An Unmarried Woman Is A Dangerous Woman
Oh happy day! It’s another episode of Unscrewed, and this week’s a doozy.
Jaclyn gets on the horn with illustrious shit-kicker Rebecca Traister — author of the New York Times bestseller All The Single Ladies — which meticulously traces the socio-political-economic-cultural evolution of, you guessed it, single women in America.
In addition to a particularly delectable lightning round in which Rebecca reveals she likes to have sex when she has to pee, “but just a little,” you’ll get everything from a discussion of the “brutalistic” slang that accompanied women in the 1940s, to a whip-smart analysis of signifiers of sexual power vs. actual sexual power through a Sex in the City lens, to why Thelma and Louise could never get made today. She also examines the intricate ways the Anita Hill saga — depicted in HBO’s film Confirmation that recently debuted — was oh-so-tangled up in Hill’s single status.
“Anita Hill was unattached to an institution that made women comprehensible. Marriage gives women an identity and worth that’s digestible.”
Oh, you’ll also get a harrowing look at the 1965 Moynihan Report, which essentially diagnosed single black women as the epicenter of systemic black poverty, and a discussion on why America is on the cusp of a “feminist freeze” that is not-so-subtly forcing women back into archaic models of the nuclear family.
Rebecca also makes the argument that the rhetoric of “Make America Great Again” is actually collective nostalgia for an America that never actually existed, a Normal Rockwell fever dream that threatens to undermine what little gender and racial progress we’ve achieved.
“If you take away voting and abortion rights, if you fail to provide paid leave, if you take everything away, with key pieces of legislation, you will push women back into marriage — you will force them to be dependent on men.”
And yet! Still we press on. And perhaps there is no finer poultice, no entity more powerful in combating the erosion of our rights, than female friendship. “That’s a way to prepare for the coming freeze. Our relationships with women are just as or more legitimate than any hetero marriage we could ever have.”
Listen to the brilliance below.
Full new episodes of Unscrewed go live every other Tuesday, with quickiesodes boasting outtakes, advice for listeners who send in their sex/uality questions, and other delectable tidbits airing in between.
Have burning quandaries of your own? Tweet @jaclynf (use #Unscrewed) or drop her a line at email@example.com. And yes! You can even use your handy-dandy smartphone, personal computer, or laptop and record yourself asking your question; she may just include it in the next episode.
Lead Image: flickr/pedro veneroso