The Algorithm-y Edition
The. Is sponsored by HBO and the BBC's gentleman Jack created by BAFTA win Sally Wainwright and starring BAFTA win Ceron Jones gentleman, Jack is based on the true story and personal diaries of analyst set in West Yorkshire England in the nineteenth century the series follows list of a woman ahead of her time as she attempts to improve family's prospects and revitalize their estate in part by taking a wife gentleman, Jack premiers on HBO as well as HBO go on Monday, April twenty second at ten pm. The following podcast contains explicit language. Hello and welcome to the wave those April eighteenth algorithm edition. I'm june. Thomas senior managing producer of this podcast network on the Rosen this week, but taking her spot is Marsha chaplain. A professor of history on African American studies at Georgetown University. Hi, marsha. Hello. And of course, the re Malone who is no editorial director at New York magazine's God listens on the here. Thank you. And it's very exciting. Because all three of us are in the same studio in New York because Marcia is up here. So this is really a tree never happens. I love being in Brooklyn. We love having you here before we begin. I did just want to respond to some emails and tweets that we got last week from folks who were puzzled by Christina's announcement that we finally have a wonderful set team of Christina Marsha and Nicole Perkins on just to explain we effectively have two teams. The waves are week is usually Hannah arena me and the wonderful women. I mentioned will be the other week or we one and weeK' as Christina said in an E mail taking a tip from her time as a college residents adviser, so it's a little bit of the same and a little bit of change. But it's a perfect combination. I have to say I love getting to be a listener one every other week. And I think we have we will be kind of mixing it up on. We're just so happy to have such awesome. People on the show. All right on today's show. We'll be talking about what happened when the woman was credited with making the first image of a black hole possible. The gendered state of parenting while running for president and white male victim hood, and not what is our is. It sexist question that we'll be discussing in our fourth segment, which is facilit- plus members is it sexist. The people are not taking Kim kardashian's quest to become an attorney seriously. Here's a little sample from that conversation. And I don't know that it's actually sexist for us to say that like her public image is sexist because she has carefully crafted that herself, right? She has made physical appearance super super central to her role in the world. And that's not to say that she's not a great business person, which she obviously is you can hear more by starting a free to trial by visiting slate dot com slash the waves. Plus, all right. Let's get started less week. The. Very first visualization of a black hole, a phenomenon that was previously believed to be unseasonable was revealed at a conference and the photo that was then released got a lot of people excited. I happened to be in a meeting when it was unleashed on the world. And I swear every single person in the room had like multiple pictures of the picture multiple images of it on their screen simaltaneously. But then a so often happens the internet turned lemonade into a rotting pile of lemons, Marsha what happened. So this story has many layers of misunderstanding. And so the picture that was released of a scientist viewing and image of the black hole. Was of Katie Bowman who was one of two hundred people who are on a team that developed, and this is where you know, my knowledge of sign science, the scienc- algorithm, me computer, whatever robot space Ning, I'm that allowed this to happen. And so this. Was a very long process. And I think what happened was this photograph of this woman who had contributed to this project became a stand in for the person who cracked the code. And so I think that the story is really a luster of of the fact that in the public sphere. Sometimes you can be misunderstood. Katie Bowman had no desire to be the faced and the genius of this project and at the same time. I think it did raise the issue about women's representation in the sciences, which we've talked about on the show before. And the other issue is that when people misunderstand a woman as claiming credit for something the trolls can't wait. And so this devolved from a scientific discovery women in stem to the Jordan Peterson wing of humanity. Then trying to not only discredit her. But creating an online campaign to suggest that she stole the credit for. From a man they were fake Instagram accounts. And so I think what this reaction shows are three things from my perspective one the problem of newsrooms not investing in science journalism. So I think some of it was reported by folks who probably don't write about science and very sophisticated ways. And so I think it's about a crisis of information gathering. I think the second part of it is the fact that there is excitement when women are part of this because I think the numbers were they're actually forty women on the team of two hundred who did this. So that there's some questions about representation, but I think the last part is this type of reaction and misunderstanding is precisely the reason why a lot of people who can claim victories don't wanna do it in the public eye. And so I think that there's this reaction that very much disciplined women for doing things that they didn't even do that. I find the story. So. Illustrative. Right. She didn't even take credit. She immediately posts on Facebook that she hadn't, you know. She wasn't trying to take credit. She was proud of the work that she had done, which I believe was like do working on an algorithm that ultimately didn't end up being the one that was used but was important to the like creation. I also think adding a fourth thing to your litany there. Marcia is is the way that we are taught about women in stem like in school, and beyond is like you can be Marie Curie and not like you can be part of the team that you know, develops this thing. But it's like, you will be the great woman, and because you are fighting against the odds, you will triumph even more than anyone else. Like, I think that is sort of a problem. And so people are looking for that kind of thing they're looking for the Marie Curie of the black hole photograph rather than like, an understanding that it's super collaborative process and that like it might. Actually, be harder to integrate women to that process into that process than it is for women to be loan geniuses. Actually in a weird way. Yeah. It was very striking the language that she used in that Facebook post. She said, no one algorithmic person made this image at required. The amazing talent of a team of scientists from around the globe. And in a way that kind of take me off like, absolutely. It's a statement to the war two hundred people working on this. They were trying multiple approaches. Apparently, there was even kind of an effort to anonymous is kind of who's the ideas came from two to kind of avoid bias. It was