Episode 87: Shook, for Real

Published April 6, 2017.

Aminatou: Welcome to Call Your Girlfriend.

Ann: A podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.

Aminatou: I'm Aminatou Sow.

Ann: And I'm Ann Friedman. On this week's agenda, millennial men are apparently not that interested in equitable relationships according to a survey, Italy is considering paid menstrual leave, the most important reference book about cervical fluids, and a hot new boy band-style group in China which is made up of girls.

[Theme music]

(2:00)

Ann: Hey.

Aminatou: Oh! Oh my god.

Ann: I received some tragic news this week.

Aminatou: Oh no! What happened?

Ann: My local neighborhood institution coffee shop Fix is closing.

Aminatou: No! Do we need to Kickstarter buy it or something? What's going on?

Ann: In fact it has already closed. It was like four days' notice. But I'm feeling feelings in this way because it was the place that I worked after I had been fired and was learning how to work on my own. It was like my training wheels, you know? The place where I . . .

Aminatou: Yeah, you were like there's no cell phone reception here. I can get so much work done.

Ann: Exactly. So anyway it was like very important. I mean it's like whatever, in the way that your local coffee shop is always important, but it was very important during this very vulnerable era of my life and I'm like mourning that an old workplace has closed. That's what's going on.

Aminatou: I am sorry for your loss.

Ann: How are you?

Aminatou: Yo, I am superwoman today.

Ann: Ugh, I love to hear this. Schedule to the hilt?

Aminatou: Back-to-back-to-back scheduled like a . . . it's insane. And then on top of all of that I consumer protected myself and so much is happening. Also my apartment is finally getting painted. I want to report on like a home improvement front.

Ann: Wait, rewind. What do you mean you consumer protected yourself? [Laughs]

Aminatou: So I'm not going to go into too many details so I don't jinx it but I had to file a complaint against a company using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They have a form on there. That company got back to me within five days and they fixed everything and like your girl's b ack.

Ann: Wow. Okay. So in other words . . .

Aminatou: It's the best customer service I've never -- it's the best customer service I've ever received. I was like this is bananas. Some corporation tried to take advantage of me and then I tattled on them and then literally when I talked to the compliance officer she goes "I really wish this hasn't escalated to a CFPB complaint." [Laughs] And I was like "Well, that was the only way you would listen to me so that's perfect."

(4:10)

Ann: Wow. And you were like yeah, if you didn't want this to escalate you should've answered my emails.

Aminatou: I know. CFPB is my favorite agency in government, like thank you, like actually doing things. Like I'm so happy about it I'm going to write like a success story about the whole thing.

Ann: Government: Working For Me. 

Aminatou: Oh my god, the best. The best. Shout out to everybody who makes CFPB happen, I'm so happy. So I did that. Can I tell you though? So I settled on painting one room in my house a very light blush.

Ann: Not millennial pink? Lighter than millennial . . .

Aminatou: Not millennial pink. Like lighter than millennial pink. Well, I guess we'll find out, right? Because you know how you do the swatches and then you feel good and then you paint the whole room and you're like oh my god, what have I done?

Ann: It's so hard to tell, yeah.

Aminatou: It's really hard to tell and also you know sometimes the light hits it and all of this stuff and you just . . . whatever. So anyway, in my head this is a very light pink. But I want you to know that the painter keeps texting me and telling me, even in person, he keeps referring to it as romantic pink. [Laughs]

Ann: Oh my god.

Aminatou: It's really stressing me out because it's making me feel like it's some bubblegum whatever thing. And I don't know, man, now I'm very nervous. But everything else is like white, so you know what? Even if it doesn't work out we're going back to white.

Ann: Yeah. I mean I don't know. I also feel like sometimes you just have to lean into a bold room color and even if it's not your favorite right away once you put it all together it'll make sense, you know?

Aminatou: I know, right? It's just a very bold move for me, you know?

Ann: I know. I am very proud of you. Pink walls, like excellent.

(5:54)

Aminatou: So yeah, all of this to say by the time I'm done with dinner tonight I'm going to pass out so hard.

Ann: Oh my god. So wait, and tell me where are you on your nesting journey. Is this like last step? Middle step?

