Minneapolis, Writer, New York discussed on Experts on Expert with Dax Shepard
Yes. Welcome thank you. Thank you for Traveling today to come see us from Berkeley well. It wasn't very far farther than most of our guests are coming from. Yeah also yeah the flights fine. What are we looking at forty five minutes or something fifty three? I believe. Okay you go into Burbank. I didn't did okay. I'm smart that way. It's not terrible driving and then find out of Burbank. Takes all of twelve minutes exactly now. Where are you from originally Minneapolis? You Are we love people for Minneapolis. We're going to stereotype right now We Know Peter. Krause we played brothers on TV and he delivered on the serotype immediately. I'm accused really are and then we went and did a live show last summer in. Minneapolis and again. It was the nicest there was just a shiny nice. It's it's real. What did your mom and Dad do in Minneapolis? Dad was a lawyer and my mom was a teacher. And then a stay at home mom. And what kind of law dead. Due in now I spent many many years sitting at the kitchen table staring out the window. Not Listening to that something riveting intellectual properties or something over the Supreme Court case that change bankruptcy law. My Daddy did and he's still. He's ninety three so he's still around. That's so impressive. We all went. Oh you win. We all went to watch him. Watched him why we've met. My brothers are also lawyers. Okay how many brothers have two older brothers. Okay now. Do you have little sister syndrome. Yes okay yes yeah I think of my what my my poor sister. I have a younger sister and I also have an older brother in. Yeah just growing up in a house with two boys in those being the people you're emulating it's quite a. It's very specific path. Yeah yes I always say this about. I think when boys have sisters older sister says yes I agree difference in. Who has that dynamic seems to predictably make the best boys really do think it does honest. I really do. It's healthy to be around female early in your life. Who can kick your ass? I think that's probably a permanent sister. Relate to just about like all guys like their sister right well in your new book you had really kind of. I can't even imagine you expected the level of access or the level of openness that. These young men were giving you right. Wasn't that come as a shock to you. It really did. I mean I really. I was really hesitant to do a book on boys. I've been writing about girls for a long time for like twenty five years. Right and part of my hesitance was that I basically have like whole transcripts of uh-huh. Yeah we're going to college and what did you major. I went to Oberlin. Ohio and we weren't allowed to major in anything practical point okay. What you've changed that a little bit but so I was an English Major. Okay that's a useful major loss. Well that was the whole thing. I was trying very very hard to avoid. I want you to pursue that. Yes yes and I mean I think my parents kind of expected that would be a lawyer's wife. Okay maybe go to law school and catch a lawyer husband but my brothers my lovely big brothers who were by that time both either lawyers are in law school sort of ran interference for me. I kind of pictured them like big linebackers thing not her. I think also that I think that I got through on this kind of weird like sexism worked in my favor and a funny way. Tell me because I think my dad didn't think I was going to really have to make a living. So expectations were low. Yeah and so. They weren't really eighty. They weren't really paying attention. But be you know kind of sneaking through and saying I'm going to be a writer wasn't as threatening. Sure somebody else. Would you know take care of me? Didn't work out that way. It didn't work out that way. So you're dead. Probably grew up in the thirties forties. Yeah right okay. So Yeah His paradigm. For what a woman's going. I don't say that with any. Ill will at all. Oh Yeah Yeah. And when I said I'M GONNA get on a plane out of New York Dad and I'm GonNa be a writer The basic response was. That's a pipe dream and you can't do that okay and I thought Oh yeah. Watch me tough I went. Well now. There's a couple of things there though too because Peter has brought me into what the Minnesota Culture is in. There is a modesty right. There's kind of a celebrated modesty arrogance his bad arrogance is the worse writes in some weird ways to pursue a dream as audacious as I'm going to move to New York and be a writer could be seen as arrogance a little bit right. Yeah I mean there's many different layers there's the gender layers that are happening but also this fear I mean I get that now having a kid and I'm sure you follow the creative path you feel kind of like wow. That was a lot of luck. Also ten years of rejections out. It's just weird to wish ten years of rejection child to be very strong willed and have a very strong vision to be incapable of doing anything else BS and and or really low self esteem and believe deserve this flagellation the modest modest this fantastic writer and she wrote one of the best books on writing and one of the things that she talks about. Is the radio station K. F. K. D. or or k? Fucked trying to write one speakers saying you are the greatest. You're the best. You're the other saying whoever told you you could pick up