Keep Acting or Run for Political Office? (with June Diane Raphael)

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When President Trump was elected in 2016, comedian June Diane Raphael considered dropping everything (except her new baby) and running for local office. Instead, she chose to write a book helping other women do it. In some small part, that decision led to 2018’s record year of women winning seats in office. Sam asks June where her propensity for sharp decision making comes from, whether having kids helped or hurt her career, and why she prefers true crime over comedies.

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Samantha Bee, June Diane Raphael

Samantha Bee  00:00

Before sitting down to record this episode, I placed her grocery order I pulled what felt like probably a year’s worth of human hair out of the shower drain and I put my second load of laundry in of the day. I also have a turkey in the oven because I don’t know why not. You could say I was procrastinating as I am I want to do you could also say it was just chipping away at the four hours of unpaid labor that I and women all over the country do, on an average day. Unpaid labor is defined as non compensated time spent on things such as caring for children and the elderly, cooking and cleaning doing laundry shopping for the things needed for said children, elderly, cooking, cleaning and laundry. And regardless if you enjoy any of the things I just listed, and some of them I very much enjoy. Women across the world spend hours of their day checking off items from their to do lists that will never be formally recognized or compensated as work. If they weren’t compensated for it, it’s estimated that women would be owed over $10 trillion. That is so much HelloFresh I can’t even begin to calculate it. So yeah, all right, between the cooking and the cleaning and the matching of the socks. I have time for some real choice words for the people and the sexism that perpetuate the system. There are gender stereotypes intertwined in every bit of unpaid labor and it keeps many women away from the rest of their goals. And may not sound like a lot but like a couple of hours here and a few extra hours there add up and prevent women from having time to I don’t know, say start a business in their garage or run for office or record their God damn podcast or just to do their actual paid job. Okay, in 1975 90% of the women in Iceland took a day off from their jobs and their housework and child rearing. That day is now known as the long Friday in the following year, Iceland passed its Equality Act is now 2023. And we don’t just need a long Friday, but a long Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and you think you see where I’m going with us. It’s like day of the week underwear but you’re paid to wear them.

Samantha Bee  02:33

This is Choice Words. I’m Samantha Bee, my guest today is June Diane Raphael and she is so funny and so thoughtful. She wrote the book represent the Woman’s Guide to running for office and changing the world. She founded The Jane Club, a women’s co working space whose mission includes providing childcare. Oh, right, yes, and also she is an incredible writer, actor and comedian. So take a listen and make good choices.

Samantha Bee  03:13

Oh my God. Hi, Sandy. I love talking to you so much. Okay. But I do want to talk about the choices that you’ve made it.

June Diane Raphael  03:23

Yeah, no.

Samantha Bee  03:24

Or like, okay, are you good? Are you good at making a decision maker?

June Diane Raphael  03:30

So Sam, I am, yes, I’m a decision maker. I may learn, yes I make choices quickly, decisively. Yeah, I don’t I don’t I actually like don’t do well with personality types that struggle with decisions.

Samantha Bee  03:46

That’s so interesting.

June Diane Raphael  03:47

I don’t like I don’t care for it. Like in a restaurant or if you’re standing behind someone at a Starbucks and they’re like everything what are or just like, am I in the right relationship? Or the big and the small and like, and like soothe yourself Alyssa and the Myka Troy I just I don’t know. Sometimes that’s hurt me because I am a Scorpio rising, so we make we make firm decisions. We’ve, I’ve I have fired more managers and agents in this lifetime than you know I could because I’m just like, if it’s not feeling good, I gotta like, move on to something different. So I don’t have trouble making decisions.

Samantha Bee  04:29

You don’t. What does that mean? That you’re what does that mean? That you’re a Scorpio rising? I’m is that your sign? I’m a Scorpio, but I don’t know if I’m rising. Okay, so if you’re a Scorpio, uh huh.

June Diane Raphael  04:41

So your birthday was this past month?

Samantha Bee  04:44

The 25th of October birthday.

June Diane Raphael  04:46

Fantastic, I am a Capricorn but Scorpio rising. So Sam, you have to know that. The fact that your son what it means for you is your sun sign is Scorpio. Okay, which does mean something. Sometimes it means it’s the way get the world sees you but until we know your rising sign, which I’m assuming you don’t know, which is don’t very upset learn.

