This week’s topic is: How To Rise Up to the Patriarchy with Lindsay Tucker
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Lindsay Tucker, who is a yoga journal editor, podcast host, and author of a forthcoming book about patriarchal microaggressions and how they affect women and girls globally throughout a lifetime. Listen in as Lindsay shares how to set healthy boundaries while working on emotional projects, how to rise up to the patriarchy and ways to bring more awareness to the female voice.
- Lindsay’s path to journalism…
- How to listen and stay connected to your body…
- Passion projects and setting healthy boundaries…
- Defining microaggression…
- Where female awareness stands now and in the future…
- What going beyond physical beauty looks like…
- Female sexuality and what it means to feel empowered…
- How to bring more awareness to the female voice…
About Lindsay Tucker
Lindsay Tucker is a journalist, magazine editor, author, and podcast host of the Yoga Show from Yoga Journal. She’s currently writing a book about patriarchal microaggressions and how they affect women and girls globally throughout a lifetime. Her work has also appeared in Newsweek, the Atlantic, the Boston Globe, and Glamour.
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Lindsay Tucker Interview
Other Podcasts you may enjoy!:
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- The Mind-Body Connection and Your Health
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Note: The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate. This is due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
Kimberly: Hey Beauties, and welcome back to our Monday Interview Podcast. I am so excited for our guest today. Her name is Lindsay Tucker, and she is a Yoga Journal editor, podcast host, and author of a forthcoming book about patriarchal microaggressions and how they affect women and girls globally throughout a lifetime. I have to say this one is super interesting and really thought-provoking and I cannot wait to get into it today. Lindsay has done her research and she is such a passionate woman and I really love this interview.
Fan of the Week
Kimberly: But before we get into it, let’s call out our amazing fan of the week. Her or his name is bubblybuddy. Love that name. And he or she writes, “I love her. I’ve been listening to Health and Wellness Podcast for years and finally just discovered this one. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for all this time.” Well, bubblybuddy, I am so grateful and excited that we found each other. Thank you, thank you so much for your kind words, for being our fan of the week, and for joining our community. Welcome and sending you so much love.
Leave a Review on iTunes
Kimberly: Beauties, for your chance to also be shouted out as the fan of the week, please be sure to head over to iTunes or Spotify, wherever you listen to our podcast and leave us a review. Free, easy, and just a great way to support the show. And while you’re at it, please be sure to subscribe to our show and that way you don’t miss out on any of these amazing interviews or our Thursday show, which is our Q and A community show, which is all based on questions that come right from our community. All right, all that being said, let’s dive right into our podcast today with Lindsay Tucker.
Interview with Lindsay Tucker
Kimberly: 00:00 Well, Lindsay, it’s so great to have you on today. Thanks for taking the time. You’re out in Colorado?
Lindsay : 00:06 I am in Colorado. I’m in Denver. Thank you so much for having me on today. I’m really excited to chat with you.
Kimberly: 00:12 How is your spring going so far? How is the weather? How is life out there? Does it feel like it’s coming out of isolation? Does it feel like life’s coming back online?
Lindsay : 00:24 Maybe a little bit. People are finally starting to get vaccinated. I got my first round of vaccination this week actually. But it still feels pretty isolated, I would say. I, like many people, have my small little pod of people that have been in my COVID pod for months now. I see those people and we’re all being really careful, but I don’t really go very many places. I go grocery shopping. I kind of hate the grocery store, so I go grocery shopping as sparingly as possible. I work from home, so it’s very isolating still.
Kimberly: 01:03 At least you have the nature. I imagine you’ve been able to get to hikes. Because I think of some people that don’t really have access to any sort of outdoor, very urban. So have you been able to get outside and hike?
Lindsay : 01:15 Yeah, that has been really nice. One thing about Denver is that we get about 300 days of sun. So even when it’s not super warm outside, there is still really great outdoor things you can do. Sometimes the hikes are a little bit snowy and icy, but there is plenty of lakes to walk around and I have a dog, so-
Kimberly: 01:35 [crosstalk 00:01:35].
Lindsay : 01:35 So she keeps me outside.
Kimberly: 01:37 Put your snowshoes on.
Lindsay : 01:37 Yeah.
Lindsay’s path to journalism
Kimberly: 01:39 Well, listen, love, I know that you are a journalist and you are working on this book I’m really excited to talk to you about. First, can you tell us a little bit about your path to journalism? Were you always interested in what’s going on, in communication? I’m always interested in how people come to their current path.
Lindsay : 02:00 Absolutely. It’s funny because someone asked me this yesterday, “Did you always want to be an author and a creative?” I said when I was in first grade, we had to fill out… There was a photo of you and then it said, “When I grow up, I’m going to be…” Then I wrote an author and an artist.
Kimberly: 02:16 Wow.
Lindsay : 02:16 So I would say it’s been pretty straight and narrow for me. I’ve always loved books, film, always been super into the arts. I knew right away that I wanted to be a writer. I went to college for journalism. I did a master’s in publishing and writing. I don’t know what the statistic is, but many, many people don’t use their major, but I did.
Kimberly: 02:43 It must be like 99%.
Lindsay : 02:46 Yeah.
Kimberly: 02:48 Well, I actually remember saying when I was a little girl, “All I want to be is a scientist.” In a way, because I kind of went that way for a minute and then I was going to be a doctor and then I went in with a science and math scholarship and then interned in a hospital and realized it wasn’t for me, but was interested in the body. So it related to what. I’m doing now, but not as direct as you. So that is really amazing when you hear someone that has that through line through their childhood, teenage years, into adulthood.
Lindsay : 03:18 Yeah, it is interesting because I think that so many people suffer from the stress of what do I want to be, what is my passion. When you’re born basically knowing your passion, you have a completely different kind of stress, which is like am I going to be successful at this thing?
Kimberly: 03:34 Yes. Yes.
Lindsay : 03:36 At least, that’s how it was for me.
