The Waves

The “Random Acts of Power” Edition

The Waves on Stephen Elliott’s lawsuit against Moira Donegan, sexist A.I., and women and power.

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On this week’s episode of the Waves, Hanna, Noreen, and June discuss Stephen Elliott. Does his lawsuit against Moira Donegan, the creator of the Shitty Media Men list, have a chance of succeeding? And how does his response compare with those of other men on the list so far? Next, Amazon’s A.I. recruiting tool was deactivated after it was found to discriminate against women—because it was trying to match the company’s historic preference for male candidates. The hosts unpack our flawed assumptions about the objectivity of algorithms and debate whether they’re doomed to reinforce human biases. Finally, they discuss New York magazine’s “Women and Power” series and share their own theories on the relationship between the two.


Slate Plus: Is it sexist to analyze the body language of Ashley Kavanaugh?

Other items discussed on the show:

• “On Pandering” by Claire Vaye Watkins in Tin House magazine
• “How an Anonymous Accusation Derailed My Life” by Stephen Elliott in Quillette
• “What Do You Do When You Are Anonymously Accused of Rape?” by Bari Weiss in the New York Times
• “How a Rape Accusation Against Bill Clinton Did—and Didn’t—Change the Course of Impeachment” by Leon Neyfakh in Slate
• “I Started the Media Men List” by Moira Donegan in the Cut
• “What 5 Shitty Media Men Think of Stephen Elliott’s Lawsuit Against Moira Donegan” by Ruth Spencer in the Cut
• “I Believe Her” by Caitlin Flanagan in the Atlantic (adapted for The Daily as “A High School Assault”)
• “Amazon Created a Hiring Tool Using A.I. It Immediately Started Discriminating Against Women” by Jordan Weissmann in Slate
• “Who Trained Your A.I.?” by April Glaser in Slate
• “Machine Bias” by Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Surya Mattu, and Lauren Kirchner in ProPublica
• “Google’s Real Biases” by April Glaser and Will Oremus in Slate
• “Powerful Women Talk About Power (and Powerlessness)” by Hanna Rosin in the Cut
• “Furious Sexual-Assault Survivors Confront Jeff Flake in Elevator Over Kavanaugh” by Lisa Ryan in the Cut
• Mary Beard’s Women & Power: A Manifesto


• June: Julian Barnes’ The Sense of an Ending
• Hanna: Nancy Schwartzman’s Roll Red Roll
• Noreen: Laurie Colwin’s Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen

This podcast was produced by Danielle Hewitt. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.

The Waves plugs: Please remember to like our Facebook page. Send your midterms-related questions to or call us at (646) 907-9859 ahead of our special episode next week. And come to our live show in Miami on Nov. 17!