Arrest Me For What?
Season 1, Episode 10
In this episode, the ladies discussed the decriminalization of several issues that are currently illegal. Marijuana—currently listed as a schedule 1 drug in the U.S.—is on the table for legalization nationwide, even though Stacia still has ideas of it being a gateway drug. Read the study from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (spoiler: it makes some good points but is ultimately inconclusive).
Stacia conceded that racial bias complicates the issue of marijuana legalization, and quote lines from a Jay-Z song off of the 4:44 album. It’s a great listen—Rolling Stone magazine did a track-by-track guide to its meaning.
We also debated on whether or not people convicted of marijuana crimes should be released from jail if the substance becomes legal federally. In Canada—where marijuana has been legalized—the government has taken steps to pass cannabis amnesty legislation, but some say it’s not enough.
The conversation then turned to the federal legalization of prostitution, since as of now it’s only legal in the state of Nevada. While there is a negative stigma associated with all sex work (especially in the U.S.), Harvard’s Civil Liberties Law Review wrote an article about how decriminalizing prostitution could help protect marginalized women.
We also discussed lowering the drinking age to 18. Most of us didn’t realize the history of the drinking age in the U.S. and how much it has fluctuated since Prohibition was abolished.
And finally, Monique chose to fight Tyra Banks during a game of Tight/Flight/Fight. We looked into it and Tyra is 5’10 while Monique is 5’9, so Tyra doesn’t have much of a reach advantage. On the right day, Monique could take her!
Do You Have a Side Piece?
Season 1, Episode 9
In this episode, the ladies discuss what it means to have a side hustle and the mentality that keeps us from turning the hobbies we love into full time businesses.
As a part of that conversation, Stacia gave credit to a crafter selling a cheese grater as a handmade jewelry organizer for $10. (You can also get a set of two of these cheese grater wall hangings for $69.)
Stacia also mentioned reading the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki that is meant to be a lesson on having a “wealthy mentality”.
Siobhan talked about an article she read about how a man who had been living in his car became an overnight success when he created the @angryreactions Tik Tok account.
And finally, Liana shared a memory of some snickerdoodle cupcakes that Siobhan had lovingly made her a few years ago. If you want to try your hand at it, you can find a recipe here.
Do You Use the F Word?
Season 1, Episode 8
On this episode, the ladies discussed the traditional definition of feminism and its more modern connotations. In a conversation about protecting black women, we talked about the male reaction to Megan Thee Stallion being shot and the R. Kelly allegations.
On the topic of issue surrounding the #MeToo movement, Monique mentioned some of them came up on the TV show The Bold Type TV. We also talked about how stories like those of Al Franken and Aziz Ansari could be used to derail the movement.
During our "For $10K, Would You…" game, we asked if you’d allow a brand to tattoo a logo on your face and if you’d steal a friend’s business idea. We brought up that these things have already happened, mentioning that both Post Malone and Amber Rose have face tattoos. And it could be interpreted through the Madame C.J. Walker movie that she stole the idea for her business.
And finally, a couple of us thought that Gabrielle Union would be the one to survive the longest during a zombie apocalypse. Read her book to see why we thought so.
Could You Care Less?
Season 1, Episode 7
In this episode, the ladies discuss different forms of apathy, including the conscious decision some people are making to withhold their votes and whether or not his is a valid form of protest. Siobhan mentioned conversation that P. Diddy had with Naomi Campbell telling people to “hold their votes hostage” until the black community is satisfied. You can also watch Eboni K. Williams in the State of the Culture response to that message (starts at 22:41).
Siobhan recalled a quote she heard about electing Joe Biden and “haunting his dreams” as a metaphor for holding our elected officials accountable. This idea came out of an interview with philanthropist Noam Chomsky, and you can read the entire article in The Ink.
In a conversation about government entitlement programs, Stacia couldn’t think of the name of the federal benefits coal miners receive. They are a part of the Black Lung Benefits Act of 1973, a federal law which provides monthly payments and medical benefits to coal miners disabled from pneumoconiosis (black lung disease). She also mentioned a video by a rapper named YelloPain that outlines the fundamental democratic process—it’s called My Vote Don’t Count.
Monique brought up the NBA protests, and how taking a stand can make a difference. Because of their protests, many NBA arenas will be used as polling places in the upcoming election. Stacia also referenced Kimberly Jones, an activist and author who went on a viral rant about the plight of Black Americans and later appeared on the Daily Show.
And finally, you can follow the @karensgoingwilds page on Instagram for an up close and personal look at the harassment people of color (and more recently, protesters and mask-wearers) face daily from entitled Karens and Kevins.
Do You Enjoy WAP?
Season 1, Episode 6
On this episode, the ladies discuss the backlash that Cardi B’s song "WAP" has received and whether or not it’s justified. We drew a lot of parallels between this song and Trina’s “Da Baddest B*tch” that came out in 2000.
We also talked a bit about Lizzo and the prevalence of fat-shaming that still exists in society. While a couple of us didn’t necessarily want see her twerking at the Minnesota Timberwolves basketball game, we still love her energy and Siobhan considers “Truth Hurts” one of her personal anthems.