Samantha Bee  05:07

I don’t know it, it’s very upsetting.

June Diane Raphael  05:10

Your rising sign means like, the world might see me as a Capricorn but internally, my experience of myself is something different. And that’s the rising or you could see it as like Scorpios your present. But whatever your rising is, would be your future. It’s like what you’re here to do.

Samantha Bee  05:29

All my questions are canceled. Let’s get to the charts.

June Diane Raphael  05:33

I need to I need to know your time of like your when you were born and where this is. This is critical information. Okay, it actually is.

Samantha Bee  05:43

This is critical information. Okay, I got it all. Okay, let’s go. Gonna embroider.

June Diane Raphael  05:51

It is really important. But so yes, so Scorpios I mean, I don’t know if you feel this way by yourself because again, we don’t know your rising so we know nothing.

Samantha Bee  06:01

We know nothing.

June Diane Raphael  06:02

Yeah, it was just your blank to me.

Samantha Bee  06:04

Yeah, Scorpio, born but like.

June Diane Raphael  06:07

Yeah like turn off your video? Yeah, like rightful rising?

Samantha Bee  06:10

I don’t know. Could be anything could be our bug. It’s whatever.

June Diane Raphael  06:14

Yeah, you’re lost out there. But usually like what it means, Scorpios mean, to me, it’s the sign of like, big decisions. Very sharp tongue can like really burn shit to the ground. Like I’ll light this house on fire with myself in it and like I’ll just burn it.

Samantha Bee  06:36

I want to say a muscularity.

June Diane Raphael  06:39

It’s a hard sign to live. It’s hard sign to live. It’s like sex and death and like extreme rice.

Samantha Bee  06:48

Mortality, thinking about it? A lot always. Yes. At the dead of night. Yep. Yeah, like waking over.

June Diane Raphael  06:57

Yeah, and it’s like the depths of the human experience. Scorpios are able to go to and like be with. Does that resonate?

Samantha Bee  07:09

That is true. I do like to go, if something is sad or bad. I go all the way down, like let’s go there. Because how can you? How can you come back from it if you didn’t go all the way?

June Diane Raphael  07:24

Yes, and what I find now is even with movies and TV shows, like I’ll have Paul have husband Paul, watch it first because I might, because I go there so deeply. And like, I actually need a little bit of if this isn’t for me, because I’ll have no ability to come back. I need to know. So he’s got like a first look.

Samantha Bee  07:51

He does like a reconnaissance mission. He’s like, it’s doesn’t it’s not it doesn’t go there.

June Diane Raphael  07:57

Right, but like if a child has died in it, you know, that’s not for me. I can’t because I can’t tell her you can’t recover.

Samantha Bee  08:05

Can’t recover.

June Diane Raphael  08:06

I’ll tell you see days.

Samantha Bee  08:08

So do you seek like when you go and when you watch them? When you select something that you’re gonna, like, get into? Is it do you watch comedy? Do you watch?

June Diane Raphael  08:19

I’m not I’m not interested in comedy.

Samantha Bee  08:21

Me neither, I hate it. I cannot, I don’t like it feels like work.

June Diane Raphael  08:27

Doesn’t it feels like it’s like work. Like, I’m either like, I when I watch comedy, I’m either upset because I’m like, I can’t do anything like that or is it so much better than what I could think of? Right? Then that depresses me or I’m like, or I’m like, I’m like, Oh, I didn’t get that part, and I would do it better. So it’s like either total insecurity or like, crazy […] Yes, it’s just fraught. It’s where I’ll get into like a date. Like my area of expertise is like day one dateline.

Samantha Bee  09:05

Oh, […] like a Dateline? Yeah, okay like a story? Yeah, like a full story. Yeah, true crime story. Someone’s whole story. I know I have so many questions that are like written down that I should be asking you for my own. But now I don’t want to talk about.

June Diane Raphael  09:21

True crime, are you into it at all? You’re into the dark?

