Wednesday, January 18, 2006

the podcast

So, the Mathemetician has a podcast. It is a confession podcast, based on a friend's website, where people can anonymously call in and confess to the sordid things they've done or would like to do, their hopes, dreams, fantasies. The confessions run the gamut from innocuous to obscene. People call in to confess, and the Mathemetician and three of his closest friends, the Dudes, listen and comment. It's funny. And sometimes also very sad.

Here's my confession: At first I liked the podcast a lot. Then I kind of started to hate it. I wasn't able to put my finger on it exactly, but here are a few reasons thought might be behind it:

1. They talk about other girls being hot on the show. This is petty and I am embarrassed to admit I feel this way, but it's true.

2. They don't really feature any cool, intelligent women on the show. The only calls they regularly feature are from a 19 year old girl who calls in after plying herself with alcohol, and says "cute" (a.k.a. stupid) things. The other calls from girls that they feature are usually confessing to things like masturbating while listening to the podcast--you know, intelligent stuff like that.

3. The Mathemetician carves time out of his schedule for the show, and takes it quite seriously. He has even cancelled plans with me to do it, which is annoying, but forgivable. I thought a lot about this, and have deduced that I feel jealous of his ability to be focused on himself and his own work, and devotes real, serious time to his creative projects. Really I am projecting frustration with my inability to do the same onto his poor podcast.

After thinking about reasons 1-3 a lot, and discussing reasons them the Mathemetician, I decided to turn over a new leaf in the new year, and give the podcast a second chance. Here's why:

Reason No.1 is a totally stupid reason to not support him--I need to just buck up and get over my insecure self on that one.

The Mathemetician actually agreed with Reason No.2, and encouraged me to call in and get my friends to call in, as representative cool, intelligent women. My friends are brilliant and funny--I can do that.

Reason No.3 is another thing I need to seriously get over because, duh, The Mathemetician's creative focus was what drew me to the Mathemetician in the first place. Also, if I want to create anything in this lifetime, I need to mimic his behavior in this regard, rather than pout about it.

So, in an effort to embrace the podcast, I called in last week. I left a message, commenting about how funny one of the Dudes was being during the last show. This particuar Dude, in normal life, is deadpan guy. On the most recent podcast, though, he was being totaly hilarious, talking in funny, voice-over quality character voices and shit. It was awesome in that it was totally incongruous with his usually composed presence. So I called and told him so. Why not--new year, new leaf, right?

Last night I found out that, during taping, they featured my call. In a segment that the Dudes who wrote the shownotes called HANDJOB OF THE WEEK.

I feel so embarrassed. The Mathemetician made them stop taping. The show will likely never even be played. But, still.

This is how I feel when I think of my call being referred to as HANDJOB OF THE WEEK: small, stupid, sexualized, and powerless. My Sarah Lawrence education, my successful career, my writing, my 12 years of classical piano training. All of these things disappear.

And somehow, I am the one who feels embarrassed, like it's my fault, like I brought this upon myself. One could argue that I should have known that the winds would blow this way. One could say, "tough shit, sweetheart. You listened to the show before, you know how those guys talk and think and act," and it's true, I do.

This makes me think a lot about sexism. About the sexism that exists in all of us, that we don't even realize is there. It was latent in the show, I know that now. Even though I second guessed myself, tried to tell myself it wasn't, I know now that that's why the show bugged the shit out of me. But I also know that these guys are intelligent people. They are friends of mine, who think highly of me. At least I think they do.

I suppose like love, sexism works in mysterious ways.

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