The Waves

The “Horny in Our Politics” Edition

The Waves on likability in politics, the ethics of mommy blogging, and Derry Girls.

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On this week’s episode of the Waves, Hanna, June, and Noreen discuss the double-edged sword—and double standard—of “likability,” a quality that’s long been considered mandatory for women in politics. As pundits obsess over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, censure Rashida Tlaib, and evaluate Elizabeth Warren’s fitness for a 2020 run against “the ghost of Hillary,” are there any circumstances under which it’s a useful measure? And why are we still having this conversation if not? Then, mommy bloggers and Instagram influencers are being forced to reckon with the consequences of their work as their kids get old enough to make their own choices around privacy. When it comes to framing family anecdotes for public consumption, where’s the line between empowering and irresponsible? Finally, the hosts take on Derry Girls, discussing how the sitcom places a raucous group of teenage girls front and center—and manages to make comedy out of a fraught moment in Northern Irish history.


In Slate Plus: Is decluttering sexist?

Other items discussed on the show:

• “AOC Responds to Conservative Trolls With a New Dancing Video” by Amanda Arnold in the Cut
• “Democrats Weigh Merits of Calling Trump a ‘Motherfucker’ Who Should Be Impeached ASAP” by Ben Mathis-Lilley in Slate
• “I’ll Say It: Elizabeth Warren Isn’t Likeable” by Matt Lewis in the Daily Beast
• “Warren Battles the Ghosts of Hillary” by Natasha Korecki in Politico
• “Likability Is Overblown. Let’s Talk About Charisma” by Mike Pesca in Slate
• “My Daughter Asked Me to Stop Writing About Motherhood. Here’s Why I Can’t Do That” by Christie Tate in the Washington Post
• “It’s Time to Quit Mommy Blogging, for the Sake of My Children” by Darlena Cunha in the Washington Post
• “Is This Tantrum on the Record?” by Emily Bazelon in Slate
• “That Outrageous Mommy Blogger Who Refuses to Stop Writing About Her Kid Highlights a Key Parent-Child Generational Gap” by Ruth Graham in Slate
Derry Girls
Derry Girls’ Lisa McGee: ‘A Lot of Stuff About Northern Ireland Is Very Male’ ” by Seamas O’Reilly in the Irish Times


• Noreen: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
• Hanna: The Answers by Catherine Lacey
• June: Atomic Marriage by Curtis Sittenfeld

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

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Correction, Jan. 14, 2019: This page originally linked to the wrong Slate Plus episode of the Waves.