Transcript: Lauren McKeon: How to Keep Building Feminist Momentum | Sep 01, 2020

Nam sits inside a living room with a glass door and houseplants in the background. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses and a spotted blue blazer.

A caption on screen reads "Rethinking women's power. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

Nam says IT CAN BE MADDENING TALKING ABOUT GENDER INEQUALITY. WE'VE SEEN HOW THE hasthag METOO MOVEMENT PUSHED THE CONVERSATION ALONG, BUT HOW DO YOU GET BUY-IN FROM THOSE WHO DON'T ALREADY BELIEVE THERE IS A PROBLEM? AND WHAT ABOUT POWER AND THE SOLUTIONS FOR MOVING FORWARD? AUTHOR AND FEMINIST COLUMNIST LAUREN MCKEON TAKES THAT ON IN HER NEW BOOK. IT'S CALLED: "NO MORE NICE GIRLS: GENDER, POWER, AND WHY IT'S TIME TO STOP PLAYING BY THE RULES,"AND SHE JOINS US NOW FROM THE PROVINCIAL CAPITAL FOR MORE...

Lauren is in her early thirties, with long straight brown hair. She's wearing a black sweater and colourful hoop earrings.
A picture of her book appears briefly on screen. The cover features an oil painting of a dainty woman.

Nam continues HI, LAUREN.

Lauren says HI.

Nam says IT'S SO NICE TO MEET YOU, VIRTUALLY.

Lauren says YES.

[LAUGHTER]

Lauren says THAT'S EVERYTHING THESE DAYS, YES.

Nam says EXACTLY. YOU WRITE... A GREAT BOOK, BY THE WAY.

Lauren says THANK YOU.

Nam says YOU WRITE THAT THIS BOOK ISN'T ABOUT SELF EMPOWERMENT BUT THAT, QUOTE, "BROADLY IT'S ABOUT HOW WE'VE BEEN HOODWINKED." WHO IS THE WE AND HOW HAVE WE BEEN HOODWINKED.

The caption changes to "Lauren McKeon. Author. 'No more nice girls.'"

Lauren says I THINK THE WE IS ALL OF US, IT'S ALL GENDERS. I THINK IT'S NOT JUST WOMEN WHO HAVE BEEN HOODWINKED INTO BELIEVING THAT THE SYSTEM WORKS FOR ALL OF US, AND THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE THAT LOSE IN A SYSTEM IN WHICH POWER IS SO UNBALANCED, AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, WE'VE BEEN HOODWINKED INTO BELIEVING IF WE JUST TRY HARD ENOUGH, THAT'S THE SELF EMPOWERMENT ANGLE OF IT, IF WE JUST TRY HARD ENOUGH, IF WE WORK MORE, IF WE SACRIFICE MORE, AND WE BUY THE RIGHT CLOTHES, HAVE THE RIGHT LOOK, KNOW THE RIGHT PEOPLE, THEN WE WILL SUCCEED AND WE WILL, YOU KNOW, ACHIEVE OUR DREAMS, AND WE WILL HAVE ALL THE POWER THAT WE WANT, AND IT JUST DOESN'T WORK LIKE THAT AND THERE'S SO MANY EXAMPLES THAT SHOW US THAT IT DOESN'T.

Nam says WELL, IT'S INTERESTING THAT YOU MENTION THAT IT'S NOT JUST AFFECTING WOMEN, IT'S ALSO AFFECTING MEN. HOW IS THIS AFFECTING MEN?

The caption changes to "Lauren McKeon, @laurenmckeon."

Lauren says WELL, I THINK THAT WE HAVE TO BRING INTERSECTIONALITY IN IT. THERE ARE CERTAINLY MEN OF COLOUR WHO ARE AFFECTED BY THE IMBALANCE, TRANS MEN ARE AFFECTED BY THE IMBALANCE. BUT NOT JUST THAT. WHEN YOU LOOK AT, YOU KNOW, WHO IS LOSING AND WHY WE WANT EQUALITY FOR EVERYONE, IT'S SO EASY TO SAY, YES, STRAIGHT WHITE MEN HAVE EVERYTHING. BUT THERE ARE MANY WAYS IN WHICH PUTTING PEOPLE INTO BOXES AND EXPECTING THINGS TO HAPPEN, YOU KNOW, CAUSE EVERYONE TO LOSE, AND I DON'T THINK THAT PEOPLE WANT TO CONTINUE ON... WE LOOK AT THE NEWS EVENTS IN THE STATES AND CANADA NOW AND IT ALL COMES TOGETHER, YOU KNOW, ALL OF OUR SYSTEMS OF INEQUALITY FIT TOGETHER AND THERE'S A WAY OF SAYING IF I AM LOSING OR SOMEONE ELSE IS LOSING, IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEAN THAT YOU'RE WINNING. IF THE SYSTEM IS CORRUPT AND HORRIBLE AND WE'RE BUILDING COUNTRIES AND SYSTEMS LIKE THE ONES THAT WE'RE SEEING, YOU KNOW, I DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN THOSE COUNTRIES AND I THINK EVEN THE PEOPLE THAT ARE AT THE TOP NOW HAVE A LOT TO ACCOUNT FOR AND A LOT TO LOSE.

