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A Rough Start But Still In The Game!

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Totally Married Podcast

Episode 282

Their baaaack! Elizabeth and Andy discuss why they went MIA for the beginning to 2017, and then discuss the state of the world, and how Elizabeth’s inherent nosiness paid off recently before diving into listener questions about an inappropriate attempt at helping by a friend that needs to be shut down, how to voice your differing opinions to family members without creating conflict, and how to engage a partner in conversation or how to learn how to get each other to engage in a way that is meaningful to you both? Enjoy!


B says:

Hello Old Friends!

So good to hear your voices and thoughts and to hear your family is safe. Some of the best therapy I’ve found for this dire political climate is hearing I’m not alone in confronting this psychopath.

On the topic of activism I wanted to share the awesome app, Countable. It helps you track what T-bag is doing, bills in congress day by day and and voice your concerns to your local reps.

Putting out the good vibes for your beautiful new home.

Rebecca says:

Welcome back!

I don’t know if you have heard about It has tons of useful information about how to effectively harass your representatives (which is basically all I do all day at the moment). There is also a place to put in your zip code and find out if there are local Indivisible groups in your area so you can work in tangent with others.

Thank you for this wonderful podcast!

Jess says:

So happy you’re back and Otis is doing better!!! Elizabeth, EVERTHING you said about politics today was EXACTLY what I’ve been feeling. I have a full-time job, but also feel I need to be a full-time activist. I do NEED to disconnect, but I tried to do that this weekend and it was impossible with everything going on. Trump tweets are terrifying. This is not normal. I want to believe my friends who voted for him are becoming equally appalled with his actions, but all are remaining silent or still blindly supporting him. UGH! Thank you for reminding me that there are plenty of “us” out there in the world. Again, so happy you guys are back!!!

Shari says:

Hi Elizabeth, with regards to being a full-time activist, what are some things we can do from Canadian soil (where it’s our problem too)? How can we use social media to voice our opinions without running up against trolls?

Becca says:

First, so glad to see an episode when I woke up this morning! So glad Otis is feeling better but I’m also happy you’re back!

The political talk wasn’t the best start to my day – not that I don’t agree with Elizabeth, just hoping to keep my head in the sand for a little longer this morning ๐Ÿ™ I really appreciated what Elizabeth’s been doing to be proactive, keep the great ideas coming! I’m due in 6 weeks so I’m hesitant to get too involved time wise, but I too feel like I have to do something. I’d love to hear how your phone conversations are going. I know a phone call is the most effective way to get through to our representatives, but I don’t know what to say! I’m so upset about so many things that are happening (or seem inevitable) that I feel my conversation would sound something like, “uh, hi, I really don’t like trump, he’s really bad, please don’t make abortions illegal, and don’t build the wall, uh, ok, thanks, bye”. Is it best to focus on one topic? What about when the representative is Republican, and most like someone I would never vote for anyway?

Becca says:

Just want to be clear, I don’t want the political talk to stop, this was yet another tough weekend and as I stated I do agree with Elizabeth. I’ve been trying to disconnect as much as I can because it’s all so overwhelming and brings on a little anxiety, so it might’ve been better to start my day with some music – that’s on me, overall I appreciate hearing that I’m not alone in this!

Clare Kelly says:

Hi Becca! I don’t know if your state has one, but I live in Michigan, and we have a private FB group called Forward Action, it was originally a Michigan branch of the Pantsuit Nation group, but now it exists with the sole purpose of organizing and facilitating activism. Holy moly, there are some amazing resources in that group, including phone scripts for calling your reps! I also found this great resource, if no group exists:

Becca says:

Clare – I happen to live in Michigan! Thank you for this resource, I would love to join the Facebook group and pass it along to some friends as well. I’ve been trying to find some stuff my book Club can do (along the lines of Elizabeth’s valentines, we decorated brown paper bags for a group that sends meals home with kids, so I’m hoping to find more “crafty” things we can do while we’re “talking about the book”)

Andrea says:

Also there’s a great website called 5 calls. You just type in your zip code and click on what issue is important to you. It gives you a name, phone number, and script (including a reminder to thank whoever answers the phone) for 5 people you can call! It’s mostly leaving messages, but it’s a little thing that can have a big impact.

Kristi says:

Yay! Glad you’re back! You made Valentines for refugee families?? I LOVE it! How will you be giving the Valentines to the families?? I want to do this. You’re awesome!

