"It's Your Friends That Break Your Heart" with Jennifer Senior (2023)


  • January 2, 6, Committee Hearings and Bipartisan Gun Safety Framework

  • "It's Your Friends That Break Your Heart" with Jennifer Senior

  • Out of politics: Beth goes home to Sarah

Thank you for being part of our community! We couldn't do it, we can do it without you. To become a financial sponsor of the program, visitour Patreon page, sign our Premium content on Apple Podcasts subscriptions, buy a copy of our book,I think you're wrong (but I hear you), or share information about our work in your own circles.

Subscribe to our newsletterto be informed of all our news. follow us Instagram, blood, j Facebookto see our real-time reactions to breaking news, GIF newsfeeds, and personal content. To purchase Pantsuit Politics products, visitour businessor visit our business partners: tea audience, Stealth-Stahl-Designs, j Desert Study Jewels. Gift a personalized message from Sarah and Beth via Thumbnail. You can findInformation and links to all our sponsors on our website.



January 6 hearings

Stay up-to-date on the January 6 committee hearings with Pantsuit Politics

Bipartisan gun safety framework

jennifer mayor


Bett[00:00:00] We're a politics podcast and our theory of being a politics podcast is that all of these are the foundation of how we express ourselves politically. Do you feel good enough in your relationships? Do you have enough connections? how lonely are you

jennifer mayor[00:00:13] Oh god, this is so fascinating. That's very, very insightful.

sara[00:00:26] This is Sarah Stewart Holland.

Bett[00:00:27] And this is Beth Silvers.

sara[00:00:29] Thanks for joining Pantsuit Politics. Welcome to another episode of Pantsuit Politics. Thanks for being with us today. Let's start by discussing the truly wonderful news that the bipartisan team of senators has reached agreement on gun safety legislation. Next, our main segment, we'll share our conversation with writer and new Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Sr. And then, of course, we'll get to what concerns us outside of politics.

Bett[00:01:06] We saw the committee hearings on January 6th. We've seen Hot Mike's first primetime audience, as we mentioned last week. We attended the hearing together on Monday. Sara was live on Instagram. I was on twitter. We think it's very important to see this audience as a whole. That's why we're doing everything we can to create supportive and easy environments where you can do the same. So hopefully, if you can be there live, you will. And we hope that what we've created makes it easier for you to understand if you can't see it live. And we really encourage you to find the whole audience when you get a chance to sit back and look and pay attention because it's still extremely important because we're going to talk more about that in a moment.

sara[00:01:58] So we're taping on Monday and we just watched the second public hearing of the House Select Committee on the attack on the US Capitol on January 6th. And today's hearing really showed that former President Donald Trump told the whole world that there was cheating when he lost the election. Before. Long before the elections. It caught my attention at a time when they showed a recording of him saying: "If I lost, it's because the election was stolen" in April 2020. In April. They also detailed that he ignored all advice and evidence from his advisors and lawyers. Ivanka. Bill Barr: I think Bill Barr's testimony continues to have an incredible impact, but all kinds of professionals at the DOJ and their own lawyers and their campaign manager who were supposed to testify live, but his wife went into labor and they they gave up. Last minute change just fine I thought. And finally, that he not only used the Big Lie to undermine the election, but also to raise fraudulent funds from his supporters. They show how they sent all those emails up to the point where he was on the Ellipse when he made his speech at the rally and how they raised millions and millions of dollars, none of which went to the bottom where they were supposed to go. in all these emails, but he swooned and liked Mark Meadow's Charitable Fund and Event Strategies, who actually helped plan the Stop the Steal rally on January 6th. Many follow the money at the hearing's end and continue to build the case for Donald Trump at center stage.

Bett[00:03:41] Yes, Representative Cheney said this is the first part of the seven-part plan and we'll continue on this path to understanding the seven parts, again using this kind of mosaic. of live testimonies, recorded testimonies of witnesses. I thought one of the highlights of this hearing was an ongoing list of comments from judges who had commented on and considered Trump's election fraud allegations.

sara[00:04:08] Over 60 of them.

Bett[00:04:08] Just showing over and over that this is not believable. That was today's message. Everyone knew this was not credible, and yet Trump continued to raise funds and, as Attorney General Barr said, he continued to do the American public a disservice by causing people to lose confidence in our elections.

sara[00:04:30] So the next hearing is on Wednesday the 15th. Again we will be vigilant. Both will be on Twitter. I'll be on Instagram. We enjoy watching with you because the chat is supportive and helpful. People ask questions. People ask each other questions. Sometimes people answer my question when I can't remember Brad Parscale's name today. It is very useful. So if you're looking for an environment where you can watch together with others, you've come to the right place. Over the weekend, thousands upon thousands of Americans marched across the country in the March for Our Lives demanding legislation to deal with our country's gun crisis, and it looks like we might actually get it. The team of 20 senators, both Democrats and Republicans, who have been working diligently to break this generation-long stalemate over gun laws in the United States appears to have come to terms. I was thrilled when I saw the news, Beth.

Bett[00:05:30] I can't say enough good things about Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy, who has been campaigning on this issue since Sandy Hook. Accept the reality of the US Senate and be willing to work within it. Who said I would work with anyone on anything that could keep someone else from dying like this? And I think it's your tenacity and your communication and your humility that has brought us to this place where some lives are being saved because of this legislation. Is it everything everyone has ever wanted? No, but it's good. This is good, solid work that has a realistic chance of passing. And I'm excited.

sara[00:06:15] They haven't officially signed it into law, but that's the structure they're proposing and they've had support for it: 10 Republican senators, Nancy Pelosi's support, and President Biden's support. The first big change is a more thorough verification process for people between the ages of 18 and 21 looking to purchase a gun, a high-capacity gun like the AR 15. So, in a background check, the National Instant Criminal Background System Check if you should also contact state and local law enforcement agencies. You would be looking for a disqualifying mental health or juvenile history. It can take up to 10 days for someone that age to complete this process and receive a high-capacity weapon. This is obviously an acknowledgment, especially the last two horrific shootings of 18-year-olds in Uvalde and Buffalo.

