Episode 64: Erstwhile Sock Designer
Published September 30, 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: On this week's agenda, the first presidential debate, highlights and lowlights, a Rob and Blac Chyna update, power posing -- that study turns out was maybe flawed -- plus a jaw-dropping story about men tracking their female colleagues' period. What? Some weird California government conspiracy theories and general political ramblings.
Ann: [Laughs] I don't even know where to begin.
Aminatou: Ann, we're recording this so late in the evening. You know what I mean? This is new for us.
Ann: I mean normally I have to say my best hours are not after 10 p.m. Like my sharpest, wittiest hour is not the 10:00 hour and onward.
Aminatou: You know, that's not true for me but I feel . . .
Ann: I know, that's what I mean. I think you're great this hour.
Aminatou: Yeah, it's like my brain is finally awake now. Like I could go to work right now. These are my best hours.
Ann: In a just world you could be going to work every day at 10 p.m. if you wanted.
Aminatou: Exactly. But, you know, the struggle is real at Team CYG this week.
Ann: This has been a week of struggle, beginning with the debate.
Aminatou: My god. Where did you watch the debate?
Ann: I watched the debate at my friend Morgan's house and it was kind of the perfect setting because I hate trying to watch stuff like this in really big groups where not everyone is paying full attention. I want to be in enough of a group that you can complain and make the occasional comment but not in a group so big you're distracted.
Aminatou: That's amazing. I watched the debate in a tin can, a.k.a. a Virgin flight, and let me tell you.
Ann: Did you cry? If I watched the debate on a plane I would've cried.
Aminatou: No, no, it was great. It's the first time I've ever bonded with my seat mates. Like we were all on the same page. We got in. I had priority. I was like in the first three rows. I boarded first. It's like thank god for those miles. Whenever they're like "Military families and people with this status," I'm like peace out.
Aminatou: I was on the plane before the debate started. I knew this when I booked my travel. The only thing that was annoying is you know when they make airplane announcements, they shut down the whole system?
Aminatou: Yeah, because they're like pay attention. Learn how to put on a seatbelt even though you've flown 10,000 times. But the guy who was doing the announcements was characteristically slow and at one point multiple people on the plane were like "We're trying to watch the debate here!" [Laughs]
Ann: I love it.
Aminatou: Like telling him stop telling us shit we already know. We all take this flight like once . . . it's like the L.A. to S.F. shuttle. Like literally everybody on there, we're kind of homies.
Aminatou: Because we do this flight a lot. And so it was funny. It's like there was bullying of the flight attendant which was hilarious and then people were so . . . it's the first time in my life that I've been on a plane that when the plane landed you didn't hear 10,000 seatbelts all unbuckle at the same time.
Ann: Oh, because the debate was still going on?
Aminatou: Because the debate was still going on while the plane was taxiing. It literally ended as we taxied.
Ann: Oh my god.
Aminatou: And people were just like yeah, this is serious. [Laughs]
Ann: Well I have to say that it made me realize a couple of things. One, I have . . . it's not that I disengage from news about Ivanka's dad but I don't watch video clips of him anymore. Like I did at some point in this election but I have long since, for reasons of sanity, stopped watching and listening to him. And it was probably my most prolonged exposure to him in a long time. It was difficult. And so when I started feeling super nauseous two-thirds of the way through the debate I thought it was that but it turns out I had food poisoning. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Oh, that's crazy.
Ann: I was definitely vomiting in Morgan's bathroom immediately after the debate. Shout out to Morgan. Sorry about your bathroom. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Oh, man, other people's vomit. That's the true test of friendship.
Ann: I felt so bad.
Aminatou: As you should.
Ann: Anyway, but it was actually, I don't know, for me it's hard for me to separate the physical discomfort in retrospect from the sort of just general hatred of that entire performance on his heart. But our girl, she did so well.
Aminatou: Yo! Only one person looked like a president up there, first of all. It's like the epitome of sometimes the best man for a job is a woman. Like there was just no context. One thing that's really fascinating about Trump is when you hear him talk he sounds like a lunatic but the actual trick is to go back and read his transcripts of what he's saying.
Ann: They're worse than the tweets.
Aminatou: And that's when you realize how crazy he is.
Aminatou: Ann, he's like the king of non-sequiturs. There's not a period in any of the sentences he uses.
Ann: Did it make you kind of want to read Trump business meeting transcripts? Like oh my god, has this been his entire career, unable to string two thoughts together?
Aminatou: Yeah. No, but this has been his entire career. It's like the thing that I do now all the time, it's like whenever he does a major speech or like people are like "Listen to this crazy thing he said in the '90s," I'm like I don't want to hear the audio; I want to read the transcript. Because you read it and you're just like this person is crazy. And the thing about watching him at the debate is he has zero concentration power. It's like you can tell that Kellyanne Conway was like yo, you need to . . . she gave him the pep talk. She was like "You need to look presidential." Literally five minutes in he threw it all away.
Ann: Also are his eyes getting progressively smaller? Just day in and day out?
Ann: They're just like shrinking down until he eventually will have no more eyes?
Aminatou: It was crazy. I can't believe that this is a contest. She came so prepared which some people in the media are like "She was overprepared."
