Episode 63: Everything we disdain

Published September 16, 2016.

Ann: Welcome to Call Your Girlfriend.

Aminatou: A podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.

Ann: I'm Ann Friedman.

Aminatou: And I'm Aminatou Sow.

Ann: Okay. On this week's agenda, illnesses real and imagined, Zika, Planned Parenthood, and bullshit in Congress, Ivanka and her dad's LOL empowerment tour for women, and some shine theory in the Obama White House and among female bonobos.

[Theme Song]

Ann: How're you doing over there? [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my god, I just . . . you know, I'm doing okay. I was just in this wedding and everybody from the wedding is sick now.

Ann: Were you all drinking from one champagne glass?

Aminatou: You know, that did happen.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: From the same champagne bottle. Yeah, Typhoid Mary moment. Shout out to all the bridesmaids. But yeah, there's nothing I hate more than group illness, you know? Because you're just like one person here is responsible.

Ann: Well you're also just like we have all swapped germs very recently. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I know! Which this is making me upset.

Ann: Really?

Aminatou: I want to be like the picture of health this week and that is not what is happening.

Ann: Honestly not everyone is a picture of health all the time as we know.

Aminatou: Ugh.

Ann: We know all too well.

Aminatou: I have to video chat into this nurse hotline. The nurse is just not having it. She's like "Show me your tongue. What's going on?" Then she looks at me and she goes "You have a cold and you're hungry. So you should eat and you should take some Dayquil."

Ann: This is totally the equivalent of you have pneumonia and you need to drink more fluids.

Aminatou: No, totally. I was just not -- I was not happy. But you know what? It's fine. She is right. It's just like a very minor cold, but it just has to pass through the body. And now we've talked about colds for like ten minutes.


Ann: I wonder if this is something you have in your life, but I have many friends who always are pushing like herbal cold remedies when I'm sick. Like a drop of this on your tongue and you'll be better.

Aminatou: Yeah, but like that shit doesn't work.

Ann: Thank you.

Aminatou: The cold literally has to work through your body.

Ann: See, that's how I feel, but they're always trying to show their love with these herbal tinctures and I don't know how to be like "I don't think this works."

Aminatou: No, honestly, you know how I feel about people who don't believe in medicine. No. That is not a way that you show love to me.

Ann: So you're just like your recipe is rest and Netflix?

Aminatou: Yes, your recipe is rest and Netflix. Obviously take things to make the symptoms of your cold be better, but if you have a common cold, that shit just like -- it's just got to work its way through your body.

Ann: Right. No amount of zinc dosing will get rid of it.

Aminatou: Ugh, my god, don't even get me started.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: [Laughs] But you know what? Dio gave me Nyquil the other night.

Ann: I love Nyquil.

Aminatou: So I was not familiar with Nyquil. Oh my god.

Ann: When I took it as a kid, I realize now that it's basically like just giving kids a shot of booze but when I took it as a kid I'm like "Mmm, I feel warm and relaxed." [Laughs]

Aminatou: It's like for as sick as I am I've never slept this well, the last two days of my life. It's great.

Ann: I mean are you taking the cherry Nyquil? That is my shit.

Aminatou: No, I'm taking the blue nasty Nyquil. You know what?

Ann: Oh man, I love the cherry.

Aminatou: It brought me back. Nyquil should advertise on this show.

Ann: Seriously.

Aminatou: I have no idea. Because you know I'm also weirdly Christian Scientist about just like random drugs.

Ann: I know. I remember when I gave you Advil for the first time. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I know. I was like life can be like this? [Laughs] No, I honestly just blame my parents. It's like we're all kind of stoic and some things you're just like suffer through.


Ann: See, and my mom would be like there's nothing a Tylenol and a Diet Pepsi can't fix.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: That's like my mom's recipe for all stresses and headaches.

Aminatou: Oh my god, that's so funny. Also I think mostly I'm just being a baby because I had such a good week last week.

Ann: Oh my god, tell me about it.

Aminatou: I went to like a spa every night. Did a road trip from Santa Fe to Austin.

Ann: Ugh.

Aminatou: And like via Marfa. And e very night I got a body scrub or soaked in some thermal baths. And so that's why I'm annoyed this week because I was popping last week.

Ann: I know. I mean I hate getting sick. Well, I don't know, what's worse, right? Getting sick when you're taking your really relaxing vacation like that or when you finally have to be back at work feeling it. I don't know which is worse.

Aminatou: Oh my god.

Ann: But tell me about -- okay, of all of your spa experiences in the week, what was the optimal/what are the characteristics of the best spa experience?

