The Guilt of Motherhood

In this honest discussion with Dr. LaKesha Anderson of the National Communication Association about societal expectations of mothers, and self-imposed expectations about what mothers would like to be for their children, we talk about how it is very difficult to live up to either of these expectations. As a result, a nearly inevitable part of motherhood is taking on a certain amount of guilt about the difference between what is ideal in your mind versus what is possible in our busy lives. We discuss the importance of giving ourselves the permission to not be perfect. We need to all acknowledge that we are doing the best we can for the most part, and taking on and carrying the burden of guilt is not helpful in being an effective parent or mother.

Should Girls Wake Up Pretty? Girls & Media Ideals

In this episode we have a critical and revealing discussion about media messaging to young girls, and how divergent the messaging to girls is both from reality and from what is healthy. We use the example of a magazine cover targeting young girls to critically discuss the current messaging as opposed to what would be ideal, healthy or inspirational for girls. I discuss the messages given to girls with the graphic artist Katherine Young. She is the artist who made a fascinating magazine cover showing what we should be telling our girls, juxtaposed against what modern media and magazines are telling our girls. Her remarkable comparison was circulated widely and drew a lot of attention to media messaging, beauty ideals, and differing standards for media targeting girls as opposed to media targeting boys.

Harassment and Women in Tech

At a time when we are becoming more acutely aware of the level of harassment endemic in American businesses, government, and the entertainment industry, we must pay particular attention to women working in technology fields. Some new research conducted by the non-profit organization Women Who Tech, revealed the full story of the level of harassment which is going on in tech industry. We need to encourage more women to enter technology fields, and play a part in the rapid growth and cutting edge developments. Women have something to add to this industry. But it is difficult for women to break into the field, and then to stay in the field because of an often hostile work environment as well as rather significant levels of sexual harassment. Because of the "brogrammer" atmosphere, women are being left out of this sector of the economy and limited in their potential for professional growth. Listen to our discussion with Justyn Hintze from Women Who Tech as we discussed their research on women in tech and the shocking level of harassment they face.

Bravely: Trafficking & Trauma Survivors

If you are interested in or concerned about human trafficking, this episode is a must listen. We are hearing more and more about human trafficking in the United States, including warning signs and who to contact if you suspect trafficking. What we do NOT hear about is what happens to women who have been trafficked and are able to move on from this imposed life. They escape sometimes with little more than their lives. A large number of the women suffer from anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, and often have co-occurring substance dependence. But we don't hear about the survivors and what they have to go through to rebuild their lives. Why is that?

In this episode we have a powerful discussion with Hope Jernagan, the Executive Director of Magdalene of St. Louis, and the Bravely company. We also hear the empowering story of recovery from Anika, who is a resident of Magdalene and an employee of Bravely. Our discussion with these two amazing women highlights the array of services that can successfully help women onto the path of recovery and support them as they get back on their feet, and as they use their recovery experience to help other women as well.

Modern Trends in Childbirth

I have a fascinating conversation with Pat Keating, a registered nurse and childbirth educator, about the trends she has seen over the last 37 years around childbirth, breastfeeding, and preparing for a baby. We discuss how women and couples prepare for a baby, through childbirth education, birth planning, and internet resources. About half of pregnancies in the United States are not planned, and we discuss how the optimal situation would allow women to begin thinking about their reproductive health plan far in advance of a pregnancy to prepare physically, emotionally, and financially for a baby.

Sexual Abuse and Insufficient Labels

Listen to our eye opening discussion on the rhetoric and language around women who have experienced sexual abuse. We specifically discuss the dichotomy of the labels "victim" versus "survivor" and how these terms are insufficient to describe the experience of many women who have experienced sexual abuse. We also acknowledge the implicit values attached to these labels and what that means to the women as they process the experience and try to move on. In researcher Rebecca Murphy-Keith's research, she uncovered a third term which some women preferred to use: thriver. Listen to us discuss the idea of post-trauma growth and overcoming.

