Author Rebecca Traister's new book Good and Mad looks at how society has handled women's rage throughout history, how it has been punished, and how it has served as a catalyst for political victories and social change. In this episode, we get some interesting insights into the first woman Traister studied, and how it formed her ideas about womanhood, work, feminism, and more.
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Giphy producer Stephanie Weber moved around a lot as a kid. Her single mom wasn't following men in the 1980s, she was chasing a career as a computer programmer. They were a tight unit then and still are today, but Stephanie sometimes wonders if growing up in a matriarchal family has had an impact on her relationships with men today.
This episode's sponsor is Sun Basket. Visit sunbasket.com/mother for $35 off your first box.
Legendary ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson is the first woman to have climbed and ski'd down so many mountains it's hard to count. She was determined to keep it up after having kids, in part because of the impression her mom left on her as a kid.
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Emily Zulauf is the Fiction Lead for a new game studio in Seattle, where she tries to come up with cool characters and weird, scifi-y names for things. She was with Pixar Animation Studios for almost eight years, as a Creative Development Associate and as a Script Supervisor for Inside Out. She spent two years as the co-executive director of a small nonprofit, the Seattle Clemency Project, and she's a mom with a four-year-old daughter. Zulauf moved home to be closer to her mom when the...
After a few requests from listeners, Amy tells the story of her own complicated mother-daughter relationship.
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Sarah Miller is an editor for Popula and a writer (mostly of super smart humor pieces) for The New Yorker, The Cut, and various other publications. In this episode she talks about what she admires about her mom, what she wishes were different, and the misogyny inherent in the expectations most people place on their mothers and their relationships with them.
This episode of TMAYM is sponsored by SunBasket. Go to sunbasket.com/MOTHER for $35 off your first order!
In the Season 2 closer, we talk to journalist and commentator (and Critical Frequency co-founder!) Maya Francis about her mom being a teen mom long before she had Maya, having siblings who had completely different childhoods from her own, how her parents taught her about race and gender, and how despite being a fiercely protective mother, her mom has also always maintained her own personhood.
Author Lauren Muscarella lost her mom when she was 20, and says there were aspects of their relationship that she had to work through on her own, long after her mom passed. In this episode we delve into how Lauren did that, why it was so important to her mom that Lauren pursue every opportunity, and how she eventually turned her own journey through grief into a book that might help others (especially her dad and brother, who Lauren thought might only read a book on loss if she wrote one),...
Filmmaker Amanda Micheli found the subject of her latest documentary, Vegas Baby, while researching financing options for her second round of IVF. In this episode we talk about how her upbringing impacted her views on family and relationships, and how that impacted her reproductive decisions.
In this crossover episode with the Bearcat podcast, we meet Leticia Aguilar and hear how her mom's experience showed Leticia what sort of woman she did and did not want to be. Now she helps other Latina women figure out how to carve out their own paths.
Comedian Marcella Arguello grew up in the rural town of Modesto, Ca where her El Salvadoran parents dealt with plenty of casual racism long before Trump. Marcella learned how to entertain herself as a kid, and how to combine the best of both feminine and masculine traits in one badass comic. Check her out @marcellacomedy everywhere, or at her weekly LA show, Women Crush Wednesdays. Also, please check out our Patreon campaign if you haven't already!
Sammy Nickalls (a writer and editor at AdWeek) says her mom has always been super supportive, even when she hasn't totally understood or agreed with her daughter. Sammy started the hashtag #TalkingAboutIt in the wake of her best friend's suicide to encourage people to more openly discuss mental health, and says her mom supports her but sometimes worries that it might hurt Sammy professionally to be so vocal about mental health. We talk about that and a whole lot more in this episode. Patreon...
Aparna Nancherla's mom was finishing up her residency as she was having Aparna and her sister. All three women dealt with anxiety and depression at different points in their lives, and for Aparna taking care of her mental health ultimately resulted in a successful career in comedy.
Critical Frequency Patreon is here.
Aparna's episode of The Standups, is on Netflix here.
In part two of our Season 2 opener, writer Heather B. Armstrong (aka "Dooce") opens up about the challenges of living a lot of your private life publicly, how she's navigated writing about family, and how her kids feel about all of it. Check out our Patreon link here!
Heather B. Armstrong was one of the original "mommy bloggers," drawing an audience of millions with her honest accounting of motherhood back in the early days of blogging. These days she has built a small media empire, but it's still a struggle to keep all the balls in the air, especially as a full-time working single mom. That's where here mom comes in. Heather describes her as "the village" that makes her life work. In this 2-part episode we get into all of that, plus how Heather navigated...
When Renita Parker Mobley heard comedian Sasheer Zamata interviewing her mom on This American Life last year it suddenly made her realize: she'd spent years mad at her mom for leaving her dad and kicking off a messy divorce, maybe it was time to get to understand her better as a woman, not just a mom who had failed to live up to Renita's expectations. So began an ongoing project through which Renita interviews her mom regularly about her life. In our Season 1 closer, it's Renita being...
Maternal estrangement impacts tens of thousands of American women, but is still a fairly taboo topic. Writer Samantha Ladwig chronicled her estrangement from her mother in an essay in the June/July 2017 issue of Bust that went viral. In this episode, she talks us through her decision to separate from her mom, how she's dealt with it, and what she thinks the future holds.
Read Samantha's essay in Bust and her report on maternal estrangement in Vice's Broadly.
Wesley Allsbrook is the artist behind the first-ever illustrated virtual reality film, Dear Angelica (produced by Oculus Studio. The film centers on a young woman (played by Mae Whitman) who has recently lost her actress mother (played by Geena Davis); it depicts an idealized relationship, and focuses on the daughter's sense of loss. Wesley feels a similar sense of loss for her mom, who's still alive. Since sharing that her stepfather sexually abused her as a child, Wesley has rarely seen...
Allison (Alli) Maloney is the news and politics editor for Teen Vogue. Recorded on Mother's Day 2017, in Brooklyn, this episode centers on Alli's story and her complicated relationship with her alcoholic mom who left when Alli was three and never truly re-entered her life after that except for the occasional visit or call. Shortly after her mom died in 2013, from alcohol-related cancer of the liver, Alli got sober. Not gonna lie: this one's a tearjerker.
Porochista Khakpour is a highly acclaimed author. Her fiction books, Sons and Other Flammable Objects and The Last Illusion, have received and been nominated for various awards and she also contributes essays frequently to a variety of outlets. Her forthcoming memoir, Sick, chronicles her journey in dealing with late-stage Lyme disease. Porochista also teaches writing at Columbia University and has also taught at Bard College. She immigrated to the United States as a refugee from Iran as a...