one of the pieces was saying, you know, the tasks that she had her body person do in a body person is somebody who just sort of like follows the the Senator around wherever they go holds their stuff like their schedule. Yeah. That they would the she would have them like pick up her clothes and put them in the hamper while they were waiting for her to get dressed like that doesn't seem crazy to me that doesn't seem all things. She did that was the least concerning. I was more concern. Turned about like the random late night. Emails the berating people throwing binders throwing things telling people not to speak unless spoken to. It's like what the seams. And I think media and politics are similar because it's a lot of people with strong personalities. So I've worked in places when people with strong personalities, but then there's a difference between, you know, being assertive, and, you know, a leader and just being a bully. And I think that's where do you want another president who's a bully or like petty? And there's another thing that she allegedly did that multiple people confirmed that if her staff member got a job elsewhere, she would pull strings to try to get that job offer rescinded which just seems like, you know, Pettis not a good look for a president. And and also to your point. Ashley, I think when you are in that mode of being fearful coming to work not wanting to contradict your boss. When you're thinking, they're doing something wrong that can lead to you know, just putting aside all of the ethical issues with how do you treat your staff, and do you show respect to people with lower social standing than you? It's are you getting the best work out of people? And you know, she has been successful in terms of she's passed a lot of bills in the Senate, and whatever, but she hasn't been president before. So you have to think like, oh, how would this person do this job that they've never done before? And are they able to get the best work out of all their employees because it's not just the president. Who's doing the job, you you are in essence managing an organization, and we see what's going on right now. So do we want more chaos? Just moving from chaos. So more chaos just because it's Democrats for it's I just don't know unless she really comes out and really address as thoughtfully. I don't know if we can ignore it and just pass it on like this sexism because I mean, there are a lot of women running for president and Hillary Clinton no one ever said anything like this about. Any of them either? So and I'm sure they were tough bosses too. Like, you said working in congress in politics, you need to be kind of a little bit. I think a little crazy politics. So it's definitely true. I think what struck me about the way everyone kept describing her is that she was Minnesota nice. And there's this idea of mid western niceness that always just rankles me as someone who grew up in the midwest. I grew up in Chicago. So I grew up in between. I went to the pub private school in Indiana. So I know the mid west, and it is not that friendly. There is a level of like superficialness to the friendliness where it's very much like Amy where she's nice to her peers, and then the people she considers below her or just like cannon fodder. And I think that this idea of midwestern niceness has permeated a lot of politics, and it's very annoying. So do you think that this is the beginning of the downfall of that stereotype, I hope so? So I think we should get rid of western niceness because it's not like people think it's like less racist in the south bay. Let's blah, blah, blah, and whatever, and it is the same place. Just nice on the surface. Very nice on the surface. Yeah. There's like the difference between like southern politeness. Which is they'll be polite and kind of racist to your face like they're very upfront about it. But mid western people will kind of be like, you're not like the other ones. It's very different interesting New Yorkers have like a reputation like northeast people have a reputation of being rude and brusque, and that's also what people say they like about Donald Trump. So it's also just like an interesting dynamic like what do we really do? We really want a president to be nice or like down to earth person or do we want somebody like Donald Trump who says whatever he thinks and doesn't care offending people. Or we want someone like Amy who seems nice on the surface, but like will drag you behind closed doors. It's yeah. What do we really want? Exactly, I feel like it's also weird. This so many people were like she is very she's very well liked in congress appears love her. And what does it mean when someone is nice people, they consider equal to them and rude to everyone else below them like in the White House, for example, theoretically, she's going to be at the top. So everyone just going to turn into her staff rushed you're going to have the same like aura friendliness her colleague says she's had before I did think it was interesting to read about how conservatives have been responding to this. So they're basically applauding her for being mean or tough. There was a conservative columnist at the Washington Post who wrote that this shows that MS Minnesota nice might just have the touch of steel real leader needs. The Wall Street Journal's editorial board wrote that she is perhaps simply less tolerant of millennial demands. So I think the there. Saying, you know, maybe all these people who are complaining about their workplace conditions are