Aminatou: Oh my god. First of all, the ability to get your own private tub or room.

Ann: Mmm.

Aminatou: In Santa Fe we went to this place called Ten Thousand Waves which if you're in Santa Fe you have to go to Ten Thousand Waves. It's ridiculous.

Ann: I've been. It's incred.

Aminatou: New Mexico is just kind of a creepy state in general. That's like the overarching vibe for me. I was like this place is a creep town but I'm into it. But Ten Thousand Waves was great. It's like you get to rent these baths for yourself and just relax. I feel like every other place that we stayed kind of had that, where it's like here's your own private thermal bath situation.

Ann: I mean this is the ultimate Amina luxury update.

Aminatou: Totally. It's like just be by yourself. You know I don't believe in massage but I'm really down for body scrubs because I think that if somebody's going to touch you for that much exfoliation has to happen.

Ann: [Laughs] You need to see the dead skin as truth.

Aminatou: Exactly. You need to see the dead skin. I will say, still to this day, the best exfoliation situation is the Korean scrub, like for real.

Ann: Nothing beats it.


Aminatou: Everybody else is just like "How can I be gentle and drape your body in honey?" And I'm like "No, I want to see dead skin everywhere."

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: I've discovered the gentle scrubs. They're okay. Mostly that's all I want. I just want to spa all day. It's the best way to do nothing.

Ann: I honestly can't remember the last time I was at the spa. This is a real wake-up call for me here.

Aminatou: That is insane, Ann. You need to change that like tomorrow.

Ann: I know. Maybe I will.


Aminatou: Speaking of pneumonia, our girl Hills has pneumonia.

Ann: I know. Okay, so someone asked me about this last night. I ran into friend-of-the-podcast Amanda Lewis who was like "I was just listening to your episode when it was more of a right-wing conspiracy, like Hillary's physical unfitness for office." And she was like "I was wondering if you guys had changed your mind now that there's an actual diagnosis."

Aminatou: No, Amanda, I have not changed my mind.

Ann: Same. [Laughs]

Aminatou: These questions actually really annoy me and they anger me because these people are just not true believers. Here's the deal: this woman has pneumonia and she's been working through the pain. If that is not the most badass thing you've ever heard then I cannot help you. And also what woman can't identify with that? Like you're sick but you still show up at work because you don't get any days off. I will say that I think it was definitely an on-goal, that they knew that she was sick and they didn't say anything, and that's like a campaign mistake. I agree with that. But the diagnosis itself is fine. She's not dying. She's not a liar.

Ann: Right. As long as she wasn't sharing a champagne bottle with the rest of her staff I think it's like, you know . . .

Aminatou: I mean a lot of her staff is sick.

Ann: Oh yeah.

Aminatou: That is the truth. If you know nothing about campaigns, you should know that they're grueling events. Nobody sleeps for a year. People are working themselves to the bone. And you cannot complain about it. It was also like the 9/11 ceremony. It's like what's worse, not going to the 9/11 ceremony?

Ann: Right.


Aminatou: And everybody saying that you're not patriotic, or showing weakness. And I am annoyed. I do think the campaign did not handle it well. But it's like on the other side, the other candidate, literally have you seen his doctor? The only thing that man can prescribe is edibles and we don't know anything that is wrong with his . . .

Ann: He like conducts all of his business in the back of a town car. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Yeah, we don't have any medical records for that guy. So it's like the double standard is still there. It's like people ask it in a gentle way, and it's like really? Look deep inside yourself. Are you serious right now?

Ann: Here's what I can't figure out though. Part of me is like okay, in a world in which we run the campaign, we're like listen, we'll just tell everyone she has pneumonia and is playing through the pain but might miss some events. We would be upfront about it or whatever. But truthfully the only person who can get away with that is Ivanka's dad, or I don't know, I actually feel like there is no way to play this when you are Hillary Clinton that works to your advantage.

Aminatou: No, there's no way to play it.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: There's no way to play it. And also remember when I had walking pneumonia earlier this year?

Ann: Yeah, crisis levels.

Aminatou: Yeah, it's just this thing where some people have higher pain thresholds and you need to get stuff done. I appreciate that we share candidates' health information. Would I like to know if our president is schizophrenic? Like yes, absolutely. But this is also all political theater. The stuff that they release is the stuff that they release. At the end of the day you don't really know. And if you're a student of history you know that other presidents have definitely lied about their health stuff.

Ann: Oh my god, they all have like dysentery and tuberculosis and . . .

Aminatou: Yeah. People didn't even know FDR was in a wheelchair. Are you kidding me?