Ann: That is not a word. Overprepared is not a word.
Aminatou: I'm like imagine that, overprepared for the job of being president. It's shocking.
Aminatou: It's the first time in a long time that I watched a debate and I was like there is a clear winner. [Laughs] It's not one of those "We both heard two different things or there's two futures for America." It's like no, you can vote for a lying Cheeto or you can have a president. What are you going to do?
Ann: There's actually only one future for America and the other scenario is no America anymore.
Aminatou: It's crazy. The other thing that I was really struck by, right, was the Hillary Clinton feminist Jiu-Jitsu in the sense that you can that her entire life men who are dumber than her have been trying to tell her otherwise.
Ann: Have been splaining so hard.
Aminatou: Yeah, they've been splaining her, right? And I felt that she handled that so well. She was doing the Jim Halpert face the whole time. [Laughs]
Ann: Oh my god, and those smiles too. I've never seen someone so radiant while having to put up with so much shit.
Aminatou: Yeah, you know? And I was honestly thinking about myself in this context where I'm like I am always two sentences away from flipping the table, like just hulking out the whole time. [Laughs] And I don't know. And to watch her be like this person is . . . like he was clearly lying. He was clearly just trying to get under her skin and couldn't do it. And you could tell that it was this magnificent trap that she set for him the entire time and he fell for it every single time.
Ann: The other thing that makes this feel so good is the conventional wisdom about Hillary, even among her supporters, is she is a great candidate and she's very qualified and she knows the policy stuff but she's not a great campaigner and this is the kind of stuff she supposedly doesn't do well. And that was another reason why it was so satisfying. I think I was . . . that definitely had gotten into my head and I was worried about it. I was like oh, Trump is a reality TV buffoon and everyone is like Hillary isn't an actor. She's good at doing the work.
Aminatou: Yeah, but it turns out she's the best actor.
Ann: It turns out that all women who have gotten to be really successful are pretty fucking good actors. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Yeah, you're just like are you kidding me? You just have to live there. But I love that at some point too it's like she almost started gas lighting him. You could just tell that the tide had turned. He was just getting huffy and puffy. He was sniffly the whole time.
Ann: I mean he wakes up puffy and huffy. [Laughs]
Aminatou: None of it makes sense, but I appreciated his Barron shout out when he was like "My son, so good with computers," and then something about cyber.
Ann: You know what? That was the worst thing he could've done for his son.
Aminatou: Yeah, you know? But I was like are you implying that Barron hacked the DNC? Because that would be the plot twist for the ages.
Ann: I mean to be honest I already feel bad for Barron but then that was like oh my god, you've become a line in one of the least coherent sections of a very incoherent debate by your dad. That is rough. You know, he's about to be . . . he's about to be a preteen.
Aminatou: [Laughs] It's so -- like this whole . . . this whole thing. I just could not. I could not believe it. But shout out, Hills, she held it down so hard.
Ann: Also what do you think the meeting was like when they decided she was going to call him Donald in the debate?
Aminatou: Oh, I think that was a very early on psychological thing, you know?
Ann: Oh, I know they decided.
Aminatou: Yeah. You know, I don't know. I feel like that was all a package deal, right? It was like call him Donald. Bring up the dad loan thing. [Laughs] The Miss Universe stuff was classic. It was so good.
Ann: I've actually been pretty surprised. I think [0:09:55] made a comment to this effect but I agreed with her where I was like I was shocked that actually people still latch on to sexism as a storyline. I guess there had been so many things about Trump's sexism that I felt like didn't really catch on or become news items, that the fact that this got so much traction was pleasantly surprising. But I was still kind of shocked it worked.
Aminatou: So here's the thing about it, and this is why I alluded to the trap: I think that the Miss Universe, the Alicia Machado stuff, is part of a larger trap, right? Friday the Clinton campaign released that really good mirrors ad. You know, when all these girls are looking at themselves in the mirror as Donald Trump calls women pigs and whatever.
Ann: Right, right. Yeah.
Aminatou: They released the ad. It's kind of in our consciousness. There's chatter about Miss Universe because she also did a Spanish video ad which is actually really good and I really think people should watch it. It's very effective. And the fact that he just wasn't prepared for it, he was like classic Disney villain where she was like that woman's name is Alicia Machado and he was like "Where did you find that?" [Laughs] It's like that's literally the plot of Aladdin. What are you talking about? And he panicked. He was like "Where did you find her? What's going on?" I was like this is some Disney shit. Are you serious? And then she says the name. She tells the story. And of course at the commercial break they run the ad again and America is like "Oh, we get it," you know? And I think that was two lines of attack that were really effective for her is she talked about the sexism but not as one incident; she brought it up as a pattern. That's why he was dumb and he went to the Rosie O'Donnell stuff. I'm like this is one of the most important days of your life and you're bringing up your feud with Rosie from The View? What is wrong with you?
Ann: You're bringing up your feud with beloved League of their Own actor Rosie O'Donnell?
Aminatou: Totally. And a lot of people forget what the Rosie feud is about. Like Donald Trump is mad that Rosie O'Donnell said things that were true about him.
