Episode 90: So Many Moans

Published April 28, 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, Ivanka takes her terrible show on the road to Berlin, leave Chelsea Clinton alone, shout out to astronaut Peggy who broke a record for the longest time spent in space by an American, and Ireland moves just a bit closer to legalizing abortion.

[Theme Music]

Ann: Hey.


Aminatou: Hey! My finger's not asleep anymore. Okay.

Ann: That's so weird. How does a single finger fall asleep?

Aminatou: Dawg, that lasted a long time. I was really scared.

Ann: I mean like were you doing anything specific with that finger such as flipping someone off?

Aminatou: No, I'm like laying. It's like I was lying in a weird position problem.

Ann: Okay. I mean sometimes my hands go numb when I've been holding my phone up in front of my face in bed for too long but I've never had the single finger. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Do you have that thing where you wake up and your body's not awake yet and you have the night terrors? You know what I'm talking about? It's like you're awake but your body's not awake and then it's like locked?

Ann: No, that has never happened to me. I do a thing when I'm really tired and falling asleep where I just moan uncontrollably. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Okay. I just moan without having to fall asleep in regular places. In fact I moaned at the gynecologist yesterday and the nurse was like "Are you okay? Do you need any help?" And I was just like "No, no. This is just how I do."

Ann: I mean that was in a moan-sensitive environment.

Aminatou: Yeah, but I wasn't moaning about anything that had to do with the medical piece of it. I just think that I moan every hour regardless.

Ann: It is true. I do feel like part of knowing you and loving you is being able to parse your various moans and what they mean. Like the "Oh my god, I'm so frustrated" moan, the "Ugh, we're sharing an annoying moment" moan. The "There is a very sexy person we're talking about" moan. Like so many moans.

Aminatou: [Laughs] Ann, I feel so seen and known right now.

Ann: Seen and moaned.

Aminatou: Seen and moaned. [Laughs]

Ann: I'm happy to learn we're on the same annual exam schedule.

Aminatou: We really are. Let me tell you, Ann, I had a lifechanging OBGYN experience yesterday.

Ann: Oh, yes. Bring me back. Tell me.


Aminatou: It was like going to church. First of all super sex-posi doctor but also very smart and funny. Like I feel like if she -- if we didn't have a doctor/patient relationship, dare I say, we might pursue each other in friendship or at least I would. You know, we talked about this last time how I really cannot handle pelvic exams and I'm terrified and all that stuff. So I walk in. I give her my "I'm a survivor of sexual trauma so I have a lot of issues here." And she didn't flinch, like it wasn't weird, and instead she walked me through the whole exam and actually I have a really funny story to tell you. You know how we joked about always having to scoot your butt down?

Ann: Yes.

Aminatou: Well guess what? It's all in the fucking butt. [Laughs]

Ann: Wait, what?

Aminatou: Feeling less tension, that's what she told me. She was like "Scoot your butt down," and I was like "My butt's already low." And she's like "Listen, you are . . ." She's like when you clinch up your butt or your muscles are tense there, that's where a lot of the resistance happens. But instead if you relax your butt it hurts less when the speculum goes in. It was crazy. Like the whole time it was just like drop your butt. Drop your butt.

Ann: So they want your butt to flop off the table, which is definitely what happens to me, so that it's relaxed?

Aminatou: So it's relaxed, but also I'm a very tense person. I'm speaking for myself where my entire body is clinched, and the minute I let go, I'm like oh. Like this is what they mean when they say relaxed. I get it now. [Laughs]

Ann: Wow.

Aminatou: Like I finally relaxed and I was like oh, this wasn't bad. But you know how at TSA when they're patting you down and they tell you what they're doing, except they're being really fucking invasive in the worst, like no matter whether they're telling you or not?

Ann: Sure.

Aminatou: This was the opposite of that where she was like "You're going to feel pressure up because I'm moving this. You're going to feel pressure on the side." It was perfect. I know that this sounds dumb for people who have posi experiences at the doctor but for me this was very new and I was like oh, I didn't know it could be like this.


