Why We Need to Stop Saying “Working Mother” (with Katherine Goldstein)
Subscribe to Lemonada Premium for Bonus Content
Gloria gets a lesson from journalist Katherine Goldstein about why she no longer uses the term “working mother.” Katherine, who is also the founder of The Double Shift newsletter, podcast, and community, explains why the phrase devalues caregiving, and how it creates an artificial barrier between mothers that prevents them from addressing their shared struggles and concerns. Then, Katherine makes the case for year-round public school and 8-hour school days, and debunks the myth that remote work will enable women to have it all.
This podcast is presented by Neighborhood Villages, and is brought to you with generous support from Imaginable Futures, Care For All Children by the David and Laura Merage Foundation, and Spring Point Partners.
Follow Katherine Goldstein on Twitter @KGeee and on Instagram @thedoubleshift. Subscribe to The Double Shift newsletter here. Katherine also speaks and consults about issues facing caregivers in the workplace.
Joining Lemonada Premium is a great way to support our show and get bonus content. Subscribe today at bit.ly/lemonadapremium.
Click this link for a list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows: http://lemonadamedia.com/sponsors/.
Laugh, cry, be outraged, and hear solutions! Join our community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/nooneiscomingtosaveus.
Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.
For additional resources, information, and a transcript of the episode, visit lemonadamedia.com.
Gloria Riviera, TV Reporter 3, Leslie Mac
Gloria Riviera 00:12
Well hello guys, How’s everyone doing this week? How are we doing? Okay me, I have concluded that while the most important things are in check, kids are happy, healthy, busy, bearable, mostly. The rest of life really feels like we are on a hamster wheel at superspeed Mac 10 Okay, maybe not a hamster wheel because I do know we are actually getting somewhere. But man, I’m ready for a break. And we are still really at the beginning of the school year. However we press on, right? Onward. This is No One is Coming To Save Us. A Lemonada Media original presented by and created with Neighborhood Villages. I’m your host Gloria Riviera. All righty. Our guest today is Leslie Mac you are going to like her I really like her. She is one of the organizers of de without us which is taking place. If you are listening to this on the episodes release day of Thursday. It is taking place tomorrow, Friday, September 30th. Day without us as a national teaching on reproductive justice. You’ve heard us talk about that on our show. It is organized by an incredible group of Black women activists, including Leslie and if you’ve been listening to this podcast for a while, that date September 30th. might ring a bell it is the anniversary of the Hyde Amendment passed in 1976. It was an anti-choice piece of legislation introduced by Congressman Henry J. Hyde. It made it impossible to use federal Medicaid funds for abortion except when the life of the woman would be in danger if she carried the pregnancy to term. Okay, let’s just pause for a moment and ask the question. How do we define danger? I believe danger is taking away choice that is inherently dangerous. But here we are. Leslie is quite simply a force of nature. She seems to be operating on about 19 Different cylinders all at once. She is really funny wait to hear what she has to say about living in these unprecedented times. We talk about her life growing up in Flatbush, Brooklyn as a first generation Jamaican American, and how that informed her path to organizing. We talk a lot about her work in reproductive justice. She has a lot to say. And she’s super smart. She just has really great energy. So settle in to hear from one of the leading organizers in this country at a time we need her at the most.
Gloria Riviera 03:03
Hey, how are you? I’m so excited to talk to you. Thank you for doing this.
Leslie Mac 03:11
No, thanks for having me. I’m so excited.
Gloria Riviera 03:13
Well, we appreciate you and I’m looking forward to learning a lot. You are a seasoned digital strategist. There are all these accolades behind what you’ve done. And what you are doing day without us is coming up. You’re also comms director for the frontline, you’ve done so much. I watched an interview you did a long time ago, I think for Frontline, and I think you were interviewed by your niece’s because there was a big hug at the end.
