Pynk Spots

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Nic is joined today by comrade Pearson Bolt from Coffee with Comrades to answer a listener question:"Do you have any tips for being shy and/or introverted and having a public platform (live streaming, podcasting, etc.)?"Follow/Support Pearson: Twitter |  Patreon | Website Channel Zero Anarchist Podcast Network- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Love the show!? Click the links below to support me, follow me, or join the community:Pay me, Daddy!Patreon | Venmo | PayPalJoin the community!DiscordFollow me and give me validation!Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook | Website
My friend, Hilary, and I talk about friendships as adults, and how awful friendship breakups are. We also talk a bit about the tattoo industry near the end of the episode and go more in-depth into it during the after-party so if you liked that part of the conversation, you can hear it continue over on YouTube!Follow Hilary on Instagram:Bliss Tattoo Hilary Shelby - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Love the show!? Click the links below to support me, follow me, or join the community:Pay me, Daddy!Patreon | Venmo | PayPalJoin the community!DiscordFollow me and give me validation!Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook | Website
Today I am flying solo for my first Pynk Spots advice episode! I answer a question from Anonymous (she/her):My depression and anxiety have been exacerbated by quarantine. I’ve heard disassociating and disassociation in mental health communities but haven’t researched it much. In a conversation with a friend, I mentioned that I have been having a hard time and feel like I’ve been disassociating. She immediately told me that is not a term I should use for ‘zoning out’ (not what I said) because it’s a mental health condition that her sister has and it’s really serious and scary.I thought it was a broader term than the symptoms she described that her sister has so now I’m confused, and I’m also hurt that she felt the need to jump in and focus on that instead of being with me in a vulnerable moment. I often feel like a ghost when I’m alone for an extended period of time, or when I’m feeling very depressed I find myself disconnecting from how my body feels.I know you have talked about disassociating before and was wondering if you would be comfortable talking about your experiences and help me to understand if this is what is happening to me, as I don’t want to appropriate the term if it’s not. Also, am I right in feeling hurt about my friend taking that time to have an educational moment with me?We dig deep on disassociation, what it is and what it looks like, what causes us to disassociate, and I give a lot of personal testimony along the way.ResourcesDr. Devon Price's Essay "Therapy Isn't For Everyone" ( and dissociative disorders ( Dissociation And Dissociative Disorders (Mental Health America)Dissociation FAQs (International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation)- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Love the show!? Click the links below to support me, follow me, or join the community:Pay me, Daddy!Patreon | Venmo | PayPal Join the community!DiscordFollow me and give me validation!Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook | Website
An episode five years in the making, today I'm joined by THE Christopher Sebastian McJetters to talk about being squishy humans in activist spaces that can often feel unsafe and aggressive. We get petty about being "canceled" and try to work our way through how we can talk about the issues without thwarting the efforts of the people who created tools like canceling to fight back against oppressive forces.Follow Christopher Sebastian: PatreonFacebookTwitterWebsite - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Love the show!? Click the links below to support me, follow me, or join the community:Pay me, Daddy!Patreon | Venmo | PayPalJoin the community!DiscordFollow me and give me validation!Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook | Website
NOTE: The audio is pretty shit on this one, I did the best I could with it but it's still pretty crap. If it's too much, it may be easier to watch the YouTube version because it might sound a little better, and also the visuals help.I'm joined today by my honorary daughter and STEM badass (double-majoring in chemical engineering and math, thankyouverymuch) Mohera, who is here to talk about her experiences as a woman of color specializing in a white male-dominated field, as an anti-capitalist navigating the corporate atmosphere of college life, how COVID impacted her thoughts about "grind culture," and what actions she has taken to decolonize the spaces around her.NOTE: We have a list of potential content warnings in the beginning but we didn't really touch on any of those topics besides the general experience of systemic oppression and very high-level descriptions of mental and physical health issues due to stress, FYI.Follow Mohera: Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | Portfolio - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Love the show!? Click the links below to support me, follow me, or join the community:Pay me, Daddy!Patreon | Venmo | PayPalJoin the community!DiscordFollow me and give me validation!Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook | Websitenkspots
Whew, what a year! Well, it's over now! Today, we'll take the time to breathe, relax, laugh, celebrate, and look back on this wild, exhausting year. Gratitude to my patrons, a 2020 favorites list, dad jokes, and answers to your burning holiday questions ahead!Resources mentioned in this episodeIrresistible's episode with adrienne maree brown on New Year's spellcasting (Apple Podcasts)Dinner For One short (YouTube) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Love the show!? Click the links below to support me, follow me, or join the community:Pay me, Daddy!Patreon | Venmo | PayPalJoin the community!DiscordFollow me and give me validation!Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook | Website
I sit down with Claire (aka Professor Flowers, now goes by Lua) to talk about the need for community, the fallacy of the "lone wolf" mentality that we both have operated under for years, and her plan to run away in an RV. Follow Professor Flowers: YouTube | Twitter - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Love the show!? Click the links below to support me, follow me, or join the community:Pay me, Daddy!Patreon | Venmo | PayPalJoin the community!DiscordFollow me and give me validation!Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook | Website
Pynk Spot's first collaborative episode is with Kye Plant (they/them) from Feelin Weird Podcast! This conversation is an extension of the one we had over on Feelin Weird where we talked about autism, anger, and childhood trauma. Listen to that episode here!- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Love the show!? Click the links below to support me, follow me, or join the community:Pay me, Daddy!Patreon | Venmo | PayPalJoin the community!DiscordFollow me and give me validation!Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook | Website
Nic talks about the end of Bitchy Shitshow, signs that a relationship isn't healthy, and what's in store for Pynk Spots!- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Love the show!? Click the links below to support me, follow me, or join the community:Pay me, Daddy!Patreon | Venmo | PayPalJoin the community!DiscordFollow me and give me validation!Instagram  | Twitter | Facebook | Website
Many of you may be aware from social media but many may not that Callie and I have gone our separate ways and that Bitchy Shitshow is being retired and replaced with Pynk Spots, a solo project by me (Nichole). The BSS feed will be switched over this week so no need to do anything, except look for the first episode under the Pynk Spots name this Sunday, Nov 15. Thank you all for this amazing community we’ve shared over the years and I look forward to new adventures ahead with those of you who choose to continue to follow my work. The post Update & Announcement appeared first on Bitchy Shitshow.
We dig into Attachment Theory this week, specifically how Attachment Theory can tell us of the measurable impact of capitalism and capitalistic values on children, who end up being messy adults on Tinder. The way we instill rugged individualism in literal babies has lasting effects on our population deep into adulthood. Poppin Off Callie pops off about the Chris Evan nude and how he is being treated differently than most female celebrities with leaked nudes (although we’re happy he is generally being treated well). She also talks about how it’s important to give people their privacy during these times. Joke If you wear cowboy clothes… Main Topic: Attachment Theory 101 + How it Ties to Capitalism We had planned to talk about how capitalistic values have invaded the way we raise children when we listened to the Psychology in Seattle’s Deep Dive series on Attachment Theory (available to patrons only, link here) where Dr. Kirk Honda connects avoidant insecure attachment style to certain parenting behaviors only seen in the West. This information was the perfect pairing for what we wanted to talk about, and we had a lot of fun going through all of it on this week’s episode. Attachment Theory: Described as, “behaviors that make up an ‘attachment behavioral system’ that guides us in our patterns and habits of forming and maintaining relationships Attachment Styles: Secure: learned to trust others, have a good sense of self, are comfortable seeking support and comfortAnxious: learned that they had to demand or seek attention and love from others, often through emotional manipulationAvoidant: learned that no one would take care of them and that they are on their ownDisorganized: got confusing and conflicting messages as a child, grew up in chaos SUPPORT THE SHOW Follow us: Twitter | Instagram |YouTube Join our community: Facebook Group | Discord Server Donate to us: Patreon | PayPal Transcript Nichole [00:00:27] Hey, everybody. Callie [00:00:29] Hey. Nichole [00:00:32] I’m avoidant. Callie [00:00:34] And I’m anxious. Nichole [00:00:37] And today we’re bitching about… Callie [00:00:40] Attachment styles and when this overly individualistic style is forced on young children, we create attachment injury. Nichole [00:00:51] Yes. Yeah. So we’re doing our favorite thing, which is taking a thing and then using it to bitch about capitalism. Callie [00:01:02] Yeah. Nichole [00:01:04] Before we get into that, I think we’re going to talk about Chris Evans briefly and his nudey nudes. Callie [00:01:11] Yeah. Yeah, so this is just gonna be a very short little pop top today. But I just thought it would be interesting to comment on the different dynamic of Chris Evans accidentally releasing his nudes and how people are responding to it versus what typically tends to happen with female celebrities whose nudes are usually stolen and released without their consent and the public’s view of them. So obviously, this is not to shame Chris Evans. It’s a mistake. Listen, it’s 2020. Who doesn’t have nudes in their phone? OK, that’s just the way it is. And shit happens. Sometimes you send someone a photo or someone’s scrolling and they see it and like, that’s just what it is. Callie [00:02:04] So I do not blame him. I feel very bad for him. I have a lot of empathy because I know he supposedly has anxiety and he’s very upset that he accidentally showed his nude briefly on Instagram and that I’m sure how many people already were able to snag a photo of it and release it and share it. But it’s just interesting to me how many people are in, and I’m happy that so many people are saying, like, hey, like Chris Evans has anxiety and he’s such a good person. Like, please don’t share his nudes. Like, don’t go looking for them, like he has such a hard time with those. Don’t do it. But we don’t seem to get that same reaction for other celebrities, or at least not as much of, like it’s doesn’t appear to be like the dominant conversation when it happens. So I’m very happy to see everyone talking about that because it is an important conversation to have. Obviously, we want to be pro-consent at all times which means like, you don’t go invading someone’s privacy like that. It’s like really not OK. It’s not cool. But like, let’s just carry a little of that energy the next time. A different celebrities’ nudes are either stolen or leaked or, you know, what have you. Oh, you’re muted. Nichole [00:03:34] Right. Well you could tell what I was saying. Just agreeing. Just general, overall agreement. Callie [00:03:41] Yeah, yeah. Nichole [00:03:43] And I just yeah, I just feel like there isn’t the, like, stigma attached in the same way, you know, and it just is like, yeah. Everyone’s got their bits in their pics on their phone, like… Callie [00:03:59] Their bits in their pics?! Nichole [00:04:02] Everyone’s got their bits in their pics! Callie [00:04:04] It’s true. Or someone else’s bits in their pics. I mean, listen. Nichole [00:04:08] Hey, it’s a trail mix in there. It’s just, all kinds of stuff going on. I mean, we’re in fuckin like lockdown, too. Like for crying out loud! Callie [00:04:19] Yeah, right. Nichole [00:04:21] But yeah. Yeah, I was glad you brought this up just for that general, kind of like, yeah let’s keep this energy going cause it applies no matter who, whose pics they are, right? Callie [00:04:31] Yeah. Yeah. Nichole [00:04:38] So in spirit of that, I’ve got a joke about clothes. Callie [00:04:44] How impressive, because I only told you about this pop top like a few minutes before going live so. Nichole [00:04:50] This is how we work. OK so, Callie, if you wear cowboy clothes, are you ranch dressing? Callie [00:05:13] Oh my god. Nichole [00:05:16] Also, this comment by VeganJerk, “People who scroll through your pics when you show them one.” Those are people… Banished. Like absolutely not. Absolutely not. You know that I’m a single queer person in my 30s. What are you doing? And honestly, like, even some of y’all married folks are still keeping it spicy. So, like, no matter what someone’s situation is, you just don’t do it. I’m always like, I hate when people hand me their phone and they’re like, oh, just scroll through. Callie [00:05:51] Same! Nichole [00:05:52] I’m like no. Callie [00:05:52] Yeah. Nichole [00:05:53] I’m like, there’s almost definitely something on here that you forgot about and it’s going to change the fabric of our relationship forever. And I just… Why? Why? Callie [00:06:01] Yeah. The only time it’s OK is if someone’s like scroll 4 back. Like it’s the, like they give me a count. But even then I’m still like I’d just rather you not hand me your phone. Nichole [00:06:16] Yeah. Callie [00:06:17] Because neither one of us is trying to have me see something. Nichole [00:06:19] Or I’ll like scroll to the picture and I’ll be like, go this way, you know, like you go to the last one. You’re like go this way. Callie [00:06:25] Right, exactly. Nichole [00:06:26] And even that’s just like a recipe for disaster. Callie [00:06:30] Yeah. For real. Nichole [00:06:32] Yeah. So, do we have people to thank this week? Callie [00:06:37] We absolutely do. Nichole [00:06:41] While you get that pulled up, I want to thank everyone for the support. As many of you know, our channel got deactivated again for the same bullshit reason of like, “scam’s, spam or commercially deceptive content”. Which is like, of all the things that we can get deactivated for is the funniest one. Because like, we’re clearly, like, not selling anything here. Callie [00:07:07] Yeah. I have been racking my brain. Nichole [00:07:09] So I just wanted to say, I know. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone. You all were very supportive on social media. People were like jumping forward with like hashtag ideas and like, you know, what do we do? And I’m like, well, give it a day cause they’ll probably just reactivate us. But it’s a massive problem across all social media platforms right now that I think is important for everyone to be aware of. That like, you know, we’re part of the Channel Zero Network, which is a network of anarchist media makers and tons of the other people in our network have had their Facebook pages deactivated. Facebook went through and deactivated anyone, any page that seemed to be related to Antifa or anarchism. So it’s like, the fascism is real. It is happening. Like this stuff, it’s annoying but it’s scary. Like, it is actually scary. And all of the social media platforms are doing things like this. They are making moves to find ways to just completely remove platforms that have radical leftist content. Callie [00:08:18] Yeah. Dude, some of these comments. Kevli saying, “Commercially deceptive? Lmao it’s called Bitchy Shitshow, as clear as it gets.” Yeah our marketing is very upfront! Nichole [00:08:28] Yeah, our branding could not be more… Like we want you to know what you’re in for. Callie [00:08:37] Yeah. No, I mean it does… It really sucks. I mean, we spent like, we didn’t know if we were gonna be able to livestream today, and it’s just the threat of knowing that we could be working this hard to build something up and then any moment it could just be like gone gone, you know? It’s just really difficult to live with. And it’s unfamiliar to us because you don’t really have that problem with podcasting, you know? So the fear is real. Nichole [00:09:00] Even with Apple. Like Apple polices podcasts more than anything else. But like even that isn’t really to that level. So, yeah. I mean, we, you know, we have, like we submitted to The Eyeball Zone for Thought Slime and I know he’s been on honeymoon. So it’s like, you know, just the thought that he could come back and then like check our channel and it looks like it’s deleted. Or, even worse, he could recommend us and the channel could be down when his video airs and we miss out on like thousands of people coming to check out our channel. It just… Callie [00:09:42] Yeah. Nichole [00:09:42] It sucks. And it’s like you have to get so big before you even have a chance at being, having any kind of protection against this. Callie [00:09:50] And even then. Nichole [00:09:53] Even then. But, you know, we would probably just never have those numbers and it… Yeah, it’s really frustrating. Yet again, I always bring up the Funky Academics talking about plans and how that just was, is such a framework that I think about now. But like this is one of those things where it’s like, how can you make plans on what you’re doing when you don’t even know if you’re gonna be able to, like, publish day-to-day? And I don’t wanna take up too much space with this because it happens to a lot of people. I just want to like highlight, keep your eyes open, that like across all social media platforms, this right-wing censorship is very real and very active right now. Callie [00:10:33] Yeah. Yeah, unfortunately. And yet people are literally out here like spreading hate speech, actively threatening other groups of people and that doesn’t violate their standards. Nichole [00:10:48] No, it’s totally fine. Callie [00:10:52] Yeah. Well, and the last thing I’ll say is that I don’t know what caused our channel to be taken down, but I will not be threatening the mouse’s money anymore because that was the first thought I had, was if that was what actually caused it. Nichole [00:11:12] Well, I’ve been wondering and some other people in Discord are wondering if, like it’s, you know, our hater is like, or someone’s trying to report us. And then YouTube looks at us and is like, oh, yeah, this would be nice to take down. Callie [00:11:27] Yeah, I’m sure that’s it, but. Nichole [00:11:29] I don’t think it was actual, like I wouldn’t worry. I don’t think it’s like the actual content. Do you know what I mean? Like we didn’t actually do something wrong. It’s that they’re just taking our channel down. Callie [00:11:42] Yeah. Yeah. Because if… I know, I just saw that. Yeah, I mean because if it was you’d think that they would just then take that episode down. Because usually that’s what will happen, like a certain episode or something will get flagged. But it’s just like that doesn’t happen, we just, our channel will just be gone. So big yikes. Nichole [00:12:05] Yeah. Callie [00:12:07] Yeah. OK. So we’re not thanking YouTube, but we are thanking- Nichole [00:12:16] Yeah. Callie [00:12:17] Our new patrons or increased pledges. So Micah increased their pledge, Ian increased their pledge, and we have new patrons, Jacqueline, Becky, Kayley, and Stephanie increased their pledges, and new patrons, Julie and Jessica. So thank you so much for all of the new donors and all of the increased dollars. We deeply, deeply appreciate it. Nichole [00:12:52] Yeah, very much so. Especially we announced on the after-party last week or on Thursday that I was going to start taking a salary and then we crunched the numbers and realized that I can’t really. Callie [00:13:06] Yeah. Nichole [00:13:07] So every bit helps. I’m still going to take a little bit, but it’s like a third of what we thought I would be able to. A lot of it right now is going towards catching up on transcripts, so we’ll have a bit more in a couple months when those are caught up on. But yeah. So yeah, when I saw the new pledges and the increased pledges come through as like aw, that’s nice. Callie [00:13:31] Yeah. Yeah, it’s definitely appreciated. Nichole [00:13:34] Especially knowing times are rough right now. Callie [00:13:36] Yeah, yeah, for real. Nichole [00:13:38] Yeah. I’m actually dealing with maybe potentially gonna be priced out of my housing and definitely freaking out about it. So I just really, I have at least two neighbors who are unemployed right now and they’re also freaking out. So we’re looking into ways to like organize and see what our rights are and what we can do. Yeah. But yeah, anyway, just it was, you know, just another of the constant reminders that, like, things are rough right now. And have always been for so many of us. Callie [00:14:17] Mm hmm. Nichole [00:14:17] Yeah. So moving on to attachment theory, I have a PowerPoint. This one I had to throw together very quickly so it’s not too fancy, but I did put a bunch of transition animations in there because I know y’all love it. But we, so we are going to introduce attachment theory today, and it’s something that will probably come up a lot in the work that we do going forward. And I know that we’ve brought it up on several occasions in the past. So this isn’t really an episode to like deeply dig into attachment theory. I always want to try to be responsible when it comes to psychology stuff. But this theory is pretty well researched and pretty like, commonly known versus something like, you know, personality disorders, which even among mental health professionals are not well understood at all. So I feel pretty comfortable that we can at least introduce the topic at a very high level. Nichole [00:15:18] And then what was really interesting to me is that we were going to do an episode anyway about rugged individualism in how we apply that to children, like even babies. And then we ended up listening to, for anyone who’s heard about Psychology in Seattle, Dr Kirk Honda from that, it’s a podcast and it’s also a YouTube channel. He, for patrons, actually did like a very massive deep dive on attachment theory. He did like fifteen or eighteen hours on it through, you know, I think six different episodes. So I ended up listening to all of that and then sent it to Callie and to Marine and Mexie and everyone else, I’m like, hey, this is really interesting. Nichole [00:16:09] But one thing that came out of it that was so interesting was that, you know, he did, he has a pretty good perspective on like Western culture. He’s half Japanese so he is, you know, Japanese American. So he kind of has this really nice knowledge of, like cultures that are not American and how things can differ. And he seems to have a pretty leftist perspective, I can’t quite get a read on how left he is. I don’t think he’s quite as far as we are. I don’t know that he would consider himself an anticapitalist, but he is very critical of capitalism and especially capitalist values. So that came up throughout the episodes and it just occurred to me that this was actually like a perfect pairing with this idea of how we try to apply capitalistic values to our babies, our literal babies, here in West. And so we decided to kind of mash it together. And then next week we’re actually going to talk about abuse and love. And I think, again, that this is kind of like a nice backing to have for that conversation as well. So without further ado… Where’s my mouse? Callie [00:17:22] I’m loving the “A Bitchy Shitshow Presentation”. It feels so formal. Nichole [00:17:30] This is very profesh. Callie [00:17:32] Okay. Nichole [00:17:35] Alright. So attachment theory was first described by John Bowlby in the 1950s. It’s been, the theory has been worked on by other people since then. And like I said, it’s actually been very well researched. It’s described as behaviors that make up an attachment behavioral system which guides us in our patterns and habits of forming and maintaining relationships. So it’s a very relational framework. It’s really about how we engage with other people and our relationships. It was defined, the categories were defined by watching infants’ behavior when placed in an unfamiliar situation and then separated from parents. And then they categorized that behavior into four separate buckets, which formed the attachment styles that we’ll talk about today. Nichole [00:18:30] And just very good to note that this describes behavior versus personality. So this is a behavior within a relational context. This is not saying anything about a certain person’s personality. And as with many things, it’s pretty much a spectrum. So you’ll find yourself probably relating to all four categories even, at least the top three. But you’ll have one that’s really like your guiding formative category, and that’s really what’s going to drive your behavior with other people for the most part. This also is important to note that this is not a personality disorder. So that’s a different category. There could be overlap there that can explain someone’s behavior, but this really isn’t about personality disorders or mental illness or anything like this. This is literally how you formed attachments as a baby and then how those drive your behavior as a child and then as an adult. Nichole [00:19:38] And these can change over time, positively or negatively, through therapy or tragedy or formative events in your life. So you can go from having one attachment style, and then through having healthy relationships or therapy, move more towards another. You also could have like a healthy attachment style and then lose a parent or get into an abusive relationship or have something like that happen, maybe have a stalker or something that really like deeply, you know, scares you and kind of rocks you to your core, and then that can alter your behavior from there out. So it’s good to know that these are pretty, they’re very formative and they’re very powerful in your behavior, but they also are malleable. They’re not something that is just this is who you are and that’s it forever. So it’s good to know that because if you wanted to work towards a healthier attachment style, you can. And it’s also good to know that if you go through something and then you realize you’re behaving differently than you did before, this could be an explanation for it, and again, is something that you could, over time, heal from. Nichole [00:20:50] So the styles: the first one is secure. As a child, secure people learn to trust others and they seek comfort and support. So as a baby, you learn that if you have a need, someone’s going to show up and take care of that need for you. So you feel very comfortable in trusting other people and that, like, help will show up in your relationships. Secure attachment styles are the gold standard. They’re the good one, the one that you want to be. Callie [00:21:21] Gold standard. Nichole [00:21:23] Yeah. They’re the chef kiss of attachment styles. So the reason for this is because secure people are more likely to be satisfied with their relationships. They feel secure. They generally trust other people. They’re not naive or anything like that, but they just are kind of like unless you give me a good reason to not trust you, I’m going to trust you. You know, and if you do give me a good reason to not trust you, then I won’t trust you. These are people who can leave a bad relationship usually pretty easily, not get too bogged down by it. They’re people who tend to have really good boundaries and maybe would cut a relationship off when they see red flags versus run towards them like a lot of the rest of us do. Nichole [00:22:09] They tend to feel very secure and connected to their partners without needing to be together all the time or have constant positive reinforcement. So they don’t need a ton of like compliments, affirmations of commitment, or statements of devotion to feel secure. They just can see the relationship for what it is and feel pretty secure in what it is. Their relationships are likely to be honest, supportive, independent in a healthy way, balanced, relatively easy, and have good conflict resolution and deep emotional connection. So I think secure could be easy to look at them and think like, oh, they’re just like fine, and it’s kind of superficial. That’s something I kind of used to think. But they actually do have deep emotional connection. They’re just not, you know, there’s just not a lot of drama. Because if something comes up, they tend to resolve it, and then they’re good. Nichole [00:23:06] As children, this means they are able to relate positively to others and were able to see other’s perspectives. So they’re pretty empathetic, they have pretty good, you know, easy relationships with other people. And they just don’t seem to get to, like, tied down when something happens. It doesn’t tend to stress them out for a really long time. They’re able to, like, get resolution, which I think insecure attachment styles, resolution is probably the thing that, like, we don’t seem to get very easily or very well. Nichole [00:23:41] So then we have anxious. This is, I’m going to refer to these as anxious and avoidant, but they have many other names out there in the wider world. And if you do listen to the Psychology in Seattle series, he called, Dr. Kirk calls this one preoccupied. So I think anxious and avoidant are just more intuitive. But he explains, and I do understand his explanation for preferring the term preoccupied. So an anxious person learned when they were a child that they had to demand or seek love from a parent. And they had the deep feeling of like wanting to have love and not getting it or not getting enough, especially without creating some kind of scene to like, get attention. So anxious people tend to be desperate for love and affection. They’re anxious that it will go away even when they have it. So even if they find someone who likes them or loves them and they’re in a relationship of any kind, they’re just constantly concerned that that relationship is going to go away. Nichole [00:24:47] They often need frequent reassurance from a partner or loved ones. And though they want love and security more than anything, they often tend to push partners away with their behavior. An interesting thing that came up listening to the podcast is Dr. Kirk said the anxious people are actually more prone to cheating, which is interesting because a lot of times they might be punishing their partner for not paying enough attention to them or they just might be seeking that validation that there’s people who will love them. You know, if they’re not feeling like they’re getting enough validation from their partner, whether their partner is actually providing it or not is a different story. But if they’re not feeling that validation, then they may go seek it in the arms of another, as they say. They often are seen as clingy, demanding, needy, jealous, or easily upset. I’m not saying these words to be offensive. It’s just in relationships, these are kind of key words to know, like what category you’re dealing with. Nichole [00:25:50] As children, they tend to lack self-confidence and may display exaggerated emotions to get attention. So these are the kids that you might see throwing this like extremely dramatic temper tantrum that like stops the second they get attention. And it’s because, it’s, you know, comes from a sad place, actually. It’s that they’ve learned that that’s what they have to do in order to get, like, love or validation. And they can be people who will seek attention through negative interaction just to get attention. Like the attention is even more important than the nature of the attention itself. Dr. Kirk had a great example for this one. He said it would be like a kid who falls down and they hurt their knee a little bit, but it’s really not a big deal. But then they, like, learn to just like, you know, wail and scream and act like, you know, their leg has fallen off to try to get attention, and that’s that kind of kid. So interestingly, as a child, they may actually avoid their peers leading to social isolation. These are kids that tend to be kind of afraid of other kids and tend to cling to their parents or their caregivers quite a bit. Nichole [00:27:09] Avoidance. So avoidance, also sometimes called on the internet dismissive types, learned as children that help was not coming and so they learned to be self-sufficient. As adults, they generally tend to keep their distance from others. This may be emotionally if not physically. So it may not be that they actually don’t have friends or they actually don’t hang around other people, but they may have… This is the type of person where you sense that there is a wall and you may not really know them and they don’t seem to be very forthcoming with any kind of like real information, even if they’re hanging out a lot. They believe that they don’t need human connection to survive or thrive so they insist on maintaining independence at all costs. They’re able to, and prone to, sever relationships fairly easily compared to other people. So if they feel like they’ve been crossed… I mean, this could also just be called the Scorpio style, but anyway. They, you know, if they feel like they’ve been crossed and they feel that they can’t trust someone, which, you know, they feel pretty easily, these are the people who could be like, oh, that person’s out of my life now and, you know, like, I don’t care. You know, it’s a lot of like, I’m not emotionally impacted by anything that happens around me. Nichole [00:28:33] Many avoidant people are known to play games in relationships, especially in dating, because deep down, they actually do crave closeness. Just, you know, we’re human, we’re all social creatures. They do actually want closeness and they do actually wish that they could depend on someone, but they always anticipate that others will fail them. So in a lot of ways, this can become that push-pull that a lot of people experience while dating where someone will start acting like you’re in a relationship, but then keep telling you that you’re not in a relationship. And then, you know, just may ghost you out of nowhere and then pop up again. You’re like, what is going on here? That can be your avoidant people. So, you know, they may get comfortable with someone, but then they’re always terrified of actually becoming dependent or attached. So those mile markers in a relationship where it reminds them that like, oh, shit, we’re actually getting close and I’m actually like, depending on this person and like wanting things with this person, then they may just like cut that off because it scares them. Nichole [00:29:38] They can be seen as cold, aloof, heartless, confusing, a loner, or immature in that they like won’t settle down. Now that, you know, has a lot of social connotations to it that we could read into, but that is the perception that a lot of people have of them, is these are the people who, you know, even in their thirties and forties, are still on Tinder. They tend to use sex as a way to feel close to people and have like, but like have very unemotional, you know, sex with strangers and try to get their fix for human connection in that way. So they can be seen by other people as like not, like people who know them well and know that they’re avoiding emotional attachment. So there’s some validity in that, but then also, you know, people just judge. Like there’s nothing wrong with not settling down. But that’s something that they, you know, a stigma that they can carry. Nichole [00:30:40] As children, avoidant people may show aggression or anti-social behavior, especially like lying, maybe bullying, things like that, and have trouble forming relationships and/or may distance themselves from others to reduce stress. So they may have an aggressive way of interacting with other children, or they may just kind of opt-out of interacting with other children altogether. It is different than the way that anxious people may isolate as children. They kind of isolate out of a general fear and a wanting to be close to their caretaker, whereas avoidant people are just kind of like, I don’t really get this, I don’t need any of this. It still comes from a place of anxiety for both of them, which is why Dr. Kirk prefers preoccupied instead of anxious, because he’s like avoidant people are actually anxious, too, and they actually want the same connections. It’s just their behavior around it manifests in basically the opposite way. So I do get that. But I feel like anxious people display anxiety, whereas avoidant people, their anxiety manifests as avoidant behavior, which is why I like those labels, just as more intuitive. Nichole [00:31:57] And then the last one, woo! Is disorganized. This is also called many other things, one of them is ambivalent. So Disorganized got very conflicting and confusing messages as a child. They may have been neglected but then also smothered. You know, this is typically where we’re getting into, like, abuse. With the other styles, it’s good to understand that you can become insecure. So you can become either anxious or avoidant without your parents having abused you in any way. A lot of, and this is what’s going to tap us into, really what is the crux of today’s topic. Nichole [00:32:39] But you, for instance, maybe had a single parent who had to work a lot. So maybe you had to take care of yourself and you just learned that your mom was not around, your dad was not around, whoever, your caretaker. Maybe you had to grow up too fast because of that. But maybe your parent or parents were very loving. And when they were around, you know, they were great parents, but they just weren’t able to be around a lot. So maybe you develop either anxious or avoidant style because of that. You could come from a really big family where each kid, you know, if you have 10 kids, each kid just really can’t get the full level of attention that they may have wanted during formative years. So maybe you have an insecure attachment from that. Maybe one of your parents dies, you know? Or both of your parents dies and that can impact you as well. So there’s a lot of ways that kids can develop insecure attachment styles without the parents really having done anything wrong. But it could just be unfortunate circumstances. Nichole [00:33:42] I think with disorganized, I don’t want to say for sure that you couldn’t develop disorganized from unfortunate circumstances. But I do think that with this to me, it reads a little bit more like, there was some actual maybe emotional abuse going on, or maybe the parents had mental health issues or addiction or something that really led to a chaotic upbringing. Addiction, for instance, could definitely present in conflicting and confusing messages for the kid where you have a parent, you know, who’s sober and acting one way, and then is under the influence and acting a completely different way and that just leads to a lot of chaos. Callie [00:34:21] And instability in a really, really dangerous way. Nichole [00:34:25] Yes. Yes, absolutely. So with disorganized people as adults, they have no predictable pattern of behavior and they have a chaotic response. It’s very important to understand that they’re not a mix of the two. They’re not anxious and avoidant, that’s a different thing. Because, again, we’re all on a spectrum so it’s possible that you could kind of have equal parts. But that still has a bit of predictability and a bit of logic to it. Whereas with disorganized styles, the response is not logical, even in the sense of like an attachment style. Someone who’s anxious, it may not be logical to the person that they’re reacting to why they’re reacting that way, but if you understand their attachment style then it totally makes sense. With a disorganized person it doesn’t. It’s just literally like random, unpredictable responses to things. Callie [00:35:19] Yeah. Nichole [00:35:20] Do you remember his example for this one? I was racking my brain, I could not remember. And I was like, I can’t go back through all the hours of content. Think on it, let me know if you remember it. Callie [00:35:32] I don’t. I do remember him saying, though, like you just said, it’s not, this isn’t just a mix of the two insecure attachment styles. That this is like on its own, its own thing. And it’s also very extreme. So just because someone has like, maybe some unpredictability as far as their reactions or behaviors, that like this is like always basically extreme reactions to things. It’s not just kind of relating to both. So, and I think that’s important to know because a lot of people I think online use it as kind of just a “Oh, I’m both so I’m like disorganized.” It’s like, no, no. Like, these are the people that tend to actually have, like, personality disorders and tend to, like, really be suffering greatly. So, yeah. I’ll try to think on the example because I do remember him talking about it a bit. I just, it was a lot of hours of content. Nichole [00:36:27] I know, there was a lot of hours, I didn’t remember. So disorganized people try to avoid their feelings completely because they get very overwhelmed by them. They may have unpredictable or abrupt mood swings. They have a lot of difficulty forming and maintaining healthy, meaningful relationships and they can be seen in relationships as chaotic, unpredictable, unknowable, sometimes even scary. Because, again, a lot of their behavior comes out of, nobody could make sense of it just to, like, understand it. So you become very unpredictable and very volatile to people around you which, again, intercedes on you forming any kind of healthy relationship, sadly, that might actually help you. Nichole [00:37:19] As children, disorganize types are disruptive, may have had behavioral issues, they see others as… There’s a lot of typos in here, I apologize. They see others as threats rather than sources of support, and they may switch between social withdrawal and defensively aggressive behavior. So it’s, you know, all three types basically, all three insecure types tend to kind of avoid other people as children, other children when they’re children. But they do it through different modes and it’s coming from different places. But we can see that, like even as children, we already start having issues with relationships with other people and that carries through to adulthood. And when we’re children, we tend to learn, right, it’s kind of reconfirming these primitive beliefs that we have in our head that were instilled as infants. And then it’s going to be interpreted by our now more mature brains as things like, if I’m avoidant it’s like, see? Like people always let you down. Or, you know, if I’m anxious, like, see? Like I knew that that person was going to leave and then they did. You know, you start interpreting everything happening to you as confirmation of this core belief that you have. And it gets fuckin wedged in there. And messes with your life. Callie [00:38:49] I think now is a good time, because I’ve been seeing a lot of comments that are like, I feel very attacked right now. And like, I definitely felt that way too, listening to this series the first time and really learning about attachment styles. So I think it’s a good time- Nichole [00:39:04] That’s a very anxious response, by the way. Just saying! See? Behavior? You know, this is how we learn. Callie [00:39:14] But I also think it’s important to note, and I want to try to convey, the podcast did a really great job of conveying that, like our society in general, and this is largely what we’re gonna be talking about today, like creates insecure attachment styles. And then we also want to, like, villainize them. Right, like, we have this, like, deep kind of loathing for people that come off as like clingy or codependent. And to a certain extent, to avoidant people, too, although definitely like the kind of rugged individualistic like, oh, you can be tough on your own, is not quite as despised, but can be in certain circumstances. Callie [00:40:00] But what’s really important to remember with all this is that your attachment style is nothing that like you developed out of nowhere. Right, it comes out of like deep attachment injury, either when you were a kid or throughout your childhood or your adulthood. And it’s like a deeply painful thing and it’s not something that people can control. So we should always remember, for ourselves first and foremost, but definitely for others, like to have some empathy for people in having these behaviors. It doesn’t mean we can’t still, like, try to work on ourselves and work towards a more secure attachment style or try to, like, set boundaries to have healthier engagement. But it’s like it’s just important to note like to not try to, like, shame ourselves or look at these things as like bad. Callie [00:40:51] Because it’s sad that, like, you know, 50 percent or maybe a little bit less of people have an insecure attachment style. And they’re walking around like deeply injured. Like they’re in pain, you know, both avoidant and anxious. They want secure connection, everyone does. So I just, that was something I really appreciated about the podcast series is he kept talking about like, oh, I know it’s really easy to look at someone who like is quote-unquote clingy and be like, uck, you know, just so annoying. But it’s like, but it’s actually like really sad. Like it’s something to be really empathetic to. And same thing with people who don’t really let themselves be fully seen in a relationship because they’re worried that, like, once they let their guard down, they’re going to be hurt again. Like, that’s a, that’s something to, like, empathize with, not try to shame, so yeah. Nichole [00:41:45] Yeah. We had a really good question from Mohera, does anyone, or comment. “Does anyone feel like this stuff manifests in being a fixer upper? Like being the type of person that wants to “fix” someone, especially romantic partners?” And I would say definitely. And I would also add that, cause Madison also said, you know, I think especially for anxious folks, it’s probably easy to be in a gaslighting type situation. What… I agree, but what I think is important to understand is that any insecure type could. I think we look at the anxious type and say, oh, that must be like the person who has less power in the relationship, and see them as the victim type. But a lot of anxious people that I’ve been involved with actually have the power in the relationship. Because they are the ones that… Nichole [00:42:46] Like my, I think my abusive boyfriend that I dated for seven years right out of high school was like extreme anxious type. And he controlled me by always needing reinforcement of our relationship. And there was always ways that I needed to prove to him that I loved him. And he was very insecure and very jealous all the time, which was very effective in controlling my behavior because I was trying, thinking I could get him to, didn’t have the language for it then, but thinking that, like, I could create a secure relationship for him, and then he would become more secure. But it never happened. Nichole [00:43:30] And the more, and this can be typical of anxious types, is that the more that you confirm the bad behavior, the more they’ll amp up the bad behavior. Because you think, oh, if I just let, if I just, like, meet this person where they’re at and make them feel secure, then they won’t need to do this next time. But unfortunately, if you have someone who’s very anxious and not working with someone to work through that anxiety, then they just learn that, oh, well, if I can get their attention by at least doing this much and if I need to do more than I will. And this can get to the point of, like, you know, stalking behavior and stuff like that. And again, this could be where it’s in conjunction with other maybe mental health issues, this is just behavior. But that’s where it can be very extreme. Nichole [00:44:21] So I just want to point that out because I think for avoidant, it’s obvious, right? Like, we’ve all dated someone that we’re, like, chasing after and they’re hot and cold. And we’re like, you know, and you just think like, oh, if I can just be cool, like be the cool girl or whatever, like they’ll come around or if I can just prove myself to them and like, open them up, then they’ll come around. And that’s definitely something that happens very commonly. But anxious people can also actually be the ones driving the relationship as well. Nichole [00:44:48] And you might have a partner that truly loves them, but is like you’re literally pushing me out with your behavior. And that’s what my ex did. I still love him very much. And in a lot of ways, he was like the best person I dated. But his behavior, you know, again, I think he probably had other issues as well, but it just got to the point where, like, I couldn’t stay with him because it was so bad. So I think I’m just always concerned with people thinking they’re in a role in a relationship and then being susceptible to abuse because they are not understanding the power dynamics, which is why I wanted to point that out. But yeah, certainly you can have an anxious person who wants to fix someone because they think that will make them feel, like that person is going to stay with them forever. Nichole [00:45:42] But honestly, as an avoidant person, I’ve actually fallen into the same trap because I am so convinced that love won’t exist, that love will go away. That part of my mythology in my brain is that if I help someone, then that’s the love I could count on because that’s a love I earned and it’s going to last, right? And I’ve realized it’s also a way for me to kind of always know that the relationship is going to end because I’m with someone who is not healthy, and that the relationship itself is not healthy. So it’s also sort of like I never quite let my guard down, but I’m able to perform in a way where I’m like performing out of love without actually like, being vulnerable in a lot of ways. Because if the relationship’s all about the other person, then it’s not about you, right? So in a way, you’re not being vulnerable. But on the surface, you’re expending a ton of emotional energy and you’re very dedicated to this other person. So it’s like this very unhealthy way of getting to be in something intense that feels like love without it actually being the scary reality of like a real healthy relationship. Callie [00:46:58] Yeah, yeah. We also got a question by Madison about, is this, you know, a gendered thing in some ways? And anyone can have any of the attachment styles, it’s not just tied to gender. But there does seem to be, based on the way we socialize people, especially in this country, right, like how we socialize young girls and young boys. There does tend to seem to be that like boys are more in the avoidant category. Girls tend to more be in that anxious category. Because, you know, our view of like masculinity and you need to be tough and you need to be okay, like on your own. And so their attachment, their behaviors end up kind of portraying attachment styles. That would be interesting to see if we didn’t kind of have this like, socialization, where people would fall. It’d probably be a lot more even. But yeah, we do tend to see. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t, you know, people who are of the different genders falling into the different insecure attachment categories. Nichole [00:48:10] Yeah. And it all ties back to how you’re treated as a child, which again, in the West, well globally, we all treat different genders differently as children. You know, for the most part, like across the board. So, yeah, if there’s an unhealthy attachment, an insecure attachment style, then that’s going to manifest in how that kid was treated. But there’s no set, you know, I was treated as a kid in a way that would be seen as traditionally more male, in that I was always told to toughen up and to like, you know, take care of myself and not cry and stuff like that. Which traditionally is more how like people assigned male at birth are treated. And I ended up in the avoidant category. Look at that. So, yeah, I do think there’s a correlation, but it’s not because the biology of the brains are different. It’s just the social conditioning that tends to go into it. Nichole [00:49:07] So, I was going to bring up something else but you brought up something… Maybe it’ll come back to me. So I think that kind of segues us nicely into what had initially inspired this episode, which was we were talking to a good friend, sending voice notes back and forth about different things. And this friend brought up, you know, some behavior they had when they were a child, where they were very, very scared to be apart from their parents and how their parents were good about it but also, you know, were kind of, like made fun of them a bit for being clingy and needy. And then Callie had her own stories about that. And then I was reflecting on, you know, my experiences as a small child. And we kind of came around to, through the two of them mostly like relating to each other in these stories, kind of came around to this idea of realizing like how much we apply rugged individualism even to like literal infants. And how, you know, and wondering like how does that impact us as adults? And then attachment theory came along and basically answered that question. Nichole [00:50:24] So one of the things that Dr. Kirk talked about on his episodes was that the avoidant attachment style is almost unique to the West. If you look at like populations of Asian countries, they essentially don’t have that and they tend to have a higher percentage of secure people, although they do still have a significant percentage of anxious people. But simply the way that we raise our kids does change these attachment styles in a measurable way. He also talked about how we’ve seen insecure attachment styles increase over time. I think particularly since about the 70s, which is, as we’ve talked about in the United States, was a fuckin landmark decade for us because that’s when segregation ended. So that’s when, you know, wages started to stagnate. Then shortly after we started having mass incarceration. Callie [00:51:25] The war on drugs. Nichole [00:51:25] And the war on drugs and the AIDS crisis and all kinds of stuff that happened to really, I mean, we had, the 80s was like our decade of greed and decadence in this country. And like capitalism, you know, capitalist values were at their height of being just like fetishized in this country before neo-liberalism, like, really had to do some PR around those and make it more subtle. And, you know, I think that that’s significant. I think that it’s significant that we have a significant population in this country, in a way that doesn’t exist in other countries, of people who have grown up realizing they can’t trust anyone, they can’t count on anyone, that they’re the only person they have and that they seek, as much as possible, to not form true emotional attachments to other people. Callie [00:52:23] Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I still, like my mind is blown every time I think back on him talking about, like, how the avoidant attachment style, like basically is nonexistent in a lot of other countries. So attachment style, you know, the person who created it was in the U.S. and when other researchers, like other doctors around the world, started to like perform these attachment style tests with babies, they were like, there was all of this confusion over they must not be performing the tests right. There must be cultural things that they’re doing that are skewing the results. Because they were getting like no results of people being avoidant and that just like flummoxed people. Like they couldn’t understand what was going on. But when you look at our country and the way we treat people, the way we look at, you know, everything has to do with this bootstrap mentality, right? Like everyone expected to take care of themselves. Callie [00:53:28] We even have to this day, so attachment styles have been around now since like the 1950s. Right, now granted, they took a long time for people to take that field seriously. But even still to this day, the fact that so many people haven’t heard of attachment styles, and are actively trying to teach parents, like, let your baby cry it out because that they need to learn how to self soothe. And it’s like that is absolutely incorrect with everything we know about attachment styles. Like it is so critically important when a child is young, when a baby is crying, they need… Like to really develop a secure attachment style, they need to feel that their parent is attuned to their needs. Right, they are paying attention to them, they care what is wrong with them, and they want to soothe them and make them better. Callie [00:54:26] And the fact that, what, 20 so percent of adults, at least, in this country are avoidant. 