Ann: Oh, he's mad when everyone says true things about him.
Aminatou: But she hit all of them at one time. It's like you should go back and watch the video. It's great.
Rosie: So Donald Trump is in the news again . . .
Female: He's allowing . . .
Rosie: Well, because his show The Apprentice is starting again in January. He held a big press conference to see if he was going to allow Miss USA -- such a prestigious title -- to regain . . .
Female: Well it's supposed to be.
Rosie: Miss America is the prestige. Miss USA is a different thing.
Female: Representing America in a bathing suit.
Rosie: Yes, it's basically a model competition. Let's be realistic, okay?
Female: What about peace in the world? They always want peace in the world.
Rosie: They have one question at Miss USA and they always say "I'd like to cure cancer and end world hunter then I'd like to go to Studio 54 and do some crack." [Laughs] But apparently this young girl, Tara Conner, how old is she? 21. She went out and she was partying. She's from Kentucky.
Female: She's so cute.
Rosie: She went to New York and she was hanging out at all the parties doing what Paris and Lindsey do, you know? Dancing and whatever. So he held a press conference to announce whether or not she was going to retain her crown. Then she started to cry.
Female: She did.
Rosie: "I just wanted to thank Donald for giving me a second chance."
Female: That's brilliant.
Rosie: And there he is, hair luffa going every way. [Laughter] "I'm going to give her a second chance." Listen, he annoys me on a multitude of levels. He's the moral authority? Left the first wife, had an affair. Left the second wife, had an affair. Had kids both times. But he's the moral compass for 20-year-olds in America. Donald? I don't enjoy him. No. No, no, no.
Aminatou: But you should watch the video because she even does a Donald Trump hair swoop.
Ann: Oh my god.
Aminatou: And just like destroys him. It's like she mentions everything that he can't stand short of the fact that he has short fingers and he lost his mind. And it was the same stuff with the race question. She didn't say like "Hey, here's one bad thing that you did." She said "Donald Trump started his career by being a landlord that didn't want black people to live in his buildings."
Ann: It's documented, yeah.
Aminatou: And that was what was so dastardly good about it. She was like no, you have an established pattern of being a bullshit artist.
Ann: She was like "Let me summarize anti Ivanka's dad Twitter from the past six months in one debate." [Laughs]
Aminatou: Oh my god. And you know the other thing I was really impressed by, and I was like everybody should learn this, is how to talk over people who are trying to interrupt you. It just didn't faze her. He interrupted her so many times and she just kept talking and she drove all of her points home.
Ann: It's true, and it's really difficult to do that without it seeming like you're getting into a two-way shouting match. You know what I mean? Like it's really, really difficult to sort of defend the fact that you were speaking and were interrupted without making it sound like you have just devolved into a screaming match with the other person and she did it so well.
Aminatou: Yeah. Maybe it's easy if the other person is actually insane. [Laughs] Just like they're saying crazy things.
Aminatou: I love whenever he was like "I didn't say that," And I'm like dawg, you said that like two minutes ago. 100 million people heard you say that.
Ann: Did you see the rumors that Ivanka and the other evil villain Trump sons are worried that this is hurting business?
Aminatou: Udey and Kusey? [Laughs]
Ann: Yeah, are worried that this is hurting their businesses finally. Did you see that rumor?
Aminatou: No, not only did I see it, I was like wow, that is such an interesting frame that that's where you went, it's hurting business.
Ann: Oh my god, I think it's not surprising at all and I'm shocked it took them so long to get there.
Aminatou: The whole thing was crazy. It was so funny too to watch the end of the debate where Bill's hugging Hillary and her family's proud of her and she's shaking hands, and Melania is like don't look at me. You have brought shame unto our family.
Ann: Oh my god, just like the plight of Melania.
Aminatou: It was insane.
Ann: I can't wait for the Melania Lifetime Original Movie.
Aminatou: Yo, Melania is a crook too but for different reasons.
Ann: But in the Imelda Marcos school, you know what I mean?
Aminatou: Totally. But, you know, it's like my one prediction that no matter what happens with this election Melania is getting deported.
Ann: Oh man, I don't know.
Aminatou: It's like Donald sending her home because it is not working out.
Ann: Ugh, yeah.
Aminatou: Ann, I don't know. It's like the whole -- everybody was so terrified about this debate, and then I watch it and I was like "Oh, she's got it. She's just . . . I don't know why we're all doubters, because clearly she did not come to play. She did it."
Ann: Listen, after the gastrointestinal woe passed I definitely came around to that view as well. Like definitely I think is the next one the vice president debate?
Aminatou: Yeah, the next one is the white man debate, like whatever.
Aminatou: and then I think it's like the next presidential debate is October 9th. Trump is now like "I'm going to bring up Monica Lewinsky and I'm going to bring up all your husband's indiscretions." And everybody is so terrified of that, but two things: one, during the last debate, he said a classic New York House Wives reunion line where he was like "I have something to say but I'm not going to say it." I was like literally that happens on Bravo once a season. Thank you for bringing the reality TV aspect back to this. I can't believe they don't let Andy Cohen moderate a debate.