Ann: I mean that's incredible. We got some email from listeners who are also trauma survivors or who have had other terrible experiences, women whose trauma was there going for their annual exam. And so, yeah, totally.

Aminatou: There was also something about understanding exactly what was going on in your body at that time that makes it a little easier, you know?

Ann: Totally.

Aminatou: And then it's like I have to go for an ultrasound, and she was like "Here's how the ultrasound is." I'm like god, I've already had one of those and they're the worst. But she talked me through it and I'm like okay, now I'm ready for this. I didn't even cry which is huge for me.

Ann: Oh, that makes me so, so happy honestly.

Aminatou: I know. But then she also recommended that I go see a physical therapist for pelvic floor exams and I've been Googling that forever because I didn't know pelvic health physical therapy was a thing.

Ann: Oh my god, we got some mail about his too.

Aminatou: Yeah, we got so much mail about this. So we're obviously going to follow up, and I'm excited. We should do a whole episode around this.

Ann: I can't wait. The pelvis extravaganza.

Aminatou: I know. I can't wait to tell you about my pelvic health exam. I'm super pumped about it.

Ann: Oh, you're saving it for the special episode? Okay.

Aminatou: Oh, yeah. I mean I haven't had it yet but I'll probably call you right before. [Laughs]

Ann: Sure, sure, sure.

Aminatou: And moan.

Ann: The podcast before the podcast.

Aminatou: Exactly, the podcast before the podcast. We'll find out. But this whole thing, honestly, like saying I'm going to take better care of myself, part of it makes me feel really dumb because I'm like oh, wow, I'm 32 and there's so much I'm learning. I guess a pap smear is not the same thing as my annual physical. Wow. You know, those two things are very distinct. This is actually what happens in your body. I feel so bereft of information and I don't know what I was doing before.


Ann: Yeah. I mean this is sort of also of a piece of like the Taking Charge of your Fertility book where I'm like honestly there are some facts in there that are basic science, basic sort of anatomical realities for many people on this planet that I learned for the first time when reading the book. It's shocking. It's shocking.

Aminatou: Yeah. It's just there's so much you don't know about your own body, like how terrifying is that?

Ann: I know. And I also feel like I was done a disservice by some negative feminist stereotypes about getting to know your own body, right? I feel like when this conversation came up in terms of frankly stereotypical feminists in the 70s it was all like lying on a mat with a mirror looking at your vulva. It wasn't like the stuff that has to do with more ongoing or deeper -- literally deeper inside the body stuff, you know what I mean?

Aminatou: Right.

Ann: I actually feel like I bought that narrative, that that's what women who were kind of like health feminists were doing as opposed to . . .

Aminatou: Yeah. There's something a little woo-woo about it, and you're like actually these people are scientific badasses.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: I cannot believe what kind of bullshit narrative we've done to that. Yeah, no, I definitely agree with that. Also, yeah, it's just very strange to be like oh, at this age there's still so much I don't know about this part of my health that's so important. And so we're nerds so at the same time it's like information? This is great.

Ann: Yeah, totally. And also in a general way I'm like wow, this can truly be a learning experience at whatever age, like the one that you had, rather than a shaming experience. It's like huh, what if women said to whatever health professional they're seeing regularly "Hey, I would like this to be a learning experience," or like "Here, can you tell me some more about these things?" as opposed to it being a shaming thing. It's also an amazing vision of what's possible for all of us.

Aminatou: Yeah, and the doctor that I saw too, she definitely did the whole like "What else is going on in your health?" and kind of ran with the assumption that she's the only doctor that I'm going to see this year which for me is not true. But just ran through a bunch of other stuff which I really appreciated. Oh, this is what having a woman-positive, sex-positive, feminist doctors experience can be where you can talk about sex and you can talk about the drugs that you do and how your body feels in a way that helps you get more information and gets you just healthy. I don't know. It seems so dumb but it's just like oh, the power of medicine. This is weird.

Ann: Right.


Aminatou: I'm excited about it. I'm going to keep you posted.