Ann: [Laughs]


Aminatou: And also two things. Remember when H.W. threw up all over the Japanese prime minister?

Ann: I mean do I ever. Talk about a totally similar situation where he was continuing to do the job with an illness that is completely short-term and not chronic and not affecting his ability to govern in a major way. It was still like LOLOL.

Aminatou: Totally. And G.W. choked on a pretzel and almost died. Like what an insane way to go.

Ann: I like the idea that you're lumping pneumonia and stomach flu and choking on a pretzel as similar illnesses. [Laughs]

Aminatou: No, it's all incompetence. It just makes me so angry. And here's the other big story that is happening in parallel to this, right? It's like this week all of a sudden everybody is like a doctor. Here are stories that people are not paying attention to. The Trump Foundation is literally a sham. Like 100% a sham. The Washington Post has been writing about this all year. I hope that reporter wins a Pulitzer, it's so good. He's literally uncovered instances of like pay-for-play where Trump definitely gave Pam Bundy, that idiot lady in Florida money.

Ann: Sure, sure, just bundles of cash.

Aminatou: Then his Trump University stuff disappeared. You know, the false equivalency of all this is driving me up the wall.

Ann: It's true.

Aminatou: Actually here are real things that you can worry about. Stop worrying about whether Hillary is dying because she's not.

Ann: But don't you get kind of fatalistic about this? Because part of me -- and this goes back to what I was saying earlier about there being no way to play this totally minor pneumonia story -- the lopsidedness, exactly what you're talking about, of like Trump using his organization to influence politics or using his foundation to influence politics and Hillary is a human being who gets sick being like not even parallel stories. Like the Hillary story being bigger. This example exists. There's really nothing that you can say that will negatively stick to Trump and there's really nothing you can do to positively portray . . .

Aminatou: I am fatalistic.

Ann: I am sort of -- yeah.

Aminatou: I'm also very angry because I'm just like people are pieces of shit, like every time they push this narrative. Honestly it's the reason we don't have female leadership is because everybody views leadership as a male trait. It's like here you have one guy who's a fucking liar. Everything out of his mouth is lies. And here you have somebody who works really hard. True, does not trust the press, does these ridiculous on-goals every once in a while, but is qualified. You know, and people judge them by the same standard. That is ridiculous. It is so ridiculous.

Ann: I don't know. I mean like . . .


Aminatou: Ugh, Ann, I just hate society.

Ann: I think the phrase is low-information voter.

Aminatou: But it's more than that.

Ann: I know, I know, I know.

Aminatou: It's like there are high-information voters who still look at her and they go "Hmm . . ." you know?

Ann: But are they really high-information voters? Are they really?

Aminatou: No, I think that the phrase is really sexism and women are sexist and men are sexist and it is awful.

Ann: Yeah, I don't know. And then this is also the phase in the election where I start to get really frustrated not only with the way the election narrative is playing out totally independently of reality and facts, but also just when you realize how many other massive things are going on in the world that are just struggling to compete with Ivanka's dad for headlines, or with bullshit stories about Hillary's totally short-term sickness for headlines. The stuff with the Zika funding, I mean have you followed any of that?

Aminatou: No, tell me.

Ann: That is also insane.

Aminatou: Tell me about the Zika funding. All I know is Congress will not give money for Zika funding. Unclear why.

Ann: Yeah, that is true. So basically Obama in February was like "Hey, maybe we should have some funding to fight Zika because that's a thing that's coming."

Aminatou: Yeah, because nobody can go to Miami anymore. Hello?

Ann: I mean, I know. [Laughs] I think that was after the very first case of Zika was confirmed in the States, and now there are 18,000 cases of Zika in pretty much every state and the District of Columbia. And Congress still can't get it together to pass a bill because Republicans tacked on this thing that says if you pass Zika funding we're going to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. And it's really specific but it would affect some clinics in Puerto Rico. It's dumb right? Like why would you take a bill designed to promote public health and address a public health crisis and just tack on a total vanity effort to defund a health organization?

Aminatou: [Sighs]


Ann: Yeah, and they also are targeting clinics. I mean whatever, it's a total non-sequitur political move of we moved to defund Planned Parenthood so they can tell people in an election year. And so then of course Democrats won't vote for the funding bill because it's got this stupid vanity Planned Parenthood hating thing attached to it. And so everything is in lockdown. Honestly this is why everyone hates everything. [Laughs] Like I mean it's so frustrating. Meanwhile I was reading this story about women in Florida who are pregnant who are waiting on a huge waiting list to get tested for Zika. That's happening in parallel. Like what the hell?

