291 episodes

Each week a pair of writers and guests talk through one news story we can’t stop thinking about, and unpack what gender has to do with it.

The Waves: Gender, Relationships, Feminism Slate Magazine

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.2 • 799 Ratings

Each week a pair of writers and guests talk through one news story we can’t stop thinking about, and unpack what gender has to do with it.

    What Does Bill Cosby’s Release Mean for the #MeToo Movement?

    What Does Bill Cosby’s Release Mean for the #MeToo Movement?

    On this week’s episode of The Waves, author and professor of history at Georgetown University Marcia Chatelain and Slate staff writer Lili Loofbourow dissect Bill Cosby’s release from prison, and what that could mean for the #MeToo movement. First they unpack exactly what happened in the Cosby case. Then they get into the potential ripple effects it could have on victims seeking justice more broadly. 

    Recommendations
    Lili: The Netflix show Money Heist. 
    Marcia: As much Real Housewives on Bravo that you can handle. 
     
    Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Susan Matthews and June Thomas. 
    Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to thewaves@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 34 min
    Did Gossip Girl Lose Its Bite?

    Did Gossip Girl Lose Its Bite?

    On this week’s episode of The Waves, June Thomas, senior managing producer of Slate podcasts and a host of Working, talks with Willa Paskin, Slate TV critic and host of Decoder Ring, about the reboot of Gossip Girl. They discuss how the show messed up by making its characters too nice, why the teachers may be the most interesting part of the reboot, and whether Gossip Girl has finally figured out its class politics.

    Recommendations

    June: Reality competition show about ball culture, Legendary on HBO Max.
    Willa: The Succession meets Agatha Christie new show, The White Lotus on HBO.
     
    Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Susan Matthews and June Thomas. 
    Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to thewaves@slate.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 34 min
    Amy Coney Barrett Is Following in the Footsteps of John Roberts

    Amy Coney Barrett Is Following in the Footsteps of John Roberts

    On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate Supreme Court reporters Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern join forces to dissect Amy Coney Barrett’s first term on the bench. They talk about how her confirmation hearings were shaped by Democrats’ desire to paint her as an enemy of health care, and how her recent decision upholding the Affordable Care Act has gotten her outsized praise. Then, they dissect her desire to be seen as an academic rather than a conservative, and unpack what we can expect from her in the years to come.

    Recommendations
    Dahlia: A Supreme Women Mug from Resistance By Design
    Mark: A Washington D.C. statehood tank top from DC Statehood Gifts & Apparel

    Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Susan Matthews and June Thomas. 
    Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to thewaves@slate.com.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 38 min
    Should You Become a Mom at 25?

    Should You Become a Mom at 25?

    On this week’s episode of The Waves, a conversation with Atlantic writer, Elizabeth Bruenig. 
    In the first half of the show, Elizabeth talks about her recent New York Times article, “I Became a Mother at 25, and I’m Not Sorry I Didn’t Wait” with Slate’s news director Susan Matthews. The two get into why pregnancy is both so personal and yet so public, how society and particularly the job market deals with that, and the randomness of deciding when the right time is.
    After the break, Susan and Elizabeth delve into the backlash the piece received from the left, and then the backlash that backlash received from the right, and what we can take from that cycle. Elizabeth talks about whether she was trying to be provocative, and only being “happy stupid” on Twitter.
    In Slate Plus, the women each share a piece of their past that made them feminists. For Susan, it was taking all the classes for a gender studies degree … without getting the degree. And Elizabeth talks about reading Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale in junior high school.

    Recommendations
    Susan stans the Tour de France (which she has stanned before in the pages of Slate, but it is once again Tour de France season). If you can’t make it to the French countryside anytime soon, watching the cyclists pass by ancient castles may help scratch your travel itch. And for the people who are there, remember to keep your signs out of the way of the cyclists. 
    Elizabeth missed the TV show House when it first came out, but during the tail end of the pandemic, she’s been binge-watching it. She recommends the first few seasons of the medical drama, especially while folding laundry. 

    Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Susan Matthews and June Thomas. And additional production assistance by Rosemary Belson. 
    Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to thewaves@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 35 min
    It’s Not a Billionaire Ex-Wives Club After All

    It’s Not a Billionaire Ex-Wives Club After All

    This week’s episode of The Waves considers whether there is a uniquely feminist way to divorce your skeevy rich husband. Slate executive producer of podcasts, Alicia Montgomery, and business journalist and co-host of Slate Money, Emily Peck, delve into the stories of two billionaire women who have both recently ended their marriages—Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott. 
    The two discuss whether French Gates and Scott bear any responsibility for the sins of their ex-husbands companies. They talk about the extent to which each woman worked to rehabilitate their partner’s image during their marriage, including unpacking French Gates’ obsession with telling the story of how she convinced her husband to drive their daughter to school (some of the time, at least). 
    Alicia and Emily also talk about whether there’s an expectation, just because they are women, that Scott and French Gates use the billions of dollars their husbands have amassed to better the world. And finally, they talk about how Gen Xers were taught to think about marriage and happy endings, and what we’ve learned about fairy tales. 
    In Slate Plus, Alicia and Emily talk about their gateways into feminism. For Alicia, it was a 1980’s romantic comedy from across the pond. For Emily, it was learning about what a hellscape maternity leave policies can be.

    Recommendations
    Fun fact: Emily is very interested in cults. If you want a deep dive into the Heaven’s Gate cult from the 1970s, she recommends the Pineapple Media podcast, Heaven’s Gate.
    Did you develop a bad habit during the pandemic? Alicia recommends kicking those habits we adopted to stay sane during lockdown. She’ll be slowly cancelling all the streaming services she subscribed to because there are only so many times you can watch The Crown. (Probably.)

    Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Susan Matthews and June Thomas. And additional production assistance from Rosemary Belson. 
    Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to thewaves@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 32 min
    Kyrsten Sinema Doesn't Care What You Think of Her

    Kyrsten Sinema Doesn't Care What You Think of Her

    On this week’s episode of The Waves, Slate senior writer and host of Outward Christina Cauterucci and Julia Craven, Slate staff writer covering race, politics, and health disparities, talk about one woman: Kyrsten Sinema. From her wardrobe to her position on the filibuster, Sinema has been in the news a lot recently. The hosts talk about the Arizona senator’s political evolution—she moved from the Green Party to run as a progressive Democrat, but when she got to the U.S. Senate, she tacked toward the center—and whether she is currently exhibiting any signs of political coherence. Christina unpacks the high note of Sinema at the Capitol: her wardrobe, noting that the flashy fashions that once brought visual interest to the normally drab walls of Congress have taken a turn for the worse. As Sinema started to stymie Democratic plans, her “f**k off” ring and “dangerous creature” sweater took on a whole new meaning.
    After the break, Julia and Christina dive deep into the filibuster. While standing in the way of the Democrats’ ability to pass almost any legislation at all, Sinema has spouted inaccurate narratives of how the filibuster came into being. Julia and Christina talk about her earlier vote for John Lewis as House leader, and try to square that with her current position, which is holding up voting-rights legislation. But Sinema doesn’t seem to be listening to most of the criticism she’s getting for her position, instead dismissing parts of it as merely sexist. 
    For Slate Plus members, Julia and Christina continue our new segment, Gateway Feminism, where they talk about one thing that helped make them feminists. For Julia, it’s her great-grandmother and her enduring belief that Julia could become anything she set her mind to. Christina started her career as a feminist when she revamped her co-ed soccar team jersey in protest of the team name: The Molar Men. 

    Recommendations
    Christina recommends celebrating Pride Month by educating yourself about queer politics. She suggests watching a conversation between Amy Walter and Sasha Issenberg hosted by Politics and Prose. 
    Julia finally finished reading her first book in almost a year! She finished The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett, and highly recommends finishing books. But Julia holds zero judgment on wherever you are at in your reading journey. 
     
    Podcast production by Cheyna Roth with editorial oversight by Susan Matthews and June Thomas. Additional production assistance by Rosemary Belson.

    Send your comments and recommendations on what to cover to thewaves@slate.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5
799 Ratings

799 Ratings

jenw/1n ,

Thank you!!

I am so happy this show is back!!! I am long time listener and very excited for the new format. Thank you Slate for bringing it back!!!

mmr424 ,

???

Did one of the hosts actually just reassure women that things will be ok and give this list of examples: having babies young, her husband getting fired, her sister-in-law being MURDERED? Followed by “It wasn’t great” (!!) cannot relate.

Daseeds ,

Cancel culture in action

If you want to hear cancel culture in action, listen to The Waves. The hosts repeat unsubstantiated allegations, engage in what is essentially gossip, and without coming out and saying so, tear down a show about black lesbians because the creators may have engaged in possibly “problematic behavior.” Hope I see all of you at the labor camps for us bourgeois reformists!

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by Slate Magazine