United States of Anxiety The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America's political culture for decades. We profile culture warriors, past and present, who have influenced debates over race, religion, science, sexuality, gender and more. We connect those debates to real people, with real stakes in the outcome. We're filling in the blanks – aiming to answer questions you didn't even know you had – and we're asking, what are you willing to fight for?
United States of Anxiety

United States of Anxiety

From WNYC Radio

The United States of Anxiety: Culture Wars introduces you to people who have been battling to shape America's political culture for decades. We profile culture warriors, past and present, who have influenced debates over race, religion, science, sexuality, gender and more. We connect those debates to real people, with real stakes in the outcome. We're filling in the blanks – aiming to answer questions you didn't even know you had – and we're asking, what are you willing to fight for?More from United States of Anxiety »

Most Recent Episodes

Episode 11: Kirsten Gillibrand's Path to Power

The junior senator from New York has quickly developed a reputation as a political firebrand - one who's willing to challenge men who abuse their power, even when they're among her closest allies. Think Al Franken and Bill Clinton. Over the past decade, she went from being a newly-elected U.S. Representative appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat to become one of the Democratic Party's most-likely contenders for the 2020 presidential nomination. What does Kirsten Gillibrand's rise tell us about the relationship between gender and power in American politics?

Episode 10: ¡Sí Se Puede!

Before "Yes we can!", there was "¡Sí se puede!" – the workers' rallying cry coined by lifelong activist Dolores Huerta. In this episode, Huerta (now 88) is interviewed by her daughter Juana about the role gender played in her work and family life. Plus, what the midterm results mean going forward. This episode was produced in partnership with Latino USA, a weekly Latino news and culture program from NPR and the Futuro Media Group. Check out their version of this story here. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC's election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Episode 9: What Does the Right Kind of Woman Sound LIke?

Shrill, strident, bossy. These are the misogynistic slurs women often face when they run for elected office. In this episode, we meet Rena Cook, a voice coach in Oklahoma who's training progressive, female candidates on how to subvert our inbuilt biases about women's voices. Plus, we look back on what the 1977 National Women's Conference did (and didn't) do for feminism. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC's election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

Episode 8: The Right Kind of Woman

Women running for office are often forced to play by different rules. We look at two candidates: Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Mikie Sherrill in suburban New Jersey. Both are Democrats fighting their way into Republican territory, but in very different ways. Plus, Michigan's first female governor weighs in on all the "don'ts" for women politicians. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC's election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White. Loading...

Episode 7: The Women of Texas's Secret Resistance

Rural Texas has a reputation as solid Republican territory, but hidden within those large swathes of red are small, individual flecks of blue. In this episode, we bring you the story of a group of progressive, Texan women who are organizing — in secret — out of fear of retaliation from their neighbors. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC's election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White. Special thanks to Professor Shannon McGregor in the Department of Communication at The University of Utah and to Caroline Covington for her reporting in Burnet, Texas. Additional thanks to Emily Van Duyn, whose full study "Hidden Democracy: Political Dissent in Rural America" is available in the Journal of Communication, a publication of the International Communication Association.

Episode 6: Ida B. Wells

Journalist and activist Ida B. Wells is in some ways a forgotten figure, overlooked even in black civil rights history. But her reporting on lynchings across the South was unwavering in its mission: calling America out on racial injustice. And, why black women are no longer willing to play the role of "Magical Negro" in U.S. politics. The United States of Anxiety recently recorded a live episode remembering the life and work of Ida B. Wells at The Greene Space. Watch the whole event here. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC's election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White. This report is produced with support from Chasing the Dream, a public media initiative from WNET reporting on poverty, jobs, and economic opportunity in America.

Episode 5: The Original Nasty Woman

Jeannette Rankin had a belief: That women were essential to the health of our democracy. She became the first woman elected to Congress over a century ago. Now, Kathleen Williams is vying to follow in her footsteps. Plus, what if we filled all 435 seats in the House with women? Would it make a difference? The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC's election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White. Loading...

Episode 4: The "Indoor Man" and His Playmates

Playboy was never just about the pictures. The magazine helped create a men's liberation movement, founded on the notion that men could have anything they wanted. From Donald Trump to Harvey Weinstein, Hugh Hefner's concept of the "indoor man" has had a lasting influence.

Episode 3: The Pedestal

Paula Casey is on a mission. She wants to erect a statue in Memphis dedicated to those who fought for a woman's right to vote more than a century ago. The problem: There's a Confederate monument in the way. And... meet the woman who vowed to shut down women's suffrage forever. The United States of Anxiety is supported in part by the Economic Hardship Reporting Project. Additional support for WNYC's election coverage is provided by Emerson Collective, The New York Community Trust, and New York Public Radio Trustee Dr. Mary White.

We've Been Here Before

When Barbara Mikulski arrived in the Senate, all the podiums were built for men... and so was Washington's power structure. So she changed it. In this episode, Mikulski and three of her female Senate colleagues look back at Anita Hill's testimony and the 1992 elections that followed it, the last "Year of the Woman."

Back To Top