The “Is George Washington Canceled?” Edition
S1: This ad free podcast is part of your slate plus membership.
S2: Hello and welcome to the Waves for Thursday, February 13th. The is George Washington canceled edition. I’m Christina Carter Ritchie, a staff writer at Slate and host of the Slate podcast Outward. I’m Marcia Challener, professor of history at Georgetown University. Hi, I’m Nicole Perkins, writer and co-host of First Aid Kit. And I’m Jean Thomas, senior managing producer of Slate podcast. Happy early Valentine’s Day, guys. Happy Gal Valentine. Totally a real thing.
S3: We have a great episode planned for this week. But before we get into it, I want to let our listeners know. Everyone, listen up. Our next episode we are going to be talking about portraitist and street artist Tatyana Fazlullah Zardoz, his new book, Stop Telling Women to Smile. So if you want to check that out, to get prepared for our discussion with a little pre-reading, you’ve been warned. As for this week, we are going to start off with a review of Alexis Ko’s new book, You Never Forget Your First. What some have been calling a feminist biography of George Washington, some being Marcia Chaplin. Then we’ll discuss Taylor Swift, Jessica Simpson and the ways women in the spotlight are trying to correct and take control of their own stories.
S4: And finally, we’re going to talk about women and alcohol. Why alcohol related deaths among women are rising in the U.S. and why some women say Alcoholics Anonymous doesn’t work for them. And Nicole, what is our Slate Plus bonus segment this week?
S5: And Slate plus, we’re going to ask the question, is ghosting sexist the habit of disappearing from all communications with someone that you’re dating? Is that a sexist act?
S6: That one came from listener. Here’s a snippet of that conversation. I mean, the fact that’s just the question. Yes, he has some. I think she. I think what’s happened is that she’s recognized that feeling of like, why did I think that?
S7: So you see it has that awareness. But yeah, it is it is very it’s it’s always interesting when you kind of see some behavior like pops up and you’re like, oh, god, where did that come from?
S8: Is that some old fashioned thinking there?
S3: Yeah. Yeah. If you’re not a slate plus member yet and you want to know if ghosting is sexist, you can start your free two week trial by visiting slate.com, slash the waves. Plus, it’s just $35 for your first year. All right. Onto our first topic. You never forget your first. It’s a new biography of George Washington by the historian Alexis. June is going to sit out this segment because she wasn’t able to get her hands on the book. Marcia, you brought this one to us. Why don’t you tell us about it?
S9: Yes. Just in time for every patriot who loves to celebrate Presidents Day. You never forget your first. A Biography of George Washington by Alexis COH. Does two things really well that I think will get people interested in considering presidential biography as something that they want to read. He immediately kind of deconstructs the nature of presidential biographies, which is often in that category of Father’s Day Flash Dad books that come out in June at a local bookstore where you’ll see it with military history books, presidential biographies and books about barbecuing. And he talks about what happens to the quality of the history we learn when it’s not only almost exclusively written by men, but what the stakes are in writing about George Washington in a particular way. And I think it is a feminist look at George Washington, because it not only rethinks some of the dynamics that have been written about his relationship with his mother and with his wife, but it also critiques the power in setting the narrative of who’s a great man and why. And it’s really funny because I think the tone is both rigorous, but also exposes just how ridiculous the kind of presidential hero worship is. And I think that in the age of Trump, to read about the dangers of canonizing great men just for the sake of doing it or what the kind of investment is, it’s an interesting warning sign because I’m sure there will be a generation of great man biographies of Trump, if you can imagine. And it’s the same kind of politics that I think really exposed the sexism and the gender inequality in the writing of history.
S10: Yeah. What I like about this biography is it makes its own. Biases very clear. And by that I mean it. It sort of does away with the idea of sort of an objective historical analysis of anything it makes, you know, right from the introduction makes clear that every biography is an interpretation, like a new synthesis of source materials. Every telling of facts is biased in its own way. And I love that it was a little bit of a critical review of previous biographies as much as an assessment of the facts that that Alexis COH was able to find as she was researching George Washington. And it’s incredible how different my impression of George Washington was by the end of this book. Not that it was like, you know, a take down of George Washington or anything, but it was a lot more of a humanizing look, I think. I mean, I left the book kind of like concerned for his work life balance. You know, he was very he wanted to be home with his family a lot more than he was able to be. I think we all know, you know, the popular history of him does acknowledge that he was a little bit of a reluctant leader at first. You know, he wanted to retire and then he was sort of drawn back in to be president. But I think you get a lot more of a sense of his personality in this biography than you do in a lot of other tellings, in part because she wasn’t afraid to highlight characteristics of his that might not fit this sort of like hypermasculine military leader persona, which I think a lot of people are very invested in maintaining.
S11: And it just it it like I went on a lot of, you know, little rabbit holes in my brain as I was reading this about what other things we might learn about other leaders and also like ourselves if we divested ourselves from, you know, this sort of national mythmaking around masculinity, if we didn’t feel like we needed to, like venerate everybody in American history as a war hero or something, if we were able to, you know, just examine our leaders as they were, not to cancel them, but to like understand them and learn from them as actual people instead of as ideas that we create in order to like make our nation seem extra strong.
S12: Yeah. One of the things that I like about this biography is that it actually made me interested in one reading a biography and to reading about George Washington because I am not a biography person at all. I find them usually very dry, even if they’re supposed to be the tell all variety. I just don’t I’m not very interested in them for the most part. And I realize as I was reading the introductory materials here that it is because, you know, specific to presidents and historical figures that it is because most of them have been written by men who are trying to prove that these leaders, again, almost always men, have always been leaders from the time that they were, you know, they took their first steps.
S13: They were born to be the president of the country. And it’s like, no, they were just kids. You know, they get at some point, you know, these people were human.
S14: So I feel like Alexis Coal does a really good job of, you know, pardon the cliche of humanizing George Washington.
S13: And I also really appreciated that she just went ahead and gave me, as someone who barely wants to know about, you know, presidents, as someone who, you know, has just heard all these different myths about him, just got right down to it. What’s up with George Washington’s teeth? You know, she gave us that information at the very beginning in the preface.
S4: This way you’re not thinking about it the whole time. When is she gonna get to. Yeah. Like she just says it.