a very clearly st-. Let's to stipulate it was a group project at the same time. I kind of felt even though I agree with everything you've both said that like can we not take credit like come? We just not say. Yeah. I did this and it was great. And I was one of two hundred but I really worked hard. I worked for years on this. And you know, I staked in in some par-. I state my future on this. And and just is it something about. Our socialization that just doesn't let women say I did this. And it was awesome. I think so I do and I think that because she is young and her career. I mean, there's so there's so many layers. Yes. And as someone who's also academia, not an algorithm stuff, but understanding the culture of an environment where it is very difficult. I think for women to. Claim that status because in doing so you have to an -ticipant what the applications will be for you down the line. It's one of the things that sometimes had talked about with my colleagues, you get letters or recommendations about like men being wonder kipnes and the future of the field, and this and that and everyone just chill out this person just finished grad school. They're freaking out and crying all the time. Like the rest of us. Everyone needs relax. And so when that when those layers are added onto your persona, I think, it's it's very I think it's very difficult to to claim in a healthy way ones accomplish on well. But this this was sort of a special circumstance like I think if she had not become the internet symbol of the black hole project. She could have posted like a joyous. Facebook post that said like here is the culmination of years of work, you know, so proud of both myself and my colleagues, but because everyone was just so eager for a symbol, right? Like. I I'm not trying to blame people who wanted us. It more of the sort of blame. I think goes towards the people who wanted a symbol to like to tear den. Right. Exactly. But I think it would have been I think in this particular circumstance, she couldn't exactly claim credit she handled it I thought well, very graceful. As did there was a there is a male scientists who then was sort of taken up as the cause celeb- of the sort of read at troll brigade. Yes. Who had I so this it's unclear if it's actually true read it decided by looking at get hub that that he had done eight hundred thousand lines of the code right of the, you know, million lines of code. He was responsible for eighty percent of it or something approximating that. And he he has said that that is not true and has a sort of like rejected their canonization of him as the sun here. Zero of this. He's also pointed out that he's a gay guy. And also kind of not immediate like he he also is a little bit of an outsider in this world. And he's also handled this beautiful like all of the scientists involved have handled this in a I think admirable way this is probably not what they want to be doing like they've years working on this amazing breakthrough. And now they're having to deal with the blunt force sexism of the internet, and I you know, I absolutely take the first point that you made Marsha that. You know, we are definitely include myself in this journalism is not very good at science. There are on Rable exceptions, of course, including many find science writers who are in our orbit on who I'm kind of looking at right now because I'll IX is also assigns writer, but at the same time, I also understand how that image got taken up. And it was I tweeted is I understand it by. Mitt kind of taking credit for Katie Bowman being having studied at MIT having done her at MIT, and they were the ones who shared that photograph which was taken back in June. When the when the photograph or whatever, we call it the image. I materialized from all the doubts of the they'd input. And it is a joyous photo. It's you know, of a woman, you know, putting her hands over a face with amazement enjoying his all of those emotions that astronomy and science on whatever this is is supposed to invoke, and you could see that that was a much more engaging photo than the one that was also distributed if like couple of hundred scientists like pinned against the wall at the back of a room because it's really hard to take an engaging photo of a group of people, and you could see how it happened. And even though she as we've all said, she did not take part in this. You know, people with starting Twitter account son to her name there would doing all. They're all kinds of like weird sneaky. Behaviors that were happening possibly to good. You know, maybe I have good intentions. It's very hard to tell. I don't know. It's it's really hard to impute. Good intentions when somebody's essentially faking another person's identity, but it's hard to see what the negative kind of impulse walls. But it, you know, it's understandable. I guess is all that. I'm in is all I'm struggling to say, even though it was ultimately, all it didn't work out kind of thing. Well, I think these people have, you know, the idea, and there had that that the more you give places to, you know, women and people call her the ball, you're taking away from leg, and you know, in their minds better qualified person that she was maybe only on the team for -firmative action, by the way, she's working at Caltech. They don't you like she's she's going to be taken position there. Right. Yeah. She's you know, that's that's a job that you have to be supremely qualified for. I mean, this whole thing. And now she's going to have a target. On her back. Right. An industry that already probably is going to overlook the thing that I kept thinking about there's an article in the New York Times a few months ago about a mathematician, named Ed Ray joins who is an African American mathematician who decided to walk away from tenure trap research job in sort of like the prime of his career because of a sensually microaggressions for lack of a better word, just like people, you know, he'd walk into a conference, and people would not believe that he was there for the same thing as him. Like, it was it was just like over and over just kind of cutting, and he decided that what he'd rather do is work with and mentor young people. So he took a teaching Gaba Pomona instead, and that's just a crazy thing to happen. And you know, this is obviously not the same circumstance. But it's I have to imagine that those kinds of situations are what? People in these fields are working against right? And then this is just like setting the whole thing back, right? Yeah. It's just putting target on the back. I mean, I think that I think you're absolutely right. And and in that vein, even if she wasn't the sole genius. Who crack the code for this? She's a woman who is in science. And so I think that's a lot of people. The fact that she gets up every morning, and does this and the kind of behavior that we're watching in response to her I think is very much the externalisation of some of the internal dynamics of women in a number of fields. And so I think the takeaway from this is the hostility that we're all getting, you know, the hostility that we're able to view right now is the hostility that is happening