just I don't know like helicopter parented PC snowflakes. And that there's like a weird fetishes ation of the a strong leader who is willing to be addictive people in order to get what they want which is a traditionally masculine quality, which brings me back to this. I was telling a friend about this who I won't name because I don't want to embarrass her. I was telling her, you know, some of those allegations, and the piece men there are some other sort of rumors going around, and she was like I hate to say, but it kind of might initial instinct is that it makes me like her more in. I felt like the smallest little flame of that. When I was reading some of these things, even though I do not think that any of the these things are defensible, but I'm like, maybe I I to coming from a different direction like the conservatives, and I both sort of fetish is this idea of a strong woman in power because it's so novel, we hardly ever get to see women in positions of executive leadership where they're like the one person at the top and two women who are in those positions. Don't get to show anger very often. And so we're just used to seeing them be not not only Minnesota nice, quote, unquote, or whatever but make themselves seamless threatening. Oh, I'm on. I'm just a mom. Who cares? You know? So thinking about a woman able to express frustration and emotion like gave me a little thrill. Yeah. But then it's also like then why did to tell Hillary Clinton that? She was like shrill and needed to smile and see more nice. But like with Amy it's it's seen as okay? But then also at the state of the union AO see was like sitting there. Not amused. Not smiling was like this is this is stupid. And she was getting hammered for like looking and people said, she look annoyed teenager it. Like, what do we want women to be do? We want them everything we everything all the time. Nothing at the same time. So it's like she has had this Minnesota nice sort of persona, but then she's also like borderline abusive to her staff, and that's kind of like what we wanted women leader to be. It's just a lot of conflicting. I think it's very much. I don't of your mentioned devil wears Prada. And I think I very much have the same feeling where I'm like, I would fucking hate to work for males Streep in that movie would be a nightmare. She was she was good at her job. And there's this in between where you're like, this is bad. But also, well, I don't know how to feel about it. And I think that just has to do a lot with just like our work culture are how we love people in power, and how we love the idea of like one person at the top who's just handing down these edicts. And does whatever they have to do. And sometimes they get they let off steam in ways that are not appropriate. And it's just the way we protray bosses in general media like there's always whenever there's like a work comedy. There's always some like either ineffective or highly effective leader who's yelling at everybody. And I think we're just so used to that. We're like, well, it's kinda cool that women's doing it. But actually workplace of you. Yeah. Exactly. It's like. America. Streep was terrible. And I just saw Daryl's product for the first time like. It through the lens of like she's terr- a terrible humans like abusive like she could have done her job just as well. Without being like insane. When you could have like she could have been tough, but she didn't have to like walk into the Austin, slam her coat on somebody's desk every day. And then when I look at like Indian the stories when like what was she doing that was a movie, and it was ridiculous. Like, this is real life. Somebody who could be president would you want? Mel Meryl Streep in that movie to be president of the United States. I knew people are gonna get that. And be like, whoa. She really got the best work out of an happily. But she found she found the Harry Potter book. Like, she did all these things she couldn't have done if Meryl Streep had pushed her, and that's not true. There's this idea that if you're stressed out there is like a certain level where if you're stressed out you get your best work though. But as soon as you go past that, it's very thin level. Once you go past that your output just goes down, and you're just operating on like fear and like anxiety soon. Like, you can't even think. Street doing that. I was also interested by a lot of what they said were there like Amy's NASA Spion mentor. She is not here to nurture PBS. She's here to do her job. Her former staffers who did go on the yet. And they're like, why do we expect women to be nurturers and mentors? And I think that is a fair double standard, which we don't really expect Minna do that. But maybe we should expect. Yeah. We should hold everyone to a higher. Exactly. It's like as a boss, if you're gonna take on a management role like your job is not just to get stuff done is to make sure that your employees are doing the best that they can. And to do that you have to give a shit about them in a way that is not abusive. You can't kind of treat people like they're just replaceable. Because now the here's these stories are coming out, and if they're gonna stick it's still really early in the cycle. So who knows what's going to happen? Something else. The question. Do you think is gonna stick? Yeah. I mean, I think it will. I actually was envisioning the other night how this might come up in a presidential to be because I think I do think it's germane to how Senator kluber charm might govern