Samantha Bee  09:25

I’m into the dark arts? I’m not, it depends. It depends on the story, not every not each one captivates me in the same way, have been recently captivated by the story of Israel case. Who is the scariest person I’ve ever heard of on this earth? And I can’t that’s why the darkest Yeah, it’s one of the darkest I’ve ever. I just didn’t know that he had existed. And so it was a revelation to me that the world could be that dark and yeah scary in like a place like in an area where I used to live or whatever you know, it was like just kind of pass through that part of the world. It’s so I don’t know if there’s something it’s very unsettling so that’s your jam okay? I don’t unwind

June Diane Raphael  10:20

That’s how I relax to the sounds that’s how I really like I can really dissociate with a good you know Dateline episode but I, he’s the one who I’d kill kids right.

Samantha Bee  10:37

Yes, Oh my God and just a small multistate like multistate all over traveled he was here they’re everywhere.

June Diane Raphael  10:50

Here they’re everywhere and not one he had a trial he had a child during that and she’s you know publicly spoken about what it’s like to have him as a father but yeah, I similarly I grew up on an island and so the yes revelation in this I think it was like six months ago of who thou Long Island Serial Killer was Oh my boy fuckin mind because I know exactly where that is.

Samantha Bee  11:18

Yes, and the story of the I mean to the police procedures I mean, did you listen to I have the daily they did a daily episode.

June Diane Raphael  11:28

I consumed every possible like I’ve been shooting the story into my veins I can’t I’ve gotten it every which way. So yes, I’m deep and deep in it. And yeah, they that they got him all right, they got him.

Samantha Bee  11:47

After so much after so much neglect collect case just.

June Diane Raphael  11:52

I know, well sex work.

Samantha Bee  11:55

Sex workers.

June Diane Raphael  11:56

They don’t get the same yeah.

Samantha Bee  11:58

I read a story about I mean, because I’m originally from Canada and like this I mean, they didn’t even start investigating the death of sex workers until maybe the late 1990s they just were like.

June Diane Raphael  12:13

Work hazard that’s.

Samantha Bee  12:16

I guess they were just like is that is this a category we should, category of human person that we should focus on? That was yeah really scary. So that’s it’s fun to it’s fun for people to tune in to to comedy women talking about the things that relax us are literally the worst worst things you can imaginable things.

June Diane Raphael  12:45

It’s true I am just thinking now Sam from all of my research and all of my podcast has my true grandpa Gods. I can’t really think of many Canadian serial killers.

Samantha Bee  12:56

All they are, they are yes, and they are horrendous just terrible. I mean, they literally as I mean not talking about not, no are you I’m as I’m talking about the the sex workers. I mean, the reason they started investigating the murder of sex workers was because of one fairly active serial killer, they were like, huh, this is weird now, like one or 200 people should have disappeared. Should we maybe should we start a file? Like it really was?

June Diane Raphael  13:32

Should we open up a Word doc?

Samantha Bee  13:34

It really really was a disgrace. And so they changed the midrange country a change you know, the way the police operate it’s very willful who I love I think this is so interesting because I think that people think that people in comedy are like just a lark all the time, we’re like such a darkness because, the best comedy comes from a deep pool of something.

June Diane Raphael  14:02

Scorpios like this is we’re going to we’re going to be dabbling in the darkest we have to face it in our lifetime.

Samantha Bee  14:09

We do, we must we will be right back with Jun Diane Raphael after this.

Samantha Bee  14:35

Would you, when you okay cuz I feel like I perhaps that when you started your career, you wanted to mostly focus on writing and but now you’re just such an I mean, I wouldn’t need that change for you. Talking about choices.

June Diane Raphael  14:51

I am your retirement choices. And I was thinking about I was thinking about so I I started doing comedy with Casey Wilson when we were at NYU just graduated NYU. Yeah. and we did not. We did not want to be writers, and we were all mad. But, Matt. Oh, Sam, it was I look back on it. And I’m like that. I’m so glad we did write for ourselves and we wrote, and what happened was, we wrote a sketch show together. It was at UCB, we went to like the HBO festival when it still existed in Aspen. Anyway, we were just like, exclusively pursued by literary agents after the show.

Samantha Bee  15:41

Oh, my God.

