The Waves

The “Work Wife” Edition

The Waves on Three Women, a recent Modern Love column, and the life and work of Toni Morrison.

Illustration depicting a female with a microphone

Listen longer

Slate Plus members get ad-free versions of all Slate podcasts, plus extra segments, bonus episodes, and more. Try it free today.

Join Slate Plus

Episode Notes

On this week’s episode of the Waves, Christina, June, Marcia, and Nichole discuss Lisa Taddeo’s book Three Women, which investigates the love lives of three real-life American women. They consider the demographics and attitudes of the women portrayed and what the book says about female desire. Then they unpack the Modern Love column, “Seduced, Then Scorned, by My Work Wife,” the account of a woman disenchanted with her marriage who describes an office flirtation with a lesbian co-worker. How much of this romance is imagined versus real? And what are the ethics of the author publishing this piece and exposing the identities of her co-workers? Finally, the panel reflects on their relationships to the work of Toni Morrison and the author’s legacy. They speak about the importance of representation and her position as a Great American Novelist.

In Slate Plus: Is hating vocal fry sexist?

Other items discussed on the show:

• Lisa Taddeo’s Three Women
Passion and Its Price” by Laura Miller in Slate
• “Seduced, Then Scorned, by My Work Wife” by Carrie Malinowski in the New York Times
• Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye
Toni Morrison: The Pain of Being Black” interviewed by Bonnie Angelo in Time
• Morrison’s Song of Solomon
Toni Morrison Dancing: Photos of the Author at Work and Play” by Veronica Chambers in the New York Times
• ”Toni Morrison Broke Down the Truth About White Supremacy in a Powerful 1993 PBS Interview” by Justin Kirkland in Esquire


Marcia: The podcast Bottom of the Map

June: Frozen grapes

Christina: The board game Codenames

Nichole: Gayl Jones’ Eva’s Man

This podcast was produced by Danielle Hewitt.

Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to


About the Show

The Waves is a biweekly conversation about news and culture examined through the lens of gender and feminism. Every other Thursday, join the hosts—including Slate’s June Thomas, Slate staff writer Christina Cauterucci, Marcia Chatelain of Georgetown University, and Thirst Aid Kit’s Nichole Perkins—for frank discussions about the ways gender shapes everything. Our new name reflects generations of women from the various waves of feminism, the sound waves that carry us to your ears, and the waves we intend to make.

All episodes