Nam says IT'S INTERESTING YOU MENTIONED WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW WITH THE PANDEMIC. YOU KNOW, THERE'S A NEW TERM THAT HAS BEEN COINED BY ARMINE YALNIZYAN WHO HAS BEEN ON THE SHOW A COUPLE OF TIMES, AND SHE IS CALLING THE RECESSION A SHE SESSION. HAS THIS SURPRISED YOU HOW COVID-19 HAS IMPACTED WOMEN AND WORK?

Lauren says IT'S NOT SURPRISING BUT I THINK IT'S REALLY UNDERSCORING JUST HOW BROKEN OUR SYSTEMS ARE AND HOW UNEQUAL THEY ARE. YOU KNOW, WE'RE LOOKING AT... WHEN YOU LOOK AT WHO HAS LOST THEIR JOBS. YOU SAID THE SHE DENY SESSION, IT'S WOMEN PRIMARILY WHO HAVE BEEN AFFECTED. AND IT'S ONE OF THE FIRST RECESSIONS WHERE WE'VE SEEN WOMEN BE THE MOST AFFECTED. AND NOT ONLY THAT, YOU KNOW, ON THE FLIP SIDE OF THAT, WE'VE REALLY SEEN THE OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN TO COME FORWARD AND LEAD AND SHOW A DIFFERENT STYLE OF LEADERSHIP. SO WHEN WE LOOK AT WHO HAS REALLY BEEN AFFECTED BY THIS PANDEMIC, IT IS WOMEN. AND I DON'T THINK WE'RE REALLY TALKING ABOUT THAT AS MUCH AS WE COULD. NOT JUST THE SHE-SESSION AND NEW MODELS OF LEADERSHIP, BUT ALSO THE WAYS WOMEN HAVE LED US THROUGH THE PANDEMIC. THEY ARE ON THE FRONT LINES. WE'VE SEEN NEW STYLES OF LEADERSHIP EMERGING. WE SEE TOXIC STYLES OF LEADERSHIP REALLY FAILING. AND I THINK THAT, AS WE GO FORWARD, WE'LL SEE HOW THE PANDEMIC HAS UNDERSCORED SOME OF THE ISSUES AND ALSO OPENED UP AN APPETITE FOR CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW THINGS CAN CHANGE AND HOW THEY SHOULD CHANGE.

Nam says WELL, I WAS GOING TO BRING THIS UP LATER, BUT SINCE YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT LEADERSHIP AND SOME OF THE LEADERSHIP STYLES THAT WE'VE SEEN DURING THIS GLOBAL PANDEMIC, AND ONE PERSON THAT A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN GIVING A LOT OF PRAISE TOWARDS IN HER RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC HAS BEEN JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND'S PRIME MINISTER. RECENTLY SOMETHING HAPPENED. I WANT TO SHOW YOU THE CLIP, AND THEN AFTER I WANT TO GET YOUR RESPONSE TO HOW SHE RESPONDED TO THAT.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "May 25, 2020. Wellington, New Zealand. Jacinda Ardern. New Zealand Prime Minister."

In the clip, Ardern, in her late thirties, with long brown hair, gives a statement.

She smiles and says WE'RE JUST HAVING A BIT OF AN EARTHQUAKE HERE, RYAN, QUITE A DECENT SHAKE HERE. IF YOU SEE THINGS MOVING BEHIND ME, THE BEE HIVES MOVED A LITTLE MORE THAN MOST. NO, IT'S JUST STOPPED. NO. WE'RE FINE, RYAN. I'M NOT UNDER ANY HANGING LIGHTS. I LOOK LIKE I'M IN A STRUCTURALLY SOUND PLACE.

The clip ends.

Nam says SO SHE WAS DOING AN INTERVIEW. AN EARTHQUAKE HAPPENED. I PROBABLY WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN AS GRACEFUL. I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE SCREAMED AND HID SOMEWHERE. BUT SHE WAS GRACE UNDER FIRE. HOW HAS HER... WHY IS SHE A GOOD EXAMPLE OF A WOMAN LEADER SUCCEEDING ON HER OWN TERMS?