June Diane Raphael  15:42

We went back into our hotel room in Aspen, Colorado, and cried, we cried. And I was like, I was like, he’s we’re not attractive enough to be actresses. Like, they think we’re writers, and that’s such a tough pill to swallow, that we’re being pursued as writers. We were really upset. We really upset.

Samantha Bee  16:08

I didn’t want anyone to think of me for this great career. How dare you? Yes, sons of bitches.

June Diane Raphael  16:14

We were offended. And like, people had to say to us, like, didn’t you write your show? And we would be like, bear like, yes, but not but who cares? And, and that doesn’t matter, and we were so upset about it. And but it really, it became like the best it became the best thing in the world, because of all the reasons because we could write for ourselves, and you know, we had, we had a way into the industry that was just, yeah, it was wonderful but the choice to write again, I did it so reluctantly, and angrily. But I look back on it, and I’m like, Oh wow, thank God, thank you Jesus. That I developed another skill set.

Samantha Bee  17:12

Yes, I always tell people that like, is that what you mean? What do you tell people when they come to you? And they’re like, how do I? I’m sure you.

June Diane Raphael  17:19

Hard though but same I feel like I’m I have the same question for you ever since. I don’t know.

Samantha Bee  17:24

I yeah, none of us.

June Diane Raphael  17:26

Know, or none of us know. But also, I do feel that Casey and I somehow got together and thought like, oh, this is better to do together. That’s number one, like we find each other funny. We laugh together like this is a bit safer in this industry to kind of be in lockstep together. And I think, honestly, she was much more ambitious than I was. And I could kind of use her as a like a little shield and looking back, I so appreciate that because I don’t know if I would have done it all on it so hard. I don’t know if I would have faced the rejection. And it was easier for me to face rejection together. It’s like, Oh, you don’t like our pitch. You don’t like our show we we got a bad review of our movie that went to Sundance at one point and it’s like, I remember one reviewer was so vicious was basically like someone take these women into a field, shoot them, bury them and like, never hear just never forget it. This man was so mad at us.

Samantha Bee  18:43

Can we? Can we reverse time and take this opportunity away from these women and have them not be born but.

June Diane Raphael  18:51

He was so mad at us, for trying to make him laugh, like deeply, deeply upset. And I remember reading that review and Casey came upstairs was at Sundance and we just like sat together and it’s just easier to bear.

Samantha Bee  19:08

Like a sounding board. Because share it I totally get that like how do you how do you I mean I don’t think that people really can comprehend how much rejection is a part of it says it’s actually more present in your life in the entertainment industry than than a yes you get, 20 nose for every yes.

Samantha Bee  19:11

It’s so true, if not more way more for me my numbers are not that look way mine.

Samantha Bee  19:43

No, […] actually, my sounds pretty appealing wonderful.

June Diane Raphael  19:53

I don’t I think I have like sort of developed a process where I do let myself grieve a little bit. You know and be sad, and then move on. But one thing I love doing is after an audition, I’ll take those sides, the script, whatever, Sam, I fold it up like two times, and I throw it out.

Samantha Bee  20:16

That’s nice.

June Diane Raphael  20:17

It feels like I have some sort of agency, like, I’m going to give you everything, but then I’m going to not think about this again. Now, if it’s a part, like I had, I had a, I had a heartbreak last year, where I was, I was in an audition process for six months. For six months, six months.

Samantha Bee  20:39

Six months, that’s a lot. It’s a lot.

June Diane Raphael  20:43

It’s a lot of Mo’s, and it was something I really love, and it was like a kind of, like, life I was like, oh, that you know, this is okay, you know, and it felt so right. But then it didn’t happen, and it was just like, it was such a long process to be taken through. But I will say, I think I really put off having kids for a while as a factor in the industry and whatever. And I look back on that piece of it, and I’m like, I’m so glad I did it, and I’m I could have done it earlier, and I would have been fine because they helped me deal with rejections so much.

Samantha Bee  21:28

They do, don’t they? They do.

June Diane Raphael  21:32

[…] Like what you might not like me, but I’ve got two faces who are very pleased to see me. You know, they’re very pleased to see me.

