Episode 211: Mama Bears Gone Wild

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On Episode 211 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss the college admissions scandal and the influence of wealth, privilege, race, and connection in accessing higher education in America. The two discuss the waste of the mama bear exhibited by the people involved in “Varsity Blues” … and ask themselves hard questions: If we had the wealth and influence, would we do the same? Are there ways in which our mama bear has gone wild in her own unique way? Has she been wasted? The women discuss ways that the mama bear can indeed go wild and how we can actively work on reigning her in when need be. They challenge listeners (and themselves!) to NOT be the ones to use our voices and our rage for those who are already at the top and who are already the benefactors of all the privilege the world offers, but rather use the mama bear on behalf of the truly vulnerable among us.

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Episode 210: The Simple Life

On Episode 210 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie take a break from politics and gnashing of teeth to reflect, recharge, and “get their house in order” so that they can be more effective in the passionate march toward more love and more justice. The women talk about the beauty of simplicity and the challenge of finding peace and balance as a modern-day American woman. They focus on money, media, parenting, and relationships and within each category discuss ways to simplify life in order to live with clearer intentions and meaning. The Mama Bear road to revolution is always complex and today it points inward.

Jen Hatmaker’s Blog Post | Marie Kondo Money Tips

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Episode 208: Stop Interrupting Me

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On Episode 208 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about the power dynamics of language in relation to gender. In an episode that critiques the culture in which we are raising both boys and girls, they share stories, statistics, and why it’s important to encourage one another and teach our daughters to stand up for ourselves in conversation. The sisters are vulnerable, passionate, and adamant about encouraging listeners to recognize the power of your own voice and use your Mama Bear strength to assert your words in the world.

“Stop interrupting me.” / “I just said that.” / “No explanation needed.”

You'll find the article by Soraya Chemaly HERE.

Episode 204: On Intersectionality | Episode 199: Toxic Masculinity…Again | Episode 183: Boys Will Not Be Boys

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Episode 204: On Intersectionality

On Episode 204 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie go back to school to learn more about INTERSECTIONALITY. The co-hosts are earnest in their discussion and do their best to define the term, learn its history, and drive home the importance of considering interectionality in our feminism, advocacy, and march toward justice.

Check out some of the articles and resources mentioned in the podcast:

What is Intersectionality … | 5 Reasons Intersectionality Matters | YouTube Video | Amy Schumer Video | RBG Biography | Grace and Frankie | The Female Persuasion

Listen to Kimberle Crenshaw’s podcast, Intersectionality Matters. Find it HERE.

Listen to Episode 163: Let's Do Better By Black Mothers & Babies: A Look at Racism in the American Healthcare System.

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Episode 202: Can A Mama Bear Get to the Good Place?

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On Episode 202 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Leslie and Tesi talk about their love of Kristen Bell, Maya Rudolph, and The Good Place. Without any spoilers, the two women discuss a quandary presented in Season 3. Can any of us really get to the good place? Are the systems in place keeping us from eternal peace? Is it even possible for a modern-day Mama Bear to be a truly “good” person whose actions reflect her heart? The two women have so many questions and they explore this idea with candor and curiosity. For good measure, the sister-co-hosts end the show with a few segments that listeners are sure to relate to.

Want to learn about Leslie’s Clothing Swap? Click here. | Check out this list of sustainable clothing sources. | Crude Skincare | Argrow’s House | Patagonia | Grund America

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Episode 200: Marie Kondo is a Mama Bear!

On Episode 200 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie talk about the Marie Kondo craze that has so many of us captivated and curious. In true Mama Bear fashion, they provide commentary on Kondo’s Mama Bear methods by acknowledging her sometimes counter-cultural method and her critique of gendered social norms and the excessive consumerism so often exercised in the Western world. The women praise Marie Kondo’s emphasis on gratitude and celebrate her quiet revolution of equality. With a small analysis of the “mental load” so many women share and talk of a little xenophobia thrown in for good measure, the women have a great time discussing the KonMarie method and the layers it entails.