Kimberly: 03:38 Yeah. I always say I’m a recovering perfectionist. My last book has perfectly imperfect in the title. So for me, it’s this continual journey to let go of results. Just focus on really putting my energy and putting my heart and authenticity into it, but it’s tough when that’s our pattern.
Lindsay : 04:00 Yeah. For sure. I think there is so much to be said for enjoying the journey. If you’re doing the thing that you’re passionate about, then there needs to be some level of acceptance that that is enough. This is not a revelation by any means, but just the idea of success and what does it mean. In our society, it is so results driven, it’s so capitalistic. It’s like are you making money at this thing? I would really love to see a less of a focus on that.
Kimberly: 04:32 I get asked that question a lot too, love, what does success mean to you. Now, my first book came out… Now, this year is the 10 year anniversary, so 10 year-
Lindsay : 04:41 Congratulations.
Kimberly: 04:42 Thank you. The sixth book is coming, but I really think about this now because it’s shifted a lot for me as I’m sure it’s shifted for you and everyone as we go through and what we’re looking for. For me now, it’s so clear that success really can’t be defined by anything outside of us, right? Because we’ve all met people that have all the money and they have 50 million followers and 12 houses and everything and there still can be a lot of anxiety, a lot of discontent. Then when I backpacked for three years, which is where a lot of my philosophy came from, going to countries like Laos and Mongolia and so many places where so people are so genuinely content. So I really, to your point about instead of putting all the attention, giving all the validation outside, success is, to me, really about living from your heart and just living in service and authenticity.
Lindsay : 05:43 Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. I think there’s a part of you that knows when what you’re doing is aligned with your true self. There’s always the outside pressure to do the corporate job or make more money and your body knows when that’s in alignment with your highest self or not.
How to listen and stay connected to your body
Kimberly: 06:05 So we talk about this a lot, Lindsay. We have our Four Cornerstones, food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. The body one, I think, is really interesting because we’re having an embodied experience, right? As humans. We’re the form and the formless, but we are in this body. I find that so many people are so disconnected from their bodies. We’re in our head, we overthink. So many people say to me, “I don’t know if I’m hungry. I don’t know what I’m supposed to eat.” So when you say that, Lindsay, your body will guide you, how does it feel in your body or how do you listen to your body? What is it like inside you when you get a message?
Lindsay : 06:42 For me, it’s always about tension. A lot of tension, I’ll carry it in my shoulders, my neck. But also, I feel a lot of things in my chest and even esophagus. So this was so interesting to me. So I recently, as you know, I’m an editor at Yoga Journal and I recently decided to go down to part time and contribute a little bit less. I was the executive editor. That was a title that meant something to me. I had worked really hard to get to that point in my career. But my body knew that it wasn’t in alignment with me. I had all these passion projects that I wanted to work on, one of them being the book, and I was experiencing such bad acid reflux that I was on medication every day and I was having these endoscopies and they couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.
Kimberly: 07:36 Right.
Lindsay : 07:36 So I swear to God, it was about one week of going down to part time at my full-time job and I wasn’t taking the medication anymore. My body had just completely had the opposite reaction where I was like, “Oh, my gosh, this whole time, my body was telling me this is too much. This is too much.” I’m thinking, “Is it my diet? What is it?” Of course, you have the idea like maybe it’s stress, but you don’t really think could stress really be that pervasive that doctors can’t even figure out what’s wrong with me, but it was. I mean, I’ve gone off the medication. I’m not saying people should go off their medication, but that was my experience where my body knew that something wasn’t in alignment. I didn’t know what it was. I guess, I did deep down because I made a change, but it was profound.
Kimberly: 08:30 Well, I think, of course, there’s so much value in, of course, Western medicine and going to the doctor. But when we’re talking about energy and we’re talking about… Everything is energetic and my last book, I found some really interesting research specifically around bloating and inflammation that correlated with our thought patterns and our mind. It’s our first instinct to go to the physical, the food, how am I exercising, these things we can pick up, medication, herbs, right? The formless part of us influences hormones, endocrine system, our digestive system. So when we don’t pay attention to the formless part, the form part of us starts to crack and break down and starting to be mean to us.
Lindsay : 09:17 It does. I felt like oh, my gosh, my poor body. It was yelling and screaming at me. I was like, “I’m trying to fix us,” but I wasn’t really fixing the root problem.
Passion projects and setting healthy boundaries
Kimberly: 09:27 Wow. Yeah. So it can really be this inner guide that is giving us ideas. Sometimes we don’t listen, especially… We get a lot of questions for our podcast, Lindsay, around relationships and toxic relationships and healthy boundaries and all these different aspects of when we betray ourselves. So it sounds like this may be a little bit related to your book. One of your passion projects is just this idea about… Well, I’d love for you to share with us, but I’m interested as well as a journalist. You’re working on shorter pieces and that pulls you into a bigger focus like this book [crosstalk 00:10:09] process-
Lindsay : 10:09 Absolutely.
Kimberly: 10:09 … because this, the topic, you’ll explain to us in a moment. But just to pull it out and to say, hey, I’m going to devote not just a couple weeks or a month or whatever it is for a piece, but a year or so writing, which is how long it takes me to write a book.
Lindsay : 10:25 Oh, yeah. 100%. Yes. So as a journalist, I always found that it was more of my freelance pieces that were my passion pieces, right? Because working at a job as a staff writer, you’re kind of tied to that niche of what is that publication interested in. But I was always doing these freelance pieces. For Glamour, I wrote about period equity. That’s one of the chapters in my book deals with that. So as I’m writing these smaller stories about things that I really care about, something that really struck me is the lack of research around women’s issues.
Lindsay : 11:01 So taking period equity as an example, I wanted to know how many women globally are missing out on their education because of inaccess. 1.2 billion women and girls globally don’t have access to basic feminine hygiene products. So I wanted to know, okay, what is the number? How many girls are missing school because of this? Well, we don’t have that number. I wanted to know how many girls are dying in menstruation huts per year. Well, we don’t have that number either. But we have numbers for ridiculous things. Like how many people were playing video games today. That is a statistic you can look up. But you can’t find out how many girls are dying from this very avoidable and real problem. So as I’m going through these stories and I’m finding out this lack of research, I just, I really felt like okay, this is why I wanted to do a deep dive.