Samantha Bee  21:43

There is something about I mean, kids, you know, about having kids that just gets you it’s, it’s good to get you out on your own. Yeah, you’re caring for, you’re caring for people that you like, totally get outside of your own bullshit.

June Diane Raphael  21:59

Like I have more to offer, I have more of an understanding of like, meaning and I have more to share as a as a comedian, artist, actress, whatever to like, because of this experience, you know, right, right. I love it.

Samantha Bee  22:16

That is great, do you I guess what is the grieving process for you now, I can tell you that sometimes I get jealous of other performers. And tell us and I try to just say it out loud, to another person, and I feel like it really evaporates if I just say I’m feeling some I feel envy. I’m like very envious of this thing. And then it also hear how that sounds. And it sounds stupid when it comes out of my mouth, and I’m like, I’m not going to judge myself. For just like feeling a negative thought, and it sort of dissipates. I don’t dissipate.

June Diane Raphael  22:57

On her on the pod yet, but Elise Loehnen wrote that book, The Seven Deadly Sins and price women pay for being good, and one of the sins is envy. And she talks a lot about how like, we are trained to feel like we’re bad for feeling like oh, they have they covet what they have, or I want. Like I remember for such a long time, I was like, I hated everybody who had a kitchen island. What do I have to do? I don’t have an island really, to me. I was like, If only I could get a kitchen island. Everything would be okay, and I covered it, and I felt envious. And it’s a it’s a hard feeling to wrestle with, but anyway, she talks about how, I carry the word she uses, but it was something called like a she some people in her life have been tore mentors, which is like the ideas like you seize them, if you’re being successful, and you feel those feelings of like, I am envious and how it can actually be motivating and to and to embrace that feeling. So I struggle with that. I’m not on the other side of that. I just feel envious, but I think it’s a nice idea that like we should feel it. We should be okay to want things you know, and we’re in order to do this. Completely normal, and like we don’t have to hire mind our way out of not feeling that.

Samantha Bee  24:35

No, yes. Okay to go there, you can go there. Yes, I could if you stay there, right and want to stay there too long.

June Diane Raphael  24:43

Right, but you can it’s okay to have those feelings.

Samantha Bee  24:46

One day you’re gonna have to have a kitchen, end up at a bit, you have a kitchen island now.

June Diane Raphael  24:50

I do have a kitchen island now. I do you have a kitchen I’m very proud of it.

Samantha Bee  24:53

And you sit around that goddamn thing?

June Diane Raphael  24:55

I love it, and I do love it. Like it’s like change the culture of our family, I’m sorry I’m like it has actually been as important as I thought it would be.

Samantha Bee  25:03

Yep, it has delivered on its promise as a gathering spot.

June Diane Raphael  25:09

It has the nucleus of the home. Yes, it has.

Samantha Bee  25:12

Well, I haven’t I have a kitchen island and we’ve got damn stand around that thing. I spend sometimes I look at my watch and it’s like, congrats, you stood for 12 hours. You stood like, at least at the time was most of it was at a kitchen island.

June Diane Raphael  25:25

So I have this memory Sam of doing your show. We did a bit together and I can’t quite remember what the bit was. But I remember you being at your island. Is that crazy right? Okay, I have like a few island I believe it was before I had an island and I was like.

Samantha Bee  25:43

Was that marble top of that? Hold that thought more with June Diane Raphael after one more break.

Samantha Bee  26:08

Can we talk about? I know that it’s going to be by the when this podcast airs, which I think will be in a week or so. Today is an election day. People are, I went to vote this morning, and it was like I could have literally shot a camera.

June Diane Raphael  26:23

People aren’t out there.

Samantha Bee  26:25

Oh, they are not out there. You know, it’s one of the it’s not. Doesn’t feel too good. But okay, you did write a book. You wrote a book about running for office?

