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On this week’s episode of the Waves, Christina, Marcia, and Nichole are joined by Slate’s Josh Levin to discuss his new book, The Queen, which tells the true story of the woman who was cast as America’s original “welfare queen.” Together, they unpack the evolution of the racist stereotype, what politicians and journalists at the time left out, and how the real Linda Taylor measures up against the myth conjured by Ronald Reagan. Then, Olympian Alysia Montaño’s campaign to ensure that athletes receive maternity leave has exposed the sharp contrast between Nike’s feminist ad campaigns and the more exploitative reality. From sponsors’ mistreatment of pregnant runners to Alabama’s abortion ban, romantic narratives about women’s bodies are coming at a cost. What would it take to change the conversation? Finally, the hosts assess Amy Poehler’s directorial debut, Wine Country, and the rise of so-called mom jean movies.
In Slate Plus: Was the final season of Game of Thrones sexist?
Other items discussed on the show:
• Josh Levin’s The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind an American Myth
• “The Welfare Queen” by Josh Levin in Slate
• Patricia Hill Collins’ Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment
• “A Podcast About Linda Taylor, America’s Original Welfare Queen” by Josh Levin in Slate
• “Nike Told Me to Dream Crazy, Until I Wanted a Baby” by Alysia Montaño in the New York Times
• “Serena Williams Will Return to Grand Slam Tennis at a Lower Rank Because the Sport Still Treats Childbirth Like an Injury” by Mattie Kahn in Glamour
• Sanya Richards-Ross’ Chasing Grace: What the Quarter Mile Has Taught Me About God and Life
• “Ignorance Is Blessed” by Christina Cauterucci in Slate
• Amy Poehler’s Wine Country
• Parks and Recreation
• “Poms, Wine Country, and the Mom Jean Movie” by Alison Herman in the Ringer
• “Wine Country Review: Searching for Laughs in a Midlife Bacchanal” by Manohla Dargis in the New York Times
Marcia: Annelise Orleck’s Storming Caesars Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty
Christina: Good Omens starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen
Nichole: Phoeber Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag
This podcast was produced by Danielle Hewitt. Our production assistant is Alex Barasch.