Leslie Mac 03:41
Yeah, I do. But I remember that. Yeah, we did this really great series of like everyday Blackness, we had a lot of interviews of family members interviewing each other. We did a series. I think this was last summer. Yeah, it was really fun.=
Gloria Riviera 03:53
Yeah, it was great. And you talk about Flatbush, and you are a first generation Jamaican American, and you talk about how Flatbush and your experience growing up with two big sisters going everywhere they went informed where you are today. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Leslie Mac 04:14
Yeah, I mean, I think a few things. One is, you know, just growing up in such a, you know, vibrant immigrant community that Flatbush was when I was growing up, you know, folks from all over the Caribbean, and, you know, we’re able to, from so far away from home find community again with each other. And so there was this sense of you know, and this is something that, you know, continues and I think it’s why it makes me you know, drawn to organizing was this idea that you know, we have each other that, you know, we look out for each other that we are a collective, not just individuals right and that community means something and so, out of that comes so many little things like you know, our memory of like, oh, I need sugar, I can go borrow it from upstairs, you know, my neighbor upstairs and you know, my Mom, helping one of my friends get a prom dress one year, you know, just little things like that, that you that you note, and what community means. And so that that continued longing for me to continue to build spaces that feel like that, that present this, you know, idea and framing of community around care for each other. And so that really shaped me significantly.
Gloria Riviera 05:22
So you told Essence magazine that that experience of growing up in Flatbush really instilled in you and you’ve talked about it now this idea of community, but also that it instilled in you this idea of what it means to be Black and an unapologetic way free of remorse. And I’m just wondering what that process was like for you? What did it look like to have those values instilled in you?
Leslie Mac 05:46
I think it just is about you know, having at the center of myself, right, this belief that how I show up in the world is enough as I am. And that really has been a lifelong journey and one that continues even through today. It’s not one that finishes at any point, it’s a continual process. And, you know, I say that all the time, you know, the Mary hooks, with southerners on new ground, she has this great mandate that she put out, and she talks about us being willing to be changed in the service of the work. And so there’s this idea that in doing organizing work and committing yourself to, you know, to this kind of change work, that you change yourself in the process as well. And that’s really the goal, you know, the revolution starts within. So that’s, that’s the beginning embers of all the work that I’ve been able to do and will be able to do.
Gloria Riviera 06:46
So let’s go straight to reproductive care, because I want to know, I know a little bit about it. But I want to know, What draws you to it, why you are passionate about it. And I want to know what the response has been when you take it out into the world. That issue specifically? Yeah,
Leslie Mac 07:05
You know, for me that the great thing about reproductive justice, which is amazing framework, developed by tall black women in 1994. And it really is a holistic approach to overall care for community. And what it posits is that the, the issues that intersect with reproductive needs, right, that we have to meet for anyone that that is able to give birth are concerned about giving birth, is that that is not a siloed issue, and that it has to be connected to all of the other things that we’re working on. So education has to be built into our approach to reproductive justice, voting rights is directly tied to that policy around everything from criminal justice, all the way to drug policy is directly affected through reproductive justice. And if we approach this through this lens, we’re able to connect our movements to one another and understand that the deeper we get into this work together, the more obvious it is that none of this that all of this is linked together. And we have to fight on all these fronts simultaneously. And that’s really the core thing about reproductive justice and how Black women have framed this work, that it’s not siloed, that it’s all connected, and that we have to ensure that the connective tissue is lifted up and people understand that being in this fight means connecting all of these things together, right?
Gloria Riviera 08:37
I love that you just use the phrase connective tissue. That’s one of my favorite phrases. So fast forward to a day without us, can you tell us what it is? What’s going to happen? And then I’m going to ask you why September 30? Although I know the answer, I want our listeners to hear it from you. But talk to us about day without us.