June Diane Raphael  26:37

I did, I read a book because I oh God, it was it was right when Trump was elected. I felt unwell, I had also just had a child lost my father, and then Trump was elected in the span of like, three weeks, and I was like. Oh, no, it was like a very, it was, those were the dark times. Those were the dark days. And I just was I really felt like, oh, the only thing that’s making me feel better is volunteering, civic engagement, any sort of opportunity I had at that time to actually do something. And, and the groups I was a lot of the women’s progressive groups that I was a part of, and I’m still part of the east side of LA, like, they were all women.  Overwhelmingly, I just look around like wow, these are the women that are also like raising small babies. Like I was taking care of older parents like I was and yet are doing like whatever the fuck they can with the time that they have because the little time that they have aside from like, their professional drugs as well because they know they are having the most loose, they have the most to lose. So I really started becoming I actually thought to myself, should I quit acting? Quit writing, I mean, no one was asking me to do it at that point. So it was sort of a self selecting idea but but I was like, I might just need to run for office I might need to do something so much. What am I doing with my life like I had a it was such a it was such a shocking time to me. And I really was fraught with this idea of like I think I need to pivot and long story short Sam I started to do some research and I was like oh wow, it is remarkably difficult to do know how to run for office it’s a it is it is it feels like the information is kept away from the average person and you know strategically so that it is not it does not seem available. There was no comprehensive guide there was Emily’s list and I mean they do such incredible work of fundraising for female pro choice Democratic candidates but but like there wasn’t just something you could pick up a place you could go to to really take you through what it might look like in your life. So I sort of just became obsessed with this idea of like, god dammit, women’s lives are so full to throw this other thing on them feels like so overwhelming and we need to create something where they can plug in to the political process and on up and down the ballot they can because you know I’m in federal elections get so much airtime but there’s so much and certainly Republicans know there’s so much happening down ballot.

Samantha Bee  30:02

So much happening down ballot there’s so consequential.

June Diane Raphael  30:06

They’re so consequential and so that is why I reached out to Emily’s list cold called them like straight up for can cold call it a psycho.

Samantha Bee  30:14

I love that so much you’re like, I don’t know who’s getting this email, hello.

June Diane Raphael  30:20

I have been surprised in my life, how many people will respond to an email that you don’t expect it?

Samantha Bee  30:25

I love it, so you cold called Emily’s list, you’re like, I want to write a book.

June Diane Raphael  30:29

I got me through a series of people, I finally got to the chief of staff who’s become a dear friend of mine, her name is Kate black, a friend of mine, and she and I talked for an hour and I said, do you I was actually at the time calling them to just say you guys should do this.That and then we she talked me through like, okay, this is what you would need to do, this is what I do for every female candidate, we go through this checklist. And I’m like, see, that’s the kind of level of organization process. We don’t really teach civics in school anymore. That’s the kind of process that God I feel like I know, I would want I know, I could use you know, just how much money do I have to raise? What? What seat is open? How do I find that? Just the questions, and by the end of the call, she was like, I asked her I’m like, do you want to write this together? And she said, yeah and then that was it, then that the Women’s March was like two weeks later, she lived in DC. So I flew to DC we met. And then that was it, we spent, you know, and the book was out in less than a year.

Samantha Bee  31:38

Oh, my God. I mean, so many women ran for office post Trump.

June Diane Raphael  31:43

So and that’s the thing like that. I I still? Wouldn’t  I’ve had interviews and stuff people say so yeah, would you really consider it? And I’m like, the fact that we think it’s so crazy for a citizen to consider it is a problem.

Samantha Bee  31:57

That’s a great point.

June Diane Raphael  31:59

Like, yeah, yes. It’s a great for the main, I pay my taxes. I’m a citizen here. Yes, I would consider it.

Samantha Bee  32:06

You know, so very good at it. And they don’t think it’s a burden at all is like when the Tea Party just really made a playbook for people, and they were like, here’s what you do. And they did that.

June Diane Raphael  32:18

And it’s caused, because government sector.

Samantha Bee  32:21

So money problem, and here we are with book bannings, and so forth, people just like populating the school boards, boards of education, etc, with really bad ideas. So really, the inverse can also be true, and is increasingly true. And I think it’s awesome that you did that.

