RECUT: Body Image, Fat Shaming, & Loving Ourselves

This recut of one of our most popular episodes from Season 1 includes additional discussion about the issue of body image, fat shaming, and the double standard that women and men are held to with regard to appearance and weight. We also discuss how we can protect our girl children from the beauty ideal message perpetuated in the media, and learn to love just who they are.

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.

Human Trafficking - Part 2

In this second part of my two part series on human trafficking, I begin with a quick recap of part one through a discussion with my guest co-host, John Philbeck, about highlights from part one. I continue my discussion with Dr. Karrin Anderson, a Professor from Colorado State University and a researcher and activist in human trafficking. We discuss how trafficking perpetrators avoid detection by law enforcement and are able to evade getting caught. We also discuss the steps that activists and astute bystanders can take to get involved in watching for signs of human trafficking, as well as becoming an activist against this horrific crime.


Human Trafficking - Part 1

The International Labor Organization estimates that human trafficking is a $150 billion a year industry worldwide. According to the State Department, trafficking is the world’s fastest growing criminal enterprise. And it's an enterprise that is devious, and nimble, and well-funded, and really good at evading law enforcement and hiding in plain sight. It is also probably in your town, your city, maybe even your neighborhood.

In this episode, I speak with Dr. Karrin Anderson about her work and research in the area of human trafficking. We talk about how trafficking has changed, and how we as witnesses have changed our thinking and views of trafficking and of victims over the years. In the first episode of this 2 part series, we discuss what human trafficking is, what it isn't, and popular misconceptions about trafficking.


REBROADCAST: Politics, Aggression, & Women's Malaise

We are off this week for the Independence Day holiday in the US, but we have chosen one of our listener favorites to rebroadcast. We will be back next week with new material, and we look forward to starting some new discussions!


The Great Myth of UN and Family Planning

The goal statement of the UNFPA, or United Nations Population Fund, is: Delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.


Pretty lofty goals, but who could argue with that? Children who are born safe into families which welcome them. Every child has the ability to live up to their full potential.


And yet, there are plenty of people it seems who do not support this wholesome sounding, idealistic goal. To me it sounds akin to a meatloaf in every oven, a car in every driveway, and a safe pregnancy for every women. But that is not so.

Post-Truth Era and Politics

A writer for The Daily Telegraph summarized that post-truth politics are driven by fabricated rumors. Facts become a negative thing. Facts are too pessimistic or even get painted to be unpatriotic, especially when matched up with unrealistically ideal positive campaigns that promise the impossible. In post-truth politics, the improbable becomes irrelevant. Politics that appeal to emotions, and adhere to persuasive, market-tested talking points are more compelling than fact-based arguments or principles. When political figures are called out on falsehoods, alternative truths, or….lies, there can actually be a backlash effect whereby those supporting the political figure can push back against the elites with their fact-based logic, and dig in and become even more convinced of the alternative truth.

How did we get to this point? Major contributors include the 24 hour news cycle, infotainment, tabloidization of news, and social media and the internet. We are now able to establish our very own echo chambers where we only receive and share information with like-minded individuals. Information can enter the news stream through this echo chamber and truth becomes almost irrelevant as long as it supports your mutual viewpoint

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.

Toxic Masculinity & Teen Girls: Slam Poetry Perspective

Lots of women have been hurting since the ugly discourse of the Trump campaign and eventual election, as well as the acceptance by many of the rise of toxic masculinity. We haven't spoken aloud about it very much, but women are feeling trauma. What we have neglected to notice perhaps in our own contemplation and grieving, is whether girls and young women are suffering.

My interview with a young slam poet sheds light on how adolescent women are feeling. As we discuss in this interview, they are not immune to the pain and misogynistic blowback that Donald Trump has set loose in our society. My guest, Dani Miller, a young slam poet, shares her thoughts on this issue, as well as some of her very powerful and moving poetry on our patriarchy. This one is not to be missed!