20 percent. I mean, think about that, that’s a lot of fucking people. Because they’re not being attuned to. Because everything in our society tells people that, like, you should be fine on your own. You don’t need to be able to count on anyone. And also, we’re going to like, dangle this threat of, like starvation or homelessness over your head if you’re not just, like, tough enough to deal with life. Like that is fucking- Nichole [00:55:01] And you’re a burden if you need help. That’s very- Callie [00:55:03] Yes! Yeah. Yeah. And that like we’re gunna- Nichole [00:55:08] That made a huge impact on me. Callie [00:55:10] Exactly. Nichole [00:55:10] You know, that idea that like if I need help I’m a fucking burden. It’s like well I better never need help then. Callie [00:55:16] Exactly. Nichole [00:55:16] Cause I don’t want to be. Callie [00:55:17] Yeah. I mean even the fact that we have such a, and Nichole I’m glad you brought up that like, anxious people aren’t, like we can’t always just look at them as like oh they’re like the victim in situations. Like their behavior can be very manipulative, unfortunately. And again, it doesn’t come out of like a maliciousness. It just comes out of a lot of times of what they learned as a kid. But nevertheless, that’s what can happen. But still, the fact that, like, we demonize people basically wanting attachment. Like we look at them as like gross. Like, oh, you’re an adult who, like, wants a relationship or like needs love? Like ew. Like what the fuck?! Like that’s our society and so no wonder we have this huge group of people that are avoidant or have avoidant behaviors, and why we’re also like fucking messed up. You know, no wonder we feel like we can’t, we struggle to have conversations about like socialist values, about how everyone should be taking care of when everything we’re taught from like babies forward is that like, you shouldn’t need anyone else. A fucking baby who can’t do anything for themselves, needs to learn how to self soothe? What? Nichole [00:56:35] Yeah. Yeah, and I’m glad that you brought it up because I did think that was a really important point that he made, is that when it comes to parenting, it’s not about just being there, and it’s not about just, it’s not about like throwing a bunch compliments at the kid or just holding them whenever they cry. It really is about the child, the parent having an intuitive sense of what the kid needs and understanding and meeting those needs. He’s like, yeah, sure, you can tell your kid they’re like the smartest kid the world. But that’s not really going to do anything for them. But if you can actually like, understand. Like, maybe your kid is grieving and you can find a way to help your kid talk about that grief and label it and let them know that you’re like their to hear their thoughts. Or you’re there if they just need a hug. You know, like, that’s the kind of thing. And, you know, you could have a baby who’s crying or a kid who’s crying a lot. But if the parent, even if they’re picking them up, but if the parent’s like I don’t know why you’re fucking crying. I don’t know what to do. Like, that is not necessarily going to meet that child’s needs. Callie [00:57:53] Yeah. Nichole [00:57:53] Right, if you have that contentious relationship or the parent’s stressed out and is like I literally don’t know why you’re crying, I don’t know what’s happening. So I thought that that was a really nuanced and like very important point that came through. Because you can have a helicopter parent and you would be like, oh, well, that kid must be secure, right? Because their parent’s, like, always around. But it’s like, no, that parent can actually make the kid either anxious or avoid it because they’re not actually meeting the kid’s needs. They’re meeting their own needs to have control over the child. Or to you know, they’re probably, I think a lot of helicopter parents are very anxious, right? So, like, they’re dumping their anxiety on the kid. That’s not anything to do with the kid or their needs. Or you might see a kid who’s spoiled and think that they must be secure, but they’re not because their actual needs are not being met necessarily by the parents. They’re just being told they’re so great all the time, but they’re not being taught how to actually, like, regulate their emotions. They’re not being taught that the relationships in their life are solid and will always be there. That’s very different than telling your kid they’re just like the best. Callie [00:58:58] Such a good point. Yeah, he used the word attunement like, a lot throughout the entire series because that’s what, Dr. Kirk right? Kirk is his name? Nichole [00:59:12] Mm hmm. Callie [00:59:12] Yeah, thought so. But that’s what Dr. Kirk was using a lot and I think that’s really important. And you bring up like the distinction I think really well. It’s not just about like hovering over your child or your people in your life all the time and being kind of like clinging to them always. It’s about like parents being attuned to their child’s needs. Like not just like, oh, you’re crying and I don’t know what’s wrong with you and I’m just going to like, you know, pick you up or I’m gonna shove a pacifier in your mouth to get you to shut up. It’s about like trying to learn to be aware of, like, what your baby actually needs and attuning to those needs, and that’s what creates secure attachment. And that’s why, like other cultures, it’s not that they’re all secure either. It’s just that they don’t tend to have this like rugged, individualistic view of like, oh, like we need to all learn how to be like fine on our own. But there is definitely still like can be some hovering or, you know, overly, I can’t think of the word I want to use and I don’t want to say anything like offensive, but that’s why we see other cultures, like they definitely still have anxious attachment because there tend to be, you know, still some insecure bonds, but just not the avoidant one. Callie [01:00:30] So and the fact that these attachment styles have been around now for so long and we still like, they haven’t really trickled into our public policy. They haven’t really trickled into, like parenting in a big enough way. I mean, if you really think about it, your attachment style is really important to like, who you are and how you behave. And yet it’s still this like… I mean, I’m a person in my early thirties who, like it’s only recently that I’m learning this stuff. And I knew attachment styles was a thing, but I’m just kind of surprised that it’s not like, like this shit should be everywhere. We should be like wallpapering buildings with like attachment style information. It would solve so many issues, you know? Think about like drug addictions and anti-social behavior, like what we consider crime. Like think if we looked at that through an attachment style lens, right, and we solved… Callie [01:01:31] Which I thought was so interesting about attachment style. It feels like this is something we talk about on this show so often, but we just weren’t talking about it in conjunction with attachment styles. Like we were kind of doing it, but in a roundabout way. Right, that everyone should have their needs met. And if they were, we would have a lot less of these problems that capitalism creates. Well that relates to attachment style. You know, if people feel like their needs aren’t going to be met, either by their families or by society at large, you’re going to get insecure attachment behavior. Nichole [01:02:08] Yeah. Yeah, and something else he brought up that’s sort of connected is that it doesn’t really matter who your caretaker is. So it’s OK, like, which is, you know, positive in the sense that, like, I see some people commenting about, you know, being raised by a community versus like this individualistic approach we have in the US of like, you’re the parent. And a lot of times it’s you’re the mom, right, and you’re kind of on your own. So he said, yeah, like if you have any kind of caregiver around you who can make you feel this way, then for the child, for the baby. It doesn’t really matter if it’s their biological parent or not. Which is great because that means, you know, kids who are adopted, kids whose parents who pass away, kids with single parents or parents who are very busy and need, you know, aunts and uncles and other people to, other relatives or friends to step in. Like that can still give a kid a very secure upbringing where they grow up to feel safe and trusting of other people. So that’s very important. Nichole [01:03:20] And then I saw some people bringing up, you know, neurodivergence or mental health issues like anxiety. And he was saying a lot in there that this really is based on neurotypical children. The tests that they do with infants doesn’t apply to a neuroatypical, particularly autistic, baby because we tend to act differently, right? I know for me, a lot of my autistic traits also present very avoidant. I just always was very off on my own. You know, a lot of times we have sensory issues, so we want to be somewhere quiet and we want to kind of be by ourself. And we tend to avoid other kids and things like that. So, I also think ADHD, you know, could probably present a lot as anxious, possibly because a lot of ADHD kids like, want a lot of attention and, you know, have a lot of energy around that. Nichole [01:04:25] So it is good to understand it’s a little difficult to piece them apart. And I also saw someone commenting that like that can also increase what your needs are as a child, as a baby, or as a small child versus a neurotypical person. And so your parents could be, maybe they were able to be a secure attachment for a sibling, but not for you because they didn’t quite understand that your needs were different because your neuroatypical. So it’s a complex relationship there, but it does factor in and does kind of hamper the measurements and the, I guess you don’t really get diagnosed with an attachment style, but it could, you know, kind of complicate that for you. Nichole [01:05:16] Because I do think about that a lot, too. Like, I do wonder if me being autistic was also part of like, I didn’t ever feel like anyone understood me. I always felt very different. And I could tell my mom was kind of like weirded out by me and didn’t really know what I needed. And I think that that, even before we then, because we were somewhat financially secure until I was about six and then we like became very poor for a very long time. So even before the time, like when she was still a stay at home mom for the most part, even though they still left me to take care of my infant sister but anyway. But even before, you know, we really got into where my parents both were working jobs, and like I had to be home taking care of the kids and like cooking dinner and stuff. Like even before we got there, I do think there was a sense for me, even as an infant, that, like my parents didn’t get me. You know, and didn’t really get what I needed. And I actually didn’t need much. I was like pretty chill as a kid, but. Yeah. Callie [01:06:23] Yeah. Well, you were also the first kid too and like, let’s be real, parents usually fuck up the first. Either they’re too helicoptery or they’re too standoffish. It’s like the one or two, one or the other. Yeah. Nichole [01:06:41] So, yeah. That’s all a good point. Callie [01:06:42] Yeah. And there’s also a lot of things too that like, parents can do by accident to mess up attachment style. Like I think, I don’t know this for sure, but it is something that has made me wonder. So my brother had colic when he was a baby and we’re only like a year apart, a year, year and a half, something like that in age, so we’re very close together. And so me being still that young and then my brother having colic, and if you know anything about colic like babies just tend to like cry constantly. Like he just was in so much discomfort and pain. And I think that was probably traumatizing for like every one of us. But something like that, too, could then mess up attachment style because if your sibling maybe needs more attention or has needs that like your parents are struggling to meet, then they may not be able to, like, fully attune to one or all of the kids, right? So some of these things can happen even without like, oh, a person being a bad parent, you know what I mean, it’s just like stuff can sometimes happen. Or like you mentioned earlier, a parent may pass away and then that can create an attachment injury, you know? Callie [01:07:57] So there’s just so many ways in which attachment injuries can happen and that it can end up kind of forming. What I’m really hoping is that the more people, like, get to know their attachment style and relate to it, then we can at least have some understanding as to like why people act in the way they do. You know what I mean, instead of being like, oh, I’m hurt and I think you’re just being a jerk. It’s like, oh, I can understand why you’re acting that way and I can understand why I’m acting this way. You know what I mean? Nichole [01:08:28] Mm hmm. Yeah. So I think part of what was interesting for me around this topic was when we were discussing with our friend, you know, Callie and her having these experiences as young children, just in talking through all of it really came to realize, like how much we truly do praise children for acting like adults. And even how we praise adults for acting like adults, like even what we code as mature or desirable traits. So, you know, Callie brought up, like just the general capitalist understanding that there’s not enough resources to go around, there’s competition, that some people have and some people don’t and you don’t wanna be a person who doesn’t. Like that all definitely factors in a lot. I can say for sure as being a kid who didn’t have, and understanding how other people looked at us and knowing that like no one was going to help us. That definitely heavily factored into, you know, my behavior as an adult and my internalized ideas about other people in relationships. Nichole [01:09:46] But we were thinking, or even the whole crying it out thing, like that’s definitely something. But even beyond that, even the more subtle stuff, which is always the stuff we like to dig into. You know, there’s just things like how we talk about like, oh, she’s such a good baby. She doesn’t need anything. She’s such a good baby. She’s just so quiet. I remember my mom saying this really fucked up thing to me many times when I was a kid where, which probably hurt both me and my sister. But she would say, like, oh, you tricked me. You were such a good baby so I had your sister and she was a nightmare. And I was like, wow two for one. Like, fuck up both your kids with one comment. Nichole [01:10:33] But you know, so like, and she used to say that to me from when I was like, pretty young. And again, like, a lot of my behavior might have been autism and just the way my autism presented was that I was like very, I just really didn’t love being around other people. And I was very, had a very rich internal world. I taught myself to read when I was like two, I think right before I was three. And I loved books and I just could either be building something or reading something like all day and be happy and just not really want to be around other people. So even though my mom said that behavior was weird and creeped her out, then she also is like, but you tricked me because you were so easy and then your sister wasn’t easy. So then my sister grows up knowing that like she was this burden to my mother, right? My sister probably had calick or something. Callie [01:11:24] At an age where she couldn’t possibly do anything about it, like… Nichole [01:11:27] Colic, not calick. No, exactly. Now, my sister is a fuckin psycho and we do not talk to this day, but, you know, probably, like that didn’t help in her mental health. And I know that was ableist but like, she’s my sister, I can say it. But, you know what I mean, and that also set her and I up to feel adversarial to each other rather than feeling bonded and like we could count on one another. So, you know, just it’s things like that, like the way, I know that’s a slightly extreme example, but not really. I feel like that’s something a lot of parents would kind of say offhand. Something to that effect and not really realize how like, like my mom was praising me for not having needs, not expressing needs, and for being very isolated. Right? I mean essentially that’s what she was telling me was desirable behavior for my kid. Nichole [01:12:30] Whereas if you’re in some kind of pain, like my sister, you know, she said my sister came out screaming and never stopped. So, you know, my sister must have been in some kind of pain to be like that, and must have not been having her needs met probably a lot of the time, and that’s a rough start. And then to know that, like the person who was taking care of you at that time, first of all, must have been communicating that through her energy, right? That she’s, like, stressed out, not wanting to deal with this. But then also, like, as you’re a young child and starting to, like, form your identity, knowing that you were this burden to this person and that your needs were burdensome is very difficult. And I know I got praised a lot for being, to tie this back to what I was gonna say, like, I got praised a lot for being very mature and very, like, self-contained, right? And again, we’re just coding different behavior in different ways. Nichole [01:13:35] I think about how we tell little kids like, oh, you did that all by yourself, you’re such a big, big person. You know, like a big girl or a big boy and, you know, like, good for you, and like oh, I’m so proud of you for doing that alone and doing it all by yourself. And I think, like, I get why we say that, and I do think that there’s something there to praise a kid trying things and not being afraid to try stuff on their own or experiment in general with stuff. But I don’t feel like that’s the message that comes through a lot when we talk to little kids. I think the message that comes through is that, like, you did not burden me with this, so I am happy. And now this is your thing that you get to go do on your own. Now, I don’t have to do it with you. Nichole [01:14:25] And in, you know, I think it also got into deeper stuff, which I’ll let you jump in on if you want to. But, you know, we came around in our conversation to things like, and this can dip into just straight-up abuse, but how a lot of parents think they need to prepare their kid for the real world when they’re still a child, even a baby. I mean, some people let their baby cry because they’re like, you know, when you grow up the world’s not going to come and comfort you so you need to learn now when you’re literally a fresh out of the oven little loaf of a person that you need to self-soothe. Callie [01:15:03] Awww, that’s so cute! That’s such a cute way of phrasing it. Nichole [01:15:06] Yep. All wrinkly and fresh. Callie [01:15:11] Yeah. Nichole [01:15:13] And I think that was probably the biggest thing that we kind of came around to in our conversation is like, ooh let’s unpack this, right? Callie [01:15:19] Yeah. Yeah, there’s this need, I think for a lot of people to feel like you have to prepare your child for how cruel and tough the world is. And also if they’re not in the same place as all of their other peers, then you almost have to, like, go even harder in a way. Like, you know, I saw, and I won’t call this person out because I wouldn’t, I don’t know if they’d want this shared on the episode itself. But like, you know, like you hear stories all the time of little kids who, like, struggled a lot longer than maybe their other peers to be, like, dropped off at school. You know, like maybe they weren’t ready to be separated from their parents at the age of five or whatever. And that was traumatic. They cried a lot, they struggled with that. Callie [01:16:15] And we just have this view of like, ugh they need to, like, toughen up and they’ll get over it. Instead of realizing like not everyone develops in the same timeframe. And that that can create attachment injury, to like think that like, oh, if someone is struggling, then they just, like we have to work even harder to make sure, or we have to like put even more pressure on them to just like, well you have to fucking do it. Like you’ve got to just get over it. You know, instead of like being attuned to their needs and being like, oh, well OK, maybe they’re like not ready. You know what I mean? Or maybe they need, like, extra attention or maybe we should come up with things to do instead of just this like, let’s let them cry it out style of parenting, you know? I don’t know why some kids, like, struggle with that more than others. But instead of, like, investigating that, we just have this bootstrap mentality of like that’s just the way the world is. You go to kindergarten at five years old and you gotta get the fuck over it. And it’s like that’s not creating secure, like, well-adjusted people in the world, you know? Nichole [01:17:21] Right! Well and it can’t be natural. Callie [01:17:23] Exactly. Yeah. Nichole [01:17:25] You know, because back in the day you didn’t drop your kids off somewhere else when they were still small children. Callie [01:17:31] Right, with strangers. Nichole [01:17:32] And I’m not judging, like please don’t read that as judging, you know, preschool or daycare or whatever. But that’s the point is that, yeah, like parents feel this pressing need that like, well, you know, my kid’s going to have to go to kindergarten. My kid’s gonna have to go to school. And then they’re gonna have to move out. And then they’re going to have to, like, buy their own house. So they better learn now when they’re three to fuckin pull themselves up and toughen up and like fuckin do it. Callie [01:18:02] By their baby bootstraps. Nichole [01:18:02] Yeah, you have a little three-year-old sitting there holding their, like Dora the Explorer backpack being like what is happening right now? But I think it’s… It’s just this weird thing. Like I can understand being like, this is how it is now. And you do have to navigate that right, like you do, even if you’re the best parent in the world and raising your kid in a super secure way. Like you, that is something you still have to navigate. That this is the world now. Like you are going to have to go to kindergarten and be away for me, even if you’re not ready to be. But I think also, like, at least acknowledging that this is not like an inherently natural way to raise children. That children traditionally, like, historically, like primitively, have always been raised in community. And not just raised in community, but people in general always lived in community all the time. Like you didn’t have a break where all of a sudden the kids were like segregated and having to be away. Like you’re just running around, you’re all doing stuff. You’re learning trade, right, because you’re running around, like everyone working and poking around and like learning stuff. And having friends and having your relatives around you and your neighbors. Like it is very in the broad scope of humanity, very recent and very bizarre that we do this to our kids. So exactly to your point, like to have a child who’s having issues with that at four or five or six years old, and then to have each child treated like they’re being immature. Callie [01:19:51] Literally immature. Nichole [01:19:53] Yeah, and told to toughen up and get over it. It’s, it is harmful. And that’s the kind of thing that I think is so fucking common. And it is seen as… I think some people judge it, but it’s seen as pretty normal to just be like, like my kids got to grow up, right? Maybe people don’t phrase it so harshly but people say that. Callie [01:20:14] Or they do. Nichole [01:20:17] I mean, a lot of people do. But you’ve got to grow up. You’ve got to toughen up. You got to learn this is the real world. I need to go to work. You need to go to school. And yeah, you do need to go to work so the kid needs to go to school. But, like, that doesn’t mean that it’s not, that doesn’t mean that your kid is ready for it. And it doesn’t mean that they’re immature if they’re not, or they don’t want that disruption in their life, you know? Callie [01:20:41] Yeah. Yeah and again, this isn’t to like, judge individual parent’s actions. I know a lot of this is like obviously like, yeah, the fact that we have this like, one caretaker mentality, right, of like maybe one parent stays home and the other goes out and has to work to try to like provide an income, or they both have to work and the kid is either left alone or left in daycare, with a babysitter or whatever. It’s like this isn’t to judge individual actions. It’s just to talk about that like, again, our society, especially in the West, as this like grossly capitalistic bootstrap mentality, is like really fucking people up. Callie [01:21:19] And it just is yet again, in another example, very counter to like our actual needs. You know, like we are, it’s like we’re programmed, it’s in our DNA to like, as babies, cry when we need our parent’s attention. There is a bond that’s created by a parent or any caregiver, any person around, right, when it was more of like communal living, attuning to a child’s needs. Or that even when the child gets a little bit older and then they’re able to, like, run around and socialize, that they know the people they’re with. You’re not just like dropping your kid off with like a fucking stranger. You know? Callie [01:21:58] I just think, like, what could be better besides the fact that people, like we have the example of people being homeless or being either unfed or underfed, as examples of how fucking broken our society is and that this capitalistic way of living is just purely not working for us. Like, what a better example of that than like attachment style. And really understanding that on a like individual basis, like we are creating people with insecure attachment style because of our culture. That other cultures do not even have this style. Like that is like foundational. Like that is something that could really help people understand like how wrong all of this is, you know? Nichole [01:22:51] Mm hmm. Yeah. Callie [01:22:51] Because like what you were saying, the fact that we teach… The fact that we praise kids that act like adults. Like I was like that as a kid. I was praised a lot when I was young as like being wise beyond my years and being so mature and acting like a mini adult. And that was because of trauma. That should have been a red flag, not a gold star. Nichole [01:23:21] That could be the title of your memoir. Callie [01:23:28] Dude, that’s too real. Nichole [01:23:28] And when you finally come out as a full lesbian, it’ll have layers of meaning to it. Callie [01:23:37] Oh god. Well, I wouldn’t be a gold star anyway, because… Nichole [01:23:47] That’s the joke. Callie [01:23:47] But yeah, we do tend to force… I mean, I can think of countless stories not only in my own life but in close, multiple close friends I’ve had throughout my life that have talked about their parents like, thinking that they needed to be harder on their kid to try to prepare them for the world at large. I mean, I had a friend, too, like… I don’t know if I actually want to share that. Parents who think that they have to, like, keep their kids grounded. Right, by like, not letting too much praise go to their head. And so they end up creating insecurities because they don’t want their kid to, like, feel too good about themselves. Or you have parents who let their, have this like, oh my kid has to, like, toughen up or cry it out. Callie [01:24:42] Like, it’s been interesting reading some of the comments and hearing people talk about, like, how they think that maybe they had an anxious attachment style when they’re younger and maybe now they’re avoidant. But I wonder how many people with avoidant behaviors are actually like anxious people, but they’ve just been, they’ve kind of learned that society, like doesn’t shame avoidant behavior as much as anxious. And so, like, that’s… It’s either forcing people to have a different attachment style or move avoidant up in like this, you know, the spectrum of, because it’s not 100% or zero, but people that are like having to learn to like regulate their behavior in a way of like, oh, I don’t need anyone. You know? Callie [01:25:30] A lot of parents make that mistake where they think they have to prepare their child for how tough the world is. And the reality is, if you love your child and attune to their needs and try to give them a safe environment to process their feelings, to learn how to love, to learn how to build healthy, secure attachments, they will be prepared for the world. Because they will be much more prepared for the hard moments if they are a pretty mentally healthy and secure person. The problem comes from creating attachment injury and thinking you have to tough them up and then send them out into the world. Callie [01:26:16] That’s what creates problems is we have a bunch of like broken people running around. And I don’t mean broken as like a slam. I mean it in like a deeply empathetic way, and also as a broken person myself, creating more problems or really struggling then with the problems. Like, think about like if you know someone who is secure. When something bad happens, when they lose their job or when they get into a relationship and the person’s like not good for them, they’re able to see that and walk away. It’s the people who have attachment injuries or have, are struggling with mental health problems that end up getting stuck in these cycles, you know? I just, I wish that parents wouldn’t do that to their kids. Think that they have to create a tough environment inside the home to prepare them for outside the home. It’s like, no, you create a safe base for them to be welcomed and loved and feel okay. And that will give them the toughness that they need to go out into the world. It’s just so counterintuitive that parents are doing the opposite. You know? Nichole [01:27:29] Yeah. Well and it’s a big part of, in my view, why we are in a situation where we are, where our country is literally fascist. You know, capitalism is literally on fire. And yet we still have a giant percentage of our population who’s just like, that’s the way things are. Y’all are a bunch of fuckin liberal babies and blah blah blah and just telling us to grow up. How many times during this election cycle have we heard that it’s immature to have a purity test for who you vote for. Or it’s immature to want, you know, basic human rights for people. Or it’s immature to like, think that everyone should have health care? How many times have we seen that meme go around, and then we all twist it on its head, but of, you know, essentially like I was liberal in my 20s and then you grow up and become conservative in your 50s, or whatever it is. Right, just essentially saying that like liberalism, which is so funny because us leftists are like pft. You know, like you’re still not getting it. Nichole [01:28:37] But that, like, liberalism or leftism is immature, and inherently young and immature viewpoint. And that the mature viewpoint is that everyone should have to fend for themselves. That I should not want my money going to other people. That I need to protect my own and everyone else can fuck off. Like we literally as a culture condition people to this. And we cannot, I think another thing to add into this conversation is we cannot underestimate how much access to media tiny children have nowadays. And how much our media, no matter what it tries to do, always ends up reflecting whatever society believes. Nichole [01:29:23] So, you know, how much of these capitalist values are infiltrating different forms of children’s media. And, you know, just kids, like a lot of kids when they get even like five or six years old, start watching, like, what the fuck ever. And I’m not a huge fan of censoring what kids watch, but at the same time, if they’re not being raised in a very secure and, frankly, anticapitalist way, then that is just going to reinforce what they’re already being taught. And does run the risk, I think even in a good situation of kind of getting through. Because we make capitalism look great and flashy and like, I just think even now, I can still reflect on how many things got through and were really internalized by me, even as someone who was always inherently anticapitalist. How many, you know, still, talked about it a million times, about how much my, I feel like my value is on my productivity. And how I might define success differently than someone who’s a capitalist or pro-capitalism, but I still do have measures of success that aren’t necessarily tied to, like, my well-being as a human. Nichole [01:30:41] So I think that that all, you know is, I just think it helps to explain. I think we have, we do, have a significant population of avoidant people who grew up thinking this is what it is, you’re on your fucking own, you better work and make it because no one’s coming to help you. And they’re parents and they’re voters, right? And we collectively have, you know, if we look at how paternalistic our entire country is, how our government is, you know, we joke about the big daddy all the time. But if we also look at it in this way, if we look at ourselves as collective children of the patriarchy of this country, we are also being perpetually raised in an essentially avoidant condition. Callie [01:31:31] Yeah. Yeah, that we value avoidant traits, right? That we glorify them in some ways. Yeah. God, you brought up so many good points. It reminds me, too, of something I think I’ve mentioned way back on the show, probably on VWPA where, how these like capitalist values that are taught to us early on, and now having this new framework to kind of view the world through this like attachment style framework, that I do think it’s capitalist values. But I think it’s like more related to, I think it’s like a merge between capitalist values and attachment style and the fact that we glorify avoidant behaviors, right? Callie [01:32:20] Because I was, I’ve reflected a lot over the last couple of years of like growing up and being taught things, like a lot of other people are, about like how we’re supposed to view people that are homeless. Right, and about that they’re like failures and they’re, it’s like, you know, kill or be killed kind of world. And that we can’t spend too much time or too many resources like looking out for others because, like, no one’s gonna look out for us and we just have to, like, take care of our own selves or our family because, you know, there’s not enough to go around. We live in scarcity, which is fake. But I think that has a lot to do with, like, this attachment parenting, right? If you teach your baby that like they need to learn how to self soothe, that they need to teach themselves how to care for themselves. And then you teach a kid who’s being dropped off at school, probably too young, and separated from their caregivers, separated from people they know, that they just need to toughen up. Callie [01:33:22] I mean, it’s all part of this foundation that’s teaching people that they need to be okay on their own because no one cares about their needs, so they shouldn’t care about other people’s needs. And it just makes a lot of sense then why, as Nichole was saying, we have full-on adults arguing that it’s like fine, that we have people that like don’t have food or shelter. That that’s just like part of the culture we live in. And that it’s like immature to believe otherwise. You know? I mean, it makes sense if that’s like what you’ve been taught your whole life. Not just about this like economic sense, but about the way you relate to the world, the way you attach to the people around you. It’s very cold and like, no wonder, you know? No wonder we have the kind of problems we do, especially in this country. I mean, I’m not saying other countries aren’t also grossly capitalist, but a lot of them at least have some sort of socialized medicine. There at least is some sort of understanding that people have like a basic expectation of care from their government. And we just, like, don’t even have that here. Nichole [01:34:33] Yeah, yeah. And I think, I mean, also, I think there’s some very obvious conditioning for anxious attachment as well. I think when it comes to, you know, our livelihoods, our value as productive citizens, that’s very avoidant. But I think if you look at media around love if you look at media around, like high school or young adult years, like that is all very anxious. It’s all teaching you that one person is going to come along and change your life. Which is a very typical anxious belief is that you’re going to find this one relationship and the one relationship’s going to fix everything. You’re taught to chase after people. You’re taught that, you know, something that should be a red flag is exciting and even points to that, that person’s your true love. Nichole [01:35:29] Like, look at how much avoidant behavior is modeled in romantic media, but it’s modeled as a way of it being, like, enticing. And then the person we’re supposed to identify with, the main character, is really essentially exhibiting anxious behavior and is eventually rewarded for that behavior, right, by sticking it out and the avoidant person eventually comes along after all of their persistence. Which is very annoying as an avoidant person, by the way. Persistence is the last thing we want. Nichole [01:36:04] But I think like, so it models this weird, and I think that’s why a lot of it is very gendered, too. Like, I do not think women are as much praised for avoidant behavior. It’s definitely part of the cool girl trope. But in real life, my experience has been that society does not like an avoidant woman at all. They’re coded as sluts. They’re coded as extremely immature. They’re constantly asked when they’re going to, like, settle the fuck down and like, stop being ridiculous. There’s a lot of ageism in it. Like it might be cute to do in your early 20s but after that, it starts being pathetic or sad. So I think for men, I think avoidant behavior is more glorified. Whereas for women, I feel like anxious behavior is more shown in media to be acceptable in that way. It’s shown from like a feminine viewpoint of like this, “Men, am I right?” Like, you just gotta keep after ’em. Nichole [01:37:07] And that’s what you’re taught, that’s what love looks like. And even as an avoidant person, I also internalize those messages of like, oh, it’s the chase and like, you know, like eventually someone comes around and then you know that they’re your person because you went through all this stuff together and it’s just very backwards. And think about like the ending of romcoms is usually that we’re never going to see these people again. We’re supposed to believe that like they’re magically happy forever after this, right? We leave them in this perpetual state of perfection. And it’s usually right when the other person, like, finally commits and comes around. Or finally apologizes or whatever. Right, resolves the conflict. Which we all know from experience that a lot of times that’s when it, right before it actually falls apart permanently. Callie [01:37:58] Mm hmm, yeah. Nichole [01:37:58] Right? Because the person finally comes around and then you realize you don’t want them because they’re a fucking mess. Or you realize you have nothing in common and it was actually the chase that was keeping you going the whole time. Or they just end up leaving again and then you finally had enough and you finally cut it off. But it’s just so funny to me that that’s where we show the resolution is like, oh, look like this person came back and did like a gesture and now it’s all better and now they’re happy forever. And it’s like, well, odds are they actually, that’s probably right before they actually broke up for the last time. Or, you know, like ended this cycle. So, and, you know, and then we get a nation of like, why do you think we all are obsessively talking about dating in this country and how fucking awful and impossible it is? It’s because those are the two messages that we’re all absorbing all the time is this like super avoidant and then super anxious messaging. And then we’re trying to interact with each other. Callie [01:38:59] Yeah. Yeah, that’s… That’s a really good point, I hadn’t considered that. That there does tend to be this glorification of anxious behavior. It’s also why I can look back on a lot of the kind of romantic storylines I like, they tend to have this like, there’s this magic solution why someone would know that this person’s like their person. Like they don’t really have to like… There’s always some conflict that they have to work through. But there’s never really a question that they’re like the one for you, because that kind of solves the anxious problem, right? Of being like, well how, and avoidant I guess, too, of like, well how do I really know? How can I really trust this? And it’s like the universe has solved that for you. Like there is somehow this, like mystical pairing. There is some way of knowing that you two belong together, so like any little conflict you have is not that big of a deal, because at the end of the day, you two were like made for one another, you know? Nichole [01:40:06] Yeah. And you never have to question it. Callie [01:40:08] Yeah. Yeah. Nichole [01:40:10] Yeah. Yeah, and even storylines, and it has become a lot more common to have what I would consider avoidance storylines, particularly for women in romantic, you know, people coded female in romantic movies. We see it in queer media a lot. I think we’ve analyzed at least, you know, a good chunk of it here. But even if the main character is what we would probably say is avoidant, a big mile marker of them meeting the one is that they suddenly become anxious. Right? Callie [01:40:46] Mm hmm. Nichole [01:40:47] It’s not that they suddenly feel safe and secure and they’re like, wow, this is like, I’m actually like not, you know, I’m actually feeling like we have good conflict resolution and I just feel really at ease with this person. And this person makes me feel like I can trust them. No, it’s a person being like, what the fuck? Like, I’m thinking about them all the time and I’m like, worried and I’m like, obsessing and I, you know, I need to talk to them constantly. Like what happened to me, I’m never like this? So it’s still always like love, like true love is always coded in someone being anxious. And usually someone being avoidant, right? Fuckers. Callie [01:41:31] Yeah, yeah. It’s not- Nichole [01:41:36] So it fucks up our relationships a lot. Callie [01:41:38] It’s not good. I mean, and, you know, the sad thing is, is the longer you’re in the dating pool, which I fucking hate that phrase, I’m sorry for you saying it. Nichole [01:41:50] My fingers are pruney. Callie [01:41:52] Yeah. Yeah, they are pruney as hell. Nichole [01:41:56] My skin is all wrinkly. It’s translucent at this point. Callie [01:41:58] Yeah, for real. But the sad is, is secure people tend to like, they find a person who, and they settle down. And then what’s left is a lot of like anxious and avoidant people trying to date each other which is rough. Nichole [01:42:16] Well and they talk about that in Attached, that it isn’t just your imagination that like there actually are a larger percentage of anxious and avoidant people out there, particularly avoidant people, which tracks with my dating record. Because I’m avoidant but I’m actually like a secure-avoidant, or avoidant-secure. I still haven’t determined like how much of a percentage where, I don’t play games with people, I’m not an asshole. I’m just, I just do have the belief that, like, I can’t really rely on other people. But I’m also not like, I’m not out here playing games with people. You know what I mean? So it’s weird for me because, like, if I found a secure person, I would be fine and I think that I would be able to be very healthy. I might have a couple of things to work through, but I think largely I’d be able to be like a healthy partner for that person. Nichole [01:43:09] But, yeah so anyway, I tend to be drawn to other avoidant people, which is a fucking nightmare. And then you do, you’re like am I losing it or is everyone out here what I now know is avoidant, right? How many times do you hear that? Like everyone out here seems like they don’t actually want a relationship. Everyone out here is ghosting everybody. Everyone out here is like playing fucking mind games, right? And then it was a relief to read that book, and they’re like, well, that is actually kind of true because secure people tend to settle down. And their relationships tend to last longer. So they do tend to find someone, settle down and then stay in a relationship, whereas, you know, particularly avoidant people are hopping around all the time. And so they’re always out dating and fucking the rest of us up. Callie [01:44:03] Yeah. Well, and I think dating apps, too, are just designed to bring out, like, our worst possible behaviors. I feel like they just amplify both avoidant behaviors and anxious behaviors, you know? Nichole [01:44:14] Completely agree. Callie [01:44:15] And so it just makes it really hard. Because you’re not really, like you’re not really seeing the humanity of the other people if you’re on an app like Tinder. And unfortunately, all dating apps are now using this kind of like swipe mentality. And if you could just sit there and, like, fucking swipe through people like they’re playing cards, you know, and it’s like, oh, if this person doesn’t get back to me quickly enough, like, I’m gonna go talk to someone. Like, it just, it like amplifies, right, all of the worst parts of insecure attachment style. And it’s really unfortunate. Nichole [01:44:47] It is quite unfortunate. Callie [01:44:51] Like there’s, that’s not even a strong enough word for how disgusted I feel by it. Nichole [01:44:58] Yeah. It’s rough. Yeah, you know, I just started watching Lucifer cause Callie always talks about it, and a bunch of you on Discord were talking about it and I felt FOMO so I was like, let me watch this. And I just like couldn’t, I just can’t get into it. No judgment because I watch a lot of trash, I just for whatever reason. But part of what’s bothering me is in, I guess, mild spoiler, but not really. Is, you know, this woman meets Lucifer and then she has her husband that she’s separated from. And but they’re not like divorced and there’s kind of this vibe of like maybe they’re gonna be, maybe they’re kind of working on it. But now Lucifer is there and he’s so exciting. Nichole [01:45:38] And it’s like, I think the show wants you to want her to get with Lucifer, but I’m watching and I’m like, okay, her husband has good communication skills, he’s a good dad, he’s like has amazing, like together as a couple, they have amazing conflict resolution, they’re co-parenting brilliantly. And I’m like, I’m sorry, at this point in my life, like that is a fucking turn on. I do not need this like, bad boy. Don’t even get me started. I already could do a huge analysis on that show and consent, so don’t get me started on that. But like, yeah, why would you need this guy? Also, that child is literally the cutest human I’ve ever seen in my life. And I know it’s supposed to be funny when Lucifer’s like ew, but it’s like, no, you’re literally a monster. She is the cutest person who’s ever lived. I’m sorry. Like… Yeah. Callie [01:46:34] Yeah. I mean, yeah, he is a monster. He’s the literal devil, so. Nichole [01:46:38] You are a literal monster. And not because of your glowing eyes or that you torture people. It’s because you don’t like this child. But you know what I mean? I think it’s like a classic, like avoidant, kind of what Callie was talking about, like how we do glorify particularly avoidant traits in men. Right, Lucifer is the epitome of that. He’s always like fucking people once. He’s literally in therapy to try to not have feelings for his partner or whatever we’re going to call her. He hates children, right? Like, he has no attachments. He even treats his good friends, his bodyguard. Callie [01:47:18] Maze. Nichole [01:47:18] I’m not really sure what, Maze, what her exact relationship is, but like he treats her like shit, right? And yet we’re supposed to be like, oh my god, he’s the fuckin, like panties off. You know, like just, we’re just supposed to be wet and ready for him and think, and just be like, not just wanting to fuck him, but like we are supposed to be in her place of like oh yeah, like wanting a relationship with him and wanting him to, like, tame himself for us. And it’s just, and yet there’s this hot ass fuckin dad right there who’s just being all fuckin responsible. And that’s who I’m wet for. Sorry. Callie [01:48:03] Yeah. Nichole [01:48:03] But it’s just such a clear, you know, watching it now because it was made a few years ago, not like that long ago. But, you know, just watching it now and just being like, oh, this is not… This used to be my jam. And now fortunately I’ve gone through enough shit that I’ve gotten over that and now I can see it for what it is. But it’s just it’s so common, it’s so fucking common that that is the dynamic that we’re introduced into, is this person who’s inherently avoidant and we’re supposed to just be enraptured by that and be super into it and be rooting for whoever to, like, get that person to settle down with them, right? Callie [01:48:44] Yeah. Yeah. Nichole [01:48:52] Yeah. Callie [01:48:52] Yeah. Nichole [01:48:52] So, I could talk about this for four days, but I think I’ve said what I needed to say. Callie [01:48:59] Yeah. Nichole [01:49:00] How are you feeling? Callie [01:49:01] Yeah. Yeah, no, I think we summed it up really well. I mean, I think a lot of this, like, kind of… I’m really glad we talked about it, but I think it just kind of speaks to, like, yet another reason why, like capitalism and our culture is just so sick, you know? It just encourages, like, everything counter to what we actually need. And I think not that I’m sure, our audience or we, needed like yet another reason to see the faults of capitalism. But I think the fact that we can now see that even from like a developmental level from babies upward, we can see the harm and attachment injury that’s being done to people by encouraging these like bootstrap mentalities. And this like figure it out yourself, self-soothe, act like a little adult as a kid, and all of that is just really counter, honestly, to like creating healthy, like, well-adjusted, secure adults. And if I could say anything to people, it would just be like create a soft place for children to learn and grow, and they will be then tough enough to handle the outside world. It just really breaks my heart that parents think that they have to like- Nichole [01:50:23] Push them out of the nest? Callie [01:50:23] Yeah, and just that they have to like be hard so that their kids learn how to be hard. And this is a really great way of seeing, like, that’s actually been proven inaccurate so can we stop? Like, can we stop damaging kids and thinking that we’re doing them a favor? Because it doesn’t help anybody, you know? It doesn’t. Nichole [01:50:52] Yeah. Absolutely. And as much as you can, you know, take accountability for your shit, work on it, there’s resources out there even if you can’t go to therapy. Therapy obviously is the best option, although it can be very hard to find a therapist that is right for you. That’s an extremely intimate relationship. But there’s a lot of therapists who do focus on attachment style or do integrate it very heavily into their work. So if you wanted to work with someone specifically from that framework, that is something you should be able to find. But, you know, even reading articles, reading books. Nichole [01:51:31] Where I learned about this first was in a book called Attached, and it has like a heart out of a magnet or something on the cover. And I feel like that focuses mainly from like a dating and romantic relationship perspective. But I think it was really easy to consume and really helped me a lot to see my patterns of behavior. And I was able to apply it to other relationships in my life pretty easily. But I personally would recommend that as a starting point if you’re interested in learning more and maybe doing some personal work and exploration on your own. And then also, as we recommended, Psychology in Seattle has like 15 or 18 hours, something wild, series. But it is locked behind their Patreon donation wall. But just let me know if that’s something that you can’t afford. And we may be able to help out with that. If you are actually going to sit and listen to these lengthy podcasts on this. Nichole [01:52:42] And he’s a psychologist, obviously so he goes into, I like listening to his stuff because he talks about it. He talks about it, you know, generally, and then he talks about treatment for it from like a therapist perspective of like modalities of treatments. And he also talks to other therapists and other mental health professionals in a way that I just really like having that insight. So it’s much more than someone just explaining it to you as like a patient or a person. It’s actually from like this very professional perspective. But he does also make it pretty accessible. It’s not like too academic or dry at all. And he, you know, works in his years of experience. So he has just like a lot of stories and examples to help you understand things better. Callie [01:53:42] Yeah. Nichole [01:53:42] So next week, we’re going to be tackling a topic that I’ve been chewing on for a while. This was actually inspired by an episode of Law and Order SVU, as so many things are. But we’re actually going to try to navigate the very touchy topic of, you know, telling people that abuse isn’t love. I think that that is actually really, really dangerous and damaging. And so we’re gonna walk through that carefully, you know, but I’m gonna explain why I think that that is really harmful. We’re going to talk about things like trauma bonding. And we’re just going to talk about abuse in general. And this will possibly be cathartic for people who have been abused. But this was really inspired by a friend asking for advice to support a friend who’s in an abusive relationship. So this will, that will be kind of the angle of this, is helping people of how to support and talk to people who may be caught in an abusive situation. Nichole [01:54:47] Because that was the context that it was said on the show was like, honey, that’s not love. And I thought, like, that’s really dangerous to say to a victim of abuse. And it’s, sadly it’s not usually very accurate. So we’ll walk through that like. So having been someone who was pretty abused by an intimate partner as well as, you know, my parents, like, I just feel like I have a lot of insight on how we can have these conversations in a more constructive way and how we can support abuse victims better than just telling them that what they’ve experienced isn’t real, or isn’t valid or isn’t love. It may not be healthy love, but a lot of times it is actually its own form of love and so it can be really isolating for people to hear otherwise. Callie [01:55:36] Yes. Nichole [01:55:38] So we’ll get into that next week. Very excited. And yeah, if you liked, if you’re watching the video and you liked it, like, subscribe, click the bell for notifications. Leave us an emoji, you can leave some, like, little kid emojis or some hearts or whatever you’re feeling like. And, you know, just share us if you liked this episode and thought, you know, this is one I think might be more accessible to people who don’t know us and maybe aren’t radicalized yet and share us around. Callie [01:56:11] Yeah. Nichole [01:56:11] And hopefully we won’t get deactivated before next week, and we’ll see you then. Callie [01:56:15] Oh god. Bye bye! Nichole [01:56:18] Bye! The post 032 Attachment Theory & Capitalism: How the West Fucks Up Kids appeared first on Bitchy Shitshow.
We are thrilled to be joined by YouTuber Professor Flowers (Claire Borealis) this week to discuss the history of Whiteness over the last 100 years, and how we can dismantle the construct of Whiteness to move forward. CONTENT WARNING: We took up way too much space on this episode and we apologize for this misstep. We’ve noticed this as a trend with our collaborations recently and are putting mechanisms into place to prevent it in the future. Pop Top Nichole goes off about Bella Thorne and OnlyFans this week, talking about not just the careless actions of the actress, but focusing on the real baddy in the room, OnlyFans itself. Has Bella Thorne Really ‘Ruined’ OnlyFans? (RollingStone) Joke Can you perform under pressure? Main Topic: Smashing Whiteness with Professor Flowers We are honored to be joined by Professor Flowers this week to discuss the concept and construct of Whiteness. She guides us through the recent history of Whiteness in the United States (the last 100 years or so) to talk about this endlessly shifting, neoliberal construct we are faced with today. Then the three of us have a long, meandering talk about Whiteness itself, and how we can all, regardless of our own racial and other identities, do our part in dismantling this power structure around us and exorcising it from our behavior, beliefs, and our beds. About our Guest Host Claire Borealis has a YouTube channel called Professor Flowers. This channel creates video essays that analyzes media, such as movies, anime, and other videos. Currently her work is focusing on the discussion of race. Follow and support her: YouTube | Patreon | Twitter | Instagram Resources White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Racism | Paula S. Rothernberg (Book)How Slavery Sowed the Seeds of American Collapse: America Sold its Soul to Slavery. It’s Still Paying the Price. | umair haque (Medium)Queering Anarchism (Book – free PDF) SUPPORT THE SHOW Follow us: Twitter | Instagram |YouTube Join our community: Facebook Group | Discord Server Donate to us: Patreon | PayPal Transcript Nichole [00:00:27] Hi, everyone. Claire [00:00:29] Hello. Nichole [00:00:31] So many changes to my stude today. I have a chair. We have a guest. It’s a big day. It’s a very, very big day. Callie [00:00:38] It’s a very big day. Nichole [00:00:42] So welcome to Bitchy Shitshow. I’m Nichole. Callie [00:00:46] And I’m Callie. Claire [00:00:48] And I am Claire, also known as Professor Flowers. Nichole [00:00:50] Yes! And today we’re gonna be bitching about… Claire [00:00:55] Whiteness! Callie [00:00:55] Dismantling whiteness, yeah. Nichole [00:00:58] Yeah, we won’t be bitching about dismantling whiteness, but we will be bitching about whiteness. Callie [00:01:02] Right. Yes,. Claire [00:01:03] Absolutely. Nichole [00:01:04] Yes. So I found, Professor Flowers, were you on Thought Slime? Did he bump you? Claire [00:01:11] Yeah, it was crazy. I think I had like seven hundred subscribers, and Thought Slime did a shout out to a bunch of, to media and some other like Black leftists and our subscribers, like jumped like significantly. Like I was going to have like “celebrating one K!” and it went from like 700 to I think like 3500 and it was, yeah. Thanks Thought Slime! [crosstalk] Nichole [00:01:33] Yay! I think that’s such a good example of how you cultivate your audience and that’s why I cannot stand when content creators don’t take accountability for the people who follow them. Because when I go to the people that he highlights, you always see in the comments people are like, “The eyeballs sent me!” And like there’s just so much camaraderie and support in that community. And that comes from Thought Slime. Nichole [00:02:02] So, yes, so once they found your channel, I was like, this person is someone I need to know and work with and be friends with because I’m like, she loves a bold lip, first of all, great analysis on race. And then also you talk about like anime and other types of media and cool shit like that and I was like, this is incredible. So yeah, and you were very kind when I reached out. You were very nice and agreed to work with us. And here we are. Callie [00:02:31] Yeah. Nichole [00:02:33] All right. So before we get in to all of that, before I do a formal introduction for Miss Flowers, we have to bitch about Bella Thorne and OnlyFans because that’s what happened this week. This is where we’re at. So as you all may have heard, Bella Thorne, who’s an actress who I did not really know. Which is probably showing my age. Callie [00:02:57] The subtle shade. Claire [00:03:03] I didn’t know about her either, I was like who is she? I had no idea. Nichole [00:03:03] I know, I was like, uh… OK. So we saw that Bella Thorne decided to go OnlyFans and there was this big promotion about her going on OnlyFans. Apparently, it’s contested if she was actually, herself, promoting that there would be nudes or if that was like a fake account who was promoting that. But either way, she ended up earning two million dollars in 48 hours by people buying, I don’t really know how it works, but they were buying access to her going live on this day. And when she did, I guess she had a picture that, like you could find in Google Images. Like it was a picture that was even already public. So I kind of heard about this, but it wasn’t really paying too much attention to it because I’m like, celebrities just being celebrities. But then As Told By Kenya did a really, really good video about it and it made me realize that there was a very obvious anticapitalist critique to be had here. And then, of course, also layers of, you know, sex work and celebrity culture. Nichole [00:04:15] So there’s a good Rolling Stone article that kind of summarizes the whole thing. But, you know, it talks about earlier in the week, actor Bella Thorne made two million on OnlyFans. Sex workers are furious about it because what happened was a lot of people who paid were expecting to see nudes. And when that didn’t happen, they were trying to get their money back. You know, they were filing, they were contacting the company. They were filing with their credit card, like the charge was a fraud. So after that, OnlyFans quietly issued a 50 dollar cap on pay-per-view messages, and a hundred dollar cap on tips without warning or announcing any policy changes. Nichole [00:05:02] So Savannah Solo, a sex worker and content creator saying there was no notification, we’re just now suddenly unable to get a tip over 100 or pay-per-view over 50. Apparently, OnlyFans has done this before. They are known for changing their policies overnight and without any kind of notice or warning. So the thing is like, OK, the Bella Thorne thing is annoying. But I think it also points to the way that capital always makes sure that the working class, and the poor, and sex workers don’t have good access to financial freedom. Because this is another avenue that was working for people. And then what always happens is celebrity culture takes over. Nichole [00:05:54] So, you know, in As Told By Kenya, she was talking about podcasting, which Callie and I’ve been doing for years now, and it’s true, every fucking celebrity now has a podcast. And so you take a platform and a medium that was really powerful for like an average person to have a platform. And now it’s flooded with celebrities who are making millions of dollars off of this. And of course, people say, oh, free market, and it’s bringing people to the platform so that’s actually increasing views for everybody. But that’s not how it works. And then what happens, similar to what happened on YouTube as well, is that then the platform will change their policies to benefit celebrities and people making mainstream content. And that hurts sex workers, poor folks, queer folks, people of color, Black folks. And people who are just making a living making like leftist content. So that’s frustrating. Nichole [00:06:59] And then also, they were talking about how sex workers so often are the ones that build these platforms up, and then they’re the ones once the platform is big and celebrities have come in to validate it, then they’re the ones who get basically shut off the platform. OnlyFans, for instance, has just deleted people’s accounts like overnight without any reason. They’re suddenly shut off from their source of income. So it’s just something that is, you know, be mad at Bella Thorne because that was annoying and irresponsible, but also like see it for the bigger picture of what it is, which is capitol’s way of controlling who can make a living doing what. Callie [00:07:40] Yes. Yeah. And yeah, I’ll just say quickly to add to that, because they think you summed it all up beautifully. But there’s a lot, I’ve been seeing a lot of Tik-Tok videos by sex workers who are saying, like, get off OnlyFans if you can, like, go to something else. Like OnlyFans has been really antagonistic to their sex workers on the platform. Because it’s not just for sex workers, but that’s who popularized it, right, that’s like who brought in, like you said, most of the people, most of the subscribers and stuff. So they’ve always had kind of this like, they’re making a lot of money off of them, but they kind of hate that their program is, you know, dominated and known to be like primarily for sex work. Callie [00:08:31] Like the Bella Thorne thing is a great example because everyone thought like, oh, she’s getting OnlyFans, it’s going to be nudes. Well, not necessarily. There’s a lot of people on OnlyFans who aren’t doing nudes or any of that kind of thing. But that is kind of what people expect because that’s what the app’s become to be known by. And they’re just really not great at supporting their creators on their app and they make it really hard sometimes. Like you said, deleting accounts of people. They also apparently they’re in some legal trouble right now, there’s talk that they’re like, could potentially be filing for bankruptcy, like they haven’t been paying their taxes or something. It’s kind of a mess. So there’s been a lot of tips I’ve been seeing about like if you’re going to continue to use OnlyFans, like get your money out, like as soon as you get it. Like, don’t leave it in the app. Like, take it and then move it to a separate account. Callie [00:09:29] So there’s just a lot of issues, right, with like a society that’s dominated by this like late stage toxic capitalism, which wants to sexualize bodies, but then have such a shitty attitude towards sex workers themselves. Like use them and profit off of them, but not like give them any respect, give them any safety, no legal protections, anything like that. And it’s just really upsetting that like this one celebrity because she did something that she thought was gonna be cool or trendy just fucked up the income stream for a lot of people that, you know, rely on this work. So, yeah, just fuck OnlyFans. Apparently, there are other, some, some better alternatives out there. I don’t know what they are off the top of my head but some that, like, actually are known to work really well with the people on their platform and have like a sex worker positive attitude. So maybe consider looking into alternatives if it’s something that you’re already doing or considering getting involved in. Nichole [00:10:38] Claire, any thoughts before we move on to a joke that Callie is going to hate me for? Claire [00:10:43] Well, I just thought that the As Told By Kenya video was really funny, if anyone watching this hasn’t seen it. Nichole [00:10:49] It’s so good. Claire [00:10:49] Yeah. I just love how she’s just like, the whole time she’s just, like, yelling. And I was like, cause I was like, what’s going on, she just like comes in full blast. People are trying to make money and now they can’t! And you’re like, oh, that’s really messed up. And anything that she explains, it is just like one of the best ways to hear it, so definitely… Nichole [00:11:06] I know. Claire [00:11:07] I didn’t actually know who Bell Thorne or Bella Thorne… [crosstalk] Nichole [00:11:13] I keep spelling her name wrong because I don’t know her. Claire [00:11:20] Well, that person, I didn’t know about her and I had heard stuff about like OnlyFans but I just did not know what was going on so that video was super helpful. And yeah, it’s really messed up that there’s a celebrity who was trying to have this moment of just like, of like ha gotcha. Not really actually nude, or this is like a common picture you can Google. And then it just ended up backfiring and then it ended up screwing over so many people who make income off of that. And once again, she’s going to be fine because she makes millions of dollars but everyone else is now in a bad position, so. Callie [00:11:56] Yes. Nichole [00:11:56] Yes. And I just hate the rhetoric- Callie [00:11:58] All these celebrities just need to get off these apps. Nichole [00:12:01] Get off the apps! Callie [00:12:01] Like, it’s not for you. Like you have so much exposure already. Like just leave us to our things and get off. Like it’s so annoying. Nichole [00:12:13] Yeah. It’s very annoying. It’s like, what are they going to do next? Like be Uber drivers? And be like, oh my god, I made like a million in tips in like one day. It’s like stop taking… Like it’s bad enough that we have to do these things to like make an income and then you come in and take it from us. Because also just what happens is then, you know, I used to hate having a scarcity mentality. Like part of the work I’ve done, being like an anarchist and a communist and all this stuff is to be like there’s enough for everyone. Like there’s enough YouTube viewers for everybody. But honestly there’s not. There’s not when these big fucking people come in and start taking up, because the more celebrities you have, like people are gonna be watching that content. And there are so only so many hours in the day. Nichole [00:13:04] So like when it comes to other small content creators, I still want to have this abundance mentality of, like, I don’t feel threatened by you, I feel enriched by you, and like your existence makes my existence better. But when I see these fucking celebrities and these big companies creating content, it’s like you are literally taking work away from us and you’re taking our platform away from us. Get out of here with that. And I just wanted to mention, someone brought it up in the comments, and it is probably the worst part. Well, I think the caps are pretty bad, but like, they change shit from getting paid every week to getting paid once a month. And as someone who has had that happen to them at jobs, where we go from like every other week to like monthly, it fucks you up. Nichole [00:13:53] If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you probably have all your bills scheduled out in a different way than you would have if you’d been getting paid monthly the whole time. So shit like that. Like high cost of being poor, y’all. Like that kind of stuff will fuck you up. You can have, like it changes overnight so you can have something overdraft and it just sends you into a spiral. Because you can change like when your bills are due and stuff like that. Like I’ve had to do that to work out with different pay schedules, but you can’t do it immediately. Like you still have pro-rated stuff you have to pay out. So it’s absolutely irresponsible and it’s just another way to consolidate wealth because the people who can’t sustain that are going to be trapped in a cycle of, you know, debt and fees and whatever and have lost, you know, this this way to be a little bit autonomous and have some control over their income. Nichole [00:14:51] And then people like Bella Thorne, you know, she’s getting dragged through this, thank god. So she may suffer some, I don’t know, whatever, but like, she’s still rich. She’s still a celebrity. She’s fine. And then it’s everyone else left behind in her wake. And to be clear, she didn’t cause this. OnlyFans jumped on an opportunity to do this. Callie [00:15:14] Yeah. Yeah. Like I said, they’ve already been really bad at, and antagonistic towards the sex workers that use their platform. Like they like profiting off of them, but they hate that their app is associated with sex work. And so they have been difficult to work with, up to and including like literally taking money from people, you know, from the content creators. So they were already shitty. Nichole [00:15:39] And that’s not to let her off the hook. It’s just to not let them off the hook. Callie [00:15:43] Exactly. Nichole [00:15:44] Because everyone’s blaming her and it’s like she, you know, she deserves some backlash here. But you really should be focused on the company because the company was the one that made that decision. And, you know, they were just waiting to be able to do stuff like this. And now that you bring up that they’re in, having financial issues, paying people out once a month makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Ugh it makes me so angry. And then in closing, I will say you cannot support sex work by not doing sex work on a sex work platform. She was saying like, oh, I wanted to legitimize sex work and I wanted to, I like support sex workers. And it’s like, but you’re not doing sex work here. And you possibly- Claire [00:16:30] Was it just like cute pictures or? Like what was she even doing, like she wasn’t actually posting anything sexual? Nichole [00:16:33] I, no! No, but that, I don’t want to be a bad journalist and say that she promised nudes cause again it has not been confirmed. But even just the fact that you’re going on this platform, you’re not legitimizing the work done on that platform by doing different kinds of work. Do you know what I mean? You could be if you’re like I stand with sex workers, and it was a way, like if it was controversial for you to bring your work to that platform and you were like, look, I stand with them, like, I’m gonna do what I can to help them. But that’s not what she was doing. She was being a tourist, right? Like she was dipping her toe in to make some money and then she was gunna bounce. And she didn’t take any risk herself with the content that she put out. And I just think that that’s so gross. Like, people do that all the time. I think white people especially, where it’s like, you know, I support this, but also I’m not going to actually do it myself. It’s kind of like that. There’s nothing wrong with this, but also, like, not for me, you know? Claire [00:17:39] Yeah. Callie [00:17:40] Yeah. I mean, I didn’t see her advertising, so I don’t know what she put out there. But if she wasn’t going to be posting any like sexually explicit material, like she could have been very clear about that. Because like I said, OnlyFans isn’t only for that kind of material. You know, like I mean, people post all kinds of things on there, it’s not just necessarily like nudes or, you know, pornographic material. So she definitely could have done that. She could have just been like, hey, I’m a fucking celebrity and if you want me to respond to your messages, then get an OnlyFans and I will. You know, like, she could have just been selling access to herself. Callie [00:18:20] But yeah, I feel like to, no matter how she advertised it, there is this air of, like, you kind of know that you’re capitalizing on the fact that it’s like, oh my god, it’s an OnlyFans, and you know what people are going to think you’re doing. Like even if she had never really planned on, like people know, you know, like what it’s for and are going to be like, oh my god, she got an OnlyFans, I know what that means, like even if she wasn’t. So I just think it, it is kind of this like tourism into sex work where it’s like I’m just going to like post this thing and use the name recognition