S13: Yes. And so I I really like that because for me, as a black woman from the South, I’ve definitely heard. No, his teeth were made from the teeth of slaves. Also the weight that she brings it up is just beautiful, she says. Washington had a poacher’s smile, so she talks about not only did he have teeth from animals in his mouth as a part of his dentures, but he had to. He did have the teeth of slaves. Sometimes he would buy them and sometimes not. But he you know, if you can imagine various dentures set with different species, the teeth of different species, then you’ve got George Washington. And it’s kind of like, wow, that’s gruesome a little bit. Know, I I. But yeah, I really appreciate that. She does like gave me that. And like, I know this is what you want. Here it is. And now let’s get to the nitty gritty.
S9: Well, I think the part of it that is also important and kind of weird to think about is how many of these presidential biographies gloss over slavery or make kind of like a slave owning and presidents. And that is another thing that this book. Does not feel the need to either defend or to try to rationalize George Washington’s, you know, deep dependence on slavery for his wealth. You know, some of the myths of some of these presidential biographies are of the benevolent slave owner who, you know, supported slavery, but they were super nice about it. I think this book and another one called Never Caught the Washingtons relentless pursuit of their runaway slave owner.
S15: A judge are probably the two presidential books that I’ve read in the past few years that I have appreciated the ways that they are trying to tell a really full story not only about people but their choices and remind us that they actually could have made different choices, but didn’t because the system of slavery and the system of wealth was so much tied into them. I never read presidential biographies, and then a few years ago I taught this class called Race and racism in the White House because I’m a huge troll and I had to start reading presidential tacks and the number of pieces that I reviewed for class that did not take race or gender seriously was really appalling.
S9: So I hope that the kind of both funny and very serious tone that this book takes will inspire other young women historians to kind of do this type of work.
S3: The other thing that really struck me about the way this book approached the people that Washington enslaved was that it really made visible all the sort of quote unquote, secondary and tertiary characters that made his life and his achievements possible. And it exposed what I think are gaping holes in other biographies that really try to take a narrow view of one person in American history, whether it be, you know, a president or a military leader or a business leader, to the exclusion of all of the people doing the labor that, you know, supported those people.
S11: Like, for example, Washington’s manservant, enslaved man servant Billy Lee, who accompanied him everywhere he went and and was basically his secretary in addition to being his personal assistant and performed all these other duties for him.
S10: Like I had never read such a clear eyed view of of what that meant. And also a critique of how other biographies talked about Billy Lee, where they would sort of like, you know, praise him for his devotion and stuff without really recognizing the fact that he didn’t have a choice in the matter. You know, he he was enslaved by Washington, who had aggressively pursued another can help but enslaved person who had run away from his plantation. Alexis also writes about Martha Washington and Mary Washington. You know, George Washington’s wife and mother and the effect that they had on him and his the home that they kept and the support that they provided him. And when I try to think about what it means to write a book about a president that’s not targeted at men. I was initially like, am I being sexist to think that this book that focuses a little bit more on these other characters is like more appealing to women, you know, and is not one of those dad books that you mentioned, Marcia? I I was like, am I being sexist? Do I think that it’s I’m like selling women short by thinking that we need like a special kind of history book? But I actually think it’s it’s a good thing for people to expect more from history books that, you know, as Alexis Cummings very clear, every book has its own biases. It just so happens that the history books that have been written by men for men are biased in a way that excludes a lot of women and people of color who are equally important to the narrative.
S14: Yeah, I want to kind of go back to George Washington and the slaves and the idea that, you know, a lot of previous biographies kind of paint him as a benevolent slave owner who was just, you know, a victim of the times and he had to go along with the process. But I think it’s telling that, as Alexis Cole points out, that as soon as he had died, many of the slaves ran away. They you know, they couldn’t count on the fact that maybe he had freed them in his will or maybe somebody will actually honor that. So they ran away. And I think that that speaks to, you know, it doesn’t matter how quote-unquote nice your master was, slavery was terrible. And the first chance that people felt that they could take, they took it to leave and that his wife, Martha was afraid of what would have. To her after his death, when it came to what she had to do to honor his request and how she was going to live with the slaves, with, you know, with the people there. So I really appreciated that. Alexis Cole pointed out the nuances of of what it meant for George Washington to be a slave owner and how that affected the rest of his household, including. I think one of the sons who was abusive was like a terrible person. So I just I thought that was very honest and refreshing. And I hope that it causes more people to kind of open their eyes about the truth of the situation. And that is not just you can’t just brush it off as, oh, well, that’s that’s just what was happening at the time that people made decisions. And we need to understand sometimes those decisions were harmful to the people around them.
S10: Marcia, as a fellow historian, how do you think about the audience of these kinds of books, like what makes a book dad book and and what makes a book, not a dad book? And is there something? What is it about this kind of history that is biased toward, like the male reader, the older white male reader? Because I think that’s what we’re talking about when we’re when we use the shorthand dad. Right?
S15: Yeah. So a lot of it is just marketing the publishing industry’s decision that this is the group of people who will best understand and appreciate this work. And then it sells really well and then it kind of fuels the system.
S16: You know, I think what the idea behind the kind of dad book construction is that men are constantly pooped on by a culture that is constantly critical. So why don’t we celebrate the great men of the past in hopes that you can project yourself onto these characters? And one of the things Alexis talks about, and it’s kind of funny, but also really disturbing, is all of the depictions of George Washington’s thighs and about his physical specimen. And you know, what she says is that some of that is about trying to sort out this discomfort of the fact that he didn’t have any biological children. And it’s to suppress any kind of inkling that he may not have been the most heterosexual of all heterosexual men.
S17: And so in many ways, I think this genre of writing isn’t just about the person. The book is about. It’s about masculinity. And I think in these moments where there’s a segment of the population that feels like masculinity is in crisis, the prescription is often to then fixate on great men in the past. And I think that that is where some of this comes from. But I also think that some of the gatekeeping of the historical profession create situations where only men do presidential history. And so then they train a lot of men in presidential history and presidential biography. And so there isn’t a lot of space for women to assert their voices, let alone a different point of view on the form.
S18: Can I pop in here? So I didn’t read it yet, although I’m going to because for one reason your conversation’s making me think I’ll really enjoy. Also, I really liked Alexis Coast first book, Alison Freada Forever, which was kind of a lesbian historical story, you know, a true history. But I I have a question, Marcia. Like, is this good history? All of the things that you’ve said, you know, just maybe think this is a bit different. And I must concede that in my head, like those big tomes of, you know, written by dudes, these like 700, 800 pages about a president who’s been written about so many times like this is different. Is it good history?