Listen to some of our favorite Mama Bear Minis if you’re looking for cultural commentary on the teens in MAGA hats at the Indigenous Peoples March:

Make America Kind Again | Make America Kind Again, Part II | Boys Will NOT Be Boys | Cultural Appropriation

Watch Kondo work her magic here and check out some our favorite articles responding to the Marie Kondo craze:

Vice | Vice 2 | McSweeneys | NBC | The Atlantic | The Lily | The Huffington Post

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Episode 199: Toxic Masculinity...Again

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On Episode 199 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate the writers (we see you, Mama Bear marketers!) behind the Gillette Razor commercial and discuss how to talk to those in our lives who disagree or take issue with the message behind the ad. They dive into the cultural waters of toxic masculinity, once again breaking it down and analyzing the rub. How did we get here? How do we do better? How do we talk to people we love about being a woman in this world? The two women share their ideas about the commercial, discuss the government shutdown, and then tackle two listener questions, ultimately leaving listeners with a new dare for a new day.

Want more episodes where the Mama Bears discuss toxic masculinity and how we can do better? Try these!

 Episode 183: Boys will NOT be boys | EPISODE 142: PEACE OUT, PATRIARCHY! (AKA THE HOLIDAY EPISODE!)

EPISODE 134: THE BIRDS, THE BEES, AND BEYOND (#METOO) | Episode 67: Rape Culture and Why We Can’t Not Talk About It

Watch the commercial here and read more here.

Listener questions (send yours to mamabeardares@gmail.com!):

  1. I honestly feel continuously stressed. Your podcast helps in that I feel part of a community of people who are all feeling this. But it also brings up even more issues I Didn’t know! It turns out the more you know, the heavier the head. All this to say, I’m so glad I know more about what everyone around me is going through but some days it just feels really overwhelming. How do you stop from feeling that all the time?

  2. How do you balance lifting up the women around you and also holding other women accountable to our highest potential?

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Episode 197: You're Never Too Old To Do the Scary Stuff

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On Episode 197 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie sit down to rehash highlights from 2018, discuss the things they were thankful to live through, cast a personal and podcast vision for the New Year, and celebrate the dawn of a fresh page of the calendar. They discuss their favorite books and pop culture moments, laugh a lot, shake their fists a few times, and admit some hard truths. Ultimately, anyone listening will feel encouraged to live intentionally and be reminded that they can do the hardest things.

Find the podcast episode (Do No Harm) referenced in this episode here.

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Episode 196: The Other Side of the Mic with Tesi & Leslie

On Episode 196 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie switch seats and instead of hosting the show, they are interviewed by life coach, friend, and podcast host extraordinaire Rumaisa Rahman Khawaja! The ladies love dishing about their relationship (sisters, besties, and biz partners), their marriages (they married a pair of brothers), their parenting styles (they have 8 kids between them), and their passion for hosting a podcast to inspire others to action. It’s a fun switch that will introduce listeners to the Mama Bear Dares hostesses AND keep long-time listeners entertained with new insights (you’ll learn about Leslie’s biggest fear) and observations (like Tesi’s favorite place on the planet). Happy New Year to all the Mama Bears! 2019 is sure to be the best one yet!

Love Rumaisa and want to hear more from her? Listen to Ru’s fabulous podcast Real Talk with Ru HERE!

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Episode 194: The Criminalization of the Poor (AKA The Holiday Episode!)

On Episode 194 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss the alarming facts pointing to the criminalization and additional hardships on America’s marginalized communities. After exploring the fees that our justice system places on the marginalized, the high cost (and inconvenience) of poverty, the additional scrutiny on the Earned Income Tax Credit by the IRS, and the outright criminalization of our country’s poor, the sisters ask listeners to think about news and the perspectives they encounter critically and to always challenge themselves to spread love and compassion out into the world … during the holiday season and beyond.

You’ll find the links discussed in the podcast here:

Episode 173: The High Cost of Poverty | Jazmine Headley and the Danger of Mothering While Black | Increasing Court Fees Punish the Poor (NPR) | Propublica Article | Jazmine Headley Video

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Episode 189: Raising Politically Active Kids (and a Midterm Election Re-Cap)

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On Episode 189, Leslie and Tesi talk about the midterm election and their quest to raise politically active kids. They celebrate the nation’s small victories, reiterate their belief that the #babiesgonnasaveus, and leave listeners with a re-cap of the Water Party, an annual event that this year raised nearly $60,000 for clean water solutions in rural Tanzania. This episode is a reminder to listeners that progress is made at a pace that is almost always slow and steady, and encourage all the Fur/Plant/People mama and papas bears out there to keep doing the hard work in the direction of love and compassion.