Chloe says:

Elizabeth, I’m so, so glad you’re back. This podcast is honestly one of the most soothing things I can put on and feel like I’m among friends while I’m doing my work.

I’m also really glad you met a sex worker and kind of got a real person’s perspective and that put things in a different light for you. I think it’s really admirable that you wants sex workers to have rights despite not understanding it or still feeling the stigma. And, I mean, it makes sense that you wouldn’t want to see your kids in that field, like number one because who wants to think of their kids doing anything sexual! And 2 because it’s a field you don’t really understand or you think is dangerous. I guess it’s like how my parents weren’t happy that I came out as gay because they were worried my life would be harder that way.

Andy actually was SPOT ON with his analogy of having an indie t shirt company and feeling responsible for messed up worker conditions in the clothing industry. This is actually a comparison sex workers do make! There are a lot of industries that within them have dangerous or exploitative work practices, but we focus on the sex industry – because of morality, because of not understanding, because it strikes an emotional chord – whatever. Of course we want to fix the problems, but we don’t want to criminalize the people affected by those problems. And yes, trafficking is a whole different world.

$300/hour sounds not too far off from what I’ve heard about – the “VIP” sex workers who have like, been in porn and might be a little more well known (I don’t know what a reeeeally big star/super VIP does) charge $500-600 an hour. Keep in mind that is only for an hour, not a session or a full night. Here’s how I know this: I listen to the podcast called The Whorecast that’s run by Siouxsie Q. She is a really cool person, she’s a sex worker, and the podcast is there to share the stories and voices of sex workers. It’s also educated me a LOT about sex worker’s rights. I probably thought sort of like how you thought until I listened to it. Really cool, really fun to listen to. (And she mentioned on another podcast that she and many other sex workers advertise on Slixa, which is how I know about pricing, because then out of curiosity I looked at the site to see how sex workers advertise. You learn a lot there too!)

I’ve met her in person because I went to a play she procured off Broadway and she is truly the sweetest, most friendly person – while also having really strong convictions and opinions (you might like her)! She very strongly identifies as a feminist and was very vocal about her support for Hillary. She lives in LA now and if you want to interview her, she’d be a GREAT person to talk to, because she’s so knowledgeable about the podcast and sex workers rights, so experienced at interviewing and journalism, and so personable and charming! I think she’d be really good at addressing any stigmas etc while still being very nice.

Jonathan F. says:

Thank God you’re back! – I’ve been listening to old eps. I know this is almost mission impossible, but does ANYONE know in which ep of either Totally Laime/Married Elizabeth & Andy talk about “The Staircase” documentary? I watched it recently and I’m dying to listen to their thoughts on it, ’cause I know they recommended it and discussed it probably even more than once… BTW – have you guys watched “The Staircase: The last chance (2013)”? or are you aware that the retrial will finally take place this very year? Greetings.

P.S: There’s also The Staircase (the aftermath) special, filmed while M. Peterson was in prison, plus there’s an Owl Theory clip. I could send you links/info via e-mail if you’re interested.

MS says:

So glad to have you guys back and to know that everyone in your family is well. I missed your podcasts so much!

To the writer-inner who wanted to know how they can respectfully assert disagreement when family and friends bring up hot topics, I think “I disagree with that viewpoint” or “I feel the opposite way on that” is a good way to start. The conversation might steer itself from there, but I think that’s a good way to go on record to that person, and in front of younger family members, that you think differently and therefore aren’t a safe person to get into their potentially ugly feelings with.

I remember a Christmas when I was in college, something about gay people came up at the table. My dad’s brother said something negative and my dad, the eldest sibling and host, shared how he used to not really know about gay people, but ended up meeting a co-worker who has now become his most respected colleague and best friend. My dad didn’t try to change anyone else’s opinion, simply shared his experience of having grown up in the same midwest conservative environment, but then getting out into the real world and meeting a real person who was “different” from him, he saw more similarities than he could have ever imagined. I grew up in a household where love and tolerance were taught, so this was a given for me, but seeing my dad bridge the gap between his past and his present, in front of his two younger siblings and all of my cousins, I was so proud of him.

Five years later, my cousin, who was at the table that night, came out of the closet. I’m so glad my dad was setting the example for everyone that he was someone who judges people on character, not labels.

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