Aminatou: Yeah. It's like I was watching CSPAN and that one congressman had a box full of mosquitoes, you know?

Ann: Oh my god.

Aminatou: Talking about it. And his big mistake was he should've fucking released the mosquitoes in the room.

Ann: Totally open the box. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Like just open the box. Give everybody in Congress Zika. Then they'll do their jobs.

Ann: And then they would fucking fund it. Yeah. Ugh, stuff like that where I'm like okay, what is the real health crisis here? Is it our first female president caught a bug? Or is it that there's a global health crisis happening and Congress won't pass funding to address it?

Aminatou: I know.

Ann: [Sighs]

Aminatou: Ugh. I'm so annoyed today. Everything is annoying.

Ann: Yeah. This will be the ninth or tenth vote in the past two years to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood. That's the other thing. It's like . . .

Aminatou: Yeah, it's like leave Planned Parenthood alone. I'm pretty sure we have established we need it.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: And every time it's like they take this shit to the Supreme Court. They find all these other ways and pretend like Republican women aren't out here getting abortions also because they need it.

Ann: I know.


Aminatou: Or that Planned Parenthood only does abortions which is so ridiculous.

Ann: I know.

Aminatou: The thing about the Planned Parenthood thing and Republicans that makes me so angry, and especially conservatives, is that in everything else they push this small government narrative but all they want is the government all up in your vagina all day long.

Ann: Well, right, and also Planned Parenthood, not a governmental organization. You should let them take care of women's health if you like small government.

Aminatou: Totally. But that's not true, right? It's like all you want to come out and say "We hate poor women." It's like if you said that I would have a little more respect for you. It's that the line is just untenable. Everything that involves Planned Parenthood is the biggest government intervention when it comes to the right and they're such hypocrites about it. And everybody's like "Think about the babies." And I'm like no, people get screens and pap smears and real medical help in places that don't have them. When we were on this road trip we passed two border patrol checks, which honestly I was a little shocked by, outside of Marfa and then somewhere else in New Mexico. This is not like super close to the border, you know?

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: But they have these border patrol checks and they're terrifying. There's so many immigrants and undocumented immigrants in these places that have to drive really long distances for work and they're nowhere near the border, they're already in the country. Then I started reading up on it. So there's this 100 mile zone around every border that we have, including Canada, where literally border patrol can do whatever the fuck they want and the constitution doesn't exist.

Ann: That's honestly so chilling. It's so chilling.

Aminatou: Yeah, it's like they can just search you. But it's like when we were doing that, I was thinking about women who have to drive in that part of Texas for abortions. It just made me so furious, women who have to go to Planned Parenthood because it's the only clinic near them where they can get any kind of health intervention.

Ann: And your being like three hours away there, yea h.


Aminatou: That you just make it hard for women to be healthy and thriving members of society. It's just so infuriating.

Ann: Yeah. So I know that these are things that are making headlines, right? But I was home in Iowa a couple weeks ago and I know intellectually the extent to which people get their news from the 24-hour cable networks, but even in conversations with people, sort of picking up on what makes a good cable news headline and what doesn't. You know, obviously the Zika conversation has made lots of headlines but it's really in terms of Congress being in shutdown. It's like you don't really see lots of in-depth stories about the women who are waiting for the tests, or with regard to the immigration conversation it's not like who's driving through a checkpoint on their way to work. You know what I mean? It's so frustrating. It's so frustrating to hear about these stories only through the six line, most contentious, most geared towards partisan politics lens. It was like that was a consistent frustration.

Aminatou: Ugh, so annoying.

[Music and Ads]


Aminatou: What else is annoying that's happening?

Ann: Oh my god.

Aminatou: Can we talk about Great British Bake Off?

Ann: Yes! Oh my god, okay, so are you . . .

Aminatou: My own personal Brexit. I am so upset.

Ann: Please explain to everyone what's happening. I share your horror.

Aminatou: For those of you who don't know, Great British Bake Off is a cultural phenomenon in the UK and a great personal obsession of mine. It's a fantastic TV show that is on the BBC. It is moving from BBC to Channel 4. On the US that would be the equivalent of moving from PBS to like Fox.

Ann: It's like when Sesame Street moved to HBO.

Aminatou: To HBO. And now none of the kids who should be watching PBS can afford to watch Sesame Street. It's crazy.

Ann: Right. All the kids who want to learn how to bake cakes in the United Kingdom. Yeah.

Aminatou: So the cohosts, Mel and Sue, announced that they're leaving the show. Okay. I'm going to get really real. I don't love Mel and Sue.

Ann: I know. I was actually going to be shocked that you were defending the like "Bake!" I hate that.

