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Hiding in the Bathroom

Author: Morra Aarons-Mele

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Welcome to Hiding in the Bathroom! We examine the secret life of leadership, work, and success. From anxiety, work-life balance, figuring out what you want, and building the kind of business you love, we hear from leaders of all stripes.

Each week host Morra Aarons-Mele invites her favorite, most interesting friends and colleagues from politics, feminism, business media and psychology on to talk about creating the career and life you want, driving social change, smashing the patriarchy, and what to do when you want to hide in the bathroom.

It's like a "nerdy dinner party conversation between two great minds."
61 Episodes
She is the only woman host of a network Sunday morning news show, and even though she's a veteran journalist who has reported from Tehran, Baghdad, Kabul, and Beijing, covered the Iran nuclear deal, the chemical weapons deal in Syria, the reopening of relations with Cuba and been a White House correspondent..when you Google her most of the recent stories cover her baby bump, how she met her husband, and her "first-ness" as a woman moderator.   That's alright though, because Brennan understands that women's lives are changing, and she's helping us navigate through it all, including this weekend when she sat with five women from Virginia and asked them, "Does President Trump respect women"?  Hosting Face the Nation every Sunday has forced journalist Margaret Brennan to take a step back from the relentless Twitter driven news cycle and think about the bigger picture. We talk through how to process the news in a healthier manner, how to connect the dots, and how to make sense of the changing lives of women in our politics and our workplaces.  
Fixing Digital in Politics

Fixing Digital in Politics


What's the best path forward for digital campaigns? Online fundraising, organizing, and campaigning are fundamental to how we run for office now, but we're rightly nervous. Social media is a hugely powerful tool for candidates and organizing for change, and online fundraising a cash cow that allows normal people to meaningfully contribute to political campaigns when they might otherwise be shut out. But the entrenched consultant culture in our politics doesn't always have incentives to drive innovation- or the strategies that will have the largest impact. How do we know the supporters we garner on Facebook aren't trolls? As we head into the midterms, Tara and I talk through the path forward for digital strategy and politics. Learn more about Tara McGowan's work.
Poet and scholar Gloria Anzaldua said "a woman who writes has power, and a woman who has power is feared." My guest Kelly Wickham Hurst says "Once writing started to happen for me, there was power there." So we explore the unfurling of Kelly's power and how she found her identity as a storyteller. Kelly Wickham Hurst used her many years as an educator and the power of her voice to create Being Black at School, which advocates for equity and safety for Black students. Kelly's team helps teachers, school boards, and students navigate tough conversations in the classroom. Kelly is a systems thinker, and she's taking on a big, broken system. This episode will be useful for anyone who's wondering how to make the leap from personal writing into activism, or how to take a lifetime of professional knowledge into a brave new place.
No Match for Moms

No Match for Moms


From the time she was five, Kelsey Wirth traveled with her dad Tim Wirth as he was up for reelection in Congress- every two years in a swing district. Kelsey says she grew up in the spirit of both unpredictability and standing up for what you believe in. She is comfortable with uncertainty, something she credits with her success as an entrepreneur (she co-founded Invisalign at 27) and her work behind the non profit Mothers Out Front, which uses grassroots organizing to tackle the dirty energy powering climate change. Mothers Out Front creates practical solutions against a threat that can feel hopeless. Recently, members mapped gas leak spots in their community, setting in motion a plan that could reduce methane from gas leaks Massachusetts by 50%. "We take an enormous threat and we break it down into pieces that enable mothers to take action and make meaningful change." The grief Kelsey felt while watching a documentary about polar bears in the Arctic with her daughters led to the birth of Mothers Out Front, but the work of Mothers About Front is local and not political in focus. Local moms and grandmothers take on often giant, entrenched utilities and corporate interests. Kelsey is hopeful and inspiring in her belief behind the power of the "snowflake" organizing model, made popular by President Obama in his Presidential runs and created by Marshall Ganz at Harvard. If you're an organizing nerd you'll love listening to how Mothers Out Front has grown!   
If there's one question I get over and over, it's "How can I pursue a dream career as a content creator/artist/inspirational speaker/influencer and still pay the mortgage?" Is this you? On paper everything is perfect, and yet: you're a talented, well-paid professional seeking a path of much less security, and probably, less income. Or like Karen Walrond, you're waking up decades after Dad said, "You're a math person. You should be an engineer."  My guest Karen Walrond and I rehash our paths from corporate America to new, creative, careers. Karen is a renowned speaker, coach, author, photographer and blogger. Learn about her shift from engineer and corporate lawyer to multi-hyphenate. We often hear the before story, and the happily ever after story. But what happens in between? How do you make the pivot and build a new path as a creative person? How do you pay the mortgage throughout?  Karen and I talk through the process- and work in progress.        
The Mothers Are Coming