Ann: I was just going to say how long until you call for Andy Cohen to moderate this debate? [Laughs]
Aminatou: Oh, Ann, this is the only debate moderator I care about. He would get to the bottom of this shit so fast. And then the other part of me is like you know what? I do hope he brings it up, because here's the thing: Donald Trump is like a serial cheater. Hello? It's like in what universe are all these men . . . it's like Roger Ailes is advising him. Rudy Giuliani is in the spin room for him. And they're all like Hillary is the monster because her husband cheated on her. I'm like you people are crazy.
Ann: Well, and she did a really good job . . .
Aminatou: You are actually crazy if you think America is going to fall for this.
Ann: Well, I was just about to say she did a really good job in this debate of when he tried to bring up Bill Clinton era policies, she did a great job of saying "Here is what actually my record says about this," and didn't really go there in terms of Bill's record. I'm very interested to see how she makes that pivot when and if he does bring up all this personal stuff.
Aminatou: I know. I'm just like you know what? Do bring it up. You are a cheater. Rudy Giuliani literally -- his ex-wife found out that she was ex Mrs. Rudy Giuliani when he paraded the new Mrs. Rudy Giuliani at a press conference. Hello? Never forget. Roger Ailes is like a sadistic serial harasser. [Laughs] So I'm like you guys really think that you're the moral authority on this topic? Please go for it. Just please go for it. It's like maybe we should address it once and for all and then the band-aid is off.
Ann: And here's the thing I struggle with. I'm actually interested in considering all of that Bill Clinton '90s bullshit through a modern lens, right? I'm like I'm super interested in questions of what would he get away with if Bill Clinton were a politician doing that stuff now? However bringing it up in the context of a debate against Hillary who is actually the one running for president, I'm like yeah, put it down. Put it down.
Aminatou: I know. That's the part of this that drives me crazy, right? Where I'm just like listen, Hillary Clinton has a lot of issues. You cannot blame Bill's record on her. And Trump tried to do this, and a lot of conservatives and even non-conservative people do this where they're like "She's been around for 30 years." And I'm like uh, she's never been president. Calm down. She was a senator one time and she was Secretary of State. That's the stuff you can judge her by. That's her political record.
Aminatou: I'm like deeply invested in this stuff, but also some of it is just so . . . it's like the way that our politics can be so idiotic is so annoying to me. Like all these people -- all this talk of undecided voters. I'm like really? It's October and you don't know which one of these people you're going to vote for? Get out of town.
Ann: I'm convinced that part is a scam. I've watched some NBC panel of supposedly undecided voters after the debate.
Aminatou: We should deport those people.
Ann: Granted I was pretty sick at this point but I was like who are these people? How are you even an undecided voter at this point in this election?
Aminatou: Undecided voters are the biggest threat to our democracy as far as I'm concerned.
Ann: I mean undecided voters are less of a threat than people who are decided but don't actually vote.
Aminatou: Ugh, yeah, please. You know how I feel about those people.
Ann: I know. I'm going to keep saying it every podcast until the election.
Aminatou: Gulag for all of them. Yeah. If you're not registered to vote, stop feeling shitty about it and register to vote. You can go to Hello Vote. You can go to Turbo Vote. You can do so many things. Do a Google. Register.
Ann: And also hold your friends accountable for actually voting. Go to the polls together. Ask them if they've requested an absentee ballot. Don't assume all your friends are A) registered and B) actually going to follow through.
Ann: So I would say if all of us do that then we can maybe get above the dismal 50% voting record that Americans under 44 have in this election.
Aminatou: Also all you Americans abroad that listen to this podcast, I hope that you have voted because you kind of have the cushiest voting situation. Make that happen, and this election your voice actually counts.
Ann: And non-Americans we're jealous. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Ugh. Also another thing, we don't just vote for president. So if you're feeling ambivalent about the president, that's great. There are many other races on your ballot.
Ann: In California there are approximately one bajillion ballot initiatives that require your attention.
Aminatou: Oh yeah, it's like don't worry. It's like yes on this, no on that. Yeah, you know, we don't just vote for president. Be involved god damn it. I don't get this.
Ann: And thus ends this episode's voting PSA.
Aminatou: When I'm king all these people are going to Gulag.
[Music and Ads]
Ann: Okay, what is the other big news this week?
Aminatou: Okay, while the debate was going on and literally our democracy hung in the balance Robert Kardashian, the erstwhile sock designer and brother of Kim, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie, son of Kris, started tweeting again. I know this because I have a text message alert for when Robert tweets.
Ann: It's that rare?
Aminatou: Oh yeah, it's very rare, and also it's usually bananas so you've got to keep tabs on it.
Aminatou: And my man sent out a tweet that was like . . . it was like "Here's Kylie's phone number." And I was like ugh, Rob's been hacked. And the next tweet was "I have not been hacked. I've had it with my sisters." And I was like what?
Ann: He was like "I heard your question, Amina, and I have not been hacked." [Laughs]
Aminatou: Yeah, it was like he was texting me. Just like "Amina, here's what's going on." And Ann I was so annoyed because obviously the debate was going on. It was like Rob, calm down. This is not the time. And this is also honestly how I knew that it was real, because the other sisters would know not to do drama during a major TV event.