Bett[00:07:06] And if you look at school shootings in general, they're mostly committed by teenagers. Anything we can do to make it harder for young people to acquire that kind of deadly power is important to me.

sara[00:07:19] Then they draft a grant text for states to implement these warning flag laws so that if an individual is flagged as affected by family members or the police, he can get his gun confiscated . And what I found really interesting about this is that it's not just states that create these laws, but even states that already have them can get funding and resources. I mean, this is a motivational situation. We need states to pass these laws. Let's motivate them to do it. But I think these red flag laws are something that a lot of people can agree with. And we don't want people with mental health issues (and everyone knows this) to get guns or keep the guns they already own.

Bett[00:08:02] This money is important because one criticism of red flag laws in terms of effectiveness is how unevenly they are enforced across the country. And that will happen because they involve discretion and discretion is needed in these situations. But it is also true that warning signs of justice serve another purpose. And in many states, the state court system is overburdened and under-resourced. You know there are long files. Judges are handling many cases. They don't have enough staff to do everything they need to do. Getting more money to enforce these laws, even in states that already have them on the books, I think is a very important step forward.

sara[00:08:43] Next, you could say that some of these parts of the framework are kind of a nod to more conservative concerns or calls for change. There are funds for school security. There is significant investment in and access to mental health and suicide prevention programs. And listen, even if they're on conservative lists, they're not a bad idea. I'm not against them. I am not against more funding for schools to make them safer. My objection is that this is the only solution to this problem. So I don't think there's anything wrong with providing these funds and increasing resources. I mean, I read the other day that the suicide prevention hotline is really having funding and staffing issues. So if some of that money can provide some relief, I think that's great.

Bett[00:09:32] It also fills a gap regarding intimate partner violence that has existed for a long time. The fact that he still calls it a boyfriend loophole shows how long people have been working on this problem. No one would call it that today, but it's been around for a while. We have mechanisms to deal with weapons when domestic violence between spouses occurs, but not when people are not married. And then this legislation would close that gap.

sara[00:09:58] And that was taken out of the reauthorization of violence against women just a few months ago. I mean, there were some centers that were working on it and working on it and I'm excited, excited to see it listed here. They also work to prosecute scarecrow men and people who help others buy guns illegally. They clarify the definition of a state-licensed gun dealer and require that more gun dealers with a proven history of selling firearms "advertise" that they must register for a state license. arms dealer. So none of those gray area deals that fail.

Bett[00:10:36] There are also school safety features. So we know that Republicans in particular like to talk about strengthening schools. The press release accompanying this proposal states that the legislation will provide funds to support the establishment of security measures in and around primary and secondary schools, while also supporting efforts to prevent violence in schools and training of school staff and students. And I think that point shows how important the details will be as this legislation is written, as the negotiations proceed. It is difficult to make new laws. This is something I've been thinking about a lot lately in regards to the attempted murder of Judge Kavanaugh. We've had a few messages from people saying, 'Why don't you talk about this more? Why is the House of Representatives not passing anything to protect Supreme Court Justices?” And I would just say that making new legislation is difficult and it takes some time and thought to decide what is appropriate here. And I think figuring out what the school safety part means is going to be crucial. But I'm like you, Sarah. I'm open to any ideas that help us move forward here and make everyone a little safer.

sara[00:11:41] And what I wanted was movement. It felt like we'd been stuck for decades, like we'd decided we couldn't legislate on guns. To see that list, to see a group of senators get together and say, "No, there are things we can agree on when it comes to gun legislation," seems significant. It seems like a miracle to me. So if you called your senator, if you stopped by his office, if you marched, seize this moment. Take this moment and think that it works. It works when we demand change, when voices get loud enough to move even the most controversial, contentious, and seemingly intractable issues in American politics. Good job everyone. This is not the end. We don't solve it. We haven't fixed it yet, but it's a start. Next, let's chat with Jennifer Senior, who is a contributor to The Atlantic. It won the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Writing. And she's here at Pantsuit Politics to talk to us about two of her pieces, but specifically her viral piece, it's friends of hers who are going to break her heart. First of all, many congratulations. He received the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for writing What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind, which was the finest reflection on the loss of a family in the 20 years since 9/11. So, congratulations

jennifer mayor[00:13:33] Thank you, ma'am. The ideal time to find out you've won a Pulitzer isn't when you've finished, edited, and finalized an article on Steve Bannon.

sara[00:13:46] I know. I wanted to ask what is your next thesis?

jennifer mayor[00:13:47] I was kind of in the final stages of it. The cognitive dissonance, as well as the kind of euphoria I felt, was completely nullified by the material I was working on and the stress of having to be on time. We had this zoom group and my editor, all these bright, happy faces. I have the best colleagues ever. And then my editor-in-chief ended by saying, "Jen, get back to work and finish your story and everyone else, go celebrate on Jen's behalf."

sara[00:14:20] Oh no.

jennifer mayor[00:14:21] No. I thought what's wrong with this picture? Oh God. I mean, it could have been about the copper mines in Nevada. It could have been anything. But it was about Steve Bannon, I mean everything.