S15: I would say that this is exceptional history because there’s actually a lot of archival research that is synthesized in order to make really good points or even listicles. And I think that this is good history because unlike some of the other biographies, what they do is they just cite other biographies. So there’s an entire industry of popular history in which people aren’t doing a lot of primary document research to find the source. They’re just citing all the other dudes who wrote the history before. And part of her discussion of the process, I saw her give a talk about this book at Mt. Vernon, which was fascinating to watch the audience. But, you know, she said, like, I would read these books about George Washington. And people would make these claims and I would go to their notes. And they were just citing each other. And, you know, she spent a lot of time at Mount Vernon, actually, you know, reading the documents there. And I think, again, those big books that the dad president. Books give you the feeling of authority. And I think it’s just because the covers are designed that way.
S9: And because there’s a man’s name on the cover and there’s a man’s name on the cover and he might have an affiliation and a at what we say is a top university. But it doesn’t take long to see a lot of floppy work in that field.
S3: I love the shade in what we say is a tough university. I’ll also say that her devotion to the primary source material here is really clear and she makes it clear that a lot of people can read. Even even folks who did go back to those primary documents can read the same, you know, letters from Washington to his mother, let’s say, and and come up with completely different interpretations of it. And I think that’s where she says some biases come in, where, you know, previous biographers have talked about Mary Washington, George Washington’s mother, as like shrewish and unloving. And she brings in all of this context where, you know, when you were a mother in that day and age and you were concerned about your children dying, you weren’t preventing your son from joining the British Navy because you didn’t want him to succeed or you were selfish or whatever, you were doing it because you thought he was probably going to die and he was really important to you. And I loved reading what it seemed like were, you know, new bits of information that she was bringing out that maybe previous biographers, whether because they were citing each other, because they just didn’t think the other characters were important, had left out of their histories. But also the ways she interpreted the same documents a little bit differently.
S13: I don’t know if it’s just me, but I kept confusing Marion, Martha and I don’t know. I don’t know why. I guess maybe because I was bringing my own previous experiences with trying to learn about Washington’s history. And I felt like maybe his wife and his mother were kind of dismissed in the same way as just these shrewish people. Are these cold-hearted not very maternal people. And so that he had to power through their lack of love or something to get to be the president. But I thought it was very interesting that I learned that Martha really did not enjoy sharing George with the world, as it were. And it kind of reminds me a little bit of Michelle Obama and and how she was reluctantly a first lady. And this, you know, really didn’t seem to enjoy her experience, but had to kind of suck it up and, you know, go with the flow. I don’t know if that if that comparison is accurate, but that’s just kind of what popped into my head when I was reading this.
S3: All right. I think that’s all the time we have for this book. It’s called You Never Forget Your First. It’s a great book. Listeners, we’d love to hear from you. Do you read the kinds of presidential histories we’re talking about?
S19: Have you bought a dad book from someone? Have you read a dad book? Are you a dad who loves books? E-mail us at the waves at Slate.com.
S10: A new documentary about the career of Taylor Swift came out on Netflix last month.
S3: It’s called Miss Americana, named after one of her recent songs. It’s an authorized documentary. So when I was watching it, I found it kind of hard to assess as like a real window into the life of Taylor Swift, which is sort of how it was marketed, because I know she’s given the green light to every piece of footage. You know, even the act of observation changes the events in a documentary. So I think it’s probably better interpreted as a commercial than any kind of tell. But the fact that Taylor Swift made this at all and in this way is interesting to me. So she negotiated with Netflix. She she, you know, expressed interest to them. She chose the director, Lorna Wilson. And the fact that this is a Netflix documentary instead of a series of self-released videos, which is very possible in the age of social media, gives it a kind of air of authority and objectivity.
S10: And it’s framed very much as an attempt to reshape the public narrative around Taylor Swift. So around her, her issue was with Konya West, a conflict that she really didn’t ask to be a part of at age 20, but somehow ended up being portrayed as like a two sided feud. It talks about her relationship to her body, to fame and her fans, what it feels like to be pressured to fit a certain mold of a female celebrity, but then hated for trying too hard to fit into that mold. And at the same time, in sort of the same vein, Jessica Simpson has now released a new autobiography, Open Book. And in interviews she’s given on the press tour for this book, she has painted a similarly kind of grim picture, a little bit more grim, I think, than Taylor Swift of what it was like for her for so many years to be the subject of media fascination and disgust. I think those two things kind of come together as a pair a lot when we’re talking about female celebrities. She has talked about what it was like to have constant chatter and criticism about her weight, her relationships, her intelligence. She also writes that it drove her to abuse alcohol and to develop unhealthy eating habits. And so while reading those interviews, watching Taylor Schultz documentary, I feel like they reacted to similar pressures of fame in two different ways. Jessica Simpson, you know, was sort of portrayed as like this ditz and she kind of ended up embracing it because maybe she didn’t have a choice. She didn’t really fight back that much. She committed to a bunch of reality TV shows. She stopped making music. She hasn’t released an album in 10 years. And then she stepped back from the spotlight and made millions of dollars making clothes and really kind of let go of her career as a pop artist. Taylor Swift, meanwhile, doubled down on her pop music and made a name for herself, for dragging her haters, for writing songs about them, about, you know, how hard it was to be the subject of this media obsession with her and Kanye’s west and, you know, sort of building this army of fans who are ready to defend her at every turn. So I’m wondering what you guys think about these two artists and and famous women coming out at this time with their own stories. What did you get out of it?
S7: It does seem part of this whole process that we’ve observed and many people have observed over the last few years have like people taking back control because now it is easy. I agree. Christina, that it’s interesting that Taylor Swift, too, is, you know, in a sort of beyond, say, like position where if you want to documentary about, you can get one. If you want to have millions of people watch your videos, you can do that. You get to make choices that she chose to make a behind the scenes thing. You know, no, this is all part of that thing that, you know, what happened to the tabloids, they’re pretty much dead because celebrities now have control themselves. They put their own photos on Instagram. And it was really interesting to me that Jessica Simpson, whose book, you know, has been relatively well responded to, received there was a New York Times profile and the writer went off to spend time with her. And she talked about how, you know, it’s great that she got the interview. PR persons who’s promised they wouldn’t be hanging around was hanging around the whole time. And that after the reporter asked her first question, basically, Jessica Simpson just talked for two hours, solid Salida just like gave her just like one long monologue. And that feels like it’s a part of it. To me. It is about taking back control. It’s about being in charge. You know, people have written books. You mentioned, you know, tell alls are behind the scenes. You know, this is my chance to tell you what really happened that’s been around forever. But just the level of control now just seems to to have gone up on all. Bases, I thought was really interesting. When Slate’s Sam Adams wrote about Miss Americana, Sundance, he said it’s not a movie about getting behind Swift’s public image, but about her decision to alter it. So you can see the you know, you can see the strings being pulled. Yeah, but that’s you know, that’s where we are now and there’s no point fighting it.