June Diane Raphael  32:45

Thanks Sam, I am very proud of it. It was a great experience. I got such a great friend out of it. And like we went on a book tour and I was so we were very moved by the number of women who I still get emails from female candidates saying like, I use the book, and I’m now my town’s I don’t know, like, control or whatever they are. It’s like the number of just women who have read it and have used it, it does make me really happy, and I really do believe that there’s so much invisible labor that women do that when we think of who should be running. It’s like we can’t we have to account for moms. And the labor they’re doing with kids we have to account for who’s taking care of the elderly. And it’s women, and so when we wonder like, why will why are is there so much inequity in terms of like, who’s running companies and our government? That’s why because we have no systems of care to so women do it for free?

June Diane Raphael  33:09

We do not have a social safety net. That supports, us that whoever. So when you co founded The Jane Club, can you tell people what The Jane Club is?

June Diane Raphael  34:06

Well it’s funny because the reason why I did that was because it was a crazy year. But it was never here, I know I was sort of I was very, I needed things. I needed to do things, that made me feel okay. I was very lost with the Donald Trump and I need actually did need a place to write my book, and so I was writing at home and I remember feeling like hearing the kids with our wonderful nanny, but wanting to be with them and then feeling like when I was with them. I was like, I need to be working like I just didn’t I felt so fraught very, very fraud and I was really upset about just like Who the fuck told us that we could do it all have it all when like, and made us focus on like how one woman does it? Or put us on like all these women on panels talking about their hacks? Their hacks and I’m like, where are the institutions? Where is the child care where are the big broad ideas and sweeping change and so The Jane Club are the where we started with we were physical co working space in Los Angeles that offered full time childcare. We granted we started with an incubator space, we grew out of that we went to a bigger space. And it’s just a really beautiful experience having on site childcare, where women could drop off there and men could drop off their kids and head on inside, come down for a music class or what have you if they want it or not. And then come pick them back up and go home. So it was a really beautiful space, and then the pandemic hit. And so we closed our physical space, we moved into a digital community and it’s still thriving there. We’ve started like a digital co working community. So women sign on I mean, we do these works prints where they like we sign on, you do lots of writing or whatever you want to do for 20 minutes, we take a five minute break, and do like sometimes we’re doing a phone bank together. Sometimes we’re stretching sometimes we’re learning and so it’s all the whole day is built in, in this like really holistic way. So it’s very cool, so anyway, we’ve switched into digital coworking post pandemic. But I also learned a lot about like, why child care why we do need it to be federally subsidized, because you can’t private companies, and I found that one of them. You can’t make the economics work in terms of paying people and care workers a living wage. And asking parents to pay this to have their children to it doesn’t like the math does not work. And so we’d lose money every month, which was okay, but I’m like, gosh, I can’t figure out a system to make this work. We raised the prices to pay our workers more parents can’t afford it. So it was just not it is literally like, oh, no, the federal government needs to be taken care of this.

Samantha Bee  37:29

Other countries do this. Tremendous results, correct success. It’s not that there are many, there are many examples to draw upon. And yes, affect it for our own gigantic population.

June Diane Raphael  37:44

And I really believe I just went to care Fest in LA, which the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and a bunch of other partners put on and I’m just like, god dammit, if we were able to really invest in care, you know, I do believe everything would we saw? Like, I really, if we really invested in like child care, elder care, and care workers and how they are under valued under paid. You know, it’s it’s shocking when they’re literally taking care of our most valuable resources. So yeah.

Samantha Bee  38:20

Yeah, the number of creative, fascinating and super smart, like, just like such capable people who are doing eldercare, because they have to because they’re drawn to because they’re called to do it, because that’s their circumstance that takes them away from other places where they could be innovating.

June Diane Raphael  38:41

Yep, that’s right.

Samantha Bee  38:42

Inventing things and we’re just, I don’t know, I don’t know.

June Diane Raphael  38:47

I know it’s upsetting. I know doesn’t need to be this week doesn’t it? Doesn’t it doesn’t so that’s why I have hoped though I really do and maybe, but I do have hope for it. I feel like the pandemic kind of revealed a lot and I think there was a big there’s there’s gonna be a reckoning next election. And just like I have, I have some hope about our investment in care. And also because like so many of these care workers are organizing and they’re so I don’t know.

Samantha Bee  39:22

I don’t know you’re so oh, my God, the intentionality that you have in your life. There’s Scorpio rising.