of OnlyFans to like get a lot of subscribers and money and use my celebrity. And it’s just really gross, honestly. Nichole [00:19:09] It is gross. Callie [00:19:09] She should donate all that money to the sex workers that she screwed over on that app. Claire [00:19:18] Yeah. Nichole [00:19:18] Agreed. All right. So we have a participatory joke today, which Callie hates. So, Claire, if you’ll be so kind. Callie [00:19:33] Did you explain to Claire about the joke thing? Nichole [00:19:36] Kind of. Callie [00:19:36] Or are you just saying all this and letting her think that I’m like a monster who’s like terrible to you? Nichole [00:19:42] I let her know it was like our thing. Callie [00:19:42] OK. Nichole [00:19:47] Our thing that you like hate the joke. It’s consensual. Callie [00:19:47] OK. Nichole [00:19:53] So, Claire, can you ask me if I can perform under pressure? Claire [00:19:57] OK. Can you perform under pressure? Nichole [00:20:02] No, but I can try Bohemian Rhapsody. Claire [00:20:08] Oh, OK. Nichole [00:20:15] Do you get it?! Claire [00:20:15] OK. Callie [00:20:15] Latest reaction! Claire [00:20:15] It took me a minute to get it and I got it. And… That’s a joke! Callie [00:20:21] That “Oh… OK.” That was so good. Nichole [00:20:26] That was the best response ever. Callie [00:20:27] That was just chef’s kiss. That was perfect. Nichole [00:20:30] Oh… So that’s what you did. OK. Good for you. Callie [00:20:34] That was amazing. Nichole [00:20:35] That was magical, thank you. Callie [00:20:40] Oh, my god. That’s incredible. Nichole [00:20:48] Yes. Also, I apologize to everyone listening on the podcast because I know my clicking of my mouse is very loud, but it’s just where we’re at today. So in lieu of doing our Patreon section, I want to formally introduce our guest today. So this is Claire Borealis, a.k.a. Professor Flowers. She has a YouTube, a self-titled YouTube channel, meaning it’s called Professor Flowers. This channel creates… Is this the best intro you’ve ever had? This channel creates video essays that analyze media, such as movies, anime and other videos, and currently, her work is focusing on the discussion of race. Nichole [00:21:29] So if you look at the show notes, a.k.a. the description box for the livestreamers, her stuff is all linked below. So in lieu of soliciting Patreon donations today, I ask that you check her stuff out. Donate to her Patreon. Follow her on Twitter. Do all the things. But if you like our stuff, you’ll like her stuff. It’s very, I think like in line with the type of topics that we generally touch on here. And just also bringing the heat. You get fired up. You go on rants. I love it. I love it every time. Callie [00:22:09] Yeah. Claire [00:22:09] Thank you for that. Nichole [00:22:10] Yeah. So to kick off our main topic here today, I’ve asked Claire if she would walk us through a brief history of whiteness, and so we can all kind of get rooted in what we’re talking about today, defining it a little bit. And then we’re just going to kind of go from there on this general topic of dismantling the concept of, the construct of whiteness. Callie [00:22:34] Mm hmm. Claire [00:22:36] Sure. Well, whiteness is, I think something that’s really important to understand that doesn’t necessarily click for a lot of people, that didn’t click for me, for example, is that whiteness is totally just a new social construct that, it’s something that’s happened thanks to colonialism. And humans have not, the way that we divide human races, as races as we know today, did not always exist. And so the way that we have it now, where there’s white people and then everyone else who is not white, is not natural. It’s not just how you know, it’s not like how humans automatically divide themselves. And it’s very much a product of colonialism. Claire [00:23:19] And the thing that really fascinates me about whiteness is, you know, of course, there’s like, you know, we’re going to enslave people and we’re going to remove indigenous people off their land and to take it for ourselves. There’s that that’s going on. But the thing that I really kind of get caught up on is like the past hundred years, because a lot of times people have a hard time understanding, like, why are there still so many Black communities that are in poverty when we have all these laws where, you know, anyone can do whatever we want, it’s the Emerican dream, you can just work hard and then you can be whatever you want to be. And so for me, like I asked that question myself and I learned a lot about a lot of really important parts of history that is tragic that we never learn. Claire [00:24:06] So, for example, like in 1934, people were you know, there was like, people weren’t allowed to unionize. There were really unfair wage laborers, working conditions were horrible. And then there were all these marches that people had where there was actually like Black and white workers working together for fair wage, for fair wages and to unionize. And the government essentially granted this, but only to white laborers. And so there’s like this instance basically, so the history that I’m going over, the past hundred years of whiteness, is talking about how white people have benefited specifically from policies that have helped only white people and how those policies, because they haven’t gone to Black people, have just pretty much like screwed over Black people in the last decade. And a lot of Black communities are the result of that. Claire [00:25:00] So the 1934 New Deal Air Act going to white people, but not being able to help Black people is one of those. There’s the G.I. Bills where people came home from war after World War Two. They were able, it helped them with housing, education, help them with loans, helped with so many things. Again, most of those benefits to veterans coming home only went to white people. And then there’s like the suburbs, you know, redlining districts is really important. Like, I won’t start going into that too much because I’ll just never stop. But like with red lining districts, essentially, like they sorted, if a Black person moved into your neighborhood, they, that neighborhood will lose value by default of the person being, of the family being Black. So they would redline the districts. So they’d be like, this is a Black neighborhood. This is a white neighborhood. Claire [00:25:47] And like the most important thing about this is maybe not even just that, like, Black people were pretty much segregated into really horrible housing situations, but I think one of the biggest things is that, like, when it comes to the identity of being white, that’s when a lot of the identity changed. Because before you have the suburbs, you have, you know, like people who were Jewish weren’t considered white, people who were Italian immigrants weren’t considered white. There were a lot of immigrants from Europe who were not considered white, even though they’re what we would call white now. But because of the suburbs and everyone being able to live together, it was basically like, well, we’re not going to sell this house to you if you’re Black. But that’s when it’s like new white-passing started to happen where there’s like other white identity started to form, where now Jewish people are considered white, now other European immigrants are considered white and they greatly benefit off of it. Claire [00:26:43] And I think the tragedy is, is that it could have also been like, let’s look if Black people had been allowed in these neighborhoods, I think we could have moved a lot, much more forward in dealing with a racist society because we would all, because that’s what happened with the other people who weren’t considered white. And that kind of, I think, was a few steps back, actually in racial progress was the suburbs and the segregation. And then and then, of course, like, you know, Black people lived in these, like, we only had public housing so there’s no property taxes to go to schools in many places, you know, just like just horrible housing conditions. Claire [00:27:22] And then after that, there’s blockbusting and that leads to, blockbusting is essentially when you would have like, when there would be like a Black person who moved in and then a realtor would be like, “Hey, that Black family just moved in there. You’re your property value is going to go down, you’ve got to sell your house right away.” And so people would sell their houses and then Black people would move in and the realtor would sell that house to an overpriced, of what a Black person or a Black family could afford. Their house would go into foreclosure and they could sell that house for cheaper. And this was happening in like the 60s and 70s. Like this isn’t even like, you know, this is not that long ago. And yeah, I think those for me are like some of the, the biggest, like, moments of being white, middle class, being able to form and have, and be able to accrue wealth. And Black people literally like not being able to, not having the resources to. And that is why there are so many poor Black communities to this day. Like there are middle class Black communities, but that’s why there are so many impoverished Black communities because of even in the last century, being screwed over. Claire [00:28:33] And so when I think of whiteness, too, I am talking about all this because I think understanding whiteness as like, I read this essay called The Possessive Investment in Whiteness where it’s like being white means like quite literally has benefited people in very real and tangible ways. And so whiteness is like a construct, an idea a mentality but there’s also like so much benefit. It’s white privilege is basically what I’m talking about. But it’s, I don’t know, it ties into whiteness, too and the white identity and like where we’re at. Nichole [00:29:17] Yeah. Callie [00:29:17] Yeah. Claire [00:29:17] Oh, wait, one more thing. OK, and then- Nichole [00:29:20] Yes. Claire [00:29:20] Sorry. Nichole [00:29:20] Tell us. I’m loving every minute of it. Callie [00:29:22] No, we love, we love that energy. Claire [00:29:25] So while all this is happening- Nichole [00:29:25] I’m just like watching a video like [crosstalk]. Claire [00:29:31] Thank you. I talk about this stuff so much and I’m like don’t go on forever. But like another important thing is like while all this is happening, like people who are not white are seeing this happening and they’re trying to go like, hey, I’m human, like I’m white in these ways. Like you have, like that’s where the term Hispanic comes from is because you have a lot of like Latino Americans, like Mexican Americans being like, hey, like I can pass as white. And so you have all these people, you have Asian-Americans trying to pass as white. You have all these people trying to have proximity to whiteness because that means they’ll literally have the resources to live. And that’s happening throughout all of this as well. And so, again, like whiteness is actually being able to have those resources. And yeah, that was it, yeah. Callie [00:30:22] Which explains in part why like colorism then is such a problem even in like, you know, marginalized communities, right, because you’d think like you would feel solidarity but there, everyone is striving for this, like to achieve whiteness and all the spoils that come with it. And what I’m really excited for us to talk about today, because that was such a perfect jumping off point, is how that’s like such a fool’s bargain. Like this, the promise of whiteness, while people obviously have gained a lot of privilege, power and money from it, it’s also like fucked a lot of people over and just the world in general. And so it’s like this, it’s sad that so many people are like, have sold out to it and it’s like it’s such a toxic and empty promise. Nichole [00:31:17] It’s literally the devil. It’s literally like the devil’s bargain, right, like you are selling yourself out to have… Now not to judge too much like people who are trying to survive. It’s complicated, obviously. But, yeah, we see that. And I just actually listened yesterday to an episode of the Red Nation podcast, and they had on, I forget his name, I’ll link it in the description, but they had on a Black leader to talk about Black misleadership, which is something the Black Agenda Report kind of came up with and classified, where it’s your Kamala Harris types, your Obama types, your Killer Mike types who are people who again have achieved some sort of proximity to wealth and power. And then they’re used to try to pull their communities along towards this sort of like Neoliberal whiteness, or even they said it’s something that’s happened for a long time so it’s not even just neo liberalism. Nichole [00:32:23] But this is something that just happens in a lot of communities. I think that’s at the heart of white women and why they’re the devils, we’re the devils, I don’t identify as a woman but you know what I mean. I’ll acknowledge my complacency. But it’s, you know, it’s this trying to appeal to the patriarchy, right? Like we have the whiteness so we’re trying to appeal to the patriarchy and capitalism and colonialism to get as much power and protection as possible. In the meantime, just completely crushing everyone else beneath us and being okay with that, justifying that. And I like how you brought up the, that it’s people trying to, like, define themselves as human or more human and thereby defining other people as not that, right, like a subhuman or not human. Because I think that really is it. Because there’s so much violence and inherent in colonialism and white supremacy and capitalism that like you, that you have to do that first and foremost. Right, you have to say we’re human, these other people aren’t so don’t worry about what happens to them, in order to start that segregation and that divide between people. It’s yeah, it’s very upsetting. Callie [00:33:43] Yeah. Nichole [00:33:44] I wanted to add to this little kind of educational portion that I read a really good article by Umair… Why am I forgetting his last name? Anyway, sorry, I’ll link, this is linked already. But I follow this economist and he talks about, he talked about how wages starting in 1971 became stagnant and have not recovered to this day. Which is something we talked about recently in our youth oppression episode, how tuition costs have increased dramatically and yet wages have not. And yet a requirement to have a degree to have a job has increased, which is a way that they keep people in debt. So he ties this to, 1971 was the date that ended segregation. So the US lost this labor force that they had been exploiting and they’re like, what are we going to do? Nichole [00:34:45] So you have this whole history of reconstruction and Jim Crow. And then we move into things like wage stagnation and mass incarceration and these other mechanisms that they use, even high interest rates, redlining, as Claire was talking about. There are all these ways to prevent Black folks from being able to accrue wealth, accrue political power, and also to keep them, to not have any social mobility. Right, because if you can’t accrue wealth, you can’t get a job that pays properly, you have to go to school to get a job and you’re paying more for that than other people are. You’re paying more for your house and your car, everything is more. And even when you buy a house now, your house doesn’t have the same wealth to it, it’s not the same level of an asset that it would be in a white neighborhood. These are all ways to keep wealth where they want it to be, which is with white people. And specifically straight, white, Christian, you know. Nichole [00:35:47] We’ve talked about it before, but the ideal man is wealthy, able-bodied, Christian, a man, cis gender etc.. And that’s what’s occurred to me recently, is thinking about things like I feel like white supremacy, I was watching, on For Harriet she did a collaboration with some Indian women talking about Indian Matchmaker, I promise this is going somewhere, or Indian matchmaking. It’s a show on Netflix where it’s all about Indian matchmaking. It follows this one matchmaker in particular and shows her trying to find matches for people. And so they did kind of a breakdown like talking about it as Indian women like how they thought the representation was and just issues that might come up in it. And they talked about the caste system and they were talking about how it was like a mechanism for identifying like who is allowed to have wealth. And it was so simple that it just kind of it never occurred to me to think of white supremacy in that way. But when you look at it, that really is what’s happening. It’s like who is allowed to accumulate and hold on to wealth? And it kind of like blew my mind a little bit. Nichole [00:37:05] And I don’t know why, it doesn’t necessarily change much, but it just made the mechanism so clear. And I think it makes it clear on how this allowing some people to get some proximity to that, allowing some people to acquire a bit of wealth who aren’t classified as white is, you know, it’s a bribe that they offer people. Like, OK, if you’re going to sell out other people, then you can accumulate some wealth and some power. But at the end of the day, we’re always trying to get it to be back up here. Right, like white people are always the ultimate. They might make some concessions to keep things under control, but they’re always, like that is always the goal is to really get that back up to them. Nichole [00:37:51] So I think just from what you were saying and then also understanding like the wage stagnation and the way that this has, I think it can help explain some tensions that we have when talking about race with like poor white people. It’s like, yes, you have been systemically targeted, but you are still also white. And it can explain the very real lived experiences of people who are like life seems to be getting harder, I don’t have money, I am trying, you know, I can’t make a living. It’s like that’s true and it’s valid and it is by design. But understand that what you’re experiencing now is a fraction of what people have experienced historically. And so just use that to understand how this system works, you know, instead of just saying, like, this is my pain and so I don’t need to listen to other people’s pain or I don’t need to see it in a racialized way. Callie [00:38:47] Yeah, well, and I think a big piece of whiteness is that it really heavily individualizes people. Right, it’s weird that in a way, it like collectivized whiteness, right, because Professor Flowers, as you were saying, like, these groups weren’t considered white. Like the Irish were the Irish. You know, Italians were Italians, like Jewish were Jewish. Like they weren’t all together but once they were able to just kind of pass as this white identity to move into these suburbs, they lost a lot of their cultural ties and they became whiteness and had a clearer path to the kind of like power and money that they saw, like the upper class elites having, right. Callie [00:39:29] And it also, like it’s weird that it collectivized people, but also like whiteness relies so heavily on people being individuals. You know, you’re in a suburb, you’re kind of more cut off from city living, which feels a little bit more like cohabitive, you know, like you’re all kind of all on top of each other, sometimes literally in a building. And, you know, you have your little neighborhood stores and stuff. The suburbs are all a little bit more distant and cut off and, and it’s easier to make people feel kind of like alone and separate. And so white people, I think, struggle to feel a sense of community and they look at this and they think like, oh, my pain. Like my family’s struggling. And it’s like, yeah but it’s like they’re entire communities, entire histories of this and like, see the parallels in that, you know? Callie [00:40:26] What’s happening to people is horrible, but it is by design, and it’s also like there could be a lot more power found in seeing some real solidarity. But they’ve been tricked that like everything in capitalism is you should be able to pull up your bootstraps and just get through it and not worry about what everyone else is going through because you’re trying to get what you need. And it’s like yeah but if you all got together, we would all get what we need. It’s the sad part, you know? This lie of, of solidarity. Not solidarity, this individualism is really tragic. Claire [00:41:05] Yeah absolutely. Nichole [00:41:06] Yeah. Yeah I think that’s what happens when the goal is to hoard wealth, right, is that like you need people further and further away from you to protect that wealth. That’s why we have cops, right, It’s why we have the laws that we do. It’s all about like, hey, if someone’s accrued some wealth, we need to make sure that they keep it and they grow it and that no one else can take it. And it is, I was on a kind of a community call, I guess you’d say, the other day where we were talking about police brutality and we had one person on the call who is like an “all lives matter” person. And I didn’t get to, like, talk to her as much as I would have liked to but, you know, she went off about like her Scottish ancestry and how the Scots were treated. And, and I was like… And then she talked about being a single mom and not being able to get help from the state and just really struggling. Nichole [00:42:01] And I was like, your experience is extremely valid. Like, and I was like, I grew up in poverty, I was not able to get help even though I was making like not a living wage. And I totally understand that struggle. But what you need to understand is that is all rooted in racism. You are not having a separate experience of like this is what happens to poor white people. This is something that is stemming out of our country’s legacy of racism and use that to understand that when we say Black Lives Matter, we are saying all lives matter because Black lives have been so… Because the violence that is done to all of us right now is stemming out of like a colonialist and racist space. So it is fighting for everybody. But we’re saying like this is coming out of these people’s disenfranchisement and if we want things to get better, that’s where we need to focus our energy and efforts. Callie [00:43:01] Yeah. Nichole [00:43:01] And then everyone jumped in and she got very defensive. But I think it’s a common, and I think it’s just very common for people to have that, they stop at their own experience and they don’t understand like actually… Like the fact that we don’t have universal programs literally stems out of racism. It’s because people are like, I don’t want them having it so I’m willing to go without to prevent them from having it. That is the country we live in. That’s the world we live in, but particularly in the US, that is literally things that have formed our policies in this country. Callie [00:43:37] Yeah. Yeah, and unfortunately, so much of it started with white people, poor white people selling out and agreeing to be the first iteration of policemen, right, and saying, like, oh, I’m gonna get some favor and power by, like, trying to, like to join in and hunting down slaves, right? It’s like you literally thought you were getting something by hurting people that you had a lot more in common with than the people that you thought you were joining. Like they were never going to let you part of their club. So, like way to fucking go. Like you just, like you hurt people that should never have continued to be hurt, and continue to be hurt in general, and you hurt yourselves and everyone else’s legacy. Like that’s the thing that pisses me off. It’s like women selling out and doing things like for the patriarchy. And it’s like you do realize this is like fucking you over, right? Like, you’re not actually getting any, getting what you think you’re getting. Callie [00:44:48] Hillary is such a good example of that. And I can’t even believe that I’m like bringing her up. But I think it’s… Yeah it’s just white people selling out to whiteness and losing their, a lot of their cultural ties, losing a lot of their history for this like empty, white supremist… Like, I mean, what is whiteness even? It’s one of those things that’s like hard to define. And I think that’s the powerful, that’s something powerful to take away from it, right, is it’s like empty. It’s not really a thing. It’s like, it’s the absence of a lot of things in a way. It’s consumerism. It’s white supremacy. It’s this individualistic, like bootstrap mentality. It’s capitalism. It’s nothing that’s like enriching. It’s nothing that’s like we can look at and be like, oh, that feels really special, or that feels like something I want to, like, keep and pass down. It’s like shitty sitcoms and pop music. And racism. And it’s sad. I mean, there’s like generations of people suffering and they don’t know why. And it’s like… Claire [00:46:14] Yeah, whiteness is just so fascinating to me. I took this class called Problematizing Whiteness and I, like I had to take some sort of like, I don’t know, like some sort of, it was for my like, to graduate, it was like a general ed class. And I was like, oh, this looks interesting. And I thought everyone in the class was going to be like mostly white in there because they had to fulfill some sort of requirements but it was like mostly people of color. And our teacher, her name’s Dr. Cheryl Matteus, she’s really awesome. But she, we start off the class being, like, talking about racism. And we watch this clip from The Blindside where, I don’t know if you ever seen it, but I forgot the actor’s name. But basically, it’s- Callie [00:47:03] Sandra Bullock? Claire [00:47:04] Sandra Bullock’s in it, yes! And there’s a scene where she, like, walks by these two, or like these two Black guys walk by her and she kind of like pulls her purse away. And they’re like, “What was that? That was super racist.” And it kind of like paints them as being oversensitive. And anyways, we’re analyzing the scene and we’re talking about like, you know, what racism did we see? And we like start talking about how the Black men were treated and so on. And the teacher was like, right, but like, what is this white person doing? And we’re like, oh, well, she’s like pulling away. And then we went on to analyze more of the movie and we kept on talking about, like, what are the Black people going through or what are the people of color going through? And the teacher was like, no, what is the white person doing? And we’d be like, oh, well, I guess like really specifically we need to look at that. Claire [00:47:53] And that class kind of put a lot of stuff about racism on over its head, because whenever we talk about racism, we are talking about like what people of color are going through, which we should be doing. It’s really tragic. But it’s also like, I mean in this essay I read called the Possessive Investment in Whiteness, like the first paragraph, it was like, we don’t actually have a, it was like, hold on, wait sorry, it’s right here… OK, so it says, “There isn’t any Negro problem; there is only a white problem.” And it’s just like, yeah, that’s actually it. So like when you’re talking about whiteness, it’s like you’re talking about this like power structure that’s like, that’s been like reinforced over hundreds of years about what it means to be white and what it means to be not white. And it’s just like there. You know, we’re all like the products of it but there’s not like, you know, it’s not like… I don’t know, it’s like, it’s so fluid and it’s so, so hard to define because it’s, so much of it is actually just the status quo, of like when we’re talking about whiteness. And it’s crazy because like yeah, talking about whiteness I think is so important… I’m kind of ranting a little bit, but talking about whiteness- Nichole [00:49:06] Do it! Callie [00:49:06] No, this is great. Claire [00:49:09] I just think it’s so important because when we talk about race, we’re talking about like people of color, which is like, that’s good. But it’s like ultimately this problem comes down to, not necessarily like white people, but whiteness as an ideology, as a set of beliefs, as a set of actions. And that’s like the issue, like when it comes to racism. Like that, actually, whiteness is the issue. Dismantling whiteness is dismantling racism. They’re the exact same thing. And it’s yeah, I just I, I didn’t know, I didn’t really understand that for a long time. And finally when I took this class, it was like that’s the thing that we need to be talking about and I could finally put my finger on it. It’s not just that we need to, like, feel bad and be aware about what’s happening to people of color. We need to, like, get rid of this toxic mentality. Callie [00:50:03] Yeah. Nichole [00:50:03] Yeah, that’s like, I tell people, you know, when we’re talking about, say, police murder and someone’s like, well more white people are killed than Black people. Like I get why it’s important to focus on Black murder. But I’m like, but if you’re starting with someone who thinks it’s OK for cops to kill, period, do you see what I’m saying? Like maybe start deconstructing like why do you think it’s okay for police to just kill people? Because they do kill, they kill an average of like eleven hundred people a year, like a thousand to eleven hundred people a year. And yeah, a lot of them are white. So yeah, we can talk about stats and proportions and populations and stuff, but it’s like, but if you’re starting with someone who is fine with that, you need to step back. Nichole [00:50:55] And that is still doing anti-racist work. And that’s where I get a little bit frustrated with how we talk about race. This is why I wanted to have this conversation with how, you know, like when everyone was recommending White Fragility, we criticized that and we got a lot of pushback. But to me it becomes this environment, kind of like what you were saying, of people focusing on it as like self-improvement work, or they just need to be aware of their own actions. And it’s like, yeah sure, that’s definitely a part of it. Like, please learn about microaggressions, learn about your biases, learn what your privilege is, like understand that. But, but the work is bigger and further back than that. Nichole [00:51:38] Like the work is us collectively looking at the system, the whiteness and saying like, OK, so maybe I have this privilege. But like why, you know, I have this privilege because people have been coded to be okay to do violence on, or people being coded to be OK to like not allow access to wealth or to political power. Like, we need to start further back. And I think when you’re doing that work, then you obviously, you like dismantle, well, you interrogate your own privilege. And what I never see them telling people, it’s like check your privilege, do this, do that. Yes. But I never see someone saying dismantle whiteness. I never see someone saying help us attack the entire construct of whiteness. Like to even get people to do anticapitalist work is a huge fucking fight, right? And then to tell them to, like, dismantle whiteness? It just, people aren’t having that. I’m not saying no one’s having that conversation, obviously a lot of amazing people are. But when you look at the mainstream, it’s like read this book, learn about microaggressions, stop doing them, donate to this fund, and then you’re done! Like, you did the work, great! Claire [00:52:51] Pat yourself on the back, it’s over! Yeah, I totally agree. Like in mainstream, or not even mainstream because like I feel like a lot of mainstream media, like can’t tackle racism because they’re so terrified of, like even- Nichole [00:53:04] Well they’re invested in it too, right? Callie [00:53:06] Yeah. Claire [00:53:06] Yeah, like as much as I loved Black Panther, there’s like so many like… Like they had to make the bad guy a Black person and so the stuff that was coming out of Fearmonger… Like, it’s like it’s good to think about like what do we do with the position we’re in? Do we like, become violent or do we, like, try to get back to our communities? And it’s a problem that places it as either or. Nichole [00:53:34] Yeah. Claire [00:53:34] It’s like, that’s kind of like, as much as I love Black Panther, it has a special place in my heart, it’s like the discourse around race was not… It was all right. It was OK. And that’s kind of like the most nuanced discourse I’ve seen in mainstream media. Nichole [00:53:53] Yeah. Callie [00:53:53] Yeah. Claire [00:53:55] Just, and yeah. So but then, and Left Tube, I don’t really see people… Like I see some people, I’ve seen some, so I met some smaller channels who are about the same size as me who are talking about it that I just didn’t know about. And that’s, that’s actually really cool. It’s given me hope but there’s just like not a lot of, like people will talk about racism without talking about whiteness. And that’s a, that is a massive problem. Nichole [00:54:20] Yeah, it is. Claire [00:54:20] That’s like, yeah. And so we, that’s the thing that we need to really be discussing. Especially if we’re leftists like and we want, and we’re serious about ending racism. That is the thing that we need to really understand. Nichole [00:54:33] Yeah. The only person I’ve seen publicly tackling it, that I’ve seen, is Emerican Johnson. I’ve seen on his Twitter, he’s constantly like, eradicate whiteness, eradicate whiteness. And he gets so much fucking pushback on it. And I’m like, of course. Like you can even be in a very far left space and people are like, “Whoa, I was with you there for a minute, but now…” But you’re right, like, it’s not, and even with him doing that work, and I haven’t watched, like, everything on his channel, but I don’t know that he’s done like content around, and he might be planning to, but I don’t, you just don’t see a lot of content around like this concept, this construct in like what do we do about it? Claire [00:55:24] Yeah. Nichole [00:55:24] I don’t need to check my privilege as much as I need to destroy the privilege that I have, right? Callie [00:55:30] Right. Claire [00:55:30] Yeah, yes! Nichole [00:55:30] I need to give it away. If I’m checking my privilege, it means I’m retaining it. Callie [00:55:36] Thank you! Nichole [00:55:36] It means I’m aware of it and I’m keeping it and I’m happy with that. And that’s why I got mad. You know, I even saw some Black leaders saying, like, if you wanna, like, get rid of your privilege, like donate to this fund. And it’s like, but you’re still putting the control of that in the hands of white people and then you’re making it transactional where they’re going to donate and then feel like they’ve done the work. You’re also alienating poor white people who don’t have money to donate but might be open to, like, helping in other ways. Nichole [00:56:11] And to me, again, it’s that, like, stepping back to actually attack whiteness, to say I’m not going to donate because I’m just, because I have white guilt, I’m going to donate because this is a comrade who’s in need and I help my comrades in need, right? Because if you do that, then you do actually do anti-racist work and you can have those conversations that are specific to certain struggles in certain communities and what they experience. But like, if you’re not back at where, I’m just gonna help someone because it’s the right thing to do and I can, then you’re not actually doing anti-racist work, in my opinion. You’re operating out of white guilt. And that’s not going to get us anywhere, that’s not the actual work. Claire [00:56:53] We just don’t need more of that. Nichole [00:56:53] No, no. Callie [00:56:53] No. Claire [00:56:53] Oh gosh. There’s this Key and Peele sketch where, I don’t know if you ever watch Key and Peele, but like, they’re at a bar and like someone like bumps into them and goes like, hey oh, sorry, I bumped into you. Oh, by the way, like, racism really sucks. And it’s just like, they’re just like white people bringing up racism and like, yeah I’m so sorry about that. And they’re like, it’s fine or like, that’s just how it is. And yeah, I have a lot of experiences of that where it’s like, I’m glad that, at least it’s, I’ll take that over like, someone telling you that racism doesn’t exist, and life, what are you upset about? I’ll take it over that but it’s still a very like not at all going to move anything forwards to just have this guilt. Callie [00:57:41] Yes. Claire [00:57:42] And that’s why I think it’s important to talk about whiteness because I think people, I think there are a lot of people who actually, like if they understood kind of like what whiteness is and like what we’re dealing with, then they might be able to lose some of that white guilt and with that deeper understanding, be able to do something with a deeper understanding. Because I think a lot of people just don’t know. And I think talking about whiteness can hopefully, like for some people, move that understanding and conversation forward. Because I think a lot of people are stuck in that white guilt and they don’t know what to do with it. Or maybe they don’t understand that they don’t need to feel guilty, they just need to, like, dismantle whiteness and what that means. Nichole [00:58:24] Mm hmm, yeah. Callie [00:58:24] Yeah. Well, and I think that there could be real power. And this is, I don’t exactly have the answers on how we do this, but I think maybe showing white people that whiteness is a construct and it is not who they are, and they can like, they can dismantle it. Like they can remove themselves from whiteness and find some power, some solidarity, find comrades like find a supportive community. Like that they don’t have to keep participating in it. Like when we say we need to dismantle whiteness, we’re not saying like we need to get rid of all white people. We’re saying we need to, like, dismantle whiteness, right? Callie [00:59:10] And I think it’s those conversations like that you were just talking about, Nichole. Like the idea of like you’re trying to convince a white person, right, that we should care about Black Lives Matter. And they’re like, well the cops kill more white people. And instead of that response of like, well, you’re just being racist because like the purport, it’s like that’s a problem, too. Like, why do you think that it’s OK that the state can murder people with impunity and without finding them guilty first? Like, that’s a real issue we should talk about. But I don’t exactly know how to do that without, like that kind of feels to me like it’s letting people, for lack of a better phrase, like off the hook. Callie [00:59:54] You know, like we don’t want to avoid conversations where white people like own up to the racism that we have participated in, both directly and indirectly. But it’s also maybe a way through, like letting people have a little emotional distance. Because it’s really hard to do the work when you still feel like you’re in it. Right, like, I always think of it like, so when I went vegan, it took me like probably a year into eating plant based before I was, like, really ready to engage with any of, like, the ethical conversations around veganism, right? And I think it’s because, like, I needed that distance to not be participating in the harm to, like, really take a deep look at what the harm was. And it was really difficult. You know, like I had a lot of, I sobbed my way through many a book about how animals are exploited. And I think there, we can kind of learn from that, right? Callie [01:00:56] Like, I think we can look at this and say, like, how do we help people that feel like they’re suffering, because they are, get a little emotional distance from the system and realize, like, we’re not necessarily attacking you as a person and blaming you for, like, systemic racism. But like, you need some distance to, like, process all of this. And like there will be time for accountability and to have those conversations because we’re not going to be able to build anything different if people aren’t, like, really analyzing, right, their biases and their racism and all of that stuff. But, yeah, I just, I don’t, like I said, I don’t exactly know how to do it because it feels like, we have this culture of like every, the woke white people spend like all of their time talking about personal actions and doing this like public- Nichole [01:01:51] Yeah, it’s exhausting. Callie [01:01:51] This public flogging of themselves. Like white people think that doing the work is just by constantly being like, oh my god, I was like, we’re all so racist, I’m so sorry, let me give my money to someone else, you know? And it’s like, that’s really gross first and foremost and it’s not actually doing any real work. And it comes out of this mindset of white fragility. I mean, that was our major critique with that book, was that it amplifies this culture of like white people taking individual actions and thinking that once they do A, B and C, that like they get this like anti-racist certificate and get to be like, I’ve read White Fragility, I own my privilege. And it’s like yeah but by owning it… Nichole [01:02:35] You’re owning it. Callie [01:02:36] Like what you two were just talking about, you’re keeping it. Nichole [01:02:36] You’re retaining, you’re retaining ownership as well. Callie [01:02:41] Yes! Yeah, and it keeps us from real solidarity because I don’t want to interact with the world where I’m always like, oh my god, I’m a white person, that’s a Black person, I need to talk to them in a way where I’m like constantly acknowledging them being Black. And like you were just talking about in that skit, Professor Flowers, like a white person bumps into them and be like, oh my god, racism right? And it’s like that’s really disgusting if that’s how you’re viewing the world. Like, acknowledge history, but also don’t keep that as some sort of, like, barrier between you and anyone. Like, how are you going to find solidarity that way if you feel like all these people in your life, you’re walking on egg shells and always having to be like, oh my god, I watch all the, the documentaries and the movies about racism. And it’s like, ew, I’m just a person at Happy Hour, like chill the fuck out. Claire [01:03:39] Totally. Nichole [01:03:39] Yeah, I just want to talk about anime and live my life. Callie [01:03:44] Right. Claire [01:03:44] Yeah, I like have other things I want to engage with. Super weird. Callie [01:03:45] Yeah. It flattens people down into this list of like either privileges or marginalizations, right? And that’s, that’s not the way that we’re gonna build any sort of coalition, you know? Claire [01:03:58] No. Nichole [01:04:00] Yeah. Well, and that’s why I wanted to have this conversation, because I think it’s a construct of neoliberalism that has been so effective and subtle, is that literally the way that we talk about race is segregating, right? It is creating guilt, which either creates fragility or creates resistance, which is really fragility but I think you know I’m saying. Like it either create a person who’s like leaking guilt all the time and just wallowing in their guilt, or creates someone who’s like, fuck you, like, I’m not open to this at all and this challenges, like my idea, my experience of the world. Nichole [01:04:45] And like Callie, I think to your point, because I agree, because of that conditioning, I still have this like, ahh, response to being like, well, hey, maybe not focus on the specific, maybe focus on more general. Because we’re taught that that is us like coddling white people or performing whiteness. But I think too, what I’ve been kind of chewing on is that maybe a way through that is to say, if I’m going to have a conversation with someone, I’m going to get in a relationship with them. I’m not going to try to like, bam! Like hit their racism. You know, like, oh I know the line for this, and I’m just going to tell you you’re bad and move on, or have the one liner, but say like, OK, if I’m going to do this work – as a white person, I’m saying – if I’m going to do this work, then I’m gonna be invested in this person’s journey. Nichole [01:05:37] So maybe I can start with the more general. Maybe I can talk about whiteness as a construct in tackling some of these ways that it controls our view of other people before I get into, like, the specific stuff. And I can feel okay about that, not like I’m letting them off the hook because I’m continuing this work with them. And that can’t always happen, but I just think we need to put more importance on the deep psychologic, not psychological, the deep philosophical seeds that we can plant with people and stop, we don’t see that as the work. Right, we see it as the work when we like burn someone or we like shut it down. And it’s, listen, I shut people down all the time. It happens, I’m not perfect. I don’t have conversations the way I wish I did a lot of the time. But I think we don’t see someone who’s, like, willing to take the time to really talk to somebody as like, as important as a person who’s willing to shut someone down and stand up and be like, that’s racist. Claire [01:06:44] Yeah. I just… I was talking about this on my like Pokémon on stream, but like, Saber, who’s another YouTuber who has a channel. We were talking and, we were talking about Emerican Johnson and we were talking about how patient he is and how like, I just, I don’t have that patience though. Nichole [01:07:04] I don’t either. Claire [01:07:05] I don’t, yeah. It’s like, I’m like he’s doing the Lord’s work but I just, I don’t know if I can do that. I grew up around… And like I know you’re also saying like specifically like as a white person doing that, so but it’s still like, it’s like I wish I had that patience to sit down with people. I feel like I tried that for such a long time because I grew up, so I was adopted and I grew up in a white family and I grew up around like white conservative Christians. And they are very, like the conservative Christians I grew up around with are super, super racist. Like, you know, like just in their missions work alone. They’re like, we got to go to all these places where brown people live and we got to show them God because they’re poor because, not because of a complex economic issue, they’re poor because they need Jesus. Claire [01:07:50] And it’s just like being a brown person around this group of people was extremely stressful because they just thought so poorly of me. And I would try to like, you know, talk with them. Like I kind of grew up with a lot of internalized self-hatred. And then when I was like, oh, this is because of racism. And I like try to talk to them and be like, hey, I like when you look down on me because I am brown, like, I’m not, this is not a specific example of, like, I don’t know, like people just would think that I was like uneducated or like they thought that all Black people came from a ghetto. And I’d be like, I just grew up in the same suburb as you did, like down the street. Like I would try to explain to them like these things are very like insensitive and racist and like your view of Black people being incapable of learning, for example, is very hurtful. Claire [01:08:37] Or like I would try to explain this to people and people just get so mad and they’re like, you can’t call me racist and I’d be like, okay, well, maybe you’re, let’s say your actions are being racist or like that what you said was racist. And I’ll say that to make you feel a little bit better, because being called a racist is hurtful. So at the very least, your actions are racist and people would just still lose it. And it’s like, well, I don’t know what else to call it, because that’s exactly what it is and I’m also not trying to say this in a hateful way. It’s just, I came at it from like educational like, oh, they may not know. They just may not know so, like, let me just try to engage. And that went horribly every time. Claire [01:09:20] And it’s never gone well, the only times it’s gone well are people who are already like, yeah, racism is an issue and they already have acknowledged it. So like for people who are like, that are like I don’t understand like why Black people are complaining, or other people of color complaining, like, I don’t know how to have that… It’s like it’s really important for people to be able have the patience and talk and have relationships. But it’s also like I just don’t know, like I actually stopped talking to certain people in my life because I’m like, I’m not going to try to convince you of anything. I’m really not sure what to do because it is important to have conversations. But it’s also like, you know, it’s very exhausting. Callie [01:10:05] Yeah. Nichole [01:10:05] Well I think a part of it can be like the content that we put out too. And I think you do that really well, you know? Claire [01:10:14] Thanks. Nichole [01:10:14] And I think like there’s other people, you know, like I look at, like Sonya Renee Taylor and… There’s someone else. But I think, like, a lot of the content that they put out is kind of that starting point. It’s that like deconstructing whiteness kind of content. So if you don’t, and I’m not saying, like, you have to do this, but it’s just something that I think about. Like we, one of my things that I cannot have a conversation about is rape culture. I can’t do it. Like I can’t do it without just getting really upset. And I can’t, like, talk to someone who doesn’t believe it’s a thing or, you know, thinks that there’s cases where it’s fine or whatever. But Callie and I have done a lot of, a lot of work around consent in our content that I think like, you know, that’s the best shot if someone listens to it and is able to, like, chew on that in their own time, then maybe it’ll bring them around. Nichole [01:11:20] But it is, it’s a huge question because even as a white person like there’s only so far I can get with someone who’s being racist before I can’t do it. You know, like before I hit that wall where, because I care and I feel it and I just think it’s like… You know, you do hit a point where you’re like, I just don’t think I can get through to this person and I tried everything I know how to try and now it’s just, you know, impacting me. And it’s not, it seems almost like be pushing that person further into their belief system, I guess, is my point. So, yeah, I don’t really have any good answers. But I do think like as content creators, and I think even when you post out to social media, anyone who has any kind of a platform, even just your person, like as a regular person, your platform, you can be putting this kind of philosophy out and hopefully that’s starting something for that person. Nichole [01:12:28] But I do think, I mean, it’s a good point to bring up because I do think if someone’s willing to do the work, then getting into a relationship with them is a good thing. But there’s a lot of people who are not. And I think it’s important to point out, like as activists and particularly people who are marginalized, do tend to take it on themselves to like try to humanize themselves with people. And that’s really degrading work. And so I never want to, like, promote this as like that’s something you should do. Or as an activist like, your job is to just go out and have conversations with these types of people 24/7. I just think if you are, so like for me, when I was on that call, I don’t typically engage with people directly in that way but I knew the call was coming, so I put myself in that headspace, and I’m like, I’m going to try. I’m going to try. I’ll do my best. And I’ll do what I can to protect myself to, like, not let it sink too far in so when I get off the call. Didn’t work, I had terrible anxiety for week after but I tried. Nichole [01:13:36] You know, but it was also a space for that person was coming in knowing that they were going to hear opinions that were opposite to theirs and that it was supposed to be an open conversation. So to me, it was like, OK, this person’s at least shown some level of like their wanting, they’re open in some way to this experience, so I’m going to do my best to meet them there and talk to them out of that space. And what ended up happening is there were some, you know, minoritized people on the call who got very upset and like, shut it down. And it was, I think that’s why I had such bad anxiety after, because I felt like should I have done something differently? Should I have shut it down, you know? And it just, there was a lot of anxiety around, like. What the purpose of the call was and what kind of damage might have been done on it. You know, particularly for the vulnerable people. You know, I was like, did this just reaffirm for them that, like, white people don’t fucking care about them? You know, just it just made me feel bad. And it was supposed to be a call where it was like, let’s try to, like, come together and understand each other’s perspective. And it just didn’t quite work out that way. Claire [01:14:57] That stuff is- Nichole [01:14:57] And I… Go ahead. Claire [01:14:58] Oh, sorry. Well that stuff is hard because, like, I feel like that’s, some of like the issues like on like Left Tube and stuff is like, should we like, and this is something that like I don’t have a clear opinion on myself. But it’s like how… Like debate channels where it’s like we’re going to debate a Nazi today. Nichole [01:15:17] No. No, no, no. Claire [01:15:18] Or a Neo-Nazi. Like they, there are people who are like, I, you know, I was in the alt-right pipeline and I like, listened to this debate, so it was like, oh, like the people I listen to are really dumb. Holy cow, I never noticed until I listened to this debate. And they start to come over to a less radicalized viewpoint. And that’s cool. But it’s also like, you know, like I think for me I would have a hard time debating… I don’t know, I don’t know, it’s like it’s hard because it’s like also sometimes like if I was debating someone about like the validity of like just being a Black person and how I’m human, it’s like my humanity. I’m just not going to have my humanity be on the line. I’m a human being. You know, it’s science is also has, you know, has this backed up as well. It’s not really just an opinion and it’s like it’s, yeah. Claire [01:16:08] And so it’s like a very, it’s to me, it’s like degrading to have to debate my humanity or debate the humanity of others. And like, but then also sometimes those debates, like, for example, like Sabor and I were talking about, like Emerican Johnson, like trying to engage. Like he’ll tried to really be like, hey, for those of you who don’t know what anarchism is, for example, I just want to invite you to talk. And he’s so inviting to people who are like have these like potentially like hateful views. And like I would imagine that if he talks about racism, he’d probably be inviting and like that inviting, you know, posture has actually helped people be like, oh, like this is, the way that these, I’m just being racist. I’m just being a racist asshole, that’s what’s going on, and I don’t want to be that anymore. And it’s been helpful. I go back and forth on this a lot about like is it helpful, like engaging with those people and in public spaces and like what to do with that. It’s like it’s all very tricky and I don’t quite have like a definitive opinion on that stuff, but. Nichole [01:17:24] Yeah. No, it’s something we think about a lot. And just because it happens, right, you see it online happening a lot. And I honestly have come to the conclusion that, even if it does get through to certain people, I think what it does is it still reinforces like the white patriarchy. Because it’s a very, like white male way of interacting. And so that’s when you see these guys will come, usually guys, like will come over into the leftist space, but they’re still in this, like, “debate me bro” kind of mentality or everything’s like cold male logic and they’re still in, and they may go like, a lot of times they’re good allies in the sense that they have that energy to like go debate other people, like they’re the people who like tirelessly are online debating people and like not getting worn down by that. Claire [01:18:21] That’s amazing, yeah, that’s a superpower. Nichole [01:18:23] But. I know, it is a super power. Claire [01:18:29] I’m like immediately like, oh god, I just, I can’t. Nichole [01:18:29] But we’ve been doing so much work this year on like queerness and anarchism and all of these things that the more I read through text and like theory, the more it seems like so many of these people are saying, like, be soft, build community. Like it’s just this kind of counter. Like your you’re still performing a very white way of being anti-racist if that makes sense. So I’ve just come to the conclusion, not for me, literally never. I will never debate someone. I will have a conversation with someone possibly if it’s in good faith. But I’m with you, I don’t really know online like… I don’t know if it’s good that it happens or not. I’m leaning towards not because I think- Claire [01:19:21] It’s a little bit cathartic too. It’s like, it’s like when you hear like a Neo-Nazi, be like, wow, Black people just aren’t people. And then someone is like, no. And they just like whip out like all these sources. It’s a little bit cathartic to be like yeah, like this person’s being very, you know, they’re very ignorant is all it is. And it’s something, like there’s something cathartic about it. But it’s also like, yeah, it’s maybe not the most helpful thing. Callie [01:19:49] Yeah. Nichole [01:19:50] Mm hmm, yeah. Claire [01:19:50] I yeah, I don’t know. I kind of, it’s also like really entertaining, I don’t know, I don’t want to make this all about like debating online or not. I kind of get fascinated by the ethics of it. Nichole [01:20:03] Yeah. No I do too. Callie [01:20:04] Well I think it’s an important, I think it is an important piece of this discussion of dismantling whiteness. I think that is a part of whiteness, right? Like the, when you go into a debate, right, like you’re trying to win points. You’re trying to convince the other person of something. And it means you’re, it’s almost like poker, right, like you’re willing to, like, put your chips on the table and have them dissected both by the person you’re debating, but also the audience. And I think there is something inherently violent about like willingly putting your humanity as a chip on the table to be like consumed. You know, as a part of the discussion. Like, you shouldn’t, we shouldn’t be debating people’s right to exist. Like, we shouldn’t ask minoritized people to, like, put a piece of themselves out there and have someone else be, whether that person is minoritized in the same way or not, like we shouldn’t, these things shouldn’t be up for debate. Callie [01:21:04] I think there’s a lot of times too that, and that’s just, that’s what’s always bothered me about like debate culture, is it’s not about building a connection. It’s not about like really sitting down with someone. It’s this very kind of, like the first thing you learn in debate, right, if it’s something you’re actually, a skill you’re actually trying to learn, it’s to debate any side. It’s they literally force you into these situations where it’s like, OK, debate something you believe in now, debate the opposite. And it’s like that just feels really wrong to me, because like, obviously, there are certain things we should not willingly discuss from the opposite perspective. Claire [01:21:45] Yeah. I mean it’s like one thing for like something, I don’t know, something random. But when it’s like literally like the lives of human beings. Nichole [01:21:50] Yeah, yeah. Callie [01:21:50] Right. Claire [01:21:52] You know, we shouldn’t be doing this. Callie [01:21:53] Yeah, exactly. I also think, too, to your earlier discussion, I think it’s a very specific skill. It’s funny, Nichole and I we’re talking about this a lot this week after, you know, she was telling me about this call that she was on. I think not everyone should have to be able to do this work of like engaging in conversations with people who don’t already have some level of, like understanding or empathy towards, you know, the discussion. I think that’s something that content creators, that activists, that even just people who like care about a certain topic, they always feel this pressure of like I need to be able to have these conversations. It’s like you really don’t, because a part of doing this work is about like tapping into this deep well of empathy that we all have within us. And that can be really emotional and that can be really difficult. And then to have to, like, go into conversations with people who are gonna say really harmful shit, even if it’s not even about an identity that you have, it can still be painful, right? Callie [01:23:01] Like, I feel like when you really build true solidarity and, with another group, you don’t obviously take on those characteristics. Like the pain you feel will be a fraction of what someone else feels. But it’s still real. Like if I were to engage in a conversation with someone about like racism like that would still be painful to me. Like if I was talking to someone and they were saying harmful shit, like that would be upsetting. And not that that isn’t work that needs to be done, but it should be done by people who like can do that kind of work. And I think, like Emerican Johnson’s a great example. Like he does have this very warm… He or they, actually? I can’t remember now. Claire [01:23:41] I think it’s like he and they. Callie [01:23:44] OK, I thought so but I just was like, oh no! Because I remember seeing them talking about being nonbinary. But anyway, if he’s someone who like has that kind of energy and likes to do that kind of thing, then great. But like that doesn’t mean that we all need to look at that, especially as other Left Tubers and be like, oh, we should all be able to do that then. You know, I think that’s kind of a misconception about the whole thing. And then I was also just going to add that I think we put too much stock in thinking that we have to reach everyone and that if there are people saying and doing racist things and like that needs to, like, be handled. Callie [01:24:26] But I think, I think the fact that Gen-Z is so much more woke T.M. than previous generations. You know, we’re seeing this whole uprising right now with the Black Lives Matter movement and all these marches in the street. And I think the fact that millennials and Gen-Z have truly suffered under capitalism and are seeing the veneer of the promise of our capitalist society, like the promise of those things doesn’t exist for us anymore. Right, and I think that’s a way that we can really break through whiteness. Right, because that’s one of the promises of whiteness is the spoils of capitalism. And I think while this is deeply unsettling, I think we maybe get to a point where some people were just like, we’re not really worried about you, you’re going to be in a minority and not going to be around forever. And we’re just going to focus on like building, building community with people who are, like, already open to these conversations. Callie [01:25:40] You know, I think we reach people that already kind of see beyond these false promises and we build solidarity there. And we don’t necessarily worry so much about like, you know, if your grandparents who are like homophobic or racist or whatever, don’t agree, like maybe don’t waste all your energy debating with them because they’re not really the problem. Right, like, we can build something new with people that already are somewhat invested in this struggle. Because it’s hitting us in so many different ways. I mean, like Gen-Z especially like they are so much more like queer and radical and anticapitalist and really, don’t, not all of them obviously, but don’t kind of understand the systemic racism that we have. Like, they’re just like, what do you fuckin mean. Like, of course. Of course. Black lives matter, like why is this even a thing, you know? And already see the problems inherently in cops. Callie [01:26:39] And I think that’s like a way that we can start reaching even maybe like other white people, obviously white people would be doing this work, but like showing them. Like, hey, all these things that you already see are a problem, are struggling, are a part of this whiteness construct. And you can fight it, like we can really fight it as a whole. And this is just a piece of it because it’s harming you, too. And they see that more clearly than I think any other generation has. Claire [01:27:11] Yeah, yeah. Gen-Z gives me a lot of hope. Nichole [01:27:16] Same. Claire [01:27:16] Yeah. They’re just, I mean, obviously this is not everyone, but they just seem to be like so much more aware, like politically aware. And I remember when I was a teenager, I was not that politically aware about things. It took me a minute to be like, oh wow, like all these issues are like, actually do tie into like a lot of these political issues, or are a direct result of a lot of these political issues and makes me want to do something about it. I think a lot of people in Gen-Z are thinking that way because we’ve all just gone through a lot of shit. Like all the school shootings that they’ve gone through. It’s crazy. Like they literally have to be like in terror of is someone going to shoot up their school. And then now having, like a lot of the Gen-Zers are going to college and there’s a pandemic happening where they have to, like, be at home and it’s like supposed to be like this really important time of their life. Claire [01:28:06] There’s just like so much stuff where it’s like, you know, and they’re going through, we’re all going through, another recession. And so it’s like there’s just so much stuff where we’re like yeah, like, this isn’t working. So let’s work together to try to fix things. And I feel like Gen-Z is like, for the most part, pretty down for that and that gives me a lot of hope. And I definitely think that it’s, yeah, I think I’ve been leaning more towards trying to reach people who already might care about this stuff and, or like have the potential to care about this stuff instead of just focusing on people, like focusing on people who are already like very right leaning who are very dismissive of all these issues. Nichole [01:28:43] Yeah. Callie [01:28:45] Yeah. Claire [01:28:45] And I think that’s a way, like you were saying, like I think that’s a way better use of our energy. Because yeah, I felt so exhausted just trying to convince like family members who are conservative Christians. And like not trying to knock anyone who’s Christian because like there are Christians out there who can be, like, very loving and very empathetic. But I think, like specifically conservative Christianity generally creates a lot of, a lot of issues. And so my family was like conservative Christian, I wasted a lot of energy trying to be like, hey, like this is an issue. And, you know, they don’t, a lot of conservative Christians just don’t really want to hear about it or learn about it, so. Nichole [01:29:25] Yeah. Callie [01:29:26] Well whiteness is, I mean, that’s, Christianity is kind of a funny example too, right? Because like, if Jesus existed, and we’re an atheist channel so that’s a whole nother discussion that we could have. But like if he did, he was not a white man. Like he was also preaching like basically the opposite of what this like white supremacist colonial capitalist culture was. Nichole [01:29:53] Yeah. He was a socialist. Claire [01:29:53] Yeah. Callie [01:29:53] Right? And that is interesting too, that like the whiteness construct that’s like baked into this like Western Christianity is all wrong. And so, of course, those people are not actually going to be following through on the, supposed to be the basic principles of what Christianity was supposed to be because whiteness was keeping them from seeing it. You know, it was supposed to be like love your neighbor, like don’t hoard wealth, like all this stuff, and no. Claire [01:30:20] Yeah, it’s like the opposite of conservative Christianity. Callie [01:30:23] Yeah, exactly. Like, don’t judge. I mean, like all this stuff about like not judging sex workers, not shaming women for how they’re, like dressed their bodies like all this stuff. And it’s like they literally took the opposite of all of that. Because that, everything they took, is whiteness. It’s the might makes right mentality. And… Big yikes on that. Nichole [01:30:46] Yeah. They had to write a new book because people are like, whoa, whoa, whoa, this is a lot. Callie [01:30:52] Yeah. Nichole [01:30:53] This is a little rough. And they were like, OK, we changed it, it’s nicer now. People are like, cool. Callie [01:30:59] Yeah. Nichole [01:31:00] Although after listening to CountraPoints’ latest video I am kind of having this- Claire [01:31:06] That’s the one on- Nichole [01:31:06] Justice (Part 1). Claire [01:31:07] I love that! She has this cute cat outfit. Nichole [01:31:12] It was so cute. I love how she’s just leaning into this whole cat girl thing. I forget what it’s called but. Claire [01:31:18] It’s actually cat woman. Nichole [01:31:20] Oh yeah, OK. That was so funny when it was like *Catwoman. Claire [01:31:24] Yeah. Nichole [01:31:26] Anyway, the way she was describing Jesus, I was like, is Jesus a fucking lib? I think he might be. Claire [01:31:33] Yeah. Nichole [01:31:34] We will have to analyze that some other time. But yeah, I was like, woah, woah. I was like, okay, so the Old Testament is like fascism and the New Testament is like neoliberalism. Claire [01:31:46] Yeah. Nichole [01:31:47] Yeah. Callie [01:31:47] Wow. Claire [01:31:49] I don’t know if you all grew up religious, but when I was, I used to be Christian and very like, very like a born again Christian and all of that. Yeah, that was something that always bothered me, was like the Old Testament is like, you know, like Job’s like, why did you kill my whole family? And God’s like, who are you? Where were you when the earth was made? And Job’s like, oh I’m [crosstalk]. Nichole [01:32:12] Nice flex, God. Claire [01:32:13] And Jesus is like super like loving and kind, but they’re also supposed to be like one and I was so confused by that. But yeah, I mean I think a lot of Christians- Nichole [01:32:20] Yeah. It’s fucking child abuse. Callie [01:32:24] Yeah, the original bad daddy. Claire [01:32:27] Yeah. Nichole [01:32:28] [crosstalk.] It’s that original parent who’s like sometimes I’m nice but sometimes I’m not going to be and you’re not going to know where it’s coming from. Callie [01:32:33] So you better be good or else I could literally smite your whole world, like… Nichole [01:32:37] I’m literally always watching. Claire [01:32:40] Did you read that story where it was like, I forgot that like priest’s name. But it’s like in the Old Testament and he was bald and some kids made fun of him for being bald. And then he called, he prayed to God and a bear came and killed the kids and ate them. Nichole [01:32:55] Oh my god. Claire [01:32:55] Sorry. That’s like maybe a little bit too much. Nichole [01:32:56] I shouldn’t laugh, but like, sorry, woah. Claire [01:33:01] [crosstalk] even though it was a little bit too morbid. But I’m just like, when I was a kid I was like, isn’t this a bit much? And I swear to you- Callie [01:33:10] A bit much! That’s like the best way, “this is a bit much.” Claire [01:33:12] And the preacher is like, well it just had to happen. And I’m like, there’s so much stuff like that in the Old Testament. Where you’re, you know, like someone does something wrong on an accident or something and then, like, something horrible happens to them. But then the New Testament, like Jesus is pretty chill. Like he has, he does some stuff where I’m kind of like that’s annoying. Like this guy comes to him and is like, Jesus, my dad just died but I want to follow you. Can I bury my dad and then follow you? Jesus is like, no, you have to drop everything you’re doing and you have to follow me. And I’m like, that’s a little annoying. But for the most part, he’s talking about loving people, you know, like don’t hate sex workers, don’t hate people who are not, you know, have the same Puritan culture as you. You know, don’t hoard your wealth, you know? Claire [01:33:57] And it’s so weird to me that, like, you know, conservatives, because the thing is, is like a lot of conservatives will be like, you’ll be like, well, if you, you know, a lot of the stuff that’s like anti-homosexual, first off, doesn’t translate to homosexuality as we know it now. But second off, those verses are like in the same list of shit like don’t wear mixed fabric. Callie [01:34:17] Yeah. Nichole [01:34:18] Right. Claire [01:34:18] You know? And it’s like, so why are we following it? And they’re like, well, in New Testament, there’s like, they’ll go back to the New Testament and be like, there’s still some versus on it and, but they’ll always go back to the New Testament. But it’s crazy because a lot of Christians will go back to the New Testament and yet they’ll still believe, they’ll still kind of have this very conservative view, even though that’s not Jesus at all. Callie [01:34:39] Yeah. Nichole [01:34:39] Yeah. Callie [01:34:40] Well because the whole thing is bullshit, to be honest. Like it’s just… It’s just, yeah. I mean, listen, I don’t wanna be like an asshole if someone wants to, you know, be a Christian, whatever. But like, I just, just then say that you have these secular beliefs. We’ve talked about this before on the channel, but this way of like people bringing in secular beliefs and being like this is actually what Jesus stood for, it’s like… I mean, you’re just believing whatever you want because someone else is going to tell you that the opposite is true of the Bible. And it’s been translated and mistranslated and all this stuff. Yeah, I saw this whole history about like, that the word that people think means that like the Bible’s against homosexuality was actually like pedophilia and it was like mistranslated like way back in the- Nichole [01:35:29] Oh, how convenient. Callie [01:35:30] You know, fifteen hundreds or something like that. Claire [01:35:33] There are a lot of things like that. But it’s almost beside the point though. Callie [01:35:36] Right. Exactly. Exactly. It’s like you’re just using something else to justify whiteness, right? You just want to have these beliefs, like you don’t really care about what any of that means, because- Nichole [01:35:50] I always just like this separation of like belief from values or ethics. Callie [01:35:53] Yeah, yeah. Nichole [01:35:55] You know, like I think religion? Totally fine. But don’t say that the religion is giving you your ethics and values. They should just be based on your experiences like a person, you know? Because that’s where we get into trouble. Right, that’s what our country is tearing itself apart over is Christian values. And it’s like those aren’t Christian values. Those are your values as a conservative person. And they may be reinforced and justified by the type of Christianity that someone is, that you’re consuming, but those aren’t… You know? It just, I hate it. I hate it so much. Callie [01:36:29] Yeah. Claire [01:36:31] [crosstalk] to think that like we have to… Because like also, like it’s, if you want to also try to convince Christians like, hey, it’s not wrong to be gay because it’s like, you know, it’s just there’s nothing like immoral happening here. And the only reason why you have an issue with it is because the Bible. And then you have to, you have to like go into the Bible and like you have to bring up like, well, this word was mistranslated, it’s talking about pedophilia. It’s not talking about homosexuality as we know it. And then sometimes, like, you can get Christians to be like, oh, well, that’s OK. But you still can’t get married and you have to, like, go into the Bible again to be like well, maybe you can like bend this verse to, like, help you not be so homophobic. And it’s just like at the end of the day, I think resting your ethics upon this like 2000 year old book that has all this contradicting information is just like not a good way to go. Nichole [01:37:28] Yeah. I can understand like reading it or listening to sermons and just feeling, I mean, there’s so much community there. There’s literal science to show that like prayer and meditation are both very physically beneficial, immensely beneficial. So it’s like that is all fine to get inspired, like to be inspired by the kindness of Jesus I think it’s great. But then to go into, like, legislating people’s bodies and rights based on this stuff. Claire [01:37:59] Yeah. Callie [01:38:00] Yeah. Nichole [01:38:01] No. Callie [01:38:02] It’s almost as if we were like actually translating like fairy tales or something into like real policy. And it’s like you’re supposed to kind of be inspired by these stories. Nichole [01:38:16] Like parables, yeah. Callie [01:38:16] Yeah, and the messages in them. But you’re not really supposed to translate that into, like, the way you live your life and or like laws. You know, like you shouldn’t read something like Little Red Riding Hood or something and be like, how do I, like, actually apply this to real world? It’s like take some of the, take some of the story in it and like figure out what it’s speaking to. Is it talking about like not being greedy or whatever. Claire [01:38:43] Don’t talk to wolves. Callie [01:38:44] Right. Yes, exactly! It would be like someone reading that or like what’s this, Goldilocks, right. It would be someone like reading Goldilocks and being like it means don’t steal from bears so we’re going to create a law about not stealing from bears. It’s like that’s not really what that meant, you know? Nichole [01:39:03] Or we’re going to police wolves because of Little Red Riding Hood and it’s like no, that’s not… Callie [01:39:09] Right. Yeah. Nichole [01:39:09] Not what we should be doing. Callie [01:39:10] Yeah, exactly. Nichole [01:39:13] But anyway. Callie [01:39:17] Yeah, totally got off on a side tangent, but I love it. Nichole [01:39:20] Very on brand. Callie [01:39:20] I do want to circle back. Oh, sorry, go ahead. Nichole [01:39:22] I think you’re segueing to where we’re I’m segueing. Callie [01:39:26] OK. Well, I just wanted to circle back to the whole Gen-Z thing because I saw some comments about it and I wanted to clarify. So I’m definitely not one of those people who is just kind of like, oh my god, Gen-Z is going to save us. We’re going to, like, throw our hands up and just, like, praise y’all and expect you to, like, save the world. Like, I, I definitely. There is real work that needs to be done. And it’s not even like the entire Gen-Z, like obviously they don’t all think the same way or believe the same things so we can’t just rely on that. My point earlier was just that like I think there’s a really powerful in whenever you can show someone that they’re also being harmed by these same systems. And I think Gen-Z is so powerful in that unfortunately, they never really ever have had the promise of these benefits, right? Callie [01:40:17] Like, I saw a really interesting Tik-Tok the other day where someone was describing kind of the difference in mindset between millennials and Gen-Z kind of overall. And one of it was that like millennials, when we were younger, a lot of us had some hope. Like the promise of capitalism hadn’t really been, like, ripped away yet. A lot of us were young before 9/11 really happened. We had some years before, you know, the Patriot Act and the recession and all that stuff. And so there is this kind of like rosy outlook that some people had. But like, Gen-Z never really had that, like they always were living in this, like, kind of terrorism of like 9/11 had already happened. They already didn’t have any privacy rights and the Patriot Act, they suffered under the constant fear of school shootings and gun violence and the economy being bad. Callie [01:41:16] And so I think that’s a really interesting comparison and why I think there can be so much power and solidarity with Gen-Z and millennials and this like building of the new future. I think this view that these neoliberal systems are going to save us, like voting, doesn’t really exist there, you know, because people already see like this isn’t working. It’s, this is all some big sham. And so I think, I think there is a lot we can do to show Gen-Z and the other people within, you know, millennial generation that they don’t need to participate in whiteness anymore. Like they can reject it and actually, we can make things better if they do. If that makes sense. Nichole [01:42:08] I take hope from them just because I think it’s like proof of what happens when you have class solidarity, and what happens when people understand the systems that they’re operating under. And you see, that’s Gen-Z is what happens. You see massive solidarity. You see people putting their bodies in the streets and willing to throw down to be like, no more, we’re not doing this and we’re gonna protect these people, right, like, we’re not going to stand for this. And it just, it’s kind of like anarchy in motion, right? Like it’s like a proof that, like, this ideology works when you get through to people. And unfortunately, they had to, they have this analysis because they’ve lived it. But when you show people like capitalism is collapsing, we’re falling into fascism. This whole thing is- Callie [01:43:00] Bullshit. Nichole [01:43:00] You know, yeah, it’s all bullshit. And this is all, like whatever pain you have is valid and it’s all coming from the same place, which is racism, so we’ve got to bust that shit up, right, by dismantling whiteness. And I think they’re just a good proof point that like that fucking works. They’re a whole generation of people who are like, yeah, we get it. And this is, this is what happens when people get it. Now we’ve got to get everyone else in that head state and then it’ll be good. But yeah. Callie [01:43:37] Well, I think I, first of all, thank you for taking my half-baked point and turning it into something intelligent. But I think there, I think if we focus on like building, keeping to build the solidarity between Gen-Z and millennials and really pushing this like deconstructing whiteness and pushing back against capitalism and kind of rejecting all these neoliberal solutions, like I think others will fall in line. Like, I think the problem is that like a boomer… How old are boomers now? I always forget where the actual cut off is. But Generation X especially, I feel like if they can see that things can get better and solidarity can be built, they won’t necessarily, not all of them obviously, but I don’t know that they’ll like stand in the way as much as, like, boomers are. Callie [01:44:33] Because boomers really did benefit, a lot of them, and retained a lot of like wealth and power and privilege, and they’re just trying to, like, ride out the rest of their retirement. Right, if they retired. But I think we don’t necessarily need to focus our efforts on convincing Gen X. Right, I think once you show people that things can get better, if there’s enough like of a movement swelling upwards, then people will fall in line. People will see that there is a reason to, like, stop believing in these neoliberal solutions. To disconnect themselves from whiteness a bit, you know? That’s what I was trying to say earlier. I think we focus too much on, like, convincing people. And I don’t know that, I think it just wastes a lot of time and energy. I think we try to, like, build solidarity and build a coalition with people who already have a reason to want to, like, join in. And I think that that’s a lot of people and I think there can be a lot of power there. You know, instead of just spinning our wheels, like arguing at people who like, yeah, a lot of Gen X are disillusioned, too. But I think too many of them have enough reasons to, like, stay in the current system unless we really, like, shake it up. Nichole [01:45:59] Yeah, or America will collapse and they’ll have no choice. Callie [01:46:03] Also that. Claire [01:46:06] I think of how things are and I’m like, huh. Maybe we’ll just, you know, I mean, even things like COVID, like this pandemic, it’s like, I think it’s like radicalized or- Nichole [01:46:16] A lot of people. Claire [01:46:17] Yeah. I kind of hate the word radicalized, because I feel like things we want are just like things that other countries have. And like there are some things that like other countries aren’t doing. But it’s just like, you know, health care or like even like housing to a degree is like, like a lot of European countries like don’t have issues with people experiencing homelessness because they’ll just house people and it actually is like cheaper and more practical and we’re just like not doing it. Nichole [01:46:46] Imagine that. Callie [01:46:50] No, no, people expecting food and shelter is radical, OK? Claire [01:46:56] Radicalized! But I think that a lot of people, like gosh, like it’s just gotten so bad, like with the evictions that are taking place right now and the fact that people like literally like can’t, or couldn’t work because of the quarantine and then it took them a long time to get another job. And it’s like I think a lot of people, I mean I think people knew the system wasn’t working for them, but it’s like, the ability to be like this is why we need something like socialism to, like, take care of the needs of people and people be like, oh, like I knew this system wasn’t working for me but I didn’t actually anywhere to turn to. And also, like I’ve heard a lot of bad things about socialism, that it’s like evil but god, capitalism sure isn’t working out so great. So we learn more about it. It’s gotten people to, it’s gotten more people to be like, oh, this is an actual viable solution to things. And like in addition to like Bernie Sanders too as well. And I think it’s been a ton of people, a lot of people kind of like raising class consciousness and whatnot. Callie [01:48:09] Yeah. Nichole [01:48:10] Yeah, I agree. Claire [01:48:11] Unfortunately, because of all the bad things happening. Callie [01:48:15] Yeah, although- Nichole [01:48:15] Yeah, like [crosstalk] thing about Sanders, I think he did help normalize socialist ideas, but I honestly think the way the DNC handled his campaign was more radicalizing for people than even his campaign itself. Because there was such a mask off moment of like they’re literally not going to let us have this. You know, and I think that was very radicalizing for people. Callie [01:48:39] Yeah, I mean, they literally don’t care what people want. They could not have made that more clear. And I think that’s powerful, you know, and I’m really, like I’m obviously not super familiar with this term. So like but the whole accelerationist like ideology of like, oh, I want things to get worse so that people participate. Like, I don’t necessarily agree with that. But I think something that’s like missing from these conversations is that things are bad and they always have been, like we don’t need to cheer on them getting worse in order for people to wake up. We just have to show people that things are actually not as good as the media is trying to tell them they are. Like, that’s the whole point, right? Callie [01:49:24] Like people look at someone like Biden, they’re like oh, he’s a return to normalcy and it will be better. It’s like, no things are pretty bad under Biden too, you just think that those things are normal and they’re not, you know? So, and I think there’s power in that and I think the fact that Gen-Z and millennials like already know that they’re bad. Like they already know they can’t, they’re never gonna be able to, like, buy homes or retire or, you know, the fact that they’re still living with several roommates and just all the things, right? Like constant terror of gun violence and also like not, the threat of something happens and if you don’t have health insurance, like, your life could be incredibly fucked. You know, mountain and mountain of debt. Like that’s already enough to show people that, like all of these promises that your parents and grandparents got like don’t exist for you. So why do you feel any responsibility? Why do you feel any, like, kinship to the system? Like it’s not for you. It’s never gonna do anything for you. So burn it down. Claire [01:50:30] Yeah! Nichole [01:50:33] So, I know we’ve been going for almost two hours now. I would say, to bring it back around to the topic at hand, did we have any particular points of, you know, how to, how people can dismantle whiteness should they want to do that work? So versus how they could try to do this work with other people, how can people dismantle whiteness within themselves? Claire [01:50:59] Well, my thoughts on that, because I thought about this for a bit. And I definitely don’t think I have like, this is how to do it. I think, like, whenever I try to have this conversation, it’s like really hard for people to understand what whiteness is as a racial identity because we’re so used to thinking of it like, being white is kind of like the default of like what everyone’s not. Or that being white is like being the norm, like, quote unquote norm. And so, like, I, for me like the first step to even try to talk about whiteness would be to like, in my last video or one of my last videos, I talked about gender and how, like maintaining the status quo of gender is very similar to maintaining the status quo of race. And I think that similarly, I want to maybe try to make a video on whiteness exclusively and talk about how, like there are gender identities that are forced onto us, like the binary gender. And we have all these really specific ideas of what it means to be a man and what it means to be a woman. And like, those things are really clearly ingrained in us. Claire [01:52:01] And then for me, like, I’ve had a moment where I’m like, this is kind of bullshit. I don’t want to do X, Y and Z or like what it means to be a woman. Like, I don’t fit into this. And I felt really sad about that at first. I was like, oh, I’m a failure. I fucked up because, you know, I don’t want to, I don’t know, like I don’t know if I want to have kids or I don’t know if I want to like, or like I’m not like, beautiful in these ways or so on. And then you’re like, like I realized like, oh, that’s all just like bullshit. Like, I don’t have to feel bad about it. And that’s why I think, like, having all these different ideas of gender and that being able to choose those freely is great because then you don’t have to feel bad all the time because you don’t fit into one of the two boxes. Claire [01:52:44] And yeah, there’s like a very clear, like this is an identity. And I want to try to use that analogy to point out to like the identity of like what whiteness is. And so it’s like I think whiteness is like a little bit trickier than gender. But it’s still very much like the status quo of what it means to be white. And I think like understanding like whiteness as, you know, for example, like the way that, I brought up in one of the videos like how Black people dress where it’s like, well, if there is a Black person wearing baggy pants, they’re looked down on. If there’s a Black person using slang, then that’s considered to be like bad. It’s considered to be morally wrong. And so, like just as gender identities are kind of used to, like, make people feel bad if they don’t fit into binary gender, so is race. Claire [01:53:30] And I think, like pointing out like these are the ways that, like, we use race over people to make people feel good or to make people feel shitty, I think that can like point out the existence of whiteness. And then like after that, after that, I’m not sure because like I actually a couple friends who are white and I feel like they actually have, like, at least dismantled whiteness in their own, their own views. They’ve like cast off this like white identity because they are aware how oppressive it is and they’re willing to call it out and not continuously like benefit off of the benefits of white privilege. But it’s like after that, it’s like, what’s the next, what’s the next step? And I think the next step would be like, like continuing to dismantle whiteness. And doing that, it’s like, well, because like dismantling whiteness is also like, I don’t think you can really dismantle capitalism without dismantling whiteness. And so like- Nichole [01:54:25] Yeah, I agree. Claire [01:54:25] Yeah, but like how do we do that? I don’t know. Sorry, I feel really silly but I’m like that’s kind of where I’m like, I’m not sure. Callie [01:54:35] No! Nichole [01:54:36] No, but I think even like asking these questions and having these prompts, like is the work, right? Callie [01:54:41] Yeah, yeah. Nichole [01:54:43] These are the things that we can collectively kind of like, think about and work on together and make content about, right, that helps other people think about it. Yeah, like closely tied in, I think, to what you were kind of getting at and saying is, you know, I was thinking I just read a book about queer anarchism. And so I’ve been thinking about queerness a lot. I’m a queer, gender queer person and a big theme that continuously comes through a lot of different work like Adrian Marie Brown and Sonya Renee Taylor and these anarchists I follow. Like, there’s a huge theme of how, and part of why I always bring up Christianity in these conversations is because part of a function of whiteness is to disassociate you with your experience of your body and the experience of like living your life. Right, there’s so much about, and it’s hard because it’s also capitalism but like you said, they’re so intertwined that I kind of, for these purposes, I kind of put them together. Nichole [01:55:48] Even colonization. I mean, colonization is about like taming the land, right? Like, it’s about having the, like harnessing the resources, it’s about control and it’s about keeping things from occurring as they naturally do. So for me, I think a huge thing, and we’ve been promoting this on the show lately but not necessarily framing it this way, is like dismantling whiteness is getting back into your body. It is practicing queerness in whatever way that you would. You can be straight, but you can practice queerness in like how you express your gender, or how you refuse to be defined by your gender. You know, it can be things like masturbation. It can be taking a bath. It can be going out in the park and like taking your shoes off and just having your feet in the grass and, like, really feeling what that feels like, you know, really feeling what it feels like to have the sun on your skin. Whatever it is. Nichole [01:56:47] It might sound small, but like the more I’ve read about this and explored it, it is crazy to me how much capital and whiteness try to take us out of our bodies and try to keep us from having like an actual in body experience of our lives. And I think you see this, you definitely see this with Blackness, right? Like, I just watched part of this, too, is I watched a really good For Harriet collaboration where she had L’Lerret Jazelle, I hope I’m saying her name right. But she’s a trans woman, a Black trans woman, and she was talking about like Blackness is queerness. Because literally everything that was defined was defined for white people. Right, like gender was defined for white people to be like this is what we are and everyone else who’s anything else is not us. So she’s like literally just being a Black person is like being, like experiencing this queerness. And as much as you can love yourself, as much as you can be in your body and do self-care like that is a queer practice. Nichole [01:57:54] And so I just think, like… Like you were getting at, like tackling… I honestly think, like dismantling whiteness means dismantling like heterosexuality and cis gender and all of these things. And it doesn’t mean those people disappear, but it means, like you were saying, like those constructs stop being the default and stop being the normal. Like I was thinking the other day and I was like, OK, because I’m trying to figure out as a non-binary gender queer person am I trans or not? Because that’s like a big debate in the not cis community. And I was just thinking about it and I was like, you know, trans is defined as not feeling like you’re the gender you were assigned at birth. And then I was like, well, cis gender is defined as the gender you are assigned, like feeling like you’re the gender you were assigned at birth. And I was like, why are we assigning gender to people, you know? Callie [01:58:52] Yes! Nichole [01:58:52] So to me that’s like part of it, is like again, going way back to the root, like let’s stop assigning gender so that’s cis gender and transgender are no longer binary constructs that we need anymore. It doesn’t mean those people disappear. It doesn’t mean you can’t feel in your gender the way that you do. But like, why are we defining it this way? Even the way us queer people talk about ourselves is still almost always in relation to straightness or cis gender. So take a fucking bath, flick your bean, right? Chew your food slowly and enjoy it. Stop throwing gender reveal parties. I know no one here would do that. Nichole [01:59:38] But yeah, just something to kind of think about is like can we embrace this in body experience. You know, it connects to so much like how many eating disorders there are. And people don’t, I just realized like I had so much of my life where I was not in my body at any point. I was just constantly living this life of trying to be as far from my body as possible. And I think a huge, like for your friends, maybe that’s like the next layer for them, since they’ve done a lot of work around their privilege and, you know, racism itself is like, oh, can I embrace this more internal experience of my life? Claire [02:00:19] That’s really interesting because the people that I’m thinking of like- Nichole [02:00:24] Are they queer? Claire [02:00:25] One of the people I’m thinking of is actually my girlfriend and she’s like all about that. And it’s like, that’s really interesting that there is, I wonder if there is like this natural kind of like being in your body. Nichole [02:00:38] I think so. Claire [02:00:41] Because like I used to meditate all the time too, and there was like a point where I felt very present. And then like I could start to feel present without meditating. Because I’m someone who’s like thoughts are very racy and very like, I’ll just immediately just like, you know, wander off with my thoughts. I think a lot of people are kind of like that. And I think it’s really interesting that you kind of brought it to being like back, like actually living in your body. And it’s really interesting because my girlfriend used that term, that very term too, like living in your body, and like realizing that she hadn’t lived in her body for like the first 22 years of her life. And then she practiced meditation and… Wow, but yeah, I think that’s really cool and really interesting. Because I think there’s something, probably is something about dismantling whiteness and then also like being, like existing in your body. Yeah, what book is that that you read? Nichole [02:01:35] So Queering Anarchism, I highly recommend because it has essays from a bunch of different queer theorists or anarchists. And it just it really just made me think. It’s funny because I’ve been queer and I’ve been an anarchist, but this book really helped me just take both way deeper and like, I don’t know. It was a very transformative book for me. So I highly recommend it. Claire [02:02:01] Awesome. Callie [02:02:01] Yeah. Nichole [02:02:01] Our listeners are like, we know, bitch. Stop talking about that book. But wherever I encountered it, they were talking very much about that. And I was thinking, so, you know, I’ve had sex with men like cis men and it oftentimes, not to brag, but they’re like, what did you do to me? This was amazing. And I’ve been really thinking about it because it’s not like I have any tricks, like I’m not, you know. But I realized that the way that I have sex with people is very much about their embodied experience and about us creating an experience together, which is not how heterosexual people typically have sex. So I’ve slept with men… And it just to bring it back to what I’m talking about. It just made me realize, like, how deeply men are also divorced from their bodies and their physical experience. Nichole [02:02:58] And it’s, it was a little surprising to me because, of course, on the surface, when I think about how cishet men are conditioned in our society, especially white men, everything’s about their pleasure, right? But we kind of dictate what their pleasure can look like. Right, like a man is not allowed to enjoy a bath. A man is not allowed to, like, make love slowly or listen to his body or say, hey, I don’t actually like that, can you not do that? So it just occurred to me that, like, even before I realized I was queer and came out, I was actually having queer sex because I was having sex in this way that was allowing, like I had one guy be like I literally, like I’m noticing stuff about myself that I had never known before because I didn’t, no one gave me time to figure it out. Because girls were always like, all right, hurry up, finish, you know. Which again, ladies, if you’re doing that to all your partners, you might be gay. I’m just saying. I have so many strait friends that I’m like, are you sure you’re… Oh, OK. Callie [02:04:09] I did not come here to be attacked, OK? Nichole [02:04:13] Yeah. But anyway, it just kind of cracked open this whole idea of queerness. I also just listened to the Politicing, jeez, forgive me. Parenting is Political podcast, also called Meet Jasmine and Mo, but they’re a queer couple, and they were talking about like having heteronormative sex within a gay couple. And it just kind of made a bunch of light bulbs go off for me that it’s like this queerness is more in the approach than anything else. It’s more in this like, like the only time I don’t get gender dysphoria is during sex because I’m just so in my body and I’m just having a nice experience. And everything about me is serving a pleasurable purpose in that moment. Which I know is not the experience a lot of other people have. Anyway, this was just my TED Talk on everyone be queer, let’s smash the cis het patriarchy. Callie [02:05:18] Yes, I love what both of you said. I feel like they’re both such different approaches but also like incredible. I would add, I know this won’t necessarily work for everyone, but I think there’s some real promise in investigating maybe where you come from. Like this is, this advice is obviously going to be more centered on people in the US. But like so I was, I’m like your typical run of the mill U.S. white person. Right, I grew up in a very… It’s true, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but it’s true. I grew up in a very small family. We didn’t have a lot of interaction with extended family. We didn’t really have any sort of like culture as far as we were aware, which I now realize is whiteness, right? And starting to like, as I’ve gotten older, right, like, really investigating like capitalism and the history of whiteness and history of racism in this country. It’s made me really see how much was like stolen from most white people in this country. And I think there’s some real kind of power in investigating. Callie [02:06:40] So I found out, I did, I know those genetic tests are supposedly bullshit, but I did one of those, and I found out, I always kind of knew I was Irish, not full Irish, but I found out I had more Irish in me than I realized. And it’s been really cool to start to, like, look into being Irish and like Irish culture. And I’ve seen a lot of really cool, like Tik-Toks and videos recently where Irish people are basically being like, hey, if you’re not like ACAB as an Irish person, like, you really don’t know your own history. Because, like, there’s this really, like there’s hundreds of years of fighting off oppression and this kind of like law enforcement and tyranny of, you know, the British. And I don’t know, it’s been really cool to realize like this lack that I’ve always had of this like feeling that I didn’t really have like a sense of community. This feeling of, like not really seeing any cultural ties is really radical now, trying to, like, claim that for myself. Callie [02:07:51] Like, obviously I didn’t grow up Irish and I’m not trying to, like, claim that I am and I have all these cultural practices. But just like looking at the history of like what capitalism has like stolen from, not only resources, but also like some community and history there, and I think that could be an important way forward too. I think a lot, I think a lot more white people feel those things than they realize, and they’re kind of afraid to admit it. I think it’s one small reason why white people culturally appropriate. The vast majority of it is just them being shitty and racist. But I think it’s also that they feel, I think there’s a small subset of people that maybe feel like they just are really yearning for something beyond this kind of empty white culture that we have in, you know, the Western world that really doesn’t… Like what is my culture? NFL football and like- Nichole [02:08:58] Khakis? Callie [02:08:58] Buying shit on Amazon? Khakis, don’t you dare. I’m offended at that. Never in my life. But, you know what I mean, I think there, that’s a way that maybe people, I love the idea of like tapping into like queer practices and trying to, like, be in your body more. And I love the idea of just like investigating what whiteness is. And I think another piece can be like really looking around you and seeing how you’re tied to your culture, if you feel like you have a sense of history there. Because I think humans really crave that. And I think that’s something that’s missing from a lot of us. And it doesn’t even need to be a thing. Like, you don’t have to, like, trace it, be able to trace it all the way back or, I know a lot of people can’t, obviously, for a lot of racist reasons. But just investigating that there are these cultural practices out there and that they can bring some meaning to your life, you know? Make you feel a part of something I think can be really, really powerful, you know? Nichole [02:10:07] Yeah. I found out with mine that I’m like Italian, Portuguese, French, British. And I was like, I’m like, pure colonizer. Thanks, Dad. But, then I look at stuff like France and the French Revolution and I can look at that history and find like, inspiration in that, you know, and say like, OK. Because I think that’s part of it, is that like for white people you just feel like, oh, my entire genetic makeup is like bad. Oh, I’m German too. So, but I think like yeah, being able to kind of look at it in a different way if you didn’t grow up with that culture, you can at least like, I don’t know, get some sense of history and some sense of like culture that, yeah, isn’t white culture. Nichole [02:10:57] Because white culture is literally like just the death of everything. You know, it’s the death of creativity. And that’s why there is so much money to be made in appropriation because other cultures are creative. Because they’re not hampered by the same, I mean, the oppression is there, but like obviously the expression of a nonwhite culture is the opposite of that. And then you take it and you whitewash it and then you can make money because it looks like you’re being creative when you’re just stealing from people. Callie [02:11:26] Mm hmm. Right. Yeah, and I don’t mean like, going out and necessarily, like adopting a whole culture. I just mean, like even the practice of like researching it and realizing like that there’s this whole wide history out there. And like what we’ve been taught in schools, especially in the U.S., is so whitewashed and it’s such a fraction of like what was happening in the world and to people. And I don’t know, that can be like kind of grounding, you know? Like the idea that like, like what even happened to, like, Irish people. Like them coming over here and then, like losing a lot of their culture to, to trade in their culture to tap into the promise of whiteness. I just find that really fascinating. And I think a lot of other white people could. And really see, like, OK, like your ancestors did all this, like, what has it gotten you? Like you’re a poor white person living in a failed state like wake up. Nichole [02:12:32] Claire, I was going to ask, did you grow up feeling that you had a community? Like, it sounds like you were in a pretty like white Christian situation. Did you feel like you had, like, your community and your sense of like your own culture, or did you grow up without that, feeling like that just white Christian culture was your culture? Claire [02:12:55] Well, I just grew up feeling really isolated because I was one of the… I had this other friend who was adopted, and she is also Black. And we kind of like have, like we had friends and stuff growing up. But it was also very isolating to be like one of the only Black people. Like, we were also like pretty much the only people of color, period. And there would be like maybe one other person at times. They were also adopted. It was like a very, yeah it was very isolating because everyone, people kind of like had this idea of like what you were like as a Black person. And that would create this like wall or divide. And yeah, it was like this really strange experience that like, no one knows what this is like except for like this other friend that I had. Claire [02:13:44] And so we definitely had friends and stuff, but we felt very isolated. And I think there was a lot of self-hatred that we had to work through where we grew up being like, well, like my parents are white so like, I’m not a bad, like I’m not like those other Black people. We would like, we had a lot of internalized self-hatred. And they’re like came a point where we realize like, oh, like we hate ourselves because of racism. And so we, yeah, once we realized that it was kind of like a switch flipped and we like, you know, we didn’t really, like we didn’t, instead of like looking down on Black people or trying to distance ourselves from Black people, we were like, actually all these things are fine. And the problems that are happening in these communities are a direct result of systemic racism. And we really, I kind of like started to try to talk to white people about racism. Kind of naively at first, trying to be like, well, you know, like they just need a history lesson. They just didn’t understand, of course. And then now I’m kind of here. I’m like, well I’m a leftist and I want to talk to other leftists. So I try to make content for people. Or recently I’ve tried to make content for people who care. But yeah, I felt, overall I felt pretty isolated. Nichole [02:15:08] I feel like that’s a queer practice. We’ve been trying to focus on content that just brings us joy, you know? Not like stepping away from these issues, obviously, but like doing it in a way that is joyful and like cultivating a community. So you can see our kids as we call them, it’s an inside joke. But you know, just cultivating this like beautiful space where people just really like what we’re doing and see themselves in our work. And we’ve radicalized a lot of people. But like, that’s not exactly the intent, you know? And it’s, I don’t know, I just feel, it feels right so I’m trying to, like, be open to it. Nichole [02:15:50] But I was also going to say, anyway that was an aside, I’ve been shocked at how many messages we’ve gotten from people who were adopted by white parents and experienced like the erasure of their identity. And it’s just such, it’s not like I didn’t know that this happened, but it just kind of highlighted how common and what a like, colonizing practice it is for white Christians to adopt nonwhite kids. And then, like, crush their identity. Like either keep it from them or we’ve even had stories of people who, like their parent, like went out of their way to erase it and be like, you do not do these things. Or even someone who has, like one white parent and one nonwhite parent like that happens there as well. Claire [02:16:41] Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s such a common thing like growing up. So like I’m half Chinese and so my parents would like, be like, they would like buy me these like, you know, Chinese dolls or something and they’d be really cool. Nichole [02:16:56] Interesting. Claire [02:16:57] But they would never, I never learned anything about like Black culture. And I actually have memories of them. Like one time I was like, Black sounding names sound really pretty. And they’re like, oh, you don’t want Black sounding name, and then I asked why. And they just said to me, like, you just don’t want them, they’re not good names. But it like, there was no, it’s weird because like they would always celebrate that I was half Chinese, that they would never celebrate that I’m Black and I would never learn anything about Black culture. And yeah, it’s really, you know, it’s kind of like, you know, like even though Chinese culture is not white, it’s not Black. Like I got this sense from my parents that like being Black was garbage. But it’s also like now that I’m like living with white people, I won’t learn the bad practices of Black people, you know? Like I won’t, I’ll become like a better Black person by, on account of growing up with white people. Claire [02:18:02] And yeah, I think that it’s so common unfortunately. And not just for like Black adoptees, but like any like nonwhite adoptees. I think, I think, it’s like adoption’s like, good. I just think that people if they adopt a kid, they should really try to make that kid feel comfortable. Like live in an area where there’s people who look like them. Don’t let them just like… Because growing up, like I was like a freak show, like for some of the white people that I lived around, I was like the first Black person that they met. Like I felt like I was a freak shown because I was Black and everyone, it was, it was just such a white area. And so, like, make sure that your kid’s not going to be a freak show because they’re the only Asian, like the only person of color period or something. And, you know, like work on like deconstructing your own racism because like we live in America and that’s a feature of America, not some sort of accident. And things like that. Like, I just, people are not prepared or equipped at all to, like, be adopting kids. Kind of period but then like especially like kids, people of color. And adoption’s great. Just if people could just come in more prepared about that. Nichole [02:19:14] Yeah. Callie [02:19:15] Yeah. Did you have, and it’s OK if you don’t want to answer this, this may be too personal. But like when you realized that you had internalized a lot of like self-hatred because of racism, like did you find yourself like investigating or exploring like Blackness and Black culture and identity more? Like did that offer you some kind of like space, like solidarity or healing at all? You know what I mean? Claire [02:19:45] Yeah, I kind of wonder, like, what the fuck happened? Like, why do white people hate Black people so much? I mean, obviously, like not all white people but like, why do so many white people, like straight up just think we’re trash? And I, that’s when I started like looking at the history of like what’s happened in the US. And it’s like, well, that makes sense. You know, like even like the last hundred years when I’m like explaining redlining districts and the G.I. Bill and blockbusting and all these things that are just like, honestly like that’s just like a fraction of the shit that’s gone down. So it’s like, oh, is it okay that I’m cussing because [crosstalk]? Nichole [02:20:30] It’s almost required. If we weren’t a show about consent it would be required. Claire [02:20:38] OK because I don’t know if like that monetization stuff… Nichole [02:20:40] We’re too small for that shit so we just do what we want. Claire [02:20:43] Yeah, I don’t know how that works. I’ve never really looked into it, but I know people will like bleep out stuff or like they’ll like whisper things and I’m like, oh I don’t want to ruin anything. Nichole [02:20:53] No, thank you for asking. But no, we’re just going to let whatever happens happen. Claire [02:20:56] OK. Callie [02:20:58] Yeah. We should have just told, I mean I am kind of surprised actually that we haven’t been cursing more. Usually it’s like just all f-bombs. Nichole [02:21:05] I know, we’ve been very white and polite today. Two good Christian girls just being nice. Claire [02:21:17] Just being sweet. But yeah I, I kind of just, I still am like trying to like go on a journey to love my Blackness and it’s like hard because so many of the people I grew up around have been white. So it’s like I need to actually like… So many of my friends have been white so I think like the next place I move, I want to like live around other Black people. And my other Black friends have also been adopted and were going on the same journey as me of like self-discovery and like trying to like, you know, like where do you find yourself after living with people who have thought your trash for, like, a good chunk of your life? And like, so we’ve all taken different paths and stuff like that. Claire [02:22:02] But yeah, so like, I’m still kind of like going on, like I think YouTube’s been great because I do watch For Harriet and I watch some other Black YouTubers that are, and I watch some other people who just like aren’t even necessarily political. Just like, just kind of like funny or talking about stuff. And it’s been good because yeah, I’ve just, I feel like I’ve just like lived in such a white place for so long. And I think that’s why I have so much anxiety about explaining racism, because I’m like I should try to explain it to my family. And like, if I just explain it good enough they’ll understand. And that’s not the case. Like a lot of people don’t want to understand. Nichole [02:22:42] Yeah, and if- Claire [02:22:42] But I went. Oh, sorry go on. Nichole [02:22:46] Go ahead. Well, I was just going to say, a tip from being a longtime vegan that we’ve learned is that you never convert your family, you let someone else do that. Because they will never buy what you’re selling. But then they’ll come home one day and be like, oh my god, this random person in the grocery store told me X, Y, Z. And you’re like, OK, well, I’m glad you got here. Very frustrated but, you know, we arrived. Anyway, it’s harder when it’s your own identity, of course. But it’s, I think it’s very healing for people to let go of that sense of responsibility, of doing that work with people that are so close to them. And just kind of figuring out, I think coming from a place of power and being like, what do I want this relationship to be and how do I want to navigate it? Versus like, oh, this is what I should be doing. Because we both come from abusive homes and so that’s like deep work I think a lot of people have to do for various reasons is like, how do I change us into my, I’m coming at this from my place of what I need or want. Callie [02:23:54] Yeah. Yeah it’s a sad tragedy. Like the day that you realize that it’s not just that people don’t know, like some people actively choose to not hear that information. And especially it’s sometimes even harder with the people that are like closest to you that they… There’s something about that like closeness that somehow like delegitimizes your opinion in their eyes. Which like, I’ll never really understand why that happens. But it’s, that’s a, that’s a painful experience that I feel like is very common for people who take up any form of, like, activism around a social justice topic. The day they realize it’s not just that people are ignorant, it’s that some, a lot of people choose to be willfully ignorant. And that’s deeply painful and I’m very sorry to hear that you experienced that with your own family members. Claire [02:24:52] I think it’s such a common story. Callie [02:24:54] Yeah, it is. Claire [02:24:56] Unfortunately. Thanks for saying that. Nichole [02:25:01] And for whatever it’s worth, you know, we are late in life, queers. And that comes with a lot of self-doubt and, you know, just it was a whole fucking thing to work through. But like being near other queer people, socializing with queer people, having queer friends, watching queer YouTube, it really did help a lot. And I feel like just in the last couple months, I’ve hit a place where I feel, once I buzzed my hair off, I feel like fully in my identity and like not insecure anymore and it’s very joyful. So, yeah, I just think finding community is like, it’s just so critical. But it can be really hard because you feel like, am I a poser or am I like, you know, you just feel like insecure going into it. But it’s really important. Callie [02:25:54] Well and you realize too, all the deeply harmful things that you’ve internalized, both about yourself maybe and others, you know? Like think about how much like you internalize of like heterosexuality and comphet and all of that stuff and just the whole vying for male attention and how much sometimes you can end up like internalizing about the way that you present yourself or talk. Or even looking at like other couples and the kind of thoughts that you can have that pop in your head and then you realize, like, oh shit, that was really fucked up, like, where did that come from? You know, so it’s important work. Unfortunately, it’s hard to do. But I think we all have those things. Nichole [02:26:45] Yeah. And it’s crucial to find people who aren’t gate-keepy. Callie [02:26:46] Yes. Nichole [02:26:46] We lucked out through the work that we do and just found some queers who are like the shit. Callie [02:26:50] Yeah. Nichole [02:26:51] And that was, that was really helpful. Callie [02:26:53] Yeah. Nichole [02:26:54] Well, any closing thoughts before we go party with our audience? Callie [02:27:02] I’m going to throw a total curveball at our audience and suggest that you read the Ishmael books by Daniel Quinn. Nichole [02:27:11] Girl. Callie [02:27:14] So the running joke is- Nichole [02:27:16] That could be our fucking tag line. Callie [02:27:16] Yeah, we are always suggesting Ishmael and My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. But I also want to add on Beyond Civilization, which is the last book that Daniel Quinn published, which we don’t talk about as much. But I think that has some really powerful, I don’t like the book as much as the others because it’s not in the same format. But he talks a lot about these like cultural memes. And I think that could be a really powerful way to start deconstructing whiteness in your own head. The idea of like the stories that we’re told, the memes that we internalize about our culture and what’s inherent and natural versus what’s kind of socially constructed. I think that’s a really powerful way of starting to understand that like almost everything we live and experience is socially constructed, which means it can be socially deconstructed. Callie [02:28:10] And I think that’s a, it’s really powerful. So much of this culture that we live in, right, is that it’s natural. Gender is naturally a binary. Sexuality is naturally heterosexual. Like our races are like from nature, right? Like we’re just born different and we have these differences. And it’s like all of, all of that is bullshit. I mean, skin color is natural, but like the implications of it are socially constructed. And I think that’s really powerful. So read the Ishmael books. Claire [02:28:47] They’re so good. Nichole [02:28:47] Claire, any final thoughts? Claire [02:28:49] Yeah. I want to, OK. I just wanna recommend for anyone who wants to understand, like whiteness in America and like the passage of years, I think this book’s called White Privilege. And I always feel weird about recommending it because the word white privilege is very scary. But it’s a collection of essays talking about the ways that white people have profited off of policies and acts that were just geared towards white people and how that screwed everyone else over. And it really helps, it helps complete the picture of why there are so many groups today in America who are still just screwed over. And how like this is, this is like probably like the past hundred years. And because for me, I was having a hard time understanding like, well, why, if there are laws or like white or Black people can just get a job, and like there’s like laws against discrimination, why are so many Black people struggling? And this book just is actually a pretty quick but a very acute like understanding of that. And then all the essays are from larger books so if you’re like, oh, I really like this writing, you can get that book, too, and continue reading it. But this is a really good summary, I think, of why things are the way they are today. Callie [02:30:09] Mm hmm. Awesome. Yeah, Nic, any final thoughts? Nichole [02:30:13] Yeah. And I think… Um, I had one and I lost it. So I will, very on brand, I will replace it with a different one. I just think like as, so part of dismantling whiteness is dismantling all of our biases and I think familiarity with any one who is not like us is good. And then, of course, like focusing specifically on race is also great. But one of the things that I have found the most effective for me in really understanding someone else’s lived experience is to consume casual work by another community. So there is a lot to be learned from someone doing like educational talks, books, etc. That’s always encouraged. But I think, like I’ve actually, in a lot of ways learned more of the important things from just listening to like a podcast about pop culture or, you know, As Told By Kenya, like she’s one of my favorite people to watch. And I feel like I get a lot of the Black experience through what she’s talking about, but she’s not like sitting me down and teaching me a history lesson. She’s, I just think it’s a really good way to, like, not just humanize people, but to, like, really understand. Nichole [02:31:34] So I think about things like microaggressions, right? And there’s so much work right now that’s targeting, like holding white people’s hands and being like, these are things to not say and here’s why. And it’s like, OK, like that, I get it. But I think how much more powerful to listen to, like The Read and hear Crissle pop off about, like white people touching her hair. And then you’re like, oh shit, I should not touch anyone’s hair because it’s not good consistent, but also understand the implications if I’m a white person touching a Black person’s hair. You know, I just think, like, we kind of deprioritize just consuming entertainment from other people. And like, really listening to just… I think, I think it’s still a way of dehumanizing people to be like, oh, I’m only going to listen to you talk about race because you’re a Black person and I’ve been told to like, listen. Like that’s why I love that your channel, your like, I also, like I, you’re, my favorite video of yours is actually the Pride and Prejudice one where you’re responding to Big Joel’s take on Twilight. And I was like, I fucking love everything about it, you know? Claire [02:32:45] Thanks! Nichole [02:32:47] And I think it’s just, yeah, I do think it’s a way to dehumanize people if they’re like, oh yeah, I consume all this like Black or queer or trans work, but it’s only around being Black or queer or trans. I don’t, like Kat Blaque was someone who helped this click for me because she, you know, did her video about YouTube beings, LeftTube being so white. And I was like, my heart sank because I respect her so much. And I was like, oh, no, am I going to get red? But she actually just had this great, I mean it would have been fine if she did, but she had this great take of, she’s like, these people are my friends and I love the work that they’re doing. But the thing is, like people will listen to them talk about something instead of listen to me talk about it. And then they might come to me because that person was like, oh, go watch her because she’s a Black trans woman. So, like, consume her work around being a Black trans woman. Nichole [02:33:40] And she’s like, I sew, I’m in the BDSM community, I’m polyamorous. Like I’m a hundred other things too, and my channel is more about me as a human than it is about like me as a Black trans person. But within that, I’m very much paraphrasing what she said, but within that, like I become human. Right, like through you understanding my dating life, or like how much I love sewing. Like that is the human experience and then, you know me. And so I just, you know, as much as possible, like encourage people to like, if you realize you’re… You know, even Callie, like you brought up watching like Black rom coms. And we love a trashy rom com. And if you go on Netflix it’s just suggesting white rom coms to you so like watch a Black one. It’s probably terrible cause they’re all terrible. But like, at least you’re getting some, you know, like you’re just consuming something that is different but the same. And I think that’s what’s important. Callie [02:34:41] Absolutely. I mean, we’ve talked about how, like, I ended up watching one because I was like looking for a very specific, it was like Christmas time and I wanted like a Christmassy, you know, we all know the type I’m talking about. And I watched it and then all of a sudden I got all of these recommendations, and I was like, there is a, so many movies out there that I have not seen, I had not even heard of, you know? So it is, it is weird, like how we’re kind of kept in these little silos. And I think there is something really inherently harmful about like, only watching content that’s about like oppression, you know? And that it does keep, it keeps the walls up and it keeps us from building true like solidarity and really seeing the humanity of someone else. If you’re like, oh, the only movies I watch are about like, you know, this, these terrible things that have happened to your community. And it’s like that’s really like a piece of the picture, but it’s not the full thing, you know? Callie [02:35:38] Also, we need to stop retraumatizing ourselves all the time. Like, there’s just so much like, torture porn kind of thing where we’re just like watching really harmful tragic stories all the time because it’s’ like, I need to be a good ally, I need to watch all the bad things. And it’s like if you already know, like you maybe don’t need to keep watching really sad things all the time just because you feel like you have to, you know? Nichole [02:36:04] Yeah. Yeah and then people make the mistake that they think they know a community’s experience or a community’s culture when it’s like, no, you just know the history of their oppression. Callie [02:36:16] Right. Nichole [02:36:17] Which is, of course, an inextricable part of that. But it isn’t that. Like a community’s culture isn’t just their oppression. And then, yeah, and then you just, I think those are the people who walk around and are like, racism though, right? You know, because it’s like I see a Black person and that’s all I can think about is like, that’s all I know of the Black community is like educating myself on racism. Whereas like, if I ever got, oh my god, if I ever got the chance to hang out with Kenya, which would be like my dream, that bitch and I would just talk about… Probably shouldn’t have called her a bitch, I don’t know her like that. That wonderful woman and I would be able to talk about probably Miley Cyrus all night because, like, I just watched her video about Midnight Sky and she even didn’t really talk about Midnight Sky, she ended up talking about Miley Cyrus’ entire discography and like her eras. And it’s like, yes, I could sit across the bar from you and like drink and just talk about Miley Cyrus and how much we love her, even though she’s our problematic fave. Nichole [02:37:26] And, you know, like that is, that’s humanity. That’s community. That’s someone you can build a revolution with. And that makes you a good comrade, I should say. It’s not like about the other person, it’s about like, I can see your full humanity here. And that’s the biggest way to dismantle your prejudice is just to be like, fuck. We are different in a lot of ways, but we’re just like the same too. Like everything you go through is very human. Your opinions are human. Your sense of humor is human. Like we’re just human. Callie [02:37:58] Yeah. Yeah. That’s important. Nichole [02:38:02] Yeah. So thank you all for joining us. We’re gonna go party with Professor Flowers and our audience in our after party. If you ever want to join in too, you can do by joining us on our livestream Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time on the YouTube’s. There’s a link to our YouTube channel in the show notes if you’re listening to the podcast. We really want to thank Professor Flowers and Professor Flowers, before we go, we will have links to all of your stuff in our show notes in the description box but let everyone know where they can find you. Claire [02:38:40] Sure. Yeah. You can find me on YouTube, just at Professor Flowers. And then on Twitter, I think it’s @BorealisClare. Yeah, but definitely check out some of my videos. Nichole [02:38:53] Yeah. Callie [02:38:54] Yes. Do it. Nichole [02:38:55] Yeah. Don’t even please do it. Do it. Callie [02:38:57] Yes. Nichole [02:39:01] If you liked this video, like, subscribe, smash that notification bell as hard as you’re gonna go smash whiteness and the patriarchy, Ok? Callie [02:39:14] I did not know where you’re going with that. I was a little concerned. Nichole [02:39:23] I mean, to be honest I didn’t either. Thank you all for joining today, and we will talk to you next week. Bye! Callie [02:39:27] Buh-bye! The post 031 Dismantling Whiteness with Professor Flowers appeared first on Bitchy Shitshow.