Lindsay : 12:00 So my book, to back up a little, is about patriarchal microaggressions and how they’re affecting women and girls globally throughout a lifetime. So I’ll take as the lens, the window into the story, I’ll take a personal experience of mine. So another one is that when I was a kid, I was really afraid of my godfather. I don’t know why. I was two years old. So he seemed scary to me, Jersey Italian. My parents would always make me give him a hug and a kiss and I would cry. They always made me feel really guilty about that to the point where I must have been 10 years old still laying awake at night being like, “Oh, I really offended Uncle Vince when I was little.”
Lindsay : 12:45 So I recently brought that up to my dad and he was like, “Yeah, you really embarrassed me. Vince felt horrible about it.” I said, “Dad, I felt horrible about it. I was a toddler.” So this story came out of the idea of consent. What are we teaching girls about consent? So what we are teaching kids when we force them to give physical affection is that they can’t set their own boundaries and that it’s okay for them to be uncomfortable to make someone else comfortable. So there’s actually a direct line, what I found in my research, is that girls who are forced to show physical affection at a young age have a much higher risk of being sexually assaulted or sexually abused in their adulthood.
Lindsay : 13:32 So there is so many connections that we don’t talk about. There is not a lot of research. Another one was male sports, so the prevalence of male high school athletes. There is a direct connection with the privilege afforded to male high school athletes, whether that’s better grades, they get to skip class, they’re more beloved among teachers. That leads to an attitude of sexism, a higher tolerance of rape, physical aggression, and sexual assault. When I looked into that, I wanted to know, okay, let’s look at the research. How many high schools’ students have we studied and how many studies have we put into male sports at a younger age? I only found one or two. Those studies said this hasn’t been researched.
Lindsay : 14:23 So when it comes to the way these cultural microaggressions are affecting women and men, but when the negative effect affects the woman, that’s where we really see the most lack of research. I mean, it’s the same thing with female heart attacks, right? We know now that women don’t have the same symptoms of heart disease as men. But the normal… They call it the normal signs. They’re like, “Oh, women don’t have the normal signs of heart attack.” Well, more than 50% of the population is women. So why are we calling the male symptoms the normal symptoms and why hasn’t there been a lot of research on female bodies?
Kimberly: 15:01 Yeah. Wow. Just to hear all the-
Lindsay : 15:06 Sorry, I just threw a lot at you.
Kimberly: 15:07 No way. It’s amazing and all these different areas. Going back to what you were saying about the menstrual cycle, my friend built a school in Nepal and he was shocked to learn when he went there and spent a lot of time in the rural part of Nepal that women have to go sleep in the cowshed when they’re getting their period. There is always a number of women that freeze to death.
Lindsay : 15:29 Right. And they get raped in there, they get mauled by animals.
Kimberly: 15:33 Yeah. I mean, it’s shocking. There is no research. I mean, what do we do? How do we advocate for more care or more attention on this? There should be a documentary or something.
Lindsay : 15:48 Right. So it has actually been outlawed. That practice was outlawed a few years ago. But the fine equates to $30, US dollars, if it’s broken. There was one study that I did find in Nepal where it was just in a small village in Nepal. Some researchers went out there and they talked to girls and women in the small village. They found that 60% of women and girls knew that it had been outlawed, but 77% of them were made to do it anyway. So the law is not helping.
Kimberly: 16:23 Wow. So Lindsay, when you’re writing this book and you’re talking about microaggressions, how are you defining the micro? What is-
Lindsay : 16:32 So the microaggression would be like period shame, right? So maybe it’s an experience that I had, which is laughable compared to what’s happening across the globe or in US prisons, but I will take an experience that might be a microaggression, but it opens up to actually like, hey, this isn’t just a microaggression. This is a full blown aggression and this is how it’s playing out throughout a lifetime. You know what I mean?
Kimberly: 17:00 Yes, yes. I feel like there has been this emphasis in one area, which is Hollywood and getting more female leads. Did you see that there was a documentary called Miss Representation?
Lindsay : 17:12 No. I haven’t seen that one.
Where female awareness stands now and in the future
Kimberly: 17:13 It’s a good one to see, but it’s just the way that women are portrayed in the media. One of the aspects which is really interesting is people reporting the news, like all these different news anchors, how it’s really transitioned where they’re wearing clothes sometimes, like local news reporters and even higher up, like they’re going to the club or something. They’re expected to look a certain way and really, they’re journalists. Again, there’s just been a lot of conversation about that. So from your perspective, doing this research and writing a book, are you hopeful that there’s more awareness that’s starting to get out there? Or the deeper you dig, are you like nobody is talking about this and it’s not really getting better, in fact, it’s actually sort of deteriorating?
Lindsay : 18:04 So it’s super interesting because I think there is a collective message of hey, it’s getting better. We’re in the post-Me Too era. But I-
Kimberly: 18:13 Right, right. Exactly.
Lindsay : 18:17 Maybe it’s a fraction better, right? We had a few more female directors up for Oscars this year. But across the board, I don’t think so. What I’m actually finding, which I find super, super eyeopening is I’m still shopping for a publisher right now. So my agent and I are in chats with editors all the time and a lot of the feedback that we have gotten is they love the writing, they love the stories, but feminist nonfiction is a flooded market right now. I’m saying, “No, it’s not. How many books do we have about Founding Fathers? Did we really need Chris Christie’s memoir? Male politicians. Who has the microphone?”
Lindsay : 19:02 So when you’re hearing, “Yeah, yeah, yeah. We want feminist stories. We want female voices,” but then you talk to these female editors who are like, “Well, I love the story. I want to publish this, but the publisher thinks it’s a crowded market,” who are the publishers? Well, they’re mostly male. How much of a fraction of a percentage are they giving to female voices?
