It’s OUR FIRST FULL EPISODE! We’re talking about misogynoir: our experiences, transmisogynoir, the erasure of Zora Neale Hurston and her rediscovery thanks to Alice Walker, Essence Magazine drama, how gatekeeping benefits Black men, Brendane’s viral Twitter thread, and we ask WHY, Academia? WHY?!

Zora’s Daughters Podcast: Episode One

Co-Hosts: Brendane Tynes and Alyssa A.L. James
Title: What in the Misogynoir!?
Total Length: 01:22:00

Transcript by Alissa Rae Funderburk, Oral Historian

[00:00:00.00] Alyssa: She’s the head of HR [Human Resources] so while he’s sexually harassing these Black women and employees of his, they didn’t feel comfortable going to HR about it because his wife was the head of HR. So what kind of anonymity would you have at a company where the person who’s sexually harassing you and the person you have to report that to, is the wife of the person who’s sexually harassing you. It doesn’t—[sigh] Like make it make sense out here.

Brendane: Right. And we’ve all seen enough Tyler Perry movies to know what happens when you tell the wife.

Alyssa: Oh no.

Brendane: Just kidding. I’m just kidding. [Laughter]

[Intro Music]

[00:00:58.46] Alyssa: Hi everyone.

Brendane: Hi. Welcome back to our podcast.

Alyssa: Welcome back, we’re here. It’s our first episode. Woo.

Brendane: Yes, well, this is actually kind of interesting but it’s exciting too.

Alyssa: Yeah, absolutely. So, what have you been up to?

Brendane: Whew, child. Um, what haven’t I been up to? Besides working and trying to coordinate a move, you know so I can get started doing, continuing my dissertation research. So gonna move, pretty soon. [crosstalk]

Alyssa: Yeah, pack up all those boxes.

Brendane: I’m pretty sure I showed you, I think I showed you the apartment.

Alyssa: Yes.

Brendane: So, the boxes have arrived to my house. Have they been opened and filled? Absolutely not, but, you know, it’s okay [Laughter] it’s okay, you know.

Alyssa: It’s a process, it’s a process. And moving is so stressful. Moving is stressful.

Brendane: It’s actually a lot more stressful than I thought and who knew it would be so expensive leaving the city, you know. Who knew. Why does it cost money to live? I think that’s, you know—

Alyssa: Listen.

Brendane: That could be a future episode [Laughter].

Alyssa: I saw this tweet that said “I didn’t even choose to be here but I have to spend all this money to live, and like survive and feed myself, and I didn’t even ask to be here.”

Brendane: Yo, have you seen the one where it was like “Mom, remember all those promises you made about taking me out of this world, I’d really like to take you up on that.” Like, I feel that every time a bill comes, I’m like okay, my mother used to make those threats, I might need her to follow through.

Alyssa: [Laughter]

Brendane: Just knock me into next year [Laughter].

Alyssa: Oh, my goodness, knock me into 2023, because—not 2024, because I just read Parable of the Sower and 2024 is when it all begins. But maybe 2023 so I can have one good last year in, you know [Laughter]

Brendane: One last hurrah. Oh yeah, I’m excited to hear more about Parable of the Sower and what you think.

Alyssa: Yeah, we’ll have to discuss it.

Brendane: Yeah, we’ll probably have to do a separate thing about that. Um, yes.


[00:03:30.45] Alyssa: Alright Brendane, so you know, [Laughter] I guess you don’t really want to hear what I’ve been up to [Laughter].

Brendane: No, I just realized [crosstalk] I was like wait a minute.

Alyssa: Transition [Laughter].

Brendane: Just kidding, I was sitting there like wait, I definitely need to ask you how you’re doing. So, what have you been up to and how are you doing in this?

Alyssa: No, you don’t have to. You don’t have to.

Brendane: No, I want to know though. I wanna know, so [Laughter].

Alyssa: I’m good. I mean you know, we’re in this heatwave situation right now so I haven’t really been sleeping as well as I could. I do have air-conditioning but New York is just not the place where you don’t wanna have central A.C. I just have this unit. I have a portable air conditioner actually, I sprung for that but you know it just doesn’t really keep the room cool. So, you have to have it on all the time. My last ConEd [Consolidated Edison] bill was ridiculous—

Brendane: We not gonna talk about ConEd. We not gonna talk about ConEd or whoever.

Alyssa: It was about five times what my bill usually is and I was shooketh. That’s all I have to say, I was shooketh.

Brendane: Yeah, I live on the top level of the building and it’s like all the heat all the time.

Alyssa: Heat rises.

Brendane: It’s just, it’s here.

Alyssa: And still I rise [Laughter] that’s what I remember from science class. Heat rises. [Laughter]. I took am on the top floor, so I feel you.

Brendane: It’s too hot. Well I hope you’re able to get some rest soon. I’m sorry ConEd is trying to play you but it goes back to the question, “Why does it cost money to live,” I think.

Alyssa: Yes. They played me. I played myself, like let’s be honest but I’m glad that you’re doing well and things are progressing, moving forward and that you’re going to be able to get started with your field work. But let’s move into our first segment—

Brendane: Yes.

[00:05:37.11] Alyssa: —which is called “What’s the Word,” so Brendane, what’s the word for today

Brendane: Yes, the word for today is misogynoir and so this is gonna be basically our section where we talk about a word that we’ll use throughout the episode or something that’s been trending lately. And today we picked a word that unfortunately is always gonna be in vogue, in fashion—

Alyssa: Ever present, evergreen [Laughter].

Brendane: Yes. Yes. Whew, child. So, misogynoir was coined by Moya Bailey and was further developed by a Black womanist theorist, Trudy [aka @thetrudz] and they describe misogynoir as a specific type of anti-Black misogyny that Black women experience. So, this form of misogyny speaks to the history of just racial, sexual violence that has been perpetuated against Black women. And both Moya and Trudy comment on how often misogynoir has been misused and plagiarized, which is of course and act in and of itself of misogynist violence against these Black women.

Alyssa: Yeah, misogynoir is a word that’s really at the intersections of misogyny and anti-Blackness and it’s something that specifically experienced by Black women. And actually, in that article that you recommended, which I read through, Moya talks about how it had begun being used as something to represent the misogyny experienced by women of color and she said that she had to make a statement and say specifically this is about Black women. This is about our specific experiences and how we walk in the world and how the world treats us as a result.