Bett[00:14:35] I have to ask, what made you decide to write about Steve Bannon and how did you come to that decision?

jennifer mayor[00:14:40] Well, I've always had politics in my portfolio and the 2022 elections are coming up. So I couldn't go long without... I really couldn't go without writing about politics. Eventually he would capitulate and just have to do it. And my editor was basically saying, “You have to pick someone, anyone. One of the characters out there.” And I knew Steve Bannon would say yes because he's a media guy. And he knew his podcast played a role. And I thought anyway. And help organize some of the energy behind the January 6th rage. I mean, he has a very activist audience and he's like a preacher or televangelist. That's a better way to describe it. And it was a game because it's always a game. And I think it's like Trump. He sighs for national coverage. In hindsight, it was a bad idea. I mean all the characters. He wanted me to find someone who was a Trumpist and join the conversation. And he knew he would resist, that they wouldn't knock him out in the middle of a primary. I mean, there were all kinds of thoughts, blah blah blah blah.

sara[00:16:01] This piece is different. [Cross talk].

jennifer mayor[00:16:03] Yeah, just a little bit.

sara[00:16:05] And I have to tell you that in our book Now What we talk about being present with your loved ones, even when they're dealing with a reality that you might not fully understand. And I really can't think of a clearer, more beautiful example of this than Helen and Bob and the way you write about them in the article. I really can't. .

jennifer mayor[00:16:25] Thank you. I really appreciate this. And I'm very happy that I arrived. And I'm telling you, if I hadn't taken the diary, the whole story would have been about him. It would have been about her marriage. Because here is a man who has resorted to 9/11 conspiracies and veracity to cope with the loss of his son. I wake up every morning and it's September 12th and there's a murder to solve. Who was really behind 9/11 and who killed your son? And there's a woman who had absolutely no interest in going down those rabbit holes and thinking about it, and who just had a very different way of dealing with her pain. And that would be the story if he didn't get the diary. Then all of a sudden he had many, many, many parts. But thanks. Thanks for saying that.

sara[00:17:20] But I think this issue is still related to journaling, how people deal with it, and how to be present or sometimes not present with someone during that grieving process. Well deserved. It's an amazing piece.

jennifer mayor[00:17:34] Thank you. Thank you very much.

Bett[00:17:36] You have another amazing piece that we haven't been able to stop thinking about since it came out. And that's it, it's your friends who break your heart. And you've written about the great pandemic, calculating friendship in your own life, and how in midlife we ​​should move past meeting friends and enjoying hard-earned friendships. And it just doesn't work that way for many of us. And I have to tell you, every other week I ask questions from our audience, what would you like to hear from us? And every time I get a question it feels like, How do I make friends at this point in my life? So I'd like to know what made you want to do this piece and now that you've distanced yourself from it, what parts are you still thinking about?

jennifer mayor[00:18:20] Oh, that's a great question. I will answer the second question first. Like what am I thinking right now? I think of the critique by one of my smartest work friends. Or without review. It was something he felt was missing, something he wanted to read 1,500 or 2,000 words about. And he said, “Apart from envy,” he said, “you know what this play isn't talking about, it's anger.” Many friends, not all, but many friends have this. big anger stories that you sit through and don't process or deal with in a healthy way with a spouse, children, or family members. There is a more developed vocabulary for talking about anger, and with friends there is often no vocabulary. And it can really corrode. And he said, "I really wish you would have talked about it." And damn, I've been thinking about it ever since, because he's absolutely right. And I think, to be honest, he was too scared to even think about it. For example, I might be jealous because I've been lucky enough to be envied a few times over the last 10, 15, 20 years. And I talked about it, it was related to Bob going on Oprah and how cool and cool and funny he was about it. And it was real. But anger is different. And you know what? To be honest, I have more of that. And I guess I just couldn't take it. This is like a coda and you can talk and you can have someone else talk about who has access to it. Because my thoughts wander in the void. I get so scared just thinking about it.

sara[00:20:17] Well, I think that's exactly what you're talking about in the article, which for me is envy, anger, it's this whole undercurrent of conflict, and we don't have language experiences like leadership, wisdom. , To write. We just don't know much about how to deal with conflict within a friendship. I'll never forget I had a really bad argument that I'm still friends with, but we had to get through that time. And she said, "Well, I don't fight with my friends." And then I said, "Well, how are you as friends? How are your friends if you never fight or fight?" But I just don't think we have language, or like I said, any kind of cultural wisdom about how to deal with any kind of conflict in a friendship. And I think we tell these lies to each other. We wrote about it in our book. For example, you're in the same class in college, you're the same age, and there's this similarity. But even at this stage of life, when it's easy to make friends and fall into the same rhythm, you're not the same anymore. And there's still conflict, and there's still anger, and there's still envy, even at times when friendship seems easier. So if in these simpler times we don't have the language to deal with anger or envy and any kind of conflict, well, what are we going to do later in life?

jennifer mayor[00:21:33] Well, like 30 years of friendship, what are you going to do? And I think your answer was really good, how do you have friends if you never experience conflict? But of course there are people who think, hey, friends should be the good part of my life. What a misunderstanding I guess. I can't imagine all friendships without friction. Frictionless ones are good, in the first place are the rarest elements in the periodic table. You really notice when that happens. And sometimes it's because I can think of my friend Sarah, there's no friction with her. But why is there no friction with her? Because she has no friction with anyone. Sarah is born with this extremely balanced temperament. Nothing can disturb it. There isn't a spark of anger in her.

sara[00:22:25] This is hypothetical. It doesn't describe me. I can tell you a lot.

jennifer mayor[00:22:28] Yes, of course. That doesn't describe anyone I know, except my friend Sarah Murray [Eng] who is always like that. Okay, so there's Sarah, and then there's everyone else in my life. And I think if we want our friendships to be serious and we want them to go deep, to rival the deepest relationships we have, I think you need to get over this shit. But it is hard. Is very difficult.