S13: Yeah, I liked from that same review that he says this version that we’re getting of Taylor Swift may not be the real one, but it’s a new one. And so that’s how I feel. And I you know, I freely admit I have some biases against Taylor Swift. So I was very reluctant to look at the documentary to watch it. But one of my really good friends, she was like, no, you should absolutely watch it, because I kind of did change my mind about her. And I was like, you sure? I did not change my mind about Taylor. I. I do feel like it. What Christina said that it is a commercial, which I guess that’s what it’s supposed to be anyway. Maybe. But I didn’t really feel like I came away with too much that was new or surprising. And maybe that’s again, my fault for trying to expect something a little juicier from a documentary, not necessarily specific to Taylor Swift, but just in general. Maybe I’m just an a celeb gossip has twisted my my mind eye and wants something that’s a little more interesting than what I saw at Miss Americana. But what I liked Jessica Simpson’s memoir, autobiography that she did still very much like I was going over to, you know, a friends of the family’s house. And she was like, come on and I’m gonna fix you some sweet tea. And then she just tells me all about her life. Yeah. Just like everything. It was just very it seemed very personal. And I, you know, very intimate. I felt like I was a part of the actual conversation with her and that maybe, again, that Texas charm, you know, is kind of beauty pageants kind of feel to it. But it makes me think of it as we’re talking about celebrities, particularly women, trying to get control of their image. It makes me think about the situation with Janet Jackson and the late director John Singleton on the set of poetic justice. So he put out this rumor that she refused to kiss Tupac, her co-star, until he had an HIV test, until his test results came back. So at the time, of course, everybody was terrible to Janet. And then it wasn’t until, I believe, after John Singleton had passed out like shortly before that, that it came out that he made that up because he was trying to drum up publicity for the movie. And so we have, you know, 20 years of people being assholes to Janet about this, and she couldn’t correct it. You know, there was no way for her to correct it. These actions of men to change the narrative a certain way and to present a certain narrative have affected women. But now we have more celebrities who are like, I let her go for so long and now I need to correct it because I don’t want this to be a part of my legacy. These lies to be a part of my legacy. So I’m really interested in seeing who else is going to come out to try to correct the lies and rumors that people have put out there in order to advance the various projects.
S9: Marcia, what do you think? I don’t know from the audience for this type of celebrity stuff, although I’m not above celebrity. You know, gossip magazines or tabloids or what have you. But I think that Taylor Swift is 30. And Jessica Simpson is close to 40.
S20: And I think for these two women who very much grew up in the spotlight, who were groomed at a young age for performance, they’re letting us into their existential crises. I think Jessica Simpson probably feels like she has a little less to lose because her brand has migrated from pop music to her clothing line. She has kids and a family. And so her reappearance as a reflective character, I think, doesn’t kind of disturb what she’s had going on financially for a while. I think for Taylor Swift, it’s not in her best interests to expose too much. I think Christina is right that this is her infomercial that is designed as she approaches her thirties to remain relevant and to appeal to another segment of the population, because both of them, a lot of the interest in them came from little girls. And I think that when you are in a position where you’re marketed because of your youth and because of your popularity with youth, then growing up and finding a new identity must. He really, really hard. And so I don’t find them that compelling. And I think it’s interesting to think about what kind of developmental stages people go through when they’re so young and they’re not only performing, but in many cases they’re earning the household income or they’re contributing to it or they’re keeping their parents on their payroll. All of those dynamics, I think, are far more interesting maybe than the types of things that they reveal, especially for Taylor Swift. I think that her movie doesn’t reveal very much about her.
S13: Oh, I just realized why when we’re talking about Jessica Simpson and Taylor Swift, why I feel more more drawn to Jessica Simpson as I feel like she has kind of always been an underdog. She’s been presented as an underdog when she first came on the scene. And she would start out doing Christian music, I believe. And, you know, she was forced to hide her breasts like, you know, because she was fairly well developed at a young age or whatever. So people thought that she was too sexy to be singing Christian music as she felt. You know, she talked about that. I remember very early on and it always seemed like her relationship with her father as the breadwinner was, you know, always kind of weird and strange. And when the reality show was, she’s like, is this chicken or tuna? You know, that famous thing, chick? Yeah, a chicken, a fish. That thing I’ve always felt like, oh, poor baby. You know, like there’s something more here. Whereas Taylor kind of came out the gate, like I told my parents I wanted to go to Nashville and become a star. And that’s what they did. Like, she always kind of presented this very assertive, confident persona. And so maybe I didn’t have that same sort of like, oh, I need to make sure that she succeeds because she’s gonna make sure she succeeds. I don’t need to do anything to help her. So that that’s just kind of helped me look at my own bias.
S22: I mean, it’s funny because I my experience of Taylor Swift is really listening to her albums or watching things to talk about them on podcasts. Like I’ve never just experienced it naturally, organically.
S7: And that, of course, is yet another weird, you know, perception thing that I’ve always been, you know, watching someone else’s version of a thing that she’s put out to win win over listeners, too, to sell stuff. And I have to admit that I did find the the sort of the images in the documentary of her as a kid where she seems so, you know, preternaturally confident and capable and poised as really taught. And she also had that, Luke, that is in many ways perceived as are sold as that perfect Luke. She’s tall, she’s skinny, she’s blonde. She’s dated other that like not not of the things that I am, but, you know, we know what’s valued and that is valued. And just like how she would have. How did she get that confidence? How did you like. So there are interesting things to me among all of it. But yeah, that there I know exactly what you mean. That this whole thing. I think we all suspect, suspect or know that Jessica Simpson got the good the crappy edit, she got the edit to bring eyeballs to her shows very early reality show. And so like she was it was almost like she was being experimented upon to find out what is it that will make people watch this thing that we’re calling reality TV and and that there is a sympathy. And I think the fact that her clothing brand is all the articles mentioned, like is a massive success. And, you know, broke a billion dollars in sales per year pretty early on that like she is massive at the same time when in all of these pieces and in fact, in her book as well, when she’s talking about her life. Sure. She talks about her kids. She’s got three little kids. She talks about her husband, who is an NFL player and went to Yale. She mentions those things. But she also talked so much about her employees. It’s like her employees are her family. And, you know, they’ve they’ve been with her for a long time. And and I get that she has this weird life, but it is still a very strange and unattractive version of financial success and and commercial success and all the things that were supposed to win, I think. Well, I don’t want that.