at labs in classrooms and seminar. Someone our rooms in universities all over the country. And can we learn something from this? Because I think one of the dangers is to suggest that the. Trolls are these extremists. And at the same time someone who holds it views the same person who condescends to women and people of color at work. It's the same people who can't imagine young woman being a scientist. And so I think that if there's anything to learn from this is like this incredibly, you know, clear mirror of what it is to be an underrepresented person in any field in that story. You say about this guy who just kind of walked off the plant. I know tons of people who have just similarly decided that it was not worth it to be a path breaker at the expense of your kind of mental and emotional health, and they just do something else. And I think that that is why this story then becomes so intriguing because the number of people who can actually stay and tolerate the behavior in the workplace, it it small well, and I have to admit an I promise I'm not just trying to drive ridge here. But that when this story first came a I was a little bit like aggravated not not by. Anything that doctor did or you know, clearly, I was aggravated by the sexist response. But like it kind of bugs me that we spend so much week gift so much focus to stem in the sense that yes, what Dr by did was amazing whether part of a team or whatever but women do amazing things every day, and you don't get parades for nurses for teachers for childminders like there's so many people in this world who worked their asses off. And don't get you know, don't get their pitcher tweeted a million times. And that's not to say that that she doesn't deserve. It is to say that more of us deserve it at the same time. Yeah. There's got to there is so much of a problem in many fields that women and people of color, just not given the respect of that makes them want to be there and to to do the work. You know that they are that they would be best suited to do. Like if there's it's. There's a very it brings up very kind of conflicted. Feelings of me, even though of course, I won't people to be I want everybody to be recognized for hard work. And yes, I understand why we have to give this extra attention to stem because all the people that I know have felt who were you know, engineering students, for example, the women I know who engineering students felt extremely alienated felt like the was no comfortable place for them and that obviously count stemmed. But it feels like kind of like there's kind of a was that the soft bigotry of low expectations. Like, oh, it's a woman in stem. Let's throw a parade. Like, actually, there's you know, there there are maybe there, maybe we should challenge the systemic problems. Instead of you know, being happy for fulfills. This is really contrary down into a weird weird place. I I see what you mean. But but and I the work that teachers are nurses, and so many women do is wonderful. But those are in fields where women are expected to go. Right. And and there is I think there is an extra layer like I certainly felt discouraged in subtle ways from going into stem, right? Like, the work that teachers, and nurses and the rest do is like vital. But also, you know, our planet is like, maybe dying. And I think we need as many people wanting to become scientists as possible. And of course, I think it's been revealed that I stopped doing science when I think I was about thirteen clearly I there might be a little bit of like, well, I couldn't do that. So obviously, no one needs to. Yeah. My only hot take is that. I celebrate women every day for living nece -ociety that hates them so much. And so I think that is something to celebrate each and every day right off. I think that's just right take. Yes. That's a good place to end this listeners. Tell us what you thought about the Bowman brouhaha by sending an Email to the waves at slate dot com. Today. The waves is sponsored by European wax centers access the pink tax campaign. We're deep intact season right now. But the pink tax is just a little bit different. This isn't one you have to fill out any forms for and there's no April fifteenth deadline. The pink tax is the extra amount that women are charged every year for basic goods and services, and according to the European wax center. It can add up to as much as one thousand three hundred and fifty one dollars per year per year. It's crazy goods marketed to women cost more across the board, everything from toys, personal care products. Clothes and dry cleaning. I have never understood why it should cost. More to dry cleaners smallest shirt and the European wax center would say that that's the pink tax at work on average women pay seven percent more for basic goods and services than men do and personal care produ. Acts average thirteen percent higher costs just for that pink label if you would like to learn more about this, please visit acts the pink tax dot com. See for yourself acts the pink tax dot com. This episode is brought to you by Bumba. How often do you think about your sucks? 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I just want to mention that the waves is getting together with outward slates LGBTQ podcasts to host a live show during slate day, if you'll be in New York City on Saturday, June eighth there will be no better place to have a boozy picnic brunch. And enjoy some sparkling sassy composition with Hannah. Narine Nicole Perkins me along with Brian Loda? And Brandon tensely from the outward podcast start slate day, right? Go to slate dot com slash live for details. All right. Oh, a second topic today is parenting while running for president Rebecca trae Stor had a fantastic piece in the Cote, titled mambas is dad on the road to twenty twenty Noreen. What was traced her talking about? All right. So we have not obviously had that many women run for president in our history. But more than that, we have not had the many women run for president who are the mothers of young children. Or who talk all that much about being a mother? And so the first for the first time in history. This is true. Kirsten gillibrand is making her role as a mom a big part of her campaign. Aiming jars mom lives with Warren, his mom to adult children at cetera et cetera. Meanwhile, on the men's side of the twenty twenty race there is better Rourke who as as previously ranted about by me on this podcast has sort of ignored the fact that his children do not seem to want him to run for president and has talked instead about being on a hero's journey there. I mean there is Joe Biden who will probably jump into the race who has gotten a lot of credit for being a father. So we're what Rebecca's piece looked at was the way that fatherhood is only a bonus for men who are running for political office. Right. Like, it it can it only shows that you can be tough, but strong right where. Whereas four women who are politicians who are mothers. It has just a it's such a complicated trap. If you talk about it too much. It's a little embarrassing you're and then you're judged really harshly for being a bad mother for being away from your children too