Aminatou: No, this is definitely middle steps.

Ann: Okay.

Aminatou: It's also I'm at the point where you know when you realize that you ordered furniture and everything takes eight to ten weeks to arrive and you're like "But I got rid of my couch. What am I going to sit on for three months?"

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: That's the logistical hole that I am in right now. But you know what? It's all going to work out. It's all going to work out. I have faith. I'm being Zen. It's going to be fine.

Ann: I'm proud of you, making all those big decisions. Like couch, rug, wall color, I feel like once you've gotten over those hurdles it's fine. Everything else is small and returnable.

Aminatou: Oh my gosh. What have you been up to today?

Ann: [Sighs] My day is pretty chill, honestly. I, speaking of home improvements, just this weekend got a new bookshelf for my office and so I can stop living like a Howard Hughes hoarder with stacks of books everywhere.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: And, you know, it's one of those things where the books I own expand to fill the space and you know I don't believe in condoing, especially not books, so I'm like . . . I need to do the big book reorganization though, which as much as I like owning and being surrounded by books I actually don't take a lot of pleasure in reorging them. So that's on my agenda at some point today. That's maybe like a late afternoon stoner activity and I think I'll get into it. But I don't know, that's it. I don't know. Pretty easygoing over here.

Aminatou: Oh man. We're going to be all right. We're going to be all right.

Ann: Although I was just thinking when you were talking about being scheduled to the hilt, and I think about this sometimes too, of like oh my god, if we were like businessmen at the level we're at now we would have like six assistants. You know what I mean? The juggle is so real, and I'm like . . . are you still using some kind of digital scheduler or is this all you?

(8:00)

Aminatou: Oh my gosh, I have schedulers. I'm like sharing a robot assistant with someone. [Laughs] Listen, I am so ready to download myself inside the computer. Here's the secret to being scheduled to the hilt, is that -- so I'm running on two hours of sleep. This is why I'm also talking crazy right now. It's that you can't have breaks. It's when you have the breaks that you realize how tired you are. And I literally have no breaks for the next four hours. [Laughs] Like this is a fun break but you know it's also not a break. And I'm like oh my god, my body is going to break. We'll see.

Ann: Oh, okay. Well you want to talk about the news? We can't pause. We can't slow down or else you'll fall asleep.

Aminatou: Can't slow down. We can't slow down. Well, I don't know that we can talk about the news because there's too much news. All I know is that today I checked in on y'alls president's Twitter feed a couple times, and over the span of three-and-a-half hours, and every single time he had been tweeting about Fox News. I was like have you been watching Fox News for three hours, my man?

Ann: Yes.

Aminatou: Like this is crazy.

Ann: No, totally. And it's like the info loop, right? Criticize all other media, exclusively watch the only one that you claim is doing good work when in fact they're just yes men, then reinforce the loop by only tweeting about shows on Fox.

Aminatou: Ann, this man's self-care routine is unparalleled. Do you realize this? Playing golf every weekend, going on vacation every weekend, not seeing that you don't like ever, a.k.a. his wife, and now he's like watching Fox News for three hours. I'm like where do you find the time?

Ann: Yeah. He's like hermetically sealed himself in a bubble.

Aminatou: I'm just like I cannot believe this.

(10:05)

Ann: I know. And especially when you think about you know that quote he gave about reading, where he's like "Reading? I don't have time for even a paragraph. I pick up a book and then I put it down."

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: I'm like well clearly you have time because you're watching Fox News 24/7. You could in fact choose to turn it off and read a briefing paper. Oh wait, you've requested that those be edited down to a single page. Yeah.

Aminatou: Ann! We've already addressed this. He can't read.

Ann: I know. I know. I know. I still want to believe. It's terrible. There's like a part of me that . . .

Aminatou: Right. It's like you watch all of that TV, you don't know how to read chyrons? What's going on here?

Ann: [Laughs] Yeah. Or if it's not written in like chyron headline it's not readable.

Aminatou: Oh my god. I ran out of cannot even on the first day of this presidency. I can't handle it.

