The Radical Act of Writing the Truth - Rachel Cusk and Brooke Warner

Rachel Cusk  Photo by Siemon Scamell

Rachel Cusk

Photo by Siemon Scamell

Speaking the truth, calling it like it is, using your voice---being authentic are all hallmarks of the feminist movement. But the more we speak the truth, the more we risk a backlash. And this creates the risk that we could lose our voices, just when we need them the most.

In today’s episode, I share a conversation between an award-winning novelist and memoirist, Rachel Cusk and Brooke Warner, the publisher of SheWrites Press and SparkPress.

Cusk’s memoirs include “A Life’s Work. On Becoming a Mother” and “Aftermath: On Marriage and Separation” where she documents her experiences with motherhood and divorce in real-time. Her memoirs were both hailed and hated by critics--and throughout her career she’s written extensively about female freedom, constraints and femininity... so she’s had a lot of time to get the kind of flack she thinks might give pause to other women who want to write the truth of their lives.

Brooke Warner

Brooke Warner

Rachel Cusk and Brooke Warner spoke about Rachel’s memoirs, her new “Outline” trilogy of novels, and the challenges and the opportunities for women who speak the truth, in April, 2019 at Women Lit, a program of the Bay Area Book Festival. Their conversation has been edited and condensed and I am excited to share it with you here on Inflection Point.

Brooke and I also had a chance to speak about why she only publishes women authors and the radical act for women of using our voices and speaking the truth. It’s a 2-fer! Brooke Warner is the publisher at She Writes Press and SparkPress, writer, writing coach and podcast host.


 

Can Virtual Reality End Real-World Sexual Harassment? - Morgan Mercer

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In the post-MeToo era, men who would never consider saying a harassing word or venture a grope are now asking themselves “can I hug a co-worker anymore?”

“Can I put my arm around someone in a photo?”

“Can I have dinner with a female co-worker...alone?”
For the most part, workplace sexual harassment training includes the same rote video, awkward role-playing scenarios or yawn-inducing speaker, and is not remotely equipped to end a culture of enabling harassers or dismissing claims.

What kinds of training tools will create a true change in workplace culture? The kind that helps workers and supervisors comprehend the nuances of what sexual harassment looks like and how the power dynamics of workplace sexual harassment can damage the careers and well beings of those harassed?

Morgan Mercer, CEO of enterprise training platform Vantage Point, believes the answers to these questions, as well as more nuanced insights about the nature of workplace sexual harassment, lies in virtual reality.   

Listen to my convo with Mercer as we discuss why corporate sexual harassment training has for the most part failed women, and how immersive experiences like virtual reality may be the key to unlocking empathy, action and change.

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A radical shift in how we raise and treat boys - Dr. Michael Reichert

Last season on Inflection Point, we explored the concept of empowerment for women. And one of the many things we learned is that we can’t move the women’s movement forward, and we can’t hope to achieve equality if only one gender is doing the work. And since I recorded that episode a new report came out from the American Psychological Association about the harms of ‘traditional masculinity.’ What else needs to change in our culture, to enable boys and men to see women as their equals, and for women to see men as our allies?

My guest today is Dr. Michael Reichert, a psychologist with a specialty in work with men and boys, author of the new book, “How to Raise a Boy. The Power of Connection to Build Good Men” and the co-founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Boys' and Girls' Lives, which is connected to the University of Pennsylvania. The study of gender--especially masculinity--as a social construct is "radical" because it challenges the entrenched belief that “boys will be boys.” But it turns out that boys--like most humans--are just really really good at adapting to their environment...an environment we adults create for them.

So...while we are spending lots and lots of time and energy ‘empowering’ women---are we writing off the good that men are capable of because we believe ‘that’s just how they are’ or can we help empower men as well--but in a new way? That will take a radical shift in thinking.

Contribute to our production at inflectionpointradio.org/contribute

Resources:

https://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Public-Policy/Mental-Health-in-Schools

http://ei.yale.edu/what-we-do/emotion-revolution-educator/



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How Radical Change Happens - Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl

Times like these call for radical ideas.

