Jul 9 • 1HR 25M

LIVE! Smoke 'Em Does Dallas

A panel discussion about media blind spots, how feminism changed motherhood, whether personal beliefs should shape politics, and what is a "feminine woman" anyway? Hosted by the Mill Institute at UATX

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Nancy Rommelmann
Journo babes Sarah Hepola and Nancy Rommelmann on what's burning through the culture right now
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(Crosspost alert!) The hosts behind the podcasts The Unspeakable and Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em were just sitting around being all heterodoxy when lo! The call came from the newly formed University of Austin: Want to come to Dallas to discuss the current state of media, whether feminism has impacted the desire to raise children, how we treat the work of artists whose behaviors we don’t agree with, and to answer student questions along the lines of, for instance, how are you a “feminine woman”? Yes please!

And so Meghan Daum, Sarah, and Nancy took the stage last Thursday at Old Parkland, an eye-popping and glorious campus founded in 1984 and now owned by real estate billionaire Harlan Crow (yes, that Harlan Crow). The conversation was hosted by the Mill Institute, an initiative that works in “educational settings to explore and challenge the entrenched thinking that leads to a breakdown of conversation on contentious issues.” Our moderator was Ilana Redstone, the faculty director of the Mill Institute and associate professor of sociology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

See if you can guess which one of us remembered to take pictures!



It was 15 minutes before sound check when my daughter and I decided to scoot around Old Parkland for a few minutes. I mean, the place is crazy gorgeous, very grand, we get a few steps out of the building and …

“Is that a bar?” my daughter asks. It is, right there on campus and a stone’s throw from where we will be speaking, and I mean, we do have 15 minutes.

It’s a Negroni for Tavie, a glass of rose for me, which we might have had plenty of time to sip but for the bartender, a guy who had many many stories to tell before making the drinks. Which was fine! He was entertaining and sweet and very funny, and if I had to lay money, I’d say he might also do stand-up (or should). As he went finally to grab the drinks, Tavie looked at who was at the bar with us, maybe 15 people, all dudes, in button-down shirts but not fancy.

“These guys are probably younger than me,” said Tavie, who is 33. Maybe so. Also, we were definitely not in Fort Greene.

“I like preppy guys,” she said. Me too.

We brought our cocktails with us for sound check. The camera guy told me I better keep my legs crossed, because the way the cameras were positioned, below the stage, made it, um …

“It is kind of Sharon Stone,” said Sarah, referring to the then-scandalous scene in Basic Instinct, and you know what? She was right!

Anyway, Stone is not the beautiful girl I referred to above. That would be my girl. Thanks for subscribing!


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