as president or you know, even just lead a team. And especially when these are some of the people who know her best and have spent the most time with her, and I was like what? These people I was curious as to whether they would vote for her. I mean, I assume they would all vote for her. If she wins the primary, but I was thinking about would they vote for her in the primary, you know. And would they vote for her against this person? Would they vote for her against this other person? I don't think they would based on the fact that they came out and said these things in the press right before she announced for president. And that makes me think that that they don't think and these are people who really care about politics. They work in politics. They care about getting a good leader in police. They wouldn't have said those things if they thought that she would be a good precedent. That's my opinion. And so I think it will stick for that reason. But it also makes me think about it makes me sad that sexism has poisoned political analysis to the point that it is hard to talk about these things. While also talking about like, yes, yes. It's sexist and yes Sexton. Sexism exists. You can't just analyze the behavior for what it is. Because you also may like is this being sexist or am I pushing back on it too much because of sexism because look who's president like nothing stuck for him. And people are like well, Trump did this. And it's like he like he kind of got away with all these things I can't get away with it. Every conversation in about politics now has to end at that. Well, nothing mattered for Trump. So does anything matter. That's he's so poisoned politics in a way, just like, well, maybe it does. Yeah. Exactly doesn't matter who really knows. We'll never know until the election. Yeah. I mean, I think the midterm election show that you know, it does matter a little bit. But the presidential election is a whole different sort of ballgame. So it's almost to a little less than two years out. So it's like I mean, a huge part of me was like she's well liked by Republican. Nhs like her conservative constituents still support her and in this presidential race. I was like, wow, that's important. Yeah. We're going to need. That's the way that. And for me. It's I'm not sure what's going to stick at this point. 'cause it also how will it affect her campaign? You know, a gang gave it and be. Yeah. Not being able to get the best people for the job. Because as the huffpost article said, she's already had trouble finding a campaign manager, you know, apparently three people turned it down because of. Tales of her the workplace that she creates for her employees in a perfect world. She'll use this opportunity to maybe get some anger management and change now. But as we know nothing ever goes, that's. All right. That's it for Senator clue HR listeners. Have you ever had a boss like this? Do you think how do you think sexism is playing into the analysis of this Email us at the waves at sleet dot com. Our final topic today. Sex works surveillance, the past couple months, we've seen a few public conversations about how companies and advocacy groups are teaching civilians to spot and stop sex trafficking. Rachel Tillis a little bit about what's been going on. So a huge point. This is kind of been revolving around is the Super Bowl, which happened two weekends ago. I'm going to say that's true. And it's always touted as the most highly like sex trafficking weekend of the year, which on a surface makes sense. You're like a lot of men alcohol. They have money to blow. Of course, this makes sense. But there's no evidence for this. But all these advocacy groups flocked to wherever this rubles being hosted to warn people about how to spot sex trafficking, and the way they do. This is just like the lists that they put out and the ways in which you're supposed to sought sex trafficking. Just punishes women for not conforming to idea. Well, we think we should look like so if women are traveling alone if they have sex, debris such as condoms, which is quite literally what a police force told people to look for if there are multiple foreign women living in one home together. These are all signs of sex trafficking in these are always to basically, get private corporations private citizens surveilling women, and it ends up being like profiling on both racial and gender level. And so I guess my first question for y'all as winded. Do you? I hear this myth about the Super Bowl weekend. And did you ever believe it because I know I definitely did when I was younger like it was one of the first things I think I saw on the internet. And I was like, oh, yeah. Of course, it makes sense. I'm with them in is what that. Yeah. I I don't think I heard it until a couple years ago. And I like you thought, you know. Yeah. This makes sense to me, and I know that sex trafficking, you commercial sexual exploitation happens all the time. And and slavery is still a thing that happens here in the states, you know, right under our noses. So I found it easy to believe. And it wasn't actually until this year. When Ruth grammar at something in slate when I realized or learn for the first time that it actually wasn't true. I kind of also like I don't remember the first time I've heard it. But I always believed it, obviously, I was just like, and it they have the rumor that domestic violence goes up. Also. And I'm like, I make sense haven't drinking to be. It's not true. It's true. So I I don't know. I think that it's like