But is being a radical a positive thing? And if so, why are so many radicals seen as dangerous?

In the first episode of the new season of Inflection Point: RADICALS, we’ll define what it really means to be a radical, look at some of the lasting change radicals have made throughout our history, and examine how those ideas went from unthinkable to mainstream.

I invited RAD WOMEN series’ creators Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl to talk about how to spot a radical, because if anyone knows what a radical looks like and what it takes to be one, it’s them.

Support the production of Inflection Point with a monthly or one-time contribution!

And when you’re done, come on over to The Inflection Point Society, our Facebook group of everyday activists who seek to make extraordinary change through small, daily actions.

Subscribe to “Inflection Point” to get more stories of how women rise up right in your feed on Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher and NPROne.


Miriam Klein Stahl and Kate Schatz  Photo by: Casey Orr

Miriam Klein Stahl and Kate Schatz

Photo by: Casey Orr

Radical Resilience: Comedian Katie Goodman on the Power of Improv to Come Up With Radical Ideas

This season I’m introducing you to the radical geniuses who are reshaping the systems as we know them. But according to today’s guest, we can all be radical geniuses by embracing a mindset of flexibility and resilience.

Katie Goodman is a professional improviser and a comedian. Over the last twenty years her team has taught about 10,000 people from individuals to corporate groups how to use the tools of improv comedy in everyday life.

Today, we’ll talk about how the powers of imagination, collaboration and “yes, and” can give us a new way of responding to problems the world throws at us.  

Find Katie Goodman’s 8 Tools of Improv and her podcast, “The Improvised Life with Katie Goodman” here.

Support the production of Inflection Point with a monthly or one-time contribution!

And when you’re done, come on over to The Inflection Point Society, our Facebook group of everyday activists who seek to make extraordinary change through small, daily actions.

Subscribe to “Inflection Point” to get more stories of how women rise up right in your feed on Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher and NPROne.

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“Let it be messy. Be uncertain." And other advice for 2019

Khalida Brohi was a teenager when she learned that her uncle had murdered her cousin to restore his family’s honor. Her cousin’s crime: falling in love with a boy who she wasn’t betrothed to marry.

Since 2008, Khalida has been working to end honor killings and domestic violence in the indigenous communities of Pakistan. Her work has led to raising awareness abroad and at home and pressuring the Pakistani government to close loopholes in the law that allowed men to get away with the murder and violence against women in the name of honor.

She also works in the villages to change the mindsets of men like her uncle and women like her grandmother. People whose dignity she must respect while helping them loosen the grip honor has had upon their sense of worth.
This conversation with Khalida Brohi, author of I Should Have Honor was recorded in a special episode at The Women’s Building in San Francisco as part of Inflection Point’s collaboration with Women Lit/Bay Area Book Festival.

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How tyrants rise to power, "The Story of Roger Ailes" filmmaker Alexis Bloom

Fox News has paid out hundreds of millions of dollars to silence women who were sexually harassed and assaulted while working there. The story of former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes’ rise to power and eventual downfall is the story of enablers: people who are willing to look the other way when a predator abuses people, and who are willing to step in and muzzle the victims he leaves in his wake. This story is still happening every day. How do tyrants win such undying loyalty from others? And what will it take to refuse to stand by and let powerful men get away with anything they want? I spoke filmmaker with Alexis Bloom, who directed the documentary, “Divide & Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes.”

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The reality of rising up: patriarchy is the problem, not men

After being witness to The Women’s March, MeToo, the Kavanaugh hearings, and a historic midterm election in which more American women were elected to office than ever before, I feel like our society is having a Matrix moment: we’re finally seeing the patriarchy for what it is and how it’s subjugated half the population.

So does all this empowerment we’re striving for lead to actual power? The kind of power that puts women in charge of our bodies, our workplaces, our laws, and our futures?

This season, I invited people working in politics, business, tech and media who have a lot to say about empowerment to weigh in on these questions.

Spoiler alert: the answers they gave led to...more questions. But really, really important questions.

Listen to this season wrap-up to find out what we think needs to happen next in the quest for equality.

And consider a contribution to help us produce more rising up stories.