Leslie Mac 08:52
Yeah, so day without us is really exciting is going to be on September 30, Friday, September 30. And was really born as most great things these days out of a group chat. So I’m blessed in my work to be connected to some really amazing dynamic black woman organizers across movements. And we had a group chat that was really kind of a holding place for some democracy work we had been talking about and kind of sharing articles, interviews, some lamentations when things were really terrible. And so obviously, when the Dobbs decision came down, and actually when the leak happened, we all were just kind of, you know, lamenting with each other and, you know, supporting each other and talking about how this was affecting us. One of us happened to find out they were pregnant right around that time. So there was a lot, you know, to talk about amongst all of us. And one of the things we really note it was we were not seeing that kind of response to both the leak and then the subsequent decision that we felt was really meeting the needs of people in this moment because all of our DMS, all of our text messages, all of our emails were filled with people asking us, what do we do? What should we do? What should we be doing? And we felt like there wasn’t really a cohesive response to that question, because one of the things and this is something I’ve learned from Tiffany flowers, one of the other lead organizers is that one of the things that stops people most from organizing is fear. What I recognize we all recognize was that people were really scared in this moment, scared to organize, scared to move, especially as we are dealing with, you know, we have states that are trying to criminalize, even discussing some of these issues around reproductive health, right? And so part of the goal of those that seek to oppress us is to make us fearful, and scare us into inaction. And so we really thought of day without us, it came to us as kind of a love offering to that question of what do we do. And we decided to do two things. One, we really wanted to help people understand this framework around reproductive justice, and how all of these movements connect to one another. And so we started off talking to our amazing friends in the reproductive justice space in our own voice and sister song and Black feminist featured amazing organizations and organizers and said, Hey, we have this idea. We’re thinking about bringing folks together and asking them to stay home for a day and learn and kind of remove themselves from, you know, business as usual, and kind of bring things to a halt for a day to come together and really discuss the realities of what we’re facing. So we’re holding a virtual teaching, and we’re gonna have some conversations across movement spaces, we’re going to talk about this framework of reproductive justice, why all of these movements are connected to each other. And why we really need to have this conversation right now around removing the silos that exist between these different movements. And understanding that the best path forward is one that we can grasp arms and move through together, especially as we see our opposition doing that exact thing. On the other side, speaking in one voice speaking with a very clear messaging, you know, moving forward, you know, we just seen, you know, Lindsey Graham introduces 15 week federal bands. So their intentions are very clear, right. And so we need to have that same clarity on our side, we need to be really in lockstep with each other and make sure that we’re all speaking with one voice. And so this is an opportunity to come learn directly from the experts learn directly from folks that are doing this work on the ground every single day and have been deep in this work and learn how you can connect to the work that’s happening locally, which is really the most exciting part for us, we also are going to be hosting a number of we’re calling them pop up events around the country and cities around the country, where folks are going to be able to connect directly with local organizers and organizations. But really, this is an opportunity for people to meet these organizations understand what the work that they do, learn how they can get connected, and really learn what next steps are to get connected to the local work that’s happening and move this important work around reproductive justice forward. We didn’t want to do this, like, Oh, everybody go to DC and will march, we just really truly believe that the way to answer that question of what do we do now is to get connected locally to work that’s happening where you exist, and dial into that provide your time, talent and treasure in any way that you possibly can to support that work wherever you already are.
Gloria Riviera 13:54
Well, I know that you also you’re working in communications, right? So what is your hope? As someone who’s an expert in messaging? What do you want to come out of this with? And I hear you say, first of all, educate people, show them how all of these issues are so interconnected through reproductive justice? And then how do we answer the Lindsey Graham’s of the world, the Mitch McConnell’s of the world? How do we answer our own Supreme Court with one message and one voice?