an easy. I think it's just with sex trafficking. There's so much misinformation as a kid I've heard. So many things like, oh, they how they get you in the mall like in. Then there was a rumor last year going around like if you've got this spam text message, and you replied that was like giving your location to sex trafficker like there's so much misinformation about like, what sex trafficking is what it looks like it's so easy for these sorts of rumors to seem like they're real, and it's a very sympathetic 'cause for people, I know a around the Super Bowl, there's a a religious component to the types of groups that will go and try to stop this, you know, quote, unquote, sex trafficking that happens around the Super Bowl Ruth Graham wrote that there were ministries and Christian like youth groups going to the city handing out pamphlets about how to stop sex trafficking, distributing bars of soap that had an anti-trafficking number on it. Spreading more misinformation. Shen about you know, these college students are telling the press that entire hotels are getting rented out by sex traffickers, I think it some of it stems from a belief that that these women who've lost their way just need to be saved by somebody. When actually eighty to ninety five percent of sex workers are not being sold against their will. So the question then becomes like. Are women able to make the decision to engage in sex work of their own accord, because when you know police forces, and and ice and all these other law enforcement agencies get involved, they really hype around something like the Super Bowl a lot of sex workers who are not being trafficked end up getting punished, and and engage in the law enforcement system and get a criminal record and everything. So, you know, I'm not saying that like every sex worker is having like extreme career fulfillment or whatever. But like a who is and be. What what can some of these companies? Do like Uber was trying to get people to spot sex trafficking. Marriott was trying to get people to like what can these companies do or these other random visually, and he's going around to actually help women be able to make the best decisions for themselves like healthcare housing like income inequality. These like domestic violence support. These are things that people can actually support to help people avoid sex trafficking. And I think that I think it's just society in the world as a whole being uncomfortable with reality that they're that sex work is actual work. And that there are women who choose this that life on their on their own accord that they want to be sex workers. And then if that's their choice or something wrong with it. But that gets conflated with teenage girls who are being trafficked or women from foreign countries who come here looking for a better life in that are trafficked, and like massage parlours, which is a very real thing that happens. But then like you said the women who. Choose sex work as their job because of his job are kind of broke up in that. And I think we all get confused on what sex trafficking. I think taken has ruined. We toil story. My mom when I studied abroad, my mom, Amy watch that movie before I left. She was like, you cannot go to Paris. Yes. Exactly, she was like don't do this. And I was like. You know, exactly it's like, I'm not going to give them a cab with the random stranger. Like who? Do you think? I am. Know, I do get in the overhead of. Yeah. You know there. So maybe my mom's right? I'm like, oh Uber. Yeah. You're the one. Least you're heading this Vigilanteism cool. Like, you're the one that ignores. Well, I'm not gonna make a generalization about Uber. Amend Nissen company. There have definitely been cases of like Uber drivers harassing and stalking their passengers on and the advocacy group that was helping Uber drivers try to spot trafficking. Victims were saying, you know, look for women who are dressed inappropriately for the season or the time of day. Look for women who, you know, refuse to talk. When you ask them question. Like that literally describes me. That sometimes I'm like, I think about people getting an Uber like an Uber of shame in the morning or something you have a condom fall out of your bag. Like, what is this? Uber. Going to drive me to police station in if they say something to me, and I don't respond because I actually hate talking in in the car when I'm just trying to be on the hotels or telling people to look out for people who have like telling the housekeeper so look out for condoms, and sex toys and lingerie, and it's like, okay. What if you were just like having a romantic weekend on your own or like, I don't know like some people like to wear launch like very multiple reasons why you would have any of these things. And it's like, I'm also like it sounds like a pilgrim road it no woman with many male call. Or or, you know, multiple computers or quote, unquote, unusual behavior. So it all boils down to people relying on stereotypes that they already have you then make judgments, but not only make judgments then take the extra step in and get law enforcement involved in it as this is part of the general like privatization of police surveillance, which we've seen a lot with the summer of white people calling the cops RBQ barbecue, Becky, Patty, all these people's names. I can't remember because they made the name sue fast. Just this. And there are so many. There were so many all at one time. And I think this is general view where people like citizens arrest people think