Aminatou: I don't love -- I know, I don't love Mel and Sue and as far as I'm concerned the only irreplaceable person on British Bake Off . . .

Ann: Is Mary Berry.

Aminatou: Is Mary Berry.

Ann: 100%.

Aminatou: As our friend-of-the-podcast Spencer Ackerman pointed out. This is true. If Mary Berry leaves, I am leaving this . . .

Ann: The show is over.

Aminatou: But, you know, it's just like why does capitalism ruin everything?

Ann: Yeah. I mean so the answer is they're moving to Channel 4 for more money. Is that it?

Aminatou: Yes, they're moving to Channel 4 for more money because the production company is getting like ten million more pounds per year, which that's real. That's fair.

Ann: It takes a lot to keep that tent dry.

Aminatou: Channel 4 is like the channel that gave us the original Big Brother. You know what I'm saying? It's like how is that really going to affect the show? Are they going to turn it into that kind of thing? It's this thing where a lot of people feel the show doesn't fit with the Channel 4 ethos, you know? It's like are they going to make them do confessionals and talk shit about each other and that kind of stuff? Also it means that there's going to be more commercial breaks, which that is going to be annoying.


Ann: It's true. For those of us that are already watching over shaky VPN connections more commercial breaks are not going to help. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Ugh. Hopefully Mel and Sue will find something else to do with their witty banter and it'll be okay, but protect Mary Berry at all costs.

Ann: It's true. Okay, well, we'll keep an eye on this developing story. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I know. This developing story. What else? Oh my god, did I tell you about the piece of mail that we got about somebody who called us hypocrites for our stance on Ivanka's dad?

Ann: No, but I can't even wait because I'm about -- I actually had an Ivanka's dad news point, so please let's segue with this reader feedback. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Let's segue. I'm going to read this letter. "Dear Ann and Amina, I just listened to your most recent podcast, the live show in LA. I was honestly saddened by your comments on Ivanka Trump and your celebration of the backlash she's receiving for her father's presidential campaign. On previous podcasts you've expressed very different opinions of Ivanka, therefore I found your recent comments confusing and hypocritical." My blood pressure is through the roof right now.

Ann: Deep breaths.

Aminatou: "Additionally Ivanka is separate from her father and it is unfair of you to judge her based upon her father. You have both spoken about how different your life choices have been from those of your families and celebrate those choices, yet you group Ivanka with her father. I don't actually think Ivanka and her father are anything alike. Also I would expect a child to support her parent in their campaign regardless of their outlandish behavior. He is after all her father. I love Call Your Girlfriend. I find it refreshing and fun. I know it is based upon your opinions solely and I respect that greatly. I just wanted to share with you my perspective. Best, K."

Ann: Maybe we should not -- should we say her name?


Aminatou: No, it's . . .

Ann: Oh, it's an initial. [Laughs] I was thinking like Kay Bailey Hutchinson Kay. [Laughs] Okay.

Aminatou: This letter is trash for many reasons. First of all, don't call us hypocrites. Second of all, if your parents are racist and you support their campaign with your time and your money you are also a racist and you are trash. It's such a place of privilege for white people to come and do this thing where they're so concerned about -- you know, it's like how . . . they're so concerned about what being a racist means for them as opposed to like how harsh racism is on the lives of the people who experience it. You can love your parents. That's fair. We all love our families. But if your families are doing trash shit then you can acknowledge that also. Ugh, I'm so angry. I don't even know where to start. This is like the Angry Amina day.

Ann: I want to talk about like -- she wrote something to the effect of that we had a very different view of Ivanka in the early days of this campaign. When we first started talking about Ivanka and her dad she was not as active in supporting his campaign. There was an era -- there was like very early days when she was less of a public spokesperson. We had yet to see how she would . . .

Aminatou: Totally. And we gave her the benefit of the doubt as we should have.

Ann: Right, and she failed us. Like she failed everyone. So I think it's also fair then to say you are actively supporting a racist. Like just this week she was like "Hillary Clinton has no childcare policy platform" which is false.

Aminatou: Which is a lie.

Ann: You know, we can say you are spreading misinformation and you are propping up an openly happily racist candidate who regardless to your relation to you is terrible.

Aminatou: I know. Also did you read the Wall Street Journal reporting on this about how Trump's family leave policy came together? Which his family policy leave was also a lie.

Ann: [Sighs]


Aminatou: Like you can read that on your own. But this is the best line of the whole thing. "Daddy, daddy, we have to do this." I'm like you're a 34-year-old. Get it together.