Bett[00:22:55] My husband and I saw an early showing of Top Gun last night and I told him I feel like middle age is at least 33% heartbreaking.

jennifer mayor[00:23:05] It's so-- oh my God.

Bett[00:23:07] It was wonderful for a movie like Top Gun to say that out loud, because I can't imagine easy friendships at this stage in my life where we're all made of so much.

jennifer mayor[00:23:19] Right. We are made of a lot. This is beautiful and 33% touching. God, I need to find that Maggie Smith poem. All the things you can't say to your daughter because life is so hard, you know? It's just hard. But yes, I think it's true. We're made of a lot at this point. And it's cool, as long as your friends put up with it. Hey, want to hear a cool story about what came out of this piece?

sara[00:23:49] Absolute.

jennifer mayor[00:23:50] One of the people I wrote about. I was talking about how I had an argument with a friend.

sara[00:23:56] Yeah, you made that clear.

jennifer mayor[00:23:58] Yeah, this guy. Yes, he realized it was him. This is Steve Metcalf. He's like one of the three guys from Slate Gabfest. Culture Gabfest. And he said on air, "I think that's me. I'm either very narcissistic, in which case I'm about to get balled in the face, or I was and still am balled in the face because I think I said something like that to Jen and me. was a young, overworked dad. And I was a friend [unintelligible]. I've got them both here. Very impressive. And he said, "And I absolutely loved her. And I'm so sorry." And then he came to me. He said on air many years later what he and I didn't want to resolve, and neither did I. I can't say, gosh, that really hurt my feelings. You have no idea how much it hurt my feelings. Maybe being older helps too. Maybe you've been married and fought enough and learned what works and what doesn't and what to say and what not to say. Or maybe you're still bad at talking. fight, you know? But I think you can get a better idea of ​​how to control some of them.

[00:25:19] Can I go to your first question, which is how do you make new friends? I've spoken to older women who are retired or whose children are full of life, and they say, everyone you haven't had time to resurface, visit your back and you can deepen those friendships again. You'll be amazed at how many friends actually come into your life and who you can dig deeper with. But when you make new friends, being in a new place sucks. I mean, do you have a dog? I mean, you have something to talk about. All clichés. You can go to bars and restaurants by yourself. But it is hard. I don't have any great answers for any of this, I mean, I'm really scared of the constriction, the funnel that comes when you move house or when people get sick. I mean, it's going to be really hard.

sara[00:26:18] Well, I think some of that toughness is found in something that you cite in the piece that I want to scratch a little bit with, which is the embrace of individuality in modern life, right? May we have a sense that we are all totally unique individuals and that we all have totally unique identities and totally unique needs. And if you don't accept a single part of it, then we're lost. i love this line. They say it could be argued that modern life conspires against friendships, even if the bonds of friendship demand it even more. I think there is this tension between the individual and the collective that arises in modern friendships. And I think you definitely see that when you're looking to make new friends in a room, right? First, because we don't have a lot of the civic institutions that promoted what he said, well, we share that. I mean, when I got back to my hometown, even though it was my hometown and I had friends here, I basically joined our version of little league, which is still very popular here where I live in Kentucky. And I've had a whole friendship experience, a lot of conflict, a lot of betrayal within this organization, and I've also made some of my strongest friends. But I don't think we need to come together on something that doesn't honor every part of our individuality but gives us some things to share and maybe build friendships. I think these things weakened. And I think the tension that we've always felt between being unique, being honored for our individuality, but also finding a place of belonging is very difficult right now.

jennifer mayor[00:28:03] It's very difficult. And not everyone here has junior leagues. You can join a church and just watch. But church attendance, all those things, are down. You can go into a synagogue, these attendances are decreasing. Robert Putnam wrote about it extensively in Bowling Alone in 2000 and hasn't worked on it since. You can join a book group. When you lose your spouse, will your book club stand by you like your church did in the past? Probably not. Or the Rotary Club, or the moose, or any of those things you can find. it's harder it's harder This era of radical individualism comes at a high cost. I'm reconnecting with an old friend. We were friends and college roommates for twenty years. We had children and it was 10 or 12 years that we lost touch. And we fell in love again. And his father died this year. A grand memorial awaits. And he said, "You can come," because he knew his father. You meet people's parents when you're in college and you meet them in your twenties before you get married or whatever. And I would have to reorganize a lot to get to the memorial, which is this Thursday. And it is a great monument. Billions of people will leave. It will be registered. It's not necessarily for me to be. There will probably be thousands of people there because this guy, your dad, is someone that a lot of people knew. But part of me thinks that 40 years ago that wouldn't even have been a question. I would have dropped everything and not lost contact with them. Again, I don't think I would have had a very close friend 40 years ago. It's because of the same developments, you know? I mean, they're all one piece. Because that's life, one of my dearest friends is a boy, you know? I mean, that wouldn't even be... Look at my mother. That's not true, is it?