Ann: Please do. Yeah, I'm very excited about this special episode. Maybe we should do it once a year. Get it? [Laughs]

Aminatou: That's right, well woman's visit, like we all go. Listen, I think we should definitely be more in the practice of asking our friends when the last time was they went to the GYN or had a checkup in general because we should definitely be all doing it once a year. Not a pap smear, you don't need those once a year, but you need to see your doctor once a year probably.

Ann: Yeah, or definitely like a doctor. I mean I think when you said that about your doctor operating under the assumption that you weren't seeing any other medical professionals, I mean I don't really. As someone who has the great privilege of not having any chronic physical health stuff, or has not dislocated a shoulder recently or whatever, I generally don't come into contact with other medical professionals and so it's like yeah, maybe that's also a thing too where I should stop making this person be my everything.

Aminatou: Can I tell you what, though? I was supposed to do the take a deep breath, like they listen to your lungs or whatever. I thought I took the deepest breath that I have ever taken in my life as I always feel like I'm doing in that moment and she stops me and she goes "Do you think you suffer from anxiety?" And I was just like "Yeah, how do you know?" And she goes "Well, I don't think you've taken a deep breath in years." [Laughs] She's like " You didn't even fill your lungs halfway."

Ann: Wow.

Aminatou: "You seem so tense about this whole thing." And that's the moment I almost cried in where I was like wow, even the gynecologist knows. This is crazy. And then she was like "Listen, here are some breathing exercises you can do. It doesn't have to be all brahma, brahma bullshit, but you need to relax."

Ann: I love a good breathing exercise.


Aminatou: I know! And then she was like "Just start with three minutes," and I did like two-and-a-half minutes and I thought I had died today. Yeah, like one minute of regular people time is like one hour of Amina time. Like I was dying.

Ann: I mean I was going to say because you're usually so productive, right?

Aminatou: I mean, no, because I want to have zero concept of time.

Ann: Totally.

Aminatou: And two, like apparently I'm very tightly wound up. That made me a little sad and I was like okay, I will actually work on this.

Ann: I mean, goals for the second half of 2017: breathe.

Aminatou: Oh my god, yeah. My goal for 2017 is very simple: just be healthy and breathe. But I will say trying to stay healthy is a full-time job, my god.

Ann: Listen.

Aminatou: Appointments on appointments on appointments, talking to my stupid health insurance all the time. Just it's literally I have to budget in time for it now.

Ann: I find too that that stuff is so unpredictable. It's like yeah, you can budget in what you think it's going to be but actually what you thought was going to be an hour can be three. Yeah.

Aminatou: Yeah, the other day I stayed on the phone with the insurance for like an hour-and-a-half because I got billed like $2,000.

Ann: Ugh.

Aminatou: I was like I am not paying this. But you know what it is? I think we're freelance and your time is always money and how we have to do that was just realizing that if I don't prioritize myself first everything else will fail.

Ann: Yep.

Aminatou: And I was like okay, this is the number one thing I need to do. And I don't know, ever since my consumer protection racket that I'm running I feel so empowered to advocate for myself. In the same way you take time to do bills and you hate it or whatever, it's like I'm going to take time for the business of my health this week. Like here are all the idiots I need to call and here's all the shit I need to stay on top of.


Ann: Can I tell you an amazing life tip I learned from friend of the podcast Sabrina Hersi Issa today about baking in time to do that kind of -- that exact kind of big picture, really concrete self-care stuff? She told me every month on the date of her birthday, right, so her birthday is the 16th or something. So every month on the 16th it's a personal assessment day where she does stuff like check her credit score and makes sure she's filed all her receipts where they need to go and checks in with her health insurance. She leaves all that stuff to a day and it's a day that she protects to do all of that as opposed to freaking out once or twice a year the way I always do. And I was like oh my god.

Aminatou: That doesn't surprise me. Sabrina is definitely the director of my personal board of directors. [Laughs] She's the most ruthlessly efficient person we know. Did you see her birthday cake all over the Internet?

Ann: Ugh, I did. Please describe it for everyone else though.