Lauren says YOU KNOW, WE'VE ALWAYS BEEN TOLD THAT SOME OF THE KEY CHARACTERISTICS THAT SHE HAS ARE ACTUALLY BAD. LIKE, WHEN IT COMES TO LEADERSHIP. WE'VE BEEN TOLD THAT COMPASSION IS WEAKNESS, COLLABORATION IS BAD, THAT'S NOT HOW YOU LEAD SOMETHING, DON'T BE HUMAN, DON'T BE WARM, DON'T BE REASSURING... YOU KNOW, ALL OF THESE THINGS THAT WE TYPICALLY SEE AS FEMALE CHARACTERISTICS, WE'VE BEEN TOLD NOT TO DO. AND SHE JUST BREAKS ALL OF THOSE RULES. SHE IS UTTERLY HERSELF. AND IN DOING SO HAS FOUND A NEW WAY TO LEAD, AND NOT ONLY HAS SHE FOUND A NEW WAY TO LEAD, SHE HAS REALLY CONNECTED TO PEOPLE, AND IT'S NOT JUST IN TERMS OF POPULARITY, YOU KNOW, WHAT HER LEADERSHIP STYLE IS WORKING, WE CAN SEE THAT, WITH HOW NEW ZEALAND HAS GONE THROUGH THE PANDEMIC BUT ALSO OTHER CRISES THAT HAVE STRUCK THE COUNTRY. SO I THINK THAT SHE IS SHOWING US A DIFFERENT MODEL OF LEADERSHIP. AND IT'S NOT JUST HER. WE'VE SEEN IT THROUGH NUMEROUS WOMEN THROUGH THE PANDEMIC. WE'VE SEEN, HERE IN CANADA, IN B.C., DR. BONNIE HENRY HAS BEEN WIDELY PRAISED AS WELL FOR SOME OF THOSE SAME CHARACTERISTICS OF, YOU KNOW... INFORMATIVE, OF COURSE, BUT ALSO BEING HUMAN AND BEING WARM. SHE TALKS ABOUT HER QUARANTINE HAIRCUT. SHE HAS TALKED ABOUT HER SHOES. SHE HAS TALKED ABOUT ROMANTIC PARTNERSHIPS. IT'S ACKNOWLEDGING THAT PEOPLE ARE HUMAN, BUT ALSO TREATING EVERYONE IN A WAY THAT IS KIND AND GOOD. AND ON THE FLIP SIDE, WE'VE SEEN WHERE LEADERS HAVE NOT GONE DOWN THOSE PATHS DURING THIS PANDEMIC AND HOW DISASTER HAS FOLLOWED.

Nam says IN THE BOOK, YOU DO TALK ABOUT POWER. I THINK A LOT OF US HAVE MORE POWER THAN WE REALIZE. DO YOU THINK THAT WE NEED TO RECONSIDER THE TRAITS OF WHAT MAKES A GOOD LEADER IN ORDER TO ADDRESS THE POWER GAP?

Lauren says ABSOLUTELY. I THINK THAT WE SO TYPICALLY, NOT JUST VIEW MEN AS LEADERS... BUT OF COURSE WE DO... BUT A CERTAIN TYPE OF MASCULINITY AS LEADERSHIP AND THE QUALITIES THAT IT EXUDES AS GOOD QUALITIES. AND WE MOST OFTEN LOOK TO THE STATES AND HOLD UP DONALD TRUMP BECAUSE HE'S SUCH AN EASY EXAMPLE OF TOXIC MASCULINITY GONE WRONG. BUT WE KNOW THAT IT'S NOT JUST THE STATES. WE KNOW THAT THIS SORT OF TOXIC MASCULINE LEADERSHIP APPROACH HAS SPREAD THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY AND WE'VE SEEN IT... SORRY, THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, AND WE'VE SEEN IT IN OTHER COUNTRIES AS WELL AND WE'VE SEEN PEOPLE'S RIGHTS TAKEN BACK, POPULISM SPOKED, AND WE KNOW THAT IT'S NOT WORKING OR AT LEAST IT'S NOT WORKING FOR THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THOSE COUNTRIES. SO WE'VE SEEN THIS SORT OF TOXIC MASCULINITY SPREAD AND CATCH FIRE IN TERMS OF A LEADERSHIP STYLE AND WE'VE SEEN THAT IT'S NOT WORKING. WE'VE SEEN DEMOCRACY SLIDE BACK. WE'VE SEEN DEMOCRACY UNDER ATTACK. AND I THINK WE CAN LOOK AT IT AND SAY, WE WANT YOU TO HOLD THIS TYPE OF LEADERSHIP UP, IT'S THIS TYPE OF LEADERSHIP WE SEE REFLECTED IN POPULAR CULTURE WHEN WE TALK ABOUT MALE LEADERS, THEY'RE STRONG, THEY'RE ANGRY, THEY'RE DECISIVE, THEY DON'T LISTEN TO ANYONE BUT THEMSELVES. WE KNOW THAT'S NOT WORKING SO WHAT CAN WORK? I THINK WE'RE STARTING TO SEE SUCCESS IN OTHER KINDS OF LEADERSHIP. WE'VE BEEN TOLD DON'T BE COLLABORATIVE, DON'T BE KIND, DON'T BE WARM, DON'T HAVE A HUMAN SIDE... ALL OF THOSE THINGS MAKE BAD LEADERS AND INDECISIVE. AND WE'RE SEEING THE BENEFIT OF THINGS THAT WE'VE TYPICALLY MISSED AND WE'VE MISSED THEM BECAUSE WE ASSOCIATE THEM WITH WOMEN AND WE DON'T ASSOCIATE WOMEN WITH POWER AND WE DON'T WANT TO.

