Podcast: In Bed with the Right

In bed with the right

Welcome to In Bed With the Right, the new podcast from the Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

Hosts Moira Donegan and Adrian Daub welcome a range of scholars and critics to analyze right wing ideas about gender, sex and sexuality – and to plumb the ways in which these ideas persist in and shape our present moment. Please join us as we take deep dives into some old ideas that are unfortunately upending lives right now.

 

Hosts

Moira Donegan

Moira Donegan is writer in residence for the Clayman Institute, where she plans to participate in the intellectual life of the Institute, host its artist salon series, teach a class in feminist, gender, and sexuality studies, and mentor students, while continuing her own projects and writing. Her criticism, essays, and commentary, which cover the intersection of gender, politics, and the law, have appeared in places such as the New York Times, the New Yorker, the New York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, and Bookforum. Donegan has been an editor at the New Republic and n+1, and currently she writes a column on gender in America for The Guardian. Her first book, Gone Too Far: #MeToo and the Future of Feminist Politics, is forthcoming from Scribner. 

Adrian  Daub

Adrian Daub

In fall 2019, Daub became the Barbara D. Finberg Director of the Clayman Institute. A Stanford professor of comparative literature and German studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences, Daub was Stanford’s director of the Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from 2016 to 2020. 

Producer

Megan Calfas

Megan Calfas

Megan Calfas is a playwright, journalist, and podcast producer. She recently directed a sold-out run of the live storytelling show Crushing in New York City and is in the process of developing an original musical about youth climate activists in the Bay Area. Previously, she reported on the environment for the Los Angeles Times, investigated maternal mortality in Zanzibar, and once convinced Stanford University president Marc Tessier-Lavigne to perform in a musical alongside personified, dancing peanuts. 

New episodes in 2023-24

Episode 16: Kate Manne on Anti-Fatness

Philosopher Kate Manne (Down Girl, Entitled) joins Moira and Adrian to talk about the politics of anti-fatness – where fatphobia came from historically, how it intersects with racism, sexism and transphobia, and how interpreting bodies according to moralizing principles remains a right-wing idea that succeeds even in the leftiest of spaces.

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Episode 15: Taylor Swift

Follow Adrian following Moira following various conservative pundits down what is already shaping up to be one of 2024's weirder rabbit holes: the Great Taylor Swift Conspiracy! What it says about electoral politics in 2024, shifting media ecosystems, and the long history of masculinity-mysticism.

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Episode 14: Prisoner of Sex -- Norman Mailer vs. Kate Millett and women

In her 1970 book Sexual Politics, feminist critic Kate Millett devoted 20 pages to a critique of novelist and public intellectual Norman Mailer. In this episode, Moira guides Adrian through Mailer’s very cool, very level-headed response: a 250-page screed against Millett in particular and feminism in general.

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Episode 13: The Cursties with Michael Hobbes

2023 was a year rich in truly cursed discourses; In Bed With the Right has already analyzed many of them. In this episode — our first annual CURSTIES — your able hosts (with guest Michael Hobbes) analyze a few that have fallen through the cracks, and vote for the most cursed discourse of the year!

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Episode 12: The Morehouse Man with Saida Grundy

Founded in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, Morehouse College in Atlanta remains one of the most elite HBCUs. As Prof. Saida Grundy argues, the all-male college also sheds light on gender conservatism, Black masculinity, and the politics of respectability.

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Episode 11: Homocons

Together with their guest, historian Samuel Hueneke, Moira and Adrian delve into the history of the homocons: gay (and sometimes, very sometimes, lesbian) conservatives. Toggling between the beginnings of the AIDS crisis of the 1980s, the gay marriage fracas of the early aughts, and today's anti-trans panics, they ask: is this an invariant of queer public life? Or is there a history and tradition here?

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Episode 10: Nietzsche and his Heirs

Moira and Adrian continue their earlier discussion of the thought and influence of Friedrich Nietzsche — morality and the critique of metaphysics, antisemitism and anti-feminism.

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Episode 9: Marriage Boosters with Rebecca Traister

Every few years, it seems, a set of academics and pundits discovers marriage as a panacea for a host of social ills — poverty, unhappiness, social cohesion, research assistants. Moira, Adrian and their guest, New York Magazine writer Rebecca Traister, are less-than-excited to report it’s back and just as threadbare as ever. But this time — since this is the 2020s — with a dollop of “this is something the woke left doesn’t want us to talk about.” A long conversation about feminism, capitalism, anti-feminism, the neocons, data, and vibes.