Aminatou: It was the Maxine Waters tweet, like the cake was a depiction of the tweet where she said "I'm a strong black woman," like that quote, and it was the best thing ever. And the best part of the story is when Sabrina went to get her cake they had actually delivered it to the wrong person. [Laughs] So somewhere some casino manager man definitely got an "I'm a strong black woman" tweet Maxine Waters cake. But Maxine saw it and linked it. It was great.

Ann: Oh, yes! Best birthday like.

Aminatou: I like that. But, yeah, it's like all of that stuff used to usually scare me, the ugh, check your credit score. Even just doing bills, like just sitting down and being like is all my shit up-to-date or whatever? I would just have ambient anxiety about it and be like "Go with God," like who knows? When they turn the lights off they turn the lights off.


And some switch happened recently and I was like this is kind of a ridiculous way to live my life. And also nothing is that scary. You can actually call all of these people and negotiate with them. Did you know you can do this with a hospital bill? If you feel like your hospital bill is crazy, like I went to the ER and my bill was actually nuts, in the tens of thousands of dollars. And I called them and I was like "Excuse me, this seems ridiculous. I'm self-employed." And then they start going "Okay, let's see what we can take off here." I'm like what? This is a negotiation? This is nuts.

Ann: Wow.

Aminatou: Not everything is as scary as you think and also it's just better to confront all of that stuff than just let it sit and make you sick.

Ann: For a second there I thought you were saying not everything is a scam and I was like whoa, 180. This is a whole new worldview. [Laughs]

Aminatou: No, everything is 100% a scam, especially hospital bills. They're always coding shit in there you didn't do. I'm like what? I didn't watch television. Take this shit off. [Laughs] Like nobody had applesauce here. That's stupid. Yeah, no, I still firmly believe everything's a scam. I just believe that you should scam today before today scams you. Thanks, Joanne the scammer.

Ann: Yes.

Aminatou: Look at us. We're like growing up, paying our bills. Like people who are really responsible are probably listening to me going "Oh my god, how did you ever make it this far in life?"

Ann: They're just hitting the 30 second fast-forward.

Aminatou: I'm like I don't know either. I don't know. By the grace of God, I guess. [Laughs] That was the move on moan.

Ann: Move on moan.

[Music and ads]


Ann: Do you want to talk about Ivanka?

Aminatou: Ann, I'm so -- this is depressing. So you remember when Angela Merkel came to America she invited Ivanka to come to these women's economic summit in Germany?

Ann: I know, but that's like when you bump into someone you haven't seen in a while and you really don't miss them in your life but you're like "Yeah, we should get lunch."

Aminatou: Totally!

Ann: And then they actually follow-up.

Aminatou: And then they show up. You're like "We should get lunch," and then they're like knocking outside of your door, "I'm here for lunch." So Ivanka showed up and this is -- I saw the picture onstage. Let me set the panel for you. So Christine Lagarde who is the managing director of the IMF, Angela Merkel who is a physicist, a badass, the last leader of liberal democracy in the world really because Justin Trudeau won't pull his weight, and who's that Canadian politician? Christa something? Sorry, Canadians, I don't remember her. Anyway . . .

Ann: No, we're going to edit this. [Laughs]


Aminatou: No, I'm just literally like sorry, you're aligned with Trudeau. I'm not going to remember your name, Christa something. And then failed jewelry designer and failed Seventeen Magazine model Ivanka Trump. Like how insulting.

Ann: Ugh. Yeah. However, shout out to the German journalists who are doing great work to ask Ivanka difficult questions and not just transcribe the bullshit she says about her dad being a great champion of families.

Aminatou: I don't know, man. I was reading some of these exchanges and I was like wow, we have really exported our particular kind of celebrity worship bullshit. The fact that she was on the front page of every newspaper, like I get it, Trump is a big deal. But treated as a celebrity, that made me feel a little sick. And there's something to be said about asking a tough question, but if you don't follow up when the person gives you a bullshit answer I don't know where that nets us out at.

Ann: Granted I did not have access to the full panel. I watched clips, so who knows? Could be totally right. But I also think there is something about right off the bat not asking her kind of wishy-washy questions about women's ambition, or is it important? What is it like to be a working mom? As opposed to those types of questions which I still think she gets far too often given that she is a White House employee. Asking directly like "Hey, how does your job in the White House conflict with your job as someone who is hawking trinkets?"