Nam says I WOULD LIKE TO READ A SHORT EXCERPT FROM YOUR BOOK, "NO MORE NICE GIRLS."

A quote appears on screen, under the title "Breaking out of the mold." The quote reads "PERHAPS, then, IT'S finally TIME TO start RETHINKING FEMINISM'S ONE-TIME GOALS, TO DITCH OUR OLD CHECKLIST FOR EQUALITY. YES, LET'S NOT ABANDON OUR STRATEGIZING TOWARD GETTING MORE WOMEN TO THE TOP, BUT LET'S ALSO EXAMINE A DEEPER, LESS CONSIDERED PROBLEM: THAT IS, WHAT THE VIEW FROM 'THE TOP' LOOKS LIKE FOR WOMEN ONCE THEY'RE THERE. WHAT IF WE COULD REDEFINE NOT JUST WOMEN'S PATH TO POWER BUT THE VERY CONCEPT OF POWER ITSELF? WHAT IF WE STOPPED FOCUSING ON PLAYING THE GAME BETTER, DITCH THE RULE BOOK, AND refused TO PLAY THEIR GAME AT ALL? WHAT WOULD POWER EVEN LOOK LIKE TO US IF WE WEREN'T ALWAYS VISUALIZING IT WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF MEN?"
Quoted from Lauren McKeon. "No more nice girls." 2020.

Nam says WITH THAT IN MIND, HOW CAN WOMEN START TO LOOK AT THEIR POWER DIFFERENTLY, TO RESHAPE OR REDEFINE LEADERSHIP?

Lauren says YEAH. YOU KNOW, I THINK WE'VE ALWAYS BEEN TOLD AS WOMEN THAT EQUALITY AND POWER WILL COME ONCE WE GET TO THE TOP OF WHATEVER IT IS, YOU KNOW, ONCE WE SEE MORE WOMEN LEADERS, ONCE WE SEE MORE WOMEN CEOS, ONCE WE SEE MORE WOMEN LEADING XXX. AND WE HAVEN'T REALLY LOOKED AT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE ONCE THEY'RE THERE, AND THAT IS A LOT OF DISCRIMINATION, THE PAY GAP WIDENS WHEN WOMEN ARE AT THE TOP, WE SEE SEXUAL HARASSMENT, WE SEE THEM BECOME BIGGER TARGETS FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT BECAUSE NOW THEY HAVE POWER AND THEY NEED TO BE, QUOTE, UNQUOTE, TAKEN DOWN A PEG. BUT WE JUST KEEP TRYING TO REPLICATE IT. WE KEEP TRYING TO SAY ONCE WE HAVE WHAT MEN HAVE, THEN WE HAVE POWER AND EVERYTHING IS GOOD. AND WE DON'T LOOK AT WHETHER WE WANT THAT OR THAT'S WHAT WE'VE BUILT FOR OURSELVES. WE'RE NOT LOOKING AT COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP. WHAT COMES, YOU KNOW, IF WE WANT, YOU KNOW, COLLABORATIVE GROUPS TOGETHER. MAYBE WE WANT OUR LEADERSHIP TO LOOK TOTALLY DIFFERENT. MAYBE WE WANT AN INFORMED BUSINESS, MAYBE WE WANT A COLLECTIVE. MAYBE WE DON'T ACTUALLY WANT TO BE A CEO. AND I THINK WE JUST HAVE NOT TYPICALLY STEPPED OUTSIDE OF BEING ON ALMOST AUTO PILOT TO JUST KEEP REPLICATING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AGAIN. AND IF IT DOESN'T WORK, IT'S OUR FAULT AND WE'RE NOT LOOKING AT THE SYSTEM. SO I THINK THAT THERE ARE SO MANY PEOPLE REIMAGINING DIFFERENT WAYS OF BEING OF LEADERSHIP AND SUCCESS AND WHAT THAT EVEN LOOKS LIKE AND WHAT WE WANT, AND WE NEED TO EMPOWER OURSELVES TO DREAM OUTSIDE OF THE BOX AND OUTSIDE OF THE PLAYBOOK.

