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Episode 18: Sex Sells? Or Insecurity Sells… (1/2)

In the first episode of our two-part conversation with Caroline Heldman, we discuss the role of culture and the media in defining femininity and masculinity, the harm of gender roles, and the way they shape our economy. We also touch on the double-edged sword of social media in creating social movements vs. hindering socialization. Caroline Heldman is a Professor of Politics with a specialty in media, gender, and race — and the president of The Representation Project. **Please remember to rate and leave a review for our podcast! Give us your feedback Follow us on Instagram! Facebook BBXX website Sign up for our digital “book” club — a twice-weekly curation of the best digital content about identity, sexuality, intimacy, and relationships!
The transcript wasn’t added for this episode.

In part two of our conversation with Caroline, we continue our discussion and speak directly about the mental heath crisis of millennials, tools to help us all disconnect a bit from social media, and some helpful resources to find good media. We hope that you enjoy and ponder the question: What are the consequences of living a distracted life?

Mental Health Crisis

Millennials (ages 25-39) have been experiencing higher rates of depression than previous generations. Humans are becoming less connected because of media and social media consumption, which leads to more antisocial attitudes and behaviors. We also know that the more time you spend curating your “self” on social media the higher the rates of depression. The
baggage of performing on social media is having real life negative effects on self-esteem.

Ideas for Disconnecting

  • Unplug from devices when you can
  • Limit your screen time
  • Reconnect with your friends IRL
  • Put your phone in your trunk when driving
  • When out to dinner: whoever looks at their phone first pays for the whole meal

We are losing our ability to be present and we know that having a few close friends with whom you can share your feelings does increase your happiness. So take time to disconnect and be present.

Paradox of Social Media

Online interactions are not equivalent to IRL interactions. Despite being more connecting and politically activating, online friendships don’t create closer and more intimate relationships. It’s really a double edged sword.

What are the consequences of living a distracted life?

Parenting Equality

Caregiving is feminized in our culture and because of this, we don’t give it the value that we should. Since women still do the bulk of the parenting, Chase Bank has conducted research that found that the value of a woman’s work in the home – cooking, cleaning, driving, caretaking – would equate to a $140,000 per year salary.

I would love to see a world in which we actually compensated caregiving.

In the perfect world, parenting would be a job that is compensated. This could help people take it more seriously and put more resources behind it.

Good Media Sources

About the Expert

Caroline Heldman

Caroline Heldman

Dr. Caroline is the Executive Director of the Representation Project and a professor at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She is also a Senior Research Advisor for the Geena Davis Institue for Gender in Media. Her research specializes in media, the presidency, and systems of power (race, class, gender, sexuality, ability)