Ann: Out of fucks, out of can't evens. We're just like the supplies are running low. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my god. Okay. Well, that's that for that person. Probably by the time this goes on the air 10,000 more things would've happened.

Ann: Yeah. I mean also filibustering happening. Other good obstructionist things are going on. But yeah, it's like hard to do. It is actually impossible on a weekly podcast to be newsy.

Aminatou: I know. This filibuster has me shook because I can't decide how I feel about it.

Ann: I know, right? I actually do too. I mean it's one of those things where you're like okay, if I hold true to my principles about how I want government to work it's like one answer. And then if I recognize that the other people who are in this game don't actually want government to work, I don't know. It's like hard.

Aminatou: I know! But now, you know, you also realize I don't want government to work.

Ann: Right, not in this moment.

Aminatou: Not this government to work, except for CFPB which is an independent agency and they don't have to deal with this shit. [Laughs]

Ann: For now.

Aminatou: Another plug for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. I love it. It's so sexy to consumer protect yourself. My god.

[Music]

Aminatou: What else is going on?

(12:20)

Ann: Well, did you read this op-ed by the great Stephanie Coontz about millennial men?

Aminatou: Yo, anything Stephanie . . . the lady could read the phone book to me and I would be down.

Ann: We need to have her on the podcast actually, like I was thinking this when I read it. So many smart things to say about all kinds of things about how politics and like the domestic sphere and personal relationships all explode into each other.

Aminatou: Okay, explain this thing to the kids. What's going on?

Ann: Well, you might be surprised to learn if there's a millennial man in your life that in terms of what he really believes about egalitarian family arrangements, I believe that's like the phrase used . . .

Aminatou: You mean to tell me that the contemporary man is not down for equality of the sexes?

Ann: I mean some of them are.

Aminatou: I'm shocked. This is news to me.

Ann: Yeah. Well there's actually -- well part of the big, notable thing is the split between men and women ages 18 to 25 which is how they're defining millennial for purposes of this study. As far back as the late '90s both men and women who are 18 to 25, above 75% were like it's better for everyone involved if the man is the achiever outside the home and the woman takes care of the home and family. Which is like whoa, whoa, whoa. Like mid-90s it's like most young people were saying no to that statement in the mid-90s. And since then the number of men who are disagreeing with this traditional gender role setup has plummeted down to 52%.

(14:00)

Aminatou: Okay, can I tell you the part of this op-ed that had me shook for real?

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: [Laughs] This part. I'm going to read it out to you. Hopefully I can still read. "Are we facing a stall or even a turnaround in the movement towards gender equality? That's a possibility, especially if we consider to pin our hopes on an evolutionary process of general liberalization. But there is considerable evidence that the decline in support for non-traditional domestic arrangements stems from young people witnessing the difficulties experienced by parents in two-earner families. A recent study of 22 European and English-speaking countries found that American parents report the highest level of unhappiness compared to non-parents, a difference the researchers found is entirely explained by the absence of policies supporting work/life balance." So here's where the jig is all the way up. Like what this means is because conservatives block policies like paid leave they've essentially succeeded in turning public opinion against women who work outside the home.

Ann: Right.

Aminatou: Which was their goal from the beginning.

Ann: Yeah, like look, all you need is a few decades of proving that it's really difficult while at the same time keeping wages low so you need all adults in a household to be working and it turns out things are pretty terrible for everyone.

Aminatou: Yeah. And the thing too about these conservatives, right, is it's kind of hard to account for all these high numbers of husbands that make big decisions because not all but some stay-at-home wives in many conservative arrangements, they're always saying how they're equal partners and you can't imply that they're being subservient. But at the same time I'm just like this sounds a lot like the man is the head of the household. Where have I heard that before?

Ann: Right.

(15:45)

Aminatou: But one thing that I do want to note though about this study, as much as I heart Steph Coontz so much -- do you think she goes by Steph? Probably, right?

Ann: I think we can call her Steph, maybe. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Stephie Coontz is one of these surveys . . . where is it? I'm trying to find it. Like the sample sizes are really small.

Ann: Yes.

Aminatou: The total number of respondents 18 to 25 is only 200 people. And so I'm not really trying to base any kind of general opinion on such a tiny, tiny, tiny group of people. Are these anomalies? What's going on there? Like I was surprised at how small that sample size was.