Nam says I KNOW THE TITLE OF YOUR BOOK HAS PROBABLY GOTTEN A LOT OF ATTENTION, "NO MORE NICE GIRLS." I THINK I'M PRETTY NICE, AND IN THE PAST, YOU'VE ACTUALLY SAID THAT, IN A PREVIOUS INTERVIEW YOU SAID THAT NICENESS IS A TRAP. WHAT DID YOU MEAN BY THAT?

Lauren says YEAH. I MEAN, I HAVE DEFINITELY BEEN CALLED NICE AS WELL, AND I THINK THAT WHEN PEOPLE SEE THE TITLE AND, YES, I'VE BEEN ASKED A LOT, "DO YOU MEAN WOMEN SHOULD BE HORRIBLE AND MEAN? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT US TO DO?" AND IT'S NOT THAT. I THINK THERE'S A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NICENESS AND KINDNESS, AND KINDNESS IS VERY DIFFERENT. YOU KNOW, KINDNESS IS TREATING EVERYONE WITH EQUALITY AND TREATING EVERYONE LIKE THEY'RE HUMAN AND THAT THEY MATTER. BUT NICENESS IS, YOU KNOW, WHAT WE TELL WOMEN WHEN WE WANT THEM TO BE MORE PALATABLE. WE SAY YOU'RE NOT NICE ENOUGH. IT'S WHAT WE SAY TO WOMEN WHEN WE THINK THEY'RE BEING TOO AGGRESSIVE. YOU KNOW, YOU NEED TO BE NICER. BUT THEN IF YOU'RE TOO NICE, IT'S LIKE, WELL, YOU'RE NOT LEADERSHIP MATERIAL BECAUSE YOU DON'T HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO, YOU KNOW, MAKE THE DECISIONS OR TO LEAD A ROOM. SO I THINK THERE'S NO WAY YOU CAN WIN ONCE YOU FALL INTO THE NICENESS TRAP. YOU'RE EITHER TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE, AND IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT WE THROW OUT TO WOMEN TO KIND OF ENCOURAGE THEM TO FIT BACK INTO THE BOX AND FIT BACK INTO THE MOULD THAT WE WANT FOR THEM.

Nam says IS THIS WHAT YOU MEAN WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT BE SURE TO PLAY NICE SYNDROME?

Lauren says YEAH. YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE... WHEN AND WE'VE HEARD IT BEFORE, THAT WOMEN'S ANGER AND THEIR AGGRESSION IS OFTEN USED AS A WAY TO DISMISS THEM, AND IT'S NOT JUST ANGER AND AGGRESSION. YOU KNOW, YOU COULD BE SPEAKING UP FOR YOURSELF, YOU COULD BE EVEN JUST MAKING A SIMPLE DECISION. YOU COULD BE TALKING, IF YOU ARE A LEADER, AND YOU'RE TALKING TO SOMEONE WHO REPORTS IN TO YOU AND YOU'RE DEEMED TO BE TOO HARSH, AND I THINK IF YOU DON'T TRY AND WALK THAT IMPOSSIBLE TIGHTROPE OF NICE AND DECISIVE LEADERSHIP, IT'S JUST SOMETHING THAT... YOU INEVITABLY WILL FALL OFF THE TIGHTROPE, AND IT JUST DEPENDS ON WHAT SIDE YOU FALL INTO. IF YOU FALL INTO IF YOU'RE BEING TOO NICE OR IF YOU FALL INTO BEING YOU'RE TOO ANGRY, BUT THERE'S NO WAY THAT YOU CAN WIN.

Nam says AND SOMEBODY WHO I THINK KNOWS THAT FIRSTHAND IS THE FORMER FIRST LADY, HILLARY CLINTON, AND YOU WRITE THAT, QUOTE: "HILLARY CLINTON IS PERHAPS THE MOST FAMOUS OF THE CONTEMPORARY CAUTIONARY TALES FOR WOMEN." WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THAT?

