Conor Friedersdorf brings an independent-minded perspective to dialogues on politics and culture.
Conor is joined by Elizabeth, who argues that men should be welcomed into feminism. But would she extend her offer to James Poulos, author of the controversial and provocatively titled article “What Are Women For?” Conor poses the next question: Should contraception be free? He isn’t so sure. And Elizabeth isn’t sure she buys David Brooks’s argument that the American elite talks like sexual progressives but behaves like traditionalists. It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week—so of what should we be aware? And that prompts Conor to ask, “Are foodies disordered eaters?” Plus: ex-DC residents on whether the culture of the city forces idealistic young people to sell out.
Mark talks about his recent profile of Maggie Gallagher, a leading opponent of gay marriage. He and Conor agree that legal gay marriage is both inevitable and probably a good thing. They disagree about who truly speaks for Catholics. Conor calls for abandoning the norm that says “objective journalists” should hide their opinions, while Mark sees value in it. Is it always best to be charitable toward one’s ideological opponents? They conclude by debating whether homeschooling is bad for a liberal society.
Noah and Conor kick things off by debating the Catholic Church, health insurance, and contraception. Is this a manufactured controversy, or are lay Catholics earnestly upset by a loss of religious liberty? Noah is a Jewish liberal living in New York City—so what is he doing writing for The American Conservative? Conor wonders whether the GOP should embrace TAC‘s radical critique of American foreign policy. Charles Murray’s new book Coming Apart receives some harsh criticism, as does the right’s politics of symbolic victimization. Plus: who will Noah and Conor be voting for in November?
Conor and Phoebe delve into the controversy surrounding the Susan G. Komen Foundation and Planned Parenthood, and how social media is changing grassroots campaigning. They deconstruct so-called “lady blogs” like Jezebel that are targeted at women and discuss the social-media site Pinterest and the curious backlash against it. Conor reveals his engagement and offers a critique of the wedding-industrial complex. And Phoebe concludes by musing on the strange online meta-debate about the musician Lana Del Rey.