a pencil quiet both of those down when you went there. Were you aiming to because you've written for the New York Times for how long ever forever was that? One of your first started when I got to New York. I was a editorial assistance. That's I was below. That was staff which sounds like an infection esquire so I I got a job at esquire. That's a fun place to have started. Yeah yeah it was sort of a little bit? I wish I had thought to write things down so that I could have written. My own devil wears product. I bet so. Okay so your first book in My right to assume that you were probably written articles that have been published magazine editor. I worked at different magazines. And then I was. You know worried about writing full-time and what that would mean. And whether he could live and other things so then yet. My first book was called schoolgirls it was about young women self esteem and education and I followed two groups of thirteen year old girls through their thirteenth year to of look at that transition to adolescents. Did you approach it like a journalist or scientists journalists? There's like a couple books that I read when I was in my early. Twenty s Was called loose change by Davidson and the group and both of those kind of what they did was they like looked at a turning point in history through the lives of individual women And I just I love that idea. I love this idea that you could tell the story of an era through anybody really. I think our stories and that's been kind of the driving thing for me as a journalist. Is that how to our individual stories connect out. There's a neat Zane in screenwriting which is every single scene should encapsulated in a way the entire story. You're telling it should be a FRAC DOLE in that sense that every single sliver of it should be the the thing in its entirety. And that's kind of what you're saying is wells. Oh Yeah what did you find? That was like shocking. What was the tasty thing that you were bringing the light with that book? I really think that was sort of setting me going on thinking about things like that was nineteen ninety four nineteen eighty-four about like. I was looking at the way that the media was affecting girl's body image that was taken. I have a chapter in that book. That's called schoolgirls onslaughts. That was about sort of the perception of what it meant to be slutty. And the way the girls desire was suppressed. And what that whole piece that I think? Later years years years later was kind of the seeds of girls and sex Which is your. That's your most popular book. Yeah I think so. Yeah so new. York Times Bestseller is nice and sex in case you didn't fantastic. Oh wonderful on the list. Oh that's great but feels wonderful. Now guess so that I feel like I was starting the conversation with myself and maybe with readers looking at the way you know. I sat in on a lot of algebra classes for that book. How how do you get permission to be at a school as an adult? So for that book cash. It was really only time ago. I I feel like I approached principals and principals would go through sort of a process with the PTA and the school board and then the parents ultimately would have to send permission slips. And we'll tickets that I also always change people's names right. I didn't use the name of the district and district. I was in an offer some protection because their kids and that would be wrong. I mean one of the things about the way that I work with all well. Most of my books not all of them. But with that one in with girls and boys the sexist that. I'm not looking for anything in particular. Necessarily I just want to see what life was like in this kind of world that I'm looking at so I just go and hang around. I can't know what's GonNa Happen. Right so you know whether it was like in that book that there was a sexual harassment case that suddenly burst forward or like in boys and sex. One of my very favorite scenes in the book is when I'm talking to this boy. I'm skyping with this boy. Who's a senior in college by then and when I met him? He called self a feminist. Fuck boy Break like you already know. That means weirdly enough. We were on a family vacation and Family members who are teenagers. One of the girls told one of the boys that do you know that what they call you in school. They call you a fuck boy and he was so upset by this. He's sweetest boy ever and I thought what can that mean when it. When I was growing up I graduated ninety three. So if someone called me a fuck boy that would have been like a Sign of glory or something. I can only imagine but what does it mean. What it meant was that he accepted a lot of Israel's could count okay but that he had this kind of veneer of a kind of an and I think he is. He's has sort of egalitarian perspective. But he so. He like would teach consent workshops and he was very scrupulous about all that but that doesn't mean that he didn't take advantage of what was like a super skewed ratio of girls to boys on his campus and manipulate that and treat partners is disposable and there was like this kind of jerky underneath won't and he was starting to recognize that When when we met he was like wrestling without Manton. He felt about that and he was like it. Felt really good but maybe it doesn't feel so good year so I personally have this history where I was by all accounts..