Ann: Yeah. The idea too that it's hypocritical to when a woman takes a different position publicly than she has in the past disagree with her new position, that being hypocrisy just is mind-blowing to me, right? The idea that we are like okay, we're going to give Ivanka the benefit of the doubt is not a position that lasts forever and ever based on nothing, you know what I mean? That's based on what she has and hasn't said so far.

Aminatou: Totally.

Ann: She's a public figure.

Aminatou: And she's a grifter like her dad. They're all liars. This is the other thing about this that is really upsetting. Here are real people with real power who have the potential to influence our policy for generations and they're just pushing lies. Her dad is essentially going to endanger children and starve them because he refuses to raise their wages. Like this is ridiculous.

Ann: Yeah, so I would say, look, if we were hating on Ivanka for her appearance or for a choice she's actually made privately or things like that, I'm open to considering it. Like these are things that she's done publicly as a political figure. I want to be judged by the choices I make publicly and politically, you know?

Aminatou: Absolutely, yeah. There are like passive and active ways you can be a bigot and this is an active way of being one.

Ann: Active, yeah. And then I also want to respond to the point about our families because I actually think this is really relevant. You know, we have both talked about the ways that our world views differ from the people who raised us and I think about that a lot, like how do I love my family even though I think that they have views that are totally reprehensible in a lot of ways? And part of that is easier for me . . .

Aminatou: Basket of deplorables. [Laughs]

Ann: Listen, listen, I am not putting my whole family in the basket but some of the views for sure. And you know what? I don't know how I would exactly handle it if one of my parents were running for say Senate on a super variantly anti-choice platform. Like I would probably be like "I love you, mom. I hope you lose." Really, I mean it's hard for me to envision a world in which I just kind of get onboard with something that is fundamentally -- and setting aside even that's on the choice issue.

Aminatou: Totally.

Ann: If I had a family member who was actively, openly, horribly racist, like no way.


Aminatou: We have a family in public life that deals with this. The Cheneys have dealt with this.

Ann: Oh yeah, yeah, totally.

Aminatou: Yeah, Liz and what's the other one? Mary. Mary Cheney is a lesbian and she was down with her dad until he started doing nonsense. Publicly she has taken a chance on that. But again I think that if white people claim that they want to be allies, this is something that they should really work really hard on, right? And it's not just about race, but race is the way that I experience this the most.

Ann: Sure.

Aminatou: And it is really frustrating to me that people want compassion for their families and I'm like "Hello? What about compassion for the people who suffer because of the trash way your families think?" Like that is a thing that you should really weigh when you choose words to talk about your family publicly, you know?

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: It's like don't implicate me in your family politics if you don't want me to weigh in on it. And honestly the reason that I'm worked up about this is because this is not the first time that I've heard this, and even in this election there are a lot of reporters that are tweeting kind of things like this, you know? And it's like well, great, I'm glad that you love your family. Shouldn't we all? But also it would be nice if for as much as you want me to have compassion for your family you would talk about the way that the isms your family perpetrates really actually hurt people. This passive versus active thing, right? I'm like I don't give a shit if your grandpa just doesn't like gay people and he has no power and he's not doing anything as long as I don't ever have to meet them. Like I don't care, you know? But if your family is in public life or they influence policy in some way or they can make somebody feel directly targeted, then no, that person is trash and it's okay for us to say that.


Ann: And also let's be clear here. This is not like Ivanka's dad is a public figure but she is a totally private person. I mean she has a very public persona of her own.

Aminatou: She's his number one surrogate.

Ann: Totally.

Aminatou: If he becomes president she will de facto be the First Lady.

Ann: Melania is like MIA.

Aminatou: His wife is like gone. Yeah. Also they're probably going to deport her, are you kidding me?

Ann: Oh my god.

Aminatou: Another basket of lies. My god.

Ann: Honestly I have to say though -- I was just thinking about this -- I have yet to really get onboard with the "Where are Melania's papers thing?" because I'm like I don't want to see anyone's papers. I would rather see Trump's medical records.

Aminatou: Yo, I'm onboard with it, Ann. I'm onboard with it because they're liars. What would it be like if Melania was a Muslim woman?

Ann: But is it really going to change anything? I don't know. That's part of me is I would rather focus my attention.

Aminatou: For me it's like it's the lying. It's just like they're all liars. They all have shady shit happening everywhere, and they judge people. They don't hold other people by the same standard which is ridiculous.

Ann: So basically none of these people have any excuses and as long as Ivanka has her name on a website that claims to be having anything substantive to say about society and politics and as long as she is up on the stage, she is 100% accountable for everything that she says and who she supports in my view.