Kimberly: 19:25 Yeah. Wow.
Lindsay : 19:27 It’s the same thing in media and film. Going back to what you were saying about news anchors, yeah, I have some friends who are news anchors and they still have to have their hair cut a certain way. They get stipends for clothes because they have to wear certain outfits. They have a weight cap. They have to go to the gym like five days a week. Representation matters. What are we seeing reflected back to us? What are the messages that we’re getting as women about what’s valuable and what’s marketable?
Kimberly: 19:57 Lindsay, there’re just so many layers to this. I think about my journey with beauty for example. Three out of six of my books have the word beauty in the title. At the beginning, just being a very… I was very self-conscious growing up. I’m half-Filipina and I grew up in a almost 100% Caucasian place, so I was always the other. Even if it was positive attention, it was what are you? What are you? I’m like, “A human being.”
Lindsay : 20:26 A human, yeah. A person.
What going beyond physical beauty looks like
Kimberly: 20:27 Yeah, it really just threw up a lot of self-esteem issues for me. Then I went from being really focused out here and then clearing up my skin and losing weight and being like, “Oh, but that’s not really beauty either.” It’s a part of it. But two books ago or this book with Deepak Chopra called Radical Beauty that was really about the beauty of Rumi and Yogananda when we’re talking about this uniqueness, this part of us that can’t be replicated, it can’t be pinned down to just the surface. There’s this unique essence within us. I know with Yoga Journal and other publications, have you had articles or have you been writing about beauty? Which is a really interesting subject because on one side, people still want beauty products and I love beauty products too, but the other side, we want to start making sure the conversation includes the fact that uniqueness and strength and confidence and being in touch and compassion, that’s really beauty as well.
Lindsay : 21:35 Oh, absolutely. It’s really interesting because my time at Yoga Journal, I have seen the full gamut of 100% patriarchal… I would actually call it workplace abuse to where Yoga Journal is today. So when I was a senior editor there a couple years ago, we were told, “You can’t have men on the cover. Not allowed.” Probably shouldn’t… Whatever. I’m saying this on the air, but this needs to be said. So we were told, “You can’t have men on the cover,” and there was an allotment for maybe one non-white person a year that could be on the cover. We were constantly told that thin, skinny blonde women is what sells most on newsstands.
Lindsay : 22:24 Working in a place like this where there’s a man telling you that, who doesn’t even work on your magazine, I felt not only infuriated, it feels like an unsafe work environment where this is a place that is objectification of women, but only from the top. Like the whole staff was working to be more inclusive and we were all on the exact same page of let’s bring in different voices, people of different ages, different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different body types, because yoga is about inclusivity and union of everyone. Then the message of the cover never lined up with the effort we were putting inside.
Lindsay : 23:07 So there was an incident that was pretty… there was plenty of attention on it where two women were basically pitted against each other for a cover test. So it went out on social media. Like which cover would you choose? For respect out of those women, I’m not going to say their names, but they were very upset about it. Internally, we had sat in multiple meetings and said, “No, you can’t do this. It’s not only racist, but it’s objectification of the female body.” We lost that battle and after that story exploded, there was a change in leadership because a bunch of people quit and those of us that stayed said, “We’re leaving unless these demands are met.” So at that point-
Kimberly: 23:53 Were the covers, was it different races? Was it-
Lindsay : 23:56 The cover test was, yeah, two women of different races.
Kimberly: 24:00 Wow. Who thought that was an okay idea to put-
Lindsay : 24:04 And the fact that the man that was in charge, all of these women who actually are running the magazine and he’s the figurehead at the top, every single woman who worked there is saying, “This is not only a horrible idea. It’s extremely offensive.” Those voices were just brushed aside. Then after it blew up publicly, there was never any acknowledgement of, hey, you guys, really, really sorry. So there was a change in leadership after that and actually since then, Yoga Journal has been bought out by a new company, which I think is great. It’s a lot more forward thinking.
Kimberly: 24:40 Wonderful.
Lindsay : 24:42 But that’s where I started at Yoga Journal. After, there were so many PR mishaps. I became executive editor and so me and my art director at the time, who has since moved on, Rachel Kennedy, we were given the autonomy to choose the covers. So immediately, we just started looking around and saying, “Okay, who are the yogis that we really want to give a voice to?” Different ages, different races, different body types. We had the first male amputee on the cover who wasn’t a yoga teacher. So that was a big deal too because it was always like it has to be establishment, it has to be a yoga teacher. So looking at the lens of what is beauty through corporate yoga, I guess you would call it, or the commodification of yoga has been so deeply ingrained in me and what I’m thinking about all the time.
Kimberly: 25:43 Yes. But it’s so interesting you say that, that the people on the cover in the past had to be yoga teachers because we’re talking about asana teachers and anyone that studied yoga knows that asanas, the poses are really a tiny part of what yoga really is. Yoga is a lifestyle. Yoga is a philosophy. In our hearts, yoga is the way that we breathe and approach life. Yoga is meditation. Just because you’re not doing asanas doesn’t mean you’re not a yoga.
Lindsay : 26:14 Absolutely.
Kimberly: 26:14 So that dictates coming from someone that maybe doesn’t really understand what yoga is.
Lindsay : 26:20 Exactly, exactly. And-
Kimberly: 26:21 Thank God that they moved on from that. Yeah.
Lindsay : 26:24 Yeah, yeah. So luckily, yes, the publication has moved on from that and it’s one of those good riddance things where working there, I felt like this publication had lost its relevance and so many people in the community felt that way too, because it had lost its way and you had people making the decisions at the top who didn’t understand yoga philosophy, like you said, don’t understand there’s eight limbs of it, and they think that it’s a woman in Lululemon.
