– My guest tonight is an
acclaimed culture critic and author of the best selling books, Hunger, Difficult Women, and Bad Feminist.
She’s also, pretty much the best thing that ever happened to twitter. Please welcome Dr. Roxane Gay.
(applause) You’re writing is so,
actually let me start, can I start with something else?
– Yeah. – We just found out that
Doug Jones won Alabama (applause) Which is, uh, Very exciting. A little sad for me because
I was Roy Moore’s Jew lawyer. (laughter) – And now he’s gonna fire you. – (laughs) How did, I’m
so happy, what happened, how did that happen?
I’m thrilled. – Oh, black people.
That’s how it happened. (applause) – I need to write a thank
you note to black people. – You do, 20% more black people turned out
for this election than for the presidential election. Black women voted for Doug Jones at 97%.
(applause) You’re welcome. – Yeah, oh, thank you.
– You’re welcome. – You’re not an Alabama voter but…
– No, I’m sure not, I’m sure not. I think it’s awesome,
but I also think it’s horrifying because it was 50 49ish. – Yeah.
– Yeah. Your writing is so,
honest and so brave and so brilliant. And, please go out and
read all of Roxane’s books right now. That’s Roxane with one n. In Hunger you start right
of the bat talking about, your own experience of
surviving rape at 12 years old. At what point did you decide
it’s time to tell this story? – Oh, you know, right before
Bad Feminist came out, my agent and I were talking and I said, you know let’s sell a book
before Bad Feminist comes out in case it flops. So, that I can at least have
a second book in the works. And I thought, “What do
I want to write about?” And the thing I wanted to
write about least was fatness. I just thought, “Oh I really
don’t want to write that book.” And that’s when I knew, oh god****** it, I have to write that book.
Can we curse? – Yeah.
(laughter) You can say f***, p****,
balls, vagina, labia, a*******. – I curse like a f****** sailor. And it’s just sometimes it is what it is. And so, I realized because
I was so scared that this was the book I had to write. And to write about fatness,
I have to write about being gang raped at 12.
And, yeah it wasn’t great. And,
(laughs) it’s been a while. It’s fine I’m 43. I gained a lot of weight in response, because I just thought,
“If I’m bigger, they won’t hurt me again. Because I’ll
be able to defend myself.” Or they won’t be interested in me anymore. And then it kind of got out control. And so I wanted to
write a book about that. – There’s been kind of like, in the past
several months this nationwide breaking of silence about,
rape culture and sexual harassment. And in my opinion,
Hunger was kind of at the forefront of that. And, why do you think this is
a national tipping point at this, right now. – That’s a good question.
I think women have just had enough. Like, enough.
We’ve been dealing with this forever. Our mothers dealt with it.
Our grandmothers dealt with it. And, we see so many mediocre men thriving
because of their mediocrity. Rather than in spite of it.
And, sometimes it’s time to just say enough. These are the things
that have happened to me. And these smug f****** don’t get to sit around
reaping the benefits of my labor. And it’s wonderful to see.
(applause) – You said that nothing will change
in our culture until men change. What would you say to men who say,
“What can I do?” – Oh come on, get it together. When you’re
hanging out with your friends, like, and they make degrading comments about
women. Which is not to say sexual comments. We all talk about sex.
– Oh my god, we talk so much s***. – I mean, all the time.
It’s my favorite thing to do. But, I think you know the difference.
When your buds are like, saying really crass s***.
It’s time to start calling them on it. And when, you hear stories
of men crossing that line, call them on it.
Because men have to fix this. This is not, a story that women can
address by you know, the me too thing.
Which I thought was great. But, we don’t have to tell our stories.
You know our stories. It’s time for men to
just, grow the f*** up and realize that, no you
can’t grab ass at work. It’s just, you have to wait, until five.
(laughter) – We’re living in an
aggressively, s*****, awful times. – We are. – What keeps you hopeful?
Are you hopeful? – (laughs)
No. No. – Sometimes, you know I
relate to you is when you say, “I could’ve done this,
I should’ve done this but I was tired.” – Yeah. – It is, I feel like
we’re being roped-a-doped, by insanity. – We are. I mean, every single day there
are like 100 news stories when there used to be like 10.
And that was manageable. And now it’s just unmanageable. And things that would
normally be on the front page are on the twenty-third page of the paper. Because so much bad
s*** stuff has happened since 5am when the president woke up. And decided to use his
fat fingers on his phone. I don’t use fat as an insult there,
it’s just a fact. And, um, It’s just hard to keep up, and it’s hard to believe
that there’s going to be a way out of this. And so it is hard to feel
hopeful and energized. But, at the same time. Don’t worry, I got this.
You know, I do feel hope. And I do that because, life is long.
And, presidents aren’t. They just can’t last
more than eight years. Thank goodness.
And so, I just think that the
resistance that we’ve seen since Trump was elected and inaugurated
has been really encouraging. I’ve been really surprised
by it quite honestly. Because, I was so stunned by the election
and so disappointed in most of America, that I couldn’t believe
that we could rise above it. But, we have.
– Yeah. – And also, it’s making for a lot of great writing.
– True – (laughs) Which is so shallow, but true. – If you could have one
wish come true, one wish. Would it be world peace,
or Channing Tatum any way you want him? (laughter) – I shouldn’t have to think about this.
– No you shouldn’t. This is the world. – Well, because one is already a possibility
I’ll go with world peace. – Secret project! I know that you’re a good catholic girl,
– I am. and I got you a Christmas present! So, open it up and you have
to guess what it is first. – Okay, who’s on the wrapping?
– It’s my head. – Oh, sorry (laughs).
It looks different. Oh, (laughs). – You know what it is?
– I know what it is! It’s what I want.
It’s a nose mitten. – It’s a nose mitten.
Show the tweet. – Oh my god.
So Roxane tweeted this. And one of the writers on our
show Diona Reasonover saw it. And she’s laid up from knee surgery
and while she’s been recovering, she made you a nose mitten.
– Oh my god. Thank you Diona, wow.
(applause) – Thank you so much, I can’t,
I mean do you want to try it on. You don’t have to try it on.
– I will try it on. – I do love the construction of it. – I love the box, I’m
actually gonna keep the box. (laughter)
The thing is I’m actually gonna wear it. – Dionas gonna die. Okay. Thank you so much Roxane-
– Thank you. Oh my gosh, that is our show. I hope you all have happy holidays
and most importantly a Merry Christmas.