Brendane: Yeah, and that’s something that is so commonplace, right? When people start with Black woman, Black women kind of introduce this experience of violence and then it’s like, “well actually, all women experience this right.” And it’s that erasure, that actually even if all women experience a particular type of violence, usually Black women experience it the most. Or particularly, a kind of concentrated form of violence. And yeah, so Moya and Trudy really talk about how Black women experience sexism that stems from this white supremacy, ableism, and capitalist structures that frame us both Black trans and cis women as “not real women,” right. So, there’s all these discourses about us not even being able to be seen in actual womanhood like our experiences are not reflected there. I think what’s also interesting is how she said she started in like medical discourses too. So, it’s like how medicine kind of frames how Black women are seen as not real women. That has real implications in maternal health today, definitely.

Alyssa: Yeah, which we’re seeing a lot more of. We really just saw this with Nicole Thea. I haven’t gotten any updates and I’m not sure exactly what she died of but, for those of you who don’t know Nicole Thea, she was 24-years-old, a youtuber in the UK, a Black woman, and she was eight months pregnant and she died along with her unborn child. It again speaks to what Brendane was saying, these very material consequences, and harms, and violences against specifically Black women. In the U.K. maternal mortality rates are five times higher among Black women than white women. And so that is a very specific experience of ours.

Brendane: And then I would say in the U.S. different reports say different things but it’s anywhere between three to five times. It’s “weird.” By design. Some would say anti-Blackness is a global experience, so even as you enter into different countries these things tend to happen. Black woman around the world tend to have similar experiences. What I also liked about Moya and Trudy’s intervention was just that they were trying to highlight both these historic legacies of racial sexual violence, so what happens when Black women enter into predominantly white spaces and predominantly non-Black spaces. But also, what happens within the “Black community” when Black cis men, most of them straight, tend to dictate, or want to dictate what women do with their bodies. We see this all the time, all the time on the internet. People talk about this all the time. I’m trying to think, just the other day, I saw this tweet of this Black woman, who she just put a selfie up on her Instagram and she had a tattoo on her forearm, you could see it in the selfie, and all the Black men in the comments saying, “oh that’s like putting a bumper sticker on a Bentley, you need to get rid of your tattoo.”

Alyssa: What?

Brendane: Yes. “You need to get rid of your tattoo, you’re beautiful without it,” and it’s like nobody asked your ashy self to come into my mentions talking about some “get rid of your tattoo.” Sir, what are you doing to get rid of your uneven hairline, [Laughter] if we’re gonna talk about body modifications here. There’s something much more urgent happening on your end of the computer screen, okay, so let’s address that. But it’s all of these just insidious ways that this misogynoir pops up, that we don’t even think about it in the ways that we, even as Black women, we perpetuate it against each other. Yeah, it’s so prevalent. Evergreen.

Alyssa: Evergreen [Laughter]. I have something to say on that but you reminded me of when Moya Bailey said, that part of it is about us failing to be desirable. When I read that, that really hit. It’s like there’s a continuous reminder that we cannot be considered desirable. Beauty, attractiveness, these things are ultimately unattainable because—and before anybody jumps down my throat and says that I’m saying that Black women are not beautiful, that’s not what I’m saying. I’m saying that the standard of beauty is whiteness and Black woman ultimately cannot be white and thus, we can’t ever truly be seen by the world as beautiful, as meeting these kinds of beauty standards and expectations. And so, we’re just continually in this cycle where we are failing to be that and that itself—misogynoir is essentially built into patriarchy and capitalism. I mean, it’s all, it’s built into everything, isn’t it?

[00:13:31.90] Brendane: Yeah, it’s all connected. I really appreciate you highlighting that and I think it’s really interesting that even as Black women are excluded from these beauty standards, you still find our features being incorporated into them. And so, there’s something beautiful about Blackness. One of the beautiful things about Blackness is that it’s exclusion, our features that are constantly excluded find their ways into being included into these beauty standards because you can’t help but deny that we’re beautiful people. Which is highlighted when you see cis Black men make comments about white women who have certain features. White women who have body fat that deposits in certain places so they have thicker thighs or rounder hips. It’s like, “oh Black women, y’all are in trouble, white girls are leveling up,” and it’s like how are we in trouble if they’re coming to our standard. [Laughter]

You know, but this logic that actually highlights this misogynoir too. Where it’s like the only thing that keeps Black women in high standing is your body and the way you look. So, that puts a lot of pressure on those of us who don’t look that way.

Alyssa: Absolutely.

Brendane: Yeah.

Alyssa: I’m looking for this quote because I just read Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom.

Brendane: Yes. You have been reading this summer. I also want to applaud you for that. I feel like this summer I have just been trying to get my life together.

Alyssa: I have my moments, but I’m just trying to find this quote. [Laughter] Yeah so, I’ve been reading Thick, the book by Tressie McMillan Cottom and she has this line which is a perfect encapsulation of what we were just talking about. She says that “so long as the beautiful people are white, what is beautiful at any given time can be renegotiated without redistributing capital from white to non-white people,” and that is the word. That is exactly what we’re talking about right now. So, people who are not Black can have Black features and be celebrated for them but when Black women have them, they’re not considered beautiful because you can just rework what beauty means in order to incorporate whiteness and exclude Blackness.

Brendane: Yeah, and I think that’s really it. That makes a lot of sense and you know, she’s a sociologist, right?

Alyssa: Yeah.

Brendane: Yeah so, I’m glad sociology is coming around. If you don’t know me, and you might not, I’ve always had this thing about sociology as an anthropologist and so I always find it cool when sociologists wanna do deep analyses of things. Because I feel like so much of sociology has been pointing to Black people as the problem, so when Black sociologists are able to use that tool that has pointed to Black people as being the problem and problematize it, itself, beautiful work. I love to see it.

Alyssa: Alright, well I will put that in the show notes, you need that. [Laughter] But I did want to go back to what you were saying about misogynoir and how it can be perpetuated in the community. I was watching The Grapevine. I know you haven’t caught on or gotten into watching The Grapevine yet have you? Well The Grapevine, essentially, it’s a roundtable discussion show and they’ll have panels of different groups of Black people just discussing different subjects. In one of their recent episodes, they were talking about trans women, or trans women were talking about the ways that cis women, and even Black women exclude them from womanhood.