The Mothers Are Coming


"There is nothing a gun extremist has as much love for as we do for our children." That's the true theory of change behind Moms Demand Action, a 50 state strong movement of over 4 million Americans who demand legislators fix our epidemic of gun violence. Moms Demand members show up in state legislatures (and my Twitter feed) almost every day, fearless in the face of threats. Founder Shannon Watts says "All credit goes to every talented, Type A, badass moms who breathed life into this movement." I wanted to know, what is life like as a grassroots organizer working in the perfect storm of a startup and politics? What's the organizing model that allows Moms Demand to function? How does a mom go from social media fan to activist? What kind of social media strategy does the organization employ? How did Shannon create the brand, one that appeals to red and blue state moms alike? And how do Moms Demand volunteers stay above the fray of ad hominem attacks on social media? Shannon Watts started a Facebook page the day after Sandy Hook; she wanted to start something like Mothers Against Drunk Driving to allow mothers to fight gun violence. Learn how she and a team of dedicated volunteer activists built one of our most powerful grassroots armies.
Gender, age, perception all color how introverts experience the world and how the world experiences us. So I was excited to sit down with Jennifer Kahnweiler, "champion of introverts," and ask her expert advice on some of the most frequent questions I've gotten about introversion as host and author of Hiding in the Bathroom. What are the top myths about introverts? What's the best meeting style for an introvert? Dig in for some great and unexpected advice! This is an amazing precis for anyone, introvert or extrovert. For example: introverts can be great public speakers!! We can sizzle.  The final episode of my season on patriarchy brings things fill circle as we discuss introversion, patriarchy, and leadership.  Coming soon: the next season of HITB. We'll It's going to be about women, digital transformation, and social change and feature the women who are changing our world.    
Cindy Gallop Disrupts Aging

Cindy Gallop Disrupts Aging


Cindy Gallop is a former advertising executive who now runs Make Love Not Porn, a startup rewriting the rules of sex online.  Cindy is 57 and she "shouts it from the rooftops." Whether you're a precocious 25 year old in a room full of older executives, a woman over 40 who feels increasingly uneasy, or a 60 something tech nerd feeling squeezed, there is a feeling that we should hide our age. Cindy doesn't do that. She dates younger men. She's a tech entrepreneur. She's a total role model. Take it from Cindy: You can live your life differently from the way society expects you to and be incredibly happy. Let's #DisruptAging!
“We have to create the leaders we want, and there is no more promising investment than Black women,” says my guest Kimberly Peeler-Allen. Peeler-Allen is co-founder of Higher Heights, which is building a national infrastructure to harness Black women’s political power and leadership potential.  African American women are consistently the difference between victory for Democrats and loss, and we discuss her work, and the Democratic Party’s role in supporting turnout and new candidates.  How to put together a winning coalition? Peeler-Allen’s work highlights the challenges of taking on entrenched institutions and she’s expert at using social media and on the ground networks to help women win. Even if you’re not running for office, her strategies will help you advance in your career and take on patriarchal interests. Plus: How has #MeToo affected how you feel about the men in your life? 51% of respondents in my recent survey said yes. Do you still want to have sex with your partner? 40% said yes. I discuss the results of my survey on MeToo and our own relationships.
Living life through the male gaze has become so normal, we may not even notice. That's why it's important to step back and examine the terms and constructs we use to describe and dissemble a world where men dominate.  Dr. Emerald Archer joins me to put her engaging and scholarly lens and helps us think about every day life through the lens of living in patriarchy.  Plus, Morra's thoughts on Aziz Ansari, and how an experience with slashed tires made her get in touch with her rage. (Spoiler alert: It makes me feel my age).
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