Kimberly: 26:50 Do you ever feel like this too? I feel like I’m always trying to explain a commonly used word, what it means. For beauty, for instance, I’m always talking about the spiritual and the other parts of it. With yoga, I feel like I’m constantly, because people are, “Oh, you’re a yogi. What are you doing?” I say, “Well, right now, just I’m in nature, I’m meditating. That’s where I put my time in. I’m not really doing asana or poses.” Like, “What do you mean then, you’re a yogi?” Just trying to explain that yoga is, beauty is. So sometimes things just get so warped in the collective conversation and then we have to backtrack [crosstalk 00:27:30]-
Lindsay : 27:29 They do. And I think… We do, we do. So much of it can be traced back to patriarchy, capitalism, these systemic oppressors that are so pervasive that we don’t even recognize them half the time we’re participating in them.
Female sexuality and what it means to feel empowered
Kimberly: 27:47 So I have a really interesting subject. I’m really interested in getting your opinion on this. This is a big, deep, rich subject. So there’s many different micro parts of this. But let’s talk for a moment about female sexuality. So know that we had Alexandra Fine on here. Do you know who she is? She’s the founder of Dame Products and she is amazing. So we had this whole conversation about it. But women obviously have been objectified, sexualized, over-sexualized. Now, we’re seeing this trend where women are saying, “Well, I’m empowered.” You see this all over social media. So a lot of times, it goes both ways. There’s the whole body shame camp, but then there’s the model-y looking, skinny person, the classically beautiful saying, “I’m empowered, so I’m going to be almost naked all the time because I’m in my full sexual power.”
Kimberly: 28:46 I get asked this question sometimes by people, do you think that’s really empowerment? I know there’s different levels to it, but I’ll start there and toss it over to you, Lindsay. What do you think about that?
Lindsay : 28:58 Sure. That is such a tricky question and I’m so glad you asked. There are many chapters in my book as well that do deal with the female sexuality because I think it’s a double-edged sword, what we’re taught when we’re kids. It’s like you have to be sexy, but you can’t be a slut. Be a good girl, but be a little bit bad. Where is the line and how does one win that battle? So I think whenever there’s a taking back of something, whether it’s a word that has a negative connotation or if it’s sexuality, there’s going to be a little bit of backlash and there is going to be a double-edged sword. If I’m trying to take back my own sexuality, plenty of people are going to probably think that I’m a slut or I’m attention seeking. That’s where it really comes back to knowing yourself and your values and coming from a place of authenticity.
Lindsay : 29:53 There are so many things throughout history where men can have public affairs. We know that monogamy, this is an unpopular opinion, but monogamy historically hasn’t really worked, but it’s really something that’s only accepted that the male does it. If it’s a woman being non-monogamous, that’s a whole different ballgame. That’s a whole different way that society sees her. It’s Hester Prynne versus JFK.
Kimberly: 30:26 Yeah, yeah.
Lindsay : 30:27 So I think when it comes to female empowerment and sexual empowerment, it’s going to be a double-edged sword because we women have been stripped of our sexuality. Our sexuality has been something that has mostly been a bargaining tool for men to use against us and take for their own pleasure when they want it.
Kimberly: 30:53 Well, it’s tough too because there’s the conversation of let’s say someone is a heavier body type and they’re confident and showing their body and we’re like, “Yes, that’s empowerment.” But if someone who is really skinny and hot girl does that, we’re like, “Oh, look, she’s being slutty.” Right?
Lindsay : 31:12 Or attention seeking.
Kimberly: 31:13 Exactly. So it’s complicated. It is very individual. I don’t think there is one exact answer. I think when we feel good about ourselves and really connected to our inner self, we can share different things and it comes from that place of sharing versus needing the attention, needing the validation. But sometimes someone that’s saying they’re empowered, saying it may not really be embodying that and maybe it is looking for attention. But we don’t know what’s inside of them, so it’s really individual.
Lindsay : 31:48 Yeah. We’re not going to know where someone is actually coming from. I mean, maybe they are seeking validation because they’re on a different journey where we might think they look like they have the “perfect body” and a ton of followers, but they really feel insecure with themselves. It’s really not for us to judge what someone’s journey is or what they’re seeking. I think the only thing we can control is ourselves and what makes us feel empowered. So if following the woman who you might feel is attention seeking makes you feel small, don’t follow that person. The only thing you can do is control your own reaction.
Lindsay : 32:28 I think something that we should be examining though is why do we feel that way? If we see a woman like Chelsea Handler, I love how she did that post where she was skiing topless, that was received really well by a lot of people and negatively by a lot of people. So it’s like, well, what is it about Chelsea Handler that bothers some people, and if you’re one of those people?
Kimberly: 32:50 I’m laughing because I used to work with her.
Lindsay : 32:53 Oh, really? That’s so cool. That’s awesome.
Kimberly: 32:55 She’s a big personality. But yeah, it’s just… Yeah, I know. It throws up a lot of emotions, a lot of-
Lindsay : 33:04 Yeah. I find that with Amy Schumer too. You either love her or hate her. For the people who don’t like her… Or so many people are like, “I don’t like Lena Dunham,” and then I’m saying, “Well, what is it about Lena Dunham that bothers you?” That’s really about you, not her.
Kimberly: 33:20 So my older son who just turned five now is really into Star Wars. We were just watching some of the prequels. We don’t have a TV, but sometimes I let him watch little clips. The sequels… or are they the pre? The sequels because they come out in different orders.
Lindsay : 33:42 I know. It’s so confusing.
Kimberly: 33:42 The one with Captain Phasma and Finn and Rey and all of those characters. Anyways, there is an Asian American actress, Rose, and I loved her.
Lindsay : 33:50 Yes. [crosstalk 00:33:51].
Kimberly: 33:50 So I was just looking her up after we watched the movie. I just thought her energy was interesting. Then I read online how much hate she got online. She had to pull herself off publicly. She got rid of all her social media. It was all from men. Shocking, but it was this idea that she’s Asian American. She’s not over-sexualized and it really bothered a lot of people. I mean, we wouldn’t even think that, but it’s like where does this mindset come from that if you’re an Asian American actress, you need to be sexy or over-sexualized or dress in a certain way? She wasn’t ugly by any means. She’s cute, she’s smart, she’s intelligent. She acted in the movie. But she’s not wearing sexy clothes. Why should that bother somebody?