[00:17:45.48] Brendane: Yeah, that is one of the things that I was pointing to earlier about thinking about how we, as Black women, perpetuate misogynoir against each other in this. What we don’t understand though, as cis women right, is that when we make those moves to focus on reproductive capacity as a measure of being a “true woman,” first of all, you’re making the assumption that trans women are unable to have children, which is false, right. And then also it’s pointing to these histories that call us as Black women as lesser than women because we served as breeders on plantations. So, in our attempt to scramble for this womanhood that as, Alyssa, as you were explaining so eloquently earlier, is unattainable and actually is defined by our inability to reach for it and grasp it. That we, one, perpetuate violence against each other but then also reframe ourselves in this framework that oppresses us. Being a woman is not dependent on whether or not u can carry a child or do whatever because if so there are lots of cis woman who are unable to do that for a variety of reasons. You’re also pointing to them and saying that they’re not real women. I believe this is one of the reasons why when people miscarry part of the deep depression that can come with that is because of all these societal meanings around what it means to be a “real women.” At least some of the women I know who have miscarried remarked about feeling like failures to their families, to their partners. You’re not a failure because you were unable to carry a fetus. You’re not a failure, it happens. But because so much of white femininity and womanhood is connected to carrying and bearing children and also, and again, black womanhood is also tied to that. We get caught up in all these different matrixes and it’s just really violent.

And so, we talked about black trans women pointing to the ways that they experience this violence from all sides. There is vocabulary that’s developed around that, called trans-misogynoir, which specifically speaks to the experience of Black trans women that we cannot erase as cis women talking about misogynoir. We can’t erase the ways that trans Black women face their own specific misogyny.

Alyssa: One of the statistics that I just found astounding, that Moya Bailey and Trudy referred to is that the life expectancy of a Black trans woman is thirty-five. Thirty-five years old. I was so taken aback by that. I just think that that is an unacceptable violence that we as Black women, as Black cis women, we need to acknowledge and reckon with and I think it’s unacceptable that we reproduce that kind of misogynoir within our own communities.

[00:21:37.05] Brendane: I think since, because that article is a little older, since then the number thirty-five has been questioned. It might be longer than that now, I don’t have an exact number, but it’s definitely a shorter life expectancy than cis Black women and all of our life expectancies are shorter than white women. White trans or cis women. In the ways we as cis Black women perpetuate violence and [sigh] we open up space for cis Black men who kill us all, who kill both cis and trans black women. We’re actually much more likely to die at the hands of a cis Black man than we are at any other demographic.

Alyssa: Whew, we gonna have to talk about that.

Brendane: We’re going to have another episode about that. But the ways that we open up or we can open up violence and invite violence unto Black trans women is inexcusable. In my own journey in thinking about my own position as a cis Black woman, I have been really listening to Black trans women in my life and thinking about what are the ways that they ask me to protect them. So being at—I was at a protest, y’all don’t rag on me about it but yes, I was at a protest during COVID [Coronavirus disease] and it—

Alyssa: I’m sure you were masked. You were masked.

Brendane: Oh, oh, masked down. Even if it wasn’t COVID, you have to wear a mask when you’re out there because people, that’s how people get caught up. So, yeah, a Black trans woman, she spoke and she was like “why is it that we have to die to be heard,” kind of thing, “why is it that what you hear about Black trans women is that they’ve been killed again,” right. And it’s like “what about those of us who are living, who are marching, who are doing these things, we also need to be listened to. I just think about in my own scholarship how to be so careful about making sure that I don’t erase trans Black women and girls’ experiences in an effort to define what it means to experience violence as a Black woman. Or what does it mean to be vulnerable as a Black woman. And so, I think my challenge definitely is making sure that I’m attentive, that I’m reading, and that I’m listening and that I am checking myself each and every step of the way because the last thing that I want to do is enter or create a world, or movement or freedom space where Black trans women do not feel like they can be included and invited and prioritized. If I do that, who the hell? [Laughter] Who the hell am I freeing, right, if Black trans women cannot be protected and safe in the world that I want to create then what is the purpose of that world. That’s kind of where I’m at with that. I don’t know how to write about that in a way that’s legible to our department or to anthropology at writ large but that’s where I’m sitting at right now in my thinking for my research.

Alyssa: You will get there. I believe in you.

Brendane: Thank you. Yeah so, I also want to think about misogynoir in these kinds of commercial depictions of Black women and especially dark-skinned Black woman. These women are typically depicted as subhuman, as animal-like, always angry, super strong, basically the opposite of these kind of white standards for femininity and beauty that depict women as fragile, as people to be protected. One example of that, I would say, would be this idea that Black women are impermeable. I know Serena Williams talks about it a lot in dealing with her own maternal health care, back to that crisis. Where people couldn’t believe that she was experience the pain that she was experiencing. You’ve probably seen the political cartoons about her where she’s depicted as larger than life and these really harmful images of her when it’s like no, she’s just the best athlete in the world and that’s it. People are intimidated by her strength and her prowess but also, she talks about having these moments where she has to show herself as soft in order to still be seen as womanly, in a sense.

[00:27:00.00] Alyssa: And it’s funny that she has to show herself as soft in a world where Black women aren’t even really allowed to be soft. We are almost in this space where we are expected to be strong and expected to bear the brunt of any kinds of violence and harm and treatment that we receive in the world and being soft is looked at as a failure, again. Again, I mean misogynoir comes down to Black women failing to meet certain expectations that we never can meet.

Brendane: Right and it’s like literally everywhere you turn your head, you know, and all it does is really just create these conditions where we, as Black women, can be treated as lesser in reality while also having these expectations that we’ll serve as mammy, aunty, protector. On twitter they’ll treat us like bull dogs, they’ll say “oh, so-and-so said something racist, get him girl.” And it’s like [Laughter] wait, wait a minute, don’t put me in these conversations where I can endure violence because you want me to serve as a symbol for something else. I think I’ll get to a little bit later in talking about a particular person who put a Black woman in this position. But if I’m thinking about, also, just other examples in my own life, of when I have witnessed misogynoir and I will be upfront about this. I am a short, darker skinned Black woman. You know, I have a particular body type that would lend people to mammify me at times or oversexualize me at others and so I have experienced a lot of misogynoir in my life that I can point to. One time in particular, which you know—

Alyssa: Tell it girl. Tell it girl. [Laughter]

Brendane: I alluded to this story to Alyssa when we were thinking about this episode. I was like, “girl, let me tell you about this time that I—” I used to teach high school—and if you’re a former student of mine, hey boo, I miss you, I love you, you’re at the center of my heart always—I used to teach high school and I had this person who worked with me. He was a Black man who was in his early forties—and this is important later—I just turned twenty-seven last month but at that time I was twenty-three. And so, whew child, I just, whew oh my god, okay.