June Diane Raphael  39:31

I see I was Scorpio rising. I’m a Scorpio rising. You’re a doer Capricorn, Capricorn Sun Leo moon, you are my Zoom like name I need to rename myself with all of my most likely for an identity […]

Samantha Bee  39:45

You are. So you have two sons, two little boys.

June Diane Raphael  39:48

Until they told me otherwise.

Samantha Bee  39:50

How are you raising? I will just like to raise two little boys these days. I have one boy.

June Diane Raphael  39:55

I can’t tell you how obsessed I am with boys. I mean, I grew up with two sisters. And so the idea of having boys was very confusing to me. But I, I Sam, I’m obsessed with them.  I’m obsessed, I can’t get enough. They make me so happy. And I love them. I don’t know what to say I’m obsessed with them. I literally stare at them, and I’m just like, how? I’m also really doing a lot of personally, I’m doing a lot of healing around sports with my kids right now because I coach my son’s soccer team. I love sports. I was an athlete growing up, in certain circumstances, not happy with how I was coached, and so I’m like, it’s been very cool to take control of their, because they’re both very naturally gifted athletes like take control of their experience of sports.

Samantha Bee  40:55

I love that.

June Diane Raphael  40:56

That’s what I’m up to over here.

Samantha Bee  40:58

Okay, this isn’t gonna be my final question for you. And it’s a doozy, Grease 1 or Grease  2?

June Diane Raphael  41:03

Grease  2.

Samantha Bee  41:04

Grease 2 hell.

June Diane Raphael  41:05

Now I have been publicly I have been actually I think it’s like me and Michael’s show Walter it’s so random, but we have come out very publicly to say we prefer Grease 2 over Grease 1.

Samantha Bee  41:20

Strong preference.

June Diane Raphael  41:21

Yes, and it’s, I believe it’s a better movie. I like the music more I find Grease  1  to be corny. With the one exception, which is like stalker chantings character and how amazing she is. But like rats, that aside. Yeah, to me Grease 2, it’s like our Stephanie Zanoni is a mechanic and is walking through her high school, giving zero fucks. Is not interested in any of the guys is only interested in like cars, and sets a standard of like, I want to cool Ryder and I’m not going to be distracted by anything else. Like I find Grease 2 to be a deeply feminist film. And the messaging around it to be so much better than Grease 1, and I just enjoy Michelle Fivers, performance more.

Samantha Bee  42:24

I’m, I need to watch it with fresh like with a fresh perspective.

June Diane Raphael  42:29

I’ve never locked online the way I was when I bravely, came out.

Samantha Bee  42:38

That’s what it takes. You know, at your event, the vanguard.

June Diane Raphael  42:42

Honestly, it’s not always, it’s not always easy to seek truth to power, but I just had to say it.

Samantha Bee  42:50

I have loved talking to you. I don’t know that we talked so much about choices and I don’t care at all. I loved this experience so much. Total pleasure.

June Diane Raphael  43:01

Thank you for having me on. This was a dream. I feel very comfortable with you.

Samantha Bee  43:07

Oh my god, thank you.

June Diane Raphael  43:09

Thank you.

Samantha Bee  43:20

That was June Diane Raphael. And look, I had no choice but to look up one thing. Obviously, after that conversation, I had to know my rising sign. So plugged in a few numbers and boop boop, boop. I think I might be an Aries rising. What in the world does that mean? I don’t know. But I am going to double check with her. And as always good news. There’s more choice words with Lemonada Premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content, like a special outtake from this very interview. Subscribe now in Apple podcasts.

CREDITS  44:09

Thank you for listening to Choice Words which was created by and is hosted by me. We’re a production of Lemonada Media, Kathyrn Barnes, […] and Kryssy Pease produce our show. Our mix is by James Barber. Steve Nelson is the vice president of weekly content. Jessica Cordova Kramer, Stephanie Wittles Wachs and I are executive producers. Our theme was composed by […] with help from Johnny Vince Evans . Special thanks to Kristen Everman, Claire Jones, Ivan Kuraev and Rachel Neil. You can find me at @Iamsambee on Twitter and at @realsambee on Instagram. Follow Choice Words wherever you get your podcasts or listen ad free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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