“Put down your male fragility”: Scene On Radio’s John Biewen & Celeste Headlee on how men can help fight patriarchy

What’s going on with men? Why is it so hard to negotiate the gender power dynamic in everyday situations, like work meetings? Can masculinity exist without its more toxic forms? And why can men get away with sexual misconduct---and even end up seeming like the “real” victim when they’re accused?

While I’ve taken this season of Inflection Point to focus on what women can do to rise up and have more power, John Biewen and Celeste Headlee of Scene on Radio - MEN have been examining how the patriarchy that we’re rising up against was formed in the first place--and what to do about it.

Today we’re taking a look at the conversations we’ve had over the past seasons of both shows and comparing notes to see if we can find some answers---together.

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Running for Office In the Era of #MeToo: Minnesota State Representative Erin Maye Quade

At age 32, Minnesota State Representative Erin Maye Quade is positioned to be at the forefront of a wave of progressive political leaders representing a new generation of voters.

She made history while running in the Twin Cities suburbs as a deeply progressive, biracial, openly queer, anti-gun violence, anti-racist, pro-social justice candidate.

There’s no doubt she’ll rise high and go far.

The question is: as an unprecedented amount of women run for office and have a good chance of winning, will the powers that be yield to the kind of change politicians like Erin will bring to office? Or will they double down and fight dirty?

Listen to our conversation to find out.

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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Death by Diversity Initiative & The Myth of Meritocracy - Dr. Barbara Adams

Organizational psychologist Dr. Barbara Adams says there is transformational power for everyone in diversity and inclusivity, but initiatives like employee training days and inclusive hiring aren’t enough. What we need, says Dr. Adams, is a fundamental shift in mindset about our implicit biases and how they affect every aspect of organizations, from design to hiring practices and beyond. And the goal shouldn’t be to eliminate biases, but to acknowledge them and to do the work to ensure that there’s more than one kind of bias in the room when decisions are being made. Listen to my conversation with Dr. Barbara Adams, author of “Women, Minorities and Other Extraordinary People” to see what’s broken about current organizational diversity initiatives and what we can do to create a workplace that works for all of us.

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What trans women can teach cis women (and vice versa) - Daniela Petruzelak, diversity activist

Three years ago, software developer Daniela Petruzalek took the leap to transition to her true female self. One of the first things she had to get over were her own internalized prejudices.

“I come from a family where they had traditional morals and were quite homophobic.” She said. “And I had to deconstruct everything. It took me many years to do so. I was a white cis heterosexual male... and nowadays I'm a lesbian.”

Not only that, she was back to competing in the male-dominated world of tech, but now--as a woman. She immediately noticed the double standards rooted in gender bias.

“The only time in my life I was unemployed was after my transition and took me 6 months to get a new job.” She told me. “When you send resumes as a man, even if you aren't a fit for the role, the people will call you and talk to you. But when you send a resume as a woman they expect you to have like 100 percent of the skills or they wouldn't want to even start talking with you.”

Now Daniela uses this knowledge to fight for diversity and inclusion in the tech world. Learn what trans women can teach cis women—and vice versa—in our conversation.

Daniela Petruzelak

Daniela Petruzelak

"I am powerful by just living" - Sarah McBride, author of "Tomorrow Will Be Different"

In 2016, Sarah McBride made history--and a childhood dream come true when she stood on the stage at the the Democratic National Convention as the first transgender person to speak at a national political convention. As of 2018, more than half of LGBTQ people live in states that don’t protect them from discrimination or are even actively hostile towards them. Some states have enacted laws that allow businesses, healthcare providers and government officials to actually deny services to LGBTQ people.

In the most challenging moments--the 2016 election results, everyday sexism and misogyny and the death of her young husband-- even then she fights to update our laws to protect and include LGBTQ people.

Sarah is now the national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest LGBTQ civil rights organization. And she’s the author of the new book, “Tomorrow Will Be Different. Love, Loss and the Fight for Trans Equality.”

RESOURCES referred to on this episode:

Human Rights Campaign

Transgender Law Center

Sarah McBride (photo by B Proud)

Sarah McBride (photo by B Proud)