S3: Yeah, I think it’s interesting to read both of these, but especially Miss Americana as sort of a meta commentary on what we expect of female celebrities now. So, you know, we’ve talked before on this podcast about how influencers are expected to and and benefit from sort of performing imperfection and vulnerability and insecurity in a very specific way. And for Taylor Swift, I think in her songs and she is a great songwriter. I think it’s it’s part of why her fans love her, because she is very good at bringing out. Those feelings and those sort of quote unquote insecurities in her songs, she mentions in the documentary like a thing that a lot of people have observed, which is that people who become famous when they’re young sort of freeze at that developmental stage. You know, I one thing I don’t like about her most recent album is it does still feel like a high school album. And she’s about my age, you know, far from high school. But in the documentary, when it’s showing her, you know, quote unquote, trying to figure out whether it’s time for her to expose her political beliefs or come out in favor of a politician or in this case, against Marsha Blackburn in Tennessee, where she lives now. I thought that was interesting as an indication of what we expect from political celebrities. We we really criticize celebrities, I think, for making these kinds of decisions based on business imperatives. You know, what is it profitable for me to do versus like, what is it moral or ethical for me to do? I don’t think that’s it’s necessarily a bad thing that that she was also considering or that her team was considering. Will it, you know, tank your career if you express an opinion on politics? But in her film, she tries very hard, I think, to make it clear that she was the only person on her team or she and her mom were the only people saying, I want to do this because it’s right. And I don’t care what happens to my business when, you know, as we all know, she did not take any significant hit from expressing an opinion against Marsha Blackburn and Trump. But I think she feels the need to sort of prove that those opinions come from a place of honesty and not from a place of pandering calculation. Right. Where, you know, of course, everything is calculated when you’re running a million or billion dollar business and have hundreds of people on your payroll, that’s impossible to do anything without calculating it.
S23: Yeah, I think that’s about it for women celebrities on this episode.
S3: Listeners, if you’ve watched Miss Americana, have you read the interviews with Jessica Simpson or read her book? We’d love to hear what you think, especially if you’ve been following their careers for a while. Our e-mail address is The Waves at Slate.com. All right, our last topic for this show. Women and alcohol. June, what’s the story here?
S24: So the subject of women and alcohol, it’s come up in the news and opinion pieces recently with such frequency that it seemed like something we should talk about. A recently released analysis of the rate of deaths related to alcohol abuse showed that it rose sharply for women between 1999 and 2017. So in 1999, like a little over 7500 women were classified as dying from causes related to alcohol. And in 2017, that number was 18000. So it’s a jump of 85 percent. Now, we should note here that this is still much lower than the rates for men, for men. The death rate was up 35 percent over that period. But the raw numbers were much higher. Nearly 36000 in 1999. And seventy two thousand five hundred in 2017. So still a lot less than men, but a huge jump. And around the same time that this information was released, there have also been a number of up heads and books suggesting that the post-rehab treatment for alcoholism that’s become the standard treatment and is seen quite often as the only treatment. Alcoholics Anonymous can be problematic for women. So Holly Whitaker pointed out that AA was founded back in 1939 by some very privileged white men and that the essential steps, things like admitting powerlessness, setting aside ego, submitting to a higher power, making amends aren’t necessarily the underlying causes of women’s excessive drinking. She wrote Powerlessness isn’t what many women who struggle with alcohol need. It’s what made them sick in the first place. So it seemed like there was both statistical information suggesting that women are not only drinking more, but having more problems with alcohol. But that also that some of the received notions like when you have a problem with alcohol, when you recognize a problem, this is what you do to address it may actually not really be right for for everyone and certainly maybe less right for women.
S25: I thought these articles were really interesting to think about whether the whole addiction model needs an update, because I think that this idea of why people abuse alcohol. We have a more sophisticated understanding of maybe the social pressures that can fall along gender lines. But I don’t think there has been very much innovation in the treatment of alcoholism. And I think it’s because A has been successful and is considered the gold standard of how to provide accessible treatment to a large population at, you know, no cost and to create a community around addiction.
S26: But I think that some of the arguments against Alcoholics Anonymous are are really compelling about the framework to do the kind of self inventory that I think when we think about gender can be more destructive to women than empowering.
S13: Yeah. This was so interesting for me to read about because it kind of gave me like this dumb moment. Like, of course, we need to figure out a better way to treat women because so much medical research for the most part has always been done on men, you know, male patients.
S27: And so whatever research has gone into how to help people with alcoholism, most often it’s going to be, you know, dedicated towards men. And this idea that powerlessness is the cause of the sickness. I think that’s that just kind of blew me away. And I’m thinking also about, you know, our previous discussions about those mom shirts and things, you know, like it’s, you know, mommy needs her wine time and things like that. And the ways that we have, you know, possibly given a lighter look or whatever, like we don’t necessarily hold women’s issues with alcohol in the same way, you know, we kind of make light of it, I guess, is what I’m trying to say. And I know that I have a history of alcoholism in my family.
S13: So for me, I I’ve never like talked to anybody about that because I always made sure that I did. I get into the habit of drinking alone, like when I met, you know, at home, I tend to just be a social drinker. You know, only when I’m around friends or something like that. So I feel like that’s me trying to combat my history. And so to see in this research that we read, to see the way women have kind of had to take it into their own hands to figure out the ways that they have to combat dependency on alcohol. Even in our Jessica Simpson materials, we saw this. She kind of had to figure out her own way to cope. Which was not to go with how to cope with our dependency. So this was really fascinating for me. And I am interested to see like what kind of what kind of help will come for women, because it seems, you know, in the way that a lot of, you know, we have these kind of women’s centered things. Now, I’m thinking of something like the wing as we talk about Alexis Cole and stuff like that and and how, you know, sometimes when we focus on women, sometimes it’s not the best either. So I’m just interested in seeing where the recovery options, what kind of recovery options we can provide that are specific for women without alienating women and like covering it in pink or something.
S3: You know, I read actually in Vice. About a women only addiction recovery group in London called Feminism for Change. And women in that group said in this piece that in mixed gender addiction recovery groups, whether they’re AA or not, men often dominate the conversation. I mean, it’s almost like the kinds of things that happen in any mixed gender group.
