Episode 89

What Does Laura have against White Men? Plus, Leslie got a New Gig!


June 23rd, 2019

1 hr 4 mins 35 secs

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About this Episode

In this episode, Leslie gives us an update on his new job with Vogsy, where he is the new VP of Customer Services. It's a change for Leslie to not be the most experienced person in his role, and to work with people he wasn't first friends with. It's all good and he's doing great.

We pause and recognize Pride Month and Juneteenth, with a little explainer from Leslie.

The bulk of the show is dedicated to a question Laura gets quite a bit, especially when her voter guides come out: "What do you have against white men?"

Laura's voter guide has the following disclaimer:

“My vote recommendations are based on my own research and do not represent any entity's opinions but my own. I vote liberal/democrat/progressive. When other factors are equal, I favor the candidate that is the least cis/hetero/male/white/old; who is aware of and working on their own implicit biases; and who is committed to improving equity, accessibility, and inclusivity within their jurisdiction.”

Laura admits that she couldn't actually come out and say "I don't have anything against white men," but mainly because she was fresh off a super annoying interaction with a white man on Facebook. Turns out, there's plenty to hold against white men, but mostly it's rooted in their involvement in upholding the patriarchy, which is the root of the problem and the crux of our conversation.

The patriarchy is the systemic way we are all socialized to see the straight, cis, able-bodied, middle class white male as The Norm. Everyone else is varying degrees below his level of entitlement to the world. The Guardian article in the show notes says it succinctly: "[Patriarchy] at its simplest, it conveys the existence of a societal structure of male supremacy that operates at the expense of women – rather in the way that 'white supremacy' conveys the existence of a societal structure that operates at the expense of black people."

We veer into politics a bit, ranting about how the subjective take on who is "electible" or "presidential" always favors those who are highest in the social hierarchy: white men, and how gaffes like Joe Biden's this week are blips for him, but could kill a less white/less male candidate's run completely. The bar is so high for the success of the others, and drops to nearly nothing for white men.

Leslie bottom-lines Laura's voting criteria like this: "Just treat white men like any other candidate; make them prove themselves and earn it."

A followup to this episode is the brilliant Rebecca Solnit's article "Unconscious Bias is Running for President." Make sure you read it.

At the end of the show, we tease a new feature and additional somtimes-host for the podcast. We'll be revealing the new and exciting changes next episode!

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