Alyssa: You just aged yourself. You just aged yourself.

[00:29:57.87] Brendane: I did. I did but you know, it’s important for the context of the story. So, this man he worked at the school with me and he was an Aquarius, which is also an important part—just kidding, just kidding.

Alyssa: [Sighs] Why the Aquarius hate? [Laughter] Why the Aquarius hate? [Laughter]

Brendane: And so, he would do things like pop into my classroom every once and a while and I didn’t really pay that much attention to it. But one of my students, she noticed one day that he would be in my classroom supposedly performing his job duties but he would always be like staring at me. So, she called my attention to that and then I was just like okay. He also used to do this thing where he would pop up in my classroom after school to have these conversations with me and supposedly he was engaged.

So, we’re talking and he starts talking about how he really enjoys hip hop and so I said, “well you know what, I’m not really a big fan of a lot of the rap music of popular rap music artists like ASAP Rocky because they say really damaging things about Black women. Like for example, ASAP Rocky had an interview where he was like, ‘I would never date a dark-skin Black woman,’ and as a dark-skinned Black woman, I was like okay, I will never spend my coins on you.” And he was like, “what’s so offensive about that?” and I was just like, “well, you know, that’s misogynist and I’m a feminist, I don’t believe in we’re supporting someone who’s a misogynist.” He said, “well it’s not misogyny if he only dislikes Black women.” [pause]

I was like, “wait, what?” And he was like, “it’s not misogyny if only dislikes Black women, he has to dislike Asian women or white women too.” I was like wait, how? So, then I said, “so you don’t think Black women are real women,” and he was like “no, no, no, that’s not what I’m saying, I’m just saying, you have to dislike more women in order for it to be actual misogyny, because I don’t like Black women and so that would make me a misogynist.”

Alyssa: Oh, my goodness.

Brendane: Long story short, this man said that he didn’t like Black women because he dated someone in high school who left him because no scrubs came out and she realized that he was a scrub. So, he was holding onto that experience from when he was like fifteen to talk about how he disliked Black women in the future even though he was always in my face and trying to spend time with me and it eventually got very inappropriate. So yeah, just an example of one of the few—many, not few—the many examples I have. But yeah, Alyssa, what do you think about misogynoir? Have you experienced it in your life?

[00:33:20.66] Alyssa: Well, I just want to say this, he deserves the Aquarius hate that you gave at the beginning.

Brendane: I don’t know his moon though, so I can’t really say too much. I’ll just say that all I know is he’s an Aquarius [Laughter].

Alyssa: I think that again, this goes back to, like you said, Black women not being real women. I mean if somebody hates black women—actually, you know what I was going to say, this is what I was thinking as you were saying that, this is why it’s important to coin terms. I’ve heard a lot of people who have critiqued, and I myself have thought this, do we really need another word for something? He called you on the semantics of that word, which is so often used to undermine someone’s argument because the word that you’re using doesn’t—or the situation that you’re referring to using a certain word isn’t specific, and isn’t exact, and doesn’t meet the definition of that word exactly. He called you on that and that is why it is important to coin new terms. That is why we need the word misogynoir. That’s why we need to think about trans misogynoir. That’s what I wanted to say about that.

Brendane: Period.

Alyssa: Periodt.

Brendane: That’s true. That’s real because his literal thinking was “to be misogynist means you hate women and Black women aren’t all the women out there, so in order to hate women you got to hate all the women out there.” It’s like no, you just, any women. That’s it.

Alyssa: Exactly.

Brendane: Yeah, that’s real. Because we get into the debate about the semantics and the meaning and it’s just like “well, actually, I only hate certain types” this, that, and the third

Alyssa: It’s a way to deflect the conversation. It’s a way to deflect from yourself and to deflect from the conversation and I find it annoying. But back to what you asked me, I mean, you know we were talking about this and I did have some trouble coming up with a story and I didn’t want to just say okay, I finally came up with a story and tell everyone the story. I wanted to talk about why I did find that I had this trouble and I think that a lot of it has to do with various forms of my positionality. This positionality, and by that, I mean the way that I walk in the world, what I’ve experienced growing up and I think one thing is that I do have skin color privilege. I’m a lighter skinned Black woman and I grew up in Canada.

In Canada, you’re just kind of taught not to really think about race. At least when I was growing up. I think that there’s a lot more being discussed now, of course, but when I was growing up I never thought that if I didn’t get something it was down to my race. Having moved to the U.S. just a couple of years ago, this is something that I have had to think about and learn about because I mean I’ve understood it theoretically but I’ve always existed in this space where I could rationalize or deny antiblackness and I could find some kind of way to mental gymnastics myself out of it. So, it’s something that I have been reckoning with and working on in the time that I’ve moved here and learning from you and learning from other Black colleagues has been really important to that.

So yeah, I just hadn’t categorized my experiences in that particular way and again, that’s why it’s so important to have these names for things is because that’s when you can really start putting ideas and experiences into a certain box and relating them to other people and realizing that actually this isn’t just a one-time experience. This is an ongoing systemic issues and that’s also a reason that we need to name things and give words to specific experiences that are different from others. But I will tell you, there was a time [Laughter] that I was having a going away party for the first year that I went to Martinique.

So, I was a teaching assistant in Martinique and that’s where I now do my research and it was just after I had graduated and so we were having this going away party. It was a big exciting thing and I had had friends and family were there and my mom invited a friend of hers. He’s a white man and after the party he said to her privately, he didn’t say this to me but he said to my mom, you know “why does Alyssa have to be so loud all of the time?”  [Pause] I was—yeah, I don’t even know where to go with that.

Brendane: You’re shook. I’m shook. Because you’re not loud.

Alyssa: For him, a white man, I was loud. I was being too much. I was taking up too much space. I think that’s actually what he really was saying, was that I was taking up too much space. Despite the fact that the party was for me. [Laughter]

[00:38:44.32] Brendane: Right, how are you going to take up too much space at your own damn party. It’s my party, I’ll cry if I want to, right? Like, at least that’s how it should be.

Alyssa: I will be loud if I want to, I will laugh loudly if I want to, I will talk about myself for the entire time if I want to. It was about me.

Brendane: Yeah, I think that, yeah. Wow. The only thing I can really say to that is that I really am glad that you are sure in your own self and your own voice now and allow yourself to take up that space because, you know, if we are silent then we’re actually playing part and parcel into this world trying to silence us. And at times our silence can be strategic but yeah, definitely thinking about how in that moment you should have been able to celebrate yourself. It’s always something about Black women, some would say blackness in general but I think Black women specifically, we’re always seen as too much. No matter thin we are, no matter how thick we might be, [Laughter] or you know, tall or short, how soft our voice is or how loud we are, there’s always something about us that is too much. It’s excess in spaces.