Leslie Mac 14:22
I think it’s a question of, you know, vote and right. So it’s like, yes, we have to vote we should, we should be encouraging everyone to vote and making sure that we remove as many barriers as we can so that we have our voting rights folks at the table to have that discussion and conversation, great combo. And the and part is connecting directly to this community based work, because we have to simultaneously build for the future that we want through legislative work, and we have to meet the material needs that exists currently on the ground right now. The more hands that we have doing it the better and so this is an invitation, right? The doors of the movement are open. And this is an invitation for you to join us in this work and to put your hands in and get into it with us. Because our real only biggest superpower we have is our connection to each other. And through that connection is how we can see our path forward into a brighter future for all of us where we don’t just survive, but thrive, we’re coming off of you know, it’s so difficult to even stay focused on a single thing, because the next day, the wildest news headlines will be out and you’ll think this must be the onion and then you realize that no, we’ve just become the onion. And it’s real life now. So yeah, so for me that that’s really at the heart of this, it’s from the seven of us, black women, it’s a love letter, it’s an offering, it’s an invitation to be in community with us with these organizations. And you know, this adage of like, listen to black women like we were here, we’re providing you with the things to listen to. So come join us and be in community and join us in this offering.
Gloria Riviera 16:04
Right. We have things to say it makes me think of a couple of things. There’s so much to pull out from what you just said. But yes, absolutely. Fear is always debilitating, destabilizing. It is the main factor that leads to inaction, right? And lots of problems stem from inaction. So I love that you’re saying, you know, don’t be afraid come join us. The other thing it makes me think about a little bit is when we first this show first made a pivot to addressing a post Roe world and what it means to live in it. We interviewed someone who had written a book about being an escort at an abortion clinic called bodies on the line, her name is Lauren Rankin. And at the end of the interview, she said, you know, for years, white women have been coasting on Roe. And for me at that time, I mean, I’ve grown up with row as quote unquote, law of the land, although I’ve learned that it hasn’t really been love land in practice. But that was a very powerful moment for me, because it made me feel like I had not I was a baby in 1974. I had not done anything to earn Roe, I had just lived with it. So how do you approach basically the education that you’ve taken on? That certain sector, right, yeah, that person who’s DMing, saying what do I do? Or for me hearing like, well wake up, white women have been coasting on row. How do you answer that?
Leslie Mac 17:31
Anything? One of the things I think is should be comforting is that, you know, reproductive justice leaders have been preparing for the end of row for a very long time. And so that’s one thing I really like to say to folks like, listen, it’s scary. Yes. And people have been planning for this. People have been sitting with this, facing the fact that Roe was on was going to end I mean, most reproductive justice folks that I’ve talked to over the years have been kind of at this, it’s inevitable. This is what happened a years ago, like, you know, a decade and a half.
Gloria Riviera 18:04
Well, which brings us to why it’s being held on September 30. Right, and we’ll talk about that. So we let’s just go there right now. So September 30th. Listeners, I will say I did not that was not a date that immediately sprang to mind when I thought about abortion rights. Initially when I started this, pivot to Roe v. Wade. And it’s like the most important I mean, it’s a huge date, in the context of Roe vs. Wade and reproductive justice. Why is it such an important date?
Leslie Mac 18:34
Yeah, so September 30th. Is this year anyways, is the 46th anniversary of the passing of the Hyde Amendment. And so for those who don’t know, the Hyde Amendment is a bill that makes access to abortion not viable through Medicare or Medicaid. So if you’re on any government health care, you aren’t able to actually utilize those services for abortion care, and that there are no exceptions to that.
Gloria Riviera 19:00
Listening to you talk you’re such a like calm, like the way that you speak is very comforting and calm. And I’m like there are expletives in my head, directed towards Senator Hyde right now. And so I am not cut out for community organizing in this moment. You are so yes. So I mean, just for a moment like it’s such an evil move. I think
Leslie Mac 19:24
it is. But it’s also very indicative of why the reproductive justice leaders have known that Roe was coming to an end eventually, right, because what we’ve been witnessing is this need to concede right to continually concede around this question around bodily autonomy and reproductive rights has existed continually since Roe was passed. So this notion that row was settled law when what we’ve witnessed at least over my lifetime, and it’s the thing I said, you know, one of the most depressing things for me, you know, when the leak happened was like, I have been witnessing Row being fought for my entire life. There has not been a time in my life where it wasn’t something that we felt needed to be defended needed to be fought for needed to be, you know, continually discussed because it never was settled. If it was settled, we never would have to talk about it again. It was just this realization of like, my god, you know, we’ve spent this 50 years squandering Roe, frankly, because what we should have been doing is setting it as the floor, rather than pinning it as the ceiling for Reproductive Justice and reproductive rights. What we did by pinning it to the ceiling was, we made the concessions easy, we made it easy to say, well, we’re just a little below the ceiling, we’re just a little bit below the ceiling, we’re just a little bit below the ceiling. Whereas if we set row as a floor, anything below, it feels like hell, right? Anything below the floor feels like, oh, we shouldn’t be down here. We’re not trying to be down here. Right. So that whole thing I think is really critical. And so the Hyde Amendment, just one more piece of concession, right? One more piece in the puzzle of this was never settled, and was never meant to accommodate everyone that needed to have, you know, their own bodily autonomy and the ability to, to care for themselves in the way they see fit
Gloria Riviera 21:11
So is the general understanding of the Hyde Amendment that it was like a blatantly racist move?