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Buy Water Party Jewelry HERE!

Help us reach our goal! 100% of your donation goes to a clean water solution in the village of Nadaruru. Learn more about the Mama Bear’s travels to Africa HERE and the Water Party HERE.

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Episode 185: Make America Kind Again, Part II

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On Episode 185 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie re-visit the topic of kindness in America in 2018. Not only do they reiterate the importance of modeling kindness and teaching kindness to the next generation, but they also discuss how to live a healthy life of kindness. Thanks to a listener suggestion, they take a look at Brene Brown’s theory that the most compassionate people are the most boundaried and they discuss how to incorporate healthy boundaries in the Mama Bear life. Also discussed is the very real and very sobering fact that America has historically not ever been kind to certain groups of people. They acknolwedge this blindspot and vow to work even harder to steer the ship away from an undeniably sullied past and toward a kinder, gentler future for ALL people.

LINKS:

Go back and listen to MBD Podcast Episode 181: Make American Kind Again, Part I.

Read Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | A summary of Harvard Study mentioned in the podcast can be found HERE | Greater Good in Action findings can be found HERE

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Episode 183: Boys will NOT be boys

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On Episode 183 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie discuss rape culture, toxic masculinity, the Brett Kavanaugh appointment to the Supreme Court, and why they, as fierce Mama Bears, MUST act as cultural disruptors in this moment in time. In other words, they discuss why and how the dangerous old adage “boys will be boys” and everything it stands for must be stopped. The women lament the current state of our culture, but ultimately offer tangible tips on how to talk to the kids in your life about sex, consent, and responsibility, and raise up a new generation that honors the humanity of all.

Links for further study: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Recommended reading: Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein

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Episode 181: Make America Kind Again

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On Episode 181 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie remind listeners that they refuse to let kindness die. In fact, they audaciously believe that what America needs is more kindness! The women also recognize the responsibility we have as parents raising children in our current American culture to make sure that the virtue of kindness outlasts the test of time. Because, in some spheres, kindness seems to be on life-support, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie spend Episode 181 discussing what we can do to instill this value in the kids we influence. How do we raise kind kids? It turns out, there's actually a language to kindness and it's discussed in this fun and fascinating episode!

LINKS:

A summary of Harvard Study mentioned in the podcast can be found HERE | Carol Dweck's Mindset is a must-read | Greater Good in Action findings can be found HERE

Today's Show Sponsors: Purple Mattress & True Botanicals

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Episode 179: Relax & Reflect

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On Episode 179 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie celebrate big birthdays and back to school! This Labor Day Mama Bear Mini is devoted to milestones, lessons learned, and the beauty of taking the time to check in on your own life through a little time and reflection. Tesi and Leslie both share some of the pivotal lessons they've learned over the last decade, enjoy a few laughs, and encourage their listeners to mark moments, check in with friends, and love the life they've been given. Th episode is filled with sisterly advice as the women practice the reflection that they preach.

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Episode 177: 10 THINGS WHITE MOMS CAN DO TO FIGHT RACISM & SPREAD LOVE

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On Episode 177 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, co-hosts Tesi and Leslie discuss privilege, racism, and 10 ways they believe white moms can use their privilege to fight racism and spread love. They trust that the podcast community is a safe place to express their observations, experiences, and beliefs about this topic and humbly ask readers to consider their perspective, poke holes in their theories, and promise to journey together to make a better tomorrow. Lovers of actionable steps and lists, Leslie and Tesi come up with 10 tangible ways to engage their Mama Bear in this fight. The 10 steps are listed below. For complete details and explanation, listen in!

