The Waves

Should You Become a Mom at 25?

Writer Elizabeth Bruenig talks about the backlash to her article on young motherhood, the public nature of pregnancy, and how she approaches Twitter.


Episode Notes

On this week’s episode of The Waves, a conversation with Atlantic writer, Elizabeth Bruenig.

In the first half of the show, Elizabeth talks about her recent New York Times article, “I Became a Mother at 25, and I’m Not Sorry I Didn’t Wait” with Slate’s news director Susan Matthews. The two get into why pregnancy is both so personal and yet so public, how society and particularly the job market deals with that, and the randomness of deciding when the right time is.

After the break, Susan and Elizabeth delve into the backlash the piece received from the left, and then the backlash that backlash received from the right, and what we can take from that cycle. Elizabeth talks about whether she was trying to be provocative, and only being “happy stupid” on Twitter.

In Slate Plus, the women each share a piece of their past that made them feminists. For Susan, it was taking all the classes for a gender studies degree … without getting the degree. And Elizabeth talks about reading Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in junior high school.


Susan stans the Tour de France (which she has stanned before in the pages of Slate, but it is once again Tour de France season). If you can’t make it to the French countryside anytime soon, watching the cyclists pass by ancient castles may help scratch your travel itch. And for the people who are there, remember to keep your signs out of the way of the cyclists.

Elizabeth missed the TV show House when it first came out, but during the tail end of the pandemic, she’s been binge-watching it. She recommends the first few seasons of the medical drama, especially while folding laundry.

Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Susan Matthews and June Thomas. And additional production assistance by Rosemary Belson.

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About the Show

Each week a pair of writers and guests talk through one news story we can’t stop thinking about, and unpack what gender has to do with it.

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