Aminatou: They would know this.
Ann: Only Rob would try to attempt to compete with the democratic . . . yeah.
Aminatou: I know. So Rob and Chyna, man, there is so much to unpack here. So Rob and Chyna are pregnant. They have a reality docu series thing that was like a short order, basically a way for Kris to appease him and for him and his baby and his baby mama to get enough money to like -- you know, like the hump.
Ann: Are they really in love?
Aminatou: I will get to that.
Aminatou: [Laughs] Here's what is confusing about this whole situation. TMZ has been reporting that they're broken up. I actually wouldn't be surprised by that, and the thing is they can't reveal it until after the series is done running. The series itself is not very good. You know that it's not good because the main character is Scott Disick so they had to bring outside entertainment.
Aminatou: Also Rob is . . . I know that he's depressed and he's going through all this stuff, but you know he's not a star. He's not a star and he doesn't trust in the process. Trusting in the process means trusting Kris.
Ann: Kris "The Process" Jenner.
Aminatou: This is how he got into this -- yeah, this is how he got into this mess. This is why I'm like you have a weird spinoff and it's not going to do well because you are too in your feelings and you don't listen to the person who could make this happen for you. So according to Rob he was mad at his sisters and he put Kylie on blast. She had to change her number and all this shit. P.S. I texted the number. [Laughs]
Ann: What did you text? Did you text her Kimoji?
Aminatou: I was like "Kylie, I'm so sorry this is happening to you." So Rob, he's going through all this stuff, right? But his main annoyance is that his sisters tried to plan a baby shower without inviting Chyna, and so it was like the baby shower was for him.
Ann: I mean that seems like a decent complaint.
Aminatou: There are good reasons why his sisters don't get along with his baby mama, namely one being that his sister is dating her ex -- is dating Blac Chyna's ex-boyfriend that she also has a child with. And I'm like I think everybody is doing well under the circumstances. They're getting along, but they don't have to be best friends. And Rob also -- that was such an outburst. It's like next time call your sisters. Don't implicate us.
Ann: It is the nuclear option.
Aminatou: Totally. TMZ is reporting that they're broken up and they're just waiting out the show to see what happens. And my suspicion is this show is not going to do well. He's still Kris's son and he's got to eat so they're probably going to fold them somehow into the bigger Kardashian -- the show fold, then they'll figure it out. But E! and all these other places are just like "Rob and Chyna love each other and blah, blah, blah." And I'm like these are all . . . you can tell which is planted by the PR of the family and what is real. It's like TMZ is real and this other stuff is just a distraction.
Ann: How can you tell? How can you tell what's real?
Aminatou: Because one, TMZ has a winning record, and they're not doing it for friendship. And E! is literally the network that carries the show.
Ann: I mean I get that, that whatever on E! is not reliable, but you're saying there's other stuff planted.
Aminatou: It's not reliable, but also the sourcing is not reliable. And it's basically like the E! sourcing wants you to think . . . it's like think about where they're at in the show instead of where they're at IRL. It's like in the show do they love currently? Probably yes.
Ann: Which is how many weeks or months behind reality?
Aminatou: Exactly, it's like months behind reality.
Aminatou: Like probably two or three at this point. And Kardashians dump news on E! all the time. It's one of the friendlier outlets to them. You know, all of this to say Rob's a distraction. He's just not a star. I was like there are better ways to vent, and obviously this is also kind of his way to try to boost the ratings for his show. It was handled poorly. It's like there are better ways to do this. I'm not going to tune in because you had an outburst on Twitter.
Ann: But like, okay, maybe I'm not up on the family politics but it does seem like not a cool idea to have a baby shower without inviting the human who's carrying the baby, no?
Aminatou: No, that's true, but also this is what Rob is saying. Rob is not a reliable source of his own life.
Aminatou: As someone who has watched 18 seasons of Kardashians.
Ann: Okay. Just saying.
Aminatou: No, totally, but it's also the kind of thing like . . .
Ann: No account to tweet a phone number but . . .
Aminatou: No, it's not cool, but also it's not cool to have a baby with your sister's . . . [Laughs] like the baby mama of your sister's boyfriend. That's also weird.
Ann: I can get comfortable blaming Rob for everything in this scenario. That's like fine with me.
Aminatou: Yeah. The problem is Rob just doesn't get it. It's like there's an art to all of this stuff and clearly feelings are real and feelings get hurt and a lot of stuff -- Blac Chyna has done a lot for Rob. She got that recluse out of the house. Are you kidding me? That's huge. We have not seen Rob in three years.
Ann: [Laughs] And it was an excavation mission.
Aminatou: No, totally. She did a lot for him, so clearly he should be loyal to her. But at the same time it's like my god, part of the reason why you're in this mess is because you're not good at letting go and you're not good at moving on and there's a reason that your mom and your sisters are winning at this game. You should maybe listen to them.
Ann: Well thank you for explaining that. [Laughs]
Aminatou: It's okay. You should check out his sock line, Arthur George. It's just . . .
Ann: Sock mogul Rob Kardashian.