Leslie Mac 21:17
Very few things in this country that get passed are not rooted and you know, an understanding of race and a really specific framework right for it, which is the calculation is made, who is it going to affect? And so once that’s determined, that is what allows a lot of policies to move forward. So the construct of race is what makes things palatable. Because once you start to say, and we saw this with the COVID pandemic, you know, once the news came out, like, oh, it was mostly black and brown people dying suddenly, right? Suddenly, it became something that we needed to just live with, right. It was such a stark turn as soon as those numbers started getting reported. So we’ve just watched this happened in a very recent, you know, news cycle and, you know, global event. And so yeah, so it was racist, and it was really, you know, about calculating who can we cut out that the populace will see as acceptable to cut out but advances our agenda to ultimately take away this right, that is currently able to be accessed by certain people.
Gloria Riviera 22:17
But if you look at the Hyde Amendment as a racist political move on the chessboard, then I want to ask you, why is it important for people to connect that idea of racist legislation to reproductive justice? Why is it important that people see how the two are connected?
Leslie Mac 22:37
Yeah, it’s important because, you know, we are talking about a nation especially we’re talking about here, the United States that at its origins, has some really disturbing bodily autonomy when it comes to reproductive choice at its core, right? So we can talk about chattel slavery and the fact that the economic engine of this country was forced birth. That is at the core of the foundations of this country. And so we’ve always had to navigate this issue of bodily autonomy for spurts and the ways in which this nation extracts ,right? Value out of, you know, people giving birth. And so to me, that’s that that’s the big thing, which is that it’s not something that we can put to the side, it’s integral to the building of this country, it’s not a separate thing. They are intertwined. So inherently, that all of our laws have that weaves through as well, this idea that bodily autonomy, especially when it comes to people that can give birth is something that we can see as malleable, as, you know, see through gossamer doesn’t really it’s not tangible, we can’t really hold it, because we’ve never had it, we never have had it in hand.
Gloria Riviera 23:57
How do you feel about the current landscape? I mean, how do you maintain your grace, because you strike me as just an incredibly graceful person with these unprecedented headlines?
Leslie Mac 24:09
Yeah, I, you know, I can’t lie. There are days where it’s hard. There are days where it’s difficult. You know, I find my hope with these organizers and these organizations, you know, I’m blessed to sit in rooms and have conversations with people who give me hope every single day and strength and resolve and I recognize that, you know, we are all we have is each other. So I continually go back to community, it’s always about, you know, again, coming back to that connective tissue and making sure that we’re reinforcing the bonds that we have with each other and creating new ones so that we are fortified for the fight ahead. The other reason why September 30th was chosen for us is that it’s a Friday before the Supreme Court comes back into session and we thought it was a good moment to step back, and really come together in a way that connects us for the road ahead, because this Supreme Court is not done, we have this rogue Supreme Court, they are not finished with any of their decisions. So they’re coming back in session October 3rd. And we have to be prepared to fight together for whatever is going to come out of that court in the coming months and years and decades, because this is not going to go away. And so part of this for us was kind of a new presentation of a way to protest together a new framing for how to engage in direct action that isn’t just about marching or showing up on, you know, a specific place, but really about digging deeper into coming together, making connections, understanding of how work is moving in your community, and how you can support it best, and educating yourself. And then hopefully, educating your friends and bringing your family into the work right, you know, and having those tendrils and knowing where to plug people in and knowing like, oh, they said they needed a translator, I have a friend who can do that, you know, all of those things that we have material needs on the ground that folks can meet. And oftentimes for me, it’s always about just how do we get the information to them? How do we make sure people know what the needs are? And how they can show up?