much. If you don't talk about it too much, or if you are in fact, not a mother, then you are you a really a full human being there's like sort of no right way to be a mother running for office. And of course, then we can sort of you know, politics is the grand scale on which all of our morality plays are an active, but in other industries, this is, of course, true as well. I have to admit that. So the the the piece in the cou- started or the the header of the piece was this photograph of Elizabeth Warren that I'd never seen before I loved the photograph, and she was twenty two and she just had to what I believe was her first child Amelia, and she's holding the baby, and you know, it. It's again is a classic photograph in a way. It's another joyous photograph. It's like joy and excitement, and you know, panic sitting sense, the kind of votes, the kind of Luke that you see on all new parents faces and I have to admit that like that seeing that photo in a little way changed the way I view her. I mean, I I'm actually really I'm favorably disposed to our anyway, I don't have any, you know, very few hangups about Elizabeth Warren. But it made me like her more and seeing that like that was a purely instinctive appear -ly, I dunno brain chemistry kind of thing. Because you know, I'm not particularly into children. I'm not a parent. I'm not like one of these like, oh Kuku. But it made me realize I I already have an admiration for her biography and just kind of realizing that oh, it's his mom like some guy. It does bring up feelings even in hard hearted people feeling. So does it soften her? Does it make you think they're that? You'll have this kind of like, Sarah. Palin, mama grizzly just practical getting done for our children thing. Like, what do you does it make her more relatable? Like, what is it about motherhood that it was a sympathy thing it was a Aw kind of thing. It was a, you know, I like cute cute animal video on the internet uncontrollable. Just some of the examples that you mentioned there like motherhood, just the notion of motherhood brings up many different feelings when I think, for example of Nancy Pelosi being the mother of five, you know, waiting 'til her youngest child was senior in high school before entering congress. Like, that's a different kind of feeling. That's like, well, she gets you them, you know, kind of an admiration for person with five children whose home bases in California, you know, going into politics and being so successful like there, and you know, mama grizzly obviously brings up another kind of feeling, but I do appreciate like I get what that's about. So they're motherhood isn't one feeling, but the there was that. There was a specifics of that picture. I mean, I knew that she was a mom and a grandmother. But the photo it it dislike it's a brain chemistry thing. Well, it's super intimate rights. Yeah. You know? She's clearly just given birth brand new newborn. She's so young the. Yeah, there there's something super intimate there. I mean ANSI Pelosi is an interesting case study to bring up right because she is someone who has actually just not just used her role as a mother to talk about policies. Right. But she's also just use it to talk about politics that that she's referred to sort of getting her caucus in line is like I know how to do this because I have handled children before essentially, and she said the same thing about Donald Trump. But like, I know when someone's throwing a temper tantrum, which has both sort of humor value, but also probably is a little bit true. But the other way that she has talked about it that I've been super interesting is that, you know, she's been criticized for holding onto leadership for quote unquote longer than she showed. I think the Democrats are probably pretty happy to have her right about now. But most memorably when. Luke, Russell was something like twenty seven or twenty eight he asked her, you know, why are you holding onto this one younger people, you know, could be or should be taking the reins on. She said, well, you know, I you have to give me fourteen years because I got into this fourteen like, subtract, fourteen years from what I've done I got into this later because I was raising my children, and you know, my male colleagues, of course, weren't unlike they were they had children. They just weren't sort of you know, doing it in the same way. And I and I think that's a really interesting moment. So I think I I love everything that Rebecca trace rates, so I really enjoyed this article. I've been thinking a lot about this as we've been talking about the election in class. And I often ask my students like identify political issues that are considered mom issues, and they'll say, you know, a gun safety and gun control violence prevention, they'll say cost of education, all these things, and I'll say what are daddy issues, and they really cannot articulate them. Right. Someone said taxes and class. What does that? It was pretty good. But I was like isn't that interesting that there's this weird way in which we presuppose that dads have a relationship to the political process. That is unspoken. But that that this whole like running as a mom thing, which makes me very uncomfortable, the running as a mom thing is about the care of the family that goes outward, and there's a long history of that. But I am happy to see as more and more women kind of enter and declare for twenty twenty some of the mom stuff. I think is a little bit more tempered because I thought the Sarah Palin, mama grizzly thing was fascinating because she was a woman with a lot of children and the governor of an oil producing state and the mother of an infant and the motor an infant who had had a child over forty. There were like all these kind of interesting dynamics, and it was just all this bullshit about hockey. And it was all this. And it was like this enough. Right. Like, can you please be a person who has a life in which you're balancing a lot of things. But one of them has been governor of a state. Like, not a small thing. And so all of that is to say that I think with the age range of some of the women who are entering their own proximity to their children's age if they have children like this. I guess they all do that it I think the the mom stuff seems a little different. And I appreciate that. Because I think that if we really want to see women across the life cycle running for elective office. The thing that I think is interesting is that women without children are running. And no one is asking them about that. Although comma, Harris refers to herself Mullah. Yeah. On her Twitter bio, an ulcer as mama because she's the step mother to an and that's an interesting choice. Right. Like, she doesn't have to make that she's made a decision that it may be softens her that maybe like she needs is she's been I mean, you could understand like why in her very particular case, I might be true because she. Was a prosecutor which is not exactly a soft job. She the thing most people know about her personal life is that she had a relationship with a much older politician when she was in her twenties. And so it kind of is you could see her team being