Aminatou: Ugh, erstwhile sock designer, reclusive sock designer. [Laughs]
Ann: In other scandalous news have you read the latest about power posing?
Aminatou: Yeah, it's kind of not new. Is it new in the news again?
Ann: Well, it is. There's like a new slant to it. So basically our favorite TED talk about power posing has for a long time been in the shaky research ground in that no one has been really able to replicate the results that found that standing like Wonder Woman makes you perform better or feel better. But the new thing is that one of the coauthors of the original study that found that it does help you to adopt a power pose has said that even the original study, they sort of . . . they did this thing. This is this weird academia stuff. They did something called P-hacking.
Ann: Like letter P hyphen hacking, which is . . .
Aminatou: I'm like it already sounds like a scam.
Ann: I know. It's apparently some way to make the results of your study seem more reliable or sturdier than they truly were. So there were three coauthors of the original study, Amy Cuddy who's the one who gave the TED talk, and two other researchers. And one of the other two researchers is now saying not only could later studies not replicate this but the original study was P-hacked.
Aminatou: [Laughs] Wow. So I guess the only way to really be a boss lady is to actually get testosterone shots.
Ann: Oh my god that is not the way I thought you were going to end that sentence.
Aminatou: Because that's the thing that the power posing is supposed to do, right? It's like it lowers your cortisol which is your stressor and then it heightens -- your testosterone is higher, which whatever, that's what makes you feel like a man I guess.
Ann: Here's one thing though. I always wondered about it, whether the sort of real power in it was just taking a minute to fucking breathe. You know what I mean?
Aminatou: No, totally. The placebo. I mean that's true for me. The reason that I power pose is because I'm like oh, these are the two minutes that I get to focus on myself.
Ann: Right, yeah. Which seems like if you are generally someone who at a gut level believe you can do it and just gets a little nervous in the moment, it's like a good thing to do.
Aminatou: Totally. I also do the thing where if I'm really, really, really stressed out at work I'll get a conference room and I will literally bring my headphones in and dance for two minutes.
Ann: Oh my god, you know you could do an entire TED talk about that and make so much money.
Aminatou: And just get it out. Yeah. And it's always the kind of thing where I'm like this place cannot have windows. It can't whatever. And I will play ridiculous pop music and I look like a crazy person. And then I'm like okay. Shaking it off. I'm back now.
Ann: Oh man, that's so good. I mean, yeah, so I think whatever works for you. Maybe putting it in terms like power pose makes it very helpful. I mean I'm not willing to write off the idea that taking a minute to think about how you're powerful and great can be actually powerful and great.
Aminatou: Oprah's entire career is based on the power of visualization. I'm like I'm here. I believe all of this.
Ann: I mean also not replicable in academic studies. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Totally. I'm like yeah, academia doesn't know how to fuck with your powerful . . .
Ann: I thought you were going to say academia doesn't know how to fuck with Oprah. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Yeah, no, totally. Who's the other person that we're always like they're obsessed with visualization? Oh, Big Sean. Big Sean is really into visualization.
Aminatou: His entire rap career is that.
Ann: How did I not know that?
Aminatou: Probably because you don't listen to a lot of -- what does Ryan call him? Medium Sean.
Ann: Medium Sean.
Aminatou: Medium Sean. Shout out, Ryan.
Aminatou: Yeah, you know, this doesn't make me sad. We do a lot of placebo shit in our lives all day. Please.
Ann: So are we as a podcast still standing behind power posing?
Aminatou: I stand by whatever makes you feel powerful and awesome before you have to go slay dragons.
Ann: That's great. I mean, but P-hacking. [Laughs]
Aminatou: P-hacking. I'm like yo, academia's just one big scam. I can't even with these people. Amy Cuddy is out here selling so many books though.
Ann: That's true. I mean that's what I mean, though, all you need is one shaky study to get the TED talk and then it doesn't even matter if it's disavowed. Yeah.
Aminatou: Yeah, all these academic Joanne the Scammers, they're everywhere. Oh my god, speaking of Joanne the Scammer, our Canadian prime minister scammer, did you see how Little George wouldn't shake him and greet him when he went to survey his lands and his minions over in Canada?
Ann: Did you see the photos of how Kate Middleton was looking at him?
Aminatou: Yo, somebody had a really good tweet about this. She was like when you see a luscious head of hair that your old bae used to have . . .
Aminatou: Like crazy shit. Yeah, it's like yo, Justin Trudeau, man, I'm telling you I'm not buying it.
Ann: Cross-continental scamming.
Aminatou: I know. Maybe we can get Sophie Trudeau on the podcast.
Ann: Probably not after all of this. [Laughs]
Aminatou: After all of this? Listen, I think she's a fair woman and she would talk to us about it.
Ann: She would hear us out. She would come on to say that he's not a scammer.
Aminatou: I mean I'm not going to ask her if he's just a scammer. Hello?
Ann: I mean I know we would be more delicate than that, but . . .
Aminatou: I know, totally. Also I love it because this baby is technically Justin Trudeau's boss, you know what I'm saying? He's like everything the sun touches is mine.
Ann: You still work for me.