We collab with our dear, darling friend Marine from A Privileged Vegan and The Vegan Vanguard podcast about our hair journeys; an episode years in the making! Poppin Off This week we go off about the ableist, classist and individualistic responses to the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, as well as discussing the body policing he experienced while he was still alive. Joke What kind of bird never needs a haircut? (Thanks, Tara!) Main Topic: Talking short hair, gender and The Patriarchy with Marine! This week we do a long anticipated collaboration with our dear friend Marine about our various hair journeys and how we feel our hair reflects (or doesn’t) our gender. We pull some great quotes and history facts from the resources linked below, and then dive into our very different experiences. Nichole has found freedom and gender euphoria through her buzzed head; Marine was challenged by the endless policing around her look and ended up not enjoying having short hair as much as she hoped, which created a lot of feminist conflict for her; and Callie speaks on her experience as someone who grew up in a larger body and therefore felt a lot of pressure to have long, feminine hair and obey “fashion rules” about what cut looks good on what face. Resources Laurie Penny on hair: Why patriarchy fears the scissors – for women, short hair is a political statement (New Statesman)FASHION HISTORY LESSON: THE BOB HAIRCUT, FEMINISM’S ULTIMATE STYLE STATEMENT (Fashionista)Now You Know: How Did Long Hair Become a Thing for Women? (Time) SUPPORT THE SHOW Follow us: Twitter | Instagram |YouTube Join our community: Facebook Group | Discord Server Donate to us: Patreon | PayPal Transcript Nichole [00:00:27] Hi, everybody. Marine [00:00:29] Hello. Nichole [00:00:31] Couple minutes behind today, but we’re here. We’re good. We’re queer. Marine [00:00:38] Did we mention that? Nichole [00:00:39] And we’re going to talk about hair. Callie [00:00:41] Yeah, I was just going to be like, what episode is this again? I could do another comphet, that shit was fun. Nichole [00:00:48] It was fun. Could talk about that all day. I bring it up all the time. Callie [00:00:54] Same. Nichole [00:00:54] I’m like comphet… It’s a plague on our people. So welcome to the Bitchy Shitshow podcast. I am Nichole. Callie [00:01:12] I am Callie. Marine [00:01:13] I’m Marine. Nichole [00:01:15] And today we’re bitching about… Marine [00:01:17] Short hair, don’t care! Do care… Callie [00:01:20] Or do care. Nichole [00:01:23] Or do you care? Yes, and Marine and I have been threatening Callie that we’re gonna do the entire episode and baby voice, so. Marine [00:01:33] Because we know how much she loves it. Nichole [00:01:35] Yeah. Because it’s her favorite. Marine [00:01:38] She thinks it’s hilarious. Nichole [00:01:39] As we were discussing before we went live, Callie actually sincerely hates, versus my jokes which she does also hate, but also enjoys. Callie [00:01:54] Shh! You’ll upset the kids, they think it’s real! Nichole [00:02:00] I mean, it is real. Callie [00:02:01] I mean, yeah. Nichole [00:02:02] You just like that I do it. But you do not like when I do a baby voice. Marine [00:02:06] No, but I notice when we go into baby voice, there is no, like, even sliver of sarcasm in Callie’s voice when she’s like, stop that, I hate it. I do not think it’s funny. Callie [00:02:14] I do. Marine [00:02:21] We’re like really? She’s like no. Callie [00:02:21] I don’t know why I hate it so much, but I sincerely do. Nichole [00:02:25] Yeah, she does. So practicing good consent, you know. Callie [00:02:30] Or not. Nichole [00:02:33] Taking it to that edge, you know. Marine [00:02:36] The learning edge that we’re about here on Bitchy Shitshow. Nichole [00:02:40] Yeah. So now I feel bad for laughing because I just wanted to acknowledge and mention that… Callie? Callie [00:02:51] I forgot what the pop top was about. Nichole [00:02:57] Can you be profesh? Callie [00:02:57] That was a clunky segue. Not your fault but, you know. Nichole [00:03:02] Yeah. OK, so we wanted to mention and acknowledge that Chadwick Boseman passed away. I was very shocked when I saw that on Twitter. Apparently it was from colon cancer or I think complications due to colon cancer. So, you know, just. It’s very sad. I was like, really taken aback when I saw it. But we also wanted to bring it up because a lot of people are using his death as a way to perpetuate ableism and also to, you know, rugged individualism. So there’s a lot of people who are like, oh, if he did all this sick then like you can do whatever. “No excuses” kind of hashtags going around. And that’s really gross. I don’t know much about him. I would like to think he’s someone who would not be happy with that. But regardless, it’s not okay to use, you know, someone’s illness, someone’s death, even someone’s recovery, as a way to shame people who might not be able to do certain things. Nichole [00:04:17] On top of that, there’s a lot of, you know, tweets and stuff going around and people saying, you know, go get screened for colon cancer. And it’s like, again, in the United States at least, it is very, very difficult to get screened for colon cancer under the age of 40, even if it runs in your family. And it’s very hard to get it done without insurance, you know, it’s expensive. And even with insurance, it’s very difficult to get it done. So to me, that’s people kind of like indirectly blaming others for their own situations. Like, oh, well, if you don’t get screened, then it’s kind of your fault. Right, or that, like, screening is going to prevent stuff. Yeah early detection is always great, but we just have to stop thinking that, like, everyone can just go to the doctor and get screened for things that they may or may not even have. It doesn’t work like that. Callie [00:05:18] No. For a lot of reasons. I mean, not only do people have the barrier of either not having insurance or even with insurance, the cost of treatments and tests being too high. But so many doctors are resistant to just checking into things. Right, and running tests and it can be really difficult. And yeah, I’m really glad you brought up Chadwick Boseman because obviously he, his work touched a lot of lives. I mean, Black Panther was revolutionary for a lot of people. I just saw tweets about like, my kids are going to be crushed, you know, like they… And it just, it’s always sad, right, when we lose someone whose work has brought some representation and a lot of fun into people’s lives. Callie [00:06:14] But it was really sad, I didn’t know that he had been battling cancer for a while. And then to find out that he had actually deleted all of his social media in the recent years like running up to him passing away because people were shaming him for, like losing weight and looking too thin. And now people are like, oh my god, it was because he had cancer. And it’s like, that’s why you don’t fucking comment on people’s bodies like you don’t know what someone is going through. You don’t know if weight loss or weight gain is due to a good thing, due to a bad thing. And honestly, no matter what reason, it’s none of your fucking business. And the fact that he was so bullied by people that he had to delete his social media while everything, like while he’s battling cancer and I’m sure struggling in a lot of ways, just like really breaks my heart. And now those people are like, oh my god, I didn’t know. Marine [00:07:13] [sarcasm] Oh, that’s OK then. Callie [00:07:13] And it’s like, you shouldn’t, it shouldn’t matter. You should have never needed a reason, you know, like… So, yeah stop fucking commenting on people’s bodies, y’all. Nichole [00:07:26] Yeah, for real. So, yes, we just wanted to touch on that today, because that, you know, it’s very sad but also we always try to take these opportunities to point out the ways that, like, oppressive behaviors are normalized. And I think with the passing of a celebrity, there’s always a deluge of fat-shaming, you know, ableism. The vegans love to come out in droves and talk about how if someone’s vegan then they wouldn’t have died. That’s got fuckin stop. Callie [00:08:06] I forgot about that! Nichole [00:08:08] Yeah, every time. Every fucking time. Callie [00:08:11] Fucking vegans. Nichole [00:08:11] And it’s like, not now. Callie [00:08:16] Yeah. Nichole [00:08:17] So, yeah, it’s just really sad. And yeah, it’s sad that he had to work hiding his condition. It’s sad that, like, we don’t have art that’s more pliable. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I have, as I think about consent I always think about like actors and the ways that they kind of have to do stuff with their body for a paycheck. You know, and I’m just, just kind of processing through, like, how… What would that look like to me in my utopian, like anarchist world? And I think the solution would be that, like, every piece of art would be collaborative with all the people making it. And so maybe Black Panther could have been turned into someone who is struggling with illness. Right, and still like having to perform this role and that could have been written into the piece of art and helps people process it. And have better representation and helped an actor to not have to, like, hide his condition in order to get a paycheck and perform this role. So, yeah. Callie [00:09:27] Well and the expectations that we’re now putting on male actors, you know? Nichole [00:09:33] It’s ridiculous. Callie [00:09:34] It’s getting really, I mean, it’s out of control and it’s getting really harmful, you know, like… Nichole [00:09:41] The Superman Batman movies have gotten so fucking ridiculous. It’s like, what are we doing? Callie [00:09:47] Yeah. Yeah, I know their bodies are just like really unreal proportions, in the same way that for a long time, right, female presenting bodies just are supposed to have these unreal proportions to them. And now male bodies are a lot, getting a lot of that same pressure. And even like the non-superhero movies, I feel like the guys just have to be, like, completely fucking jacked with that, like, you know, that triangle shape of just like huge arms and shoulders and like a six-pack. And it’s like you’re like a dad and like you’re just like this friendly neighbor. Like you’re like a mailman. Like, why are you… You know, like, this is ridiculous. And I, yeah I just think stuff like this, you know, is a good moment to like, reflect on someone who, you know, shared their gift with us all, but also like was, unfortunately, kind of an example of how the industry and just beauty standards in general are getting really bad for male presenting bodies too. Nichole [00:10:53] Yeah. Callie [00:10:54] And the point was never to shame men the same way we shame women. It was to stop fucking shaming women. It was to raise up, not lower the standards for everyone, like… Marine [00:11:08] Right. Nichole [00:11:08] Well, in this late stage capitalist fucking hellscape, everyone needs to hate their bodies. Everyone needs to be paying for supplements and programs and trainers. So yeah. Plus the rise of toxic masculinity and having to, related to today’s content, control those crazy women cutting their hair off, being all wild, wearing menswear. Gotta get them, get them in line. Marine [00:11:43] Yeah. I also think a lot about how that unrealistic portrayal of like male beauty and just being, yeah, having these unreal expectations of what, like, muscular body types look like is really, it’s so harmful to younger like boys. Like I see my students who are in high school talk a lot, like in our dialogues when we get sort of deep about body image. They so many times talk about the fact that like, well, women have it bad, but at least like they feel like girls can talk about the fact that they’re really struggling with their body image, but that there is such a strong stigma around like boys also saying they have a negative body image that it’s like super toxic and they don’t even talk about it between each other. And that it’s deemed like, you know, like even more unacceptable and feminine to talk about the fact that there’s these unrealistic body standards that you need to attain. Marine [00:12:44] And I think that that’s also true of actresses like so many times we’ve heard actresses come out and talk about like their eating disorders and the toxic body image in Hollywood. But that still isn’t really a conversation we have around, like male stereotypes of bodies. And so I really hope that we’re going to have more conversations. In that show, Man Enough that’s, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it. It’s like they’re short films directed by Justin Baldoni. But episode three is on Male Body Image and I’ve seen it like three times. I thought it was so well-made and so interesting. And part of the reason I’ve seen it so many times is because there’s really not that many resources that talk about that particular issue. Nichole [00:13:27] Yeah, well, I think I remember reading somewhere that it’s very underdiagnosed in boys and men because it’s kind of like, we just talked about with like neurodivergent diagnoses. You know, it’s literally kind of crafted around like women and so it goes undiagnosed. But I’ve known, I’ve been very close to several men in my life who have eating disorders and sometimes they’re aware and like a lot of times they’re not. And I’ll be like, bro, you like have an eating disorder. And they’ll be like, what? And I’m like, how is this shocking? Like, you only eat once a day or, you know, whatever the behavior is. But it’s like, yeah, you like literally have an eating disorder and it’s just like blows their mind, you know? It’s really sad. Marine [00:14:15] Yeah. I relate so personally to that example because I feel like as a woman my behavior around food has been like hyper monitored in my family. Just because I’m on the thinner side and because it’s so, I guess discussed, that women in their teenage years and like young adulthood can develop eating disorders. And like so I’m hyper scrutinized. But like one of my brothers, who won’t listen to this podcast so it’s fine, but like has a, has like extremely, I think, unhealthy behaviors around food. And it’s just something that, like my family kind of laughs about or that we never talk about, even though he goes on these like, he’s always like in a binge-restrict, binge-restrict. He always talks about dieting. He always talks about food. Like, I’ve never really heard him talk about food in this healthy way. But people like… I don’t know, it’s never talked about as like a genuine concern for his health. But, yeah, it makes me really sad. Nichole [00:15:17] I’ve known a lot of guys who emotionally eat, like overeat as well. And it’s so funny how that is just completely feminized. But like a lot of guys struggle with that. Like I’ve dated people where we kind of like binge together. You know, and it’s like, I know that I’m bingeing, but they know that they’re bingeing. And it’s like, yeah. It’s wild. Yeah, the way we talk about food and bodies. And also I just don’t… Yeah, I could go on about this for a long time, but like a lot of men also want to be thin and I don’t think people like understand that because there’s so much pressure to be jacked. Yeah, but like I’ve known a lot of guys who are obsessed with just like wanting to be like very thin. And that gets completely, like people always just think it’s like their natural body type, you know. Or that like they don’t eat because they’re nervous or have like a certain personality and they just don’t get any attention or care for those issues. Marine [00:16:17] Right. And I think it’s more also assumed that they just don’t really care about their bodies. And if they’re thin and they’re not eating much, then it must just be because, you know, buying groceries is difficult and like, they don’t know how to cook their food or something like that. I think it’s way more like assumed to just be something, like that their body looks that way out of, like, neglect for the way that they’re caring for it. But women, it’s like, yeah, I think are way more, like everything that they do with their body is thought to be probably like intentional. So it’s like either, you know, they are a bigger size and all these stereotypes are associated with that and how they feel about taking care of themselves, or yeah. Marine [00:17:05] Yeah. But I think that’s super, it’s really, really harmful to young men who grow up and like never talk about… Because that’s something that has, yeah again, that has come up in my classes, like when the girls will talk about like, well body image is like so hard for women and sometimes the boys get defensive and they’re like, well it’s like really hard for us, but we can never talk about it. And it’s like, well, it’s hard for everyone and we just need to stop objectifying bodies. Callie [00:17:30] Right, yes thank you. Nichole [00:17:31] Yeah, let’s try that! Cause it does spread over into the trans and nonbinary community as well. Like, that’s a lot of conversation. Even there’s a trans woman in our neighborhood that I bump into sometimes who’s homeless and so I’ll buy her meals. And she’s always talking about like, oh, you know, I started hormones and I’m trying to lose weight. You know and it’s just it’s like wild how much that factors into, like, everyone’s gender identity. But like, we only talk about it in this one, like, very narrow way with, like, cisgender women. Callie [00:18:07] Yeah. Marine [00:18:08] Yeah, very true. Nichole [00:18:10] So yeah, on that happy note. So Callie, so Marine… Callie [00:18:15] Yes. Nichole [00:18:18] What kind of bird never needs a haircut? This one’s obvious, but just say you don’t know. Callie [00:18:26] I don’t know. I really don’t know. Marine [00:18:28] I don’t know either. Nichole [00:18:30] A bald eagle! Marine [00:18:32] OK. I got it! Nichole [00:18:36] Do you get it?! Marine [00:18:36] I got it the first time around! Callie [00:18:40] Yay! Nichole [00:18:42] I was so stoked that I actually had a haircut joke. Callie [00:18:46] That’s perfect. Marine [00:18:47] Oh yeah! Well done. Nichole [00:18:49] That one was given to me by Tara over Facebook many moons ago. So, Tara, if you’re even still listening, thanks. You too could possibly have your joke said on the show years after you’ve sent it, if you send it to We have a special email set up. Callie won’t see it. It’s for my eyes only. So send it there. Alright, so I think, do we have some people to thank? Callie [00:19:26] We do. We do. I just want to shout out, friend of the show Mexie who is watching live and just commented that, “Lol my partner just shouted out the answer from the other room.” Marine [00:19:38] Oh man. Callie [00:19:41] Which is just like fucking great. That’s incredible. Oh my god. OK, OK, so continuing the theme of being real real late with something. I possibly missed thanking these Patreon donors like literally back in May. Nichole [00:20:04] Whaaat? Callie [00:20:06] I know. I was going through and cleaning up our inbox and they were not in my special Patreon folder, so I think I may have neglected to thank them. So very, very special and very late thank you to new patron Eric E for becoming a patron. And then also, I think it’s Ashlea. But it’s like a s h l e a. So, Ashlea, Ash-lea maybe? I’m not sure. Increase their pledge significantly. So they were already a patron and then started giving a lot more. So thank you both so much. And I’m so very sorry to be thanking y’all so late. And then we have just some other people to thank as well. So new patron Felicitas, thank you for becoming a patron and new patron Paige, thank you for becoming a patron. And then also, Stephanie increased their pledge. And I believe I thanked this person and I think you’re watching live. But I did not realize that you actually sent us a pronunciation for your actual name and not your fun internet name. So Gavnap is Arune. Yes, I probably did not- Nichole [00:21:37] And we know we’re not doing the rolling Germanic “r”. Callie [00:21:42] Yes. Nichole [00:21:42] I’m not even going to subject any of you to that attempt. Callie [00:21:45] Yes. Nichole [00:21:47] But yeah, we love a phonetic pronunciation. It is the jam. Callie [00:21:50] Yes! You sent us a whole, like, explanation. You talked about how people don’t say it right. You sent a video, like a YouTube clip with the pronunciation. I was like, this is what I love to see. So thank you so much for being a patron. And then also helping us, and you’ve done a lot of free labor for us recently with the Discord server. So sincerely, thank you for all of your contributions to the Bitchy Shitshow. Nichole [00:22:19] We appreciate it. You sounded like Benjamin Dixon there. Callie [00:22:23] I know. I realized I was copying him. Nichole [00:22:25] You need like the little bop in the background. Callie [00:22:28] I felt kind of bad. I do not want to be, like, stealing his thing, but I know, well that’s a thing he does that- Nichole [00:22:33] You’re just a colonizer, you can’t help it. It’s the white cis-tyranny. Callie [00:22:40] Oh no. That is something I really like that he does. He thanks like each person and I’m like, I want to, I need, I’m still, like, trying to find my groove with, like, how to thank people. Because it’s always really nice. He’s like, he will say each name and then be like, thank you for becoming a patron. And I’m like, oh that’s cool. Instead of just like reading a list of names, but I don’t want to steal shit so I need to… Nichole [00:23:03] I know. Well yeah, I love his song too, and that it’s a party. I’m like, I want to do that but I don’t want to like steal it. Callie [00:23:11] Yeah. Nichole [00:23:12] Well, we’ll work on it. Marine [00:23:12] I don’t know who you’re talking about, not gunna lie. Nichole [00:23:17] Oh, he’s a wonderful podcaster, Benjamin P. Dixon. Marine [00:23:21] What is the podcast’s name? Nichole [00:23:24] It’s The Benjamin Dixon Show. Marine [00:23:25] Oh, oh I see, OK. Nichole [00:23:27] Yeah, we really like his stuff. And yeah, he does a little party in the middle where he thanks his new patrons and he has this whole, like, Patreon bop. Callie [00:23:36] Everybody just bop! I’ve listened to a lot of his episodes recently. Nichole [00:23:42] And every time it comes on I’m like dancing around and I’m like this actually makes me really enjoy this section, whereas like a lot of times I’m kind of like, eh who cares? Except for on my own show of course. Callie [00:23:53] Right. Well, when you’re a listener, you’re like, yeah, whatever, you know. Nichole [00:23:56] Yeah. Yeah. You’re like, yeah, good for you. But with his I actually look forward to it so I’m like I want to figure out a way for us to make it fun as well. Callie [00:24:05] Yeah. I do, I do really love that he makes it like a really fun patron party. He has the music on, like, yeah, he literally is like it’s a patron party, and welcome to the party. He’s like, you know, shouting out each person individually who like, starts to donate. And then it’s funny because he’s like, all right patrons shut the door behind you, like the rest of the episode is just for… I don’t know I just love it. He has very great, very great style. So yeah. Nichole [00:24:34] So moving on, short hair do care. We didn’t introduce because I feel like you all know her, but this is Marine. Marine [00:24:46] Hi. Callie [00:24:53] That was the most unenthusiastic! You’re like, yeah, yeah, whatever. Nichole [00:24:55] So beyond just being our very good friend who we love so much, you know, Marine has a YouTube channel, A Privileged Vegan and is a co-host on the Vegan Vanguard with Mexie, who’s here watching live. And the reason we wanted to Marine on today is actually Marine and I have been having conversations about hair for years now since her hair was just somewhat longer than my hair and you can see how long her hair is. That’s how long we’ve been talking about it. So, yeah, we wanted to, I thought it was really good timing since I’ve gone on my own recent hair journey and, you know, have much different feelings and experiences than I had when we had started having this conversation. I thought, what a perfect time. And I gave Callie the option of being here or not because she hasn’t really done anything drastic with her hair in the same way. But realizing that she had a lot of thoughts and feelings, as, you know, someone in a larger body and the way that gender is policed around weight and feminine presentation, I thought she had like actually some very amazing input. So we’re here to just fuckin dish about hair. Nichole [00:26:12] I don’t want to get too formal with this. I do want this to be mostly us just talking about our experiences. But I did find three interesting articles that I will link in the show notes that just kind of give a history of hair. I will say that they’re very white-centered and I didn’t have time, I kind of did this last minute, so I didn’t have time to try to find something that might touch on nonwhite hair stuff. But this at least gives a general, pretty good history of hair length and y’all, this shit is like pre-biblical. Like people have been policing women’s hair and men’s hair by, you know, by association for literally like ever. They’re talking about like in ancient Greece, like even then it was like you were supposed to, men were supposed to have their hair shorter than women. It says that in the Bible, like your hair is supposed to be shorter than women’s hair. So there were, I think, more acceptable, like longer hair lengths for men, but they still were supposed to be shorter than women. And a lot of this, surprise surprise, is wrapped around fertility and classism because to grow-. Callie [00:27:28] Ugh. Nichole [00:27:29] You knew it was coming. Callie [00:27:31] I know. Nichole [00:27:31] It always comes back to your fucking uterus. Because to have long, thick, healthy hair, you require rest and you require nutrition and you require hydration and you require a lot of things that you won’t have if you’re not, you know, a person of some means. And also as we move through history… So that that’s what people say, their best guess as to why women’s hair has always been so heavily policed is because of, you know, displaying that you are fertile and also to show class. And then, of course, like if we look at people who have more complicated, intricate hairdos like that also displays wealth and access to resources. And then as we get further in history, we see that this is a way to determine who is performing their gender role in the acceptable way and who is not. Which I think it always also was, but I am sure it was also like very heavily tied up into procreation, whereas now the stuff that’s based in procreation has become more political, even though that’s the root of it. Like, if you really break stuff down, it usually does come to, you know, displaying that you’re a fertile vessel just ready for that man seed. Just give it to me. Let’s make all the babies and I’ll just be quiet and I’ll just clean the house and everything will be great. Callie [00:29:05] This really should have been like a Calliemosa day and not a coffee day I’m realizing. For a lot of reasons. Nichole [00:29:13] I know. I actually would totally be down for a Calliemosa today. I actually am dragging a little bit today, so I would do like a Irish coffee kind of day where it’s just like, let’s just throw it all at the wall and see what sticks because alcoholic coffee is probably the worst thing I could ever do. Callie [00:29:34] Yeah it honestly may be a real bad time for you. Nichole [00:29:42] So, yes. So in one of the articles that I’ll link to, it’s a Time article called The History of Long Hair, one of the historians notes that the practical difficulties of long hair, in order to have long hair, you have to have your needs in life taken care of. So long hair is also a status symbol, especially when it comes to complex hair styles that require someone else to help you do them, which implies you have the wealth to do it. So it’s no coincidence that short hairstyles like the bob came into fashion during the 20th century in regions where women are beginning to push back against the idea that they needed to be taken care of. Nichole [00:30:20] In another article from, this is the one Marine, that you sent me. Why Patriarchy Fears Scissors. It takes creams, serums and tongs and irons and spray and moose and a deft, time-consuming blowdrying technique to get your hair to look like Kate Middleton’s, and that’s the point. The point is to look like the performance of femininity matters enough to you that you’re prepared to work at it. I was like, yes. Callie [00:30:50] That explains so much. Nichole [00:30:52] Yeah. And then relatedly, in this same article, this week a writer going by the handle Tuthmosis? I don’t even know how to say it. Put out a short article explaining why girls with short hair are damaged. The piece has now received over 200000 interactions on Facebook. Going through the layers of his logic is pretty interesting. He writes that long hair is almost universally attractive to men when they’re actually speaking honestly. P.S. That is not true. I mean, sure, majority. But like a lot of dudes find short hair hot. Women instinctively know this which is why every American girl who cuts and keeps her hair short often does it for ulterior reasons. Short hair is a political statement, and invariably a girl who has gone through with a short cut and is pleased with the changes in her reception is damaged in some significant way. Short hair is a near guarantee that a girl will be more abrasive, more masculine, and more deranged. And apparently later- Callie [00:31:56] Deranged?! Nichole [00:31:58] Yes, deranged. And apparently later in the article, he talks about getting a handy from a girl with short hair who is like texting with one hand and like jerking him off with the other. And somehow that, like, proves his thesis. And I’m like that just proves that you’re fucking boring. Anyway, she goes on to say, “Tuthmosis is right for all the wrong reasons. Wearing your hair short or making any other personal life choice that works against the imperative to be as conventionally attractive and appealing to patriarchy as possible is a political statement. And the threat that if we don’t behave, if we don’t play the game, we’ll end up alone and unloved is still a strategy of control. The idea that women might not place pleasing men at the center of our politics, consciously or unconsciously, makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Sometimes it makes them angry. I’m regularly asked whether I think that feminism ought to be rebranded in order to threaten men less because anything a woman does even attempt to chip away at a massive, slow, grinding superstructure of sexism must appeal to men first or it’s meaningless.” Nichole [00:33:08] So I thought that all was like amazing, perfectly sets the stage for our talk today. And then there was another article, fashionista, and it was kind of like the history of the bob haircut. And I just thought this was funny. “Bobbed hair became associated with the shocking behavior of young women who drank alcohol, wore makeup, and bared their knees.” Callie [00:33:34] Bared their knees?! Nichole [00:33:34] That like, killed me. I was like, I have to pull that out. Callie [00:33:39] Their knees, my god. Nichole [00:33:41] Yes. Callie [00:33:42] What is the world coming to? Nichole [00:33:43] You know, it’s all knees and elbows nowadays, and it’s just like no wonder. Marine [00:33:53] That was one of the main reasons why I cut my hair, Nichole, I don’t know about you, but it was mostly to bare my knees. Callie [00:34:00] You were just tired of long pants. Marine [00:34:02] Yeah, and then I let it grow because I was like there is just not enough knee bearing for this to be worth it, you know? Callie [00:34:09] Oh my god. Nichole [00:34:11] Oh and yes, I have a new internet stalker, James McKee who’s here. I figured you would be. So I don’t know if we have any mods on here, but let me know if I need to block anybody. Hi, James. Welcome to the show. So we were, well anyway, we’ll talk about it later. So we, we’re here today, one of the reasons I wanted to have this talk specifically with Marine is because I feel like she has a different experience than I had. And then again, Callie has her own experiences. So I wanted Marine to kind of kick us off with her experience of cutting her hair super short and how it might kind of weave into a lot of the information that I just read. Marine [00:35:03] All right. Yes. So Nichole and I have been talking about this for a really long time. I think when I met you I had, did I have a pixie cut or was I already starting to grow it back? Nichole [00:35:17] I feel… I can’t remember. Callie [00:35:19] I feel like you had recently cut, had short hair. Like we met you when you had, like, short short hair. Marine [00:35:26] Short short hair. Yeah, probably. I think that’s right. In London that first time? But I had, so this was like four years ago and I had been wanting to cut my hair for maybe like a year and a half before that. And I was always very attached to my hair and how I perceived that it related to my own femininity, and how other people perceived my femininity. And I think as I got more and more interested in feminism and started to deconstruct my own gender stereotypes and the way that I had constructed my sense of self around these ideals, I just, you know, had this idea on the back of my hair that it would be really challenging and really liberating and scary and stuff to like, cut my hair. But I think that was the appeal for me. And so I started like, I yeah, I started maybe I was mulling it over for like a year. Marine [00:36:27] And something that also confirmed my desire to cut it is that every time I would mention wanting to cut it, I had like the most just extreme horrified reaction from people, like especially men, who were just like, why would you do that? It’s going to look terrible, like, why are you cutting your hair, etc.. And like, that would piss me off so much that I was just like, fine, I’m going to do it and I’m gonna go shorter and shorter because, like, you’re an asshole and whatever. And I read the piece by Laurie Penny that you just read, about Why Patriarchy Fears The Scissors very shortly before I cut my hair. And that kind of pushed me over the edge. Like I had all the right theoretical, like feminist reasons for wanting to cut my hair. And so but yeah. Marine [00:37:16] So I would say that it was like a political decision and one that I knew that was going to challenge me and one that I sort of tried to convince myself I also just wanted to do because it would be really liberating and so much less work and it would be really comfortable, etc.. But I didn’t really, I was not really doing it for esthetic reasons. And when I cut my hair, I cut it, it was like a yeah, it was a pixie cut, and so I just ended up like as… I also rewatched a YouTube video that I made just this afternoon in order to prep a little bit for this podcast and I had made the video like a day or two after cutting my hair. And I was like, so kind of gung ho about, like I explained the Laurie Penny article and I was like, yeah, it feels like so great to have my hair cut. And it’s gonna be so much more comfortable and like blah blah blah. Marine [00:38:17] Just as the weeks went by, I just realized, like I was overcompensating in kind of all these ways. I was like watching so many videos about how to style it in, like a cute and feminine way. I was wearing more makeup. I also realized that I, to keep it that particular pixie shape I was having to cut it every three weeks, which ended up being so much more money and care than if I just had my hair long. I also realized that I had all these cowlicks in my hair that I was not previously aware of. Nichole [00:38:49] Relatable. Marine [00:38:49] So I had like a Tintin fringe in the front and like, just like also cowlicks in the back. And so I would spend like all this time, like wetting it and like blow drying it. But still in public, I’d be like, yeah, it’s so great. It’s like way more comfortable and I love it. And I think I, I also really noticed that people’s like especially like in public, I guess, as opposed to having like really long blond hair and then having like just short hair because also it was like way less blond because it was so short and my roots are much darker. I just noticed that like the male gaze definitely changed around having short hair. And I think noticing that and noticing that part of me felt like insecure about it was also something that I ended up feeling really kind of like angry or ashamed about. And so I kept it short for maybe like two, three months until I started growing it out. But it was so short that it takes a really long time to grow out. And then also I overcompensated in these ways where I was like bleaching it. And that was also really expensive to bleach it all the time. Marine [00:40:07] And I had yeah, I guess it’s been interesting in our conversations to discuss, like to now openly discuss actually how much I hated having short hair and how much I wish I did not hate having short hair when I did. But to the point where I wasn’t even like that, that attach to my hair before, but I would have dreams like several times a week that I would wake up and my hair was long again. I was just like, this is, this really extreme, like, why do I care so much, you know? But, I don’t know, do you want to talk about your experience Nichole? Because maybe then we can talk about how hair relates to gender expression, perhaps, and like how I think that a lot of that actually became clear to me when I cut my hair. I will say that now, every time I see someone who I haven’t seen in a while and they haven’t seen that my hair has grown back, they always comment on how much better it looks now that it’s long again. Oh my god and it makes me so angry. Nichole [00:41:18] That makes me so mad. Marine [00:41:18] Like, why do you feel like… I don’t, I’m not commenting on, like, the ways that you physically changed since I last saw you, you know? But something about, like everyone just felt like completely OK with telling me also that, like, the people who didn’t like the short hair felt like they could tell me because it was like I was kind of like looking for that because I had done this thing of like this like violent political statement of cutting my hair. So, like, you kind of had it in for you if that’s what you did. And so I also, I’ve never, like people have never made that many comments on like, my physical appearance as when I cut my hair. And so much so that actually like maybe a month into it, I would get a lot of comments about, like, oh, wow, you cut your hair, like why’d you decide to do that? Or like jokes about like how men weren’t going to find me attractive anymore. And in this urge to like, push even further, I was like, I want to buzz- Nichole [00:42:14] Oh no! Yeah, no I’m just saying, oh no, I’ll just have to not date men who don’t like my hair. Marine [00:42:17] Yeah, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, devastating. Nichole [00:42:19] What a loss. Marine [00:42:20] And I wanted to buzz my hair for a while, even though I knew I didn’t like it really short. I was like, well, I’m so close, I might as well just like buzz it and, you know, before I let it grow back. But I got so much pushback for that as well. And I mean, I told you, like, my you know, my parents were like Marine like, we’re not like, we’re not going to talk to you if you buzz your head. I mean, they would have but like, they were like, you’re going to look sick and like it’s so violent and aggressive. Like, why would you do that? Nichole [00:42:49] Violent. Marine [00:42:53] Just it was violent, yeah. It’s violent. So anyway, I feel like I could, I have many more thoughts, but I want to let you share and then… Nichole [00:43:04] I forgot to ask if I should pull up pictures so people can see. Marine [00:43:08] And also, I mean, the funny thing is like it was such a feminine short haircut, which was actually interesting that I really wanted to retain that even when it was short. Nichole [00:43:19] Yeah. Yeah I have a picture from Facebook. Do you, would it be okay if I share it? Marine [00:43:24] Oh yeah, sure. Nichole [00:43:25] Of you. I just think it would be fun since we have the visual on the livestream. Marine [00:43:30] Visuelle. Nichole [00:43:30] I thought you looked hot as shit. Callie [00:43:32] I did too. Nichole [00:43:32] I always thought your hair looks fucking amazing. You were one of my like hairspiration people. Callie [00:43:37] Hairspiration! Marine [00:43:37] Yeah. I mean, I thought it was, you know, I thought it was cute. Which one are you going to pull? Nichole [00:43:48] Look how cute! Callie [00:43:50] Like that’s so hot! I just- Nichole [00:43:51] It’s so cute. Marine [00:43:51] Thank you. I also was like, excited because I thought that it would… I was like, oh, my god, I’m just going to have, like, so much attention from the queers now. But Paris is like so friggin heterosexual, heteronormative that I feel like I just got negative comments from men and not more attention from women so it was a lose-lose situation. Callie [00:44:13] Somehow that really surprises me. I, I would have, I don’t know, I guess I would have assumed that they’d be chiller. Marine [00:44:20] Yeah. The men? Callie [00:44:23] No, just in general that you wouldn’t have such a, like demanding heteronormative like culture in Paris. Marine [00:44:29] Yeah. I think, I think also I, I… The people that were the most like, you know, opposing of it stick out in my memory the most. Especially because since I didn’t like it, I think those voices spoke louder to me than… I mean, I’m not going to say that. Actually when it was short and it was like well-groomed, when the cowlicks got under control, I liked it. I just thought, it ended up being like, really expensive and high maintenance to keep it, so. Nichole [00:45:02] Yeah, I’m going to, I did film me buzzing my head for the first time. And at some point when I have my channel up, I’m going to publish that. But then also do a series, I think after, of like things I learned having short hair, like things to know before you buzz your head and stuff like that. Because there is… So like my journey has been basically similar, but the opposite of yours in a lot of ways where I love it and I’ve finally found as a genderqueer person, I feel like I finally feel a lot of my body dysmorphia, which I think was actually gender dysphoria, has been relieved. So I just, I love how I look. I don’t give a shit what anyone says about it, honestly, because I just think, like, I am so happy that I could care less. Nichole [00:45:58] But I think, something that has surprised me that kind of lines up with what you’re saying is that when you have short hair, you are constantly thinking about your hair. Whether it’s dyeing it, whether it’s buzzing it or getting it cut or whatever it is, like, just like logistically, you’re constantly having to deal with your hair. And then also you’re going to have everyone else constantly reminding you and pointing out the fact that you have short hair. So I do think that it can be really difficult if it’s something that you’re trying to do, like you were just trying to do it maybe, you know, to try it out or whatever. And I think it’s hard to have that process of maybe like you don’t love it as much as you thought. And then, like, you’re not going to be left alone to process that experience. You’re going to have to process it with the input of other people. Marine [00:46:53] And you’re constantly having to defend your choice too, yeah. Nichole [00:46:56] Exactly. And I can see if you’re sort of like, well, this isn’t as great as I thought it was going to be, this is a little more difficult. Because I had that, like I love it, but I definitely have had a lot of times where I’m like, I don’t, part of why I did this was so I wouldn’t have to think about it so much. But now it’s like I’m constantly having to trim it. I’m constantly dying and I’m constantly doing stuff to it. And because it’s short, it’s easy and I’m able to do it myself so it’s not expensive or as expensive as it could be, but it is not the like breezy lifestyle that I pictured. This may not make sense to people and I’m still working through it myself, but I’ve realized one of the things that gives me dysphoria is my natural hair color. So I feel like part of my self-care is to have it be some other color. And so that’s part of like, why I always have it dyed or bleached or whatever because it just literally makes me feel better. Marine [00:47:57] So can you tell us a little more about that? Like it’s part of your gender dysphoria? Nichole [00:48:04] I don’t know if it’s gender dysphoria or body dysmorphia, but I just notice when I start to look at myself and I feel really bad, and it’s hard to explain the feeling like you’ve had it or you haven’t. But like, you just feel like you don’t look right. You feel like you don’t deserve to be alive. You don’t want to be around other people. And literally I’ll dye my hair and it’ll go away. So it’s like something over the years, I’ve just realized that that is a thing. And part of why I wanted to buzz my head was because I thought maybe if I had my hair super short, then I wouldn’t mind my natural color. But unfortunately, I still really do. So it’s just become… I would feel ridiculous saying that, except I follow enough other noncis people to know that like, like tattoos can help with gender dysphoria. Like there’s this wide universe of things that can help you with how you feel in your body. So I’ve just really noticed that, like, for whatever reason, that’s my thing. Nichole [00:49:03] So a really easy way for me to feel like five hundred percent better every day is just to have my hair a different color. So, and you know, and I feel like maybe not the same for you but I do think like dyeing your hair platinum, like that was… It is interesting how much color can factor in to how we feel and how much like a color story actually says about us and our gender. Because I think maybe part of why it helps relieve some of my dysphoria is because I tend to dye my hair queer or trendy colors. So it’s kind of signaling that, like, I’m not you know, I’m not like a cis straight person. And I know for you, like, yours is very fashionable and you looked very high fashion with it and so that probably helped you feel more like, protected and guarded against, like, people’s comments, you know? Marine [00:49:59] Yeah, definitely. And then feeling weird around the fact that I was like, well, if I’m cutting my hair for it to be lower maintenance and to be this almost like political statement against the beauty standards of patriarchy, why am I going to such a big extent to look like, more sophisticated and more feminine having the short hair? Nichole [00:50:19] Mm hmm. Mm hmm, Mm hmm yeah. And I know that was something I struggled with right, the first like week or so was, I definitely did fall into that trap of like, oh, I have to wear a ton of makeup, and I have to like have big earrings and all this stuff. And now, like, I still do that often because I enjoy it as like a way to play with expression. But I’m very comfortable without it. And, you know, the first like week and a half, I was kind of like not wanting to go outside my apartment. I didn’t want to see my neighbors because I just didn’t want to deal with people’s like input. I was still processing how I felt. But now I’m just like, I’m out there all the time. I don’t give a shit. Like, and if someone brings in my hair, I’m like, yeah what? You know, like, I just, I don’t care because I feel so good. There’s just no way for someone to say anything that is gonna make me upset. Marine [00:51:16] Yeah, yeah. That makes sense. Nichole [00:51:20] Yeah. But I know for me, I was doing it definitely as a political statement, but it also, the reason I did it during lockdown was so that I could… So it was as a political statement in a sense. But really the political act of it was to do something for myself. And knowing that I struggle with body dysmorphia/gender dysphoria, whoever knows what it is, I knew that I would need time to, like, process my appearance. And that it might take me a while, and that it might have been difficult for me to work through it. So it was really liberating to have this time and space where, yeah, we livestream but our audience, for the most part, is like fucking awesome. And they’re all fucking queer and shit, too so like, we’re in good company and I knew, like, they would just be excited for me. Nichole [00:52:21] Even though it was still a little tough because like, you know, I still didn’t know how I felt about it. But I think, like, I just really loved that line from the article that, like, someone basically doing something to try to broadcast the fact that they are not interested in performing their gender as expected, was really powerful. And I wanted to have time to, like, wrap my head around how I felt and get my feet under me before really having it become a political statement and a statement of my gender and my sexuality and everything else. And so I can see I’m lucky in a sense in that that I don’t have family, I don’t have, I didn’t have a partner at the time. Like, I really, truly had the space to just do it and feel how I felt about it without a bunch of external input. Nichole [00:53:18] And I think a lot of people are going through that process right now in lockdown. They’re taking advantage. You know, we’ve heard from so many people that they’re taking advantage of the time right now to like do this where they’re not having to be in an office with, like, literally every single person stopping by their desk and like, oh, you cut your hair. Why did you do that? You know, and putting in their two cents. Like nobody fucking cares Mandy, keep walking. And I know for me, like, I wanted to think that I was tougher than that, more radical than that. But I just kind of knew, given my issues that I struggle with, that it would have been much more difficult and probably less joyful to try to do this in a situation where, like, so much of my appearance was going to be policed by other people. Nichole [00:54:09] Especially given that I had a job that was so client-facing, you know, like I wouldn’t have gotten fired or whatever. But like, there is that extra pressure of like I’m representing my company, right? And I’m in a traditionally male-dominated traditional industry. Right, and how are people going to react to this? And like, having to process all of that is really difficult when you’re the type of person who, like, needs time to process changes to your body on, you know, in your own head. And I think that that is by design. I think society does that by design to make it harder. Like, if you’re going to do what you want to do with your body, here’s this giant hurdle that you have to overcome. And we’re gonna try to get inside your head and make you think what we want you to think before you have time to think for yourself. Marine [00:55:00] Yeah. It’s interesting how everything that is like, how prioritizing comfort is by default unfeminine, like down to, I mean, needing to wear shoes that are like uncomfortable to walk in that you can no longer run in. Like needing to keep your hair long, needing to wax or shave or grow your hair out. So like the fact that, I think that short hair, everything that you said about fertility and relating it to like class because you, also it’s maybe a sign of like good health, etc. to have long hair. I think it’s also seen as feminine because it’s literally less convenient than having, like, a buzz cut, you know? Marine [00:55:48] And so that’s so interesting that having short hair, even just if it’s a little bit less convenient, like if you’re at least going the extra length to, like, dye it or have it shaved a certain way so that you need it to get cut more often, like that on the spectrum also makes it more feminine. Like I almost see, like the spectrum of gender as like on one end being like, doing everything to align with your own comfort. And then on the other like actually doing everything counter to like what is most comfortable, what is most comfortable to wear or to sound like or to, you know, as being like more associated always with femininity. Nichole [00:56:29] Yeah, absolutely. I know, like I dated someone who is very into traditional gender roles, don’t ask me why. Marine [00:56:39] We’ve all been there. Nichole [00:56:41] Yeah, exactly. Internalized misogyny, we all have it. Yeah but I just remember him, he would say stuff like that all the time. Like, why don’t you wear heels more often? I’m like because they fucking hurt, why? You know, and he’d be like, well isn’t that the point though, like aren’t you supposed to do things like that? And it’s like…. I… No? Marine [00:57:03] I mean that’s what long nails is about too. Nichole [00:57:04] I mean I guess I’m supposed to but I don’t want to. Callie [00:57:08] “Isn’t that the point though, that they’re supposed to hurt”… Nichole [00:57:11] Yeah. Yeah, and he very much like felt that way that, you know, how you’re showing up in the world should be communicating how much effort you put in- Marine [00:57:22] Yes. Nichole [00:57:23] To be there and to be performing roles in the way that you’re expected to. So like, he put a lot of time and effort into his appearance as well. And I was always like, do you. I don’t care about that. None of that is doing anything for me. But if that’s what makes you comfortable, fine. But he, like, had very much internalized, you know, like if you’re a woman like you wear makeup, you have long hair. He wanted me to have thick, curly, like Jessica Simpson type hair. And I’m like, I literally don’t have that hair, though. Callie [00:57:58] Oh, my god. Nichole [00:58:00] I was like my hair like, literally doesn’t do that. And he’s like, well, can’t you, he’s like, I’ll pay for it. Like, can’t you get extensions? Can’t you do this or that? Marine [00:58:09] Oh my god! Nichole [00:58:09] And I’m like- Callie [00:58:09] Yeah, I was just gonna say, neither does Jessica Simpson’s hair. Like long, flowy, perfectly curled waved hair, it’s like that shit is all fake. Nichole [00:58:18] Yeah, golden blonde. It’s all fake. Marine [00:58:20] Yeah. Nichole [00:58:22] Yeah, and that’s what I would tell him, like she doesn’t even have her hair, you know? And he would just be like, well yeah, so that means you can have it, you just have to pay for it and I’ll pay for it. And I was like, no. Marine [00:58:34] Oh my god! Callie [00:58:36] Wow. Nichole [00:58:36] I don’t… I was like, buy me a fuckin Xbox. Like, don’t, I don’t want to have like fake hair on my head. And no judging anybody, I’m just like the lowest maintenance person ever and I was like, that sounds terrible. That sounds like the opposite of anything I want. And just as I’ve like gone throughout the last few years of my life, I’ve just, probably the last five years, I’ve just gotten so and so and so much more radically committed to just being comfortable. And it is amazing how political that is. When you’re like, I just want to feel comfortable. I just don’t want to have pain in my body because of what I’m wearing or what I’m like walking in or what I’m, you know, I just like, I just don’t want to have pain my body throughout the day. And people are like, “What?! That’s so immature, grow up!” And it’s like it’s immature to not want to be in pain? Marine [00:59:32] Yeah. I think about that also with the like trend of having, and I know that with the trend of having really long nails. And I know that like that has like certain like cultural significance for, for certain people but I’m speaking like not about that. But I see like again, since I teach in high school, it’s always what I think about, but like a lot of like the girls there have like these long fake nails and like end up having like a lot of trouble typing or not being able to participate in P.E. and like ,I just feel like the act of like making an esthetic choice that makes it more difficult to just do daily tasks is like in itself a demonstration of how committed you are to femininity. Nichole [01:00:19] Yeah. And it stems from, you know, classism. It stems from having the ability to be able to not participate in certain things, even if that’s not your actual experience, that’s what you’re like replicating, is the look of someone who can opt-out of certain physical activities because they have someone else to do them for them. And yeah, and like somehow we’ve attributed the ultimate in femininity is not actually, I think we think of like a housewife, but like I don’t think that that is actually it. I think it really is like the rich white lady who’s laying around and just has, like, servants around her but is like always perfectly put together. Because that speaks to the success of her husband, right? Like, she literally becomes this billboard for success and wealth. So I think that that’s all very interesting, too. Nichole [01:01:18] And I think that’s why I’ve always been kind of drawn to the more punk esthetic or something that is trying to, like, challenge that and be more like homegrown and DIY and like not, you know, things that are more practical. Like, I love a pair of boots. You know, like boots, you could go kick someone with or stand around in or walk in or whatever, like they’re very useful. Like, I just really love practical things. But I had a long period of time where I kind of didn’t know that about myself because I was… I just remember, I think all through my teens, my 20s, just struggling. And I think like I’ve always had a closet that’s been full of like 500 different types of looks. And I think a big part of that is because I did always want to be comfortable. And I always was actually more drawn to practical things. But I was convincing myself that I wanted the other side. That I wanted to like, that I actually enjoyed and liked the look of like high heels and all this other stuff. Nichole [01:02:26] And not to say that I don’t, but it’s been interesting, I was talking to Callie about this. Since I cut my hair and I’ve been having gender euphoria and been like, so happy, more and more and more of my clothes are giving me gender dysphoria. And I know that that might sound bad, but I think it’s actually good because I think it’s like for the first time me finally actually seeing myself the way that I like, feel and seeing these clothes around me and like how they don’t actually represent how I feel inside. But I think that was also confused before with like knowing that I was different and wanting to do my own thing, but also still like having to perform in a professional capacity and dating and having someone else’s input on my appearance. And, you know, I think now like getting further and further from that, I’m just finally starting to whittle it down into what is actually my style and what is actually feeling good for me. Nichole [01:03:34] And it’s wild. Like I could probably give away like two-thirds of my clothes right now and that makes me angry. Honestly, it makes me angry that I just had so little sense of my true self. I was telling Callie like I used to get dressed and even when I thought I looked good, I would still just not feel right. And I just could never, it was like, is it my earrings? Is it a necklace? Do I need to fix my makeup? And I would just spend so much time like tweaking and just still never quite feeling right. And now I can put on a t-shirt and have, you know, nothing on and just be like I look like the shit, I’m so excited. You know, like I’m just walking around my house all happy. And I think a big part of it was like not having the right gender presentation and not understanding like what was me versus what was me trying to interpret social norms for myself. Marine [01:04:27] Yeah, that’s really interesting because it’s almost as if like cutting your hair off allowed you to really align with what you wanted from your gender expression and now you’re actually seeing more clearly like the clothes that are around you and how they make you feel. And it’s also so interesting for me to hear because I’m like, wow, that was the opposite of my experience. Nichole [01:05:00] I know, which is why I wanted to have you on! Marine [01:05:01] But almost like, I feel like your experience is almost giving me permission to feel what I felt. Also, just to know that, like, being able to cut your hair can make you like align in a new way with your gender identity and see your stylistic, like, actually realize your stylistic vision of how you want to portray yourself to the world. And I feel like, for me, it did like, it really like, set me off balance and made it… And also I was just, yeah, it was just this constant frustration of like, oh, I want my hair to be like more minimal until like and to align with this political reason for why I cut my hair. But actually, like, everything I want to do is counter to that and that being like an uncomfortable place to be. So I don’t know, that’s, yeah, that’s fucking awesome. Yeah. Nichole [01:05:45] It’s been great. Yeah, I was gonna say, like, I even wanted to wear this little thing today and I love the pattern and the colors, but it just, I was like, it doesn’t feel right, you know? Yeah. It just sucks. If it was a button-down shirt I would be wearing it. But it’s like one of those kimono tops and I just was like, I tried to make it work. I played with my makeup. I play with my earrings. And I finally was like, girl, it’s the fucking thing, just take it off. And once I did, I was like, oh, I feel so much better, you know? And just thinking like, yeah, the enormous amount, like I just took out, I also tried to wear a jumpsuit because I love a jumpsuit moment and none of my jumpsuits feel right. So I’m like, okay, now I have all these jumpsuits I want to like, sell or give away. Callie [01:06:33] And you were so focused. Like you and I spent like a year where you were just like constantly looking for the perfect jumpsuit. You just so wanted a- Nichole [01:06:42] I never found it either. Callie [01:06:43] Well jumpsuits are very tricky, you know. Nichole [01:06:46] They are, they are. Callie [01:06:47] But yeah, many a conversation of this perfect speaker outfit you would find where it was like this fire jumpsuit. Nichole [01:06:55] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and you know, I’ve talked about it on the show, but my big boobs like make things still difficult. So, you know, that’s still a struggle. But I feel like I can kind of tell now when it’s like my boobs are throwing me off and that I can at least deal with it because I can name it and kind of understand it. But yeah, it brought me a lot of clarity and a lot of peace. And I just wanted to have your story out there because I want to let it be known that it’s okay if it didn’t do that for you. And I don’t think we have to pretend that like what’s empowering for someone else is also empowering for us. You know, I think you being able to, like, be honest that you wanted to have long hair again and work your way back towards that is just as valid as my experience of like, I don’t know if I can ever have long hair again, you know? I don’t know, I’m not saying I won’t, I just like, right now it’s not something I can picture and I’m just allowing myself to, like, revel in that. Callie [01:07:53] Yeah. Marine [01:07:58] Callie, how has it felt for you to buzz the side of your head? Callie [01:08:03] I have loved it, honestly. I’ve had a lot more mixed feelings about it since being in quarantine because I feel like my hairstylist being able to cut it with scissors like I feel like I’m discovering, I don’t know if it’s like cowlicks or I just like am using the buzzers wrong? Marine [01:08:22] Cow fuckin licks. Callie [01:08:22] But I have like these weird spots, you know? Like I just, it’s not even. And it annoys me. But yeah, I love it. I mean, it’s definitely become for me a really cool, I did it honestly because I got my ear pierced a year ago, these two little cute little studs that Nichole suggested that I fucking love and like I got my hair cut a few days after that because I realized with, you know, trying to heal a piercing, especially around your ear, your long hair, especially when you have as much hair as I do like, my hair is so thick and stuff, it was just going to be constantly tugging on the piercings. And I’m like, I’m just gonna go, like, shave this whole side of my head so my hair wouldn’t be in the way and it would also show my piercings off better. And I’ve just loved it ever since. Callie [01:09:13] It definitely has become like a way that I’m kind of like asserting some queerness, you know, because like to have bright pink hair and to have one side shaved has been really fun. But, yeah, it’s been really interesting listening to you two talk about this. And it’s funny because Nichole and I have had similar conversations many, many times. But this is like, it’s making me think a lot about my gender presentation because it was interesting hearing the quote about like performing femininity in these certain ways isn’t just about the way you look. It’s about like telling people that you’re willing to spend that much time on your appearance. And I’m like, that’s something I have, like, never done. Callie [01:10:07] Like, I think that’s why I am constantly joking about how difficult it is for me to like, do my hair because it’s so much fucking time for me. I know compared to other people, they do their hair a lot and I’m just like more power to you. But I just, I hate it. Like I really resent having to take the amount of time to, like, wash and style my hair and all of this stuff. But there’s been this resistance, to… I mean, I’ve definitely had shorter hair in the past. Interestingly, it was when I was in a smaller body. Like I feel like there’s something… Long hair kind of lets you hide if you want. Right, like, for a lot of reasons, I feel like you don’t really stand out. You’re not really sending this political message that you’re like telling fuck you to the system or our gender roles. And also you can just kind of literally hide behind your hair. Marine [01:11:05] Yeah, yeah, yeah. Callie [01:11:08] And I feel like it’s kind of an expectation for people in bigger bodies. You know, this idea that like, oh, it kind of hides, you know, if your face is a little bit rounder or something like that. Right, you can just kind of literally have this, like, beautiful flowing hair and fly a little bit more under the radar and be more acceptable to the mainstream. But, yeah, it’s interesting that, like, I’ve been so resistant to the idea. Like honestly I would love to, like, not have hair. Like I think about this all the time, but I don’t actually want a shaved head. And listening to this conversation is making me kind of like process all of that and you know, like reevaluate. Not necessarily like wanting to have a shaved head, but just like the really the true reasons why I think I’ve been so resistant to having, like, cutting all my hair off, you know, because it- Nichole [01:12:11] Well they’re definitely. Sorry, go ahead. Callie [01:12:12] No, go ahead. Nichole [01:12:12] Well, I was just going to say, I mean, there definitely is expectation on bigger bodies, especially female bodies, that you are going to make up for that by showing that you’re putting in a lot of time and attention into the esthetics. Right, you’re gonna be well-dressed, you’re going to have beautiful hair, nails, makeup, like everything is gonna be on point so that you can say, okay, I broke this one rule, but I am otherwise like obeying the standards. And so I do think that there, and also like Vergie Tovar talks about this, I mentioned it before, but like she talks about how larger female bodies are masculinized. I think this happens to black women as well. Like, I think that there’s, I think that there’s something there with trying to police who is allowed to have access to femininity in this like white Christian way that we have like for our standards. Nichole [01:13:15] And yeah, so I think that that, and we know, like, fatphobia is tied to racism so it like, you know, all comes together. But I think that there is a lot of that. You see that a lot, that like people in larger bodies feel the need, like women, feel the need to like over-perform in order to like, pass right? To be allowed access to still, you know, some social capital. And so, yeah, I do think that like, because I know, like, you know, as someone in a plus-sized body, I’m having a very hard time with all of it with my gender, because I feel like my shape genders me in a way that I don’t want to be. And I’m just trying to work my way through that, like, figure that all out. Nichole [01:14:06] But I know that, like, that is part of what feels very radical to me. Like I’ve been selling stuff and I’ll go out to meet the buyer and I’m just wearing like jean shorts and a t-shirt and my shaved head, no makeup. And I’m just like, you know, I just I’m aware that for a lot of people, that’s going to look like lazy, masculine, queer, but like in bad ways, you know? And it’s something that I have to, like, still constantly process. And so even everything I said before still applies, like, I do feel really good. And I feel that I would be able to like, say, enter a workspace with a lot more confidence and not, and not be as, have a hard time with it as I would have in the beginning. But I am also still navigating professional spaces or society’s expectations in a lot of ways. Nichole [01:14:59] Like today I had a, I sold something that was pretty valuable and I was like, should I put on makeup? Like to be honest, that’s even why I pulled the jumpsuits out because I’m like, oh, maybe I’ll throw one of these on to be more presentable, so this person will trust me more, you know? And then I was like, oh, that’s still there, interesting. So it’s like, yeah, no matter how solid you are in your own thing, I think we all know that we’re constantly still trying to have access to some measure of privilege and some measure of passible presentation, while also trying to express ourselves. And that’s hard and society makes it hard on purpose. Callie [01:15:40] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s always interesting, you know, hearing you bring up Vergie Tovar’s experience, right, of when she was younger being really masculinized because of her bigger body size and now she performs this like really extreme form of femininity, right as kind of a fuck you to a society that pushed her into a gender expression that she did not choose and was not comfortable with, and how like queer and radical and amazing that all is and stuff. But it’s interesting because my experience, it’s not, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was like the opposite of that, because my parents, like, always kind of put this sense of, like, you have to be, you know, you have to present, like, femininely. So I was not really masculinized, but also… Nichole [01:16:34] But don’t you think them pushing you to present so femininely was masculinized you? Callie [01:16:40] Maybe, yeah. Yes. Nichole [01:16:42] It was them saying we’re afraid that if you don’t hyper perform femininity, then you will not have access to these. Callie [01:16:49] Yes, for sure. For sure. Yeah because, like you said it really well a minute or two ago. It is kind of this like, oh, I’m not doing this thing that I’m supposed to so I’m gonna like, make up for it in all of these other ways, you know? Like I’m sorry, I’m in a bigger body and I’m taking up too much space and I’m not doing what I should be by, like, presenting myself in this, you know, thin feminine package, so I’m going to, like, make up for it by doing all these other things. What’s funny to me is I’m now realizing, like, I don’t do those other things either, but I still feel like I, I have to, but I like, don’t. And I’m like, well that’s interesting. I don’t really know what that means then. Callie [01:17:35] Cause like I’m not, it’s been interesting like working from home more because like obviously you’re, no one sees you so you’re dressing a lot more for comfort than you are for anything else. And so now it’s like getting myself to go out and run errands is a struggle in and of itself. So if I can, like, get myself to the grocery store, I usually am a lot more gentle with myself, as like whatever you can manage to put on your body to get you out the door is fine. But I’m not necessarily, like, comfortable. Like, if I go to the store in like, leggings and a T-shirt, you know, I’m not, I don’t feel good about that but I also don’t feel like bad about it either. It’s been really interesting, I feel like. It’s making me really wonder, like, how I actually want to present, you know? Nichole [01:18:32] Yeah. Callie [01:18:32] And I don’t know, to be honest. This is making me question everything! Nichole [01:18:41] That’s what we’re here for. Callie [01:18:43] Yeah, that’s very interesting. Nichole [01:18:48] Yeah, it was cool, I did go out on Instagram and solicited people’s stories, like about their hair journeys and stuff, and it was almost, I think it was universal that everyone said it was just really empowering for them and that they really liked it. But a lot of people have also grown their hair back out and talked about how they wanted to cut it again. And I do think there’s something in that as well that is, I think, part of right now why I can’t picture having long hair again is because I think people would see that as me like, changing back. Marine [01:19:24] Yes! I mean, that is something I run into all the time where people are like, oh, well, at least you tried it. And I’m just like, I never told you that I tried it and that I didn’t like it so I grew up back out. But that’s like their default assumption. I mean, that’s kind of true but I don’t want to tell them. Nichole [01:19:42] Right. I don’t want to validate your opinion. No and it was interesting because a lot of people mentioned that for them, a big part of it is just enjoying the change or maybe liking having longer hair to have different options for how to style it and play with it and just it being another piece of expression. And I feel that way as well. Like, I think I’m satisfied right now because I’m playing so much with color. But I could see like at some point, I love changing my hair all the time and so I could see growing it back out just to be able to do different styles. But not being like, oh, that was a phase and now I’m over it. And that would be really annoying to me and I just know that that’s what people would think like oh, thank god. Like, I can’t tell you how many dudes I fucking met who are like, not with this hair but with my previous asymmetrical haircut or like when I had what was basically a pixie, they’ll be like oh it looks so good, whatever, and then immediately are like, are you gonna grow it out? Marine [01:20:45] Yes. Yeah. Nichole [01:20:47] So like, is it safe to like you or date you because eventually you’ll have long hair and for now I can be cool that I like the girl with short hair? Callie [01:20:56] But it’s only going to be short-lived. Eventually you’re going to settle down and we’re going to be normie. Nichole [01:21:01] And it’s like, yeah, I might grow back out, but I’m gonna tell you right now I’m going to chop it all off again at some point too. Like that is my jam. I love changing my hair up. Callie [01:21:10] Well, and the funniest thing is that that immediately makes me think of, and I feel like you should tell this story, but like we had a friend who told you a thing about her hair. And so the idea of like a guy liking someone with short hair and then being like, oh, but she’ll grow up back out again. Do you know who I’m…? Nichole [01:21:30] What was the thing? I need context. Callie [01:21:33] Her name starts with an a. Famously she talked about her hair length and dating. Nichole [01:21:42] Famously… How she was going to trap someone with her long hair? Callie [01:21:45] Mm hmm, yes. Nichole [01:21:48] Yes. Yeah, I have, we had a friend, I’ll use that word loosely, who was like your typical like SoCal like Southern California, like blonde yoga queen type person. And yeah, she would always talk about how she had a pixie cut before and she loved it and she like wanted to have her hair super short, but she was keeping it long to get a husband and she was going to cut it after she got married, and it was like, everything about this is offensive to me. Because I’m like, your partner should not care what you do with your body. Marine [01:22:26] Imagine like, what a low bar that is to stand for your future, put up for your future partner. Nichole [01:22:33] Yeah, yeah, seriously. Callie [01:22:33] Well and then it just makes a laugh because a guy being like, oh, I like you when you have a short hair but you’re going to grow it back out. And then the idea of like them dating someone with long hair and her being like, just kidding, I trapped you now fucker! And then like cutting all her hair off. That just brings me endless enjoyment. In a very fucked up way. I acknowledge that. Marine [01:22:54] I feel like that is the one thing that I liked about short hair too. I was like, this is just such a natural filter. I mean, granted not and a super radical one or anything, but like, OK, at least if I have a dude that’s gonna comment on like, that I’d look better with long hair, like I was never like, oh damn I missed out on like a chance to meet a great guy! You know, I’m like, okay, well thank god, he can, you know, yeah. Nichole [01:23:16] I know. I had a bouncer at a bar once, you know, he was like everyone coming in and I used to have very long hair, like down to my butt, and the I.D. I had at the time, like had me with that long hair. And he was like, “I miss your long hair.” Callie [01:23:34] Ew! Nichole [01:23:35] And I was like, I don’t. I was like, if you want, I can send you a bag of it. If you want it. Callie [01:23:42] Ew, god. Nichole [01:23:43] It was so weird. Like, it just, it’s endless the way people will police you. Like just random people saying random shit for no fucking reason. Like random bouncer at a bar, like why, who are you to me? Literally no one, and yet you need me to know- Marine [01:23:59] Because you’re just asking for it if you cut your hair. I’m allowed to, yeah. Nichole [01:24:04] That’s the thing. That’s the thing. People think if you do anything with your body, that you are soliciting comments and opinions. And that is something we need to do away with. Connects back to like what Callie was saying about Chadwick Boseman and like just stop commenting on people’s bodies. You never know. Like I’ve heard of, I haven’t had this happen to me yet, but I’m just, like, waiting. But I’ve heard of so many people saying when they buzz their head that people, like, come up to them in the grocery store and be like, are you sick? And it’s like, what if I was, you know, like everything about that question is so fucking weird to me. Marine [01:24:42] That was a big thing with my parents. They were like, if you cut, you can’t cut your hair because you’re too thin, people are going to think you’re sick. And that was a big, you know, and then I was like, oh, I mean, I was really mad at them for telling me that but then I was like, oh well, I mean, are really people are going to think I’m sick? Nichole [01:24:58] Then you think about it, right? Callie [01:24:58] Dude rip to whoever is bold enough to say that to you, Nic, like they’d be dead and buried. Nichole [01:25:06] They will be. They’ll be like, “Clean-up in aisle 5, there’s this smoldering pile of bones on the ground.” Callie [01:25:17] Yeah, god, I just… Nichole [01:25:23] Well, we just blew Callie’s mind. Callie [01:25:25] You really did. Nichole [01:25:27] I can see you’re doing your wheel turning face. Callie [01:25:30] It is my wheel turning face. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t, I really don’t know what to make of any of this. In a good way. But it’s so funny because I don’t really know why this conversation somehow, like, penetrated deep when like so many others really haven’t. But it is, it is all, my wheels are definitely turning. Because yeah, like I just really want to get to a place, I think, where I… Well, and also I feel like I have to say too that I think part of what’s been interesting with my recent hair journey is really wanting to like present more queer because I want a girlfriend. Marine [01:26:20] Same. Nichole [01:26:21] I love that for you. Callie [01:26:23] Thank you. And it’s like it’s been interesting because as much as I, and I famously bring this up every episode, I think now, talk about the lesbian thirst traps on Tik-Tok and how much they have been affirming my queerness and my attraction to people besides cis het men. But it’s been interesting starting to try to figure out like what like specifically I’m attracted to and who I’m attracted to and all of that stuff. And realizing that, I think in a really complicated way, there’s so much like labeling that goes on in the queer community that like kind of, doesn’t with like straight couples. I mean, you’re kind of all expected to present a certain way. But I’m like, am I a femme? Like, I don’t really think I want to perform femininity to like that extreme because that triggers some stuff with like being a person in bigger body and my parents always pushing me to present ladylike, you know, so I can, like, trap a man and like… Nichole [01:27:27] You just trap em! Callie [01:27:28] Trap them! Nichole [01:27:29] You just catch them and you don’t let them go. Callie [01:27:32] Just lock em down, yeah. Nichole [01:27:35] That’s why we do kegels. So we can trap a man. Callie [01:27:40] Literally, with our vaginas. Nichole [01:27:42] Literally. Like, I gotchya! Callie [01:27:45] Oh my god. This is definitely a mimosa day. I missed such an opportunity. Nichole [01:27:54] I know. I wish I had tequila right now, it would be perfect. Callie [01:27:57] Oh my god. But it’s just been really interesting because now I’m like, oh, I really want to present more queer. And not just to like, you know, I just am excited about kind of the freedom of like, oh, I like trying to escape some of like the compulsory heterosexual behavior, right, that we’re all brought up with. So it’s like I really want to present more, but I’m like, oh, it feels like I have to, like, pick. Like, I have to know, right, like how I want to present so that, like, people know I’m, because then there’s this whole thing where people don’t really ever think like femme lesbians are lesbians because they just look very girly and, you know, men hit on them and then yes, stem lesbians don’t think that they’re… So it’s just been all very interesting I feel like, because I am, I think I’m gonna get my haircut and I am like, oh, but like that’s not like super femme. So it’s like I want to be more queer, but I also, like, don’t know how to do it in a way that like puts me neatly in a box that it seems like queer people want you to kind of fall in, right? So yeah. Nichole [01:29:08] I struggle with that too with gender as well. Callie [01:29:10] Yeah. Nichole [01:29:11] And sexuality because I’m kind of like top energy of course, daddy. But daddy for daddy. So it’s like what does that esthetic look like? I don’t even know. But really I mean it is, it is very… While I was exploring my gender, trying to find a label that explained my experience, it did start to feel like I had to sort of pick. And I’m very lucky that we are friends with some other activists who identify as transmasculine and have had journeys that have been a model for me to follow. Where they’re not really, one person probably is a bit more traditionally masculine at this point. But like, they’re not really following any set path of anything. And that has been really, really helpful for me because otherwise, I agree, like when I go out and look at different social media accounts, it does kind of feel like there’s specific esthetics or specific labels, and you kind of just like fall into one of these. Nichole [01:30:21] So knowing people who are like, I’m not going to be boxed in, I’m doing all this stuff. Like one of our buddies, like someone we’re, you know, friendly with when we see them at conventions and stuff, conferences and stuff is, I think, using he/him pronouns now. So he buzzed his head initially to kind of go on you know, the standard nonbinary trans masculine journey and now has grown his hair out pretty long and is just like I now feel like my hair is the most masculine part of me. But I kind of had to go on this whole journey to get there. And I think that that is really powerful. Nichole [01:31:03] And I think too, when we look at like people of color, black and indigenous people, you know, hair is obviously extremely political in nonwhite spaces as well. And I think that it can be really powerful to, like, come back around to your hair and find, like, whatever expression in that for them, because, you know, it’s just such a heavily policed thing. And so it’s just been interesting to think about all of that. And like, yeah, I agree, like, I don’t know how, like, if I was to go on the apps, like, I don’t know how I would like, identify myself because I don’t really fit neatly into any particular box necessarily. Callie [01:31:54] Yeah. Well, I mean, you’re very much- Nichole [01:31:55] And yeah, there is a lot of pressure for that. Callie [01:31:56] Yeah, oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you. Nichole [01:31:58] You were gonna say? Were you about to call me a daddy? Callie [01:32:00] Yeah, I was just gonna say you don’t need to label yourself as anything now, if you were to go on the apps. They’re gonna look at you and be like, definitely top/daddy energy. Nichole [01:32:10] Giving you top energy. Callie [01:32:10] You don’t even need to say anything. Nichole [01:32:13] Yeah. Callie [01:32:14] Yeah. Nichole [01:32:15] Yeah I’ll just post a bunch of pictures like of my white t’s and my tank tops. No bio. Yeah, you know what? I’ve earned enough masculinity that I don’t have to write a fucking bio because that’s what these lazy boys do. They don’t write any bio. And you’re like, excuse me sir, can you tell me one thing about you? Would that be too much effort? Callie [01:32:37] Yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting. It doesn’t make it complicated. I feel like the only thing I like about my hair is when it’s pink. I’m like, I don’t really know about the length. I don’t want to do anything with it. I just know that I want it to be pink because that to me feels like it doesn’t, it makes me happy and it doesn’t make me kind of question like, have these big existential crises of like how, you know, am I more on the femme end, am I not? Like I’m obviously not on the masc end, but like being in a bigger body? Like, what does that mean, you know? It’s all a lot. Marine [01:33:20] I will say. I’ve been thinking about two different points. Like, the first one is something that I meant to bring up earlier when I was saying, like people were like, oh, well, you tried your hair short and I guess, you know, you just tried it and now you realize, like, you don’t like it or something? And I made a passing comment like, well, yeah, they don’t realize that’s true, but I don’t want them to know. But it’s not true because I never did it because I thought it would look better. I did it as a challenge also to myself for like, OK, what would it, what you know, what is it going to feel like if I just chop off like a foot and a half of my hair, you know? And I think that, like, it did it… And I think that, like the challenges that I felt like internally at the time, like I never resented it or it was just like, well, I just want my hair to be long again. Like, I knew I wanted to grow it out. But it was very much, like I feel like I did learn about myself during that time and I just observed the discomfort that I felt. And so I definitely don’t regret cutting it. Marine [01:34:19] And so I think that’s also why it really annoys me when people say, like, oh, you’ve decided to, you realize you didn’t like it. Because it’s like, can you not do something with your body that isn’t in line, like it has to be in line with whatever is going to be most attractive to men. Callie [01:34:40] Yes. Marine [01:34:42] So I was thinking about that. And then… Man, I feel like I was thinking of something else. My point has escaped me. Pink hair… Nichole [01:34:56] Very relatable. Happens to me all the time. Callie [01:34:56] Yeah. But no, it’s true. I mean, I think that’s why I have like a hard time, because I very much grew up under this, like, oh, everything you do has to be like working towards this overall goal of like making sure men are attracted to you. And, yeah, that can really fuck with your sense of like, what do I actually like? Like, I don’t know. I feel like the only thing I can think of right now that really makes me happy is that green flowered kimono top I’ve worn on a couple, for some reason that makes me so happy. Nichole [01:35:32] Well it’s beautiful. Callie [01:35:33] I’m like, maybe that’s my gender, I don’t know. Just that shirt. Just that. Marine [01:35:39] A green kimono top. Nichole [01:35:40] Just that shirt. I love that. Marine [01:35:40] Yeah, well, I just remembered. Oh, go ahead, go ahead. Callie [01:35:43] Oh no, I was done. Marine [01:35:47] No no no. Are you sure? Callie [01:35:47] Yeah. Marine [01:35:47] Well I just remembered the other point that I was gonna make, which is that I feel like whenever you take… I remember on one episode you talked about this, Callie. You were like, now that I’ve taken, now that I sort of like buzzed my hair and it’s pink and I’m fine with just being loud and taking up more space, like there’s something that’s like kind of empowering about that process where every step that you take that is like removing you from the traditional performance of, like, your correct gender, it gets kind of easier to take that next step. And I felt like that was sort of the urge that, like, when I cut my hair and I didn’t really like it, that’s why I was like, well, I want to buzz it now, and now maybe I want to get a tattoo. And now, like… You know? Marine [01:36:30] It was because it was the first thing that I did that wasn’t, that was, because I present as, like, very kind of traditionally feminine and like, and not really like transgressing any norms with like how I present. And so I think that, like, I definitely felt like I like, even though it was an interesting thing to go through, I felt like I sort of lost something when I cut my hair. And that I could like, if I just grew up back then I could be back to, like, the very comfortable sort of like ticking off all the boxes. I mean, it sounds like probably worse than it actually… It sounds bad when I say it like that but I think you get what I mean that like there’s something about like, maybe it being like, yeah, every step you take away, like that’s, I’m always like, really… Marine [01:37:32] When you were talking about the woman who was in a larger body who decided, like, well, I’m going to present super feminine also as a fuck you to those who tell me that, like, it’s not feminine, the way that I act. And like maybe having even more liberation just come from like, OK, well, I’m already not ticking off these boxes that you want me to tick off so, like, let me just, like, fully explore what it means to me to be liberated. Callie [01:38:00] Yeah. Yeah. Well and like as you said, like cutting off your hair, you do lose something. You lose a measure of privilege. You lose a measure of safety, right, of obscurity in a way. Marine [01:38:13] Obscurity, yeah. Callie [01:38:14] You know? Like because yeah, you’re still, there’s, you obviously get attention as a person who’s like, you know, a conventionally attractive person will get a measure of attention in that way. But it’s like a very different kind of attention when you’re someone who is like very willingly like standing out, you know, by having a bright hair color or short hair or a buzzed head or, you know, a goth look. I mean, there’s so many ways that people, especially that are perceived as female, can like really be kind of glaringly like flipping off society that will stand out, right? It’s just really sad that it feels like there’s nothing we can do that like, will just let people leave us the fuck alone, you know? Nichole [01:39:09] Yeah, give me that haircut. Callie [01:39:12] Yeah. Yeah, I saw a Tik-Tok by this beautiful woman and she was talking about, she was like joking, she’s like honestly like I just want to be able to like go outside and like no one fucking talk to me. She was like, I just want, she was like, what is that? Like what, how do I get that? You know, because I think she was talking about, like the story started about how like she told this guy to like, you know, not talk to her. And he’s like, oh, I guess I just won’t talk to anyone. And she’s like, yeah, literally. I want no men ever talking to me out in public ever again. And I just was thinking about that in context of like this conversation and the fact of, like, you’re either conventionally attractive to a point where people like are gonna be cat calling you and harassing you in public or constantly commenting on your looks. Or you’re not presenting in the way you’re supposed to and then people are also gonna be commenting on your look. And there just doesn’t ever seem to be this like, just let people fucking be, you know? Marine [01:40:17] Yeah. Nichole [01:40:19] Yeah. Yeah. But that’s the job of social norms, right? Is to, it’s a built-in policing mechanism to make sure that anyone who’s crossing the line- Marine [01:40:31] Retributed for it. Nichole [01:40:31] Get just constantly reminded about it and has to defend it and think about it constantly. Cause, Callie, I think like for you, that’s why your pink hair is so radical because you’re a person in a larger body celebrating yourself. You are putting time and money and effort into not performing the way that you’re expected to, right? Callie [01:40:55] Yeah. Nichole [01:40:55] You’re supposed to not take up space. You’re supposed to apologize for your existence. And like a head of bright pink hair- Marine [01:41:02] Mm hmm, does not signal that. Nichole [01:41:03] Is the opposite of that. Right? Like you are putting time and money into it, but you’re putting time and money into fuck you, I’m having fun and this is how I want to show up in the world. Callie [01:41:14] That just… Ahh! That felt so good! I didn’t even think about it in that way. That makes me so happy. I mean, I knew I loved it but like that’s true. That’s very true. Nichole [01:41:27] Yeah. And same with your makeup. You know, you’ve talked about your makeup a lot, and it’s the same thing. It’s like I’m taking the time to watch these YouTube tutorials and like, I’m spending the money on this makeup and I’m taking the time to do the makeup. But it’s not to be pleasing. Right, it’s to actually, in a way, not that you’re doing it to call attention to yourself, but you’re doing it in a way that does call attention to you. Instead of apologizing for your existence, you’re there celebrating it. And that’s very radical. Even if technically you’re still performing the same actions, right, as someone who is performing femininity in the correct way Callie [01:42:08] Yeah, I saw the funniest conversation or media, I can’t really remember what the context of it was, but it was something like people with bright hair, especially like feminine presenting people with bright hair, like it was some fuckin, like, dude who is like, they’re like the poisonous animals, you know, that like have like wild, you know, like a poisonous frog or whatever that’s like a bright color. And so other things in nature are like, oh, shit, like don’t fuck with that. And there was like this girl responding and she was like, that’s fuckin right, like, don’t approach me. It was like this hilarious, like yeah, stay away. All the people out there with bright fucking hair colors, it is a warning, stay the fuck away. Marine [01:42:56] That’s so true. I feel like all the tropical poisonous animals are like the brightest, like yeah. Callie [01:43:03] Right? Yeah. Nichole [01:43:03] They’re pretty, yeah. Callie [01:43:04] Yeah. Yeah. I mean and you think about like snakes or you know- Marine [01:43:07] Frogs or… Callie [01:43:08] Other kind of animals like spiders and stuff. Like usually it’s the things with like the brightly colored markings that it’s like oh don’t fuck with, don’t fuck with that. So yeah. So she’s like yeah, it does keep all the, all the little people like you that are gonna be like oh my god, that fucking blue hair. She’s like, that’s right. Keeps you all away. Goodness gracious. Nichole [01:43:34] Well, I think I’ve said everything I have to say. Marine [01:43:39] Me as well. Callie [01:43:40] Well, I’m very honored that y’all included me in this conversation. I think it was a very interesting one. And I think it just goes to show that, like, again, like people checking in with themselves and figuring out what’s going to make them feel good. Whether it is like cutting their hair off, even if it’s temporary, you know, and they end up choosing something else, or if they end up finding some gender euphoria like this babe over there. But yeah, very, very cool. Marine [01:44:14] But yeah, I did feel like when we were exchanging voice notes about this, I was like, well, I don’t feel like my experience is very interesting. And it’s kind of lame in a way because I cut it and then didn’t like it. But y’all were really affirming and were like no, I think that is a valid thing to talk about and that’ll be interesting to talk about. Callie [01:44:34] That’s super interesting! Nichole [01:44:36] Yeah, because I do, like in spaces like this, it is tempting to erase that narrative, right? It is tempting to be like, no, this is just affirming. That is the only valid experience of this. And I think it’s cool to, like, talk to people who are like, you know what, it actually wasn’t for me and I went through this journey and this is how I felt about it. And it’s so interesting too, like some of the stories we got, people were like, oh, I just bleached the shit out of my hair and it was all fried so I just buzzed it to like, start over. You know, just like everyone’s path to doing this is so different. But reading story after story, it just was so clear that no matter what your reason, doing this is very political. Nichole [01:45:24] And I’ve been thinking about that a lot since our queering anarchism episode. Because in that I said, you know, performing queerness, like it should be from a political space. And then I just kept thinking about that and I was like pretty much anything we do is political if we’re doing it because we truly want to or, you know, we’re playing with something. So, yeah, like, it was amazing how many comments we got that people were like, yeah, I just did it because my hair was fucking fried, and then I realized, like doing this for my comfort, doing this because I wanted to, like how affirming it was and how political it ended up being. So I thought that was really cool. Callie [01:46:05] Yeah. Wow, yeah. Well and I think there’s just too much pressure on us all to like, like if you do a thing, whether you meant it to necessarily be political or not, that you like, can’t feel bad about it. It’s almost like, oh, if I do something and then I do feel bad in the way society wants me to feel bad, that I have to like hide it or keep that a secret because then I’m like not a good feminist or I’m not a good queer person, you know, because I’m like bowing to the pressure. And it’s like, no, that’s fucking real. You know, like, Marine, your experience is so real. And I think it just points to, like, how pervasive and how much pressure there truly is on people to, like, present themselves in a certain way, you know? Callie [01:46:52] And whether you have long hair because you just genuinely love it or because you are like, I’m fucking tired of people being in my face about having short hair and I just don’t want my hair to be a thing anymore. Like both of those things are valid, you know? We just make people like, it’s that toxic positivity culture kind of experience, right, where it’s like you can’t necessarily be struggling with things because, and it’s like, well that’s stupid. Like these cultural pressures work for a reason, because they are so, like complex and so pervasive. Nichole [01:47:31] Nonstop. Callie [01:47:31] Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so… Nichole [01:47:36] Mm hmm. Callie [01:47:36] All right. Nichole [01:47:39] Yeah. All right. Callie [01:47:44] We’re done. Nichole [01:47:46] That’s it, that’s the show. So, if you liked what you saw, thank you. Like, hit the bell, subscribe. Not that order. Leave us a comment below. Leave us like a hair flip or a haircut emoji if you have nothing to say. That feeds the algorithm. Share us with people. If you’re listening to the podcast, thanks, we love you. Yeah and we will be back next week with Professor Flowers for our Dismantling Whiteness collaboration. We are very, very, very excited about this. It’s going to be awesome. Callie [01:48:31] Yes. Marine [01:48:32] Cool. Callie [01:48:33] Yeah. Nichole [01:48:34] Yeah. Yeah so we’ll be here to do that next week. So thank you all for tuning in and we’ll talk to you then. Callie [01:48:40] Buh-bye. Nichole [01:48:41] Bye, thanks for having me. Callie [01:48:43] Bye! The post 030 Short Hair, DO Care! Talking Hair, Gender, and the Patriarchy, with Marine! appeared first on Bitchy Shitshow.
Dexter represents white male exceptionalism to the extreme, and while this leads to poorly written female characters and nonsensical plot-lines structured only to preserve Dexter’s freedom and clean reputation; there is an aspect of the show that Nichole only noticed through re-watching – that it is an amazing representation of life on the spectrum – which makes the show both trash and treasure. Poppin Off Callie pops off about prison labor being used to fight fires in California while being paid slave wages and being barred from becoming firefighters or any other type of emergency responder after release. Nichole pops off about the economy in World of Warcraft and how it proves that capitalism doesn’t work, even in virtual environments. Resources @WaywardWinifred tweet about wildfires & prison labor@soyouwanttotalkabout Instagram post about inmate firefighters in California Joke A racist, a homophobe, a transphobe and an anti-semite walk into a bar…. (from @burgundybitch72 on Twitter) Why do pirates love nipple rings? (from TikTok) Main Topic: Dexter – White Male Exceptionalism, Autism, Child Abuse Callie FINALLY (lol) watched Dexter, Showtimes’ 2006-2013 hit series about a serial killer who works for Miami PD as a blood-splatter analyst and only kills other bad guys. Nichole decided to rewatch it so she could join in on the fun, and soon the two found themselves spending many hours sending video messages back and forth about the show and decided, as we often do, to put a mic in front of our faces and turn our lives into CONTENT FOR THE INTERWEBS. In watching/rewatching, many interesting themes came up for us. Callie garnered a pure hatred of this show for its blatant misogyny and racism, calling it, and I quote, “pure trash.” She also noticed many instances of bad consent, and that many things in the show would have been more compelling if Dexter had been written as, say, asexual and had communicated that to his partners. Nichole found a new appreciation for the show (while also making copious notes on the misogyny and racism) as the best representation she has ever seen of the autistic experience. It also teased (but did not deliver on) other interesting themes, particularly child abuse and what happens to people with personality disorders when we as a society and/or their parents decide that they are lost causes. We dissect (hehe, get it!?) all of this throughout this episode, going deep on the ways the show ultimately failed to deliver on anything except white male exceptionalism. Resources Dexter’s Disastrous Ending, Explained | The Take (YouTube)Dexter Series Finale review | Jeremey Jahns (YouTube) SUPPORT THE SHOW Follow us: Twitter | Instagram |YouTube Join our community: Facebook Group | Discord Server Donate to us: Patreon | PayPal Transcript Nichole [00:00:27] Hey, killers. Do you get it? Callie [00:00:32] I get it. Nichole [00:00:36] I’m Nichole. Callie [00:00:37] And I’m Callie. Nichole [00:00:39] And today we’ll be bitching about. Callie [00:00:41] Dexter. Nichole [00:00:45] Yes! Callie [00:00:45] Everyone’s favorite psychopath. Except ours, cause fuck that guy. Nichole [00:00:51] Well, it’s complicated for me. Callie [00:00:55] Oh, spoke too soon. Nichole [00:00:56] Yeah. So do you have something you want to talk about? Callie [00:01:03] I do. Nichole [00:01:05] I see you’ve prepped a little screen share here. Callie [00:01:07] I do. I am, I’m strangely in a like, super on top of it mood this weekend. So I was like, I got, I even got a surprise for you for later in the show. I got the Patreons ready and news ready to go. I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m feeling it. Nichole [00:01:28] I am ready for it. Callie [00:01:30] So we have probably popped off about this before, but since the state of California is once again just completely on fire, I thought it bears repeating in a relatively short pop top. So the first item I just want to highlight really quickly is this tweet by @WaywardWinifred that says, “California wildfires are raging and the prison labor workforce the state has relied on to work the fire lines are too sick with COVID-19 to show up for the job. Sit with this for a minute.” So, yeah, that’s really fucking gross to be honest. Callie [00:02:25] And then similarly, I saw this really great Instagram post by @soyouwanttotalkabout, “So you want to talk about inmate firefighters in California.” And it says, “According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, about 2,200 inmate firefighters are used to fight wildfires across the state. Overall, there are approximately 3,100 inmates working at fire camps. Approximately 2,200 of those are fire line-qualified inmates. (Cutting firelines, a gap in vegetation that serves as a barrier to slow the spread of fires.) Callie [00:03:06] “Inmates who participate in fire crews are required to go through the same training as the state’s seasonal firefighter employees and often must work on the frontlines of the fire. California has relied on incarcerated firefighters as its primary “hand crews” since the 1940s, and in the past few years, the number of inmate firefighters has grown to nearly a fourth of the state’s wild firefighters. Inmates have been fighting California’s wildfires since the 1940s when the state first called up prisoners to replace men assisting the war effort. More than 3,100 men and women – and even some juvenile offenders -“, which is so horrifying, “now voluntarily serve on the force. Collectively, they work on an average of 10 million hours each year, responding to fires and other emergencies and handling community service projects like park maintenance, reforestation, and fire and flood protection. Callie [00:04:06] “Inmate firefighters earn $2.90 – $5.12 per day, plus an additional $1 per hour during active emergency for their potentially life-threatening efforts. The firefighters they work alongside earn an average of $91,000 annually before overtime and bonuses.” Of which are usually extremely significant. That’s me editorializing. “Perhaps the sickest irony of all: When inmate firefighters get out of prison, they are very unlikely to be allowed to continue to fight fires as a career, even though they have the appropriate training. Callie [00:04:47] “Despite fighting California’s largest fires, inmates are denied licenses they need to become firefighters after they get out. Among the thousands of federal, state and local firefighters on the fire lines, there are also more than 2,500 prisoners who volunteer and trained to serve on fire crews. But while these men and women may work alongside professional firefighters now, once they get out of prison, their criminal record will make it virtually impossible for them to get hired as city and county firefighters. In California, nearly all counties require firefighters to become licensed emergency medical technicians, EMTs, a credential that can be denied to almost anyone with a criminal record. Callie [00:05:31] Once released from prison, inmate firefighters may apply for entry-level jobs with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. However, those jobs tend to be temporary seasonal positions in rural areas, often far from their families and the support necessary for successful reentry. Those types of jobs don’t typically require an EMT certification which is necessary to be hired by most municipal fire departments. According to the American Bar Association, the nation’s occupational and business licensing laws contain over 27,000 restrictions on ex-offenders, including bans on working as barbers or hosting bingo games. Those barriers impose significant costs. Research by the Center for Economic and Policy estimates that in 2014, employment barriers for the incarcerated and those with felony convictions cost the nation’s economy up to $87 billion in annual GDP, equal to the loss of 1.7 to 1.9 million workers.” Callie [00:06:38] And, “Proposed legislation to make it easier for California inmate firefighters to have their criminal records expunged faced resistance from a coalition of firefighters, police unions and state prosecutors.” Nichole [00:06:51] How shocking. Callie [00:06:53] Right? Why on earth? “A bill was proposed this year, “AB 2147″ by Assemblywoman Eloise Gómez Reyes, a Democrat in San Bernardino, would allow inmate firefighters to have an easier path at having their records expunged. The bill is currently going through the system after passing a second read on August 20th, 2020.” So I just… And there’s been all these articles that I saw come out this week about how many inmates were released early, like in the hundreds. Some estimates I saw were in the thousands, but it seemed like mostly it was just in the hundreds, of people that were released because they were trying to prevent the spread of COVID. You know, people that were nonviolent offenders, or close to having their time up, released early so that they wouldn’t, you know, be stuck in prison and then get COVID. Callie [00:07:52] And the state’s like, “Oh no, we released all these people. Who is going to fight our fires?” And it’s like maybe stop relying on fucking slavery to handle a crisis. Like, this is not new. Every fucking year, we have fires. It’s like basically one of our seasons because California is like, sunny. Nichole [00:08:16] It’s one of the things we are known for. Callie [00:08:18] Right?! Three quarters of the year, and then one quarter is like fucking fire season and it’s like everything just fucking burns. And it’s not new. We’re always just immediately overwhelmed. And we need to bring in firefighters from other states and they have the prison inmates out there working the fires, doing incredibly dangerous work. I mean, for five dollars a day on the higher end? Five dollars a day. Like… It’s so fucking disgusting and cruel and I just… I can’t, I can’t believe this is where we are. You know, people being like, “Oh my god, like what are we going to do now? We released all these people.” And it’s like, I don’t know, maybe go find the people that have been trained to fight fires and offer them jobs. They’re already trained and also stop relying on fucking slave labor. Like, I just can’t. Nichole [00:09:17] Exactly. Callie [00:09:18] Yeah. Nichole [00:09:20] Well… I have maybe a slightly tangentially related thing to pop off about. Callie [00:09:33] Oooh, okay. Nichole [00:09:33] So I started playing World of Warcraft again yesterday. I’ve been having a craving and I was like, why are you gonna do this? But I finally gave in. I played it all day yesterday. My neck hurts, I’m a mess. Anyway. So I go in the game and there’s like an endgame economy where you have like an auction house where you can sell or buy things and you can use the gold you earn in the game now to like, pay for your subscription fee. And people have completely hijacked… And I remember reading about this years ago, but I wasn’t playing, so I didn’t really like, think about it. And people completely hijacked the in-game economy. Nichole [00:10:20] So the auction house used to be fucking awesome because it’s a game where you can collect materials and make things. But you, if you don’t want to do that, the auction house used to be great because someone else could make stuff and sell it and you could buy it for a decent price and it was cheaper than a lot of the stuff you’d find at the vendors. So it was just this awesome way to, like, make money to get stuff you needed if you didn’t want to waste time, like farming materials. And it worked really well for everybody. Now you go in and everything, the prices are jacked up like, to a degree that doesn’t make sense. And people are mostly using it as a way to transfer gold in between factions, like guilds. And so I went into some forums and it was really interesting because people were like, well, if you don’t like the prices, then don’t buy it and then the market will correct itself. And then other people were like, yeah, in theory that should work, but it doesn’t because people have figured out how to game the system and they have control of the economy and they’re not going to let that control go because they’re profiting off of it. Nichole [00:11:31] And I was just like, this sounds an awful lot like… What is this reminding me of? I feel like I’m having déjà vu or something. But I was like, even in a fucking virtual environment capitalism doesn’t fucking work the way people say it’s going to work. There is now consolidated wealth and there is a small amount of people who control the economy. And the little guy, like me who lost all my characters I had before because I haven’t played in so long because I’m like starting over from scratch, like I can’t go and just get simple stuff I need. Or, and they were saying, too, that they have these, um, auction house like trackers that will look for people selling stuff at a reasonable price and buy it up and then resell it in a way marked up price. So you can’t just like, like, you can’t just go out and be like, oh, I’m just going to sell stuff at a reasonable price to like someone else can get it because these people will buy it and then, like, mark it up like ten, a hundred times and then resell it. So all to say, fuck capitalism. Callie [00:12:45] Fuck it! Nichole [00:12:45] So hard. Callie [00:12:47] Yeah. Don’t worry, America’s top cop and creepy Joe will solve everything. Nichole [00:12:57] Yeah. The top cock… cock. The top… cop… Sorry. Callie [00:13:05] Well that was something else. Nichole [00:13:07] I’ve been isolated for a little too long. And the king of neoliberalism are going to make it all better. Callie [00:13:16] Yeah. Yeah, the person who is probably most directly responsible for mass incarceration and modern day slavery, and someone who openly brags about being America’s top cop are definitely going to solve this problem. Nichole [00:13:28] And, you know, it’s almost like if those people were able to serve in those roles while incarcerated, it’s almost like they don’t need to be incarcerated, and they could just, you know, have the option to maybe get skill and job training and find stuff that they want to do for a livable wage. Callie [00:13:55] I mean, one of the, I feel like one of the most healing things that a person can have is find something in their life that matters, right? Like people do really well when they feel like they’ve been able to find something that, like, gives back, that makes them feel of use to their communities, their families. Like, I can’t imagine a better program to help rehabilitate people and to make sure that they, like, don’t fall back into anti-social behavior is to allow them to become firefighters when they get out, you know? You’ve given them the training, I mean, they shouldn’t be in prison in the first place, obviously. But like… Nichole [00:14:37] That’s what I’m saying. It’s like, oh, it’s almost like if someone is committing crimes of survival or struggling in some way, you could just, uh, not imprison them and get them resources they need and then they’re like capable of doing great things. Callie [00:14:53] Yeah, yeah. I mean, so many people end up in prison because we, there’s no opportunity for them. Nichole [00:15:00] Right. Callie [00:15:01] We’ve talked about it a lot on our previous show, our old show. But the high cost of being poor. I feel like the, which I will always recommend because I just think there was so much research that we found. Although I would really love one day, I think it’d be fun to like redo it, you know, and make sure our information’s all current and stuff. But the amount that we spend on incarcerating people versus what we could spend just like put money directly into people’s hands, into their communities would do a lot more to solve, to keep crime from happening, you know, then it does just to keep, like locking people up and exploiting them. Nichole [00:15:49] Yeah, well, and also decriminalizing survival. Callie [00:15:53] Also that. Nichole [00:15:54] Because a lot of the crime that we have is only crime because someone said it was. Callie [00:16:00] Right. Nichole [00:16:01] But yeah, exactly. I just think because they also, I’ve heard them justify this program as like we’re giving these people like on the job training and we’re giving them a sense of purpose. And it’s like, well, that’s obviously bullshit if they can’t become, if they can’t do that job after they get out, so you’re literally using slave labor. So just say what it is. Callie [00:16:26] I just can’t, can you imagine that and then hearing people talking about like we’re giving them on the job training, we’re giving them valuable skills. And it’s like, yeah, but then they get out of prison and then they’re being watched like usually they still don’t have all of their rights back and they don’t get to go into the field that they were just doing. Nichole [00:16:46] Right. Like, what skills do you get from firefighting that you can use outside of firefighting? Callie [00:16:53] Yeah. Nichole [00:16:54] I mean, I’m sure in some fluffy way there’s some stuff, you know, it’s like, oh, I learned leadership or whatever. But like that’s a pretty specific set of, you know, skills. So, like, I just, I can’t. I can’t. Callie [00:17:12] Same girl, same. Nichole [00:17:16] So Callie. Callie [00:17:18] Yes? Nichole [00:17:20] A transphobe, a racist, and a homophobe… oh, sorry I shouldn’t have said “and” yet. Rewind! A transphobe, a racist, a homophobe and an anti-Semite walk into a bar. The bartender says, “Hey, aren’t you that lady who wrote Harry Potter?” Callie [00:17:42] That was good. Nichole [00:17:43] Do you get it? Callie [00:17:44] I do get it and I appreciate it. Nichole [00:17:47] That was a tweet from Twitter. Callie [00:17:49] Nice. Nichole [00:17:49] From @burgundybitch72. Callie [00:17:55] Hey, Nichole? Nichole [00:17:56] What?! What is happening? Callie [00:18:02] Why do pirates love people with nipple rings? Nichole [00:18:09] I don’t know, why? Callie [00:18:12] Because there’s treasure in their chest. Nichole [00:18:17] See, I can’t do it, I can’t be a bitch like you because I actually love the jokes. That is pretty good. Callie [00:18:30] That is a joke that I adapted from Tik-Tok to make- Nichole [00:18:34] You adapted a joke?! Callie [00:18:36] I adapted a joke. So it’s kind of like an original joke, but not quite because like most of it was stolen. Nichole [00:18:44] Yeah, I’ve done that many times. Callie [00:18:47] But yeah. But my joke is gender neutral so it’s better. Nichole [00:18:52] Yeah, I’ve done that a bunch of times, I’ve made a joke like queer or like gender-neutral or whatever. I’m like, look at me doing the Lord’s work. Callie [00:19:03] What show are we watching? The comments are like, freaking out. Nichole [00:19:09] I bet. Callie [00:19:09] I love it. Yeah, I did not even tell Nichole I was going to be telling a joke today. I just decided that I felt like telling a joke. But that one’s just too good. Nichole [00:19:19] I mean, I’m here for it. Callie [00:19:23] I mean treasure in their chest? Come on. Nichole [00:19:25] It’s great. It’s honestly great. Callie [00:19:27] A joke about pirates and titties? Of course. Nichole [00:19:29] I was going to say, I always love a pirate joke. Callie [00:19:33] Yeah. Nichole [00:19:34] I mean, already it’s a win. Callie [00:19:39] Goodness. Nichole [00:19:39] Yeah, that was good. Callie [00:19:42] Well, thank you. And thank you for playing along. Nichole [00:19:47] I wasn’t playing. Well, I was playing when I was like being a jerk but the rest of the time it was totes sincere. Callie [00:19:58] Oh, goodness. OK, so we have some new patrons to thank today. Nichole [00:20:04] We’ve been getting some really cute Patreon messages too. Usually people just sign up but like lately we’ve been getting little cute messages when people sign up and it’s really fun. Callie [00:20:14] Yes. So I cannot remember if I’ve thanked some of these people before. I think I might have forgotten to, like, mark the, check the e-mail off. So you might be getting thanked twice. Who knows? OK, so new patrons to thank. Lindsay, Lane, Carrie, Alex, who I think is on the thread, hi, Alex! Denise and Patricia are new patrons. And then Landon and Meghan increased their pledges. So, sincerely and deeply, thank you so much to all of our patrons for supporting our queer, anarchist, leftist, media. Nichole [00:21:02] Thanks daddies. Callie [00:21:06] Yes. Nichole [00:21:06] So. Are we fucking ready? Will we ever be ready? Callie [00:21:13] No. No, we won’t. Nichole [00:21:19] So Callie finally watched Dexter. Callie [00:21:23] I love how you’re, like, already starting off the shade. Yes, that’s true. Extremely late to the game, as always. Nichole [00:21:34] Yes. It’s quite all right. And of course, she started talking to me about it because the show is ridiculous. So I had, like, FOMO so I was like, you know, I’m going to rewatch it with you because I’ve always been kind of curious to see, like, how it holds up, which is like a weird thing to say because it was shit the first time around. But at the same time, I think a lot of us have like an affection for the show and like really enjoyed it when it first came out. I remember especially the first season just being like, wow, this is like such a cool concept and, you know, just really being delighted by the premise. And then in hindsight, all I had left was my burning rage for how it ended. And so I was like, you know, it might be fun to go back and just kind of see, like, what is the deal here? And especially with Callie wanting to talk to me about plot points along the way. And realizing that my memory of specifics is very foggy, I was like let me watch this. Nichole [00:22:37] So I did. We did. And then we spent many hours sending polos back and forth, which are video messages. And, you know, of course, eventually we’re like, we need to get a mike in front of this because clearly we have a lot to say. So I think we’re not going to summarize because it’s eight seasons, 12 episodes a season, so I’m not going to, like, go through and say what happens. Like, you’ve seen it or you haven’t, but largely if you haven’t seen it, the premise is that Dexter, played by Michael C. Hall from Six Feet Under fame, is a serial killer who works with Miami PD as a blood splatter analyst, and he only, he has a code and he only kills other bad people. So initially, when the premise is set up, you know, he says that he kills people, that the cops can’t prosecute, people who got off on technicalities. He has rules about what kind of people, so they have to be murderers and they have to like, you know, it’s obvious that they’re going to kill again as well. It can’t be just like someone killed for a crime of passion. But it’s like it’s a person who kills people. And he has to have proof. Nichole [00:23:58] So it’s kind of an intriguing premise, right? Like someone who works within law enforcement, but isn’t a cop. Just even a whole field of blood splatter analysis, I thought it was kind of fascinating. And, you know, and then there’s a serial killer, but he has a code so we’re set up to think like we’re going to feel conflicted about this person because he does bad things. But he did, you know, has this code that kind of makes him good. And it’s like, how do we feel about it? His sister is a cop and a big tension throughout the show is that you know, they’re very close and you just don’t know, like, is she ever gonna find out and how devastated is she gonna be? Nichole [00:24:39] We see Dexter go through several relationships and then the show ends… How would you even summarize this? The show ends- Callie [00:24:47] Shitty. Nichole [00:24:49] Yeah, we’ll bring up specifics as we cover stuff. But this show ends with Dexter, essentially his sister dies and he ends up sort of like faking his own death and just going to live as a lumberjack? As a lumberjack in the middle of the woods somewhere and it’s very like open ended and there’s a reason for that. But anyway, so it was this eight seasons series. And, you know, Dexter throughout the series, like continuously is almost caught. And then, like someone else will end up taking the blame for what he did. And obviously, the morals of everything become extremely ambiguous. And one of the biggest things I picked up in rewatching is just how often the same plot point is used over and over and over again in every single season. It’s extremely repetitive. And then they leave us at the end with like this weird ending where there was no final confrontation. He didn’t run away because he was about to get caught. He just decided that he ruins everyone in his life and so he needs to just, like, go be by himself. Nichole [00:26:04] So, two major things we picked up on that we wanted to talk about today from the show. One is that this show hates women. Callie [00:26:15] Hates them. Nichole [00:26:16] Hates women, and is really a show centered around white male exceptionalism. So we’ll break that down. But conflictingly for me, the other thing I picked up on in this show is that it is possibly the best representation of an autistic experience I’ve ever seen in my life. So I have very torn feelings because on one hand I was like, fuck this like, white patriarchal bullshit. But then, on the other hand, I was like, this is like speaking to my soul in a lot of ways. And so we just thought it’d be interesting to explore both of those on the show. And this is something that I may make a video series about at some point and actually go season by season because each season has its own flavor and kind of its own things to pick apart, but yeah. Nichole [00:27:12] So I think the most surprising thing for me in rewatching was that season one is actually shitty. But first, because I was like, oh, season one was really good. And then and I’m like, it wasn’t. But the first three episodes are actually really fucking good. They’re campy and delicious. They’re like everything you would want from this kind of show if it was not going to be like a serious dark show. They really, it like is so tongue in cheek. It’s delightful. Like, honestly, it’s delightful. And then I don’t know what happens, but literally by, like episode four happens and the show just starts being bad. Not like good-bad, it just starts being like bad. But we will say, we both watched all eight seasons in pretty short succession. So it’s still entertaining. It’s not to take that away from it. Like it is still something that, like I said, I found myself like wanting to watch it every day, even though I’m like, the show is crap. Callie [00:28:15] Yeah, yeah. Nichole [00:28:16] But it’s just like, you know. A lot of it’s poorly acted. I think it’s more poorly written. Callie [00:28:24] Mm hmm. Nichole [00:28:25] Jennifer Carpenter, who plays Deb, even though I fucking hate the character of Deb and I hate her because of how she was written, but that actress who plays her is like, unbelievable. She fucking brings it in every scene. But yeah, like, even Dexter’s voiceovers are just really like, overwrought and cheesy. And I also realize, like, how much of a, like, narrative device, that narrative device was overused of us like, hearing him talk to himself and then later his dead father. Because I think it’s season three when like dead Harry shows up, the ghost of Harry. And they had like the lights blasting all over his face so that you could see that he had aged because he was supposed to be a ghost, or like a figment of Dexter’s imagination. But it’s like we all know that actor in real life. So we know what he looks like. And also, just like have Dexter make an offhand comment that, like, his dad’s aging in his mind, as like maybe a way to stay connected. Like do not blast the poor actresses. I’m not kidding. Like, I wish I could… It was bad. It was really, it was like extremely distracting. Nichole [00:29:39] So anyway, where was I going with that? So, yeah. Anyway, like the show, part of why the show’s writing is bad is because it doesn’t think you understand anything. So literally every single thing that happens has to be like said out loud by someone to explain to the audience what’s going on. So like, if you have a character who makes a sad face, then all of a sudden Harry’s ghost is popping up to be like that person seems sad. You know, like it doesn’t trust you to like, understand anything. So it’s just very, like treads a lot of water, just like it’s basically explaining like what you’re seeing happen in a way that is just not necessary. Callie [00:30:24] Yeah. Nichole [00:30:25] And it’s wild to me that the show does that because a big piece of the narrative, another big narrative device is that we’re inside Dexter’s head and he’s constantly doing voiceovers to us. For them to think they needed an additional character to also be inside Dexter’s head and talking when like, Dexter’s thoughts weren’t enough, it’s just very weird. And it could work but they lean on both of these things, like so much. Like it occurred to me, I’m like Michael C. Hall must have hated, I mean, I don’t think he actually hated doing it, but like, he acts in most of the scenes, and then he’s also doing voiceovers for most of the scenes. And it like seems like he was doing double work almost, to like act and then also have to voiceover his acting, and like the scenes that he was in. Callie [00:31:16] Well, otherwise we wouldn’t understand what was going on. Nichole [00:31:19] Right. Right. So anyway, that was just technical stuff. But yeah, it really broke my heart because I think if you watch the first three episodes, you see the potential that was there for this just like delightfully campy, like self-aware kind of show that could explore this weird and sort of difficult subject matter in a way that could have been like really entertaining, and also maybe kind of honest and refreshing. But then the show decides that Dexter is the most amazing and interesting person that we’ve ever met in our lives, and that ruins the whole exploration that we were supposed to have in the show about like how do we feel about him and how do we feel about how we feel about him? Nichole [00:32:11] I’ve been driving Callie bonkers with the comparison, but I keep comparing it to Breaking Bad. Because Breaking Bad did something similar where we’re on a journey with this person that we’re, you know like he’s the main character and we’re really watching him. But the show has a clear viewpoint on if this is a good or bad person. And the show uses the narrative… The show uses the story to constantly like… Like it kind of seduces us into thinking he is cool or sort of being on his side, and then it will immediately punish us for that and remind us like this is a bad person. And you were sitting here glorifying some of the stuff he did, but like, we’re going to remind you, he’s a fucking terrible human being. And I found that journey, you know, that’s one of the reasons that that show is like one of the best shows ever is because it just did that really well. Nichole [00:33:12] And I think this show could have done that in a really interesting way. And it didn’t. It decided that Dexter was great and he was special and that even when he was wrong, we needed to forgive him and literally every female, every female, every woman in the show, their whole arc was centered around like him and how it made him look and how it made him feel. And so we couldn’t- Callie [00:33:41] Well they were all caricatures. Nichole [00:33:41] Oh my god. Callie [00:33:42] This feminine stereotype, right? In like just a cartoonish degree. I know we’re gonna get into that more later, but it just is like, it was just so bad. Like it was just so awkward like how much the show was like… Like you described it really well to me. Like all of these characters were like them telling, like they were supposed to show us, like how to feel about Dexter. Right, and so they were all these just like very kind of flat caricatures of like that type of person, like the loving, doting wife, you know, the badass sister. It’s like in just all of these ways and there was like, no nuance. And it was just really bad. Nichole [00:34:31] Well, then again, it was another way that they were regurgitating the same shit because we’re already living in Dexter’s head. Callie [00:34:39] Right. Nichole [00:34:40] And we’re already getting some kind of character check from the conversations he has with this dead dad so that’s already a way to explore like what he’s thinking internally and how we should feel about him because the dad sometimes takes like the opposite view and challenges Dexter because it’s obviously like Dexter’s conscience or whatever. So we already have that going on and then they’re like, no, but that’s not enough. Like, we need every single character in Dexter’s life to be a reflection of how the audience is supposed to feel about Dexter, because it’s not enough for us to already have all of this view into his internal, you know, workings. We also need other characters literally walking into a room to tell us that he’s a good person or there’s good in him or whatever. Nichole [00:35:30] This show was such an epitome of my favorite blogger, Captain Awkward. Please check her out if you haven’t already. But she came up with, like, the “Darth Vader boyfriend” like many years ago. And she was saying, like, the way that we’re like, but there’s good in him, you know. And how it’s such a trope in media, but it’s also like something that a lot of us fall into in our personal lives of getting wrapped up with someone because we see the good in him and we just want to, like, save them or bring it out. And to me, this show is like, that. I was like, wow, OK, this whole show is literally a guy who kills people for pleasure and every single female character is telling us that he’s really like deep down a good person. Even though we’re supposed to think, when it starts off, and this is where I could start getting into the autistic stuff. But when it starts off, they’re clearly trying to make us think he’s, and by the end they confirm it, but they’re trying to make us think he’s a psychopath. Nichole [00:36:35] He talks about not having empathy. He talks about not having feelings. All of these things. And yet he’s so special. And they literally say this in the eighth season. He’s a special psychopath because he does have empathy and he does have feelings. And so if he could just harness those, then he can still kill. We still want him killing because that’s entertainment. He can still kill, but he can make sure that he’s, you know, really killing for the right reasons. Callie [00:37:06] I mean, that’s not how that works. And I would argue extremely dangerous and irresponsible to show that a psychopath can just somehow be healed into having feelings. That’s just… Nichole [00:37:27] By multiple woman’s loves. He needs so many womanses to love him. The womens. He needs his sister, he needs multiple romantic partners, and with enough of that, enough of the blond-haired, blue-eyed love, we’ll get into that shit, Then he can be better. So it confirms… Callie [00:37:47] Who also gets sacrificed along the way. Like their lives, like everyone’s lives around Dexter is just like burned to the fucking ground in order to like, protect him at all costs. Even if they don’t even know that that’s like, like the characters aren’t always aware of what’s happening, but it’s like he’s just churning through the people in his life. But he gets redeemed at the end so it’s like, fine. And it’s like just definitely not fine, how many people got sacrificed in Dexter’s pursuit of still being able to kill and finding out he’s a special snowflake of a psychopath. Like, that’s not how that works. You can’t just love a psychopath enough to make them like, to turn them into a good person and/or to turn their feelings back on. That’s not how that works. Either he wasn’t a psychopath this whole time and just had deep, deep trauma that he should have been working out in therapy, which like, he should have anyway. Or he was a psychopath and like doesn’t actually have feelings. It’s just whatever he’s experiencing is like not what we’re supposed to identify as, like having correct feelings. You know, the shows just like so muddy. Like, everything is just… Nichole [00:39:07] Yes. So even in season four, which is arguably the best season, I actually think season eight might be the best season and it like ,shocked the hell out of me, but like, honestly, until the last two episodes, it was actually really well-written and very well acted and felt like a normal season. And then all of a sudden you’re like, why is he driving into a hurricane? What is happening right now? Oh, I’m sorry, spoiler alert. Probably should have said that before I told you how it ends. But anyway, where was it going with that? Nichole [00:39:49] Yeah. So season four, you have him, there’s usually a big baddie that he’s up against. You know, he finds like another serial killer every season and they have some kind of involvement with each other. And then like the tension of this season is that, is he gonna be able to kill this person or is this person going to, like, kill him? Or is this person going to get caught by the police and then tell everyone that Dexter is a serial killer? Literally, every season this happens. So anyway, season four is like a fan favorite because it had John Lithgow from… Why was I going to say from? Third Rock Under the Sun fame. Everyone knows who John Lithgow is. I’m such a weirdo. I am very off my game today. So just apologies. Nichole [00:40:41] Anyway, John Lithgow is Trinity Killer and, you know, is arguably the most interesting other serial killer that we meet throughout the series. And Dexter forms what is actually a very interesting bond with him because on the surface, John Lithgow seems to, he’s a prolific serial killer, but he has managed to stay completely under the radar. You know, he’s in his I think, 60s at this point, 50s or 60s, and hasn’t gotten caught, is still out there. And he, Dexter, in stalking him to kill him, discovers that John Lithgow has a family. And so contrary to what they thought, he’s not a loner. He’s not, you know, he has like a good job. He does charity work. So he completely is against how they had profiled him and how Dexter had been raised to think that he would have to be in order to function. Like his dad always told him… Oh, my god, and so there’s a third layer here, a third like, theme I think that popped up that was not explored, which is deeply interesting, is that I think Harry turned him into a serial killer. Callie [00:41:53] Thank you! Yes! Nichole [00:41:53] And Harry definitely abused the shit out of Dexter. Anyway, we’ll cover that too today girl, don’t you worry. Callie [00:42:01] I know, yes. I’m fucking ready for that. Nichole [00:42:07] Don’t worry. Yes, so anyway, you know, his dad had told him, like, you have to date and you have to do these things to seem normal. But at the same time, like, you’re never gonna be loved, you are never going to love, you’re never gonna have a family. Like you’re never gonna have these things that other people have. And so when Dexter sees that Trinity has, what on the surface seems like this extremely functional life where he’s well-loved by his community. He has his family, you know he has a good job. He like, develops these complicated feelings towards Trinity, where he wants to kill him but he also wants to learn from him and be mentored by him and maybe even have him be like a friend or even a surrogate father figure. Nichole [00:42:48] So he does this thing that he always does where he pretends to be some other person and he meets him by happenstance somewhere and ends up being integrated into Trinity’s life and then discovers that behind closed doors, Trinity is actually intensely abusive. Like incredibly, unbelievably, creepy, abusive to his family. And so the reason I’m bringing that up is because I think the show really copped out at that point because they were trying to show… Because something that we learned about Dexter throughout the seasons, he does end up getting married. He ends up having a family. And he’s a really good dad and he’s a really good father. And so this is another way that the show is like, see, he’s a serial killer, but he’s a good guy. He’s not like this Trinity yahoo who’s, you know, crazy behind closed doors. He’s nice. He just kills the people he kills. Callie [00:43:54] I’m so disappointed that the show didn’t keep the Trinity killer as like being this like family man. And he, you know, he had like this charity organization that he ran. He seemed like a, practically a saint. You know, just the 2.5 kids and a dog and a minivan, building homes for the needy, like just the stereotypical, like, good guy. And I think it’s really shitty that the show was like, just kidding. He’s abusive. And it’s like it would have been way more interesting, and as part of the overall show’s theme, to let him stay like this horrible serial killer but then having a really good family. Like that would have been really interesting to see Dexter having to grapple with, you know? Nichole [00:44:42] Yeah. Because that makes it more interesting because then there’s more conflict in if Dexter kills him or not. Callie [00:44:47] Right. Nichole [00:44:48] There’s more conflict in if he gets caught or not, because then his family will find out this terrible thing and it will, it won’t jive with what they thought of him. Right, like it… Whereas, you know, by the time we see what’s going on behind closed doors, like his family definitely knows that, or like would not be surprised by the fact that he is a serial killer. So yeah, this show just takes, at every turn, anything that could be interesting, this show takes it and twists it as a way to just make Dexter look better. And it’s really unfortunate because there are some very interesting things I think that are brought up, and the number one of which is, you know, if we expand this out to be like more symbolic, is how far will we go to protect a dude. Right. Like, how far will we go to redeem someone who has done bad things? Nichole [00:45:46] And, you know, since we’re both anticapitalist, we’re both anti-incarceration, and we’re both like pro-restorative justice and all that. So, like, I’m not opposed to a through-line, a storyline that has some elements of that and has some possibility for that. But that is some deep work that has to be done and the show was not up to doing it and didn’t care to do it. The show just wanted us to think that Dexter was interesting, that watching him kill people was fun, and that, like, at the end of the day, we all should want him to be safe and not get caught and, you know, live, live to kill another day. Callie [00:46:27] Yeah, for a really kind of courageous concept, the show really flinched in the face of, like any opportunity to actually do some, like, really interesting and brave things, which is just really disappointing. You know, it’s like you said, it’s such an interesting concept. Nichole [00:46:51] Yeah, it’s very interesting. Anytime we can explore an archetype like this, like the antihero, because that’s what he ended up becoming, was part of this rash of shows with like an antihero protagonist, right. And even to call them that is fucked up because none of them are heroes or antiheroes. They’re just, they’re just dangerous men. That’s all they are. I think, because I just feel like calling them antiheroes, too, is like giving them too much credit and still putting them in this comic book realm, you know, that kind of like mythologizes them. So, you know, we had like The Sopranos and we had I think, was it The Shield? The Commish. Do you remember that show? Definitely aging myself. Nichole [00:47:42] But, you know, it cropped up at the same time that these shows were all kind of like a thing and were taking off, some better than others and how they explored stuff. But we just had this like national obsession with bad men and their internal lives and if they could be redeemed or not. And Dexter took that, and what could have been great is it could have been a searing critique of that. Right, like, it could have been like what Breaking Bad ended up being which was like a scathing critique of like, why are you glorifying these type of people? Why are you glorifying this behavior? Callie [00:48:19] Why are you so quick to like, condemn anyone in his life who gets in his way? Like, the show’s point of view makes us like loathe all of the people that end up being like roadblocks to him killing. And we end up emotionally siding with Dexter always instead of any other character, even when they’re justified. Nichole [00:48:47] Yeah. Which even that could have been okay if it was then explored. Callie [00:48:52] Yeah. Yeah. Nichole [00:48:53] Sorry if y’all are hearing background noise but I will literally die if I shut my window, so. I’m hoping my new mike doesn’t pick up too much but. Yeah. Like cause I feel like Breaking Bad does that. Like sometimes Breaking Bad will have Walt do something cool, or he’ll win in some way. And you’re kind of like, yeah, that was pretty badass, that was fun to watch. And then they have him do something just fucking awful and you’re like, I should not be rooting for this person. Like it just constantly checks you. So can be interesting to have some instances of like, you know, oh, this was fun or this was, I’m on this person’s side, but then this show should put that in your face. Like, why were you annoyed by someone trying to stop him from killing somebody? And you have to be like, oh, fuck, yeah, that is pretty messed up. Nichole [00:49:50] But it doesn’t. It’s just like, are you happy? Like, he got away with it and, you know, he was able to do the thing. I think a big case of this as well was in season two, ugh Season two, where fucking Lila… Callie [00:50:16] You’re just so deeply annoyed. You haven’t even said anything yet. I love those moments. Nichole [00:50:23] Just her entire existence. Fucking Lila ends up being the one to kill Doakes instead of Dexter. So the show just constantly does this over and over and over again where, you know, that was our first, like, truly major like, oh, shit, how are we supposed to feel about this? Because first of all, Doakes is MVP. He is the best character. I had fond memories of him but in rewatching I was like, this motherfucker is so good. I just, every scene he was in, I was delighted. I was like, please just put him in the background of every single scene. So, you know- Callie [00:50:59] I was annoyed by him, but I was mad at myself for being constantly annoyed by him because I’m like, he’s right. Nichole [00:51:06] Oh my god, I was so delighted. Callie [00:51:07] Why do I, like he’s actually the only one who’s like, this creepy motherfucker, like why is no one else- Nichole [00:51:14] You fucking freak, I’m on to you! Callie [00:51:16] And I just was like, I should not be feeling this way about him. He’s technically right. But it drove me crazy. His overacting was just like, fucking insane. Nichole [00:51:30] Oh, I loved it. Callie [00:51:31] Like it was so bad. Nichole [00:51:32] No, it was great. It was perfect. That’s what I’m talking about though, is that’s the level of like, camp. Callie [00:51:37] Yeah. Nichole [00:51:37] To me it was like, he hit it perfectly. He is this like, jacked up and he’s short and he just would always like get right up in his face and be like, you fucking freak. Like every time about like the smallest thing. Like Dexter would just be like holding donuts and he’s like, oh, you fucking freak, you think you can bring in donuts and I don’t still fucking see you? I fucking see you. And he’d like walk away and I’d be like, that was amazing. I just like… Callie [00:52:02] Not an over exaggeration. Nichole [00:52:05] No. I’m probably actually like, toning it down a bit. Callie [00:52:08] Yeah. Nichole [00:52:09] Anyway, he was my favorite character. So, and he was a fan favorite. You know, like people loved Doakes and there were