Alyssa: Yeah. I was having fun.

Brendane: Right. How dare you!?

Alyssa: Black joy it too much.

Brendane: How dare you!?

Alyssa: Exactly, black joy is just too much for this white man.

Brendane: Right, if it’s not centered around them than it’s not worth it, right. Good riddance. That’s what you were saying that he was really not trying to be in a place to observe your joy in yourself and I just think about how many times have Black women been in spaces that are supposed to be dedicated to them or spaces that they’ve created and they have not been able to celebrate themselves. Like I know you—we had a conversation, right, about the Me Too [movement], earlier and just how Black women can break open spaces but then, immediately be erased from the spaces. So, I know you wanted to say more about that.

[00:41:03.91] Alyssa: No, that was basically what I thought would be a really good way to talk about what we’re reading this week, in our “What We’re Reading” segment. We’ll just tell you a little text that we read this week and how it relates to our topic, theme of the day. This week we read “Looking for Zora” by Alice Walker. Alice Walker was integral to bringing Zora Neale Hurston’s work back into, or not even back but into the mainstream and really bringing her that renown that she was due essentially. Actually, I’ve been reading a lot about her life and she, Zora Neale Hurston was a woman that you could describe as unruly or if you want to use Saidiya Hartman’s word “wayward.”

I think that, and I mean that in the most affectionate way possible, she was just someone who was unapologetically herself. That was something that made her super unpopular during the Harlem Renaissance. People just thought that her paying attention to Black stories, and the way that they speak, and their pleasure and womanhood were actually counter-revolutionary. They weren’t working for the kinds of politics that people were looking to push forward at the time. Richard Wright [sigh]. Richard Wright, he actually said about her novel Their Eyes Were Watching God, which I think a lot of people have read in high school, it’s a very popular text, people know it its renown. He actually said that it contained “no theme, no message, no thought.”

Brendane: Hmm. No message, no thought, not theme. [Crosstalk] [Laughter] I’m like you, what is the message for Native Son. But I’m gonna let you go. I’m gonna not do that [laughter].

Alyssa: Because of this unpopularity, because of the unpopularity of her ideas, her work fell into obscurity. In this essay, in “Looking for Zora” Alice Walker is rediscovering the story of Zora Neale Hurston. She’s gone back to Eatonville, where she was born and where she collected her tall tales for Mules and Men and she’s really trying to understand what happened in Zora’s life, like after she left New York. So, I don’t know, had you read this essay before and what kind of struck you about it?

[00:44:18.26] Brendane: No, I hadn’t. I’m actually really glad that we started. This podcast is “Zora’s Daughters” let’s not start with her right, and her own story. It was, you know, brilliant, brilliant design. I commend, I commend the author [laughter]. But, yeah, I had not read it before at all and I think what struck me the most in thinking about what we’ve been talking about, misogynoir, erasure, was all the uncertainty around her death and the conditions of her burial. But then, what seemed to be a paradox to me was just how loved she was by the community. So, it was just odd to me. It’s like, okay what does it mean to love a Black woman and take care of her in and after death. Which, you know, is connected to my research, of course. But, yeah just like, oh they love you but not necessarily enough to really be able to give you the burial that, at least us forty years later looking back are like, you know she deserved—well forty years from when this essay is written.

I don’t know, that was really just striking to me. Also, I was just thinking about how Alice Walker felt like she had to lie about her own position to Zora in order to get this information. She had to pretend to be her niece, and it’s kind of like oh, and not even like her “real” niece. It’s like, I am her illegitimate niece.

Alyssa: She’s not illegitimate! [Crosstalk]

Brendane: It’s like, oh yeah, you’re not illegitimate. Um, [pause] we’re just like, “okay, thanks sir, thanks for patting our back, affirming our existence, yeah, of course.” That was also very interesting to me because it made me think about research practices and what are the ways that we lie to ourselves and lie to others to get the information that we need. But that’s also, I guess an anthropologist thing. The little sneaky ways I had to enter into answering questions about my own research or my own thinking about things. But getting back to Zora, I think also the imagery of Alice Walker and I forget the young woman who was helping her find Zora’s grave—

Alyssa: Charlotte?

[00:47:09.70] Brendane: I believe. But wading through that grass in this kind of danger that’s also there. The danger in memorializing Black women. I’m being real symbolic right now.

Alyssa: No, this is beautiful. [Laughter]

Brendane: Just like the actual literal danger. The risks that you put yourself in to do the work of memorializing a Black woman who for all intents and purposes was writing off by these other Black people during her time because they saw her as pandering to white folks. It’s really interesting for Richard Wright to make that kind of comment about her considering Native Son and the things that Native Son exposes abut Black men’ place in the academy or in literature or in however you want to configure them. But yeah what are you thinking? What else struck you?

Alyssa: What you said was so beautiful I feel like I can’t follow that up. But I think one of the things I was wondering is what prompted Alice Walker’s interest in Zora Neale Hurston and I was hoping that she would address that at some point and she didn’t. Maybe she does in some of her other texts so if there’s a listener out there who wants to leave that in a comment somewhere, just let me know.

Brendane: Please tell us.

Alyssa: I was really curious about that interest in Zora Neale Hurston and then the other thing, what I thought about the uncertainty around her life and death was that it was a continuation of what she herself had done. I think one of the things that I read about her was that she would always lie about her age. [Laughter] And one of the reasons for this is just she wanted to be mysterious but also, she wanted to continue getting her education. I think she was in her twenties or thirties when she enrolled at Barnard as an undergraduate. She wanted to continue her education so she was constantly just telling these tall tales, telling these stories. And so, I just think she was such an enigmatic figure and this story, again, kind of reiterated and played into that idea of her. And I read this text, I think it was an essay online, it might have been about Tayari Jones or written by Tayari Jones, I’m not sure but if someone out there listening can point me to where this was written I would really appreciate it again.

So, the writer asked why in the majority of Zora’s photos is she looking away, she’s never looking directly in the camera and her response was you shouldn’t stare directly into the sun. That’s what the writer came up with. You shouldn’t stare directly into the sun and Zora was just a woman who was powerfully herself. Unfortunately, she was pushed out and disliked and hated for that very reason.