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Episode 8: Nietzsche

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900) is one of the 19th century's most versatile, counterintuitive and ... well, misogynistic thinkers. Moira and Adrian talk about the legacy of his thought in later movements, both feminist and anti-feminist, and about a specific style of irony and contrarianism that Nietzsche pioneered and that seems to thrive in the internet age -- often enough in league with reactionary gender politics.

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Episode 7: "The Transsexual Empire" with Susan Stryker

Often considered the ur-text of trans-exclusionary feminism, Janice Raymond’s “The Transsexual Empire” came out in 1979, but rehearses a bunch of tropes you could just as well get off JK Rowling’s Twitter feed. In their conversation with historian Susan Stryker, Moira and Adrian explore the very specific milieu from which Raymond and her book emerged — a radical lesbian feminist theology deeply disappointed with the Catholic Church.

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Episode 6: Perverts, Creeps and Priests!

It's Moira and Adrian's version of a classic Cher song: Perverts, Creeps and Priests! This episode takes deep dives into three texts that illuminate contemporary "crisis-of-masculinity" debates: those that invoke the Bible, those that invoke science, and those that invoke only their own proudly flaunted neuroses. Where are these right-wing discourses about masculinity in agreement, where are they in conflict? Everyone agrees men are in crisis -- who gets to decide what exactly the crisis is?

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Episode 5: Crisis of masculinity

Moira leads Adrian through the endless discourse about the "crisis of masculinity" -- where it comes from, what has motivated it in the past, and why we're having it again. Together, the two of them take a long tour de dudes: from Silicon Valley to Mike Pence's bedroom, from the Old West to Jordan Peterson's couch. What is the unique state of emergency that men find themselves in? Is it real? And why is it -- once again -- supposed to be feminism's fault?

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Episode 4: Fag hags with Moira and Adrian

Ever since the 1960s, the figure of the “fag hag” — a (mostly) straight woman hanging around gay men — has been a mainstay in and around queer spaces. As a woman who refused heterosexuality she aroused the ire of social conservatives, but also critiques from within the community. In this episode, Moira and Adrian investigate: why did conservatives hate the hag? How radical was this figure really? And is she still a thing?

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Episode 3: Susan Sontag with Merve Emre

Susan Sontag (1933- 2004) was a writer, critic and activist, one who isn’t thought of (and didn’t think of herself) as conservative. In this episode, your hosts talk with Prof. Merve Emre to think through Sontag’s writing on gender and on the women’s movement. How do Sontag’s leeriness about identity and identification, her ambivalent attitudes to bodies, sex and beauty, and her elitism land in today’s political climate and landscape?

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Episode 2: Midge Decter with Matt Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell

Midge Decter (1927-2022) has often been called the "grandmother of neoconservatism" -- hers was in some ways a pretty classic trajectory, from New Deal liberalism to profound unease with the social movements of the 1960s, to the center of the conservative movement and Republican politics. But unlike most of her fellow neocons, Midge Decter always framed her trajectory quite openly in terms of gender: repulsion from a certain kind of women's liberation, and attraction to a certain kind of masculinity. In this episode, Moira and Adrian delve into the weird, cantankerous world of Midge Decter with the co-hosts of Know Your Enemy, Matt Sitman and Sam Adler-Bell.

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Episode 1: Gay marriage with Moira and Adrian

Join us for the first episode of the all-new show In Bed With The Right. For their inaugural episode, Moira and Adrian delve into right-wing (ahem) contributions to the gay marriage debate. Ten years ago the Supreme Court decided Windsor v. US and Hollingsworth v. Perry, which together spelled the beginning of the end of the gay marriage debate (gay marriage would be established nationwide in Obergefell v. Hodges two years later). But did the issue really go away? How did the terms of the debate back then on the right influence today's moral panics, and how do they motivate a far-right Supreme Court?

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In Bed with the Right - Trailer

Get a sneak peek at the upcoming, all-new show In Bed With the Right hosted by Moira Donegan and TFP's very own Adrian Daub.

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