Fertility, Technology, & Acknowledging Grief Part 2

In the second part of this two part series, we continue our discussion with reproductive psychologist Dr. Julie Bindeman. We examine the issue of fertility and chasing parenthood. We review the current technology and options available to couples who desire to have a child, and very importantly, the psychological impact that is associated with difficulty in conceiving a child without intervention. We go in depth in our discussion of the role of technology and fertility, and the moral and ethical dilemmas that come with advanced reproductive technologies to assist couples. Often the inability to conceive is a grief that is not shared beyond the couple, sometimes because of a stigma associated with infertility, and a grief the depth of which is not fully appreciated.

Fertility, Technology, & Acknowledging Grief Part 1

In this important discussion with reproductive psychologist Dr. Julie Bindeman, we examine the issue of fertility and chasing parenthood. We review the current technology and options available to couples who desire to have a child, and very importantly, the psychological impact that is associated with difficulty in conceiving a child without intervention. Along with advanced reproductive technologies to assist couples come some very difficult choices, and the very real possibility that efforts may be unsuccessful. Often the inability to conceive is a grief that is not shared beyond the couple, sometimes because of a stigma associated with infertility, and a grief the depth of which is not fully appreciated.

Women in Comics: Is Wonder Woman Wonderful?

In our discussion of women characters and the portrayal of women in graphic novels, we go back and unpack the history of women in comics and early characters. We take a look at how the portrayal and story lines of women in comics have changed over time, and the contemporary women characters, as well as interest by girls and women in graphic novels. We uncover an unappreciated but potentially important aspect of graphic novels in getting young girls interested in reading. We discuss the recent Wonder Woman movie, and determine if the character is really wonderful, especially for women and girls.

Harassment and a Smile: Conversation with Actor Rebecca Blaine Carton

I have a discussion with the incredibly talented Rebecca Blaine Carton about her independent short on harassment and catcalling, Smile. We talk about how this is an almost universal experience for women and girls, and how it is very difficult to avoid. We discuss the sense of shared experience we sometimes feel when we see another woman being harassed or another woman is our witness, but the same sense of powerlessness. These catcalls and harassment can often cross the boundary into feeling unsafe or even threatened.

Rebecca's independent short, called Smile, which was featured by Hollaback and Upworthy, takes a light-hearted look at one woman experiencing a catcall, and running through in her mind the various reactions that she could have to a man harassing her. We have an open and honest discussion about what led her to make this movie short, and the other projects that she has coming out. You won't want to miss my "behind the scenes" talk with Rebecca Blaine Carton.

Follow Rebecca Blaine Carton on Facebook @IrritableBeccaSyndrome, on Twitter @IrritableBeccaS, on Instagram @irritablebeccasyndrome, and on her YouTube channel:

Trusted Sources: Sexuality Education & Our Children

In this episode, we discuss sexuality and "the talk," that uncomfortable imparting of information about sexuality to our children. But parents need to be aware of all the sources that children are using to get their information about sexuality, and a number of other sensitive topics that they might not come to parents about. We shouldn't think our children find us to be the only source for information, because we aren't. They are bombarded with potential sources of varying qualities, most readily being their peers. Parents want information sources to be accurate, with good information and no agenda, either political or commercial. My guest, Dr. Stephanie Loomis Pappas discusses an article she posted on her blog SnackDinner in reaction to a provocative article in Teen Vogue about helping to teach children to be critical consumers of information, including information on topics like sexuality. She has some great thoughts on how to start teaching young children to know who it is they are reading so when they get old enough to Google search, they can discern information from junk.

Special Episode: Contraception, Rape & a Bad Week for Women

In this special episode, we discuss what was a bad week for the United States after facing several back-to-back tragedies including hurricanes and a mass shooting. We focus on four important policy changes that were very quietly implemented by the Trump administration over the last week while media attention was diverted to these tragedies. All of these policy changes are relevant and important to the health, safety, and rights of women, girls, and families. All of these policy changes will be damaging in some way, whether at a large or small scale, big or small dollar amount, to women and girls. The common thread of these policies seems to be that they take away agency of women - control of one's own body and the ability to make decisions that will impact you on a deeply and intimately personal level. Listen for my informative interview with Dr. Colleen Begley, an activist and OB/GYN, as we discuss and dispel mythology around contraception and what you should be doing right now to protect yourself from the potential impact of these policies.