Aminatou: Totally, works for him. It's like I don't have time for this.
Ann: Okay, period news that is probably not really news. I'm about to read you a Daily Mail headline.
Aminatou: Yes! You know how I love The Daily Mail.
Ann: Okay. Before I read this you need to know there's even less . . . wait, it's Daily Mail Australia. Sorry, that's like another twist.
Aminatou: Wow, talk about a country full of whos. Tell me.
Ann: Okay, the headline is "They want to stay away from me when I am PMSing." Woman horrified to discover her male colleagues are tracking her menstrual cycle so they can avoid her when she's "moody."
Ann: Okay, so before you get outraged, because I was like this is about to be a scandal where IT leaked some emails about . . .
Aminatou: No, I'm just like how do you track somebody else's period?
Ann: Exactly. So basically nothing in this story is credited or named. The workplace is not named.
Aminatou: Shout out Daily Mail.
Ann: The people are not named. How they managed to track their colleague's period, not really explained. All it is is talking about how she's terrible and bitchy so they decided to track her period, then there's this line, "When the woman, who was also unnamed, began to cry, the man apologized but then asked if she was on her period."
Aminatou: Good way to track somebody's period I guess. [Laughs]
Ann: Just say "Are you on your period?" all the time.
Aminatou: Yeah, it's like are you on your period? Oh my god.
Ann: I mean it's probably bullshit. I mean, whatever, all signs point to bullshit.
Aminatou: But Ann, that's a serious work micro aggression.
Ann: I know.
Aminatou: In Jessica Bennett's book, in Feminist Fight Club, she actually talks about that. That if somebody at work is like "Are you on the rag?" how you're supposed to murder them.
Ann: I know, for sure.
Ann: And it's like just the fact that everything is anonymously quoted and it's basically all an ad for a period app that lets you track the cycles of multiple women supposedly. I'm not even going to name it. It's horrific. Like what?
Aminatou: Oh, now I don't even believe that that's real.
Aminatou: Daily Mail is like a fantabulous . . . nothing is rooted in reality.
Ann: This is like an unfunny click call.
Aminatou: That's crazy. You know Melania is suing them right now.
Ann: Is suing the Daily Mail?
Aminatou: Yeah, because they tried to lie on her. Allegedly, she is saying. I'm like hmm.
Ann: I mean . . .
Aminatou: Takes one to know one.
Ann: Scammer got scammed.
Aminatou: Scammer got scammed. Y'all figure it out over there. Oh my god. She did look so good at the debate though. I will give her that. Good look, Melania.
Ann: I mean but wasn't she wearing a sheathe that zipped up the entire way? I'm just like that seems like an accident waiting to happen. Like anything . . .
Aminatou: Ann, that's her entire style combo.
Ann: I know, but I'm just saying I would not be anywhere near television cameras in a tight dress that zips all the way up. There's something about that that I don't know.
Aminatou: Ugh, but she looks so good in it. She's like, you know, whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.
Ann: The furthest from the beach beach waves hair.
Aminatou: [Laughs] The furthest . . . no, her hair always looks good. I see why he's into her. But also yeah, good luck to both of them.
Aminatou: You know who I've been thinking about a lot though this election season?
Aminatou: Mother of Ivanka and Udey and Kusey Trump Ivana Trump.
Ann: Oh yeah, where has she been?
Aminatou: You know she's like not allowed to speak. She's like Katie Holmes in her divorce. Literally it's like "Here's a cushy life. Shut the fuck up." But I really wonder how she feels about her children being out there doing all this nonsense knowing what she has accused Trump of doing to her. That's really intense.
Ann: Yeah. I mean also to sort of . . . she obviously has some information that voters should know, right?
Aminatou: Yeah. It's like the New York Times tried to unseal their divorce and the courts said no, because the couple of times that she's been confronted by journalists she was like "Donald Trump's great to me. I don't know what you guys are talking about." And I'm like whew, I can smell the NDA a mile away.
Ann: [Laughs] The sweet smell of NDA.
Aminatou: I hope that one day she'll write a book about it because I would feel like ultimately supremely betrayed by my children if they did that to me.
Ann: I don't know. But if you betrayed yourself first by signing that NDA . . .
Aminatou: It's like did you betray yourself or did you create a situation for you and your children to be comfortable, you know?
Ann: It's true.
Aminatou: I don't begrudge her. If you're married to Donald Trump and you leave him you deserve every penny that you get. Are you kidding me? And whatever it takes to get that money.
Ann: That's true, but you dance with the devil. The agreement to marry Donald Trump in the first place is like oof . . .
Aminatou: No, I agree. Like 100% agree. Also I love it, dance with the devil. [Laughs]
Ann: I know. Ultimate Faustian bargain.
Aminatou: Oh my god, yeah, no. He's so gross. I can't even.
Ann: Wow, and we're full circle.
Aminatou: I know, full circle. Man, that period news really . . . I'm so annoyed.
Ann: You want to backtrack?
Aminatou: I don't want to backtrack. I want some posi period news.
Ann: Okay, did you see this news about these Rhode Island School of Design students making a period board game?
Aminatou: No, that's cool.