Doakes means and all kinds of stuff. And like, I just… So you’re setting up like this huge conflict, right? This, this, this um, what’s the word I’m looking for, like this crescendo. This has been building and this is gonna be the resolution of this like two seasons long conflict between a fan favorite and the main character. So this is like a big fucking deal. And this is the first time that we see that Dexter really is kind of put into this corner of is he going to expose himself? Like because if he lets Doakes live, then Doakes is going to tell people that he’s a killer. So is he going to risk, you know, letting Doakes do that to let him live? Or is he going to kill this person who is definitely an innocent. Callie [00:53:09] Doesn’t follow the code. Nichole [00:53:12] Which is funny because they’re all cops, so it’s like, is he? But, you know, yeah, he doesn’t fall into the code. And like, from what we can see, Doakes is like ethical. We’ll put it that way, I guess. And we know him. We know Doakes. Right, like he’s not just a serial killer that we met as a serial killer that Dexter’s hunting or someone who’s done something bad, like he is a character that we’ve gotten to know for two seasons. And what do they do? They have Dexter’s annoying ass ex-girlfriend come in and find Doakes and burn him alive. Callie [00:53:54] Yeah… Nichole [00:53:54] Like, what the fuck? And then Dexter still frames Doakes as the Bay Harbor Butcher so he gets away with everything without having to actually commit some kind of offense himself. Like in our eyes, you know what I mean, like he gets away with this without us having to grapple with the fact that, like, fuck, he actually just killed this person that we love. Or if you don’t like him, that at least we know does not fit his code at all. Like, is the opposite of what his supposed code is. So we don’t have to grapple with that. We have this contrivance show up and take care of the dirty work for him. And this is mirrored pretty well in season six where Deb ends up killing LaGuerta. Which was like… I can’t. You know, it’s another thing, like Dexter was going to frame her. Now, mind you, this is the second BIPOC person he has framed for his own murders so that he can continue living free, who ends up dying by the hand of some white lady. Callie [00:55:09] Yeah. Nichole [00:55:09] Anyway. But, you know, again, we have this instance of like, LaGuerta was a bit more complicated because she was a little bit more of a villainous character, but she’s still definitely was not within the code. And I have a hard time because LaGuerta was, she was just written very poorly but I really like the actress a lot. And the times in the show backed off and didn’t make her such a weird caricature of like an evil female boss, she was so sweet. Like she, I think it was season five, like, she just was like nice, and had this nice romance with Angel, and like, she was cool and supportive and like, I just wish the show had let her be that because she was really close with Doakes and never got over it. And so she like ends up finding out that she was right. Doakes was not a serial killer, it was Dexter, and then fucking Deb kills her. Callie [00:56:05] Yeah. Nichole [00:56:06] And Dexter is gonna, and Dexter ends up framing her for the person he killed then, too. So we just have all these instances of like, someone who definitely doesn’t fit his code. This should push us as the viewer into an uncomfortable place of having to finally, like, really grapple with, are we okay with what this person is doing and what does it say about us if we are? Callie [00:56:30] Right. Nichole [00:56:31] And then you have someone come in from the outside who just takes care of it for us and for him, right, and then ruins their own life in the process. Like he ended up fucking murdering Lila after. I mean, that bitch needed to go but like still. You know, like, she took care of something for you and then like, you just get rid of her. Deb ends up like having her whole life trashed and she ends up dying. And it’s just like the show just doesn’t confront anything it’s doing ever. Ever. It really is like, oh, we all love Dexter, right, like, we all think he’s great and should have all the things. Like they think that that’s how we all feel about him too, and how we should feel about him. Callie [00:57:15] Yeah. Yeah. The show never really holds Dexter accountable at all. And it’s funny because every season is like him refiguring out the same things over and over. Nichole [00:57:29] The. Same. Thing. Callie [00:57:31] And trying to tell the audience that it’s like the first time he’s realizing he can care about someone, or the first time he realizes like, hey, maybe I can actually make a friend who also has this darkness in them. Nichole [00:57:44] The dark passenger. Callie [00:57:45] And it’s like, yeah bitch, you’ve done this before. Like, every time. And then you end up killing them at the end. Nichole [00:57:51] How many times? How many times did he say, “I should have killed him when I met him”? How many times did he say that? Callie [00:57:56] Way too many. Nichole [00:57:58] He always wants to cuddle up with other serial killers and then he’s, like, shocked when it all goes bad. And it’s like, yeah dude, you’re serial killers. Callie [00:58:07] Yeah. Yeah. Nichole [00:58:08] So I, just to take a break for a minute of all the ranting. I really do think, I was completely blown away and I have so much affection for the show just from the side of seeing representation of an autistic experience from the inside of someone’s head and how the rest of the world looks when your neurodivergent. If you approach the show in that way, it is fucking incredible. It is incredible because you will see stuff, like and especially in season one, but it actually continues pretty well throughout the whole show. So if you think about it from that perspective, forget that he’s a serial killer for a moment and just take it from the side of, or even with him being a serial killer. When you see people, like when you see Doakes hating on him and calling him a freak, he often is doing things, or not doing things, in a very, like, autistic way. So he’s not making the right facial expression, right? Like, maybe he’s making no facial expression at all or he’s having an inappropriate reaction to something. He does things like he brings in donuts because he learned that people at work like donuts. So it’s his way of trying to read like social behavior and participate in it in a way that makes him seem normal. Nichole [00:59:38] He talks a lot about his mask and like essentially he’s describing masking. So, and then we get to see, we get to hear his thoughts and how he’s processing a situation, but we can also see his face and see that his facial expressions are not reflecting his internal experience. And that’s also like a very autistic thing. So someone, like he might get in a fight with his sister or his girlfriend, and he’s just confused. Like he doesn’t know what he did wrong, he doesn’t understand why they’re angry at him. And we see him on the outside having this really flat, blank look. But on the inside, he’s like, I’m really confused. Why is she mad and what does she want, and maybe this is what I’m supposed to say? And then he’ll say something and it makes her more mad and he’s like, I, and he’ll say, like, I don’t know what to do right now. Nichole [01:00:34] So if we take it from that aspect, it is very interesting to me, just, it’s such good representation. Like, I could not believe how much I identified with Dexter in most ways because we also saw stuff, like he just wants time to himself or he gets overstimulated or, you know, he’s very drained by being around people because he’s masking constantly and not really knowing what they want from him. And so he just wants to go be alone and you know that is like, it’s just so relatable. And hearing him process stuff. I would so often feel irritated by how the people in his life were responding to him. Nichole [01:01:18] Even like Rita, who’s another one. Fucking Rita. Anyway, Rita would constantly get in fights with him, and a lot of the time she was mad at him because he wasn’t performing in the way that she had expectations for someone to perform. But not because he’s actually doing something wrong. And she was always up in his fucking business. Like he’d be like, I’m busy Saturday night and she’s like, this is more important, you need to show up. And it’s like, fuck you. Like, if I have something I need to go do. Now, granted, he was killing people, but she didn’t know that. Nichole [01:01:56] So it’s like there’s just so many instances if you could see like he just had this really rich internal life that he actually enjoyed being inside of. And you could just see how often people were judging him for that. Thinking he was creepy for that. And also just trying to rip him out of that and trying to get him to perform more normally because it’s what they wanted from him. And I was telling Callie, like there were so many instances of little arguments between him and Deb or him and Rita where I was like, you know what? This is really fucked up that they’re still demanding this stuff from him because, again, yes, he’s a serial killer but put that aside. Like the fact that they haven’t learned how to interact with him on his level is wild to me. Nichole [01:02:47] I had a boyfriend before who had really, really intense ADHD. And he may have also, you know, in hindsight, he may have also been on the spectrum. But I remember like he met my mom and I remember telling my mom, like he said something and he made this face where it looked like he was saying something offensive. And I remember telling my mom, like, that’s just a face he makes, like he’s kidding or whatever, because even in the few months that we had been dating, I had learned, I just learned how to read him, you know. And I was able to, like, interpret him for other people to help him navigate social spaces more easily. Nichole [01:03:25] And so watching this and watching how often these people, these women in his life were just making these demands of him that were completely unrealistic and unreasonable to just who he was as a person. Like they would get mad at him for not looking excited about something or not emoting enough. You know, or needing time to process. Like a lot of times, he doesn’t process, like, something will happen and he just like is blank. And then he’ll go and he’ll think about it and he’ll talk to Harry. And then he kind of can, like, come back and explain how he feels and be able to have a conversation about it, which is very normal for a lot of people, either on the spectrum or who have anxiety or I don’t maybe even people with ADHD. Like a lot of times you just, you are not… Even people who have had trauma and abuse as children, it’s very common that, like, you just have this lockdown response to stuff and you can’t process your feelings until you’re in a safe environment and then you come back later. Nichole [01:04:35] So, like, again, I have had friends, I’ve dated people who have this kind of response. I have it myself in a lot of ways. And like, it’s just natural when you’re close to someone that you start to understand how they are and to give them space for that. And we never once see a scene of Deb or Rita or anyone else he’s close to being like, oh, I know you need to process and I just came at you real hot, so like I said, what I needed to say, I’m going to leave you alone, like, give me a call tomorrow or whenever you’ve worked through this and then we’ll talk about it. You know, which is like a normal, kind thing to do for someone you love who needs time to process things. Nichole [01:05:19] So anyway and then we see the men around him are very masculine, right, they’re very like stereotypically like macho and they just seem kind of alien to Dexter. You can tell that, like, they get exaggerated and I think that’s one of the reasons I like Doakes so much, is because he was just the epitome of that, like this, just like super fuckin masculine, like, you know, masculine person who like… And those were the guys who would always see through Dexter. And you could read that as, yes, he’s a serial killer, but you could also read it as he’s not performing masculinity in a way that they accept. Right, and he’s not obeying the male code of behavior. He’s not, like, bragging about who he slept with. And he’s just kind of, like he’s not really into sports. Like there’s this whole funny thing about him and like not understanding football at all because he just doesn’t care about sports. Like it is very much an interesting analysis of like a guy who just isn’t following the bro code. He’s just his own person. He doesn’t really understand other guys very well. And because of that, they all think he’s creepy. But when we look at what he’s actually doing, he’s not being creepy. He’s just being different. He’s just not performing in the way that they think that someone’s supposed to perform. Nichole [01:06:55] So if we can, if the show had been a better show, I think it still has huge value for that perspective if you can watch it and kind of like see that. But if it had been a better show, it would have been an incredible representation of that. Of someone who’s just different and how unfairly that person is judged and how the relationships in their lives can be so strenuous when people don’t just accept you for who you are and work with you and meet you where you’re at. Callie [01:07:29] Yeah, well, and that’s why I think the female characters around him, that’s why they bothered me so much because like all of the things that I was supposed to recognize were like weird or creepy about Dexter, I didn’t. Nichole [01:07:48] Right. Callie [01:07:48] And I was like these are just normal, like, yes he’s obviously not neurotypical. So, but like the things that the show was doing like he really never consented to anything. Like it felt like everything was always happening to him. And because of this code that Harry gave him, he had to just like go along with it in order to, like, pass. And so, and then the women like, around him were always like, they were just the worst kind of like stereotypical, still that like hangover from the 90s media of they’re just these like kind of shrieky, like irrational crazy bitches, right? Like Rita, we’re supposed to see, his wife, was we’re supposed to see, was so nice and kind but she was so naggy and she was always demanding his time and never really seemed to understand that he wanted or needed alone time. And it’s like it’s complicated because he was using that alone time to stalk and murder people, which I don’t support. But also I’m like- Nichole [01:08:57] You don’t? Callie [01:09:04] No. But I’m like, but they don’t know that. Like they don’t know. And so I’m like I’m just really upset that the show’s not like, it’s totally fine that he wants alone time. Like it’s not okay that these women around him keep being so fucking crazy to him and then treating him like he was the one… Like at one point, this scene I think all the time and I think it sums it up so well, there’s actually two scenes. One is like Deb. Later on in the show, she starts seeing a therapist. She sees this therapist like three times and then like never goes back, which that girl definitely needed some long term therapy for a lot of reasons. Although not that therapist because that therapy really fucked her up. But so she’s talking to the therapist and she’s realizing with a therapist that she is always the one sharing with Dexter and that Dexter doesn’t actually share with her. Like he’s not being vulnerable with her in the way that Deb is. Which is very interesting, right, that way that, like, people can make it seem like you have an emotional bond, but like they’re not really giving back. Callie [01:10:21] So Deb’s having this realization and she talks about it in this like, oh, he’s a chair and I want like a table, kind of thing. So she gets really mad at Dexter when she has this realization and she ends up shouting at him at the police station, like while they’re at their jobs, like, you’re just a fucking chair and like storming off. And Dexter’s left standing there blank-faced and his inner monologue being like, what does that mean? And I’m like, that’s really fucked up. Like neurotypical or not, like, if someone just shouts something like that at you where they have context that they’re not sharing with you, and then storms away, like that’s really inappropriate. Like, that’s not good consent. That’s not a good thing to do, and she never really explains that to him. Callie [01:11:12] And so there’s a lot of those things, those moments in the show where you’re like, this, I have, I’m really conflicted about how he’s being treated, which then makes you have this, like empathy for him in other ways that we shouldn’t, you know? Because like Rita, the other example I mentioned is, there’s this one point where Rita, like Dexter goes into a crime scene, which is like it’s a room just completely covered in blood. Like it’s just blood fucking everywhere. And it actually triggers him. And we find out that he has like PTSD that he didn’t know he had. And he starts having these childhood memories that he didn’t remember. And he’s having like a full-on, like he is like the classic definition of triggered. Like he gets nauseous, he starts getting woozy. He has to sit down. He can’t even be in the room with blood and usually he’s, like, completely fine around any and all blood. He’s always like the guy who’s unbothered when all the other cops and stuff are squeamish, right? And Rita’s calling him in the middle of the day while he’s at work being like, I need you to come, like something’s happened, I need you to come get me, or I need you to go run this errand. Callie [01:12:34] And he’s sitting there trying not to, like, hyperventilate on the phone with her and she’s acting, like she’s just kind of screeching at him that he needs to be doing this thing for her because what she has going on is so important. And granted, he’s not telling her like, that he’s having a moment because he’s never really emotionally vulnerable with anyone around him. But as the audience, you’re looking at that scene and thinking like how demanding and uncaring the women in his life always are, like their emotional needs always come before him. They don’t ever really stop to check in with, like, what he really wants. And it’s really frustrating because it’s like I’m empathizing with him in a way that the show’s not even thinking about. But it’s like making decisions based on those things that, like, really don’t make sense. Like, I don’t, I’m not okay with him being a killer, but I have empathy over the way that the people in his life treat him because of him being different. But like that’s not what the show ,that’s not really what the show is telling me, you know? And he never really get, like he’s just always kind of… Callie [01:13:51] I kept bringing this specific example up with Nichole, but it reminds me a lot of the, like I just kept thinking of the show Everyone Loves Raymond as I was watching this because it had those similar vibes, and just like you kind of have this man who’s like a pretty good husband and father, and he just is like wanting his own space sometimes, but he shows up when it counts. And just the people around him are always just like taking and taking and taking from him. And he’s just kind of this like, I don’t know, I just really want to, you know, be left alone. And I don’t really get these, like, creatures around me. You know, these women with their wild needs and mood swings. But like, I’m just going to try my best. And it’s just so insulting. You know, like we could have still seen him struggle to grapple with his not having emotions and trying to learn how to fit in without making the women around him such like, crazy people, you know? But like both Deb and Rita were out of their minds for almost the entire show. Nichole [01:15:00] Yeah, they’re just written to be completely irrational, incredibly demanding, and just like hot messes constantly. They’re just like always like they don’t know what’s going on and they’re just a mess. Rita being pregnant was one of the most insulting depictions of pregnancy I’ve ever seen. They literally made her this like, cartoon character of like a crazy pregnant woman, and just being completely irrational and like, just mystifying Dexter and just screaming at him constantly. And like the people around her, too. Yeah, this show seems to be written from the perspective of someone who does have that very 90s sitcom view of marriage and women where it’s like they’re annoying, but they’re inevitable. Do you know what I mean? Like they’re annoying, but like you also want to get laid and have a family. So like you, it’s just something you have to do. Callie [01:16:04] Well, and he even said that. That was the sad part is he felt like he had to be in these relationships because he needed the cover. It was like part of his code, which is then even more sad that he really didn’t even, he grew to care for these people around him. But it was just like he was being put through so much and he didn’t even really want it. Nichole [01:16:27] Yeah. Which is unsettling. And again, that’s an interesting thing to explore, right? That could be very interesting to break that and explore that and say, hey, this is like the mid-aughts, you know, we’re coming off of this like 90s sitcom thing. Why don’t we explore this a little bit, like why do we look at relationships this way and why do we settle for that? And, you know, it could have been a really interesting thing for him to be like, I just don’t want to be in this. Something that Callie brought up, so I’ll let her talk about it more, but like there was a very disturbing trend as well, that a lot of the sex that Dexter had in the first few seasons was not consensual. And he has like… He… So many thoughts! Nichole [01:17:22] So he describes himself when we meet him as someone who is not interested in sex. And that is why he’s dating Rita because she is a rape survivor and she is not interested in having sex, which this show also has a disturbing trend of using women’s sexual trauma as like a healing device for Dexter ,or Dexter heals them? So that’s weird. So anyway, he feels like Rita is this perfect cover girlfriend. She’s divorced, she has this trauma, so she’s not interested in sex but she does like spending time. She has two children. So she seems like the type who might be cool to like, not get married or move in together, but want some companionship and Dexter’s like, happy with that. He says he does enjoy being around her and he really loves her kids. So it seems perfect. Nichole [01:18:24] And then, he is gaslighting Rita, in a way, because he is pretending that he’s interested in sex when he’s not. Now he’s not like pushing her for anything, which I appreciate, but he’s kind of just letting it be out there that he’s like a normal dude. But he’s like, always says to her, I’m totally fine. Like, I don’t need anything. I’m fine. Instead of being honest and saying, like, I actually don’t want sex. Callie [01:18:52] Either, yeah. Nichole [01:18:53] Either. So, like, this is actually great for me. And so she gets it into her head that like she’s going to lose him if they don’t have sex. And she comes over and, like, just gives him a blowjob out of nowhere. And he’s kind of like, what are you doing? Like, I don’t, you know? He’s not consenting to it. And this is another thing I was gonna bring up is there’s just no consent for him in general. He is constantly getting texts from these women in his life who are like get here now. Come over tonight. Emergency, like whatever. And then he’ll show up. And it’s like Rita in a nightie being like, I want to fuck. Or it’s Deb, you know, having whatever Deb has going on. And this is also very much like that. Like Rita just comes over, like unannounced and then is like, I want to fuck or have sex or like do this thing to you. And you know, he’s supposed to be thrilled because he’s a dude. And it’s like, again, this is an amazing thing that we could have explored like how like men should also be able to consent, and like, this is not okay what’s happening to him. And he’s having his boundaries pushed, you know, by someone. Nichole [01:20:05] And also like, hey, aren’t these expectations we have on people to have sex, like, kind of fucked up? But it doesn’t do that. Of course, it ends up showing, like Callie and I took that out of it because we have this like pro-consent viewpoint but like, if you’re just watching, he ends up realizing he loves sex and then him and Rita like boink all the time. And it’s like, it just reinforces, the show seems to be like he is actually normal underneath it all. He just needs the right experiences and then he can be normal like other people. Callie [01:20:43] Which is super inappropriate to do. Nichole [01:20:46] Yes. Yeah. So it’s like, you know, I would have preferred, I don’t want to watch him have an experience he doesn’t enjoy, but I think it would have been more honest if he didn’t enjoy it and then he had to grapple with the fact that he’s like, look, I actually don’t want sex and part of me being happy in this relationship was that you didn’t either. And now, like, if you are doing it for me, please don’t. If this is something you actually need, then we need to talk about it cause I don’t want it. But instead it’s like blowjobs are amazing, you know, and he just like loves it and it just is such a fucking thing. Callie [01:21:24] Yeah. Nichole [01:21:25] And it’s weird too because he’s had sex before so it’s like, but they’re acting almost like it’s his first time and he’s just like realizing that he enjoys it. I don’t know. It’s fucking weird. Callie [01:21:35] Well and yeah it’s very mixed because we do know that he’s had sex before, but the way he kind of describes it early on is not so much that he hates sex, it’s just that he doesn’t really care to have it like he doesn’t really want it. And also- Nichole [01:21:52] He just doesn’t see the point of it. Callie [01:21:53] Right. And also that when he’s in a relationship, once he’s with someone who wants to start having sex, then they start realizing that he’s not emotionally connecting with them. Because when you’re having sex, like real intimacy, then they start to feel like something is off and that he’s not actually emotionally vulnerable, which he clearly isn’t because he’s a fuckin psychopath, supposedly. Nichole [01:22:16] Right. Callie [01:22:17] So he was very worried about like that with Rita. Right, and then that all just kind of like goes away and I’m like, oh my god. It’s just really frustrating that this like male, stereotypical male outlook and experience is being blended with him being a psychopath, and that just feels very, very uncomfortable, right? Like him being kind of put upon as a man with these demanding women around him. It’s like that shouldn’t be so blurred with the experience of, like, him being neuroatypical and like not having feelings and his consent being blurred, because it makes us empathize with him in a way that’s like we’re letting him off the hook. It makes us want to let him off the hook for things that we absolutely should not be. Nichole [01:23:11] And yeah it reinforces that that kind of thing is cool. Callie [01:23:14] Right. Nichole [01:23:15] That like, again, Dexter’s this, I think he was meant to be kind of like fantasy fulfillment for like nerdy guys. Or who I think like, the archetype would actually be for like, guys on the spectrum who just are, like, mystified by women, want to be with them or at least want to have sex with them, but like, don’t understand them at all. And it’s this like, look, you know, like he ends up being this guy who just like, women just like give him head out of nowhere and he loves it. And like, it never breaks down the fact that like, you shouldn’t be having confusing sex, you know like you shouldn’t be like what is happening right now. Callie [01:24:03] Yeah. Nichole [01:24:03] Not saying, like, two people can’t get swept up in a moment and then be like, holy shit, like I really want to fuck you and we’re gonna do this. But like he’s literally like in the middle of something happening to his body and he’s like, I don’t know why this is happening. You know, like, I don’t know why this person is doing this to me. Callie [01:24:24] And his monologue is telling us he doesn’t want it, which is very uncomfortable. Nichole [01:24:27] Yeah, we’re inside his head. Callie [01:24:28] Yeah. Nichole [01:24:30] Right. And then it’s in the afterglow he’s like, oh, maybe that wasn’t so bad. And it’s like, that’s rape. Callie [01:24:36] Yeah. Yeah. Nichole [01:24:37] That is literally rape. Like, that is not okay. So and the show poses it as if it’s like cool. It’s this, this is what Callie was bringing up but it’s like asexual erasure. Like he, for one reason or another he was not interested in sex, it’s not something he wanted to have. And, you know, instead of the show allowing him to just say that, it doesn’t, and then it does this thing that people always do to queer people where it’s like you just don’t know because you haven’t tried it or you haven’t had the right one. And then once he starts having the right one, it’s like, oh, yeah, this is great and I’m totally into it now. But it had to be, like that experience had to happen without his consent and it needed a sexy, aggressive woman to like, do that to him. Nichole [01:25:31] And I know people, I know cismen who do not like blowjobs. I know cis men who have trouble achieving orgasm and have all these other like, things that people stereotypically would think that men don’t have. And they, you know, like they struggle with that. They struggle with like women not listening and doing things to their body that they don’t want or getting very angry when their bodies don’t perform the way that they are anticipating and making it a lot about themselves, you know? And this could have been like an interesting way to explore that. And really, that’s like a queer exploration of, like, I am this thing that’s outside of what society deems the norm. And it’s valid and it’s real. And then I have these other people who are trying to, in some ways violently, get me to fit back into societal norms. And can we explore that? But no, instead it’s shown is like, oh, Dexter’s cool and he’s getting laid and it’s like awesome for him. Nichole [01:26:45] And, you know, like you were saying, I forgot about that because they explore it more in later seasons, but he says that like – later seasons meaning not season one – but he says that, yeah, like during sex and after sex, it’s when people pick up that he’s not normal and then women get weirded out by him and leave him. And like, I feel like that is also like a very like, neurodivergent kind of thing, right, like that maybe you’re not making the right kind of eye contact or you’re not emoting properly, or maybe… Like I know my ex who has ADHD would have trouble achieving orgasm sometimes because he had trouble like focusing and being in the moment with it. And things like that, right, like, it’s a common neurodivergent experience for sex to be this time when, like, you can’t mask anymore. You can’t mask enough for the person to still code you as normal. Nichole [01:27:47] And so him talking about that was like very touching to me. And like Callie said, then you have to remember that it’s like this show about white male exceptionalism and it’s just very conflicting and it’s very hard to take so much that’s like actually like really amazing explorations of like queerness and neurodivergence and just being different. And then it’s housed in this like ugly kind of trashy box where that isn’t explored properly. Callie [01:28:24] Yeah, well and I just, I found my, it’s like my least favorite kind of plot where people just like aren’t saying the thing. Like you have a character who has like a deep secret or a feeling that they’re, like, afraid to express. And so much of season one Dexter was like this. I mean, obviously, throughout the whole show, he has a secret that he can’t really share. But I feel like there’s this like more pressure on it in the first season, especially because there’s like several episodes in the first season of this like, sexual question with him and Rita of like they’re not sleeping together. But then she decides she thinks she’s kind of ready but that’s mostly coming from thinking that, like, Dexter’s going to, like, leave her because she’s not putting out. And so then she starts to be like the sexual aggressor and he’s clearly uncomfortable with it. Callie [01:29:27] And there’s just all of these moments where I was like, I know that this is like a little bit of an older show and we have better language now. We have better visibility in media for like queer experiences or, you know, somewhat better neuroatypical experiences. But I just was like, just say like I’m asexual or I’m not really into sex. And like, please don’t feel pressured into it, you know, or like- Nichole [01:29:51] And like, please don’t do that. I don’t, I actually don’t want you to do that, stop. Callie [01:29:52] Right! Please don’t call me that there is an emergency and I show up and there’s not an emergency and you’re just like in a fuckin nightie. Like, that’s really fucking upsetting. Or even him saying things to Deb and Rita, like, hey, I need, like, alone time. Like, he could even be like, I’m an introvert and I need more time to myself. There’s just like, he never says the thing and it’s all because, like, he feels like he has to do all these things to fit in and to provide a good enough cover. But it’s like, but we know that there are people that just like are somewhat, you know, on a spectrum of like how much time alone you need or how much like sex you want in a relationship. And it was just really frustrating to see like that not be taken seriously by the show or any of the people around him, especially like the women that he was really close to, you know? Callie [01:30:55] Like Deb not finding out until, what, season five that she actually basically doesn’t know her own brother at all. And like, yeah, it was just extremely frustrating that because this show has so many experiences that like queer people or neuroatypical people could relate to, and honestly do relate to are similar to. But then that all gets kind of like muddy mixed into him being a killer. And then it’s just like this, these violent acts shouldn’t really be blending with things that like are real and these people are just like not treating him respectfully or having good consent for him. And it’s like, are we supposed to feel that way because he’s a killer or are we supposed to feel that way because he’s like a man and the women around him like just don’t get him or aren’t, you know, brought up to think that, like, men have emotional needs? It’s just very clumsy. And I think it just does a lot of, like, harm, you know? Nichole [01:32:07] Yeah, and I think that’s why media like this, too, does end up appealing to a certain demographic who then do glorify the main character because they are, in a way, seeing themselves represented in a way that they don’t typically. You know, you have this kind of character who’s less common or you have like the successful alpha male stereotype that is more common, right. And so, yeah, a lot of guys will look at that and say that’s what I wish I was so maybe I enjoy the show as like wish, like fantasy fulfillment or wish fulfillment. But like they can look at Dexter and be like, oh, shit, that is kind of how I am. And so this person is like even more like me. And I think I was, was it on The Take that like that show actually did inspire murders? Callie [01:33:04] Oh, I don’t remember seeing that in The Take. Nichole [01:33:06] I feel like I saw that somewhere that they were saying like people actually did, like kill other people in this way. Callie [01:33:15] Big yikes. Nichole [01:33:16] Big yikes. And it’s like, you can’t…. Callie [01:33:17] Yeah. Nichole [01:33:17] You know, I don’t want to, like, overly blame them for that because people do all kinds of stuff with media that you can’t control. But I think it speaks to the fact that it was glorifying something and it was kind of, it was trying to say in a weird way, it did an amazing job of showing how unfair it was, the way that people coded him because he was different. But then at the end of the day, it always kept coming back to like, that is why he was different, though. Do you know what I’m saying? So it was kind of equating psychopathy with, like being different. Callie [01:33:56] Yeah. Nichole [01:33:58] And the whole show is kind of centered around like, can he ever be normal? Which again, could be interesting to explore from a certain perspective of like what is normal and what does that mean, and why are we all trying to be this thing called normal? But of course, like, it doesn’t, it doesn’t do it that way. Everything that’s wrong with him is his killing. But his killing also informs what is different about him. Whereas when I watch his show, it was so clear to me. I actually wanted to look it up, I haven’t researched it yet, but I would not be shocked if, like, people who worked on this are on the spectrum and maybe did it without realizing. But it’s so clear to me that, like, his killing has nothing to do with the way that people are reading him. It’s really literally like he is just neurodivergent. He’s just different. Maybe he’s asexual and he’s being, he’s being forced to assimilate the way that so many of us feel that we have to. Like when we can navigate social norms enough to be part of them, but not enough to, like, actually pass, right? That’s the experience that I’ve had. That’s the experience that Callie’s had. Like the people who are coded as high functioning when you know, that’s the last thing that you feel like you are. But- Callie [01:35:26] I can’t even hear “high functioning” without laughing. Nichole [01:35:31] It’s a trap! Yeah. So anyway, yeah, it’s just very unfortunate that like, I don’t think it’s necessarily wrong that he was a serial killer, but it just would have required some really sophisticated writing and a really deep dive into, like, what are we doing? And I think the way out of that would have been through Harry. Because as we continue to start seeing flashbacks of Dexter’s adoptive father, Harry, it’s Harry’s code, right? That’s what we hear this whole show is it’s Harry’s code that Dexter follows to make sure that he’s killing people who are actually bad. And so Harry is just this figure. Like we know that Dexter is adopted. We don’t know what happened to him or why, Harry was a cop, you know, he was part of the Miami PD. Deb was neglected by Harry once he adopted Dexter because Harry realized that Dexter was a serial killer or had these tendencies and then dedicated all of his time and energy to trying to train Dexter on how to get away with it and how to only kill bad people. Nichole [01:36:45] So, so many things here y’all. This could be a whole fucking other show, but I’ll try to keep it. Two things is one, this is like, again, the epitome of like white male exceptionalism is like you think that this kid is gonna be a serial killer and instead of figuring out something else, your solution is that no matter what, don’t get caught and I’m going to teach you how to get away with it. Right? I’m not a fan of institutionalizing people and I know that we don’t have good services in place because a lot of people, if they’re caught as kids, actually can be rehabilitated and end up not killing people. But there is such a stigma around it that like parents don’t want to turn their kids in, so to speak, because then they’ll be coded as like, you know, these outsiders, these potentially dangerous people even if they are rehabbed and are fine. Anyway, so, like, that could have been something to explore, but no Harry’s like, all right kid, you’re going to kill. Let me help you do that in a way where you don’t get caught and like hopefully you can keep it to like just these bad people. Nichole [01:38:05] So anyway, so we know this and on the surface it’s kind of like OK I guess that makes sense. But then we start seeing flashbacks of how Harry actually did this and it was intensely abusive. Harry was telling him like, you’re a monster, you’re evil, like you are never going to be normal. You’re never going to have normal things. You need to fake it. You need to mask 24/7. Never let your guard down because people will see you for what you are, right? You have to go on dates that you don’t want to go on seem normal. You have to perform these social things to seem normal. Like he even teaches, like there’s a scene where they’re taking a family picture and Harry’s like, you know, they take the picture and then Harry’s like Dexter, you didn’t smile. And he’s like, I don’t feel like smiling. Why do I need to smile? And he’s like, normal people smile. So it’s literally down to, like, his little minute facial expressions. Nichole [01:39:05] Which, again, for neurodivergent people is a common thing that people are constantly policing your facial expressions, and part of masking is learning. And so Dexter does that. He smiles for the picture. And then there’s some scene later where Harry’s not smiling. And Dexter is and he’s like… I don’t know, it comes up again where Dexter’s like you gotta seem normal, Dad. You better put a smile on your face, right, so we can see he’s internalized this need to mask all the time and that when we see him smiling, it’s not real. And that’s like heartbreaking. So we see that his dad is, like, incredibly abusive and is basically saying the way that you are is not OK. And I need you to act normal so that you pass or else you’re gonna be in trouble, right? And so, again, it’s complicated by the fact that, like, it’s around killing people. But when we look at what is actually happening, his dad is actually just saying, you’re fucking weird, you’re different, and that’s not going to be OK. And I’m gonna basically beat this into you of how to be normal and how to act normal. And in that process, what I was coming to is that I think the show could have gotten out of this sort of trap of like, he’s weird because he’s a killer, by exploring that maybe Harry turned him into a killer by assuming that these early signs meant that he definitely would be and by abusing him and adding to the trauma that he already had. Callie [01:40:42] Well and I think that’s why season eight was so interesting. Nichole [01:40:46] So interesting! Callie [01:40:47] But sorry, I didn’t mean to cut you off. Nichole [01:40:50] Well, I was just going to end with, and by extension he ends up, Harry, ends up traumatizing and abusing Deb with neglect because he’s so fixated on Dexter. And we see scenes of things like the mom got Deb, a dog, a puppy at one point, and then Harry freaks out because he thinks Dexter is going to kill the puppy so he makes the mom, like, take the dog back. And we see Deb’s devastated. And then Dexter was going to confess to Deb that like, the dad, because Deb’s like, I just don’t understand, like, why would she take the dog? It just doesn’t make any sense to me. And the dad’s like, because of Dexter. And then he comes up with this lie that Dexter has a dog allergy so they can’t have a dog. But we see Dexter is about to confess to Deb, they’re little kids, like, why, because Dad was afraid I was going to kill the dog, and Harry finds him and, like, interrupts and he’s like, what were you going to say to your sister? And he’s like, you know you can’t be around a dog. And Dexter’s like, I wouldn’t have hurt the dog. Like, it’s Deb’s dog. I wouldn’t have hurt the dog. Nichole [01:42:03] And we see that he clearly does have this control. Like, one of the ways that they code him as a good guy is that we never feel like any of these women in his life or anyone he’s close to is ever in danger from him. We just know he would never hurt them. And we see that tested. And again and again, he’s like, he just would never, like he would never hurt his sister. So we know that like, he does have this measure of control where he’s not just gonna be killing the family dog because he’s this like out of control serial killer. So I think it was just such a good scene. The show didn’t do what it should’ve with it, but it was such a good scene to show that Harry was actually like funneling him into this role that he maybe wouldn’t have actually been into you. Nichole [01:42:52] I know most of us are vegan here, so it’s upsetting to talk about, like, you know, animal abuse or killing or whatever but I have read that like, yes, killing small animals at a young age is a sign of psychopathy and that you might end up being a serial killer, but it’s not a guarantee. They say that actually a lot more people do it, then end up going on to like killing humans or whatever. So it’s just, you know, it’s another thing where like, yeah, that could have been a sign of something. But Harry read it as like, this is your destiny. This is going to happen. And now I have to help you, like, be as least of a monster as possible and in that process, I’m going to abuse my daughter by neglecting her, by taking things away from her. And also for any of us who’ve grown up in a family with secrets like, it’s also just that air of like, you just know something is off. But like, no one is telling the truth and no one is talking about it. Callie [01:43:55] Yeah. Which really fucks you up like it’s, yeah. Hard to understate like how much just living in that kind of environment of like not really ever being able to get to the truth or have open conversations really fucks with your sense of the world and your ability to, like, be in relationships fully, you know. But, yeah and that was what the show, like that was something that the show did that was so fucking interesting and that’s why season eight was so good, because we bring in, the show introduces this psychiatrist, this woman who gets brought in as like an expert on a case and she’s actually like an expert on psychopaths. And she seems, very from the beginning, to have, like, this kind of awareness or fixation on Dexter and Dexter seems to be kind of drawn to her, too. And we find out pretty quickly that she actually was good friends with Harry and she helped Harry develop the code and helped teach Harry how to basically mold Dexter into, like, the good killer he grows up to be. Callie [01:45:17] But she did it in a very, like her views on him were very different. So her whole thing was that she thought psychopaths were a gift of nature and that they were very special and that he shouldn’t feel ashamed of, like how he was different or that he had these like, needs to kill people. And that got a little skeevy. I mean like, I kind of like that after so many seasons of him grappling with what Harry did to him and being really angry about Harry and realizing that some of the ways Harry fixated on him and molded him was like actually inappropriate. And even Deb, like, when she finally realizes that Dexter is a serial killer, she kind of immediately gets, she thinks that she can basically, like, help Dexter, almost like a rehab. Like go through a kind of boot camp where she’s going to, like, be on him 24/7 and he’ll never be alone and that eventually, he’ll just, like, be able to white knuckle his way through the like, the killing need and then it won’t be like a problem anymore. And she’s even, like, telling Dexter, like, what Dad did to you is like not OK. Like him teaching you how to be a killer instead of teaching you how to, like, not be a killer is like abusive and I don’t agree. Callie [01:46:53] Now, she didn’t really have a full sense of who he was at that point. Like realizing, I mean, she knew he was a killer, but not really like how deep the trauma and supposed psychopathy went. But then in season eight, you get this, like, really interesting woman who’s there, kind of like, oh, I was kind of a puppet master behind Harry’s code. But while his code and teaching and kind of abusive tactics came out of his, like, fear and really a disgust for Dexter, she didn’t feel that way. She was like you’re special. You’re, you know, you’re, psychopaths are… Which like, OK, we need to talk about this for a minute. She was like, psychopaths have always been around. They’re like a gift of nature. And she was like, and the reason we have, humans have progressed in the way we have is because of psychopaths. Which like, what? That was really, she never really explained that. I mean, she said at one point that like people that are like inventors or CEOs or politicians, like they have psychopathic traits which helps them get, to like to be who they are. Which, with no irony first of all. So I was like watching this is an anticapitalist anarchist. I’m like, yeah, it’s actually not good that CEOs-. Nichole [01:48:27] Right. Yeah. I’m like, you’re right. What she said was accurate. You’re just saying it’s a positive thing versus a negative thing. Like she’s like we wouldn’t have gotten to where we are today without psychopaths. And I’m like, correct. Callie [01:48:40] Yeah. Nichole [01:48:41] But we’re in a bad place, lady. Callie [01:48:44] Yeah. Yeah, I mean, it’s actually not cool that someone can amass an obscene amount of wealth through exploitation of hundreds, if not thousands of people. Nichole [01:48:53] Right. Like that’s not something to aspire to or celebrate. Callie [01:49:00] Right. So that was interesting. But yeah, that’s why season eight was so good because it really explored this. But then, like the show always does, it fuckin muddied the waters. By season eight, we really see Dexter actually realizing for the first – for the first, but also kind of like the eighth time – that he like does have feelings or can bond with the people around him. And that these people that he had kept in his life as cover, he actually was emotionally connected with. So it’s like, well, was he not a psychopath then? Nichole [01:49:40] We’ll never know. Callie [01:49:43] That’s really shitty of the show to, like, present this whole idea that maybe he was just, instead of being taught how to kill, he could have been helped, deal with the trauma of watching his mom murdered in front of him. Nichole [01:50:04] Right. Yes, and I think a final nail in the coffin of misogyny of this fucking show is that we find out that this doctor lady, the reason she is obsessed with Dexter and with psychopaths is because her son is also one and she ended up locking him away in an institution and he set fire to the place and died. Only, spoiler alert! He didn’t. And he comes back and he is an actual psychopath. And like she tries to redeem him, like, this is her biggest regret in life and it’s like this thing that she can’t get over and she’s dedicated her whole to career to studying psychopaths to see if they can be rehabilitated in some way. And participating in this like, off the book stuff like with Dexter forming this code with Harry to give Dexter to see if it worked. And, you know, her son comes back and he’s beyond the point of being rehabbed and he ends up killing her in front of Dexter. Which is actually a very good scene in its own way, of you know, just because Dexter had been looking at her like a mother figure and like trying to protect her and, you know, whatever. Nichole [01:51:24] So, like, that storyline is fine just entertainment-wise, but it does say that, like Harry, the dad, did the right thing by abusing the shit out of Dexter and giving him this code and that this mother did the wrong thing and that her turning away from her son was really what made him what he was versus him being born that way. So, you know what I’m saying? Like it’s like another like way that like, oh, any woman in the show who turns away is like the devil. Versus like I think it’s, you know, he talks about like how bad the institution was and stuff, and it probably was and there is a lot of space to talk about, again, I’m like pretty anti institutionalizing people for that reason. But like, there was no space in the show for us to have, like, understanding and sympathy for her that, like, she could see this in her son and tried to do the right thing. Tried to give him, cause that’s what she says. Like, I tried to get him help and I was trying to protect other people from him. And I, like, always loved him, but she ended up feeling guilty. So she didn’t go to see him. Nichole [01:52:36] And there’s just like this sense that he’s just like this cold, unknowable, almost like Lovecraftian force, the way the actor plays him, he’s just like this alien killing machine. And so there could have been room to explore, like maybe that is just how he was always going to be and there was no way to prevent it. But it’s kind of framed around like it’s her abandonment that made him this way. And it was her indirect love and like supportive of Dexter that made Dexter able to be out in the world the way he is and have this code and like have a family and have a life and friends and all of this stuff. So, yeah, it’s just another way that, like, women are framed as like the caretakers and responsible for men around them. It was a great season. Callie [01:53:36] Yeah, yeah. Nichole [01:53:37] Even so, it was pretty well done. Callie [01:53:39] Yeah, it was very good. Well, and I just loved the payoff of, like, you know, all of this talk about, like, what psychopath’s really are and what, it was just really interesting having her come in as this kind of like expert and explain some things about Dexter but then also having this like, very opposite perspective of anyone else. You know, like Dexter had so much self-loathing because of what he was taught by Harry. And just because of all of the pressure of everyone else around him, really kind of pushing him into always masking and trying to present himself as normal. And then you have her coming in who’s kind of like, yeah, you’re different. Like, it’s cool. You’re special. You know, like that was really… It again, would be very healing, except for the fact that it’s like he’s a fucking killer, though. Like I just… Like yes, I want- Nichole [01:54:37] Well even if she had been like, through my studies, I’ve realized that early intervention, like you, you could have probably come out of this without, you know. It’s a little convoluted that her areas of study were like, oh, let’s let them kill. Let’s just, like, teach them to kill the right people. Versus like she could have been like I’ve been studying psychopathy my entire career and it turns out that, like, for a lot of people, if you intervene and there’s some stuff… Because it’s like that with narcissists as well. Like they’re discovering if you have really early intervention, you can help people, kind of, you know, just… I mean, there’s still debate over whether teaching them to be normal is right or not. But there’s ways that they, like, they can integrate better into society and have more of the things that they may want to have. Callie [01:55:26] Yeah. Nichole [01:55:27] So, yeah, to have her come in and be like, yeah, you’re different and that’s fine. And really what happened is you didn’t get the help you needed when you were younger and you were abused and now you’re here. But instead, it was like, yeah, you’re different, that’s fine, and it’s cool that you kill people. I’m so proud of you. I love what you’re doing. Don’t ever stop. Callie [01:55:50] “I love what you’re doing, don’t ever stop”! I love this for you! Nichole [01:55:50] I mean literally she was like, I love this for you. I really want this to keep going. But yeah, it was, yeah, interesting. I think maybe my last hot take for this episode is that I just noticed there is definitely some, I don’t know if it’s appropriate to call it colorism or what. But like first of all, everyone that Dexter was involved with was white. So, like, he didn’t have any nonwhite girlfriends. But there was a lot of coding. And I think part of it is just cheesy writing where people just get overly swept up in, like, obvious symbology. But like all of the good people he dated who helped to redeem him, had blond hair and were like very white. Whereas like the women who ended up being more like the shrieking harpies that had to be put down, had dark hair. Or you had Deb who is like, turned into this like, sacrificial figure for his behalf. And who ended up being in love with her brother, y’all. Callie [01:57:09] Oh, I can’t even! Nichole [01:57:10] We don’t have the time or the energy. Callie [01:57:12] No. Nichole [01:57:13] We just can’t. They did Deb so dirty. That show just fucking annihilated her entire character. Like, it just reveled in punishing her. It just was gross to watch. But anyway, we see that like, Deb has feelings for Dexter and it’s just made so obvious that like he does not return the feelings at all and she’s just supposed to stew in these like feelings for him. And this is very typical of like brunette women who are involved with him, is like he ends up killing them in some way and that, like the love is not requited. Whereas the blonde ones end up getting his commitment. They end up redeeming him. They end up like being these like sacred figures in his life. So there’s that. Nichole [01:58:01] And then, yeah, there’s just a lot of, like I said, like there are a lot of like Doakes who’s black and Maria, who is Cuban, like, end up getting sacrificed on his behalf. And the thing that made me the most uncomfortable, that was the most like mask off for the show was in season two Dexter has Doakes contained. Doakes is a detective that works at Miami PD and he’s like onto Dexter and he’s going to reveal him to be this mass murderer, this mass serial killer. And so he’s got Doakes locked up in this remote cabin and he’s trying to figure out, like grapple with his code and be like, am I going to kill him? What am I going to do with him? And he comes back. So he, like, leaves to process. Dexter comes back and he tells Doakes, I did the math and my life is just more important than yours. Nichole [01:58:59] And I was like, you have a white dude talking to a black man who he literally has chained up in a cage saying that, like, I have more of a life than you so like my life is more valuable and I, like you’re gonna be the one to be sacrificed. And he was gonna sacrifice and he decided to not kill him. But he was going to frame him for these, they found like 30 of Dexter’s bodies and were calling him, well, we’re calling the killer the Bay Harbor Butcher. So Dexter was framing Doakes for all of these murders. And so he’s sending him to prison because he determined that his own life was more valuable than Doakes. And I was like, yikes. Like, big yikes here, y’all. And we’re supposed to kind of agree with Dexter. The narrative framing is that we’re supposed to sort of like be on Dexter’s side because we’re supposed to want him to continue to be free. Nichole [02:00:01] And they have this weird scene with Doakes where, Doakes isn’t married, he doesn’t have kids, but he has a mom and some sisters. And we have this very weird scene where Deb is with him at one point, we think that they might start dating and they end up not. But Deb and him are partners and he like has her come over for dinner with his mother and his sisters. And he’s just being a dick the whole time. Like, he’s like, I don’t want to be here. We’re gonna be in and out. I hate having to come here and have dinner with them. And then we see during the dinner that, like Doakes’ family is fucking awesome. Like, they’re all funny and like smart and they’re just like, love him so much and they’re like having this, like, wonderful conversation, like, just this lighthearted, like just it kind of, like it just made me, since I don’t have a family, I’m always very much like when something feels very family in like a healthy way, it just makes my heart swell. And I had that feeling like I would be honored to be at that table. Nichole [02:01:02] And so it’s just a very weird framing of this black family that like this family, is wonderful and loving and accepting, and yet he doesn’t want to participate in it. And then that’s what he says to Dexter, because Dexter is like, you know, you don’t have a wife, you don’t have kids, blah blah blah. And he’s like, I have like my mother and my sisters. And he’s like, yeah, but you don’t hang out with them. Like, you don’t want to be around them. And somehow this is like reason enough to punish him. And I just have to think it’s some like, hopefully unintentional, but like some kind of judgment on black men and their involvement with their families. And I just found it like so unbelievably offensive and just disgusting, honestly, it’s really gross. Nichole [02:01:51] So anyway, this show definitely has… And it’s another thing that it sucks because otherwise there is a lot of cool stuff about the show, like the show set in Miami. And there’s so many people speaking Spanish. There’s so much integration of Cuban culture. There’s so much, like in specifically of Cuban culture in Miami, like there’s so much representation of that, and of the food and the people. And like there’s a lot of scenes where people are speaking Spanish to each other and there’s no translation. So it’s like not for non-Spanish speakers. And there’s a lot of, like, code-switching, you know, people speaking both languages. And it just had such an amazing atmosphere of like, like being centered in a not predominantly white space. But unfortunately, there’s also still this fucking racism through the show that isn’t explored. It’s not like, oh, here’s racism to explore it and dismantle it. It’s just fucking there in the narrative. And it’s gross. Callie [02:02:57] Yeah. Yeah, I mean, I feel like we could keep talking about this show for several more hours. But yeah, I think that’s a good point. And I would also just end on like every character got fucked over by Dexter and the fact that the show, whether directly or indirectly, right, every person around Dexter was kind of this like sacrifice, whether they knew it or not, into like protecting him. And apparently, this is something Nichole informed me of, but that because this show was so popular and it was like Showtime’s only, you know, kind of written and produced show, like a big deal at the time, that the writers were told, like, you can’t kill Dexter and you can’t have him, like, get into a position where he can’t, like, get out of it. Like he gets caught and found out and thrown in jail or whatever. Callie [02:03:58] So, like… And you can see that. Like you can see that in the writing, that there is always this like easy out, that every other character ends up like making a choice where it wasn’t what they wanted or they’re deeply unhappy or they get killed or just whatever. I mean, the end of a show like Angel’s running the police department when all he wanted to do was like retire and, like, run a restaurant. What the guy, I always forget his fate, the one that you like, Quinn. Quinn is a fucking psycho. Like, he’s just, he’s, he’s… Nichole [02:04:45] Or a heartbroken fiancé, however you look at it. Callie [02:04:47] Well, yeah. But like he’s now lost Deb and doesn’t get any closure. So, you know, he’s about to just like fuckin tornado through his own life and Angel’s life, grieving. Nichole [02:05:04] Yeah, yeah. Like, Angel’s gonna watch Quinn self-destruct and just not be able to do anything about it. Callie [02:05:09] Right! LaGuerta’s dead. Doakes is dead. Deb is dead and doesn’t even get the decency of a proper funeral. Or that the people around her that loved her get to, like, grieve her in the right way. Like Dexter just literally steals her body from the hospital and drives his boat into a hurricane. So, like, I mean, everyone can assume that she’s dead. But, like, there’s just to deprive them of that and to any sort of satisfying ending. Like the show doesn’t write her going out by like, yes, so she technically dies by getting shot, but not, not like directly. Nichole [02:05:52] She dies by blood clot. Callie [02:05:53] Yes. She like gets shot, but then she gets kind of saved, but then she has a stroke from a blood clot and then it basically gets turned into like, you know, she’s like brain dead. And I’m like, what an unsatisfying way for her to go. Like, she doesn’t even get a hero’s death. She shouldn’t have died anyway but if she’s going to, she doesn’t even get a hero’s death. Nichole [02:06:12] Well and she doesn’t get a thematic death. Callie [02:06:14] Right. Nichole [02:06:14] Like nothing about her death factored into the show at all. Like it didn’t serve any kind of purpose in the narrative. Besides the fact that Dexter ends up killing her by unplugging her. Which, ableism by the way, because we don’t even see a scene where she’s like, hey, if I’m hooked up to machines, like at that point, you know, just, it’s fine. So we just see Dexter being like, well, this is awful and I’m immediately going to kill you because, why? So anyway, yeah, it’s just such a copout because obviously one of the main tensions running throughout the show is like, what would Deb do if she found out, and would Dexter kill her to protect himself? And instead, they have Deb find out, immediately accept it, blow up her own life to protect him, and then die indirectly. And then Dexter kills her. But it’s like, no. Callie [02:07:09] And right before she has the blood clot, so she’s like lying in a hospital bed, so it’s like their last scene together, though neither one of them really know it. She tells Dexter to not feel bad about like anything he’s ever done. That she wants him to be happy, that he deserves happiness, and that basically he should not feel guilty for anything. You have Deb, whose entire life has been trashed by him and his trauma, which isn’t completely his own fault, but still, basically being like, I absolve you of everything you’ve ever done. Callie [02:07:49] And then the show has the fucking audacity to be like he got his just desserts in the end because his ending is that he faked his own death and is now living as a lumberjack in the middle of god knows where without his fiancée? Wife? They didn’t technically get married, right? The woman, he ended up ending up with, Hannah, and his child. He’s away from them forever. And so his, the show was like, what’s the… The writers literally said this, and it drives me up the wall, because they’re like, what could be the most painful thing that we could do to him? Have him realize that he loves these people, that he actually values connections and then have to sacrifice those to protect them because he’s ruining their lives by being in their lives. And it’s like you literally just abandoned your child and the woman you’re in a relationship with. She’s now stuck raising your kid and everyone else lives- Nichole [02:08:56] She’s also a serial killer, by the way. Callie [02:08:59] Thank you. Nichole [02:09:00] And she seems to have no code because they talk about that extensively. And it’s like you just left your kid with this person who has no code. Callie [02:09:12] Right. Nichole [02:09:12] And you’re not there. So, like, if they get sick of that kid… And the child that they hired to be the kid in the last season was so annoying. Callie [02:09:21] I love how you’re so annoyed by him. Nichole [02:09:21] That I’m like, his life is in danger because he’s fucking annoying. Callie [02:09:28] Yeah. Nichole [02:09:28] So just, but yeah, and they don’t even know what happened. So it’s not like… Like people kept getting hurt around you because you kept killing. Callie [02:09:34] Right. Nichole [02:09:34] Like you kept playing games with other serial killers. Callie [02:09:37] Yes. Nichole [02:09:38] If you just stopped doing that, it would be fine. And the thing is like this, this punishment, first of all, very arguable if it’s actually a punishment. And second of all- Callie [02:09:46] It’s not. It’s not arguable. I’m giving my official ruling. It is no kind of actually, any form of accountability. Nichole [02:09:58] Right. But also like, in no way did this show make us want him to be punished in that way. Him becoming, you know, him being a pariah, I guess you could say, like a martyr, is not satisfying to anything that was set up in the show. The main conflict in the show was that he had this secret and what would happen if everyone else knew it? So him going off and people thinking he’s dead and then he died as a blood splatter analyst and a dad doesn’t resolve that conflict for us. At all. And there’s so many ways that they could have kept him alive and could have kept him not in prison but still resolved that conflict for us. And they just didn’t. And it just ends up being ridiculous and unsatisfying and honestly offensive. Callie [02:10:54] Well, and the fact that he is making this decision. He’s choosing to kill Deb. He’s choosing to dump her body in the same ocean where his victims went. Nichole [02:11:08] Yeah, weird symbolism there, Dex. Callie [02:11:10] Right. And deprive the other people in their lives of any sort of closure for both of them. And he’s choosing to abandon his kid without even communicating that to Hannah. And for all she knows, he’s dead. He is choosing to abandon his stepchildren, which, yes, were being raised by their grandparents. But still no closure. And they now will never find their half-brother, the baby that’s now with Hannah. Like the fact that he is making all of these decisions and the show doesn’t question that, like the show doesn’t go like maybe stop fucking with people’s lives. Like maybe that’s you being held accountable is you realizing that you playing these games with serial killers and you killing and you doing all this shit behind people’s back was actually the reason people were in danger. It’s not you, just you being in their lives. So like maybe stop manipulating and pulling the strings of everyone. Callie [02:12:13] Like, I just hate that this, for anyone who identified with Dexter and him, like feeling like he had to do all these things. This show ended with them, with the, with being reaffirmed that he was doing the right thing by constantly manipulating them all and making the decisions for them. And that any of the damage that he’s done is like, fine. Nichole [02:12:44] Yeah. Callie [02:12:44] That’s very, very irresponsible. Nichole [02:12:45] Because he’s repentant. Right, he’s like paying, he’s… What do they call that? Penance? Right, like, he’s like serving his time basically in isolation. Callie [02:12:57] Yeah. Nichole [02:12:58] And that’s absolving him of all of his sins. And it’s like, no, no, it doesn’t work that way. Callie [02:13:04] Yeah. Nichole [02:13:05] Yeah. So anyway, Dexter. Mostly trash. But some very interesting themes brought up in it. And honestly, just for me, it’s a huge miss. Like a huge missed opportunity, because there really were some amazing things proposed in it that just weren’t delivered on. Still very entertaining. If you haven’t seen it or you haven’t, you want to rewatch it, I do recommend. Like I said, I watched it very quickly because I just was completely engaged in it. So it is still very entertaining. But yeah, it’s also like total trash. Callie [02:13:46] Yeah, I just… Yeah, I mean, it was entertaining. But I’m also like, this show is actually very dangerous. And I do think, Landon just brought up, you know, do we feel like this paved the way for You, this brooding, attractive white dude who kills people and like, absolutely. I think this is like, it probably paved the way for a lot of things. Right, this like- Nichole [02:14:14] Well, I think You is like a response to this show. Callie [02:14:19] Yeah. That’s a good point. Nichole [02:14:23] But yeah, I mean, I do think You is a response to this show, because when Dexter was on, people like we’re obsessed with Dexter, like the kill shirt, like Dexter and his kill shirt was like a whole fucking sexual fantasy that everyone was having. And like, if you look at the promotional materials for the show, it’s like very sexy. Like, they definitely amped up, like the sex appeal of like Dexter and the artistry of like the blood splatter and stuff. And I do think that this is one of the things that paved the way for You as a response to that. Nichole [02:14:58] Because You is an ingenious show. I fucking love it. And that’s what it’s doing, is like, do you see how much we let white men get away with? And do you see how we romanticize behavior that is extremely problematic? And like You is another show that the second it lets you feel a little comfortable with the main character and maybe root for him a little bit, it immediately will remind you that he’s a really bad dude. Highly recommend. But I do think that this was like a foundational trope in genre that You is responding to. Callie [02:15:34] Yeah, yeah, I mean, I feel like there is a period of time, and we’re still kind of in it, although I think you’re right, like You is kind of a sign that some shows are getting a little bit more aware. But of these, like you mentioned right at the start of this episode, of this kind of like antihero, this dark, broody guy who’s got trauma, who is like, violent or kind of lives by- Nichole [02:15:57] We have vampires now too. Callie [02:16:00] Yeah. Who lives by his own code, right, kind of outside of what society deems appropriate or okay or not. But then can kind of be redeemed by the love of the people around them. Yikes. Nichole [02:16:21] Yeah. Callie [02:16:21] So, yeah. Nichole [02:16:22] Yeah. Callie [02:16:25] But anyway. Nichole [02:16:25] So that’s it! Callie [02:16:26] That’s it. Nichole [02:16:26] Dexter. That’s it. Callie [02:16:28] Yeah. Nichole [02:16:29] Yeah. That’s all. Just the scant two and a half hours of it. Callie [02:16:34] Yes. Nichole [02:16:35] Yeah, and I have so much more to say, but I think we hit on all the major themes. Like a lot of what I would say is just bringing up, like, specific things and analyzing them. So I do think this is something I feel pretty called to do videos about so we’ll see. But if you enjoyed this video, give us a like, subscribe, ring the bell, leave a comment. You can leave three stab emojis as a comment if you don’t have anything to say, and I promise I will take them in a loving way and not be scared. But do what you want. You can join us every Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time to join the live stream of these episodes. And, you know, if you’re listening on the pod, thanks. We appreciate you. Callie [02:17:29] Yeah. Nichole [02:17:29] All right y’all. Callie [02:17:31] We’ll talk to you next week. Nichole [02:17:32] We’ll talk to you next week. Buh-bye. Now you have to say it! The post 029 Dissecting Dexter: White Male Exceptionalism in Serial Killer Form; Also, Exploring the AUtistic Experience appeared first on Bitchy Shitshow.
