The Waves

The “Monetize Our Pain” Edition

The Waves on “mentrification,” the rise of femtech, and Always Be My Maybe.

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On this week’s episode of the Waves, Marcia, Nichole, and By the Book’s Kristen Meinzer discuss “mentrification,” a new term for the way women have been written out of industries and cultural moments they helped shape. They trace historic examples of the phenomenon—from the earliest days of software development to the original Star Trek fandom—and consider the long-term consequences of such erasure. Then, “femtech” is a billion-dollar industry built on the need for better sexual and reproductive health care. A lack of insurance (and information) may be pushing users toward the growing suite of apps, which track fertility, menstrual cycles, and more—but is it a necessary means of reclaiming autonomy, or do privacy concerns and the creators’ own agendas outweigh the potential for good? Finally, the hosts talk Always Be My Maybe, a new Netflix rom-com led by Ali Wong and Randall Park, evaluating its depiction of Asian American life and reflecting on the importance (and rarity) of a male love interest who has a transformative arc of his own.


In Slate Plus: Is it sexist that women are called “influencers” while men are “creators”?

Other items discussed on the show:

• “ ‘Mentrification’: How Men Appropriated Computers, Beer and the Beatles” Van Badham in the Guardian
• “Pop Music, Teenage Girls and the Legitimacy of Fandom” by Brodie Lancaster in Pitchfork
• “Researcher Reveals How ‘Computer Geeks’ Replaced ‘Computer Girls’ ” by Brenda D. Frink in Stanford University Gender News
• Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures
• “Femtech’s Billion-Dollar Year” by Kate Clark in TechCrunch
• “Women’s Fertility App Is Funded by Anti-Abortion Campaigners” by Jessica Glenza in the Guardian
• “Does Femtech Give Users Control of Their Health or Take It Away?” by Molly McHugh in the Ringer
Always Be My Maybe starring Ali Wong and Randall Park
• Reginald Hudlin’s Boomerang
• “Keanu Reeves Walks Into the Chateau Marmont: An Always Be My Maybe Casting Story” by E. Alex Jung in Vulture
• Ali Wong’s Baby Cobra
• “The Subtle Subversions of Always Be My Maybe” by Shirley Li in the Atlantic


Nichole: Project 615

Kristen: Ryan White’s Ask Dr. Ruth

Marcia: Reniqua Allen’s It Was All a Dream: A New Generation Confronts the Broken Promise to Black America

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

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