that you're supposed to get involved with police the police force like call see something say something every time. I hear it on the train. I'm just like if one of y'all calls the cups on me. I'm gonna fight you. Yeah. Sidney mccain. She call she alerted authorities in the airport because she thought this child is being trafficked and think it came out some mixed race family. And she later early said, it looked odd. It was a woman of a different ethnicity than the child. So what does that mean, it could have been a black mother with a child who is lighter skinned or a white mother with a child who was darker skin could have been an adopted child family so many things that it could have been before being sex trafficking. Also, someone's this. She has like a granddaughter something who's adopted who's of another race. So really just like Cindy to show that it's some of these stereotypes in suspicions are so deeply baked into people that even having somebody a, you know, a mixed race family in your own family isn't enough to erase that suspicion when you see an, and I think that a lot of people probably see. You know, a a two people kissing on the mouth where like one looks really young or something like that where you're like that looks weird to me. But it's it's taking that bit of discomfort and turning it into getting law enforcement involves that I think is more likely to do harm than good. Also if that actually is a sex trafficking situation like who's to say that those people aren't just going to run away. And that that victim is gonna get abused. It's so complicated because especially as New Yorkers were kind of bombarding with so much stuff happening all the time. So you straddle a line of wanting to if you see something saying something or just minding your business. And like anytime you see a situation you're kind of afraid of like, should I like intervene should I call like if there's a domestic situation. I think a like I've been in that situation where I hear a loud argument in the apartment across the street or next door. And I don't know. Should I call the cops? Which should I do should I mind my business like him going gonna call the cops and make situation worse. And that's what's happening here with these. You're just kind of telling people like if you see this one thing, call the cops, and that can just lead to a home, especially for people of color calling the cops can really escalate a situation to really dangerous levels. Yeah. And the. It's just hard to grasp or it's uncomfortable to grasp the idea that it's you're not going to be the good guy with a gun. You know, that it's far more likely that you're going to cause harm to somebody. And also that actually the thing that could help, you know, victims of trafficking more is decriminalizing sex work because in a society where it's a crime to engage in sex work. You're not you're way less likely to go to the police in seek help or go to an ambulance or go to an emergency room when you're hurt. There was just a case a couple of weeks ago where sixty something year old man paid to young teenagers. I believe it was a thirteen year old and a fourteen year old for sex. He got five years and ten months in prison less than half of the prison time that was recommended by the sentencing guidelines in Kansas because the judge said the girls were actually the aggressors. In that situation because they had taken money for the sex acts that were performed upon them. And he was saying, you know, these are things that even adults shouldn't be doing adults shouldn't even be taking money for sex acts in these teenage girls did it. So he was blaming them for their own abuse in a society where sex work is stigmatized and criminalized people who are actually victims of abuse are never actually going to get Justice. So and and you spotting something on the street and telling the police about it isn't going to help anyone I think that's the thing is we really want to believe that the Justice system is gonna do anything for victims of sex trafficking or just victims in general, and the justices Smith shown as time and time again that that's not gonna happen and people s late situations that don't needs to be escalated, and I think it just comes down to if people are putting their own sort of moral feelings on people's. Jobs, some people truly believe that like yes, some women choose to be sex workers. But does anyone like why are they choose ING what like what happened to them in their life that made them choose that? So even if you have that thought you think that no one would choose sex work as a job if they really had a choice. So people who are legalization are going to say like, well, this is kind of just making it easier for vulnerable people to fall into a job that they don't really want. So it's I don't really know what the solution to that is. But I definitely don't think companies and police should be telling people to kind of become vigilantes in spotting that out. That's just a recipe for we see it all over again. Like, it's a disaster. Every time they're also plenty of jobs on our sex work where people who are willing to get pushed into it and are exploited and we don't care about the service industry. Nail Tech's housecleaners. These are all sorts of things that are exploitative too. But they're not as interesting to talk about that's work. Listeners. Let us know what you think our Email address as always the waves, that's dot com. Let's get onto our recommendations. Rachel would you have for us. So