Lauren says YOU KNOW, WHEN I WAS RESEARCHING THE BOOK AND TALKING TO PEOPLE ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHEN THEY SAW POWER GO WRONG OR WHAT MOMENT AT WHICH DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU COULD NEVER WIN, THAT, YOU KNOW, THE GAME WAS KIND OF CORRUPT, SO MANY PEOPLE WOULD REFER BACK TO CLINTON. IN CANADA AND IN THE STATES AND, YOU KNOW, OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. AND THE REASON FOR THAT I THINK IS THAT WE SAW FIRSTHAND... AND THAT'S NOT TO SAY THAT, YOU KNOW, CLINTON IS A PERFECT FIGURE OR THAT WOMEN LEADERS ARE ABOVE REPROACH. OF COURSE, THEY'RE NOT. BUT WE SAW THAT CLINTON JUST COULDN'T WIN. SHE WAS EITHER CHARACTERIZED AS BEING TOO MASCULINE. OR WHEN SHE CRIED OR SHOWED HUMAN EMOTION, SHE WAS EITHER FAKE OR TOO FEMININE OR SHE WASN'T READY, SHE WASN'T TOUGH ENOUGH. THERE WAS NO WAY THAT SHE COULD WIN IN THE PUBLIC EYE, AND IT WAS SO EASY FOR HER DETRACTORS TO EXPLOIT ALL THE PROBLEMS THAT WE HAVE WITH WOMEN LEADERS AND WITH WOMEN IN POWER. SO I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, WE SAW HER FAIL IN SUCH A DRAMATIC WAY WHERE PEOPLE WERE SO SURE THAT SHE WAS GOING TO WIN. YOU KNOW, IF YOU REMEMBER SEEING THE POLLS AND THE PREDICTIONS AND EVERYTHING, THEY WERE SO SURE THAT SHE WAS GOING TO WIN, AND THEN WE SAW JUST HOW NOT READY WE WERE FOR A WOMAN LEADER. AND I THINK THAT THAT HAS STUCK WITH PEOPLE, EVEN AS WE'VE SEEN MORE EXAMPLES AND MORE FAILURES AND MORE WOMEN BEING TOTALLY BATTED AROUND IN THE PRESS AND BEING TOLD THEY'RE NOT "X." ENOUGH.

Nam says I THINK THAT WAS ALSO THE MOOD, IF SOMEONE AS ACCOMPLISHED AS SHE IS WASN'T ABLE TO GET TO THAT POINT, THEN WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR EVERYBODY ELSE? AND THERE WAS A LOT OF DISAPPOINTMENT WITH HER LOSING THE PRESIDENCY. BUT A LARGE NUMBER OF WOMEN DIDN'T VOTE FOR HER, SHE VOTED FOR THE CURRENT PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT TRUMP, AND SOME WOULD SAY THAT THEY ACTUALLY VOTED AGAINST THEIR OWN SELF-INTERESTS. SO HOW DO YOU THEN GET MEN ON SIDE WHEN IT'S OBVIOUS THAT NOT ALL WOMEN SUPPORT OTHER WOMEN, THAT SOME WOMEN ARE MOTIVATED BY OTHER THINGS?

Lauren says YEAH, I MEAN, I THINK TO THAT POINT IT'S NOT JUST A MATTER OF GETTING MEN ON SIDE, IT'S A MATTER OF GETTING EVERYONE ON SIDE. WE'RE SO INVESTED IN THE STATUS QUO. AND IT'S TERRIFYING TO SO MANY PEOPLE TO BREAK AWAY FROM THAT AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, HILLARY DOESN'T AND OTHER WOMEN LEADERS DON'T JUST REPRESENT, YOU KNOW, THE FIRST WOMEN, THE FIRST WOMAN X, THEY REPRESENT A SHIFT IN THE FUNDAMENTAL IDEA OF WHO WE THINK IS POWERFUL AND WHAT SYSTEMS WE PUT OUR TRUST IN AND OUR FAITH IN. AND I THINK ASKING PEOPLE TO CHANGE THAT, YOU KNOW, WE'VE SEEN IN SO MANY DIFFERENT EXAMPLES, SO MANY DIFFERENT MOVEMENTS, NOT JUST FEMINISM, OF HOW TERRIFIED PEOPLE ARE OF LETTING GO OF OUR SYSTEM OF INEQUALITY.

Nam says LET ME TALK ABOUT... SORRY.

Lauren says YEAH.