Crisis Pregnancy Centers and Misinformation

Crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs, have been around for decades, but in the last decade or so they have become more strategic in their tactics. Many advertise that they provide services to pregnant women, but do not advertise what services they actually provide. They fervently oppose abortion, and tend to use deceitful tactics to engage women on the phone or through an appointment, sharing false medical information about the dangers of having an abortion, and the lack of effectiveness of birth control.

In a time when access to care, lack of health insurance, and the closing of family planning clinics is making for a perfect storm scenario putting up barriers to care for women seeking either contraception or help with a pregnancy, these CPCs are a public health risk for women.

Patriarchy, Elections, and a Continuing Struggle

The outcome of the 2016 Presidential election was a shock to say the least, in particular for women. Women organized and fought for the right to vote in this country starting as far back as 1840. Women didn’t gain the right to vote until the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920. 

The possibility of a woman rising to the presidency was more than a watershed for women. This accomplishment would have been a validation for every woman, every girl, that yes indeed a woman could serve in this highest office in the country, and not just serve but perform with distinction and grace and competence and strength. It would be a giant marker in history showing that yes, at this time, a woman can be the most powerful. And by proxy, there was the promise that womankind, every woman and girl could be equal and have equal opportunity.

Becoming a Lighthouse: Men & Domestic Violence Prevention

Men are the aggressors in 90% of intimate partner violence cases. Many cases go unreported, and many behaviors that are in fact abusive are not considered when we discuss domestic violence, like emotional abuse. Research tells us that abuse tends to run in families, or get passed down over generations. But we know it doesn't always, and it doesn't have to.

What can we do to prevent men from becoming perpetrators of domestic violence? And what, in particular, can men do? We knew there are certain people in the lives of men and boys, such as coaches, who can be positive influencers in helping them develop healthy and respectful relationships with women.

In my interview for this episode, I talk with one man about his unexpected journey into activism trying to involve men in the fight against intimate partner violence. We discuss the protective factors that can prevent a boy or man from becoming an abuser, as well as things that parents can do to help boys become young men who are able to engage in healthy and respectful relationships.


Not Just Baby Blues: Postpartum Depression

Postpartum depression is a serious health consequence to being a new mother. It is actually a lot more common than you might think. You probably know someone who has suffered from it, most likely quietly. And why? Why did it happen, and why would you not have known about it?

So in this episode we discuss postpartum depression. It’s not baby blues. It’s not just a little bit of hormones and it will pass. It’s not – you’re just too tired and you need to take some “you” time. It’s depression. Serious depression. 

March for Science, Truth, and the Tipping Point

Since the election of Donald Trump, and his subsequent inauguration on January 20, 2017, the world has experienced a palpable shift. Things changed that day, and the reverberations have been felt worldwide. I don’t think anyone could have predicted the global response to the election of Trump to the US presidency, and the proceeding events that would take shape.

I attended the March for Science in Washington, DC. Tens of thousands of people who joined this protest to lend their voice against what has effectively been a persistent attack on science, and a broader attack on facts. Like many of the recent protest rallies, the March for Science was held in cities all across the United States, and all across the globe. People, whether scientists or not, added their voices to a call for – enough. Enough.


Environment in the Crosshairs: Interview with Melanie Moore, Union of Concerned Scientists

In my interview with Melanie Moore from the Union of Concerned Scientists, we discuss how the environment is in the crosshairs.

Starting on the campaign trail, Donald Trump made clear his position on environmental protection. He promised to get rid of the EPA “in almost every form”.

Once elected he held those promises. Trump’s proposed budget would slash the EPA by about 31%. Grants to states, as well as its air and water programs, would be cut by 30 percent. The massive Chesapeake Bay cleanup project would virtually be eliminated in the next fiscal year.

The budget proposes the discontinuation of federal funding for the clean up of abandoned industrial sites, the Clean Power Plan, climate change research and international climate change programs. Altogether, it calls for the elimination of more than 50 programs within the agency.