S11: You know, those groups will tilt towards serving the men’s needs and cause women to monitor their own behavior for acceptability in mixed company where women are conscious of coming across as, you know, a bitch or don’t feel comfortable talking about, quote unquote, woman things. The example given in the piece is periods. I don’t know why necessarily when you’re talking about periods in addiction recovery group, but who knows? But I can also imagine, you know, sexual assault, domestic abuse, the other kinds of things that often go along with addiction. There are ways that a gender informed recovery group, whether it’s women only or not, could be of a lot more use than a one size fits all mixed gender group that is automatically going to skew toward whatever the the dominant identity in the group is.
S18: Yeah, and it’s really easy to see why Alcoholics Anonymous and the other related Anonymous groups are so popular, partly because they are effectively free, they’re voluntary. They’re you know, there’s there’s the structure for socializing and for getting support that it’s, you know, is is kind of wonderful. I wish there were more of that kind of free voluntary support kind of structure in other parts of life. And clearly, it has been very effective for many people. You know, I’ve known many people who have been gotten, you know, their recovery was possible because of an A or a kinds of groups. At the same time, just some of the specific messaging, some of these 12 steps that seem, you know, I guess don’t knock it till you’ve needed it. But when you kind of look at the language and you look at what people are expected to really reflect on, to really take seriously, to use two to restart their lives, they don’t seem like the kinds of kind of koans that you necessarily will. We’ll put you in the right kind of place to start over.
S3: To go back to what Holly Whitaker wrote about in The New York Times, about why Alcoholics Anonymous wasn’t a solution for her. And she said, the antidote to my drinking problem looked a lot like feminism when we were reading about the study on alcohol related deaths. Patricia Powell of the National Institutes for Health said part of being liberated from male dominance is being able to behave in which way you choose. Some women have gotten the message that it’s liberating to drink like a man, and she was talking specifically about young women consuming alcohol. And first of all, I think there’s a big difference between, quote unquote, drinking like a man and quote unquote, abusing alcohol. You know, it’s not the same thing. And and certainly I don’t think we’ve been liberated from male dominance yet. But it it made me think about the social conditions under which women, for instance, arrive at college and participate in a heavy drinking scene. And I think part of it is that women are taught that casual sex, you know, is shameful, makes them dirty.
S11: You know, I think about all the abstinence only sex education that women get in in middle school and high school about when you lose your virginity, you’re like a chewed up piece of gum that everyone’s passing around or something. And certainly that’s not the whole reason why people drink in college. But I think one reason why people drink is to alleviate some of that social anxiety or to take away some of those inhibitions that are affected by gendered indoctrination, like, oh, if if you are a woman in college who wants to have sex and you think the only acceptable way to do that is to be drunk first, or if it’s the only way that you can make yourself feel comfortable doing it is to drink first. Like it’s not just because of what everyone’s doing around you and you’re trying to keep up with the boys or whatever. It’s it’s because of the way we’ve trained women to. Conceive of themselves in a in a social situation.
S7: Well, I think, too, that there’s. There is something to the way that, you know, female behavior, male behavior. It does is no less separate means just to use the most ridiculous and anecdotal piece of evidence. I’m making skirt quotes like in Britain when it used to be that you went out with your friends.
S18: Women would drink half pints. Men would drink pints. No. There were there were reasons why this was annoying, especially in the culture of buying rounds that basically women are paying for men to drink more than they the men have to pay for them to drink.
S3: Was it like a bartender would automatically give a woman at a half pint? Or would they say like three half pints and four pints?
S18: It wasn’t automatic, but I think there was. It was considered. I mean, I know I’m old. So this this is now decades ago. It was considered just it would be very strange for a woman to drink a pint like that was aberrant behavior. No. Everybody drinks the same, you know, because for various reasons, like it’s fairer. You know why? Why would we have all these different? I don’t even know why, but I see it like on television. I see it in pubs. People if people are drinking beer, they are drinking pints or everybody’s drinking the same. There’s not like that gender difference has not disappeared. Certainly decreased a lot. And you know, what we also read is that women’s bodies don’t deal with alcohol in the same way and it has a bigger effect on women. And so, you know, that just feels like. I think that the fact that we have less strict, you know, female behaviour, male behavior, that seems like an absolutely positive. But then when it causes health impacts, then I don’t know. Then not so much. Not so great. If we’re drinking, we’re literally drinking more alcohol. That’s probably not the best thing for us.
S13: The whole gender thing of drinking like a man are, you know, whatever lately. I would say in the last five years or so, there’s been kind of this increase in women signaling a certain something by saying that they drink whiskey. Yeah. To be, you know, to impress men.
S28: A Twitter handle t and maybe a little bit. But that’s not the best. But no.
S12: But anytime I mean, you know, if a guy is going gonna buy me a drink or something nice a you know, I just want whiskey neat.
S21: And they’re just like all the wine they. And I’m like, what? What aren’t you drinking that? You know, it’s like, I don’t know. People still expect women to hold onto their glasses of wine. You know, Mary Jo. Right. I’ve seen it. Yeah. So there’s still very much a gendered tint to drinking and what women are allowed to drink. And so I’m from a place where women really don’t drink beer or they’re not supposed to drink beer. It’s like men drink the beer and women drink the coolers and the wine or whatever, some sort of cocktail. It’s very sweet and fruity. So it’s a heat, you know. So me, I get like impressed when I see a woman drinking beer because I think I don’t know. I guess it’s just not what I was, you know, kind of raised on.
S13: So there’s still definitely gender thinking about women drinking and what we’re allowed to drink. So to hear you talk about the half pint, the full pints and things like that, that’s I’m like, wow.
S3: All right. I think that’s about all the time we have for this topic. Listeners, have your habits on alcohol changed? Have you heard of any modified treatments around substance abuse for women? Let us now. The waves at Slate.com. All right. It’s time for our recommendations.
S14: OK, so I am going to recommend a limited series on Netflix. The English title is Playing with Fire and the Spanish title is Who Garcon faygo.
S13: And it is a bout a Mexican immigrant in Colombia. At these coffee farms are coffee plantations. His name is Fabrizio and he is very, very pretty. And, you know, he is quite charming. And he ends up having relationships with this woman named Camilla and another woman named Martina. And then Andrea Martinez, daughter.
S5: So Play with Fire is very much a steamy soap, Spanish language soap. It’s just, you know, 10 episodes on Netflix.