Ann: Totally. I mean and the other thing -- so I went and I looked up this study from 2009 that I remembered including in a book review ages ago. This is the problem when you've been working for a long time, I'm like some of these statistics feel familiar. Anyway, there's a sociologist called Kathleen Gerson who wrote a book called -- let me cite it right -- The Unfinished Revolution, in 2009, where basically it was about polling. She was polling people who were as young as the people in this millennial op-ed that Steph Coontz wrote, but it was about their expectations for the future. And most of them said what they wanted was to be in a committed but autonomous relationship that offered both partners a happy balance between work and home life. But the difference came in when she asked men versus women what their backup plans are if they're unable to achieve that egalitarian balance, so basically in the policy scenario that you described. So men are more likely to want to count on a partner at home. Surprise, surprise. Women on the other hand are more likely to see paid work as essential to providing for themselves and their children.

So if you have men taking this default position where if we can't have a perfect dream egalitarian scenario I want my partner to stay home, it's like oh, wow, so most people don't get that scenario and then look what happens. Like it's an interesting thing. And I'm really curious about what this study would look like if you shifted it towards people who are 10 and 20 years older.

(17:50)

Aminatou: Right, but it's also the kind of thing where I want to take this and kind of shove it in the face of so many young women that I know and be like this is why you need to get paid more because . . .

Ann: Right.

Aminatou: Everything is shaped by economic realities, right? Like here's what happens if you get married and you have a baby in this trash country that doesn't have maternity care that is adequate and childcare that's adequate is whichever one of you makes the least amount of money is the one whose career is on the chopping block. For a lot of women the salary a lot of women make is either equal to what childcare ends up running you or is a significant chunk of it, right? And so it's like why would you give all that money away to somebody else when you can stay home and take care of your kid? That's the reality that a lot of people have. This whole trend is like a very Bizarro backlash because nobody's really talking about it, right? But it's like surprise, everything is shaped by economic realities which is shaped by sexism. Ding, ding, ding. Open your eyes. All of this stuff has consequences.

Ann: Yeah, you're right about the sample size too. Part of me is like okay, well, to me this says not what does your partner say they want for you, it is what is your partner doing to enable you to make all the choices that you want to make? Like is your partner investing in your earning power as much as in their own? Like how are the choices being made that are not just big, abstract do we want an egalitarian partnership? Do you know what I mean? It's hard sometimes to connect all of the little everyday difficult choices that everyone makes about career and where to live and how to maintain a relationship with this high level what do you really want in terms of the egalitarian quality of your partnership?

Aminatou: Right. And it's also the kind of thing where kids grow up in families that are single-income families, like I certainly did for a long time until my mom went back to work. These male-led families are like what -- this is what a good, wholesome, whatever family looks like. And actually peel that onion back a little bit and really it's just structural discrimination that enforces the old models. [Laughs] It's like the same garbage.

Ann: Yep.

(20:05)

Aminatou: And so that is what is so frustrating about it, money talks and here is where we are because one segment of the population makes significantly less money than the other.

Ann: Yeah. On a potentially hopeful note the study cited in this New York Times op-ed only uses data going up to 2014 and there are some 2016 numbers from the General Social Survey dataset, which is the same dataset as the Times article, that shows a huge almost cannot be statistically meaningful skyrocketing increase in men who say that they want equality at home from the 52% in the Times study all the way up to 89% in the 2016 data. And so I mean whatever. All of this stuff, again, it's like 60 to 80 people so we're not even talking about anything significant. But for me it's like thinking about this stuff as it tracks with human beings that I know, like huh, does this seem to go hand-in-hand with the choices that people I know are making? Not their professed beliefs. And I think that that's where -- I mean with a sample set of only 60, in some ways it's all anecdotal.

Aminatou: I know. But you know how it tracks in my life is I too would like a wife so that's what's going on. It's like who doesn't want the benefit? It's like everyone wants the benefit of having a wife at home, are you kidding me?

Ann: Sure. Yeah, not just a digital scheduling assistant.