Richard Nixon actually started the EPA back in 1970. It grew out of a conflagration of issues such as the publishing of the book “A Silent Spring” which documented poisoning of the environment with pesticides, rise in what was termed smog in growing cities, and…the moon landing. When astronauts landed on the moon and sent back to earth pictures of the beautiful blue, peaceful and fragile planet, the responsibility for caring for our celestial home became apparent.

Body Image, Fat Shaming, & Loving Ourselves

This episode, I have a powerful discussion with Jennifer Rollin, a therapist who specializes in body image and eating disorders. We take a deep dive into body image and fat shaming. No one will be surprised to hear that the ideal body in our culture is thin. Very thin. And not everyone is very thin. Or even thin. In fact most of us aren’t. So let’s consider the space between the ideal and real. The chasm between what we are, and what the idealized perfect is.

We discuss how fat shaming and the thin ideal have become so acculturated and normalized that it pervades nearly every aspect of women's lives and can seriously undermine our confidence. We discuss how we can break this unhealthy fixation and help our girl children grow up feeling good about themselves.

Women and the Alt-Right

In this fascinating discussion, I talk with Dr. Paul Johnson from University of Pittsburgh about the Alt-Right, their beliefs and ideologies, and a brief history of how they started. 

The Alt-Right, is a general umbrella term for a set of right wing ideologies, groups, and individuals whose central belief is that white people, and most particularly white men, are under attack in our society by a system of multi-culturalism, and in their thinking political correctness gone out of control. The foundation of Alt-Right thinking is that white men have been displaced and emasculated by women and minorities, who are NOT equal to white men.

The Alt-Right movement has had significant success attracting social misfits who hear the message that if they are rejected by women, then it is not their fault, but it is the fault of our societal power structures which are systematically undermining the overall success of white men. They are the victims of an emasculating power struggle with women and minorities, which contributes to a bitter resentment toward both.


Lead, Social Justice, & Environmental Racism

The ongoing crisis of contaminated water in Flint, Michigan has contributed to a growing discussion about social justice and environmental racism. Are we tacitly comfortable with environmental degradation in some areas, and not in others? For example, is a crisis of lead contaminated water in Flint acceptable, but unacceptable in Dearborn, Michigan? 

This episode covers lead and human health, including the disproportionate impact on pregnant women and children. I discuss with my guest, Ruth Long, the detrimental impact on health, especially for children, and sources of contamination. We also discuss measures you can take to protect yourself and your family from lead exposure, including extraordinary measures our guest had to take to protect her young children.

Our woman in the spotlight is Vandana Shiva, who was a pioneer in eco-feminism.

Patriarchy, Parenting and Boys

When the audiotape of Donald Trump on Access Hollywood leaked recording his discussion of his ability to grab women without permission, men from both parties expressed outrage. Some Republican lawmakers withdrew their support of Mr. Trump, including Paul Ryan, who said "I am sickened by what I heard today." Men of both parties said "As a father of daughters...."  But why must a man have a daughter to feel or express moral outrage over such behavior? What about our sons?

In my discussion with blogger Jacque Gorelick, whose blog discusses the importance and challenges of raising boys in a patriarchy, with an understanding of male privilege.

Politics, Aggression, & Women's Malaise

The level of rancor and divisiveness in our country right now is hard to miss or deny. In the midst of this ugly political discourse, the status of women has been under attack with some particularly misogynistic elements being given a platform, and some might say tacit approval in the lack of outrage or pushback.

This general feeling of a diminishment of women weighs heavily on many, often not even aware that it is there. I speak with my guest, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, who talks about how the generally aggressive public discourse about women has impacted those who have experienced trauma in the past and find themselves triggered by this new and negative norm. We discuss signs to watch for in yourself, and in those you care for to be sure you are taking care of yourself and each other.