Aminatou: Yeah. Also it turns out Ivanka, kind of a fucking dumb-dumb. You know, her whole grand idea for how we're going to solve the women's issue is, I quote, "We're going to get women involved more in the HR process."

Ann: Oh, god.


Aminatou: First of all, women are too involved in the HR process. [Laughs] Like maybe that's our problem. And Germany actually has a lot of women on corporate boards because they have a quota system essentially so they're forced to have some of these women on. Here's the rub: a lot of those women on these European corporate boards are relegated to doing just HR shit. So it doesn't solve the emotional labor problem; it doesn't solve any of the gendered work problems. Like this failed jewelry designer that we've exported for the week who is embarrassing us everywhere, this is her big idea for everything.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: It just makes me so mad. Also in parallel here, like I don't know if you've been reading all of these, there's a lot of men who are really anxious about Chelsea Clinton's every move right now.

Ann: Oh, yeah.

Aminatou: This is all they write about. There was a really churlish and . . . ugh, it made me so angry article in Vanity Fair about Chelsea Clinton and her political aspirations. I'm like making the biggest air quotes because we have no evidence of that. And all these people are so anxious about that, right? Like let's stop the next Clinton generation. To those people I would say you realize that the president's daughter and his son-in-law literally are White House employees in this current White House, right?

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: This is the nepotism that is happening now, this Trump dynasty. These people are finally going to get rich finally. They were never rich. They're like American Grifter Story. It's insane.

Ann: Or just like it's a weird thing where because Hillary is still spending most of her time in no makeup hiking or whatever they need another person adjacent to her to direct their vitriol at. I wrote a thing a couple of weeks ago after there was an announcement that Chelsea was getting an award, and the award was jointly presented by I believe Variety, like the trade publication.

Aminatou: Yeah, Variety . . .

Ann: And Lifetime. And Lifetime as in the television network. So a misleading headline phrased it as her getting a Variety Lifetime Achievement Award, capital L Lifetime like the network, and everyone freaked the fuck out thinking that someone was awarding her at age 38 or whatever she is a lifetime achievement award. And just the willingness to take that and run with it when there are obviously way more egregious things happening perpetrated by people who are actually in charge of running the country right now as opposed to just some rich folks, which that's what they are right now, was amazing.


Aminatou: Yeah. It's so amazing. Also when you think about who is our president currently I don't know that we can criticize anybody for wanting to be president first of all. And to be very clear Chelsea Clinton has not said that she has political aspirations. Like we have no evidence of that. When we do I guess we can fight about it. Also I'm like have you people met members of Congress? You really think Chelsea is dumber and more ambitious and less-qualified than those idiots? Are you serious?

Ann: I mean it's just people who . . . it's like a very specific narrative about what happened in the narrative which is that everyone hates the Clintons and the Clintons represent certain things about the Democratic Party. They do represent certain things in the Democratic Party, like that's not wrong, but the idea of that being this kind of reductive narrative for everything that happened in November 2016 is what bothers me about this. It's like she's sort of a proxy for what I would argue is a not super-smart, not super-comprehensive set of beliefs about the state of the two-party system.

Aminatou: Yeah. Also, I don't know, if you read the Vanity Fair article -- I won't even link to it in the show notes because I don't want to give them the traffic -- it's just written by somebody who clearly has a Clinton vendetta and not somebody who actually understands these weirdo presidential dynasties. Like he makes the comparison to Barbara Bush and says "Who is quietly working on her non-profit Global Health Corps." And I'm like are you kidding me? First of all, there's a difference between working at a non-profit and working on your own non-profit that you founded in your 20s because your father was president. This is ridiculous. Like Chelsea being held to a different standard, it's so annoying. But mostly I'm like focus your firepower on the nepotism that's happening right now. Like let's not go inventing other problems. Ivanka Trump literally has an office in the White House, is in charge of a portfolio of issues, and there is like zero evidence that she knows how to do anything.


