Author Jennifer Weiner Writes a Radical Beach Read

The times, they are a’changin’. This week on Inflection Point, I talk to author Jennifer Weiner, about her newest bestselling book “Mrs. Everything”.

The story is loosely based on Jennifer’s own mother, Fran, who got married, had four children and ultimately came out as a gay woman after Jennifer and her siblings were out of the house. Spanning two sisters’ lives from the 1950s to the night of the 2016 political election, the story raises questions about who is really making women’s choices about our own lives...are we? Or our system? How did we get where we are, and how do we move on from here?

Jennifer shares the facts behind her fiction, what it takes to write a good sex scene, what hasn't changed since #metoo started and how the personal becomes political. We spoke at Women Lit, a program of the Bay Area Book Festival on June 22, 2019 in Berkeley, California.

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Weiner

Photo courtesy of Jennifer Weiner

How to Fight Like A Mother-Shannon Watts, Moms Demand Action

There have been over 200 mass shootings in this country since 2009. Shannon Watts, the author of a new book: Fight Like a Mother, is the founder of Moms Demand Action, a group that is using research, data, and a little bit of “nap-tivism” to throw their weight and money behind political candidates who are willing to put better gun control laws into action. The kicker? They’re winning. In the last election, they outspent even the NRA. Their goal: make our country safer.

Join us this week for a look at why our kids are subjected to violent and traumatizing active shooter drills, and what it takes to pass sensible gun legislation. We talk about the root cause of gun violence, who takes the brunt of the violence when background checks get lax, “losing forward” and the very real and positive change that is starting to take place as we come up to the 2020 elections.


Photo courtesy of Shannon Watts

Photo courtesy of Shannon Watts

Eve Ensler and the Radically Transformative Power of Apology

Stress warning: This episode contains conversation about sexual assault and violence.

This week on Inflection Point, I talk with Eve Ensler, award-winning playwright of The Vagina Monologues, about her new book “The Apology”, in which she writes in the voice of her father to apologize to herself--from him-- for the years of sexual and physical abuse he perpetrated upon her.

You will be blown away by Eve’s resilience, by her self-knowledge, by her strength of character, and by her deep well of compassion and empathy. Her ideas for political and social reform, as well as her profound insights into the human soul, make her a true radical, and radically empathetic.

This week, we discuss the anatomy of a true apology, and the transformative power that apologies hold for the apologists themselves and their recipients. We discuss why punishment never leads to rehabilitation. We discuss the roots of abuse, and how we can start shifting the paradigm.

A must-listen for anyone frustrated at the lack-luster apologies precipitated by the #MeToo movement. A must-listen for anyone infuriated by the Anita Hill and Christine Blasey Ford cases. A must-listen for anyone who needs to apologize for something. A must-listen for anyone who has ever needed an apology, but didn’t get one.

I also spoke with Eve in October of 2016, about a year before the #MeToo movement took off. Her words were prescient and I encourage you to listen to that conversation too.

If this conversation is important to you, please support our independent production with a tax deductible donation. Inflection Point is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.

Photo courtesy of The Commonwealth Club of California. Photo by James Meinerth

Photo courtesy of The Commonwealth Club of California. Photo by James Meinerth

Photo courtesy of Eve Ensler

Photo courtesy of Eve Ensler

The End of Human Trafficking May Begin with Radical Empathy - Julia Flynn Siler

In 19th Century San Francisco's Chinatown only 1 in 10 people were women, and most of them were forced into prostitution, trafficked by criminal tongs. In today’s episode, meet the Scottish sewing instructor Donaldina Cameron and the women she collaborated with and helped escape from sex slavery between 1870 and 1930. This week on Inflection Point: Julia Flynn Siler talks about her new book The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Prepare yourself for bomb scares and bubonic plague quarantines, court cases and crowdfunding efforts. Join us in what is, ultimately, a conversation about standing up to a broken society, and how women can help women rise up.

Recorded at the Bay Area Book Festival in May 2019 as part of their Women Lit programming.

Photo courtesy of Julia Flynn Siler

Photo courtesy of Julia Flynn Siler