Gloria Riviera 26:21
Yeah, right, how they can show up? Which is how they can how can we empower those who are interested in DMing? You to say what do I do? Taking someone who feels powerless and giving them power through action. So I have a question for you. So Hindsight is 2020, obviously, and I did a lot of reporting on the pro-choice movement. Is it a viable strategy now to go back to the courts across the country to work to fill them with pro-choice judges with pro-choice, legal representation at every level? Or is that? Is that a strategy that’s already been deployed and won by the other side?
Leslie Mac 27:21
I don’t think it’s done. I mean, I think it’s the I won’t lie, the judicial situation around the country is very dire. It’s very, very dire. So I don’t want to make it sound like it’s not. But I do think that, you know, when we talk about local elections, this is where those things come into play. You know, we’re seeing these fights happen, whether we’re talking about CRT backlash, and banning all of these books and all of these things. So we’re seeing these fights happen locally. So the answer has to be local. Yeah. So it’s about how do we not just get people to run for school board, but how do we protect those folks? How do we make sure that they feel support when they’re attacked? Right? So we have to have a bowtie strategy, you know, approach to this. It’s not just about getting people into office or getting people in place. It’s about how do we support those people? What does it look like to be prepared when the attacks come against them? What does it look like to provide security for them? Because they’re going to need it. All of these things are really critical. And it’s about being tuned into what are the needs on the ground? Again, right always goes back to what are the local needs?
Gloria Riviera 28:24
Yeah, as you were talking, I was thinking this is so community focused. I mean, this is so a they’re like big meta messages for mental health. Like you are not alone. You have support, how can we support you all of those things? There just a few more things I want to get to before we have to wrap up. One is, you know, going back to 2016. And with Marissa Johnson, do I have that name correct. Safety pin box. Yes.
Leslie Mac 28:48
Yeah. So thank you very much. It was a great project. It’s not in process anymore. But it was a really, for me, it was an intervention moment. And we found ourselves in 2016, with the election of Donald Trump as president and another moment where my DMs were filled with mostly White women being like, Oh, my God, we can’t believe this happened. What should we do? Now I preface this by saying in January of 2016, I was starting to look at the landscape for the election. And I started running numbers. Again, this is my, this is just my day job. Right? So I’m starting to look at things. And it quickly becomes very evident that it’s going to come down to who white women vote for. And I looked at my husband and I said, Donald Trump is going to be president in November. And he said, What are you talking about? I said, this is going to come down to White women voting. They have not voted for a Democratic president in 50 years, period majority. So this was to me, it wasn’t a question of like, what was good, it was very evident what was going to happen. Just the data was just telling us what was going to happen and so oh, I smartly literally went on vacation two days after the election in 2016, to Jamaica with a bunch of friends and family to celebrate my wedding anniversary. We were in this really, I call it liminal space where we were aware that the world had shifted in the wake of the election, but we were in Paradise, and able to really have some very generative conversations, as we were watching our DMS, fill up with, you know, people like what should we do? What should we do? Where should we go? Who should we talk to? We don’t know what to do. And I was like, really, they should just be giving their money to Black women. This was literally the genesis of the conversation was, well, can they just give their money to Black woman? Because honestly, that’s my go to response most days to when people ask me.
Gloria Riviera 30:56
Well, I mean, I only laugh because it’s so simple. It’s like, oh, that’s a good idea.