I'm going to recommend a book that came out last year. It's out zander's cheese. How to ride autobiographical novel? It's a series of essays that I am absolutely in love with. It's one of those books where you read it. And you're like, I'm never gonna write this. Well, so I'm just gonna give up right now. He's do not. But it's just it's very beautiful. It's about his journey as a writer because he's written two novels at this point and elements of the autobiographical, and it's just. It really the kind of the first thing I've ever ridden up read about writing that made me wanna read more about the concept of writing is generally reading about writing is boring. Yeah. And so I just really love it. He's an amazing writer, and I think that everyone should read it. It's also I love reading books of essays because it feels more complete in a way than having to get through an entire novel where you're like, I'm at the midpoint like you finish s saying you're like up in tennis. Exactly. Yes. So would recommend. Actually. So I wasn't sure if it was something new is recommending, but just in my it's not whatever you want. Okay. Good. So in my research for Ted Bundy and talking about that I remembered like my favorite one of my favorite articles from the cut its title what I know about my best friend's murder, and it's an excerpt from a book by Caroline moronic. Who's her best friend was murdered? And it turned out that her killer was a serial killer and her best friend had been dating Ashton Kutcher at the time. So like the all the stories dominated the headlines like oh, Ashton's tragic night. And it's just a really great look at how when we're talking about serial killers and victims of crime and how we glamorize these sorts of figures. And it's always a woman who's the victim. Who's is? It's a really really great article. I have not read the book yet. But I'm going to read the book, and she also wrote about it when she was talking about. Going to trials and and seeing the guy the serial killer on trial. How he there was nothing. Interesting about him. He was remarkable. He was just like a sad sick, man. Who was just pathetic. But that wasn't the sex thousand what everyone wanted to know about they want us to know about him not the actual victim. So I think it's a really good look at how we as a society cover crime, and whose stories get told and who gets left out. So definitely read that sounds really good. I'm gonna do a wild card for my recommendations. So I was that in a town outside Austin, Texas this past weekend. It was a bachelorette weekend bachelorette slash Butch lower at it was a two of my friends who are getting married had a joint little situation. And I wasn't the one who planned it someone else did. And so one of the elements of the weekend was a surprise for me. In addition to my friends in a like, very hot hunky man showed up into. Door. And I was like did they get a stripper for this lesbian? Interesting like I would have chosen a different route. He was actually from the traveling petting zoo. And so they're like, Yep. We're going to put down a tarp on this carpet of this Airbnb. We were staying at and bring in a bunch of baby animals for everyone to that. Because I was so you would have thought it was my bachelor was so excited. Millstream so much much better than male stripper. Although I do think that they sent like their hottest employees. When they heard bachelorette party, they thought was going to be a straight women, and it was not. We still enjoy it. He was a great and very informative employees. But the animals were so cute. You like would put a little Matt on your lap. So that if they pooped her Pete on you it would not get on your clothes. They had bunnies. There were little chicks. A hedge hug, a lizard, a turtle. I did not know this is the thing you either. And so I was so excited. I googled I was like do they have this in DC? Yes. They haven't in DC. I think this is the thing that normally would do for maybe a kid's birthday party. But in Austin there, I thought it was so cool and all the people who lived there were like. Oh, yeah. Like, they do this at the university of Texas around finals, they do it at like company holiday parties and stuff. There was maybe five percent of me. That was like are there any ethical 's issues with this? I should be concerned about listeners. Let me know if you suspect that there. Animal trafficking. But the animals I mean, some of them got so relaxed sitting on people's lapse that they fell asleep like a Guinea pig fell asleep in my hand and two little kids that were on my lap fell asleep on each other. I. They had a bad time. It was so much fun. The one in Austin was called. I think it was traveling tales the one called squeals on wheels. So my God. So I highly recommend getting a traveling petting zoo for your next adult of it. I also just love the optics of being like, you're about hottest employees here. Determined to strip. I don't know. Was conspicuously. Good looking. I don't know. Maybe they're all really good-looking, traveling petting zoo company. But I just imagined the rest of them being like, I don't know older like women, and they're like Thai Thai. Oh my God. This one's yours. Thing. It's like Joe and the juice where everyone has to be hot to work there. Places so weird. It's so weird. All right. That's our show for today. Thank you to our production. Assistant Alex bearish in our producer, Daniel Hewitt for Rachel Hampton and Ashley Edwards. I'm Christina Ricci. Thanks for listening.