Foster Care: Invisible Children

I have a powerful and raw discussion with Rob Scheer from the non-profit Comfort Cases about the foster care system. There are about 500,000 children in the foster care system at any given time in the United States. The average age of a child in the foster care system is nine years old. The majority of these children spend years in the system, not knowing from week to week, month to month, where they will end up. We discuss how the lack of stability and lack of support provided to these children gives them few options for their futures, and they move from the foster care system, to the criminal justice system in many cases.

For more information about the non-profit Comfort Cases visit:

Online Harassment: When Women Aren't Welcome

In my discussion with Justyn Hintze from the non-profit Women Who Tech, we unpack the various forms of cyber harassment and the various platforms in which women are most likely to become victims of cyber harassment. The anonymous nature of the cyber environment can contribute to a willingness to push boundaries of appropriate behavior, sometimes becoming abusive, hateful, or even dangerous. Justyn helps debunk some myths about cyber harassment, and what you can do if you are the recipient of harassing online messages. She also offers some tips on how to protect yourself from unwelcome and often abusive exchanges in the online environment.

Parenting Girls in a Patriarchy

In this episode, I have a fascinating discussion with psychologist Dr. Dahlia Topolosky about how to raise a healthy girl in a patriarchy. We discuss the influences of gender norms, stereotypes, and how to be an active and present parent. Dr. Topolosky talks about nature vs. nurture and what aspects of a healthy development parents can play a critical role in. Whether you have a daughter or a son, or no children at all, you will find this an enlightening listen.

Slacktivism: Are you really making a difference?

Welcome to Season 2!

In my discussion with Mark Story, an accomplished digital communications strategist, educator, and dedicated activist for cancer research, we talk about slacktivism. Lots of people are "woke" since the election of Donald Trump. But are the activities of "the Resistance" making an impact? Are the marches, rallies, phone calls, and petitions having the impact we think or hope they are? We tackle this timely and important topic in a frank discussion about today's most popular types of activism.

RECUT: Reflections on Elections

I discuss the tumultuous and difficult reverberations resulting from the rise in toxic masculinity, and the impact it has had on women, policy and politics with my guest, Amee Vanderpool. Amee is an attorney licensed in Washington, DC and Washington State, a writer, and the Director of the Inanna Project. She is also well known for her significant presence on Twitter as @girlsreallyrule. For more information on The Inanna Project, which advocates for equal protection under the law. Visit for more information or to find out how you can support their work. And listen to this episode as we discuss the full ramifications of the 2016 presidential election

Season 1 Recap - Season 2 Teasers!

We have a conversation about Season 1, our favorite episodes and guests, and our favorite moments from the 26 episodes of Season 1. We tease our upcoming Season 2 episodes, and some of the exciting topics we will be covering. Hope you stay tuned and subscribe if you haven't already!

RECUT: Living in Conflict Zones: Women, Children & Survival

Women and children living in conflict zones are among the most disenfranchised individuals in our world today. They subsist in the midst of violence, chaos, failed states, refugee camps, crumbling systems and destroyed infrastructure. Despite this, every day women try to hold their families together. Feed their children. Care for the young, the elderly, the sick. They give birth, and often they die during childbirth. And they are also victims.

Gender-based violence in conflict zones has become not just a reality, but a tactic of war. Women and children are the most frequent victims because of their status in society, and their gender. Wide scale and systematic rape has been deployed in many conflicts, and survivors are sometimes blamed.

In this episode I have a fascinating discussion with Annie Agle about women and children living in conflict zones, the difficulties they face, and the shocking ways they are victimized by perpetrators as well as their culture sometimes.

RECUT: Are Little Girls Getting Too Sexy?

In this episode I have a conversation with Professor Sarah Murnen about the sexualization of young girls, and unpack the potential impact of this phenomenon on the individual girl, girls in general, and on society and how we view girls and women. We discuss the dangers of self-objectification, and fashion and beauty ideals.