Stacia mentioned a documentary she watched called Killing Us Softly which points out how the images of women in the advertising industry can be toxic. We also talked about how a former NFL player questioned Jill Scott’s attractiveness (clown!) and whether or not it had to do with her size.
And finally, even though he’s older, Rickey Smiley was one of the options during our Marry/Kill/@#$% segment. The idea of an older man made us think of Inayah Lamis’s song “Sugar Daddy.” If you haven’t checked her out yet, we highly recommend it!
Is 2020 Kicking Your A$$?
Season 1, Episode 5
In this episode, the ladies discuss the crap show that 2020 has become (and it’s not even September yet!). Monique referred to a dear diary Facebook post that perfectly summarized all of the craziness that has happened this year.
The quarantine has been rough, and although Liana spent some quality time with her family doing a virtual escape room, she also talked about an article she read that explains how even Zoom calls can become stressful.
Siobhan referenced the “low-grade depression” that Michelle Obama admitted to suffering from on the former FLOTUS’s podcast. One of the ways Siobhan relieves tension is to watch videos of people listening to good music for the first time. Check out Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody or Hallelujah by Pentatonix if you haven’t already.
One of Monique's coping mechanisms is exercise and channeling her inner Cher, who can do a 5-minute plank. If you're looking for ways to infuse self care into your daily routine, check out our self care bingo card. Feel free to print it out and try out a couple of the ideas in the next few weeks.
And finally, we’d like to confirm that Tracee Ellis Ross’s rap alter ego is in fact T-Murda, and we insist that we are NOT trying to start the rumor that Issa Rae is pregnant.
Are You Black Enough?
Season 1, Episode 4
On this week’s episode, we discuss what it means to be black in America. Part of that conversation included a discussion about HBCUs vs. PWIs and how to bring more notoriety and prosperity to HBCUs. We mentioned that news was made over the summer when a five-star recruit committed to playing basketball at Howard University.
We also talked about things from our childhood that seemed normal but that we later found out are racist. Stacia mentioned how polarizing the O.J. Simpson verdict was and really only fully understood it after watching the recent ESPN documentary on the trial.
Monique talked about the additional verses of the Star Spangled Banner that we never learned and how the third verse seems to glorify slavery. You can find the lyrics to those verses here.
Siobhan mentioned an unfortunate affinity she had for the confederate flag because of the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard. Check out a video of theme song for the show. Speaking of the Confederate flag, Liana talked about Georgia removing the stars and bars from its state flag in 2001. In 2003, a state referendum determined Georgia's current flag, a version that is inspired by the First National Flag of the Confederacy. You can read this article about the current fight to dismantle confederate monuments around the country.
And finally, there was a lot of talk about Trevor Noah during our “Who Would Survive?” game. You can read about his life experiences in his book, Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood.
Stacia maintains that he speaks Ebonics, which is a dialect more than an officially recognized language. In 1996 however, the Oakland, CA School Board passed a controversial resolution declaring Ebonics to be the "genetically-based" language of its African American students. Hmmm…
Is Higher Education
Season 1, Episode 3
On this episode, the ladies discuss whether traditional education is still relevant in today’s world. Siobhan mentioned a speaker she once heard talk about how every child is born a genius, but loses that level of intelligence as they grow. You can read more about that theory in this article from the American Institute of Learning and Human Development.
Liana spoke about the Ron Clark Academy—a school in Atlanta that offers alternative forms of learning. Siobhan also made the point about Kim Kardashian studying to become a lawyer despite not having gone to law school.
We agreed that higher education is important, but debated on if the experience is worth its high price tag (read about how student loan debt has skyrocketed in the U.S.). After all, here is a list of 35 CEOs who didn’t finish college.
And finally, Liana made a passing comment about Inayah Lamis, a singer/rapper with a huge following on IG. Check out her musical genius here.
Are You Where You
Thought You'd Be?
Season 1, Episode 2
On this episode, the ladies discussed being at peace with where you currently are in life, even if you're not where you thought you might be. Siobhan mentioned a YouTuber she follows who is a 30-year-old millionaire real estate investor. His name is Graham Stephan and you can either watch his videos on financial advice or his reaction videos to the ways other people spend their money.
Both Siobhan and Monique spoke about how their mothers got later starts in life but things worked out well for them. If you need a reminder that everything is going to be fine, download our poster and use it as a daily pick-me-up.
We also used the term "entanglement" and mentioned Will Smith's emotional availability to his wife. To know more about “entanglements” and the dynamics of Will and Jada’s relationship, watch the episode of Red Table Talk where they address the August Alsina situation.
And finally, if you find yourself doubting your accomplishments because you’re not where you thought you’d be by now, check out Medium's article about 52 people who found success after 40.
Are You BFF Material?
Season 1, Episode 1
On our inaugural episode, the ladies discussed what it takes to maintain solid friendships. Liana mentioned the "Friendship Equation", also referred to as the "Friendship Formula". You can learn more about the Friendship Formula by reading this article from Psychology Today.
We also talked about different types of travelers and the importance of taking trips with your girlfriends. If you're planning a girls trip (or any trip!), check out the Confab Packing List.
And finally, we just thought it would be helpful to have a reminder of just how in shape Mary J. Blige still is. Here's a video of Mary doing her thing on stage... judge the stompability for yourself.