Lindsay : 34:38 Right. Well, I have always joked that the cover of my book is going to be me in the Princess Leia, like the famous one where she’s basically naked chained to Jabba the Hutt because it’s so ridiculous that we have to have our female heroines who are actually warrior women portrayed in that sexual way.
Kimberly: 34:58 Yeah, yeah. I’m sorry. Looking back on it now, because now I’m watching it with my kids and just reexamining these movies and just thinking, “Yeah, how did that happen when this is supposed to be a really empowered character?” Also, James Cameron, who I love, he has these complex characters even though he does commercial movies, but he was one of the people that spoke out against the Wonder Woman movie and I felt the same way. I said, “This is supposed to be a female empowerment movie, but look at the way she’s dressed the whole movie and you [crosstalk 00:35:34]-“
Lindsay : 35:34 All of them. All of the women from-
Kimberly: 35:36 Yeah. [crosstalk 00:35:37]-
Lindsay : 35:36 … I’m sorry, I don’t remember her planet’s name, but I thought that too. I said, “Why are these women dressed like this?”
Kimberly: 35:42 Totally. I felt like if I had a daughter, I wouldn’t show that movie to her necessarily and be like, “Hey, this is empowerment.” So it’s a tricky conversation. I’m a boy mom, in some ways thankfully because I think it can be really complicated, but a friend of mine has teenage daughters and he’s the one that asked me about this empowerment issue because he was, “My 15 year old looks at these almost naked women saying, ‘I’m empowered. I’m going to fully show myself,'” and he sees her dressed in that way and being like, “I’m empowered, dad.” He’s like, “Where do we…” It’s tricky and complicated. Where do we draw the line with a teenage daughter?
Lindsay : 36:18 It is tricky.
Kimberly: 36:19 Yeah.
Lindsay : 36:23 It’s another thing that I briefly brought up in my book too, was that the policing of the female body and clothing as young as grade school, right? So we’re told, “If you wear spaghetti straps, that’s too distracting to the boys. If your shorts are too short, that’s distracting to the boys. You’re going to get sent home. The boys who are heckling you or snapping your bra strap, they’re not going to get sent home. You’re going to get sent home because of what you’re wearing.” So in that regard, yeah, to be able to choose my own outfits and say, “I’m choosing this. It’s my body. I’m empowered,” but that’s still putting the onus on the woman to be one thing or not be the other. It’s male perception of the female body and male sexualization is what is the problem. So if you didn’t have male sexualization and objectification of women, it wouldn’t be a problem for a 15 year old to wear what she is wearing. It’s a problem because of the male reaction.
Kimberly: 37:27 What about if the system is already broken, right? Which it is in many industries, and a woman then uses her power? Let’s say she does sleep her way to the top of a corporation or she sleeps her way to getting the lead role in a film or whatever. She is using her way in a broken system. What would you say to that? Is that empowerment? Because let’s say the system is what it is, but she’s trying to do what she can? What do you think?
Lindsay : 37:56 Again, this isn’t a great answer, but I think it’s a little bit of both because it all comes down to how does she feel when she goes to sleep at night. Does she feel like fucking yeah, I did this and I had a great time doing it and I got what I wanted out of it? Or does she feel really sad and slimy and like she had to get taken advantage of or use her body in a way that she didn’t want to work inside a system that doesn’t work for women?
Kimberly: 38:24 Yeah. Yeah. I’m not sure that she’s going to be a) enjoying it, but then, yeah, to your point, it’s like the system’s broken so she’s trying to get what she wants, but then she ends up creating all this shame inside of her.
Lindsay : 38:36 Exactly. But is she the person that created the same or is it the system because she felt she had no other options?
Kimberly: 38:45 Right. But either way then, she ends up with shame attached to herself and so therefore her self-worth or her self-esteem could then start to diminish. So yeah. It’s systemic. It’s big. This whole conversation is really big. To your point, we started thinking, “Oh, after the Me Too Movement, things are really shifting,” but then we’re seeing that in many areas, it’s like a slow train. Maybe the train’s not even on some of the time, but-
Lindsay : 39:16 Exactly. I think when there becomes a poster of like, “Oh, look. This happened so everything’s fine.” We saw that with Obama. Like, “Oh, we have a Black president so we’re not racist.” That’s when you really know, no, you’re in deeper trouble than you think.
Kimberly: 39:30 Totally. All this Asian American prejudice started coming out a few months ago. Of course, as an Asian American myself, it really hit me hard, especially reading that story about the 65 year old woman walking to church who happened to be Filipino, I’m half Filipina, and just being hit by a white man. You realize all this is coming up and we don’t have that conversation, but it’s brewing underneath. These perspectives are intergenerational. They get passed on. It’s like it’s the pandemic in the mind, right? It keeps going on and on.
How to bring more awareness to the female voice
Kimberly: 40:05 So you’re bringing awareness as a journalist. This book that’s going to come out into the world. What else can we do as individuals, Lindsay? We’re listening to this. We’re like, “Oh, crap. This sucks.” What are we going to do, especially as women?
Lindsay : 40:19 I think be hyper aware. Be hyper aware of what you say. What are you adding to the conversation? How can you lift other women up? There are plenty of ways. You can amplify female voices, lift up other women, realize that there is a seat at the table for all of us. The more voices that understand that the more voice women collectively have, it’s better for all of us. There is a lot of cutting other women down by other women because it is kind of… I always like to say certain things aren’t like pie. Like love isn’t like pie. You can love as many people as you want. But sometimes in climbing the ladder or even me trying to sell my book, is it like pie? They’re like, “Well, we already have a little sliver of women, so we’re good.”