S21: It’s just something that you just kind of Fujianese just need to like let go of the world. And you just want to look at some very passionate people and very beautiful people and just kind of. You know Kinnard to some soap opera love-in. I strongly recommend that, so playing with fire. It is subtitled Ah, I watch with subtitles. So if you are OK with that, go forth.
S7: I dont know if you can on a lot of the Netflix shows that are in Spanish. You can choose to listen to a version, but I dont know. Obviously I don’t know if that’s the case with this.
S13: Yeah, yeah. But I I like watching shows that are not in English just for my. I don’t know. I feel like it exercises my brain in a different way and it just changes up and changes that they experience. So playing with fire. Netflix 10 episodes. Lovely little steamy, passionate soap. Get into it. Sounds great.
S7: I am also going to recommend a TV show which I have been bingeing. I know that’s a charged word, but it’s really what I’ve been doing some is very late to it. It’s called the Expanse and it’s now available on Amazon Prime. And you know that the title will give it away. It’s a kind of a space opera. But like many sort of sci fi shows, it’s really a thinly veiled comparison with with situations that we can we can kind of pin to something that’s happening in our real world. In this particular world, it’s which is relatively far in the future.
S18: Earth and Mars are always very close to war. And the people in the asteroid belt in between those planets, they have fewer rights there. Their bodies are literally, you know, punished by by the place where they grow up, by where they grew up, by where they have to live. The sort of circumstances in which they live. Everyone’s fighting for water and for oxygen. And, you know, that may sound like something that is not for you. It might not be. And there aren’t that many really prominent female roles. But the two that are very prominent are really interesting. One is Naomi Nagata, a sort of an engineer who can make any craft work. She’s played by this Englishwoman, Dominique Tipper.
S7: From what I hear from the accent that she uses in the show, a working class black Brit who’s awesome and also shortly, &ndash. Lu, who has been on many shows, but she plays a U.N. official. She’s often dismissed as an old woman. The old woman. But she is incredibly canny, incredibly smart, maybe not trustworthy. It’s really good. I have found myself turn and get on at all kinds of we know when I just kind of in a similar situation to the one you describe, Nikko’s. It’s a nice show that has a lot going on and can be used as as a like a way to think about the real world, but can also just be a kind of escape with pretty people doing interesting things.
S4: Kind of like this podcast. I am going to recommend something a little different this week. So I’ve been taking a free online class on a Web site called Coursera.
S10: I was inspired by a friend of mine who’s studying to be a nurse midwife and she was taking an anatomy class. And I had just, you know, had somebody in my family who had a whole thing and I had been doing a lot of research on it. And I kind of realized how much I didn’t know about, you know, having a body, which I have all the time. And so I was like, hmm, maybe I’ll enroll in, you know, a community college course. But my friend, who’s a scientist, was like, if you’re not trying to get a degree, there’s absolutely no need to pay, you know, thousands of dollars for a class. You can go on this website and take a free. Kind of like a college class. So I’m taking an intro to human physiology class on Coursera by these two Duke professors. And I haven’t taken a hard science class or really done anything related to the hard sciences since high school. And it has completely awakened a new part of my brain, actually, kind of two parts of my brains. The part that is learning about science stuff and also just the part that is learning about something for no reason at all. You know, I when I think about the other kinds of I guess you could call this a hobby like hobbies that I do, you know, I like make candles or like bake bread. And those are things that have an end result that I that could be better or worse or even like playing music or something. I taught myself a little bit of piano when I was in a band, but that’s also a thing that I could do better or worse. There’s really no better or worse way to, like, learn how a neuron works. And there’s like quizzes at the end of every section. But I kind of don’t care how I do on them. And I’m really just trying to like gain new information, not for work. Again, like a lot of the books I read, like have something to do with my job and my beat here. And and this is just like knowledge for the sake of me wanting to learn a thing. And it has been like kind of difficult. I’m having to look up a lot of words that I don’t know because again, like in college, the only science class I took was like philosophy of quantum physics. Which was more of the philosophy than the physics part, because I was like, oh, I’m not going into the sciences, I and I have no reason to learn about them. So it’s been a lot of fun and increasing my sense of wonder about the world. And I highly recommend it. It’s it’s completely free. I don’t know how they do that. I guess you can pay to get a certificate or something.
S11: So maybe that’s how they make their money. But yeah, it’s a lot of fun.
S23: Awesome. Sounds great.
S15: My recommendation comes from the Feminist Press and it’s a reissue of a Zora Neale Hurston reader called I Loved Myself When I’m Laughing. And then again, when I’m looking mean and impressive. And it has a new introductory essay by Alice Walker, An Introduction by Mary Helen Washington.
S29: And it’s a nice introduction to the range of Zora Neale Hurston, who I find fascinating, not only because she was a pre-eminent scholar in anthropology and a creative writer, but she’s one of these authors who had this period of obscurity and then was kind of introduced into the canon of high school and college. And so a lot of people have read their eyes, were watching God, but have no concept of her range as a writer and as a thinker. And so it’s a very beautifully edited collection of excerpts of her work. And I think for people who are looking for something a little different in terms of both fiction and nonfiction, this reader is the perfect thing to get.
S21: Oh, that’s interesting. I almost recommended her. Zora Neale Hurston’s hitting a straight lick with a cricket stick, which is a collection of stories from Harlem, Renesys, and that just came out last month.
S27: And within the last couple of months, I saw I almost recommended that. So Zora Neale is on our mind today.
S2: All right. That’s it for our show. Thank you to Lindsey kratochvil, who produced this episode. Rachel Allen, our production assistant, and Rosemary Bellson, who recorded S.A.C. for Marcia Chatillon, Nicole Perkins and June Thomas. I’m Christina Carter Ritchie. Thanks for listening.
S4: All right. Now it’s time for our slate plus. Is it sexist? Segment. Nicole. Take it away.
S5: All right. This question comes from a listener. If I’m a woman and I went on several dates with a man that seemed promising. And then after our last date, neither of us texted. Is it sexist if I consider him to have ghosted me? Can we both have ghosted? Was this even ghosting at all? This may have turned into a dating question. Is ghosting sexist and Nicole?
S3: Can you just give us a little definition of ghosting?
S21: For the uninitiated, ghosting is what happens when a person cuts off all communication with someone else, usually without permission. I guess without like letting the other person know, hey, I’m no longer interested. There’s just just just cold turkey. Silence. Just fade. It’s just nothing.
