The Waves

The “Rifles or Ruffles” Edition

The Waves on “blackfishing,” gender reveal parties, and Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland.

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On this week’s episode of the Waves, Christina, Marcia, and Latifa discuss “blackfishing,” the phenomenon of white Instagram models attempting to emulate people of color, and debate what the trend suggests about identity and the line between appreciation and exploitation. Then, gender reveal parties are back in the news after some disastrous outcomes. What do they say about the norms children are still expected to adhere to, and why are they on the rise when trans visibility is greater than ever? Finally, the hosts reflect on how a new HBO documentary uses unprecedented access to challenge the popular perception of Sandra Bland’s life and death.


In Slate Plus: Is making fun of Melania’s White House Christmas decor sexist?

Other items discussed on the show:

• “The Women ‘Blackfishing’ on Instagram Aren’t Exactly Trying to Be Black,” by Lauren Michele Jackson in Slate

• “A White Teen Is Denying She Is ‘Posing’ as a Black Woman on Instagram After Followers Said They Felt Duped,” by Tanya Chen in BuzzFeed

• “Border Patrol Agent’s Gender-Reveal Party Sparked Arizona Fire, Lawyer Says,” by Melissa Gomez in the New York Times

• “The Over-Celebration of Life Events,” by Alia Wong in the Atlantic

• “Are You a Boy or a Girl?,” by Jessica Winter in Slate

Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland

• “An Interview With the Co-Director of Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland,” by Ecleen Luzmila Caraballo in Jezebel


• Marcia: The New Territory Magazine

• Christina: The third season of Serial and The Good Place

• Latifa: Robert Munsch’s The Paper Bag Princess and Jane Yolen’s Not All Princesses Dress in Pink

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

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