Aminatou: [Laughs] I know! The robots are still so dumb.

Ann: Yeah.

[Music and ads]

(24:55)

Aminatou: What a quote! "Italy may become the first western country to grant women who experience painful periods paid menstrual leave. If the policy goes ahead companies will be required to offer female employees three days off each month. Menstrual leave started in Japan in 1947 . . ." Countries have menstrual leave? "And have since . . ."

Ann: We have talked about this on this very podcast, PS.

Aminatou: I know but I always thought it was like one weirdo company in the UK. You didn't tell me it was the entire country of Japan and South Korea and Taiwan and Indonesia. Excuse me.

Ann: Listen.

Aminatou: I've got to go file my immigration paperwork. I am moving. This is nuts.

Ann: I know. It's one of those things where I'll believe it when I see it. It's always like companies may require, or maybe the policy will go through. I feel like there's not a lot of -- this is one of those things where it's been established in a few countries for a long time, although the data is a little suspect on how many women actually take advantage of it. Like I think that's harder. Let's get it. Like let's get it here. Not that we have anything else to work on, but . . .

Aminatou: Get it, ladies. Get it.

Ann: Yeah.

(26:04)

Aminatou: Get a wife, move to Italy, take your menstrual leave, get it. All of it. You can have it all.

Ann: I mean it's interesting because I'm reading a Glamour Magazine counterpoint right now that says "Do we really want to reinforce those dated views that we're unfit to work three days out of every month?

Aminatou: Um, that's why it says for people who have painful periods.

Ann: Right, exactly.

Aminatou: I have insane, like medical-grade level problems when I have my period. This is not some like I need to eat a Kit-Kat when I'm on my period.

Ann: Right, exactly.

Aminatou: Because here's the thing, the women who feel the way that I feel, a lot of times we do take the time off. You know what I mean? Like not three whole days. My god, that would be great. But you make it fit with the rest of your medical leave schedule.

Ann: Right.

Aminatou: And it blows.

Ann: And you're probably at home working with your computeris.

Aminatou: Exactly, definitely working with your computeris, bleeding on everything that you own, but at least you get to bleed in your own bathroom.

Ann: Yeah, it's true. But yeah, I also don't like that idea of saying because some women really do need medical leave related to it, it's like an admission of weakness or something like that. Or an admission that it's okay to bar women from ski jumping or whatever other dumb things that women's bodies have been used against them for.

Aminatou: Yeah! But this is also not complicated, right? It's like whatever. If you don't need menstrual leave, don't take it. But god knows a lot of women do so let them take it. I don't understand this impulse to always be -- like rebut, like part of women's biology that actually is hard.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: It's like no, pushing out blood clots out of your vagina is tough. It is objectively painful for some people. Can we live?

Ann: What's that? I forget which comedian that we've quoted before, like my body is pushing my body out of my body. [Laughs] Like it's the most hardcore thing.

(28:00)

Aminatou: Oh my gosh, it's bananaroos. Okay.

Ann: Totally . . .

Aminatou: I can't believe I just said the word bananaroos. That's the tiredness.

Ann: Totally on like the bodies tip, but not otherwise directly related, I have been reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility. Have you ever had someone recommend this book to you?

Aminatou: Wow. I've heard many people talk about it. I have not personally read it or -- yeah.

Ann: Well, so a woman I know told me in casual conversation many moons ago that she could feel her ovaries drop an egg.

Aminatou: What?

Ann: And I was like -- I know. I was like that seems not real to me. And then she was like "Read the book and you'll be blown away by all the shit about your body that your gynecologist never told you, that you never learned in school." Even if you don't have any desire to use it for trying not to get pregnant or trying to get pregnant it's just a really interesting reference book about what it means to have a uterus and ovaries. And she was like "Honestly, it kind of blew my mind." And so of course that part of it piqued my interest. Not so much using it to change my birth control routine, but just like okay, what am I going to learn from this? It is definitely a reference book. And it is truly pretty mind-blowing.

Aminatou: I mean shout out fertility awareness method.