Ann: Yeah. It was originally from a design class a couple of years ago where they were basically like you need to make a game based on . . . it was like bodies or something like that, to explain something with health or science. And it's for kids of all genders to learn about everything from the process of menstruation to devices we use to manage it and deal with it, and it's not super cutesy and weird. You know what I mean? It's just like a well-designed little teaching aid.
Aminatou: Oh, I would love to see that. That sounds cool.
Ann: Yeah. It's still a prototype so we can't buy it yet.
Aminatou: So we can't buy yet? Okay, cool.
Ann: But there's an amazing booklet with a little uterus diagram next to the question "Do I have one of those inside of me?"
Aminatou: [Laughs] I wonder also.
Ann: Anyway . . .
Aminatou: That's cool. Some other good period news is that D.C. is considering getting rid of the tampon tax in the district.
Ann: Oh wow, hey now.
Aminatou: Yeah, that's like pretty cool.
Ann: That's been on the table since we did our D.C. show in the spring I think.
Aminatou: That's right. D.C. residents, you know what to do.
Ann: It's true. I mean meanwhile in California Governor Jerry Brown has just vetoed the tampon tax removing legislation that passed here.
Aminatou: That's crazy. Yo, are you all up on the Jerry Brown conspiracy theories?
Ann: No, hit me.
Aminatou: Oh my god. So apparently Jerry Brown's not there. He's either MIA or vegetable dummy status or some shit.
Aminatou: And everybody thinks that the wife is pulling the strings.
Aminatou: Yeah, this is from all my California state workers. I love it.
Ann: Oh my god.
Aminatou: You know how I just love a conspiracy theory. I know nothing about this.
Ann: Now I feel truly awful that I don't know anything about the woman to whom Jerry Brown is married.
Aminatou: Apparently a mastermind.
Ann: Oh my god, her name is Ann Gust?
Aminatou: Yeah, she's a lawyer. She like works at The Gap. She knows what's up.
Ann: Wow. She looks to be wearing a very expensive shawl.
Aminatou: [Laughs] I love it.
Ann: Okay, Wikipedia doesn't say anything about her pulling the strings but I'm not ruling it out. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Yeah, I'm literally telling you a conspiracy theory. None of this is rooted in reality. [Laughs] Please nobody quote this as real news.
Ann: Oh my god, I'm just adding to the agenda of California government conspiracy theories. [Laughs]
Aminatou: Yeah, it's back when he got into it or whatever there was a classic New York Times headline that was like "Don't call her first lady. She's his top aide."
Ann: Oh. Which I normally like but . . . but then I'm like I hope you're paying her a salary.
Aminatou: I'm down for this. I'm having a very California government time . . . I saw Gavin Newsom at my doctor. I was like wow, we share a doctor. This is great.
Ann: Is his hair still shiny shiny?
Aminatou: Oh yeah, no, he's beautiful. His wife is beautiful. I finally got it. I was like oh, this is why people want you guys to be in the public eye. You're gorgeous people. This is incredible.
Ann: It helps especially in California.
Aminatou: It helps. Listen, we're not out here trying to get ugly people to ruin our country. Hello?
Ann: Oh my god, back to you Ivanka's dad with no eyes.
Aminatou: I know. I'm channeling Trump right now. I want the election to be tomorrow.
Ann: I need to go to bed.
Aminatou: I can't believe we've been dealing with this for like two years. I'm so tired.
Ann: I know. After two years, one month is going to feel like nothing, and the truth is that's when most people actually start to care. So it's like the worst, the worst of all worlds.
Aminatou: It's the actual -- it's the actual worst.
Ann: It's the time when we have to actually care the most.
Aminatou: Ugh. It's going to be okay. I think it's going to be okay.
Ann: Okay. On that note I think we should go to bed. I think I should go to bed.
Aminatou: I know. It's like 11:00.
Ann: Listen, I'm still recovering.
Aminatou: No, I'm saying that as like it's 11:00. It's way past our work time.
Ann: Right. It's way past work hour for sure.
Aminatou: Yeah. I'm like I need to go. It's like my room is a disaster. My room is often a reflection of what my life is and I'm like it's like a tornado flew in here so I need to deal with my life right now.
Ann: I relate to that.
Aminatou: Oh, we have a couple announcements though. Everything in the CYG store is for sale. We're trying to liquidate, baby.
Ann: Yeah, there's a code, SUMMERSOVER, all one word. Use it until the end of October and get 30% off on our remaining swag.
Aminatou: That's right. Summer's over. Get something for yourself. Get something for your best friend. You know, we're like the worst retailers.
Ann: Retail is hard. Retail is so hard. Where can people find us on the Internet?
Aminatou: You can find us many places on the Internet, on our website callyourgirlfriend.com. You can download our show 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 you can email us at email@example.com. You can even find us on Facebook -- look that up for 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. This podcast is produced by Gina Delvac who's the best.
Ann: Gina! We love Gina.
Aminatou: A competent ball of warmth and delight. Thank you Gina.
Ann: Put that on a business card.
Aminatou: [Laughs] See you on the Internet, boo-boo.
Ann: See you on the Internet.
Aminatou: Feel better!