Leslie Mac 31:00
So we were like, yeah, that would be great. And I said, Well, what if we like told them to do things, and then they paid us to tell them what to do. And then we just gave the money away to Black women. This was the main idea behind safety inbox, rocket science into the you know, kinda, you know, a process of moving resources from White women to directly to Black women and gender nonconforming Black folks. And a way to interject an ethos or a practice that introduced the need to go beyond educating yourself and move into taking action. It was a really amazing experience, I’m really a fun way to kind of change the conversation, we change the conversation in a couple of ways. One was around like pay for this kind of educational work. I will say that before safety pin box, it was kind of like, you just supposed to do this for free. And we really were like, nah, that’s not it. I I’ve learned from my four mothers, many of whom, you know, died penniless. And I won’t allow that to be the case for myself or my comrades, you know, we deserve to be compensated for our work well, we deserve to live a lives that facilitate this important work actually getting done. And that we should be lifting burdens, from the lives of the folks that are working the hardest to change the material conditions of all of our lives, they shouldn’t have to worry about their rent, they shouldn’t have to worry about how they eat, they shouldn’t have to worry about taking care of their children, we should be removing those barriers so that they are able to put more of their time and effort towards the work that is so fulfilling for themselves and for their communities.
Gloria Riviera 32:45
Just hearing you say that they this this idea of deserving pay, right? It goes back to day without us because there’s a quote on the website about it providing care and relief is an important part of our individual and collective work. People should not have to decide between participating in democracy and feeding their families. And I feel like to use one of your phrases, which is one of my favorites, that there’s some connective tissue between that second sentence that people should not have to decide between participating in democracy and feeding their families. There’s a connection in terms of the idea about what you should not have to really compromise on, right, where you don’t have to sacrifice.
Leslie Mac 33:26
Absolutely. And like what does it mean to position this work as life giving? Not life draining? Right? What does it mean to lean into the fact that this should be the work that we all are funding, we have to remove more barriers from supporting this work and ensuring that people are able to live their lives fulfilled? And do this work in ways that fills them up.
Gloria Riviera 33:54
I mean, now we need to have a whole another conversation about the poverty level wages, we pay our child care providers and why that is.
Leslie Mac 34:02
Is also connected, right? Messed up, and it’s all connected. It’s all connected, because this also goes back to reproductive justice, right? If work that is connected to raising of families is not valued in our society. What does that mean to those that give birth to people? It’s all very connected.
Gloria Riviera 34:21
I have one more question before I want to let you go. That’s not on this topic, but it’s on the topic of fish.
Leslie Mac 34:31
My favorite topics.
Gloria Riviera 34:33
Yes. Okay. That I have the right Leslie Mac in front of me. I love that you’re a fan and I may have listened to a few of the podcasts in which you talk about the band. And one of the things that I think is so fun is that you say that you go into concerts and you don’t have a wish list for what songs will be played that you leave it to the boys of the band. When was last time you saw the band.
Leslie Mac 35:01
I just saw them in rally like last July. Yeah, July I just saw them.
Gloria Riviera 35:07
How many shows have you seen?
Leslie Mac 35:09
Oh gosh, I think three or something like that.
Gloria Riviera 35:15
Well, they played in my high school gym in 1990. Maybe. Oh, so my last question is, what is your favorite fish song?
Leslie Mac 35:24
Oh, gosh, set your soul free. stick with that for today. I just it always puts me in a good mood. And the vibes are always high when they play it in the in this dance. I love that one.
Gloria Riviera 35:35
well, I am full of joy. And I feel comforted by all the work. I don’t know how you do it. I mean, you mentioned like 14 jobs just in this one hour podcast. But I am grateful that you dedicate your time and your energy. On behalf of all of this, we have so much to learn from you. So keep going. That’s another phrase I like to say keep going. We need you.