like, okay, let's play up the mama thing. But it is a little bit. And I'm sure that's a super important relationship in her life. But to put it in your Twitter bio is definitely a choice. There is a candidate who doesn't have kids Tulsi Gabbard. Okay. But you know, I also don't know that we're taking her candidacy terribly seriously as a tons of somebody's going to get very far in that space Abrams says not have children, she's an unmarried black woman, and everyone is like kind of leading that alone, especially coming from the conservative south. So I think that the fact that she can be vetted and people are asking different questions about her potential makes me feel a little bit better that some of this like mom stuff will add. At least slow down. I don't think it'll ever go away. But it's funny that Elizabeth Warren thing the picture was very cute. But when I think of her as a mom, I think of that book, she wrote with her daughter, the two income trap, which I'm obsessed with all about how the system is rigged. And like people like myself need to upend the system because we're middle class. But it's not real. She wrote this book with her daughter Amelia called the two income trap. Why middleclass parents are still going broke? And when I think of her as a parent, I think of the fact that she's already like even gauging her children and questions, but income inequality appreciate, but I do think that there is something really interesting about her working on that kind of project with her daughter. I just want to mention to that Stacey Abrams is it's even more interesting because she's effectively I believe raising two two children. I believe who were the children of a sibling who's to take care of them. And so she has this kind of quasar parental role which is. Very interesting in that she she kinda get some like she gets a certain kind of status for that. And also maybe protects her from criticism is very interesting. And also, clearly it's extremely admirable that she does which is what America looks like exact rate, which is which is, you know, one of the consequences of mass incarceration. One of the consequences of, you know, working poor households is that there is an extension. She does talk about taking helping to take care of family. And I think that that's the framework that I think we need more of that families are made and remade in different ways both biological and chosen and she actually went on the cuts podcast to talk about her relationship with money, and it's super fascinating because she's very very Frank about the way that taking care of her family, not just her brother's kids, but also her parents like has contributed to her debt. And I I just heard it, and I think that probably a different points in her political career. She didn't wanna. Talk about that that the Dow was considered a liability. And and it makes you think oh people are actually going to like totally under stand thins. Which okay now, let's go back to Beto. I wanna know if you guys think that it's actually going to matter for him that he has been somewhat absent father on the campaign league. I'm annoyed by it. I see all the quotes. I like raise my fist in the sky as you lick a million other feminists on Twitter, and I think maybe just women paying attention to it. But will it in any way matter to him? I think that it like everything, you know, I'm gonna miss us some some theory, but every decoding is an encoding for although for people like you and me, it is just crazy making and like dude hokey like think it, but don't say it out loud. It just seems moronic. But I think it will be a positive signal for others. Seriously. I like I wish it weren't. So, but I don't have a positive enough. You of the will to think that they won't be some guys going. He's just saying the truth. Like, he's got more. I don't even know what they'll be. He's apologized. Right. Yeah. So I mean, I think this is just as a an indication of my poor view of the world that I do think it might work because I think it's appalling. But I think anything that anything that feminists condemn I'm sure there are people at the that then go oh that must be good. Then I think there's two ways of doing this. I think that kind of embedded in being a member of congress is time away from family, whether it's for campaigning or for being in Washington DC. So I don't know if you'll get dinged for that. But the other part of it that makes me think about the point that you raised about debt and relate ability there, many Americans who have to be away from their families for work. And so I really struggle with how much I want to be judgy about this. Because when people can't find work in one area that keep their kids in schools with grandparents and they go find jobs elsewhere. I'm like this shows that the system is rigged, I hate capitalism, but when privilege. People do these things. And then they like joke about it. Or they're not serious about it. Then I get annoyed. So I think that I think, you know, male politicians, and in the tracer piece, she brings up, you know, when brought Obama had to go way in the state house. And then when he was in the Senate, I think that you know, there was this kind of reflectiveness about it. But I don't think there was ever an implication. So then maybe I should quit. It's like, no, I should be president. So we'll see my kids more. It's this weird kind of thing in President Obama's to say this all the time. Like, oh, I love being in the White House. I see my kids more than I did before. And at the same time. I think there's a romantic narrative of women who say I haven't been seen my kids enough. So I decided to stop working as much, and so I don't think I think that there's a kind of an awareness that it's uncomfortable. But I don't think it is really a liability. When men do it then he gets to have it kind of both ways. Right. Like that. He both gets to apologize and be the woke guy who sees the air of his ways. But also his fairly tradit-. Maybe this is what you were sort of getting. Jim, but his fairly traditional marriage is now on display, and I think what's appealing to a lot of people about oh is that he actually is super traditional. But like dressed up in the cool rock and roll close. You know? Yeah. I just went to I think that's absolutely right. I wanna take a moment to get back to what you were say Marcia because I do think there is a huge systemic problem in this regard with politics in gigantic country like America, I mean again in the choice to peace. There were two examples that she gave of people politicians who had made a point of seeing their kids. So those a quote from Geraldine Ferraro's husband when she was running for president that he said like during her six years in congress. He only had two weekends away from her kids, which is impressive and all of that. But you know, she lived in Brooklyn. She was on the Amtrak corridor. It is no nothing to go back and forth from DC to New York. But it ain't all of that is similarly Joe Biden who you know, gets and. Shirley deserves credit for having been a very engaged for many a single father because you know, in terrible tragedy, his wife and infant