[SPEAKING SIMULTANEOUSLY]

Nam says LET'S TALK ABOUT KIM CAMPBELL, CANADA'S ONLY WOMAN PRIME MINISTER. IN THE LEADUP TO THE ELECTION IN 1993, YOU WRITE IN THE BOOK, THAT SHE HAD BEEN THE MOST POPULAR CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER IN 30 YEARS, BUT SHE LOST, SADLY. IF SHE WAS SO POPULAR, WHY DID SHE LOSE?

Lauren says I MEAN, WE COULD ASK THE SAME QUESTION OF HILLARY CLINTON TOO, RIGHT, WHO WAS, LIKE, NOT... SHE WAS POPULAR AT THE SAME TIME TOO. THERE WERE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WERE REALLY INVESTED IN HER WINNING AND WANTED TO SEE IT HAPPEN. SO I THINK, YOU KNOW, IT COMES DOWN TO... AND A LOT OF RESEARCHERS HAVE SHOWN THIS... THAT IT COMES DOWN TO THIS IDEA THAT WHAT WE SAY WE WANT AND, YOU KNOW, WHO WE SAY WE'RE GOING TO VOTE FOR IS OFTEN AT ODDS WITH OUR IDEA WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT OF WHO SHOULD BE IN POWER AND WHO WE ENVISION AS A LEADER. SO NO MATTER HOW POPULAR AND HOW MUCH WE LIKE SOMEONE AND HOW THEY ARE REFLECTED IN THE POLLS, WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO ACTUALLY VOTING FOR THEM AND PICTURING THEM IN POWER... I MEAN, SHE WASN'T IN POWER VERY LONG, KIM CAMPBELL... PICTURING THEM IN POWER, WE CAN'T PICTURE IT, WE CAN'T SEE IT. WE'RE SO AFRAID OF THAT CHANGE THAT WE JUST DON'T GO FORWARD, AND I THINK, YOU KNOW, IT'S NOT EVERYONE BUT IT'S A LOT OF PEOPLE STILL.

Nam says YOU INTERVIEWED A VARIETY OF PEOPLE FOR THE BOOK TO DISCOVER WAYS IN WHICH WOMEN ARE MAKING CHANGES AT GRASS ROOTS LEVELS. WHY IS THE WORK THAT'S BEING DONE AT THE GRASS ROOTS LEVEL SO IMPORTANT TO ADVANCE THE MOVEMENT FORWARD?

Lauren says YOU KNOW, I THINK SO MUCH CREATIVITY ALWAYS EXISTS IN THE GRASS ROOTS, LIKE A MULTITUDE OF ACTIONS AND DIFFERENT WAYS OF BEING. LIKE, WHEN WE LOOK AT IMAGINING NEW MODELS OF POWER AND SUCCESS AND COLLABORATION AND WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE TO WORK TOGETHER AND HOW WE ENSURE THAT CERTAIN VOICES AREN'T DROWNED OUT AND HOW WE RAISE UP OTHER VOICES THAT WE DON'T HEAR FROM ENOUGH, IT'S OFTEN THE GRASS ROOTS WHO... AT THE GRASS ROOTS LEVEL WHERE WE'RE SEEING THAT INNOVATION AND WE'RE SEEING THAT ABILITY TO MOVE SWIFTLY AND TO HAVE THAT CONVERSATION AND TO MAKE THAT CHANGE. AND I THINK THAT WE NEED TO LOOK TO THE GRASS ROOTS FOR MODELS OF HOW WE CAN DO POWER DIFFERENTLY AND HOW... WHERE WE DO NEED TO GO NEXT. AND I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, WE NEED TO SEE CHANGE IN SYSTEMS... OF COURSE, THEY MOVE SLOWLY. THAT'S HOW WE STRUCTURED OUR WHOLE SOCIETY, IN THOSE SYSTEMS. THEY DON'T WANT TO BUDGE. SO I THINK IT'S SO IMPORTANT TO LOOK AT THE GRASS ROOTS BECAUSE THAT IS WHERE WE ARE SEEING THE PUSH FOR CHANGE COME AND I THINK THAT INEVITABLY IT'S GOING TO... IT WILL COME FROM THE BOTTOM. IT WILL COME FROM THE BOTTOM UP. AND IT HAS TO, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE WHEN WE LOOK AT SOCIAL CHANGE THROUGHOUT HISTORY, IT'S ALWAYS THE GRASS ROOTS THAT PUSH THE MAINSTREAM INTO CHANGE BECAUSE THEY INEVITABLY BECOME LOUD ENOUGH WE CAN'T IGNORE THEM.