Leslie Mac 35:57
Thanks for having me. And yeah, and everybody come out. Stay home, join us on September 30. Go to the day without us.com. You can register on there, check out our national partners, we’re going to be announcing some cool stuff in the next couple of days around programming. So yeah, hopefully everyone who will be able to join us. And obviously, we’re also going to be leaving a really amazing repository of educational resources after the 30th for people to continue to learn from these organizations and these organizers.
Gloria Riviera 36:23
You will feel full on September 30th.
Leslie Mac 36:27
You’ve been feeling down if you’ve been feeling hopeless, if you’ve been feeling like you don’t know if you’re a little lost. Join us trust me, you’ll will feel better at the end of the day. You’ll feel good. You’ll feel good.
Gloria Riviera 36:46
Right, a lot to think about after that conversation. Do you get what I was saying about connecting all of those ideas under the reproductive justice banner? As she was answering questions, I kept having thought bubbles above my head that connected the dots in real time. All of those issues that are so messed up in this country, housing, food insecurity, poverty, wages, a lack of paid leave, on and on, they can all be tied back to the idea of forced labor, and how we value women, parents and caregivers. All of it is related. And changing any of it depends on how willing you are to participate and take action. Vote. and as Leslie said, indeed, vote and what are you willing to give today to change the course of things? I know I will be thinking about that a lot after that conversation. All right. You know what’s coming. My favorite part of every episode I love, love, love these. It is a chance to hear from you. I asked you all in light of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the high cost and inaccessibility of childcare in this country. Would you want or would you want someone you care about to become pregnant in the next year? Why or why not? Here’s what you had to say this week.
TV Reporter 3 38:23
Hi, my name is Whitney Harrell, and I am the director and founder and teacher at Magnolia Blossom Montessori School in Louisville, Kentucky. I just want to say that your podcast has changed my life. So thank you. I’ve been sharing a lot of your wisdom and resources. And I am sending this today because I am also a queer person who is trying to make baby with my partner through Intrauterine insemination. And we’ve been trying for quite a while and we’re starting to run out of money. We’d have run out of money, especially because we work in the care industry. It’s a pretty sad moment for us. And during our last IUI we had to ask a lot of really hard questions about how fertility treatments might be impacted by Roe v Wade. So yeah, how my partner being an older trans parent might be treated in a situation where they might need abortion access and couldn’t get it. We’re working through all those things. Thanks for having this conversation and inviting people to participate
Gloria Riviera 40:01
Whitney, when I heard you say this podcast changed your life, and you are a queer person trying to have a baby, who was running into a series of challenges, only made worse by the overturning of Roe. Whitney really touched me deeply. This show is yes, 1,000% for you, I want to say thank you. Not only is it so important to hear how the overturning of Roe will impact queer and trans families, but hearing from you and what you are going through as a human and hopeful parent to be underscores how many more critical issues we are obligated to dive even deeper into on this show. I’m sending my love. And I will be thinking of you Whitney and your partner on your journey. All right. I would really love to keep hearing from all of you. I would actually really love to hear from some parents who have young adult children and how all of this might affect them. The question is in light of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and the high cost and inaccessibility of child care in this country, would you want or would you want someone you care about to become pregnant in the next year? Why or why not? To share your thoughts with me just pull out your phone, record a voice memo and email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It is that easy. I just want to say thank you. Thank you to everyone out there for listening for responding to this. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. And I will see you back here next week.
NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE US is a Lemonada Media original presented by and created with Neighborhood Villages. The show is produced by Kryssy Pease and Alex McOwen. Veronica Rodriguez is our engineer. Music is by Hannis Brown. Our executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs, Jessica Cordova Kramer, and me Gloria Riviera. If you like the show, and you believe what we’re doing is important. Please help others find us by leaving us a rating and writing us a review. Do you have your own experiences and frustrations with the childcare system? Do you have ideas for what we could do to make it better? Join the No One Is Coming To Save Us Facebook group where we can continue the conversation together. You can also follow us and other Lemonada podcasts at @LemonadaMedia across all social platforms. Thank you so much for listening. We will be back next week. Until then hang in there. You can do it.