Brendane: Yeah, I think too, just the circumstances of her death and her life and like how she died. Basically, like you know the uncertainty around it but some people were like, “oh she died starving and hungry and hurt.” But then you read the essay and some people are like, “no, she had a stroke and she chose not to go to the home that would take care of her.” Then also, how we never really get to see her body but then it comes out in the essay that Zora was actually kind of like a bigger woman. Which I was also kind of surprised by. I was like, “oh, maybe she also experienced things around her size that we don’t know,” and so also part of that being part of the mystery too. Because in the ways that Black women’s bodies in the academy—like most Black women I know who are academics are fairly thin women and I’m like not so I think about what that does for how I’m perceived, how my Blackness is perceived in my literal, the shape of my body. What were the ways that, I don’t know, perhaps like—I mean, she’s a lighter skinned woman, so what are the ways that her body, just her literal body, allowed her to shift in and out of spaces that we will probably never really know. But what we do have are these Black men saying all this mess about her.

[00:52:30.85] Alyssa: Okay, listen. [Laughter] Okay so, I again was reading about her life and there’s a really long essay about her in the New Yorker and it’s from, I think, 1996. I’ll link to it in the show notes anyways so people can read it. But, Darwin Turner, he wrote one of the first kind of really important analyses or considerations of the Harlem Renaissance and he actually justified Hurston’s erasure from the Renaissance at the time he wrote this in 1971. So, he justified her erasure from stories and from the renown of the Harlem Renaissance because he said that she had never been more than a wandering minstrel. Then he went on to say that it was “eccentric but perhaps appropriate for her to return to Florida to take a job as a cook and maid for a white family and to die in poverty.”

So, he was basically saying that this was poetic justice because that was actually what she had proposed for Black people in her stories, that poverty and working for white people is the best life that they could live. Like textbook misogynoir.

Brendane: Textbook.

Alyssa: Literally, it’s printed on the page, it’s in a textbook.

Brendane: Yeah no, just no to all of that. No one deserves to die in poverty. Like, what? That’s not poetic justice at all and it’s especially just jarring thinking about how popular her work is now, how popular she is now, and just to know that she died in relative obscurity, right. This “critic,” can we even, really? This is not appropriate to make a comment on peoples’ lives like this.

Alyssa: That’s what I’m saying.

Brendane: Yeah, it’s just, I don’t even know what to say about it. The word escapes me in the moment. But it’s horrible to think that, I don’t know. Even now as an academic, I’m not chasing money or fame. I mean if I were, I would not be doing [laughter] would not be a PhD student. It’s like, I also know that if I were to die in relative obscurity and poverty that would still be an affront, even if I don’t make a major theoretical or literature intervention. That would still be horrible for my low-level self. So, what? What!?

[00:55:48.38] Alyssa: [Sigh] I know. It’s just a you can do is sigh.

Brendane: Literally. [Laughter]

Alyssa: And then also, bring her stories back to life. Which is what Alice Walker did. And I mean she kind of rose to popularity during the Harlem Renaissance and then people kind of got tired of her for various reasons. I’m sure that was mostly black men.

Brendane: Yeah, they tend to get tired of us the fastest. [Laughter]

Alyssa: [Laughter] But it was through this process of gatekeeping that she was pushed out and into obscurity so she just left New York and never went back. The gatekeeping thing, I think, the idea is kind of a good way for us to segue into our final segment, which is “What in the World.” What in the world?

Brendane: Like, what? What? [Laughter]

[00:56:47.15] Alyssa: What in the world. So, like what in the world is going on with Essence Magazine? I just thought that this situation was the perfect example of misogynoir. You have a Black man running a company that literally caters to Black women and yet those same women were mistreated sexually harassed pushed out of the company and it’s just crazy to me. It’s crazy to me that you would have this. And then [sigh] the thing, all I have, I don’t know. I was just like what in the misogynoir?

Brendane: What in the misogynoir is this? I used to read Essence as a child. Okay, yes, clock me for that. [Laughter] I was a nerdy child.

Alyssa: I know, who wasn’t reading that stuff? Who wasn’t reading magazines that were too grown for us as well.

Brendane: Literally too grown. And would read some of the most bizarre stories, Black women writing in for help about their relationships and never in my mind had I imagined that there would be a Black man behind it but now as an adult it makes a lot of sense. The content about beauty and the ascriptions to certain beauty standards like we talked about earlier, content around fashion and all these things that kind of, now looking back, I’m like, “oh yeah, definitely, I can see the Black man behind the scenes telling Black women that this is supposed to be what you’re supposed to look like.” So yeah, just to hear the violence and I think you were saying that wasn’t it the issue was that his wife was also an employee there. So, while she was working—

Alyssa: She’s the head of HR [Human Resources] so while he’s sexually harassing these Black women and employees of his, they didn’t feel comfortable going to HR about it because his wife was the head of HR. So what kind of anonymity would you have at a company where the person who’s sexually harassing you and the person you have to report that to, is the wife of the person who’s sexually harassing you. It doesn’t—[sigh] Like make it make sense out here.

[00:59:23.31] Brendane: Right. And we’ve all seen enough Tyler Perry movies to know what happens when you tell the wife.

Alyssa: Oh no.

Brendane: Just kidding. I’m just kidding. [Laughter] I’m just kidding, but we all know what happens, right? You’re gonna get fired. And so yeah, now it seems that this would be the time for all of these things to come forward and these women would be listened to and heard but we still have this kind of societal context drenched in misogynoir. Where it’s like even still and now Black women, victims of all types of violence don’t get listened to or it’s like their concerns are just put into baskets where they’re easily written off. And so, you know the question, “well why did you continue to work there if you saw this happening, blah, blah, blah,” and it’s like because I need money to put food in my mouth and to put clothes on my back and to have four walls around me and a roof. That also played a role in how these women were able to even report what happened to them. And then just the shock. I was shocked by just learning about the number of white people that worked at Essence

Alyssa: Okay. That is one of the things that just [sigh] wow, okay. I know we’re meant to be centering Black women in our stories and experiences but I just want to talk about how he hired, the CEO, he hired a white woman to head up the sales team which means that they would be going to companies and selling Essence to different companies. I guess for advertisers and things like that. And so, she’s a white woman, I believe she was—you know, I’m not even going to say names of companies [laughter] but she was from another—

Brendane: Just in case [Laughter], just in case.