daughter were were killed just you know, weeks before his election. So you know, he was forced in a very real way to to to spend a bunch of time as a new Senator being a very engaged father. But he famously went home every night because he lived in Delaware, which again on the Amtrak corridor. Like, it's good that they did that give him credit, but it was possible for them to do it. If you're a Senator or member of congress anywhere else, or even in a largest state where you need to be at the state house, you go home and affects Oviously women are many effects all politicians. And I think of, you know, California's represented like it's a very long way from Washington DC. How are you going to have a family where we don't, you know, we we set this up to be? Very difficult, and and, you know, Amy klobuchar, you know, she's Minnesota that is not on the commuter. But you know, Kristen gillibrand. That hard to get home. I mean, you know, this is a factor. And it's weird because it's just a fact of geography, well, it's almost like it was set up by people who didn't raise it didn't think that they need to play a role as parents. Yeah. My Marshall I actually want to go back to using the you're uncomfortable with talking about motherhood in politics in general. I'm curious. Yeah. Because I I'm worried about the ways that without many exceptions that women's desire for power or leadership has to be tethered to an ethic just of care and not of a kind of broad based. Critique so I think it's I like it's one of the reasons why we can't imagine a lady Bernie Sanders, even though they're incredible women who have you know, socialist orientation who have really strong ideas, maybe is probably the closest. We get that. It doesn't come out of this very narrow idea of how women become woke. I lost a family member. I went through elder care. I went through the struggle of childcare, those are really important consciousness-raising moments. But I just want there to be other possibilities for the narrative because I think that the more women are choosing to be childless. The fact that you know, I'm of a of a peer group in which people become parents later in life or become adoptive parents. I think that when we kind of deconstruct our ideas of what family making is then we have better ideas about how we're going to lead. And if they only come from I sat around my kitchen table with my family, and how was I going to pay for college versus narratives that said, you know, my best friend was sick. And I wanted to find a way to take care of them. Maybe we really need to think about health care, or I actually don't have any personal relationship to care, but there's some structural inequalities that I really want to get at. That all three of those narratives are politically viable, and I don't think we're quite there yet. Well, and speaking of AFC in particular, Tucker Carlson said recently that you know, will she what does she know basically, she's not a mother like as if there's a moral compass that's just bestowed on you. So that's that's just the new way to attack AMC so many are available to to the people on Fox News, okay listeners. If you have thoughts on the parenting styles of our presidential candidates, please write to us at the waves at slate dot com. Listeners. You know, who I love my cat kipper. I love kipper because she is goofy and entertaining and given to posing in very strange positions that amuse me she cracks me up and unlike my previous cat sukey who lived to be twenty one and was ornery for every single day of that time, and who was my favorite living creature in the whole world kipper is sweet and affectionate kipper is the best friend to one and all, but you know, what I don't love cleaning up kipper slicer box. Which is why Armand hammer created new Clark control. Listen, there's no cloud of nasties when you scoop it is one hundred percent does free free of heavy perfumes and helps reduce airborne dander from scooping. So what happens in the litterbox stays in the litterbox new cloud control cat litter by Armand hammer. More power to you. Okay. Our final topic today is white male victim hood Ahron Friedman had a piece in BuzzFeed recently, titled false victimhood is driving young white men to murder and while murder is the extreme edge of the phenomenon. There does appear to be a growing sense that despite evidence to the contrary like factual evidence to the country. Many white men are expressing that they feel like victims in contemporary society, and is driving a small number of those men to kill. So as I said Friedman's piece was clearly looking at an extreme manifestation of this. He was looking at explicit statements of men who had committed murders about their feelings who had express feelings of victimhood, and he was looking at like studies of their Awan genocide that showed that messages that to seize were settlers on land that really belong to who twos. A false narrative. Need to say, you know, how that made? Some of them feel like victims and some of them onto activates on this. So this is clearly, you know, there is psychology that it has been used in many parts of the world are these outlying or narratives useful. Do you think? Oh, I don't even think they're I mean, they're extremes dream. But I actually think the primary narrative, maybe an American general, but certainly on the right is one of victimhood right now, which is so strange if you look at if you look at the trick, Fox News polls is that they have made every sort of conservative white person in America think that the system is rigged against them that truly like that is their whole programming model is telling you all the things that are being taken from you that your your way of life is under attack. Right. It's victim and Taliban. I mean, even it's crazy like make America. Great again, sounds like this positive framing. But it's it's actually a total victim mentality. Where instead of like this strongman Reagan vision of of? Yeah. Just. Elected strength. It is like we are under attack our way of life is under attack. Nothing. Nothing will be better again, unless we do all these things to fight back. Like, I just think victimhood as is the dominant framework of our time. Well, and it starts at the top. Right. A certain man who lives in the White House who claims to be a billionaire. He is constantly railing against an unforeseen an unfair system of which he is victim raise the he's the most powerful man in the world. And he's you know, he's he's being brought down by Twitter and media elites. It's it's like kind of insane. And I don't want to let the left off. I think that there are ways in which there's a sort of victimhood complex on the left to. It's just what what is it about the pose victim that feels so powerful in this moment. It's like it's like striking back from being on bottom or something. I don't know. So I think that these pieces about victimhood are interesting, but they are historically consistent because. I think so much about the construction of whiteness in the United States is about victimhood in order for in order for white supremacy to have a justification and a measure victimhood becomes the