Ezra Klein brings you far-reaching conversations about hard problems, big ideas, illuminating theories, and cutting-edge research. Want to know how Mark Zuckerberg intends to govern Facebook? What Barack Obama regrets in Obamacare? The dangers Yuval Harari sees in our future? What Michael Pollan learned on psychedelics? The lessons Bryan Stevenson learned freeing the wrongly convicted on death row? The way N.K. Jemisin imagines new worlds? This is the podcast for you. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.
Why did Christine Blasey Ford have to smile and politely ask for breaks while Brett Kavanaugh could rage at the cameras and dismiss the hearings as a farce?
The answer is in Rebecca Traister’s essential, perfectly timed new book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women's Anger. It’s a book, Traister writes, about how anger works for men in ways it doesn’t for women. I happened to read it the weekend before the Kavanaugh/Ford hearings, and it was eerily prescient: The book was essential to understanding not only what I was seeing at the hearings but, as importantly, what I wasn’t seeing.
My conversation with Traister is about those hearings, but about much more too: When is anger constructive and important? Can it tie us together, rather than just pulling us apart? How is the #MeToo movement navigating the fact that sometimes the people it’s angry about are also the people it loves — that our bad guys are also our good guys, as Traister puts it? And what does it mean to see each other in our full humanity, including in our angry humanity?
Recommended books and essays:
Intercourse by Andrea Dworkin
The Uses of Anger by Audre Lorde
The Power by Naomi Alderman