Ann: Yeah, she's the one who suggested we need more women in HR. Let's just remember that.

Aminatou: Ugh!

Ann: I mean, meanwhile, I don't know. I'm so frustrated at instead of thinking about how to combat the destructive things that this administration is doing it's like fighting Democratic primary fights all over again. Like meanwhile Bernie is out here being like "I don't care if this candidate is pro-choice or not. It's cool." I am trying very hard to not continue to be obsessed by a Clintons -- plural -- versus Bernie Sanders framework on what's happening in American politics because there are glaring, giant, more important and more dangerous things that are happening, most of them coming from the White House and from Republicans in Congress.

Aminatou: There's a part of it that makes me so angry and depressed at people on the left in general that we just haven't learned any lessons, we're still having dumb fights and losing track of what's in front of us. [Sighs] It's okay. It's okay. It's okay. Deep breaths. Deep breaths all around.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: Also I'm always here for defending Chelsea Clinton. I'm sorry. As an actual smart, competent human being. Fuck all of you people.

Ann: Well I also just will never forget that when I was an incredibly awkward preteen Chelsea was an incredibly awkward teen a few years older than I was. And there is something about that sort of identifying with her and being the same age and generally holding similar politics that also makes it hard where I'm like I recognize the ways in which she has had all of these baked-in advantages in her life, and is not, you know . . .


Aminatou: Yeah, but at the same time Rush Limbaugh relentlessly made fun of her when she was a child.

Ann: No, no, totally. And I was just about to say the people who are trying to compare the treatment of Chelsea when she was a child to what people are or aren't saying about Ivanka who is a grown woman now, I mean it's not a parallel first daughter conversation in any way, shape or form.

Aminatou: Yeah. It's so ridiculous. Also, you know, it doesn't escape me that all the people who are having anxiety over this are all men. I'm just like maybe focus on something else?

Ann: Ugh, yeah.

Aminatou: Okay, that's really been annoying me so thanks for letting me get it off my chest.

Ann: I mean of course.


Aminatou: What other depressing news do you have for me?

Ann: I mean it's good news and -- okay, I've got good news with a dollop of bad whipped cream on top.

Aminatou: Okay.

Ann: That's like the world's worst mixed metaphor. Anyway.

Aminatou: Hit me. Hit me.

Ann: Shout out to astronaut Peggy Whitson who broke a record this week for the most days spent in space by an American. This woman has been up in space for 534 days which sounds pretty great to me, to be like wow, I missed the last 534 days on Earth/in America? Great choices. And was feeling excellent about her. Also, AstroPeggy is a great Twitter handle -- shout out to Peggy. And she said a really interesting thing. She actually said that she didn't really have a goal of going to space until she saw the very first female astronaut selected and basically being like "Oh, I saw women do it and then I realized it was possible for me." And so she's also a great story of representation really mattering and the idea that those first women led by example. I don't know. So lots to love about AstroPeggy.


But then she did this long phone call with Trump where he was like "Thanks for your service and I'm going to fund space stuff so much," and they had kind of this fun, jokey conversation.

Aminatou: She kind of had to talk to him.

Ann: I know! And I know she works for NASA. He pulls the funding strings. I get it. I get it. But I was a little bit like ugh, even this has to be a Trump story on some level? I was so bummed.

Aminatou: Yeah. Trump today was like he's going to send the first man to Mars during his presidency and I was like can you send yourself, please? This is crazy. I have no desire to be part of the space-exploring wave of people. I'm just like I hope I'm dead before we start doing that because I think I'm going to be really depressed when all of the white people go and then leave the people of color behind, you know? On the shitty planet. So I don't want any part of this.

Ann: Yeah, I've read that sci-fi novel.

Aminatou: Right. Or who knows? Maybe it'll be fun without you guys. Unclear. But either way I don't want the anxiety of having to deal with how are we going to breathe oxygen out there? So the thought of Donald Trump blasting himself into space, nothing would make me happier.

Ann: I know. I really -- I'm like okay, well, or at the very least Ivanka. Like if you're such a trailblazer for women maybe you could blaze a trail to Mars for all of us.


