The Waves

The “John Wayne Bobbitt’s Organ” Edition

The Waves on Lorena Bobbitt, the future of fraternities, and the push for pay transparency.

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On this week’s episode of the Waves, Hanna, June, and Noreen discuss the re-evaluation of Lorena Bobbitt, from Jordan Peele’s new docuseries Lorena to a spate of think pieces that align her with the likes of Monica Lewinsky. Did the media misunderstand her at the time, or are these new works straining to fit a narrative at the expense of a more complicated reality? Then, fraternities have long been hotbeds of toxic masculinity. Some are trying to reckon with (and rectify) that legacy—but can such institutions really be saved? Finally, pay transparency is now a legal requirement in the U.K., and American companies are starting to follow suit. The hosts discuss what the “position gap” can tell us that the more commonly known “wage gap” couldn’t—and debate whether mandatory disclosure will be enough to spark meaningful change.


In Slate Plus: Is it sexist to discuss the love lives of powerful women?

Other items discussed on the show:


American Vandal

• “You Know the Lorena Bobbitt Story. But Not All of It,” by Amy Chozick in the New York Times

• “Lorena Bobbitt’s American Dream,” by Lili Anolik in Vanity Fair

• “Re-Examining Monica, Marcia, Tonya and Anita, the ‘Scandalous’ Women of the ’90s,” by Sarah Marshall in Splinter

Fatal Attraction

• “The Dark Power of Fraternities,” by Caitlin Flanagan in the Atlantic

• “A Frat Boy and a Gentleman,” by Alexandra Robbins in the New York Times

• “The Future of Frats Is Female,” by Reyhan Harmanci in Topic magazine

• “The Powerful Forces That Fight for American Fraternities,” by John Hechinger in the Atlantic


Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

• “Citigroup Reveals Female Employees Earn 29% Less Than Men Do,” by Rebecca Greenfield in Bloomberg News

• “How New Pay Gap Disclosures in Britain Could Push Companies to Promote Women,” by Jena McGregor in the Washington Post

• “Gender Pay Gaps Shrink When Companies Are Required to Disclose Them,” in Harvard Business Review

• Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men


• June: Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales’ podcast Chat 10 Looks 3

• Hanna: NPR’s Throughline

• Noreen: The music of Billie Eilish, especially “When the Party’s Over” and “You Should See Me in a Crown

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

Please remember to like our Facebook page. Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to And come to our live show at the Sydney Opera House on March 10!