the cut on tuesdays

Rebecca Traister Wants to Know the Bad News Right Away

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The Cut on Tuesdays

A weekly podcast from the Cut and Gimlet Media, with host Molly Fischer.

From Hillary Clinton to #MeToo to 2020 and beyond, Rebecca Traister is an indispensable guide to politics in this country — you’ve seen her work here at the Cut and in New York Magazine, and she’s the author of three books. (The most recent, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, is out in paperback now.)

She writes about women and power, so naturally she’s been pretty busy the last few years. On this week’s podcast, Stella Bugbee talked to Rebecca about how she gets it done … starting with breakfast.

STELLA: We’re going to start where we always start, which is: What is your morning like? 

REBECCA: Well, my morning is made infinitely easier by the fact that I have a husband who does all the morning cooking and who actually is much better at getting up in the morning than I am.

STELLA: What does he make?

REBECCA: It varies. Sometimes he just makes cereal, sometimes he makes oatmeal, sometimes he makes egg sandwiches, sometimes he makes … If we’ve had tacos the night before, he makes breakfast burritos. Like, it’s really good.

STELLA: Wow. I’m coming over.

REBECCA: It’s really good in my house. My morning is the best part because I wake up and there’s breakfast. Then my part comes, which is, like, wrestling my 4-year-old into clothes. And weirdly with a 4-year-old, there’s still a lot of peeing and brushing. [Laughs.] Like, reminding: “Pee and brush! Pee and brush!” Right? [Laughs.] There’s a weird amount of my time, both morning and night, that is spent saying “Pee and brush.”

STELLA: Let’s just be clear for our listeners, we’re talking about brushing teeth … I’m not sure that’s evident to those who don’t have to tell another human to pee and brush. And then when do you start working?

REBECCA: Well, that depends. I mean, sometimes I will have already started working. I wish I were healthy and kept my phone in a closet or something, but I don’t. It’s right beside my bed. I’m looking to see what’s happening as soon as I wake up.

STELLA: Do you do that so that you can respond quickly on Twitter or do you do that because you might have a column that you think of,

or …?

REBECCA: I do it so that I know what the day is like. Especially in the past few years, when things have moved so quickly and the days are so full of horror, I find it psychologically easier. Though I’m sure that if I had time for therapy, a therapist would tell me that it makes it much worse … I find it easier to know from the start the day I’m walking into.

STELLA: And when you say that, you mean like whether or not some politician has done something horrible? Or whether or not we’re in a nuclear war? What are you looking for?

REBECCA: I find it easier to know when I get up and I’m walking to school that, like, Donald Trump has issued a ban on transgender people in the military. I don’t find it easier to know that, but I find it easier to know it early than be surprised by it two hours into my day. I can hear the voice of an imaginary therapist in my head being like, “No, it’s better to just walk to school and take your kids and give them hugs” — and, you know, whatever. For me, I feel like an asshole if I’ve been like, “Whoo! Hey, everybody,” on the street and not known the horror that has already happened in the world and in this country. I don’t know.

To hear more about how Rebecca Traister gets it done — including how she discovered the secret of running — click above, and subscribe wherever you listen.

Rebecca Traister Wants to Know the Bad News Right Away