Mary McGinley, Wendy Sheridan, and Robin Renée often record The Leftscape remotely, but this week they were happy to be back in the same room to record live from Chez Wendy! Mary starts off the main conversation by describing an uncomfortable observation exercise she facilitates on the first day of her classes. She begins by inviting students to tell each other’s stories before speaking to one another at all. The co-hosts wander into a chat about the many possible effects of eye gazing before settling into the topic at hand: Whether we are using words or not, we are constantly broadcasting and taking in information. What can we learn about this process of prejudgment? How do stereotypes function? How much are we judged and how much do we judge based on life experience? How much of our preconceived ideas are based on what we’ve been taught explicitly? How much comes to us by osmosis? Nonverbal communication, though an essential tool for navigating through the world, can bring along with it negative assumption and outright prejudice. Wendy talks about bizarre and painful Jewish stereotypes. Robin talks about the “not black enough” syndrome.
In honor of National Water Quality Month, Wendy shines a light on the continued water issues in Flint, MI. Elon Musk made an offer to contribute money to help purify water for individual homes, but there are now discussions between he and the mayor of Flint that may shift focus toward the more fundamental work on the infrastructure. Also highlighted is National Minority Donor Day, National Coloring Book Day, the anniversary of the opening the 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany, and there is predictable laughter about how one might choose to celebrate National Grab Some Nuts Day on August 3. Mary’s Person of the Day is actually a group this time: The Subversive Sirens – synchronized swimmers from Minnesota who are dedicated to social justice, queer visibility, and body positivity.
*This episode is sponsored by Harlequin and Other Fantasies, Meditative Coloring for Grown Ups. Use coupon code LEFTSCAPE at checkout for free shipping! (Offer good for the month of August 2018).
Listen to The Leftscape – the shape of progressive conversation: “What We See on the Outside (Episode 10).”