Ann: I know, but beyond even that, just like the way that -- and it's written by this woman, Toni Weschler, and has been republished in many, many editions. But there's a lot of parts in it that are about parsing different cervical mucus. Oh my god, there was a really funny aside where she was like "Fertility awareness didn't take off because people hate the word mucus, but then we changed it to cervical fluid and everyone was okay with it." And I was like what?

Aminatou: Yeah, because mucus sounds  gross.

(30:00)

Ann: I mean I know, but whatever, it's just bodies.

Aminatou: I mean you know I agree with this.

Ann: I know. I know.

Aminatou: I'm just saying it's the hard K sound. What is that? You know, what was that feminist book that was . . . it's not called Vagina because that's the Naomi Wolf book, but it's like about vaginas. You know the book I'm talking about? And it literally had a vagina on the cover.

Ann: The Intimate Geography or something? Hang on. That one?

Aminatou: No, I don't think that's what it's called. I think it was like one word or two words. It was one of those meant to shock people kind of in the bookstore. And I feel like that book is related to the fertility book in that they're really all about discussing the myths around infertility and that kind of stuff and myths around the vagina. But it just made me think of it and I cannot remember what it's called.

Ann: Woman: an Intimate Geography? That one? I don't know why I'm saying that.

Aminatou: Maybe.

Ann: It's Natalie Angier who writes a lot of stuff, a lot of science and nature.

Aminatou: No.

Ann: No?

Aminatou: Because you can carry this on the plane. The other one I'm talking literally repulses people.

Ann: [Laughs] Okay.

Aminatou: I'll find it. If a listener knows what I'm talking about, like it came out around the same time as or was popular around the same time as [0:31:14], you know, like that era of feminism. 

Ann: Oh, Cunt

Aminatou: Cunt, doh. 

Ann: I was like ding, ding, ding. The arrow was really important for me. Yeah. Yeah.

Aminatou: Really important. [Laughs] I remember because I read Cunt on a plane and I was just like holding it the whole time.

Ann: Cunts on a Plane is my favorite action movie.

Aminatou: Oh my god, and the lady next to me like pulled up her Bible, like she was not having it.

Ann: Wow.

(31:44)

Aminatou: But yeah, I like vaguely remember moon cycles and whatever in Cunt where I was just like oh, I can hang two-thirds of the way in here then I can't go further.

Ann: Well I've got to say that I have been pretty -- there has been I would say a pretty decent-sized revelation for me every couple of pages and I'm only halfway through. But part of it has to do with the fact that I remember having an early sex ed -- LOL Catholic School sex ed so I don't even know -- talk about like "Okay, you might experience something that's not your period that's called vaginal discharge." And then there was a description of it being kind of white or something and that was it. And it's like oh, wow, actually cyclically it looks like this and there's diagrams in the book of "This is what this type of cervical fluid looks like in your underwear, and this is what it feels like, and this is what it means about what's happening with your hormones and your cycle at that time." And it is awesome. I don't know. Like stuff that you're like is this some kind of infection, or it might raise a question in your mind. Being like oh my god, wow, I've experienced all of these different things they're describing but never once connected them as cyclical and always thought it was just random shit happening with me. You know?

Aminatou: Way to connect with your body, Ann.

Ann: Listen, I have to say -- I don't know, I was very skeptical about this book and I am . . . I'm also pleasantly surprised by how it's not 100% preachy of why this is the best. Like it's truly framed as just a reference book for your body if you have these parts. So endorsement related to fluids that come out of the bod. [Laughs]

Aminatou: That's . . . [Laughs] mucus.

Ann: Fluid.

Aminatou: LOLs. Okay. Oh my god, my energy's picking up. I feel better.

Ann: Is it talk of all these fluids that's picking up your energy?

Aminatou: Yes, it's talk about all these fluids. I feel very aware of my body today so it's good.

Ann: Excellent.

Aminatou: And all the ways that I have failed it but it is propelling me forward.

Ann: I love it.

Aminatou: Yeah, you've got to sleep. Sleep is important.

Ann: Oh my god, so, so important. Every basic health thing, it's like are you hydrating? Are you sleeping?

(34:00)

Aminatou: Sometimes I think, like can you imagine if I actually slept the amount that you're supposed to sleep? I could probably cure cancer.

