Chapter 20: Debbie Stoller on frenzied female fandom, fighting for freedom, and fourth-wave feminism

Sunset Park NYC - Home of  BUST  Magazine HQ

Sunset Park NYC - Home of BUST Magazine HQ

Do you remember Chapter 4 of 3 Books with Sarah Ramsey?

She introduced me to BUST Magazine, the largest feminist magazine in the world, and waxed on about how BUST had incredible book recommendations…

Well, they sure have a lot more than that.

I picked up a copy of BUST and was blown away by the urgency, voice, and community. I also wasn’t surprised to see The New York Times and Fast Company both profile BUST over the past few months.

Me and Debbie in the  BUST  offices… she plucked her three books off the shelf behind us before we began!

Me and Debbie in the BUST offices… she plucked her three books off the shelf behind us before we began!

So I trucked down to Brooklyn to see if we could learn what’s behind the curtain. I’m so delighted to introduce you to my next guest on 3 Books — founder of BUST, Master’s and PhD graduate of Yale University with thesis in the psychology of women, and rampant feminist since age six …

The one and only Debbie Stoller.

In addition to her three most formative books, Debbie shares her inspiration behind BUST and how pop culture influences societal views and laws.

What’s on the hallway walls where we recorded?

What’s on the hallway walls where we recorded?

Debbie has taken the powerful influence culture has on society by turning cultural narratives on their heads, striving to make BUST into a magazine that reads like the world that would exist ‘if women won.’

Debbie sits down with me in the middle of her office in the ‘warehouse district’ in Brooklyn, NY where I ask basic questions like: What is feminism? Who got us to where we are today? And what are the major gaps between men and women in the world right now?

I feel like I sound like an ignorant fool a lot in this chapter but I hope you enjoy and learn as much as I did. Huge thank you to Debbie for this opportunity.

And now let’s get into Chapter 20.

Listen to Chapter 20:

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What You'll Learn:

  • How does culture reflect male and female desire differently—and what has been left out?

  • What’s the difference between first-wave, second-wave, and third-wave feminism?

  • How has pop culture amplified and influenced gender roles and stereotypes?

  • How has the definition of feminism changed and shifted over the years?

  • What would media look like if sexism didn’t exist?

Ideas Worth TWEETING:

“According to the Steinem essay, if men were the ones that menstruate they would use the fact that women didn’t menstruate to keep them out of office. They would say: if you can’t stand the sight of blood once a month, how can you send a troop of people into war?” Debbie Stoller of @Bust_Magazine #3bookspodcast

“BUST was meant to be a magazine that shows what the world looks like if women won.” Debbie Stoller of @Bust_Magazine #3bookspodcast

“There’s nothing inherently womanly about a person who’s born with a vagina. All of those traits, all of that stuff sort of gets placed on you by society, by certain limitations that you get – to be quiet, to not speak out, to not be competitive.” Debbie Stoller of @Bust_Magazine #3bookspodcast

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