Lindsay : 41:10 So I think that a lot of women participate in the tearing down of other women because they feel that mentality of I got to run faster and be the one that gets in. So I think we as women can do a lot to dismantle that ideology and help raise and make sure that other women are getting through the door.
Why there is fear around the subject of feminine energy
Kimberly: 41:29 Yes. Yes. So moving a little bit from the less practical to the little bit of more metaphysical, spiritual, so we know as yogis everybody has that Divine Feminine, Divine Masculine division of the Shakti inside of us. So we say this patriarchal mentality to an extent, it’s like this pushing down on the Divine Feminine which is also inside of that and having the mother being around other women, but it’s inside of them too. Why do you this repression… I’ve had this conversation. Do you know Tami Lynn Kent? She came on the podcast too for Wild Feminine. This distrust of the wildness of the Feminine, so it gets pushed down. It’s not linear. What do you think about that? Why is there this, again, in all these different men through generations, through different cultures, really just fearful of the Feminine energy so that they try to push it down and reject it, even though it’s inside of them to an extent?
Lindsay : 42:34 Right. I do think that it is a means to oppression. We saw with we can’t have a female president, she is too emotional or bleeding out of her whatever. So there is this idea of if we can attach stigma to emotions, then we can keep women out of certain spaces. When that forces men to… It’s very offensive how being girly is a insult, right? If a man’s like, “Oh, what are you, a woman?” Like, I’m sorry, would it be so bad? This idea that men feel that too. They feel that pressure too, that if they want to have a seat at the table, if they want to be taken seriously, they have to repress that side of themselves. So they didn’t invent the game, but they’re definitely playing it and it hurts them too.
Kimberly: 43:29 Yeah. Exactly. I think even about the way that we raise our sons. My son said to me the other day. He’s like, “I love pink. Pink’s one of my favorite colors.” I said, “Great. Let’s use the pink.” Tami said that her son said the same thing and he wanted the pink boots and the salesperson was like, “Oh, we’re out of your size,” and was winking at her, being like, “We’re not going to let your son get pink.” She was like, “If he wants the pink boots, let him have it.” You have to be kidding, not trying to push them into certain choices and it’s okay to like this, but not like that because then it just perpetuates it.
Lindsay : 44:08 Right. With every generation of parenting, we do see a little bit of a switch, so I do think it’s going to be really interesting to see the children that our generation is raising right now the way that you are raising your sons and so many of my friends are raising their boys too. Only time will tell, but I definitely think that it does take time because people are only raising kids, whatever, once every 30 years, right? But every single generation, it gets better and better and better.
Kimberly: 44:42 I think so. I am hopeful in that way. I think the conversation is starting and it may feel small, but it’s starting to gain some momentum. So hopefully in the generations that come, it’ll be… there’s this movement that’s going to start to grow and grow and grow. So I hope so. So even hearing this, and sometimes I think, “Oh, my gosh, a journalist, a activist.” I asked this question to Kip Anderson who does all those documentaries like Seaspiracy. Girl, have you seen that one yet?
Lindsay : 45:12 It’s on my list. So my sister and I were talking about it because I’m too afraid to watch it, but I know I need to. But I know it’s going to break me so deeply.
Lindsay’s practices to keep the zen while researching her topics
Kimberly: 45:21 It broke me very deeply. I said to him, I said, “How do you do it? How do you really delve into this information? It’s right in your face. You look at it. You interview these people. Then what do you do?” So I ask you the same question. It would just bother me so much I don’t think I could sleep. You’re looking at all this research, you’re writing this book. You’re immersed in it. What are your practices to keep the zen, just let go of it a bit, otherwise it could start to really bother you and consume you the deeper you dig as a journalist?
Lindsay : 45:58 Yeah, I would say there is a few practices that have really helped me, one being meditation. Doing it every single morning and setting the tone for the day of whether it’s going to be non-attachment or… Non-attachment is a big one for me.
Kimberly: 46:16 [inaudible 00:46:16]. Non-attachment, yeah. I love it.
Lindsay : 46:17 Yeah. Then physical exercise. So when I get really worked up about something, then I just have to go and sweat it out. So whether that’s I go to spin five days a week or I go for a run or I especially take my dog out for a walk because seeing a happy, innocent dog just smiling and flopping around always brings me back to my centered of okay, we’re all just animals in this planet and we can only do so much. Then the last thing is connecting with other women. Just having my network of strong females who are in the trenches with me, who can just have the conversations, but also you see what your friends are doing and how every single person is making a little bit of a difference. It’s a ripple effect. One little ripple can create a giant wave. Remembering that and remembering that you do matter and you are having an effect whether or not you can see it right now.
Kimberly: 47:20 Lindsay, it reminds me. One of my favorite things that I do are these women’s circles. It started off just in my house having friends and we’re doing circles. I started doing them publicly. Now we have this whole online circle program. What’s amazing about it is just having this space. There’s something so powerful when women get together. Our one thing is we don’t give advice to each other unless it’s specifically asked for. Because how many of us have men, well-meaning friends, brothers, husbands saying, “Oh, well, here’s what you should do. Here’s the advice. Here’s the solution.” But as women, to stand in our power and our strength, to your point, of just supporting each other and really holding that space that has been so trampled down on for so many generations, but to rise up together, it’s powerful, isn’t it? The more of us that get together. Can’t keep us down.
Lindsay : 48:11 No. They try.
Kimberly: 48:15 And Lindsay, what I do too, I was thinking about your… I love those practices, sweating it out and meditating is a big one for me. Another one I do love is the end of the day, I take a shower and I just imagine energetically, it’s not just water, but it’s energy, just anything that attach, cords, hooks, and attachments, anything that’s just on me, I just let it recycle down because sometimes if I create that ritual and pair it with something physical like a shower, but my intention is letting go, I find that helpful too so that I can step into my next phase of my day, which is not work, relaxation time.