Bett[00:30:24] I think it has to do with the limitations of our vocabulary. And part of the reason I'm so obsessed with this article of yours is that I love the thick and subtle language of friendships. I love the moment where you talk about how these two writers talked to each other and how their feelings got too hot to handle. Something like this only happens to me and also friendships with men. What's the acceptable range for obsessing over a friend when there's a chance of getting awkward with a spouse or something? We just don't have a lot of words to talk about these things and put them in any context for ourselves or for the other people in our lives who are affected by these really dense and intense friendships.

jennifer mayor[00:31:08] That's true. Cross-gender friendships and marital things can be incredibly intense. We went on vacation together. My office spouse and I and his wife and my wife are all friends. We all know each other very, very well. And we all know each other's children. So thank goodness for that. My husband was also the editor for a while. So I think they had an independent relationship. But otherwise it would have been crazy because I found that my office partner often says more comforting things than my husband, also because he saved himself from listening to the exact same soundtrack every day for 18 years. As my husband in the office, although he often hears me complain, he is less than my husband. It's like it's a little cooler. He's a little less worn out. But I agree. I mean, that's right. I would, I'm telling you right now, if someone in the office was writing a book about the intricacies of marriage, I would get up in the middle of dinner and buy that book.

sara[00:32:25] I think it just talks about that kind of multifacetedness. We are multifaceted. And that's why we need to have relationships that appeal to all these multifaceted parts of ourselves. To think that a spouse or a sibling or a best friend can have everything differently... It's almost like this paradox of that individuality. Well, a bus is the only thing up to the challenge. A collective is all there is to that uniqueness.

jennifer mayor[00:32:53] Well, you need lots of blankets. That's all, and they fill in the place where your church used to be, the Elks Club, your bowling league or whatever it was, right? And I think that was the devastating problem with the 1950s model of companionship, where husbands and wives couldn't do that for each other and the wives really took the brunt of it. I mean, you saw that play out really well on Mad Men, where all the boys had their camaraderie at work and the women were screwed. You've been screwed. They were alone in their big empty houses. And Betty Draper was sitting there with her thousand-foot stare and her cigar and she might find some company with the women that were so screwed up and trapped in the neighboring houses. I mean, Betty Friedan has stumbled onto something very real. you need more You need much more to complete and understand yourself. I mean, you need more compliments too. I think that was her point, which doesn't necessarily mean work, but it does mean you can't stay home pretty and vacuum all day.

sara[00:34:08] Speaking of the paradox, I have to say that it's been eight years since you wrote my favorite parenting book of all time, All Joy and No Fun, The Paradox of Modern Parenthood. Pass it on anyway Pass it on to people anyway.

jennifer mayor[00:34:21] Oh, it's you. Thank you very much.

sara[00:34:22] It's me.

jennifer mayor[00:34:22] Oh, I wanted to know where those three sales per month come from. Thank you very much.

sara[00:34:27] When will we get a sequel? That's the first thing I want to know.

jennifer mayor[00:34:31] Never. Never. I hated writing a book. it's so lonely

sara[00:34:36] Well, you've done a great job and I'd love to hear what you think of this book now that you're further along in your parenting journey, especially after the impact of the pandemic. . Because I think it speaks very well of this paradox of fatherhood. And I think it speaks to some kids, but to me it still feels relevant. But I wonder how you feel about this book now.

jennifer mayor[00:35:01] You're cute. Well, a few things. First of all, it's very outdated there. If you're reading this, I'm talking about blackboards. There were no iPads, let alone multiplayer online video games. I mean, the idea that the internet is going to extend its pornographic tentacles to our young people and that it's going to tick and that everyone is going to wear that face. I mean, I didn't know the dangers our teenagers faced. So in that sense it would have been a different book, right? There would have been so much going on to increase the puberty chapter. And it would have been a different book because it happens to adults too. We are vulnerable to some of the same things as our teenagers. Then it would have been very difficult to contain us. It would have been difficult to deal with from the beginning because the internet just doesn't bring out the best in us. It brings our interactive lessons to light.

sara[00:36:12] That's an understatement.

jennifer mayor[00:36:13] Right. So I look at it and I think it's number one. And then on the other hand, I think some of that got into the culture so quickly, the idea that parenthood was kind of a burden and they felt the same compulsion to be good parents as women did in the 1950s. the duty to be excellent housewives and keep good homes. I think that all summed up very, very quickly. Therefore, his teaching was somewhat absorbed. Now people don't even know where some of these ideas came from. A few years ago, on Christmas Day, Clare Kane Miller ran this front-page article in the New York Times about how women are spending more time with their children today than they did in the 1960s. It's like page 11 of my book and minute four of my Ted Talk, but it was new to her. It was new to her. So he basically summed up my entire book, and that day I got a lot of tweets that said, "Why are you mentioned here?" And I thought: I don't know. But everything was new to her and she was flying at high altitude. Like the New York Times, most emails are most read for a week. Because it's new for a while. Five or six years later...

sara[00:37:33] Everyone has to rediscover it.

jennifer mayor[00:37:33] Nobody remembers who said that. Everyone has to rediscover it. Everyone rediscovers the same thing. And like I said, they laugh. You know what I mean, they'll do it again. People forget. It just gets reintroduced into the culture and then people will read it. So I feel like it's dated and evergreen.

sara[00:38:01] Yeah, well, I think that's one of the reasons I still recommend reading this story and realizing it's financially worthless and emotionally invaluable.

jennifer mayor[00:38:09] Yeah, that's good.

sara[00:38:10] I say this all the time. And I think you can't predict the future, but looking to the past and how we've changed and how we think about parenting will always be helpful and I think it makes people feel less alone. And I think what you've done in the book about perceptions of parenting, specifically based on gender, holds up very well.

jennifer mayor[00:38:30] Yeah, that's incredibly cool.

sara[00:38:33] It's very useful in the sense that the way men are fathers has its advantages. Like the idea that the only right path to parenthood is the way women become parents and that the pressures on women and the fact that children benefit from different styles and approaches. And I just remember reading it and feeling a huge sense of pressure relief. Like, okay. I see what's going on here that's bigger than me. And I don't have to feel the need to fix it or figure it out. I still love this book. I still love this book.