Aminatou: I think we can agree on that. What's a positive thing we can talk about? I am so . . .

Ann: I had one more Trump LOL actually.

Aminatou: It's like I'm cold and I'm worked up.

Ann: I had one more LOL about Ivanka's dad. Did you see the news this week that they are going to be sort of kicking off a women's empowerment tour? [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh, I thought you were going to talk about the Dr. Oz thing.

Ann: No, but that's also funny.

Aminatou: Wait, there's an Ivanka's dad lady empowerment tour?

Ann: Yes. And it's led by Laura Trump who is married to one of the evil Trump sons.

Aminatou: Oh, she's married to Oday or Kusay Trump, one of the brothers.

Ann: [Laughs] Exactly. And so -- but the best part about this is they announced it. Well, first of all, okay, we've discussed the word empowerment. But I'm just like it's so delicious that it's like everything that we disdain wrapped into one non-event. So they said that they're going to be rolling out a tour. Laura Trump, quote, "We really don't have any idea what we're doing except we've got to go out and tell people what a great guy Donald Trump is." [Laughs]


Aminatou: Oh god. This is so insane. Did you read that Politico piece about the Trumpettes? Like all those ladies.

Ann: Oh my god, I can't handle . . .

Aminatou: You should read it just for the pictures. The pictures just make the whole thing. All of those ladies are dummies. They're just all idiots. Oh my god.

Ann: But listen to this, though. This tour, this empowerment tour -- heavy air quotes here -- is featuring only some Trump spokeswomen. I don't believe Ivanka is part of it. And also YouTube stars Lynette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson. 

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: It's like it's just some like . . . it's basically all of the . . .

Aminatou: It's like everybody you don't want on your team.

Ann: Yes, they're basically finding the only women of color they could find who are openly supporting Ivanka's dad plus Laura Trump, and I don't know, putting them on a bus together or something? I don't even know what they're doing.

Aminatou: That is so funny. That is so funny.

Ann: [Sighs]

Aminatou: Can I tell you one funny Ivanka LOL though because I follow her on Instagram?

Ann: Please.

Aminatou: This was last week, I think? Yeah, last week. God, time goes by so fast. She posts inspirational quotes every once in a while.

Ann: Of course she does.

Aminatou: You know, like #wisewords, #quotes, that kind of stuff. So the quote that day was "If not me, who? If not now, when?" Attributed to Emma Watson, a.k.a. Hermione.

Ann: [Laughs]


Aminatou: Let me tell you the reasons this is hilarious. First of all anybody who is not an idiot knows that this is a very famous Jewish quote from Hillel the Elder.

Ann: Oh my god.

Aminatou: I'm not Jewish and I know this. Even if you did not know that, this does not seem like something Emma Watson would say. But anyway it is hilarious because Ivanka's married to a Jew and doesn't know this.

Ann: Well, no, she converted right? Isn't she technically . . .

Aminatou: Yes, she like Sex and the City converted.

Ann: Yes.

Aminatou: She had a legit orthodox conversion. You know, this stuff is real.

Ann: Apparently Instagram quotes were not part of her conversion process. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I know. I'm just like oh my god, amateur hour over there. It's just . . .

Ann: Also I love these questions as things Ivanka should be asking herself when it comes to speaking out against her dad. If not now, when, Ivanka?

Aminatou: I know. If not me, who?

Ann: Yeah, right?

Aminatou: Just get it together. Also shout out Emma Watson, getting inspirational quotes out here.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: I was laughing so hard. I was like are you serious? Are you serious? Only 50 days until the election Ann.

Ann: Ugh. Is everyone registered to vote? Great. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Right? I'm a hardliner on this. People who don't vote I think are the bad people.

Ann: Okay, Hello Vote, Turbo Vote, there are lots of easy ways to do it. Okay, so I also was talking to a friend recently who told me that she was not registered to vote and it was someone that I was very, very shocked to learn this about. So I also want to say as much as everyone 100% should be registered don't sit around feeling no voter shame and actually sign up and actually do it.

Aminatou: No, you should feel voter shame. You should register.

Ann: Get over it and register though. I mean, yeah.

Aminatou: Oh no, get over it. Check your priv, man. It's not cool. It just is not cool.

Ann: Even if you live in like California. Senate race, y'all.


Aminatou: Yeah, even if you live in New York. Also there are really important local issues that you should be a part of.

Ann: Oh, totally.

Aminatou: Voting is not just about presidential elections.

Ann: It is a good moment to be like am I registered? If not, Turbo Vote. Do it.

Aminatou: That's right. Just look it up. Do a Google. Everything makes this easy.