perfect foil. Right. So you have to do outrageous acts of violence, you have to hurt others because you are you're very close to becoming a victim or further victimization. And then you kind of look at your damage and say, okay, I'm not going to be a victim. See I did this. And so, you know, what we're having right now is just another iteration of a political economic and social culture that gives people an opportunity to divine victim hood, relative to, you know, non white people relative to global power relative to technology. I mean, there's always just a different mechanism and Tara hunter the pre pre eminent. Historian of print Princeton University. She wrote a piece this week in the New York Times about reparations and white slaveholders. And the fact that the only time the United States has paid reparations as a result of slavery or people who lost their property after the civil war. And if that isn't kind of like, the best example of how this works, and how profitable victimhood is in this really sick way, you know. So we can go from that example to the two thousand sixteen election. And so I think that the fact that we actually have people who have the critical thinking skills, and the foresight actually name it that is what I'm most impressed by not the idea so much as the ability to actually call it what it is. When do you think this mindset started in the United States? Like is that the one one day one, right? And I think that they're say more about like how like because the natives are not. Like the root of this country is about about imagination rather than reality rates. So it's the imagined threat of conflict on land that doesn't belong to. Right. None of that makes sense. But it's emerging as a victim of, you know, whether it's God's dis- pleasure with segments of the population. Whether it is being a victim of native populations who have claimed to land. Whether it's being victims of emancipated African Americans who under an one system, we're property in our people, and you have to grapple with it. I think that that's like the through line. I think the thing that we find most appalling about it in this moment is that it's not even just resting on. What's in front of us here? It's going back. It's the make America great again narrative that suggests that there was a time where victimhood wasn't at the center of the discourse. But it always has been. And so I think what is interesting is that when you have that sense of victimhood met with a culture in which you have a lot of access to firearms, and you have access to technologies to spread these ideas and more efficient ways, we have this kind of present moment where you know, there's these horrible mass shootings. And people say, you know, I never thought this guy would do it. But he has a domestic violence charge against his family, or you know, he was accused of abusing his children or elders in his family, and the inability to connect those dots is I think the thing that is most concerning to me. Yeah. It's that's the other thing about this moment is that it really genuinely is a moment in which culture created by women and people of color is a Cendant in which like discussions of historical oppression are common and the internet sort of might make that feel to some people as if that's the Domine. Note of our culture, right? As if like, you know, it it's I keep going back to my friend battle work and just thinking about him saying, oh, it's such a disadvantage to be a white man in this race. You know, it's just this sort of twisted notion that just because a certain portion of people are trying to draw attention to other narratives other kinds of people that like all of a sudden to be the dominant like social group in our entire nation is somehow a disadvantage, and I do think that there is like a fun house mirror effect that the internet can have that distorts reality for people. Yeah. I just went to kind of bring it to bring this discussion to it international place. Very briefly a couple of episodes ago, I recommended Vinton O'Toole spook roic failure Brexit and the politics of pen. And in a very significant way that book is about the feeling of victimhood that Britain, a very successful country in many ways started to. Feel an and Rhys really started to revel in what is self pity. And it I feel that these feelings these emotional motivations that we're talking about could very very easily be kind of carried over and placed on top of that particular set of of strange self-destructive feelings that are going on there. So is clearly is is not limited to the United States. Now that NVIDIA was suggesting that and I and I think the thing that is alarming about this victimization is at the narrative is also held by people with incredible amounts of power to do something about their feelings of accumulation. So it's one thing if you feel like yourself are outside of the pool of you know, society if you feel like you're at the margins and you have no access to a television network. A president firearms modes of communication power over your family and local community. Like, if you didn't have all of those things your feelings of victimhood may. Okay. Not really animate themselves outside of like a feeling of low self worth grumpiness and being unpleasant to be around. The problem is is that when this kind of feeling of victimization metastases among populations that have access to the ballot and guns and authority. This is where like we really start to kind of see it's most, you know, toxic interational. And this is why I think it's so important for there to be vigilance and naming of this type of, you know, a version of white terrorism that emerges in these red at groups that inspire someone to make fake Twitter accounts for this woman who's just at her job. Right. Like, if something like that could stir groups of people into that kind of like rage full feeling, you know, God forbid that we have any other kind of outward sign of something that seems like progress I have to say, I'm there's one area of this where I don't. I'm very conflicted about my feelings because you know, I'm from a working class background. And I it's not that. I it's not I'm not trying to express sympathy. But I get that when people are talking about privileged privileged privileged white privilege, and there's certain men white men who are working class who are don't have a college education who, you know, their privilege is real. But it is not it's outweighed by other phone. Yeah. And it's not terribly salient. It's very hard for them to take advantage of it in a in a larger way when and so I don't know. It's like really clearly this is a question of, you know, basic intersection -ality, you know, you need to put like that's not a message that I don't know how to not trigger those people, and I also don't want to spend my time worrying about those people. I would like to spend my time, you know, on other sections of the population. But I just worry that we are. Contributing to this problem in a way that I don't really want to. I if there was another of messaging that we could use, and I'm I'm struggling here to kind of articulate this conflict that I feel