jennifer mayor[00:39:10] I love you for saying that. And I would say that's the part I'm most proud of and I like that he's still able to stand on his own feet and will continue to do so for a while I think. The end of the second chapter, where Clint says, "I'm the standard. I'm the standard," and his wife, Angie, can't believe I'm the standard, which means I'm good enough. Oh, I know how that happened. I didn't have a very devoted father so I felt that whatever I did was good and good enough. While Angie had all these crazy ideas about what she needed to do to be a perfect mom instead of just walking...

sara[00:39:54] Very good.

jennifer mayor[00:39:54] I hugged my kids today. Yep, the parenting good idea that just didn't come off the hook. While her husband was like what? You are protected. You will be taken care of.

sara[00:40:07] They live. You can still watch a game.

jennifer mayor[00:40:08] I know. ball game one You know, they watch TV. They're lighthearted and laughing, like how did I fail? how i failed

sara[00:40:21] This is also a common topic in the friendship article. We need something good with friends. For example, you don't have to get up in a difficult moment and say something perfect. It's good to get there. You don't have to meet for dinner every Friday night. Just show up and have dinner every six months. I think there's a bit of that in all our relationships that we make within ourselves.

jennifer mayor[00:40:44] That's a great point. In fact, it reminds me of a trick I'm about to share with everyone that my friend Rachel did in the beginning. She's a teacher in upstate New York, and she wrote to me and said, 'I'm writing you a long email, and long emails are really intimidating. So let me tell you that I would love a response to this long email and it could be in the next few months and it doesn't have to be that long. Whenever you feel like you can respond, I would love to hear from you.” But think of someone who says get back to me in two months. I get an email and I'm like, "Oh!" And also her statement: I just wrote you a very long email. It doesn't have to be as long as mine. It's so generous and it's a much more realistic kind of parameter...

sara[00:41:40] If at some point in your relationships you manage to take the pressure off people, trust that instinct.

jennifer mayor[00:41:45] Oh Gott, total.

Bett[00:41:47] Well I have to ask, we are a politics podcast. And our theory of being a political podcast is that all of those things are the foundation of how we express ourselves politically. Do you feel good enough in your relationships? Do you have enough connections? how lonely you are So I have to ask you, I'm very curious as you study Steve Bannon, what connections do you see between everything we're talking about and the way you said he became a minister of sorts? to the people.

jennifer mayor[00:42:16] Oh god, this is so fascinating. That's very, very insightful. Then Steve Bannon said something. This will speak directly to your point. Steve Bannon told Errol Morris about him in a documentary. Errol made a documentary about Steve Bannon in 2018 under a not-so-great name called American Dharma. It was great if you understood Steve Bannon. It's not sexy at the box office. And they canceled because of that, which is a shame because I think people should know what Steve Bannon is about. I'm also a little scared of cancellation at this point, although I think we're a little more in the loop about what's going on if you don't secretly know what's going on. I think people should know. Not even undercurrents. These are just currents running through American life that we don't pay attention to. Anyway, Steve Bannon said something to Errol Morris that was very chilling and revealing. He said he was in Hong Kong while working for Internet Gaming Entertainment. He was amazed to find out how many men, adult men, men in their thirties were playing all these online multiplayer games and how hard they played them and how many hours they put in. And he said, but then he got it, because let's say you were Dave in accounting and you drop dead one day.

[00:43:54] You weigh 250 pounds and you drop dead. You find a preacher who doesn't know you very well, who does a 10-minute eulogy based on some things that some people have said about you and they put it in an urn and in one of those eternal cemeteries, and that's Dave. If Online Dave dies, Online Dave is Ajax and thousands of people show up for Dave's funeral and Dave is carried in a box to a huge, angry pyre. And the warring tribe that hated Dave goes out to fight and everyone stays home for Dave's funeral. You miss a day of work. This is Dave online. Dave online is Ajax. who is truer Ajax is Dave? And so people relate better to their online avatars, their idealized selves, or who they want to be. And he said: “When I took over Brite Art, I had this priority when building the comments section, because people, their online comments, are themselves. They are who they want to be. They are their ambitious selves.” So the people who are trolls, the people who are the big figures on the internet who mobilize them… and he said that these properly managed and armed figures can be used in politics. You are online These angry people, this properly directed energy can be used politically.

sara[00:45:36] And that's why it seems so disjointed to all of us who live among the real-world Daves.

jennifer mayor[00:45:42] Right. Correct. And I think those of us who don't live online, who live in the real world, fail to understand what this energy is, what these alter ego energies are about and how they can be ignited and how they are private. a voting booth and vote for someone reprehensible who understands your anger. Think about what happened on January 6th. I mean, people came out like their real-life avatars. They were cosplaying. They were Ajax. You missed a day of work. They showed up at the Capitol in their own version of long underwear and wrestled and wore face paint and fur. Think about it.

sara[00:46:30] Well, and I think the mass shootings reflect that again. where it intersects

jennifer mayor[00:46:35] Yes, that's right. Remember everyone has these manifests online. You have this online me. Or are they streaming live, right? That's right, you are your online characters. I mean, it's fascinating. And Bannon is basically a media guy. He is an immediate achiever. He wrote bad news. He made all these propaganda films, most famously about Sarah Palin. He understands that. And it's scary. It's dangerous.