10 Things White Moms Can Do To Fight Racism & Spread Love

  1. Acknowledge your privilege
  2. Learn about implicit bias and examine how it plays out in your life
  3. Listen and learn from those to whom the experience belongs
  4. Amplify the voices of people of color
  5. Talk to your kids, your neighbor, the mail carrier, and your mom about why Black Lives Matter movement matters
  6. Teach your kids that skin color matters
  7. Be a co-conspirator
  8. Advocate for diversity in your life
  9. Pronounce your kids’ friends name’s correctly
  10. Avoid using racially coded language at home and in conversation

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Episode 175: Parenting Teens, Part Two

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On this Mama Bear Mini, Tesi and Leslie talk about parenting teenagers in 2018. In particular, they discuss equipping kids with the language they need to navigate specific pressures of teenager-hood. They dive into ways parents can help prepare kids to say no to the pressures of drugs, alcohol, drunk driving and texting while driving, and discuss the language of kindness and how we might teach our kids to use their words in the face of relationship tension. The sisters also take on societal expectations of raising teenagers and end with an always-fun and long-overdue segment: Things I Should Probably Feel Guilty About, But Don't.

Other Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

Glennon's Original Blog Post | Episode 159: Parenting Teens (and why no one is talking about it)

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Episode 173: The High Cost of Poverty

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On Episode 173, Tesi and Leslie discuss the high cost of being poor in America. According to the US Census Bureau, 37 million people are living in poverty in America. Because of this huge number and because of the complexities and myths surrounding America's poor, the two women dig into the research surrounding generational poverty, the small money-saving conveniences that many of us take for granted, energy inequity, the systemic underbelly of economic oppression, and the reasons why we should care. The conversation concludes with action steps and a dare encouraging listeners to pick up a small stone in their local community that will ultimately move mountains in our country and world.

Check out some of the Mama Bear's Research:

U.N. on U.S. Poverty | The Poverty Industry (book) | Why people pay more | History of racist housing policy | Poverty's impact on education | Millions of Americans are one paycheck away from hardship | Paying more for toilet paper and beyond | Does healthier food cost more? | The cost of banking (and an action step)

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Episode 171: JOY as an Act of RESISTANCE

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On Episode 171, Leslie and Tesi discuss embracing and embodying JOY as an act of resistance. They discuss the long history of joy in the face of oppression and encourage listeners to take active steps toward eradicating any guilt associated with experiencing joy amid suffering. After discussing a bit of psychology in cultivating joy, they share personal mantras that encourage joy, and lean on the wisdom of those who have come before us, including Audre Lorde, who said "caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare." The conversation concludes with the sharing of simple joys and a dare to make space for JOY as a profound nod to resistance, justice, and peace.

LINKS: Meet our sister Kait by listening to her MBD podcast episodes here and here. Access the article referenced in the podcast here.

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Episode 169: Families Belong Together

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On Episode 169 of the Mama Bear Dares Podcast, Tesi and Leslie knash teeth over the horror going on at the southwest border. With facts to back up their rage, the two women talk about the atrocity of migrant mothers and children being ripped apart at the border, about how the current administration has wrongfully used the bible to oppress, and how Mama Bears must refuse to sit back and watch it happen. The women remind listeners that without ethics, laws are just stories to tell to justify horror. They encourage Mama Bears throughout the country to do whatever is in their power to RESIST and offer tangible steps of how to do so.

RESOURCES/FURTHER READING:

Read about U.S. Representative Pramila Jayapal's experience meeting with detained migrant mothers here. | United Methodist Church statement on immigration and Jeff Sessions | The current dministration quotes of bible verses | Avoiding numbness | Reunification Plans (there are none) | Immigrant Experiences | Issues within "camps" | Separating Families is Who We Are | Audio | A little bit of administrative wiffle-waffle | More thoughts on what we can do | Judicial response | Face check

Mama Bear Recommended Places to Donate: Safe Passage Project | Raices Texas | KIND (Kids in Need of Defense)

Find a march in your area: MoveON

CALL YOUR CONGRESS MEN AND WOMEN:

Find your two senators and your state representative and their information here: Call Your Congress

Feel free to follow this script:

“Hello, my name is ________. I'm a constituent from (your state), zip code _____. I don't need a response. I strongly urge (your senator) to put a stop to family separation. I want to hear Senator (name) speak out against what’s happening to immigrant families and put a stop to the Trump administration’s new policy. I would like Senator (name) to add their name to the Keeping Families Together Act."

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