Alyssa: —she was from another large publisher and so she then hired a group of white people to work on this sales team and so they would go and they would pitch Essence to potential advertisers and essentially what they’re supposed to be doing is talk about the value of Black women, of advertising to Black women. And they got called out by one of their clients who just said “you’re not doing a good job at this. You’re not. This isn’t working and you’re not convincing us that we need to be, that we should be working with you or advertising with you.”

[Sigh] Just like the incompetence of whiteness is astounding. So much so, that when you are being paid, you are being paid dollars and cents to highlight the value and sell the value of Black women, you still fail at it. The audacity of that caucasity [laughter].

Brendane: Literally. I was about to be like, “the caucasity of it all.” But it also just goes to show you in the CEO’s mind, I’m sure he was like “oh, who knows how to get things sold? I want to have, you know, Johnson & Johnson sell their baby powder products in Essence so they need to see someone who looks like them in that room.” So, I’m sure everyone was confused on all sides. Like wait a minute, what, who? Who?

Alyssa: I would be confused. I too would be confused.

[01:03:20.93] Brendane: But [laugh] but also, I think, it just speaks to just like something else that I was thinking about in the world, in the academic world, I’ll say, we’ll bring it to academia. Where we see this gatekeeping happening in these liberal spaces where we have these white women most of the time, sometimes its white men, in these powerful positions who see themselves as doing something good in diversifying by inviting Black men into these spaces. They say, “okay, we want diversity but we’re going to get Black men because Black men are scarce, they are underrepresented, they are “endangered,” they are just not here in the academy.” When actually when you look at the numbers of Black women, there are far more Black men in higher positions than Black women in the academy.

Alyssa: Because they benefit from patriarchy.

Brendane: Yeah, they benefit from patriarchy and they also benefit from white liberal aspirations to remediate racism. So, it’s this thing of just like, “oh, well we know there are so few of y’all because, you know, mass incarceration, etcetera, etcetera,” so they’re like, “well we gotta reverse that through representation.” And I remember in college specifically, hearing that being the reason why instead of hiring a Black woman for a position they hired a Black man because he said he wanted to reverse the racism of the academy, this one white man said that was his role in his job. And then that Black man that they hired ended up terrorizing all of the Black women in the student group that I was a part of, you know.

That’s what tends to happen, is that usually, also, these processes select for Black men who may not have the most feminist orientations around things. And so, they kind of perpetuate the status quo where they become these Black faces who serve a role of fulfilling a quota but then also just perpetuate white supremacist patriarchal violence. My thing has been in these academic spaces, is like how can we be thoughtful so we’re not just doing these politics of respectability where if Black people experience violence from other Black people they don’t talk about it because they want to be seen as, they don’t want to muddy up the image of the race, or reinforce stereotypes.

So how do we think about that critically and also think about these politics of representation where it’s like, “at least if one of us is there then it doesn’t really matter what we say, at least we’re there,” which is not true. Integration does not necessarily mean that people are activists and I think maybe in a future episode we can talk more about that but one of the faults of the civil rights movement was that move of saying if we’re there it’s progress, it’s better but not looking at necessarily the quality or the politics of who’s there and what that does. Especially because, a lot of the times this integration comes at the expense of Black women, Black queer folks, Black trans people, Black gender non-conforming people. These people take up space that they could then open up to other people who have much more radical or even progressive politics around things.

I made a very public moment on twitter about that, about a particular Black man, author, whose work I found to be damaging for women like me, Black queer women. To see the response from other Black women who were just like, “well the reason why we don’t critique other Black people in front of everyone to see is because there’s so few of us who even get that access to power. And it’s like, well what is he doing with that access to power? Is he actually making it better for other Black people or is he just amassing power and wealth for himself? And if that’s the type of movement that we as academics want to ascribe to then that’s not necessarily something that I want my work to be reflective of. So, I’ve just also been thinking about that too.

[01:08:15.30] Alyssa: Yeah, I mean, you want to be part of the liberation. We’re looking for the liberation. We’re not just looking for representation. So, what has over all been the response to your thread? How would you characterize that response?

Brendane: It’s been interesting. I have gotten a lot of—still even now, people are still sharing it which, to me, is odd. I felt like twitter has a two-day life cycle but I mean, as long as it’s helpful. So, one thing, a section of Black people, activists who are like, “thank you, we’ve been looking for something easy to refer people to, to say this is why you don’t need to read this particular book.” Which was my original intent, to give them that, so I’m happy. Then there’s the section of well-meaning white folks who tag me in things or tag my thread in other threads about anti-racist books and then I have to decide if I’m even going to follow along or what. Or if I’m going to just let people talk among themselves about that because I’m not really interested in being involved in everybody’s conversations about anti-racism.

Then I saw this one comment though that I was just like, [sigh] “girl, what are you even saying?” This white woman was like—then also I’m just scared of white supremacist violence too, so when people attack me and stuff I’m always on alert because I just don’t want to ever put myself in harm’s way—but she tagged me and she was like, “be on the lookout for this new Black feminist voice to listen too,” and tagged me and a bunch of other Black women. Then she was like, “these are scholars and activists to look up to,” and I was like girl you don’t even know me and how did I automatically become this reposit [sic] of information for you, all I did was publish a thread. Then, what was also interesting was, one of the other Black women that she tagged in that came on and was like, “not everybody who’s a scholar is an activist and don’t get it twisted girl, I am a scholar and an activist but I don’t know what these other people are doing out here.”

And I was like, “Okay, that’s valid.” I used to do a lot of activism back in the day and I am still tangentially involved in some things because of my research but took a conscious step away in like 2016 because of the amount of trauma I had. And so, it was also causing me to reflect too about my own position as an academic and now being clear from this point forward in my interactions with people, I do scholarship about activism. In some circles you could call me a scholar activist, but I would never put myself as being out there on the frontlines, like a lot of organizers, because that takes an amount of love, and care and work for yourself and for the community that I don’t have the capacity for. That I’m starting to build more as I get older I just need that break for the last four years but now I’m starting to feel more energized in that but yeah, I still would not call myself an activist primarily. I think I’m still sitting in the scholar camp, at least for now.

[01:12:07.51] Alyssa: So, was the woman who tagged you, was she referring to you as an activist?

Brendane: Yeah, she kind of just like “Black feminist, theorist, activists to watch out for,” and so then [crosstalk]

Alyssa: What was even her background? Why is it—and again here we go, talking about gatekeeping, right? Like, why is it that she gets to name, that she is the person who’s going to name those people? And as a result, you got a lot of followers, right? After that tweet a lot of people started following you so again this speaks to the idea of gatekeeping and who gets to do it and why is it that a white women is able to open and presumably then close doors to people around ideas of Blackness and Black activism.