S23: And what do you think?
S21: Yeah, I actually do think it’s a little sexist. I feel like in this case of a man and a woman, for the woman to think that the man is the one who had all the power and that he made the ultimate decision about where their relationship will go.
S13: In this case, being into nothingness, I think it’s a little sexist on her. And I think maybe this she has some, you know, internalized patriarchy to tear apart or to examine a little bit, because who’s to say that she’s not the one that goes to him and that he’s feeling some kind of ways for her to put the the power in his hands? I think is something that she should probably examine. You know, if anybody is in this situation, you can examine because, you know, she also made the decision not to contact him after this dates. So why can’t she just look at it as her, you know, being the go stir in this situation?
S6: I mean, that’s just the question. Yes, he has some. I think she I think what’s happened is that she’s recognized that feeling of like, why did I think that?
S7: So you see it has that awareness. But yeah, it is it is very it’s it’s always interesting when you kind of see some behavior like pops up and you’re like, oh, god, where did that come from?
S8: Is that some old fashioned thinking there?
S3: Yeah. Yeah, I’m off I’m of two minds here. I think everything is sexist about this, basically.
S23: I think it’s sexist that he didn’t text back.
S3: I think especially what I’ve heard from people who spend a lot of time on dating apps and ah and, you know, are going out with a lot of people that this is a OK kind of common behavior among men or if not common. It’s definitely a thing that more men do than women. And I’ve talked to people, you know, of all genders who use dating apps. So I’m going to say that broadly, men are the ones that ghost more. And it’s sexist because it’s treating women badly at the same time. It is definitely sexist to make him the ghost her in this situation where she has never texted back.
S4: And in fact, I’m reminded of the last cisgender man that I like ever went on a date with in my life. R.I.P and after are like Tryst or whatever. Neither of us contacted each other. I like didn’t have the best time, and I assumed that he didn’t either. And we had some mutual friends and we ended up running into each other at a bar a couple months later. And he made a big deal of being like, I’m so sorry for never calling you back. I feel terrible about it. I usually am not like that. I just got so busy into that. And I kept saying to him, like, I didn’t call you back either. Like, no. I also didn’t do that. And like, I’m not sorry about it. And he kept saying, like, I just don’t think I’m a bad person into the like. I think he thought I was going to think he was sexist when really I like I thought he was sexist because he was making a big deal out of it. And I, too, had agency in that situation and like didn’t want to go out with him again.
S11: And this question from this listener like that all came rushing back to me, that feeling of like anger that he felt like he had all the control in this situation and that I was just like sitting in my room pining after him, waiting for him to call me like like sitting by the rotary telephone or something.
S15: A rotary phone dating is terrible. Apps are the devil. I don’t know. Yes, there’s some sexism because of the assumed power dynamics. And I don’t know because ghosting can happen for a number of reasons. I don’t know if I can say all ghosting is sexist.
S22: Yeah. Mm hmm. This one’s a hard one. Yeah, I mean, I guess that’s the thing we’re talking about.
S7: You know, over the course of this episode, we’ve talked a few times about how how kind of accepted behaviors have changed and evolved. And I think ghosting while still having an element of that’s not actually acceptable behavior. It’s kind of become more common. And if it was truly unacceptable, it would probably not have to the extent that it has. It seems like it’s a slight, slightly rude but viable option at this point.
S4: I mean, did people do this before? Apse Yes. Oh, yeah.
S7: But I think there was I mean, people have always just kind of faded out of relationships. I think there was maybe more of an acceptance that at some point you should have a conversation says so like this is over, right? Yeah. But I think the apps have probably made the just kind of, you know, that you’re on a date, but you also know that you’re still you know, it’s not serious. Whereas in the past, I think there was it was often easier to have that confusion to allow yourself to be confused.
S22: Am I on a date? If you set something up on an app, you’re on a date.
S3: Yeah. And also, maybe you are less likely to have other social connections to that person. Because it’s easier to meet people you are completely unconnected with on an app than it is. i._r._a.
S21: Yeah, right. Interesting. So I think this this scenario is a is sexist. But then when you look overall, what happens when you are when you know it’s the same gender relationship and someone goes, then what is it called then, you know. Is it going to. Because it is sexist then. Because who’s the power dynamic? You know, like all of that. So I don’t know if I want to say ghosting in general is sexist. But I think in this specific scenario, Hirst’s don’t mean that the listener, assuming that the man ghosted is sexist.
S26: The one thing I will say on this topic is the problem with ghosting in the ages of apps versus the golden days of the rotary telephone is that if a person goes you, you now have more intel to see what they’re up to. You can now use other social media platforms to know that if they met someone, they got back together with their boyfriend or girlfriend. They’re, you know, having fun without you. And so I think in the early days of ghosting, it was a little bit simpler because you can say, oh, maybe that person just died and verify it using the Internet I got now or something. Yeah. But now you can get a very clear sense that this person has moved on without you. And I think it makes it that much harder.
S3: All right. Let’s make a numerical judgment here. So. Okay. The first one is it’s sexist. If I consider him to have ghosted me, I’m going to give that a 10.
S7: Wow. I’m gonna just give that a two. Because I think the fact that there’s so much self-awareness in her questioning, you know, both in the form of her question and also just in her asking a question suggests to me that she although she had that first impulse, the fact that she questioned it so clearly suggests that as she got over her sexism. So I’m only going to give that to.
S23: I’m going to give that an 8. Marcia?
S15: Oh, God. Maybe it’s the New Hampshire primaries. I’m going to be moderate about this and give it a five. Wow.
S3: All right. So it’s six point two five sexist. To be clear, I don’t think our listener is a fantastic human being. OK. Now is ghosting sexist in general? I’m going to give it a 6.5 because I think the the ghosting ratio men to women is about 65, 35.
S7: If I could abstain from this, I would. But I’m going to do the equivalent and give it a five just because I just don’t know. I really haven’t been there. It sir, sounds like like the rest of the world. It’s sexist, but I just feel ill equipped.
S13: I agree with Christina. I’m going to give it a 6.5.
S1: Wow. I think that Christina’s numbers are off. I think 75 percent of girls think it’s done by men to women. So give it a seven point five.
S3: All right. So ghosting in general is six point three, seven, five sexist.
S23: Everyone stop ghosting. All right.
S3: Thank you, listeners, for your slate plus membership. It means everything to us and we would never ghost. you. Please keep sending us your fantastic. Is it sexist? Questions at the waves at Slate.com.