Bett[00:47:08] And it seems to me that the threat here is who Dave could have been if he had been invited to full expression of himself in real life. And would it be so dark?

jennifer mayor[00:47:23] Bingo. What if I had a real church? Although, of course, my colleague Tim Alberta just wrote the best thing I've read this year about how [Crostalk] churches are being transformed. The play was so good, wasn't it? That they put politics above spiritual identity and the scriptures. So this is a new question. You asked exactly the right question. It's a Robert Putnam question. But what if that is lost now? Where do you go just for companionship, just for love, just for support? I mean, I want my church to bring me pots when someone dies, I don't need to be told how to vote.

sara[00:48:04] Well that's definitely our theory here, at the end of the day we're together right? We are the institution. We are the committee. Like Helen and Bob's friendships, marriages. The moments when I say, "I see you. I see you, you don't have to go online to be seen. I see you." I think about it all the time. It was like a quick synopsis in times when people talked about interactions with their conservative relatives. And someone said I had this cousin. He came with alt-right and his sister... I think it was his sister or another cousin who just didn't want to stop with him, just didn't want to give up on him. I just went and went and finally pulled it out. But she just didn't stop. She just kept showing up in the face of conflict, in the face of difficult conversations, and simply said, "I see you. You don't have to go there. I see you. I see you."

jennifer mayor[00:49:02] There are two things to say about this. Oh God. So number one, I wasn't related. The chair of the Pulitzer nonfiction selection committee, because she was a book reviewer at the Times, a daily book reviewer for two and a half years, and basically everything she reviewed was nonfiction. Upon leaving the show, I was asked if I wanted to go through all the committee entries to narrow it down to a group of three. And one of the books that we chose is called Homeland Security, and it's about what worldly radicals really are. And, above all, it is mainly Muslim fundamentalists who are, for the most part, just lost children. They are like normal teenagers. And if they manage to de-radicalize, it's always the sister, the mother, the people they know. Oh come on, you like chocolate ice cream and watch a mindless movie and that's you. You are not her. It's you, it's us, right? And I loved that book and you should read this book and everyone should read this book. It's a great book. It was totally forgotten. It has hardly been revised. He broke my heart. It's fabulous. So A, yes. Exactly what you just said about Thanksgiving. But just like the power of 100.

[00:50:20] The second is, yeah, let's go back to [unintelligible]. We have a conspiracy theorist husband and a mother who is indifferent or may secretly think most of these things are a little crazy. what is your link You are the only two people who knew what it was like to lose that boy. They loved that boy so much. This is his love And who spent this duel side by side and knew him for 26, almost 27 years. And who else can relate to this? Can you relate to the loss of that? Just these two. And as long as they understood that each other's expression of pain was an expression of love and love in a different way. For example, when Helen says of her husband, "How can I stop him from doing what he's doing?" You are fighting for your child as you know. People might see this as a sign of insanity. I see it as an expression of love. it was so beautiful and when you reinterpret someone you love like that, it's different. But the duel is lonely. So you've definitely found fellowship with all these 9/11 truthers, right? But Helen is still firmly on her side. And hopefully at some point she can replace all that weird camaraderie that she has with the Truthers with her grandchildren and Helen alone, and it might actually work.

sara[00:51:51] Well, thanks for sharing your stories. Thank you for all your writing and this thread we created together. And thanks for coming to our show. we love you Thank you very much.

jennifer mayor[00:52:01] Thank you. Oh God. I loved this conversation. Oh, I'll remember that conversation.

Bett[00:52:07] Oh, that's beautiful. Thank you very much.

jennifer mayor[00:52:08] Middle Ages [Crostalk].

sara[00:52:10] You're welcome whenever you want.

jennifer mayor[00:52:12] Thank you. yes my god I will gladly return.

Bett[00:52:14] Thank you.

jennifer mayor[00:52:14] Okay. Thank you guys.

sara[00:52:17] Thanks to Jennifer Sr. She's like my favorite author on the internet. I love her so much. I think he's so smart. And now we are friends. I think she knows. I think we realized that during the interview. But if she doesn't know, she soon will.

Bett[00:52:31] Yes, she will have to learn that you collect people and that you collect them. It was nice talking to you. It was truly an honor to be able to spend that time with her. I couldn't have liked it more. And I keep thinking about this piece.

sara[00:52:54] Beth, you came home. But you stayed at my house for a week. We want to give people a little fun, behind the scenes, I don't know what to call it, recap of their time at my house.

Bett[00:53:09] We left home on Saturday morning and went to Holiday World and Splash and Safari in Santa Claus, Indiana. A beloved amusement park from my childhood.

sara[00:53:19] Free sunscreen. This is my favorite part.

Bett[00:53:20] Free drinks, free parking, free sunscreen. We try to explain to our kids that it's not free, it's included. We talked about it [crosstalk].

sara[00:53:28] I heard you say that. I thought that was really good.

Bett[00:53:30] It's not free, it's included. But we spent the day there with our good friends and neighbors, then we all spent the night with my parents. It was really fun to see them. And then Chad came home with our friends and Jane and Ellen and I went to his place. And when we got there on Sunday, Jane already said she was homesick.

sara[00:53:50] This is my favorite moment, guys. She was on our porch and she was crying and I said, "What's up, Jane?" And she said, "I'm just homesick." And I said, "Oh, when did you go to vacation world?" And Beth said, "Yesterday." And Jane said, "That's not right." And Beth said, "Mm-hmm, it was yesterday."

Bett[00:54:09] It was yesterday.

sara[00:54:12] It was perfect. I'd really like to start one of those times, either you come to my house or I'll come to your house, where one of my boys won't make any of your girls cry.