Aminatou: Send the whole family. Go build hotels on Mars, Jupiter, anywhere you want. Like just don't come back here.

Ann: Yeah, go sell mid-priced workwear, footwear, and . . . ugh. Never come home.

Aminatou: Did you see how she's selling her clothes now under a fake name?

Ann: Yes, I saw this. Oh my god, I can't believe I managed to divert that back to Ivanka once we got away.

Aminatou: I know. Hold on. What's the new name? It's like kind of genius. Do you think that the Google search Ivanka fake name will turn it up? Oh, wow, nope, this is her fake name for her fitness class.

Ann: Is it called Fast Fascist?

Aminatou: Oh no, here we go. It's Ivanka Trump's line being sneakily renamed Adrienne Vittadini.

Ann: Wait, that's an existing brand.

Aminatou: Are you telling me that you've been buying knock-off Ivanka?

Ann: No way. Okay, so I recognize this as like -- okay, hang on. I have seen that brand before.

Aminatou: You're like it's everywhere in my closet.

Ann: No, no, but she has seriously been around for a long time.

Aminatou: Well thank you Guardian for coming through. Who is Adrienne Vittadini and why is her name in Ivanka Trump's clothes?

Ann: Oh, this says mislabeled.

Aminatou: Ooh, she's this Hungarian fashion designer. She's 72. What's going on here?

Ann: Okay, so some outfits allege it was just mislabeled, like her clothes were just mislabeled as Adrienne Vittadini, which yeah has been around for a while.

Aminatou: Oh my god, conspiracy theorists.

Ann: Or other places are alleging that, yeah, her clothing was actively disguised.

Aminatou: I'm going to go with actively disguised because . . .

Ann: No way.

Aminatou: Now that I own a tiny tinfoil hat anything is possible.

Ann: I can't even . . . I'm just like ugh. No, seriously, Adrienne Vittadini is sold like -- it's Macy's and Walmart and Kohl's. She's been all over the place for a long time.

Aminatou: Okay, I'm done talking about these people.


Ann: I know, I can't. I can't.

Aminatou: But I believe every conspiracy theory.

Ann: With every news article I read it slowly forms and puts another thumbprint in what will eventually  become my tinfoil hat but I'm not wearing it quite yet.

Aminatou: I look quite sporting in mine.

Ann: Yeah.


Ann: Speaking of not shopping for Ivanka Trump clothing, I went to a fantastic clothing swap this weekend and I had this realization that I'm going to try to bring more not like being against stuff into my life, but more like I'm not against capitalism; I'm in favor of clothing swaps. Like that kind of . . .

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: I mean I am like -- the posi spin. Let me tell you, I got some cute stuff. I've got to check the tags for Adrienne Vittadini though now.

Aminatou: [Laughs] Ann, are you Adrienne Vittadini? Is that what's going on?

Ann: Oh my god, I would definitely have a fabulous alter ego name if I were to have one. I'm sad that I don't have one at the tip of my tongue to already tell you what my spy fashion label name would be. Do you have one?

Aminatou: I've got to think. I've got to think about mine. New goals. New goals.

Ann: I know. It's like add it to the list under get a good drag name, get a roller derby name, get a fashion spy nickname. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my god. No, roller derby ladies are so hardcore. I think I'm going to sit that one out.

Ann: Yeah, no, totally. This is why I'll never need one, because I bruise easily.

Aminatou: [Laughs] I don't know, you're so Midwest diva. I feel like a roller derby is definitely in your future one day.

Ann: My center of gravity is too high.

Aminatou: You're so adventurous, who knows? Never say never.

Ann: You haven't seen my on skates. My high school gym teacher during the roller skating unit used to be like "Friedman, away from the wall!" Scream it.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: Away from the wall! And I'd be like -- my legs like stick straight just shuffling along.


Aminatou: PE was so dumb. Like they made us do such dumb stuff.

Ann: Oh my god, I know. Tell me . . .

Aminatou: Just like so dumb. I was like you know how actually PE would've been helpful for me? Like teach me how to use the machines at the gym. That would've been great. None of this garbage. But I also went to private school so we did do some fun stuff.