We’ve got one of our favorite comrades, Pearson Bolt from the Coffee with Comrades podcast, with us today to talk about security culture. But first, we end up doing a massive ranty Pop Top about Kamala Harris’s win as Biden’s VP pick. Pearson ranted so fervently that Nichole dubbed him an honorary third bitch! Poppin Off The three of us GO OFF about Kamala Harris being chosen by Biden for his VP. Nichole pulled some clips of Harris’ past speeches around school, truancy, and crime to highlight how heinous she is and how she is a cop at heart and the literal worst pick for a time that is brimming with anti-cop sentiment. Resources TikTok about superheroes, politicians & fascismAttorney General Kamala Harris: Innovation & Evolution in our Criminal Justice System (YouTube)Kamala Harris (1/14/10)Unpacking Kamala Harris’s Record on Trans and Sex Work Issues (Them) Joke What do you call a zombie movie set during the French Revolution? (Thanks for the original joke submitted by comedian Mario Marrufo from the Brocial Cuckstice Warriors podcast on Anchor and Spotify | YouTube channel) Main Topic: Security Culture / Operational Security with Pearson! Pearson (he/they) has taught operational security many, many times so he joins us today to do a little security culture and OPSEC 101 with our audience. He covers tips for digital security in your everyday life, particularly if you are organizing online, and then we also go over tips for how to protect yourself in the streets. Pearson recently did a similar episode on their podcast, Coffee with Comrades (link below), which we also highly recommend! The CrimethInc link below also has great information in writing in one place as an additional reference. Security culture: a security culture is a set of customs shared by a community whose members may be targeted by the government, designed to minimize risk. Resources Episode 92: “Practice Safe Sec” (Coffee with Comrades)CrimethInc definition of security culture ( And Court Support (Rebel Steps Podcast) SUPPORT THE SHOW Follow us: Twitter | Instagram |YouTube Join our community: Facebook Group | Discord Server Donate to us: Patreon | PayPal Transcript 028 Let’s Talk About Sec, Baby!.mp3Nichole [00:00:26] Hi, everyone. I’m Nichole. Callie [00:00:29] And I’m Callie. Nichole [00:00:30] We have Comrade Pearson in the studio from Coffee with Comrades and they’re here today to talk to us about security culture. Before we get into security culture, we three thought it would be fun, and we had many requests from you all, for us to generally pop off about this Kamala Harris V.P. pick for Biden. Pearson [00:00:56] Boo, hiss. Nichole [00:00:59] Boo, hiss is right. So Callie and I watched Jimmy Dore’s video about it which we’ll, I forgot to link, but I’ll link it in the description. Pearson [00:01:11] Whomst is that? Nichole [00:01:12] What? Pearson [00:01:12] Whomst is that person? Callie [00:01:12] Jimmy Dore? Nichole [00:01:16] He is a comedian slash political commentator. And he’s not not problematic. But he also- Pearson [00:01:25] Again, whomst among us can cast that first stone? Nichole [00:01:29] Yeah. We enjoy his political coverage because he’s just very angry and he likes to pull together a lot of clips and he knows a lot of stuff. So we find it very entertaining. So I’m actually just gonna copy him. I wanted to do more research, maybe find different stuff, but this is how it went. So I’m going to play two clips from Kamala’s different speeches and then I’m going to mention an article and then we can just generally also tear into both of them. And I just want to say, for anyone who might be new, I am picking on Kamala today, but only because we have roasted Biden to hell and back the whole time. Pearson [00:02:13] Ad nauseam. Nichole [00:02:16] Ad nauseam. And I’m sure we’ll say stuff about him today. But I think, like we always say that it’s one thing to hear someone’s policies and to know that they are shit, but it’s another thing to hear that person like talking about those policies. And Jimmy’s video just reminded me of that, like how when you hear her saying this stuff herself, it just hits you, like way harder and you just realize, like, where her head’s at. All right. So this first one’s from the Commonwealth Club speech that she gave. And this is the one where she talks about truancy, her truancy policy, and yeah, we’ll just- Callie [00:02:55] Not easing us in, huh? Going right for it. Nichole [00:03:01] I’m just going right for it. Okay, and let me know if you don’t hear it. Kamala Harris Recording [00:03:07] In San Francisco, a few years ago, we had a rash of homicides, the highest rate experienced in many… In decades. So every one of us in city leadership was concerned and I asked a staff member to go out and do an assessment and tell me who are our homicide victims who are under the age of 25 when they were killed. And the data came back and it included the fact that 94 percent of those homicide victims were high school dropouts. So then I went over to this- Nichole [00:03:36] So already- Pearson [00:03:37] Wait. They’re high school dropouts. So it doesn’t matter if they’re truant or not because…. God damnit! Like of course they are not in school because they dropped out. Fuck! Nichole [00:03:48] Yeah. So already it’s like… Also this is one of those like false equivalency things like, yeah okay, they are high school dropouts. What else might they have in common? Callie [00:04:00] Right. Nichole [00:04:03] Because as we’ll see, she bases the whole fucking thing off this one fact but says nothing about, you know, access to services, access to resources, food security, financial security- Pearson [00:04:17] Class. Nichole [00:04:17] Housing security, class. Anything, race, anything like that. It’s just that they’re high school dropouts. Kamala Harris Recording [00:04:24] School district, and I asked the superintendent at the time what’s going on? And she said, Kamala, well, of the few number of children we have in the San Francisco Unified School District, fifty-five hundred have been designated as habitually and chronically truant. And of the fifty-five hundred, twenty-four hundred are elementary school students. Nichole [00:04:42] So now she tries to make it sound like the San Francisco school district has very few students. Because notice how she didn’t give a percentage. She didn’t say what percentage fifty-five hundred is, she’s just like, oh, this tiny school district in San Francisco… Because I’m thinking it’s probably a much smaller number than she like, wants to say, so she wants to use like the fifty-five hundred and make it sound huge. Callie [00:05:08] Oh, yeah. I mean, there must be so many kids. Like, I grew up in a school, like not a super big city, and my graduating class was like six hundred fucking people. Like one class, so like I can only imagine, right, in a district like San Francisco, how many kids would be matriculating through. Fifty-five hundred is not a lot. Nichole [00:05:31] Yes. I’m also glad that we’re profiling elementary students as well. Pearson [00:05:36] Got to get them young. Nichole [00:05:37] You’ve got to. Kamala Harris Recording [00:05:41] So I asked the superintendent to convene a meeting for me with all of the principals and administrators of the school district and I shared with them a fact about myself, which I talk about in the book. I’m a product of California public schools. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Francis Wilson, God rest her soul, attended my law school graduation. I would not be standing here were it not for the education I received. Nichole [00:06:07] But like, you’re the worst. Pearson [00:06:11] So what? It’s not exactly a shining example of California’s prestigious educational system if it yields Kamala Harris to the world. If Kamala Harris is the best that California’s educational system can vomit up, then perhaps it needs an overhaul. Callie [00:06:34] Yeah. Nichole [00:06:34] Right. And again, this drawing this line between her having education and her having success without any acknowledgment of all the other factors around that. Including that she was raised by a radical leftist parent, god damn it. Kamala Harris Recording [00:06:54] And I know many of us will say the same thing. Nichole [00:06:57] This is where it gets good. Kamala Harris Recording [00:06:57] And I believe a child going without an education is tantamount to a crime. Nichole [00:07:01] Oh, because we needed to criminalize more things. That’s what we need is more things being a crime. Pearson [00:07:09] I just love the way that you pause too, like there’s just this smug, self-righteous, like, self-assured look on her face right now. Nichole [00:07:17] She’s like, I’m about to fucking blow your minds. Get ready. Kamala Harris Recording [00:07:21] So I decided I was going to start prosecuting parents for truancy. Callie [00:07:26] Look at her face. Kamala Harris Recording [00:07:28] Well-. Nichole [00:07:28] She’s so excited. Kamala Harris Recording [00:07:30] Herschel in San Francisco. Pearson [00:07:35] What is the fucking laugh. What the fuck dude? What the fuck?! Look at that face! That’s demonic! Callie [00:07:42] She’s so pleased with herself. Nichole [00:07:44] She is so pleased. She is so happy. Callie [00:07:44] Like she’s like giddy over, like putting the fear into all these people. Kamala Harris Recording [00:07:52] The staff went bananas. They were very concerned because we didn’t know at the time whether I was going to have an opponent in my reelection race. Nichole [00:07:59] So, again-. Pearson [00:08:01] Look at her face! I can’t get over it. I know that’s like really low hanging fruit, and I’m not trying… But it’s just like, it’s so evil! Just like this maniacal laughter. Like just like cartoon comic book villain status here. Nichole [00:08:17] She’s so proud of herself. And I think maybe it didn’t come through as clearly. But like she was saying that her staff were like, what are you doing? They were like very concerned. They were very against it. And she’s just like, who cares? I’ve got this, like, this is what we’re doing. And also just the fact that she was like, oh, we didn’t know if I was going to run unopposed or not, is so gross to me. You know? Callie [00:08:42] Yeah. That’s the only guard rail on you being halfway decent is if you’re going to have an opponent challenge you on your bullshit? Nichole [00:08:50] Or if that would be the only reason that, like, people would be concerned about this is that it might make her unpopular for reelection versus the fact that it’s just fucking heinous. And again, if we paying attention to all the other factors at play here, then we would see that this would just enhance those stressors, not detract from them. Callie [00:09:12] Yeah. Nichole [00:09:13] All right. Kamala Harris Recording [00:09:15] Well, I said, look, I’m done. This is a serious issue. And I’ve got a little political capital and I’m going to spend some of it. And this is what we do. We recognized that in that initiative as a prosecutor and law enforcement, I have a huge stick. The school district has a carrot. Let’s work in tandem around our collective objective and goal, which is to get those kids in school. So to that end, on my letterhead. Now, let me tell you something about my letterhead, when you’re the D.A. of a major city in this country. Usually the job comes with a badge and there is often an artistic rendering of said badge on your stationery. So I sent a letter out to every parent in the school district outlining the connection that was statistically proven between- Pearson [00:10:12] Liberals love their statistics. Kamala Harris Recording [00:10:14] -High school dropouts who will become a victim of crime and who will become a perpetrator of crime. We sent it out to everyone. A friend of mine actually called me. He said, “Kamala, my wife got the letter. She freaked out. She brought all the kids into the living room, held up the letter, said, ‘If you don’t go to school, Kamala’s going to put you and me in jail!'” It’s not funny. Yes, we achieved the intended effect. Callie [00:10:40] She’s laughing about traumatizing people. Nichole [00:10:44] Yeah, it’s disgusting. Pearson [00:10:46] I also like that she implies that, like, the D.A.’s office is the stick and that like education is the carrot and that, you know, the only reason why we educate people is to like incentivize them to, like, get more carrots. Not because, you know, learning is important or because education is a rich and fulfilling thing that edifies our lives and gives us like a reason to exist in a purposeless world where we’re stranded on this isolated, lonely ass rock without meaning or purpose, and that perhaps education might give us some degree of agency and autonomy over our lives?! No, no, no. It’s that it’s the carrot that moves us towards the next carrot and the next carrot and the next carrot on this endless fucking scaffold that is capitalism. And if you don’t chase the carrots, well, guess what? You get beaten with Kamala’s big stick. God damn it, I fucking hate liberals so much. Fuck! Callie [00:11:39] I like fucking living for how wide you just went with that. Nichole [00:11:44] I know, it’s so good! Callie [00:11:44] A thing of beauty. That was a full on fucking masterpiece. And never like, that’s the thing too when liberals are so focused on people going to school because school is what fucking brainwashes us into being good little workers later on, right? Pearson [00:12:02] Exactly. Callie [00:12:02] So you don’t go to school, guess what? You don’t get that like 12 years of fucking programing telling you how you’re supposed to go out and interact in the world. Nichole [00:12:13] Exactly. Yeah and she goes on in that talk to talk about there’s that homeless woman with three kids and how they press charges against her. But then, you know, they found out, like, the things that she was struggling with and helped her get access to services that already existed. She makes sure to, like, really emphasize that the services already existed and then they were able to drop the charges against her. And so she’s like-. Pearson [00:12:45] Or you could just not prosecute her in the first place and then just, you know, give her the access to the resources. I mean, it’s great that the resources exist, but maybe you could just, um, skip the whole step where you prosecute her and just give the resource, I don’t know I’m just spit balling here. It’s seems like that’s the more efficient and effective way to do this, but who am I to say? Nichole [00:13:05] We’re just work shopping. No, and that’s the thing is like you can, sure, we could use truancy possibly as one of the litmus tests of like maybe a family need some help. So let’s send them some person who doesn’t exist today because everyone today is fucking plugged into the fucking cops. But like send, you know, reach out and say, like, hey, what’s going on? Can we help you? Do you need access to anything? But no instead it’s, we’ve got to press charges. We’ve got to threaten this family. And if you’re a person experiencing homelessness and you’re a single parent, like they’re threatening to take away your kids, too. Let’s be real. Pressing charges like you’re going to lose your kids and then acting like that was some kind of act of, like charity. Nichole [00:13:48] And there’s so many layers underneath that of this way we like infantilize people who are financially insecure. Right, it’s like, oh, we had to go and be the big daddy and threatened with the punishment and then come in and, like, help this person. Because that’s the thing, too. She’s emphasizing that the services already exist to be like don’t worry, I don’t want to create any new programs like what we have is sufficient, which we all know that it’s not. Callie [00:14:17] Right. Nichole [00:14:17] But it’s also to kind of be like, see, this woman didn’t even know like to go do these things on her own. She had to be forced to do them. Pearson [00:14:26] She had to be coddled by the state. Nichole [00:14:28] Yeah. It’s this narrative that, like poor folks are lazy or ignorant and that you need, like, a daddy to come in and be like, okay, you need to get your shit together. And like, here’s the stuff that you could have found on your own, is just really disgusting to me. And it’s really disgusting that she just so blatantly is like, let me just draw this correlation and not look at any other factors. Pearson [00:14:55] Totally. Callie [00:14:56] It’s not, the fact that they miss school isn’t the correlation. It’s that usually school, like you’re saying, is like a sign that there is something going on, right? That there maybe needs to be like additional help, additional support, some services. Like it’s not like, oh, if you miss school then you’re gonna end up becoming a criminal when you’re in your late teens. It’s about like, oh, if you miss school, that that tends to be connected with a lot of other things that could then lead to like anti-social behavior, right? Callie [00:15:30] And like you were talking about, not only are these parents like if they get arrested, then that could lead them on the path through the system of them losing their kids, like the system violently taking their kids from their care. But it also is highly likely that these people lose their jobs, right? Because if you’re already in an economically vulnerable position, you probably have a job where, like, you can’t miss work. And if you get arrested, you could miss a day of work. You could miss several days of work. You could miss work because you’re trying to go to court and deal with all the bullshit and now you’ve lost your job on top of everything else. Like, it’s so fucking cruel. Callie [00:16:13] And I remember when I was researching this story, like months ago, her whole, like, fucking truancy thing and there was this interview, I can’t remember if it was on like Vox or what it was, but it was a woman talking about, a mother talking about how her child is ill, like, I think her child had like cancer or something like horrible and missed a ton of school. The teachers were aware, the principal was aware, the school district was aware, but it was still in violation of the policy because the student was missing school and the mom got arrested anyway. And she’s like, what the fuck do you want me to do? Like, you know, that she’s sick and why she’s missing school. They don’t care. Nichole [00:16:59] They don’t care. No, they don’t care. They just want to criminalize more shit. And have more indirect ways of targeting black and brown communities and poor communities, right, without coming out and saying that that’s what they’re doing. Because that’s what I keep harping on. Like, if you looked at the reasons that kids miss school, they’re almost always like financially related in some way. Even if it’s a parent struggling with addiction that tends to be tied into like they can’t afford to get help, they can’t afford to go to rehab or get any kind of support. They may not have, like community ties around them with people who can help out. Like, there’s always… There’s reasons that kids aren’t in school that go beyond like they’re just not going. And for her to draw this false equivalency of like, oh, when people go to school, then they don’t commit crimes. Nichole [00:17:53] It’s like the reasons people commit crimes, if they’re there, then they’re still there. You know, like if you’re committing crimes for economic reasons, if you’re trying to survive, then that isn’t going to change whether or not you’re in school. Yeah, you might, some people might have a better shot of getting out of that position with a high school diploma. But like we all know, too, there’s only so many jobs to go around. Minimum wage is shit. Like there’s no guarantees. So, yeah, for her, it’s just one of these ways that people are like, come in and they’re like, look at how I just took these like ruffians and helped them out, you know? Pearson [00:18:35] Ursula K. Le Guin has this really good quote where she says, “To make a thief, make an owner. To create crime, create laws.” And I think that, like, really like sums up this Kamala Harris presentation, if you could even call it that, of this new policy. I mean, make no mistake, like Kamala Harris is in many ways like a leading architect of the prison industrial complex. And so it’s no surprise that she ends up being the V.P. on the Biden ticket, considering the fact that Biden was the architect of the 94 crime omnibus bill, which was championed by the Clinton administration. And so, like, you know, this fusion, right, of Kamala Harris and Joe Biden is, I think, a big refutation and a big middle finger to the progressive flank, such as it is, of the Democratic Party and a general fuck you to the left more broadly. And I think that, I think it’s pretty clear to me that this so-called referendum on Trump is doomed to fail because we tried this shit already in 2016 with a Neoliberal candidate. Pearson [00:20:00] And ain’t shit changed, right? I mean, like, it’s really disappointing to see people like Angela Davis, for instance, whom I love and whom I think very highly of, who has, you know, given so much of her life and her effort and her energy in the struggle towards prison abolition, celebrating Kamala Harris. Again, like I see a lot of leftists saying, like, you know, this is very kind of hero worship thing where it’s like, well, you know, you know, Angela Davis has given so much of herself to the struggle for prison abolition. Who are you to say that you know better than she does? And it’s like, okay, like both things can be true simultaneously. Like, I can critique someone even as they’re really good at a thing, right? Like this idea of hero worship, I think is really a disappointment on the left, and it has this sort of this sort of puritanical, like religious kind of like fetishization of these figures instead of like an actual, like, materialist critique of their positions. Pearson [00:21:05] You know, I like the same thing can be said of, like, Noam Chomsky. So I don’t want to go hearing anybody saying that, like Pearson’s just going after Angela Davis because she’s a Marxist. No, I’m happy to critique everybody. It’s just like if we’re actually going to practice what Marx called the ruthless critique of all that exists, then we kind of, you know, have to do that. We can’t just, like, pick and choose. You know, when one person, you know, is like, you know, the hero of our, of our so-called movement, like we got to be able to walk and chew gum at the same time as it were. So like, I think that the Kamala Harris and Biden ticket is incapable of actually presenting a legitimate challenge to Donald Trump and is simply a further progression to the right in this country, which has been the steady course that neoliberalism has been on for the last 40 years, right? Pearson [00:22:02] Like, if we look at it on a broader timescale, right, if we look back at Reagan, right, and Reaganomics, the real way that neoliberalism was constructed, right, transitioning into the Clinton administration, which had the crime omnibus bill and like really championed mass incarceration to George Bush, to Barack Obama, to Donald Trump. We’re just moving further and further and further to the right in this country. And I think that that in many ways reflects the project of neoliberalism in general. I think it was Lenin who said that capitalism, or rather fascism is capitalism in decay. And what are we looking at this moment, if not the decay of capitalism? I mean, neoliberalism is just an absolutely gutting economic system that implements privatization, financialization, austerity, and is absolutely ravaging people’s lives. Pearson [00:23:01] And so it’s like, you know, we can keep voting for these fuckheads and continue to move further and further and further to the right, or we can actually, like, do something meaningful and productive with our time and actually try and build and prefigure the alternatives that we want to see right here and right now. Not wait for some mythical, capital R, patriarchal revolution where some heroes are going to swoop in and kill all bad guys and save us, but instead, like, actually work meaningfully towards developing a more robust and a more, a more like cogent critique of how capitalism functions and how it insinuates itself within state power. So I’ve talked to a lot, I’ll shut the fuck up. Nichole [00:23:47] I mean, we can end the podcast here. Callie [00:23:53] I know, that was all so good. No, I saw, I’ll try to remember the name of the person who said it and I want to be able to credit them so I’ll try to find the Tik-Tok and post a link to it. But it was a really interesting perspective on the similarity between like fascism and like superhero culture and how Americans basically being like raised on superheroes and always kind of waiting for this kind of savior and that we all have our favorite superhero and we like stand for them and we fully support them and hero worship them. And how like doing that with our politicians, like basically stanning any politician is just like fucking fascist, you know, like it just it tells the politician that, like, you can do what you want. I like you and I am not going to, like, hold you accountable for, like, policy decisions, you know, and that’s basically what we’re seeing. Callie [00:24:46] I mean, Kamala Harris, like, has her KHive. She literally has a bunch of people on fucking Twitter that like basically act like Beyoncé fans. And dear god, please don’t cancel me, Beyoncé fans, for saying that. Like y’all are truly scary. But like, you know, all these people that are like going out and acting, like tearing into people who dare to hold Kamala Harris accountable. And that’s fucking scary. I mean, these are not, they’re not pop stars. They’re not fictional superheroes. Like these people are supposedly our elected leaders. Like we should hold them accountable, even the ones that we like. Like even our faves. And we shouldn’t have faves but like-. Pearson [00:25:38] It’s the fandom of politics, right? It’s like it’s political fandom. You know, it’s this myopic fixation on these larger than life, like you said, like messianic figures who are supposedly going to bring us safety or, you know, drive the mean orange guy out of the White House, right? But like, there’s no actual engagement on a like material or on a policy level, because in reality, it’s just fanatic hero worship and nothing more and nothing less. Nichole [00:26:16] Yeah, I saw someone on Twitter talking about that with Bernie and they were saying, like the liberals just like support a politician no matter what, because they don’t actually support, like, what they stand for. Or they do, but it’s not like about their policies, right, it’s about like what they represent. And so they just couldn’t understand that so many of us Bernie, supporters were like, no, we literally supported him because of his policies and now that he’s out, like, we’re fucking done. Like and they were like, you know, how libs have just been baffled that, like Bernie’s been out here supporting Biden and now he’s like raving about Kamala, which like Bernie, you were already fucking canceled to me and now you’re dead to me, like goodbye. Pearson [00:27:00] I always think of that meme of the, like, kid who was like dressed in the Pooh Bear thing and he’s like holding the gun and he’s like crying, and it’s like, you know, talking about how he’s going to kill Bernie Sanders. Apparently not actionable, for the record. But you know, just that meme is justice. Callie [00:27:20] That is just very much exactly how I feel about Bernie Sanders. Nichole [00:27:26] Yeah, we posted the version to our Instagram where it was like me getting ready to tell Bernie to go fuck himself when he supports Biden and the kid’s like weeping. But like holding the gun. Callie [00:27:36] Oh no, but Nichole where a cult and we will do anything he says and didn’t actually like him for his policies. Nichole [00:27:41] That’s right. The cult of personality. Pearson [00:27:44] Right. Callie [00:27:45] Except that the minute he did something we didn’t like, we were like, then fuck you, we’re going this way. Pearson [00:27:50] I think it’s also funny that you point out like the KHive too, because like, you know, what was the thing that they tried to throw against Bernie Sanders supporters? Well, it was the Bernie Bro narrative right? Over and over and over again, right, the Bernie Bro narrative, it is, you know, this hive mind, this hodgepodge, this patriarchal dude, bro, who only cares about Bernie Sanders because it’s cool to do on the Internet, right? And that’s all like very bad and should be condemned and is contemptible. But the KHive is something very celebrated because yay, Kamala! Pearson [00:28:29] You know, it points to the failures of liberal identity politics and the ways that liberals have tried to co-opt the rich tradition of intersectionality that was championed by the Combahee River Collective, right, this queer collective of black women who like, actually really like had a cogent intersectional critique of capitalism, the state, patriarchy, heteronormativity. And instead, it’s been weaponized by liberals as a sort of tepid attempts to pacify the left, right? Oh, we’ve chosen Kamala Harris and she’ll be the first female V.P. She’ll be the first woman of color who is a V.P. And it’s just like these banal gestures that are meant to pacify people and even excite people. And it really sort of shows the light to the lie of liberal identity politics and how myopic and how idealistic they are. Speaker [00:29:38] Like, they don’t actually have anything material to offer people, right? Like Kamala Harris in the vice president’s office isn’t going to give people health care, right? Kamala Harris in the vice president’s office isn’t going to make education better in this country. Kamala Harris in the vice president’s office isn’t going to suddenly end all of our endless wars and our fracking and our capitalist expansion, our imperialism, right? It’s literally just a fucking action figure place holder. I think the rhetoric of superheroes works really well here. It’s just… God, it’s awful. Callie [00:30:19] Yeah. Nichole [00:30:19] It is awful. Callie [00:30:19] Well, I think that’s what’s so… I think that’s what’s been the most like deeply disturbing to me of this whole process, is just seeing how… It’s like the curtain has been pulled back. The Democrats are officially like where we don’t even care, like, the wheels are fucking coming off this thing, right? It’s late stage capitalism. It’s just about like getting as much as we can before everything officially goes to shit. Like we’re not even going to pretend to, like, do what you want us to do. Like to be in a pandemic and still be actively against universal healthcare like Medicare for all is just so deeply disgusting. You know? Pearson [00:31:05] You can say the exact same thing for like the fact that we are in the midst of one of the longest protracted insurrectionary movements whose main target is the police and who do you, who do you asked for your V.P.? Why the self-proclaimed top cop of California, right? It’s a big, you know, fuck you to everyone who actually has, you know, two brain cells between their ears to spark together and, you know, think critically about this situation. And again, I don’t want to beat a dead horse or dog pile anyone, but it’s just really dispiriting seeing like actual authentic leftists who have been committed to the movement for so long, you know, making apologia for a self-proclaimed top cop who literally fucking celebrated the fact that we should have more people in the incarcerated, in the carceral state so that they can go and fight California’s wildfires. Pearson [00:32:00] Kamala Harris literally wanted to, was like happy that they had more people who could use slave labor in the carceral system to go fight fires in California. This is the person who were supposed to be celebrating? Nah, fuck that. Miss me with that bullshit. Callie [00:32:16] Yeah. I mean, nothing could be a bigger fuck you to our times than this Democratic ticket. Like we’re in the worst economic crisis, probably in our country’s history. I mean, I know we haven’t felt all the effects yet, but this is going to end up being worse than the Great Depression, right? Pearson [00:32:33] It already is in many ways. Statistically it is. Callie [00:32:35] Yeah. And it’s like it hasn’t even really gotten… The shit hasn’t even really hit the fan yet and we’re not even out of this pandemic, it’s probably going to last at least another year. And so you have the father of basically modern day slavery through mass incarceration and this tough on crime, fucking racist white supremacist bullshit, now partnered with California’s top cop who declined to prosecute someone who took advantage of like thousands and thousands of families, right, Steve Moonchan? Munchen? Pearson [00:33:13] Yeah, Steve Mnuchin. Callie [00:33:15] Steve Mnuchin. I always forget how to say his last name. Pearson [00:33:17] It’s okay, he’s a piece of shit though so it doesn’t matter. You can mispronounce it all you want. Fuck Steven Mnuchin. He’s a piece of shit. Callie [00:33:23] So you have someone who, like, is looking the other way with people who have done so much harm because they’re part of the, you know, capitalist white class, right, who’s then targeting and openly bragging about, like, harming black poor, like POC families, right? Like, I just I can’t imagine a bigger fuck you. Like literally everything this Democratic ticket stands for is the exact opposite of what people want nowadays. Like 90 percent of Democrats want Medicare for all. Is that even in the platform of the DNC? No, they wouldn’t even have to do it. They don’t even have the decency to lie to us anymore and be like yeah, that is our policy, but oh, shucks, we just couldn’t make it happen. They’re like no, fuck you. Pearson [00:34:10] Because of those pesky Republicans, they just wouldn’t let us pass it. Callie [00:34:15] Right, exactly. They’re like, what? Who are you gonna go for? Trump. No, we’re just gonna do whatever the fuck we want. We’re gonna pick someone who is like bragging about being a fucking artistic, rendering of a shield like she’s that much in love with, like the idea of being law enforcement and having a big stick that she’s like-. Pearson [00:34:34] Blue lives matter. Callie [00:34:36] Right! And like in a time when millions are taking to the streets to protest, like police brutality, they just like, honestly, don’t give a fuck anymore. I don’t think anything sums this up better than, especially this video that Nichole’s been patiently waiting to play. Nichole [00:34:54] Good segue. All right, so this clip is shorter, it’s like a minute and a half. But, yeah, I think it sums up like a lot of what we were just saying. Kamala Harris Recording [00:35:04] Okay, so I say with all love and warmth. Callie [00:35:07] No. Already. Kamala Harris Recording [00:35:09] Out of the concern also for people who are progressive thinking, and liberal minded, or just progressive thinking in terms of just fix it, fix it, is that we all have these posters in our closets that we’ve attached to a stick- Callie [00:35:28] Bitch, you don’t. Kamala Harris Recording [00:35:28] -More thoughtful about criminal justice policy, and those statistics that you first heard when we opened it up, incarceration. And we run around with these signs, “build more schools, less jails”, “build more schools, less jails”, and we walk around everywhere, “build more school”. We protest, “build more schools, less jails”. “Put money into education, not prisons”. There’s a fundamental problem with that approach in my opinion. Pearson [00:35:54] I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Wait, hold on, so… Nichole [00:36:02] Did you catch it Pearson? Have you caught it yet? Pearson [00:36:02] There’s a fundamental problem with saying “more schools, less jails”?! Nichole [00:36:10] Yeah. Callie [00:36:11] Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Mh hmm. No, she’s a fool, like she is such a piece of shit, like she’s openly mocking people, like she’s just sneering at us all. Nichole [00:36:32] Yeah. Did you hear her define progressive minded as people who want to fix it now? In a mocking tone? I think Pearson might be frozen. Pearson [00:36:46] No, I’m just I, I just… Callie [00:36:53] That was the best thing! Pearson [00:36:53] I’m at a loss for words. I mean… Nichole [00:36:55] That was almost a jump scare. That was amazing. Pearson [00:37:01] I mean… I don’t even know where to begin. Like, as an educator, I’m just so like, what are you fucking talking about? What are you fucking talking about?! Like even…Like okay, so like we’ll take two steps back, right, put yourself into the mind, right, of a Neoliberal capitalist, right? The whole idea, right, is that you want to train your workers up to be good obedient worker bees. How can you do that if you don’t have an actual like, you know, functional, like even semi-functional education system, right? You’re not going to be actually able to do it. And what we’re seeing right is, is the you know, we’re seeing more of that stick that she like was so proud to talk about in the last video that you showed, right? Nichole [00:37:44] She put a sign on it, she put a sign on the stick. Pearson [00:37:47] Exactly. She put a sign on the stick this time. You know, it’s like… Okay, it’s like, it’s like she’s basically saying, right that, okay, we well tried the carrot so now here’s the stick, right? And then what do we, you know, what are we looking at if not that exact fucking pattern over and over and over again over the last four decades, right, over the last 40 years where neoliberalism has reigned supreme, right? As Margaret Thatcher said, like there is no alternative to capitalism, right, it is the hegemonic system under which we all live, right? You know, the idea that we are just continuing to drift further and further and further and further right, and as we get to a point where now, okay, we don’t actually need workers to pay a wage do we? We just need good, obedient fucking slaves to put into, put into mass incarceration to work for pennies on the dollar?. Nichole [00:38:36] That’s really it. Callie [00:38:37] Yeah. Nichole [00:38:38] Because wasn’t she the one too in California when they were… We were looking at releasing a bunch of inmates. She was like, it’ll literally like bankrupt our economy? Pearson [00:38:47] Yeah. Nichole [00:38:48] Because California relies so heavily on prison labor? Callie [00:38:51] Yeah. Pearson [00:38:51] Slave labor. Slave labor. Nichole [00:38:54] Which is slave labor. Modernized slavery. Callie [00:38:56] Her lawyers are, like a judge told her office to release people-. Nichole [00:39:01] That’s what it was, yeah. Callie [00:39:02] And they refused. Nichole [00:39:04] She’s like, “We can’t because these corporations need the labor.”. Callie [00:39:04] Like, not only were they not…they fought it. Exactly, and they said this would like hurt California’s economy. And a judge was like, get them out. Like, they literally had to be like, what are you fucking doing? Like, you’re not doing what I told you to. And now her whole thing is she’s like, oh, I didn’t know that our office policy was to argue. And it’s like they were your lawyers! It was your office! You cannot possibly say that you did not understand that that was the argument being made in court. Pearson [00:39:36] Yeah, it’s total bullshit. Nichole [00:39:39] Pure bullshit. All right, let’s let her finish. She’s got a big point to make. She’s going to, she’s got a big thing she’s proud of herself to say. Kamala Harris Recording [00:39:46] I agree with that conceptually. Callie [00:39:49] I don’t think she does. Kamala Harris Recording [00:39:49] You have not addressed the reason I have three padlocks on my front door. Nichole [00:39:53] This bitch does not have three padlocks on her door. Okay, first of all. Callie [00:40:00] Also, who puts padlocks on their door? Like bike locks, like i just…? Pearson [00:40:03] They’ve got like the one with the whole chain that they like wrap around. Callie [00:40:14] I mean, I know it’s such a small thing to pick on her for, just mixing up her words, but I’m also like but fuck you. Nichole [00:40:21] No but she meant it. She practiced this speech. She had this written out. And this is what, like as a person who grew up in poverty, this is the kind of shit that always, like, sets my hair on fire, because… it’s me. Pearson [00:40:37] They’re coming for you. They’re coming for you, Nichole. Nichole [00:40:41] I know! It’s like this is the kind of shit people say because they think that’s what like being poor is like or they think that’s like, it’s like this cartoonish version of like crime, right, that everyone’s going to respond to is that we all have these padlocks on our door and it’s like, no, you don’t. Callie [00:40:57] Yeah. Nichole [00:40:58] You live in some gated fucking area. You probably have security, like, stop it. All right. Kamala Harris Recording [00:41:06] So part of the discussion about reform of criminal justice policy has to be an acknowledgment that crime does occur. And especially when it is violent crime, a serious crime. Well, there should be a broad consensus that there should be serious and severe and swift consequence to crime. Pearson [00:41:29] Yeah and what has that done for anyone? Has that ever deterred crime? No, of course not. And we can see that time and time and time again, just like how the death penalty doesn’t stop people from killing each other. So, too, does it not prevent people from doing, you know, more like less severe like crimes. I mean, like I mean so severe. Like it’s definitely like a terrible thing to, like, assault someone. But like, you know, the threat of punishment has never deterred people, right? Nichole [00:42:00] Never. Pearson [00:42:00] Especially because a lot of times it just happens instantaneously, right? It’s something that just boils over. A lot of times it’s not premeditated, right, and we throw people into the carceral system. What does it do but churn out people who are more hardened, people who are more willing to do violence, and people who have no other option oftentimes, but to do that violence in order to, like, make ends meet. And so it’s just like this myopic cycle that we keep going through time and time and time and time again continues to perpetuate violence, and if we continue to do this, this sort of retributive type of justice, if you can even call it that, then we’re never actually going to be able to move towards a more just and egalitarian society. These people don’t care about justice. They care about the bottom line. They care about how much money is lining their pocketbooks because of corporate lobbyists. They don’t give a fuck about what’s right or what’s true or what’s just. All they care about is how much fucking money they can scrape together. Because guess what? They’re not here for a long time. They’re just here for a good time. And they’re gonna take us all on a fucking ride as they go down with their fucking ship. Callie [00:43:08] Exactly. Nichole [00:43:08] Yeah. Callie [00:43:09] I just can’t… It’s so disgusting when you really take a step back and think about like we shouldn’t have people in law enforcement, like attorney generals and prosecutors, making decisions that don’t fundamentally understand crime and why it happens. And we shouldn’t have legislature, like people in our like, legislative positions who also don’t understand crime. And she is both! Like she is now a senator and she was California’s top attorney general. And she doesn’t understand criminal behavior? Like I learned in sociology one -oh-fucking-one what crime is and how you actually prevent it. And like all this, so many studies have proven that it’s not this, like, you can’t… Callie [00:43:58] The stick doesn’t work. They’ve proven that time and time again, just like having worse prisons or having more brutal sentences, having this like really strict, like punishing arm of the state doesn’t actually help lower crime. It actually makes things worse because-. Pearson [00:44:16] It exacerbates it. Callie [00:44:17] Yes! It’s what you were just saying. Like you put people in prison, you sap like the rest of their hope and then you turn them out. They most times have lost the ability to vote. They can’t get a regular job. They’re fucking monitored. They’re being taken advantage of by like probation officers. Like it’s fucking horrible. You give them no options and then you wonder why they end up reoffending and going back. We can see in places that have different ideas of how to, like, truly rehabilitate people or how to truly prevent crime, like maybe decriminalize the things that are not violent, right? Like what that actually does. That’s what helps. And to have someone like her who’s seen as this expert on like criminal behavior, on law enforcement, on creating laws and enforcing them, not understand this? That’s criminal. Callie [00:45:15] Honestly, like she has ruined so many lives and doesn’t even have a basic understanding. Or I mean, she does she just like is so fucking greedy she doesn’t give a fuck. But it’s really upsetting. Like we can see even within our own country, like certain states. Like the states, like Arizona. Do you remember fuckin Sheriff Joe or whatever that white supremacist piece of shit, the guy who, like, would put his prisoners in like pink jumpsuits and be like out in the hot desert, like doing, you know, desert clean up or whatever the fuck, like the rates of people reoffending there are so much higher than in states that have more of like a rehabilitative approach, right. Where it’s not like, oh, we’re just going to try to scare you into not coming back. Like we can see the evidence is clear. Nichole [00:46:05] Yeah. And I liked those two clips together because it shows how bullshit everything is, because in the first one she’s saying that school does prevent crime. And in the second one, she’s saying school does not prevent crime, right? Like school has like… We can’t build new schools if we’re not here talking about violent crime and violent criminals and how we need people to intercede on that. So it just shows that… And it just shows the whole thing is a grift. Exactly. Pearson [00:46:40] Well, I’m really glad you pointed that out, because I hadn’t considered that particular vector of analysis. Like that pairing of those two videos works so well because it’s literally just exposing that it’s all total utter bullshit. Nichole [00:46:56] Yup. Yeah. She’s literally making fun of people who are pushing for school in the second video. When in the first one, that’s her whole thesis statement. Her whole hypothesis is that, look, school is so important because it prevents crime. And then in the second one, she’s making fun of progressive people for thinking school is like this social solution to things. Callie [00:47:21] Yeah. Before we move on to this story, can we finish the rest of that clip? Because it’s so fucking funny to me that she’s like such a fucking asshole that she’s going to like dis people’s appearances. Nichole [00:47:38] Oh, okay yeah, we can do that. Kamala Harris Recording [00:47:43] That I think is essential. And by the way, it’s, it, when you break it down, everybody agrees. You know? Pearson [00:47:51] We don’t! Callie [00:47:52] We don’t actually… Kamala Harris Recording [00:47:56] One year long as… Many years ago I was speaking before the San Francisco Democratic Party, the annual meeting. And it was a Saturday, I had done a bunch of events so I got there and was a little tired. And I got to the podium and I looked out at the San Francisco Democratic Party- Callie [00:48:11] I hate this so much. Kamala Harris Recording [00:48:12] And I leaned looked at the podium, kind of leaned over, I’m just exhausted. I’m looking at, you know, the glorious party that it is, right? So it’s like the Black guy with the blond hair, the white guy with the dreadlocks, you know, the lady there with the purple hair and all the buttons, right, and I just looked out at this fabulous motley crew and I said, “Okay, so who of us is Democrats, raise your hand, and saying people shouldn’t have to go to jail?” Pearson [00:48:37] Well, I mean, I’m not a Democrat, but I am raising my hand. People shouldn’t have to go to jail. Kamala Harris Recording [00:48:43] One human being kills, another human being. A woman is raped. Callie [00:48:47] Ooh I didn’t think about that. Kamala Harris Recording [00:48:47] A child is molested. Is that what we’re saying? Nichole [00:48:51] Yes! Kamala Harris Recording [00:48:52] Her response was to suggest we don’t want law enforcement and public safety. Callie [00:48:57] Yes! Pearson [00:48:57] Correct. Yes! Abolition now, motherfucker. Come on, Jesus. Kamala Harris Recording [00:49:02] -About challenging ourselves in terms- Nichole [00:49:04] That’s not what we mean. No! It is what we fucking mean! Pearson [00:49:07] It is, it is, yes abolition is when we say abolition, we mean abolition. The abolition of the police. Nichole [00:49:13] Stop coopting all of our fucking words, you asshole. Callie [00:49:16] I just love that for so many reasons because you can tell how much like fucking disdain she has-. Pearson [00:49:22] For the base, yeah. Callie [00:49:23] Yeah, in her own party. Nichole [00:49:25] Yeah. Like in her own city. Callie [00:49:27] Yeah, in her own city! It’s like you can’t, like… What stick is like… What is wrong with you that you’re like, oh like the woman with PURPLE hair thinking she doesn’t want cops. Pearson [00:49:40] And the BUTTONS?! Callie [00:49:47] Yeah! Pearson [00:49:49] She has purple hair and buttons?! Those buttons!! Callie [00:49:51] Seriously. Oh and that fucking sign in your closet like oh, oh, you have a sign in your closet? And it’s like, girl I think you’re actually looking for the Republican conference. Nichole [00:49:58] Yeah, I think a lot of you are lost. Callie [00:49:59] You’ve stumbled into the wrong place. Like what is the matter with you? Pearson [00:50:06] I mean she is true though. Like I don’t hear any liberals actually calling for, at least not authentically calling for, police abolition. Nichole [00:50:13] No, it’s true. Pearson [00:50:14] You know, there are plenty of liberals who are perfectly content to post like Black Lives Matter in their Twitter bio and say defund the police. And then they turned around and fucking venerate Kamala Harris as soon as Biden picked her for his V.P.. So it’s like, you know, it’s totally not an actual gesture of solidarity or of authentic comradeship. It’s merely a banal platitude that is supposed to get the mean orange man out of the White House. And, you know, these people, these exact same people, we’re fucking absolutely mute when Michael Brown was murdered and who was the person who was presiding over the White House in that critical juncture? Well, it was Obama. Did they have anything to say when Eric Garner was murdered? Nope. Who was the president at that time? Oh, it was Barack Obama. Did they have anything to say when Philando Castile was murdered? Oh, no. That was also Obama. And they had precisely jack shit to say. So, you know, it really reveals itself for just the total fucking grift that it is. Pearson [00:51:19] And I think that she’s on to something when she says the liberals don’t actually want that, because it’s true that liberals don’t actually want that. But there are people in the so-called Democratic Party who are on the progressive flank who do want like an authentic defunding of the police. And there’s obviously those of us on the left who are genuinely committed to abolition, not just of the police, but also of the prison system and ultimately the state itself. Nichole [00:51:48] Yes, comrade. So the last thing I want to bring up, I haven’t had time to read through this entire article but this popped up. I saw it promoted on Instagram. This account “them”. I really like a lot. I highly recommend it. But it just goes through and unpacks Kamala Harris’ record on trans and sex work issues. I saw Everett in the comments talking about how like their lib friends will try to tell them, like the white cis gays will try to say what a ally Kamala is for the LGBTQ community. And the truth is, you know, she has been an ally in terms of being like pro-gay marriage and things like that. But she’s been very, very anti sex work. She actually laughed at the idea of decriminalizing sex work. And as we know, that disproportionately affects trans folks, particularly black trans folks. And also, she is someone who has sent many trans women to men’s prisons. So she is not a fucking ally. Nichole [00:52:52] She’s an ally in a way that is palatable, which if you haven’t listened to it, I do recommend our recent interview on Progressive Podcast Australia, because we talked about a lot of stuff like this. But, you know, just as we’ve also been talking about like queer anarchist things, we talked about how monosexual white gay culture has become fairly palatable to the mainstream by accessing things like the traditional institution of marriage. So she’s being an ally, but only to these things that basically still reinforce oppression in the state- Pearson [00:53:30] Heteronormativity. Nichole [00:53:31] Heteronormativity, cisnormativity, Christian puritanical ideals, right, like sex work is dirty and terrible and criminal, but marriage is like clean and great. So I think that’s just like- Pearson [00:53:43] That’s why so many people get divorced, right, it’s because marriage is just so clean and great. Nichole [00:53:48] it’s just so great! Callie [00:53:48] Well gay culture is fine only so long as the whole point is that you assimilate into this like Christian, patriarchal world, right, this culture. It’s like the gays are fine as long as they’re like cute and nice and conventionally attractive and like have nice gardens and move into your suburbs. Pearson [00:54:10] As long as they’re not those gays. Callie [00:54:12] Right. Exactly. With the wild hair and the signs. Nichole [00:54:18] The buttons. Pearson [00:54:18] The purple hair and the buttons. Callie [00:54:20] Who are advocating for like decriminalize sex work or, you know, non-traditional families. Like, it’s just, she’s honestly just, she’s such a piece of shit. I can’t even. I’m so glad, and when Nichole and I were talking about doing this segment, I was really happy that Nichole, like, thought about playing these videos because there’s something I think lost when, when you’re reading someone’s track record, like when you’re reading an article and seeing all the things that she’s done, I mean, obviously it’s still horrifying and deeply upsetting. But then when you see her, like you see her on stage, like openly sneering at people, like she is laughing and joking and condescending to her own base, her own party, even other leaders within the Democratic Party, you know, she’s being condescending to. And just the, I think a lot is said for people’s like, real tone and attitude. Callie [00:55:24] And I think, I think for anyone who is like, well, maybe she’s like done a few bad things, but her, like, heart’s in the right place. It’s like it’s not. Like you can see what she truly believes. You know, she knew enough on those debate stages to like, say the right things. But this is who she is. She is this top cop who thinks like people that are criminals are just fucking criminals. They’re just bad people. We got to lock them up. And while they’re in jail, you know, we just might as well exploit their, like labor so that corporations can make more money. And she’s just like fucking gross, honestly. And the fact that the Democratic Party is just like, oh, here’s all the things that are important to you. Just kidding. We’re going to put up like the two people that are literally the opposite because like we are telling you that you can’t hold us accountable. We’re not going to bend to your will. You literally have no power or leverage in this situation. And you’re not even allowed to criticize us, because then all we’re gonna say to you is smear you as like a Russian asset or tell you to go fucking vote for Trump. I mean, it’s like ridiculous that that’s the level of discourse happening right now on the so-called left. And it’s not even really left, but… Pearson [00:56:46] Its center-right. Callie [00:56:47] Yeah. Pearson [00:56:49] And becoming more and more right with each passing fucking day. Callie [00:56:53] Yeah. Nichole [00:56:54] It’s really disturbing, honestly. Someone who’s calling themselves a radical leftist on Twitter but then said something so lib and I was like… How many of us jumped in and were like, you’re not, like stop. You’re being ridiculous. So. Fuck all this shit. We’re not excited. Callie [00:57:18] No. Nichole [00:57:19] And it’s just, I just hope everyone can see, like, how fucking Orwellian this is, like just how gross that in the midst of this huge Black Lives Matter, like, antipolice movement, that they bring in a black woman who is a cop. Like, I just, I just hope everyone sees it because they really, this cooption of identity politics, like they really do think that she is going to be beyond reproach. She’s gonna be beyond criticism. And they really do think like, well, we gave you what you asked for, like, what is the problem, you know? Even though I know they’re cackling behind closed doors, knowing that this is also sending a huge fuck you to the anti-police movement to be like not only are we not backing down from the police, but like we’re going to literally bring a cop into the White House to reinforce this shit. Nichole [00:58:16] And Callie and I were talking about it. I think a couple of days ago, but, you know, I was saying one of my fears with Biden winning is that the Democratic Party is going to use this time, you know, people are going to be pacified for a small amount of time. And then I just think that they’re not going to be able to keep us down because of the pandemic, because of the stock market, because of everything that’s happening. But they’re going to prepare in a way that people are not going to be ready for. Whereas Trump is like doing this shit out loud right now and we’re already resisting it. You know what I mean, and I think that’s another reason that Kamala was picked is because it’s like, okay, if we get in, people are going to calm down for a little while and we need to be ready for when they come back. We need to be, like, ready to crush that shit. And Obama was like that. Obama was not afraid to crush a fucking protest. Callie [00:59:11] Nope. Pearson [00:59:11] Look at the NoDAPL protest movement, right? I mean, the indigenous peoples there were absolutely fucking crushed and decimated by police militarization, right?. And they fought valiantly and have continued that struggle even to this day. And I think that you’re absolutely right. I think that the bourgeoisie are closing ranks and are sort of like preparing themselves for, you know, buying some time so that they can further consolidate their power, further militarize the police while less people are paying attention. I think that’s a very astute observation. Pearson [00:59:49] I just also don’t think it’s going to, that gambit is not going to work. Like Trump is going to win again in November. Like, you know, I hear a lot of people who just seem convinced, right, that Biden and Harris are going to come out victorious over Trump and Pence. And I just can’t help but think that that’s a pipe dream. I mean, you know, this is the exact same thing that people were saying about Clinton in 2016, that Clinton had it cinched and it was in the bag and that Trump’s you know, there’s no way that Trump would get it. And people are saying the same thing now, like Trump’s approval ratings are dog shit. Well, like what they don’t seem to understand is that they’re still filtering all of this through the corporate media and they’re myopic and erroneous polling that simply tries to present a particular skewed narrative, but is actually incapable of recognizing the fact that Trump has a solid base that is unshakable. That is not going to move that, as Trump himself said, he could literally stand in Central Park and shoot somebody in the face and he would be, you know, still voted for. That’s exactly what has been happening. His base has continued to, you know, rally behind him in the most rabid way possible. And that’s, you know, exactly what’s going to happen come November. Pearson [01:01:07] And, you know, like I mentioned before, the Democrats made this gamble last time in 2016 with Clinton. And they chose the neoliberal candidate, the candidate of the ruling class and of the corporate elite. And what happened? Well, Trump got elected, and that is precisely what’s going to happen again. And it’s been a little bit discouraging to even see, like comrades and like other leftists be like, you know, like I think Biden and Harris have it in the ba