The Unspeakable with Meghan Daum
The Unspeakable Podcast
From Betty Friedan to Ballerina Farms

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From Betty Friedan to Ballerina Farms

Lisa Selin Davis on the conceptual housewife

Early access to the April 22, 2024 edition.

Paid subscribers get full access to my interview with Lisa Selin Davis.

The first half of this episode is available to all listeners. To hear the entire conversation, become a paying subscriber here.

This week, author and journalist Lisa Selin Davis returns for her third visit to The Unspeakable. Lisa is best known to listeners for her thorough and rigorous reporting on the new gender movement and her probing insights into how ideas around gender nonconformity have shifted over time.

But she has a new book out about something completely (or at least mostly) different: the concept of the housewife. In Housewife: Why Women Still Do It And What To Do Instead, Lisa traces the social history of the housewife, examines the evolutionary and economic roots of housewifery, and wrestles with why the iconic 50s housewife has such a strong hold on the public consciousness despite not lasting all that long. In this conversation, she and Meghan discuss what she learned in the course of her reporting, shares her own conflicting feelings about being a wife and mother, and talks about the rise of the “trad wife influencer.” Can Instagramming everything from your home birth to your home school be interpreted through a feminist lens? Lisa says yes!

In the second part of the conversation, for paying subscribers, Lisa returns to form and talks about gender, which is the subject of her next book.

Guest Bio

Lisa Selin Davis’s new book is Housewife: Why Women Still Do It And What To Do Instead. She is also the author of Tomboy: The Surprising History & Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different. She has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her family.

Follow her writing on her Substack, Broadview.

You can pick up a copy of Housewife here.

Meghan Daum and Lisa Selin Davis explore the concept of the housewife. Discuss the social history, evolutionary roots, and the influence of the iconic '50s housewife.

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The Unspeakable with Meghan Daum
The Unspeakable Podcast
The Unspeakable Podcast is a weekly interview show hosted by writer Meghan Daum. It's a place for conversations with writers, scientists, philosophers, artists and all kinds of interesting people about topics that have been deemed "unspeakable." Of the many podcasts offering nuanced conversations, this is the only one with official Nuanced AF merchandise available at the Nuance Store.
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