Ann: PE made no sense because that same teacher who screamed at me to get away from the wall once rolled a TV on a cart into the gym class and put on MTV's The Grind and then just left.

Aminatou: Yeah, sounds about right. Sounds about right. Sounds about right. I never understood why they made the PE teachers also teach health. I was like you can't trust these people to teach you important body functions.

Ann: This is why we're still learning things about our bodies well into our 30s because gym teachers taught us health.

Aminatou: Right? They're like "Hey, do these two pullups for the presidential fitness test" then they don't teach you anything else.

Ann: Oh, the V-set. My nightmare.

Aminatou: What a waste of time.

Ann: I know.

Aminatou: School is stupid. Now I'm just like PE is dumb. Education is dumb. Everything is dumb. Just teach people skills.

Ann: Okay, do you want to hear some good news?

Aminatou: Hell yeah.


Ann: On Saturday 87% of the members of Ireland's citizen assembly, which is basically a group of ordinary people who is advising the prime minister on changes to the law regarding key issues, voted in favor of repealing the 8th Amendment. And you know what the 8th Amendment says in Ireland? I know you know this.

Aminatou: I know this because I know all about that Repeal the 8th campaign.

Ann: Exactly. Essentially it's like the citizens committee, 87% were like women should be able to access abortion and 64 of them thought women should be able to access abortion for any reason, not just in cases like rape or incest or health concerns which is great.


Aminatou: I love this because, you know, sadly it's definitely dark ages over there like in almost all countries and then you add the Catholic bullshit on top of it and it's just ridiculous. But I remember seeing all these pictures of women celebrating and just really doing hard activist work was . . . like that gave me a lot of hope in these dark times.

Ann: Totally, but let me tell you one question I have about this.

Aminatou: Uh-oh.

Ann: So apparently the people on the panel, they were described as "who have no prior commitment to this issue." Which I was just like I know there are people out there -- I always assume that they're all men -- who are like "I haven't really thought about this fundamental/contentious issue that is reproductive choice." But apparently that was like one of the things going on here is they were the people who mostly -- 87% of whom support abortion rights and appealing the 8th are people who had not previously considered themselves actively pro-choice or anti-choice. So I'm just like all right, get moving. Now that the citizens have spoken time to actually get it done.

Aminatou: That's some good news.

Ann: Okay, shout out repeal the 8th activists. Good work.

Aminatou: I know, good work. I can't wait until our next check-in on this issue is like hell, yeah, they like did it.

Ann: It's gone.

Aminatou: It's just gone. No more dark ages. Jesus.

Ann: Amazing. Yes.

Aminatou: It's so shameful the way we live all around the world. Oh my god.

Ann: I know.

Aminatou: Oh my god. I have no hope.

Ann: The title of this episode is it's so shameful how we live all around the world. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my god, it's ridiculous.

Ann: I know.

Aminatou: Okay, even though it's 9 p.m. I've got to go to Target right now because I'm going out of town and I have house guests and as you know nothing is ready and I'm kind of pumped that this Target is open until midnight.


Ann: That is legit impressive that you're going to go to Target at 9 p.m. Good luck with those impulse buys that are about to happen. That's when I end up being like . . .

Aminatou: Listen, I made a list. I made a meticulous list and the first thing on the list is "Don't deviate from this list" and the last thing on the list says "Don't deviate from this list."

Ann: Sure! Then you're in the checkout lane with socks and Swedish Fish and a laundry basket.

Aminatou: I don't know how people go to Target and spend less than $100. I don't understand it.

Ann: Magic.

Aminatou: It's like you buy all this stuff and then it disappears.

Ann: Witchcraft. Target spellcasting.

Aminatou: Witchcraft.

Ann: All right. Good luck at Target, boo-boo.

Aminatou: Ugh, okay. You are the best. I will talk to you soon.

Ann: See you on the Internet.

Aminatou: See you on the Internet, boo-boo.

Ann: Bye!


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 Apple Podcasts 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 Gina Delvac.