Bett[00:54:19] That's setting the bar too high because my daughters cry. they're just everyday is a roller coaster. In order.

sara[00:54:28] Felix was so excited that you came in here and immediately brought Ellen to tears. I think you told him he needs to practice saying yes. And so he wanted to try to get her to kiss the watermelon. He wanted her to say yes to kissing the watermelon. She didn't like that.

Bett[00:54:42] Yeah, he just decided to sulk for a few days. But she pushed him. She was still having fun.

sara[00:54:47] Fortunately, he won some prizes at the camp events and I feel like that was good for the ship.

Bett[00:54:52] That certainly helped. I think it was really nice for me to be able to see, you know, because we work a lot together and we're very important figures in each other's lives, but we do everything remotely. I think it was really important for me to see what your day-to-day life has been like since Felix was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and really see how you and Nicholas are coping. I mean, we called the episode where you brought this up a life-changing diagnosis. And to see the effect it had on you minute by minute, I think it was very significant.

sara[00:55:28] It's very intense. There are many reviews on Dexcom. Are you drunk? Is low? you need candy he needs this You were here on a spur of the moment when I emailed our doctor and I gave in to her and said, "Please don't make me wait a month and a half before I go to a class pre-bomb recon where I'll say what kind of bomb if I know what kind of bomb I want." And she said ok. And that was amazing. And now we're really on our way to a bombshell which I really hope is that by the minute the situation that we're dealing with is changing because it's intense. It's exhausting. It's like COVID. It's like you're adapting so quickly to a different situation. It's like, what was it like when we sat down and ate? I don't even remember. I'm such a present-oriented person, thank goodness. Because it's like I forgot, because not now. We sat and ate never.

Bett[00:56:24] Yeah, I learned at the end of the week that unexpected treats are a real problem. We were at the camp closing ceremony and we heard the ice cream trucks coming in, I thought oh no. I don't think Felix is ​​ready for the ice cream truck. I think it was very important for me, as his business partner and friend, to receive that education personally. And I also think it was just a reminder that we try to get together in June and parent together just to spend the summer when we have kids at home. And the work we do requires rest, a lot of thinking and a lot of reading. And being together helps. And we still can't handle that big block of concentrated time to sit down and think about something.

sara[00:57:16] Yeah, I really thought we had this week. They went 9 to 3 but the man between the news recap and more to say and record and then this and that. And then bam the day was over. It was like any other school day.

Bett[00:57:29] It's like time disappears, you know.

sara[00:57:33] But now I'm going to your house. We had a curveball this morning. All the kids were supposed to sleep at camp that day and then at camp Felix [Ianudible] and they said Jake, you don't leave him on Sunday. You are leaving on Wednesday because we are understaffed and have to split the week. And now it will be mini-sessions. Jesus, take the wheel.

Bett[00:57:57] And I mention the difficulty of working with kids in the summer just because we're in an ideal position, we're our own bosses, it's an independent program. We are only responsible for the integrity we feel about our commitments to listeners. So we can adapt a lot and it is still very difficult. I mean, there's so many families I think what if camp came up and said, those two days you thought were covered now aren't they covered? I mean, let's find out. It is difficult. We'll work it out. But a lot of people can't.

sara[00:58:32] Yes, it is. It's so intense. And to do all that and deal with the summer, along with the Jan. 6 heat wave and lawsuits. I don't know guys.

Bett[00:58:44] And all the [confused] opinions of the Supreme Court.

sara[00:58:46] I don't know, guys. Pray for us for the rest of the week. thoughts and prayers. That's how it looks here at Pantsuit Politics and every other American.

Bett[00:58:56] I'm glad we're here together. Together is all we have

sara[00:58:58] This is all we have. In order. Thanks for joining us for another episode of Pantsuit Politics. We'll be back in your ears on Friday after two more hearings on January 6th. And we'll be posting some recaps on Instagram in the meantime. Thanks for joining us on another episode of Pantsuit Politics and see you Friday, keep it nuanced.

Bett[00:59:25] Pantsuit Politics is produced by Studio D Podcast Production. Alise Napp is our CEO.

sara[00:59:30] Maggie Penton is our community engagement manager. Dante Lima is the composer and interpreter of our musical theme.

Bett[00:59:36] Our show has the support of the public, a special thanks to our executive producers.

Executive Producers (read their own names)[00:59:40] Marta Bronitsky. Linda Daniel Ali Edwards. Janice Elliot. Sara Greenup. Julia Halle. Helena Handley. Tiffany Hasler. Emily Holladay. Katie Johnson, Katina Zugenalis Kasling. Barry Kaufmann, Molly Kohrs.

[00:59:59] The Kriebs. Lauri LaDow. Lili McClure. Emily Neesley. The Penton. Tawny Peterson. Tracy. Sad. Sara Ralph. Jeremy Redwood. Katie Stiger. Karine True. Onica Ulveling. Nick and Alysa Villeli. Catherine Volmer. Amy White

Bett[01:00:16] Jeff Davis. Melinda Johnston. Ashley Thompson. Michelle Wood. Joshua Allen. Morgan MacHugh. Nicole Berklas. Paula Bremer and Tim Miller.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Edmund Hettinger DC

Last Updated: 02/09/2023

Views: 5615

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edmund Hettinger DC

Birthday: 1994-08-17

Address: 2033 Gerhold Pine, Port Jocelyn, VA 12101-5654

Phone: +8524399971620

Job: Central Manufacturing Supervisor

Hobby: Jogging, Metalworking, Tai chi, Shopping, Puzzles, Rock climbing, Crocheting

Introduction: My name is Edmund Hettinger DC, I am a adventurous, colorful, gifted, determined, precious, open, colorful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.