The Waves

The “Algorithm-y” Edition

The Waves on Katie Bouman and the black hole project, parenting while running for president, and white male victimhood.

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On this week’s episode of the Waves, Marcia, June, and Noreen discuss the reception of astrophysicist Katie Bouman, who inadvertently became the face of the historic black hole project—and a target for sexist backlash. What does the episode say about the hostility women in STEM still face and the narratives we risk reinforcing in the rush for female role models? Then, the unprecedented number of women in the 2020 race has sparked a conversation about their approaches to both parenthood and politics—but male candidates like Beto O’Rourke aren’t receiving the same scrutiny. The hosts debate why women’s domestic lives still matter and whether that can or should be a messaging tactic unto itself. Finally, they unpack Aaron Freedman’s recent piece on how a false sense of victimhood is driving young white men to murder. It’s the mindset that’s fueled white supremacists for centuries, so what (if anything) has changed in 2019?


In Slate Plus: Was the backlash to Kim Kardashian’s announcement that she’s studying to become a lawyer sexist?

Other items discussed on the show:

• “How Katie Bouman Accidentally Became the Face of the Black Hole Project“ by Sarah Mervosh in the New York Times
• “Trolls Hijacked a Scientist’s Image to Attack Katie Bouman. They Picked the Wrong Astrophysicist.” by Tim Elfrink in the Washington Post
• “For a Black Mathematician, What It’s Like to Be the ‘Only One’ ” by Amy Harmon in the New York Times
• “Mom vs. Dad on the Road to 2020” by Rebecca Traister in the Cut
• Elizabeth Warren and Amelia Warren Tyagi’s The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents Are Going Broke
• “Stacey Abrams on Dealing With Debt and Shame” by Molly Fischer in the Cut
• “False Victimhood Is Driving Young White Men to Murder” by Aaron Freedman in BuzzFeed
• “When Slaveholders Got Reparations” by Tera W. Hunter in the New York Times
• Fintan O’Toole’s Heroic Failure: Brexit and the Politics of Pain
• The Slate Podcast Endorse-O-Matic


Marcia: Alexis Coe’s podcast No Man’s Land

Noreen: The Cut’s package, Marriage: An Investigation

June: The new season of The Good Fight

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

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