Nam says WE HAVE ONLY A FEW MINUTES LEFT. BUT THERE WAS SOMETHING WHEN I WAS READING THE BOOK THAT I JUST KEPT THINKING ABOUT IT AND IT WOULDN'T LEAVE MY BRAIN. YOU TALK IN THE BOOK ABOUT BURNING IT ALL DOWN.

Lauren says YES.

Nam says DO YOU THINK THAT MAYBE IT'S TIME, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE WE'RE SEEING YOU CAN LEAN IN BUT NOT LEAN IN TOO MUCH, WE'RE TELLING YOUNG GIRLS YOU CAN BE ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT TO BE, BUT CAN THEY? DO YOU THINK IT'S TIME FOR US TO RECONSIDER FEMINISM?

Lauren says I THINK THAT WE CAN NEVER LOOK AT FEMINISM AS A FIXED MOVEMENT. AND THE REASON FOR THAT IS THAT, YOU KNOW, WE ARE IN THIS MOMENT NOW WHEN WE'RE LOOKING AT INTERSECTIONALITY AND WHY THAT IS SO ESSENTIAL TO FEMINISM AND WHO EVEN GETS TO SPEAK WITHIN THE MOVEMENT AND WHAT THOSE MESSAGES ARE, THERE'S A REASON WHY WE'VE SEEN WAVES OF FEMINISM. AND I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY WE HAVE TO LOOK BACK AT THE PEOPLE WHO BROUGHT US HERE AND WE HAVE TO EXPLORE FEMINISM'S OWN HISTORY AND WHO WE HAVE HONOURED IN THE PAST AND WHO WE HAVE, YOU KNOW, NOT LOOKED AT WHEN WE THINK OF OUR FEMINISM FOREMOTHERS, BUT I THINK THAT ABSOLUTELY IT HAS TO KEEP CHANGING. WE HAVE TO HAVE THE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT NOT JUST THE MESSAGES THAT FEMINISM PUTS OUT BUT WHO IT ALLOWS AND AMPLIFIES WHEN IT COMES TO PUTTING OUT THESE MESSAGES AND WHAT THEY MIGHT BE, AND I THINK THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT A PLURALITY OF FEMINISM AND I THINK THAT'S KEY, AND WE CAN'T JUST ASSUME THAT FEMINISM IS A DONE DEAL AND IT CAN'T ALSO INTERROGATE ITSELF. IT HAS TO.

Nam says AND IN WRITING THIS BOOK, YOU WANTED TO DO WHAT?

Lauren says IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE THE BOOK CAME OUT, YOU KNOW, RIGHT AS THE PANDEMIC WAS HITTING, AND WHAT I HAD HOPED WAS TO START A CONVERSATION ABOUT SYSTEMS OF INEQUALITY AND TO LOOK AT IT FROM THE STRUCTURAL LEVEL BUT ALSO THERE'S SO MANY PEOPLE INTERVIEWED IN THE BOOK THAT ARE DOING AMAZING, INSPIRING, BRILLIANT THINGS TO CHALLENGE THE SYSTEM AND TO CHALLENGE LEADERSHIP AND TO CHALLENGE THE WAY THINGS ARE, AND I THINK THAT, AS WE SEE THE WORLD UNDERGO THIS HUGE CHANGE, IT'S ONLY SPOTLIGHTED ALL THE WAYS IN WHICH CERTAIN SYSTEMS DON'T WORK AND THE WAYS IN WHICH THE ECONOMY DOESN'T WORK, AND WE DO TALK ABOUT LEADERSHIP AND WE TALK ABOUT WHO HAS POWER AND VOICE AND I THINK I JUST WANT THAT CONVERSATION TO CONTINUE BECAUSE WE KNOW THAT THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING NOW CAN'T CONTINUE AND WE'VE SEEN JUST HOW BROKEN THINGS ARE AND I THINK WE HAVE LIKE AN INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY RIGHT NOW TO KEEP REIMAGINING AND TO KEEP TALKING ABOUT CHANGE AND WHAT IT MIGHT LOOK LIKE AND WHAT WE WANT IT TO LOOK LIKE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Carla Lucchetta, @carrletta."

Nam says LAUREN, THANK YOU SO MUCH. THAT'S ALL THE TIME WE HAVE. AND AS A WOMAN OF A CERTAIN AGE... BECAUSE I AM OLDER THAN YOU... I FEEL GREAT HOPE THAT THERE ARE WOMEN LIKE YOU WHO ARE PUSHING THE CONVERSATIONS FORWARD. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Lauren says THANK YOU.

Watch: Lauren McKeon: How to Keep Building Feminist Momentum