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.

Are Little Girls Getting Too Sexy?

The American Psychological Association, or APA has released a report which warns of the dangers of the sexualization of girls in media. They concluded that virtually every form of media which they studied provides significant evidence of the sexualization of women, and many specifically target children and adolescents.

In this episode I have a conversation with Professor Sarah Murnen about the sexualization of 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.

Have We Solved Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, has been decreasing over the last decade. Some of this success is attributed to the Violence Against Women Act, which was drafted by then Sen. Joe Biden, and signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1994. The Act established the Office of Violence on Women within the Department of Justice. At long last there was a central federal authority with resources and a central mission to stop this violent but silent epidemic.


So we have the Violence Against Women Act, and some success in bending the curve of violence. However that doesn’t mean that the issue is gone and we can move on. Far from it. In my interview with the Washington, DC office Director of Futures Without Violence, Kiersten Stewart, we discuss that we have seen progress in some groups, but the good news is mixed. Young people still experience high rates of violence which often goes unreported, or when it is reported, is not taken as seriously as it perhaps should be. The importance of involving men and boys in the prevention of interpersonal violence is discussed. We also discuss the warning signs for a violent or abusive relationship, and how to approach someone you suspect is in a dangerous relationship.


In this episode, we highlight the work of Lady Gaga in drawing attention to the issue of rape and violence on college campuses.

What It's Like to Be a Refugee

Refugee. The word has become quite an insidious code word. While it used to mean the needy, the hungry, the displaced, it seems that now for many it has taken on a very different meaning: the terrorist, the job-stealer, the beggar, the rapist.

How did we come to a place where our empathy has been almost completely arrested by disinformation campaigns targeting those who are completely disenfranchised? Homeless, without a country, welcome nowhere?

There are currently an estimated 65.3 million refugees worldwide according to the UNHCR. This is more than at any time in the world's history since World War II.

This country was founded by refugees fleeing religious persecution, yet we find ourselves having difficulty opening our arms to current day refugees.

This podcast will discuss who modern refugees are, where they are, and the plight of refugee women and children.

Demystifying Islam

In this episode of Women Transcend, we are going to try to demystify Islam. This is the second in my 2 part series focusing on Islam and women. 

When I decided to do this 2 part series, I’m going to be honest. It was a little out of my comfort zone. Sure, I have Muslim friends. I work with Muslims. But I had never actually had a conversation with any of them about what it meant to them to be a Muslim. What I found when I took that first step to open a dialog was that not only did I learn a great deal about Islam, but I learned a great deal about our assumptions and popular misconceptions about Islam.

I had the great privilege of talking with some amazing women for these 2 podcasts who were incandescently positive and hopeful, despite the rancor, xenophobia and nationalism going on in our society. In this episode, I interview Hassanah El-Yacoubi, a religious studies graduate student, to discuss and demystify, Islam

So I encourage you to take a chance, step out of your comfort zone, and start a conversation, or even a dialog, with someone of a different faith. Maybe even a Muslim. It might feel scary, but Ipromise it's worth it.


Demystifying the Hijab

There is a conception, or perhaps rather a misconception, that Muslim women who wear hijab are forced to cover themselves by Muslim men who are enforcers of this religious tradition. Head covering has been interpreted by some as shaming the woman. A way to keep the woman in her place. In my fascinating interviews with two Muslim women who wear hijab, we discussed the hijab and what is really behind head covering, or modesty. The hijab has become a flash point for many in the US who hold the idea that Islam signifies the enemy, hate, terrorism. Why are we so afraid of the hijab?

Depiction of Women on Reality TV

This episode brings a little scrutiny to the way in which women are portrayed in today's reality television programming. For example, women are frequently depicted as passive and weak, and are generally much younger and more physically attractive than their male counterparts. Reality programming can culturally signify that subordination of women is acceptable. They promote the embodiment of the media's version of attractive, tall, thin, and beautiful.

Studies have shown that nearly 70% of people ages 18-29 enjoy watching reality television. This is the viewing demographic that programs like these will affect the most, as this group is most likely to identify with the dating world as well as struggles with physical appearance and the desire for success and affluence. Should this concern us?

This episode will unpack some of these issues.

Women's March on Washington

On Friday, January 20, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as our 45th president, having won the electoral college, but actually losing the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes marking the largest margin in history in a discordant electoral college/popular vote disparity.

In a visceral response to the election of a man that has the lowest approval ratings of any man taking the office, women, men, girls and boys took to the streets all over the nation, and all over the world in a show of defiance and solidarity. What started as the Women’s March on Washington became a worldwide phenomenon. The march on Washington drew what was estimated to be more than 500,000 people: the largest rally ever in history in Washington, DC.

The story doesn’t end with these very large marches. There were marches in cities and towns all across the United States on Saturday, January 21st.

I participated in the Women’s March in Washington, DC and spoke with some people who attended to get an idea of why they made the trip, and let’s be honest here, the very difficult trip, waiting sometimes hours for a spot on overly crowded train, sardine-like train platforms, lines 100 long for a porta-potty, and crowds so thick it was often difficult to move. What were the issues that compelled them to be there, at that site, for that event, on that day, January 21st. 

This podcast discusses this historic event, and includes interviews with March participants.

Rhetoric of Women and Politics in the 2016 Election

The 2016 election was historic, and had a historically controversial campaign season. Nearly all of the polls had Hillary Rodham Clinton the heavy favorite to become our first woman President. And then we held our election...

The election of Donald Trump, despite his crude, confrontational, and misogynistic style throws many questions onto the results of the election. Why did the polls get it so wrong? Were the polls bad? Were people not being truthful when they responded to polls, and they didn't intend to vote for Clinton but they indicated they were. If this is the case....why?

We heard quite a lot during the election season about the "likability" factor, especially with regard to Secretary Clinton. Many people indicated they didn't like her. Many said they didn't like her, but would vote for her. But what is in this word "likability"? Is this code for something much deeper?

In this podcast episode we discuss the idea of "likability" and what it means, particularly for women political candidates. I am joined by Dr. Taylor Hahn, an expert in politics and gender rhetoric, and we discuss some unique aspects of the 2016 election that might have contributed to the election of Donald Trump for the 45th President.