Lindsay : 48:51 Yes, I love that. I have always been a huge fan of showers. I think they are so meditative and they are rejuvenative. A lot of times, our best ideas come to us when we are in the shower. There’s something about being in water or half in water, half out. Then definitely energetically cutting the cords. I do that with my meditations a lot where at the end of my meditation, I think about what energetically cords do I need to cut and then I’ll think about them and I’ll physically do this just to make that separation.
Kimberly: 49:23 Oh, my God. You know what I do, Lindsay? I do a samurai chop. I go like this.
Lindsay : 49:26 Ooh, that’s even better.
Kimberly: 49:28 I like this.
Lindsay : 49:29 I’m going to borrow that.
Kimberly: 49:29 You know what I do, because I read this somewhere, I do it in the front and then I do it in the back because some healers have said that the energy attaches in your lower back.
Lindsay : 49:40 I bet.
Kimberly: 49:41 I don’t know.
Lindsay : 49:42 The spinal cord? Yeah.
Kimberly: 49:44 Yeah, and I just feel we’re all creators, we’re all so powerful, energies everywhere. So I really do think these rituals and these practices can help because it’s our attention, again, paired with that action that brings it to life.
Lindsay : 49:58 Exactly.
Lindsay’s closing words of encouragement
Kimberly: 50:00 Well, Lindsay, it’s been amazing talking to you. I could talk to you forever. I just looked. I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, we’ve been talking already for almost an hour.” But I’d love for you to leave a message with all our lovely listeners, just from your work with all your amazing life experiences, just a message that you’d like to leave us with right now. I know that sounds really broad, but just something from your heart, something from your beautiful wisdom.
Lindsay : 50:26 Sure. Something that one of my mentors in college told me and I think about this every day, it’s come from a day of I matter. So remember that people are watching you. Maybe it’s your kids, maybe it’s your neighbor, maybe it’s your coworker. You have no idea how many people are looking at you and they might think… they might be envious of you or they might think that you’re a mentor to them. So if you show up in every single thing that you do, whether it’s being a courteous person in line at the grocery store, realizing that every single thing that you do matters and that someone is watching you, people are watching you. So I think it helps you to not only show up in a kinder place to other people, but kinder to yourself as well.
Kimberly: 51:12 I love that. You know what I love about you, love, is the clarity coming through. You don’t even hesitate. That wisdom is brimming right at the top of your heart and just waiting to pour out. Goosebumps!
Lindsay : 51:26 Thank you. Thank you.
Kimberly: 51:27 I just adore you and your energy. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.
Lindsay : 51:31 Thank you.
Kimberly: 51:32 I cannot wait to read your book.
Lindsay : 51:35 Thank you so much.
Kimberly: 51:36 We’ll have you back on when it’s published.
Lindsay : 51:37 Yes, please do. Also, I have a new podcast. Can I plug that really quick?
Kimberly: 51:41 Oh, yes. Tell everyone where we can find you. We’ll link to it in the show notes as well.
Lindsay : 51:46 Awesome. If you just want to read some of my work, that’s at lindsaytucker.com. So that’s L-I-N-D-S-A-Y-T-U-C-K-E-R.com. I have a new podcast that’s all about music and lyrics, which is also something super special to me because music has just a way of transforming our mood and helping us connect with other people. So please check that out. Episodes are coming at the end of April. So that’s Lyrics for Lunch and that’s at lyricsforlunch.com as well.
Kimberly: 52:13 I can’t wait to listen. I’m one of those people that it’s hard for me to remember the lyrics, but then when I hear it, there’s so much potency in that.
Lindsay : 52:21 Yeah, it helps you process emotions sometimes when you hear it in a song. You’re like, “Oh, I didn’t even know I was feeling this way, but this is speaking to me.” So even if you don’t remember the lyrics, when you’re hearing it, it sometimes can really help calm your nerves or help you feel connected to the human experience.
Kimberly: 52:37 Will you also cover music that is in Sanskrit or other languages? I asked this same question-
Lindsay : 52:42 Oh, yeah. I would love to.
Kimberly: 52:44 I just interviewed two days ago Krishna Das, who I love.
Lindsay : 52:47 Oh, yeah. Yes.
Kimberly: 52:50 I said, “You know what? Nobody knows all these Sanskrit chants, but it doesn’t matter because it’s the presence of God coming through those names and those mantras. It’s so powerful. So sometimes it’s just… But then understanding the meaning behind it adds another layer.
Lindsay : 53:04 Absolutely. Something so cool about Sanskrit I think is that the syllables are, at least for me, I feel they’re developed in a way that makes you feel emotion. Even if you don’t necessarily know the exact translation, just the syntax and the syllables are designed in a way that make you feel connected.
Kimberly: 53:25 I totally feel that. It’s so resonant.
Lindsay : 53:28 Yes.
Kimberly: 53:30 Lindsay, well, thank you so much, my love.
Lindsay : 53:31 Thank you.
Kimberly: 53:32 We’ll link to everything in the show notes-
Lindsay : 53:34 I appreciate you.
Kimberly: 53:35 … and we can’t wait to hear more. Appreciate you so much.
Lindsay : 53:37 Thank you so much for having me. This has been so awesome.
Kimberly: 53:40 Amazing, love.
Lindsay : 53:41 Have a great day.
Kimberly: All right, my loves, I hope you enjoy the interview today. I hope we got some thoughts going over there in your mind. It certainly did with mine. Certain things that sometimes we don’t think about these microaggressions and it’s just these sorts of discussions and conversations that I think really can help bring up healing with all of us on the collective scale. So I hope you really enjoyed it. And if you did, please be sure to share this interview with loved ones or anyone that you think might benefit.
Kimberly: Also be sure to head over to the show notes over at mysolluna.com, where you can find out more information about Lindsay and also other shows that you may be interested in and other resources. I’ll be back here Thursday for our next Q and A podcast. Till then, sending you lots and lots of love. See you over on the website, mysolluna.com, our Solluna app, which is free over in the App Store, and also social @_kimberlysnyder. Again, so much love and see you back here soon.