Last Friday, Rebecca Traister of New York Magazine appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher to promote her new book, All the Single Ladies: Unmarried Women and the Rise of an Independent Nation (Simon & Schuster). In her terrific conversation with Maher, Rebecca discusses the November election, Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, and the reasons why single women are the most important voting block. She also gives us a powerful history lesson, explaining how for hundreds of years the institution of marriage has enforced male-dominated gendered power and suppressed women’s rights. It’s an incredible conversation and you can watch it in full above.
Traister explains, “[Historically, women]: have been economically dependent on men, have been sexually dependent on men in eras where they couldn’t control their reproduction through birth control or abortion, have been dependent on men if they wanted to have socially-sanctioned families. The fact that circumstances have changed, and that now they can be earners, they can participate in public in political life, they can have liberated sex lives, they can have families without being married — what that means is it displaces marriage as the organizing institution that organizes gendered power among other things, and it creates all kinds of new paths for women. It remaps women’s adulthood in a way that is totally unprecedented, and in a way that is discomforting to a lot of people.”
I’ve also attached Gloria Steinem’s profound December 2015 interview with Charlie Rose where she discusses, among many other things: the history of gendered power, its connection to language, as well as ISIS, and much more. And New York Magazine‘s The Cut also posted a great parody video this morning featuring a grandmother giving a comically enraging explanation for sexism. The video was created by the team at PYPO, a female-driven comedy channel. You can watch both videos below.