Ann: Do a Google. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Come on.


Aminatou: Did you read this thing about the Obama lady staffers at the White House?

Ann: No.

Aminatou: Oh my god, a.k.a. Shine Theory in action.

Ann: Tell me.

Aminatou: You know the Obama White House, especially in the early days, was just full of dudes.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: Because campaigns are full of dudes. And then when they transition them over they're just like all men again. So many people like Susan Rice and Anita Dunn have really spoken up about how it was a tough circle to break into. And so all of the women staffers banded together into doing this system that they call amplification, so here's what it is: the female staffers adopted a meeting strategy they called amplifications. When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize their contribution and denied them the chance to claim the ideas as their own. "We just started doing it and made a purpose of doing it. It was an everyday thing," said one former Obama staffer who requested anonymity to speak frankly. "Obama noticed," she and others said, "and began calling more often on women and junior aides."

Ann: Awesome.

Aminatou: So the posi part of this is women band together. The part where I want to complain, again, is I'm just like ugh, all of the things that you have to do to be hard at work. Are you kidding me?

Ann: I know, you need like a plan. You need like a group strategy. Ugh.

Aminatou: Yeah, you need to hunt in a pack, you know? It's crazy. I am happy for the ladies at the White House. This is a good strategy for if you're in an office with other women actually and you can all help each other. But you know what would be great is if the men in the room would 1) not claim your ideas as their own; and 2) amplify your work.


Ann: It's true. It's like that's where I get frustrated with a lot of this stuff. It's like okay, great, I'm glad that women are banding together to do this, but also where is the demand that men also amplify women's voices and take an equal stake, right?

Aminatou: Oh my god, yeah. Stop being trash, everybody. Just be your best self.

Ann: [Laughs] Yeah. It's always a tough thing, right? Because in the short term you're like right, it is a great idea for women to move in packs and to do this. And it's like even if my long-term utopian vision involves vision not having to do that.

Aminatou: I know, it's true. Who else gets a Shine Theory update? Oh, those female bonobos from the New York Times this weekend.

Ann: Oh my god, best thing. Best thing all weekend really.

Aminatou: Oh my god, tell everybody about the lady bonobos.

Ann: I mean they are just aggressive about their territory. They are aggressive about their sexual needs. They are like what are they not claiming for themselves? The female bonobos.

Aminatou: I know. And they're like creating friendship bonds and family ties. I support it.

Ann: Right.

Aminatou: It's like male bonobos are trash, so lady bonobos have to come together so they don't get raped and killed. It's crazy.

Ann: Yeah. And I love how the Times headline used the word female comradery, but I'm like it is not comradery when you are out there fighting for your life.

Aminatou: Right.

Ann: It's just like necessity. Yeah.

Aminatou: I'm like I'm glad it looks like comradery. We're literally fighting for our survival here.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: It's crazy. Oh my god. Women, they are so strong across all species.

Ann: Primate women, so strong. [Laughs]

Aminatou: So strong and so resourceful. Oh my gosh.

Ann: All right.


Aminatou: What else is going on with us? Do we have an announcement about the CYG shop?

Ann: Oh my god, listen to this. Okay, so we are sold out of a few great items in the CYG shop. However there is also some awesome stuff left and we are doing a little fall sale. So if you use the code SUMMERSOVER at checkout, that's SUMMERSOVER, all one word, until the end of October, you'll get 30% off on our CYG swag. That's just on callyourgirlfriend.com.

Aminatou: Oh my god, go to town. Buy some early Christmas presents.

Ann: Seriously. Seriously. Get it all. 30% is no joke.

Aminatou: 30% is no joke.

Ann: Seriously. [Laughs]

Aminatou: For sure. Well, that seems like a great place to end. Hopefully we will all get some rest, especially me, so I will be less cranky.

Ann: I mean I like the idea of you and Hillary in your separate apartments watching Netflix and healing. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my god, I hope she gets to watch some HGTV this weekend.

Ann: I know, that's all I want for her. Okay, you can find us many places on the Internet, on our website callyourgirlfriend.com. You can download this podcast anywhere you like to listen including on iTunes where we would love it if you left us a review. You can tweet at us at @callyrgf and find us on Instagram at that same handle, or on Facebook -- look it up. You can send us an email at callyrgf@gmail.com and you can even leave us a voicemail at 714-681-2943. That's 714-681-CYGF. This podcast . . .

Aminatou: See you on the Internet, booboo.

Ann: This podcast is produced by Gina Delvac! [Laughs]

Aminatou: See you on the Internet, booboo.

Ann: See you on the Internet.