Brendane: Right, and it was also just weird because now I feel pressured to get on Twitter every day and teach people.

Alyssa: No, no, no, no.

Brendane: Like is that all you’re following me for? And so, I had to resist that urge of like let me not, you know, mammify myself and if I have a moment, if I feel particularly preachy I’mma get on my little platform and say something but if I don’t, then I don’t. I think also, that it’s me taking care of myself. Even if people are looking for me to give them certain answers that doesn’t mean that I have to be the ne to give them. I never want to be the sole provider of information for people because one, it’s a lot of work honestly and two, the celebrity aspect of things just does not appeal to me. I feel like you have a celebrity face and voice.

Alyssa: What? No. [Laughter]

Brendane: No, I could see that. I’ll be your manager. I’ll manage you. {Laughter]

Alyssa: The person who we might talk about on this podcast but doesn’t have a name yet—I mean, not that we’ll talk about this person regularly, but may come up in conversations, who we haven’t come up with a good name for—actually said once that, I forgot.

Brendane: Oh no.

Alyssa: It was so good though. It was like, you want to be a public figure but not publicly known. I think it was something along those lines and I was like, yes, I would like my ideas to be publicly known but I wouldn’t want to be to the point that people could stop me on the street. I wouldn’t want to be famous, I would never want to be famous. I don’t even like taking pictures.

Brendane: I always look like a toad in my pictures so I really be trying to avoid that.

Alyssa: Girl, please. No, you don’t. No, you don’t.

[01:15:02.08] Brendane: That’s because not the one you see but the outtakes. [Laughter]

Alyssa: I don’t like taking pictures and you’ll see on my Instagram and picture of me that’s on there, I have sunglasses on or my face, or I’m like really far away from the camera because I just don’t like records of me out there. [Laughter]

Brendane: I get that. You have a fugitive mindset. I get it, I get it.

Alyssa: Oh, I like that, yeah.

Brendane: You know, a fugitive. That’s right, we’re going to reject this photogenic thing and we’re gonna say we’re just fleeing the surveillance thing. [Laughter]

Alyssa: Precisely. Let me see, there was one more thing I wanted to bring up but I don’t know if we have enough time now. I mean, the thing that I was thinking in relation to what you were saying about that book and about Black men as giving the impression of diversity while actually reinforcing whiteness, is what we’ve seen in lectures and seminars  where there’s a Black scholar who comes in and they’re talking about Black stuff and then the other people who are around, they’re just like, “this was wonderful, thank you so much, I’m so glad that you are here,” and it’s like okay but where is the critical engagement that you had when you were challenging last week’s person about their use of [Jacques] Derrida.

You know, where’s that smoke? [Laughter] Where’s that energy? I want—and I think this is something that we’ve talked about, just like Black people who study Black people their work is not seen as rigorous and thus not deserving of critique and it’s like y’all aren’t critiquing because you don’t want to seem racist. Or you’re not familiar with the emplacement in the literature. Every time I see that, every time I witness it I just [sigh], I sigh because it feels like you’re not being taken seriously.

Brendane: Right, and then also, I think for some people there’s a distinction. I think you’re talking about people who actually could go engage and should be engaged, because their doing rigorous work and should be engaged on some level theoretically, and then there’s like the excusing of or like the kind of overlook of work that is not rigorous or could be pushed to be more rigorous. Because the book that you and I both read that I wrote a thread about, work that could actually use some serious peer review to be put in a better, more scholarly position, that people don’t engage because they don’t want to seem racist. So, it’s like this guilt that gets in the way of producing good scholarship or critiquing good scholarship.

And not that necessarily white critique of Black scholarship validates it or whatever, it’s just this is something that we’re noticing. I think it happens the most though with Black men in their work. It’s like this kind of not willing to engage on a theoretical level so it’s like, “oh, I like the way you write,” or “the way you set those sentences sure was pretty.” And it’s like, “okay.” Which is feedback I get sometimes on my presentations. I don’t know if you hear that sometimes when people are like, “I like your tone, I like your voice,” but don’t engage with what I’m actually saying. Or the engagement with what I’m saying is something completely off base, where it’s like, “you say Black women experience violence but you know don’t other groups of women do to and shouldn’t you talk about it as like a comparative note so that we can really see if the violence against Black women is really that bad.” And it’s like, “I don’t think that’s where I’m going with that.”

Also, part of it is ignorance around the literature in Black studies too sin anthropological circles, in certain ones. Just like not even being willing to reach outside of the big dogs. I call him Mousey Mouse but I’m sure that’s not how you pronounce his name. [Marcel] Mauss or whatever. [Laughter]

Alyssa: It depends on if you’re going for the French pronunciation or the German pronunciation because I believe he was both so you just have to decide. [Laughter]

Brendane: Mousey Mouse, that’s what—

Alyssa: We can just call him Marcel, there you go.

Brendane: You know, the Marcels, the Foucaults, the Derridas, the Hegels of the world. And it’s like so many other people do theory that you can learn from and engage with, which we’ll talk about, of course.

Alyssa: Yeah, in accessible ways, as we said in our trailer [laughter], accessible ways.

Brendane: Right, yeah.

Alyssa: It’s ridiculous because when we are studying Black things with Black theory and Black scholarship we still have to be literate in the “white literature.”

Brendane: Like experts, like experts, not just oh we heard about him. I have to be able to articulate three points around Hegel’s theory about dialectical whatever and it’s like, why? Why? When all you have to do is be like, I know a Black person.

Alyssa: [Laughter]

Brendane: Or like my Black friend said this the other day, like why?

Alyssa: You know what, I think we’re going to leave it at that question.

Brendane: [Laughter]

Alyssa: Why?

Brendane: Why?

Alyssa: Why, academia? Why?

Brendane: Yeah so, if you have any answers for that please put it in the comments. Like why?

Alyssa: Let us know.

[Outro Music Starts]

Brendane: Let us know. So, thanks for listening, please subscribe, subscribe, subscribe. And rate us, that allows us to be visible. If you enjoyed this conversation tell your friends about it. Feel free to follow us @zorasdaughters on Instagram and @zoras_daughters on Twitter. I really like saying underscore.

Alyssa: Underscore, I like it too. Alright, thanks everyone and we’ll see you in a couple of weeks. Be kind to yourselves. Bye.

Brendane: Bye.

[Music Ends] [Recording Ends]

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