inside. But well, well, I think what you're talking about is there's nothing Neville about being terrible. And so there really isn't. So historically, there have been people who have been in the white working class who say that. Yes. The system is rigged. It's maybe more rig towards other people. And so what I'm gonna do is try to upend the system by being collaborative anti-racist and organizing, right? Like there tons of people who've done that I think those people are outliers and often are shamed or disappeared. But I do think that there's something really powerful, but presenting models of other ways of dealing with your resentment and your frustration. I'm irritated all the time. But I think I've made some choices to ensure that that irritation doesn't become either structural or interpersonal violence towards people around me, and it's really hard. And at the same time, I've met people who've done that and have been really inspirational to me, and I think that you know, after this election this romance with the white working class as a monolith that is unable to synthesize the complex emotions of frustration and inequality is both demeaning and irritating all at the same time. And I think that what I think is interesting is yes, there are a lot of white working class people who don't see their religion, the thing that I think is amazing is that they're more likely to out or me, really educated black woman. And I think that data couldn't be a point where we can say the system really is rigged. How are we going to think together about bending it? But unfortunately, I think that the dominant model of Huddah mediate those feelings is to be really racist and resent me, right. And so. Oh, I think that these are the things that we have radical possibilities. And this is why a sound history. Education is the most important liberty liberty tool because then people see that there are other ways in which they can act on these feelings, right? It doesn't have to be a zero sum game. That's a lovely weight lift we place to end. All right. Let's move on to a recommendations. But before we get to are specific thoughts this week as want to mention the over the years slate podcast hosts on this show, and others have recommended countless cool useful weird and interesting articles books films TV shows podcasts and products, you name it someone's recommended it for your convenience, we've collected all those recommendations and put them into a searchable database the slate podcast endorse Matic, you can find everything we and all our colleagues and other slate podcasts have ever chatted about recommended endorsed in one handy place. You can give it a whirl. At slate dot com slash endorsements. All right, listen to those endorsements. What do you have this week? Marsha? This is a podcast that premiered in two thousand eighteen and I hope fully will come back. It's called no-man's-land. Have you guys on this one? No excellent. So no-man's-land comes to us by the wing, and it's a podcast that is about women who were too bad for your textbooks. It's hosted by the historian Alexis co and the episodes just tell complex stories of women who may be familiar to some listeners may be new to others. But it is the perfect mix of history as well as cultural analysis, and it is a great opportunity to actually hear a woman talking about history since awesome nearing. I'm going to recommend something that we thought about talking about today, but maybe kicked down the road maybe for next week. And this is going to be a little bit of, you know, rooting for the home team, but it is New York nagazine package, and I didn't I wasn't one of the editors on it. So I can I can just be a reader on it. It's called marriage investigation. A it is just a big picture think about the role that marriage plays. Why get married in this day and age at all, you know, what's his marriage change. So it just is like chock full of stuff. Beautiful photographs the cover of the magazine has like couples sort of asleep in bed together photograph from above. And it feels like really like you're kind of intimately eavesdropping on something. And my absolute favorite part of the package was a conversation between a couple that's been married since I think the seventies the famous Robert the famous rock critic, Robert Chris cow and his wife, and they you know, they met when she was like, you know, coming back from an Ostrom, and she was sleeping with other people was just very like seventies counterculture marriage. And he was the big rock critic, and she was an aspiring novelist. And then it just you see the course of the marriage at they had. They had fertility problems in the middle of the fertility problems. She had an affair, and they came back from all of that. And you know, there was cancer, and they came back from it. And they they talked about which years were the best sex years for them. And it wasn't like when they were thirty. It was like when they were, you know, like a sixty eight years old or something it just was this really kind of oddly sweet portrait of a very particular marriage in which they still seem to be so in love deep into the marriage. So yeah, marriage investigation by my colleagues in your magazine, you're such a romantic nurse. I am going to recommend a show that I think I've recommended every season that is on. But it just gets weirder. And also more awesome. And that is the good fight which unfortunately is a little hard to access because you can only get it on CBS all access which is a streaming service that it doesn't have anything except CBS shows. But it's kinda worth it for the good fight because it is crazy and ABS absurd and just bizarre often like, for example, just to give an example in the first episode of season three one of the characters husbands goes hunting with Donald Trump junior and Eric Trump he gets shot and buy them and he has a scar. And the scar his wife sees Donald Trump in it has a conversation with the scar. Donald Trump like this is the kind of thing that happens at the same time. They're also deals with really. Real serious issues that are not particularly dealt with on television. Like, the what happens if you are a black woman with your child and a white woman calls the police because she doesn't approve of the way your parenting, a topic that in real life, we've discussed on the show or about problems of white supremacists. Threatening voters at polling places, or you know, pay equity both around gender and a run race in law firms it deals with really big issues, very satisfactorily. And and in a way that feels just very exciting. And it has this bizarre stuff as well. So the good fight. Oh, also has some amazing actresses Audra McDonald Cush jumbo and Christine Borowski to name just a few. So the good fight season three. All right. That's our show for today. If you liked it please rate and recommend us on apple podcasts that really helps people find us which really like and thank you to our production system. Alex parish and our producer Danielle Hewitt. You can tweet to us Dr m Chechen Nori Malone and at June Thomas for Marcia on marine on June Thomas and the ways we'll be back next week.