Ann: I actually am intimidated by what the size of your brainpower would be if you slept eight hours a night.

Aminatou: I guess we'll never know. I guess we'll never know.

Ann: Don't say that. You might get there.

Aminatou: [Laughs] Inshallah.

Ann: Inshallah, yeah.

Aminatou: Oh my gosh.

[Music]

Aminatou: What else is on the agenda today?

Ann: I was reading an article about a new -- I'm air quoting here -- boy band in China where all of the musicians are actually women.

Aminatou: Oh yeah.

Ann: Who are styled in that kind of androgynous boy band way. Which, I don't know, I'm not anyone who can interpret much about J-pop influenced Chinese music or anything like that. But, I don't know, I'm just like really interested in the phenomenon and apparently they have the same huge teen girl fanbase and have not even dropped an album yet.

Aminatou: Have not even dropped an album yet is my favorite detail of that. It's like that's how you know they're going to go far.

Ann: My favorite detail is that their agent gave this interview to Quartz and essentially said they don't -- the band members don't want to use the word boy or girl. They have chosen the gender-free phrase that translates to handsome youths.

Aminatou: I like that a lot. That makes me really happy. And they look like genuinely awesome.

(36:05)

Ann: Oh my god, they look so good. I'm like I hope that they blow up globally. I'm just so interested in it. It's also like -- it's interesting because a few of the members of the band were apparently into a more gender-neutral fashion aesthetic before they even joined the band, and so presumably were selected in part for that which I also think is very cool. They're called Acrush.

Aminatou: Oh, so good. So good.

Ann: Yes. Side note, interesting thing.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: Like literally something I'm zero percent knowledgeable on so I have like nothing else to say. [Laughs]

Aminatou: No, that's perfect. I feel like we went around the world.

[Music]

Aminatou: Oh no! Jenna Lyons out of J.Crew officially. End of an era.

Ann: Oh wow. Oh my god.

Aminatou: End of an era. She worked there for 26 years.

Ann: Holy shit, breaking.

Aminatou: Yeah, have you done anything for 26 years?

Ann: Wow. Ugh. I hope Jenna Lyons starts like a tall lady fashion brand because even under her leadership we were undeserved by J.Crew. I'm like branch out, baby. [Laughs]

Aminatou: That's right. Jenna Lyons, honestly, a true veteran of the fashion industry. Love it. Can't wait to see what she does next.

Ann: Oh, I want her to just sell suits and those glasses. Just like make her own look.

Aminatou: That's it. That's it.

Ann: Yes.

Aminatou: Two things. Go for it.

Ann: Free career consulting.

Aminatou: Yeah. [Laughs] Gives advice once.

Ann: Yeah, 26 year veteran of a single company and we're like "Let me tell you what to do next."

Aminatou: Yeah. You're like "Hey, I have a lot of ideas for you."

[Laughs]

Aminatou: "Do you know what's next?"

Ann: Well now she has time to read Taking Charge of your Fertility.

Aminatou: Listen, how much do you want to bet she's already read it?

(38:10)

Ann: She's already in charge, yeah.

Aminatou: That's right, in charge. On that note I think that because my next meeting is with you for two hours . . .

Ann: [Laughs] Got to get some lunch in. That's how I feel.

Aminatou: Yeah. It's like last time I went for a walk. Now I'm going to run and get something to eat and just keep pushing. Just keep pushing today. Keep pushing.

Ann: Keep on, keep on, and I will see you on the Internet.

Aminatou: I will see you on the Internet.

Ann: And on the phone and on text. [Laughs]

[Music]

Aminatou: You can find us many places on the Internet, on our website callyourgirlfriend.com, download it anywhere you listen to your favorite podcasts, or on iTunes where we would love it if you left us a review. You can tweet at us at @callyrgf or email us at callyrgf@gmail.com. You can also find us on Facebook -- look up that link yourself -- or on Instagram at callyrgf. You can even leave us a short and sweet voicemail at 714-681-2943. That's 714-681-CYGF. Our theme song is by Robyn. All other music you heard today was composed by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs. This podcast is produced by the beautiful and wonderful Gina Delvac.