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July 15, 2022
The Mental Consequences Of Roe vs Wade

In This Episode

It’s time for a check in! What do you do when the news and the state of America make you feel hopeless and anxious?  With the overturning of Roe vs. Wade and the right to abortions in many states, the ladies of Imani State of Mind are breaking down the impact this ruling may have on your mental health.

We would love to hear from you! Please email us at AskDrImani@crooked.com with all your questions and comments!

 

TRANSCRIPT

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Welcome to Imani State of Mind, a podcast about mental health, culture, politics and whatever else I think you need to know. I’m Dr. Imani Walker, and you may know me from Married to Medicine, Los Angeles or my YouTube series, Mother and Daughter. I’m a working psychiatrist in the city of Los Angeles, but most importantly, I’m a mother, a daughter and a Black woman living in America. Like I mentioned last week, I grew up in Harlem and my block was like our own little community. We made sure everyone on the block was good. And that’s the same approach I want to have with this show. I want to make sure everyone has a place and space to keep up with their mental health. We need a moment or two to get our minds right, and I want you to know that we are all in this together. I have my own issues to deal with. So, listen, I became a psychiatrist because I wanted to help people. I wanted to help people who looked like me. I wanted to help people who oftentimes didn’t have a voice. Sometimes I have patients who literally are catatonic and can’t speak. So I love dealing with patients who I guess, you know, even to other psychiatrists, these are patients that they would consider kind of difficult. I love doing all of that, and I especially love dealing with difficult cases when I has to deal with folks that look like me, um other Black folks, other Brown folks, other disenfranchised people. But I wanted to be a psychiatrist also because I have issues. I got depression, anxiety. I am dealing with things day to day like everybody else out there listening right now. So I just wanted to let everybody know that we’re all totally in this together, me too. So because everything in life is so much more fun with a partner, I want to introduce you to my co-host and copilot on the podcast, Megan Thomas. Hi, Meg. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Hey, girl. Hey. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Hey, how are you? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Now, look, okay. I sound a little under the weather because I got these dirty kids [laughter] passing me their school germs. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh no! 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And you might hear a little a little– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Cough cough? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: [?] in the background. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: First of all, okay, everybody, y’all can’t see what I’m seeing. Megan is holding her like newborn daughter. How old is your daughter? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: She’s ten weeks now. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh, my God. She is. Oh, my God. She is so cute. She looks like I mean, I she looks like a little marshmallow with, like, a little face on it, she’s so cute. Oh, my God. And then now she has, like, tasty, squeezable thighs. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: She does, girl. She got these thick thighs- 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yay! 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –Save lives, see that little [indistinct] in there?

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yay. Oh, my god, baby. She’s so cute, you guys. And she’s super chill and she’s super calm. And I know that you’re, hi! And I know that you’re going to be super, super good during this whole episode because your mom really needs you, too. But she’s so– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Cute. She’s so. What’s her name? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Milan. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Milan. Oh, my God. Okay, okay. Okay. Let me stop. Let me stop. But [laughter] you look fabulous despite, like– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Thank you. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Getting a little cold. Yes. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Thank you. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yes, of course. And, like. And your daughter is beautiful. Oh, my God. Like, I’m just like, you’re making my uterus twitch okay. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Girl. Well you you want to hold a baby 24/7, because that’s–

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Well no. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –what she requires. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh, oh. Yeah, no, No I don’t. No. I did that 15 years ago, and I’m done with that now sorry. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Whooo I’m done. This is it. This the last one. Okay. Alright.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, no I feel you. So. So, Meg. So you’re out. I’m out here in L.A. You’re out here. You’re out there, rather, in Atlanta. You’re in Georgia. Um. And so tell the folks about you. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. So, you know, I’ve just been doing a little bit of this little bit of that, actually. I um started uh my career in radio as like behind the scenes producer, um traveled across the country trying to make my way to L.A., finally got to L.A. and started producing, doing on air and on air hosting just a bunch of stuff um and landed on a comedy channel called All Def. So I do content on that channel. I’m also the head of production on that channel. Um. So, you know, I spend my days just trying to be funny. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And apparently I don’t know if it works, but they pay me girl so I’m a keep that keep doing that. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Um. [laughing] But yeah, that’s me. And then I will tell you this podcast. Like, I just love our podcast because it’s so refreshing to hear about like, you know, mental health is such a big thing. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And being that this is my second child, um you know, I didn’t want to have postpartum depression this time around. So to be honest with you, this this podcast helps lifts my spirits. You know, it helps me to, like, check in with myself– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: So I don’t fall down into that, you know, depressive state that I was before. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yes. Yes. And well, well trust me, I got your back. We’re– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Thank you girl. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Both of us. Yeah, both of us have a tendency to fall into depressive states. We’re not going to do that at least during this hour. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Amen. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: No, we we do have a lot to talk about. So this month we are exploring REALationships and why we think that’s important. But we need to switch gears. Uh. This week at least to really check in with everyone, after Roe v Wade was overturned. Okay. So it’s going to be really um we’re going to get into some deepness. It’s going to get, you know, a little gritty, a little grimy because, you know, I feel like the Supreme Court did us very, very dirty. But we’re going to get to that later. That being said, without any further ado, let’s get to the show. [music break] To kick this off. We want to hear from you. What’s on your mind? For those of you who are already familiar with this show, you know this segment as ask Dr. Imani anything. For those of you who are new to the crew, here’s how it works. Listeners will submit their questions around mental health to Hello@ ImaniStateofMind.com. You can also text or leave us a voicemail at 818-252-9462. And Meg and I will give you professional advice. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And not so professional advice. Today’s letters from Michelle. Here’s what she had to say. Dear Dr. Imani, I’ve been diagnosed with depression over three years ago, and since then I’ve been taking medication, going to therapy, well logging on to therapy, and overall manage my symptoms to a point where I feel calm and at peace most days. My one problem is, since I work in the art industry, creativity is a big thing. And I find that since my depression is under control, I’m not creating amazing and deeply emotional work. I do create more consistently, but I’m not getting that explosive spark of creativity from the depths of my depression. I look back at my work I created in my dark times, and I’m awed at the depth I’m not easily able to create now. How can I get this jolt of creativity back and balance my depression? That’s a good question. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: This is a really good question. This is from Michelle. So thank you, Michelle for real, for submitting this. When I read your question, I thought about Kanye West and excuse me, Ye, because that’s his, I guess, legal name now. So I thought about Ye because one of the things that’s now keep in mind, Michelle, I know that you said that you um suffer from depression. Kanye has admitted to being bipolar and it’s a little bit different. But I’ve heard this from um not just my patients. Um. I’ve heard it from, like, friends of mine who also have uh bipolar disorder as well, that when they are, let’s say, medicated, um you know, not in their kind of low periods or even if you’re bipolar in kind of like a manic episode, they have a hard time creating. And we oftentimes hear that um, you know, we’ve heard to to kind of paraphrase, that, you know, art can come from a very like art can come from suffering and come from a very dark place. I’ve had to, you know, deal with this as far as having patients that I’ve treated in the past. And one of the things that I’ve told them is that, you know, you may have been medicate–, you may be taking medication and you may be feeling better, but you haven’t, it’s it’s almost like they view feeling better as like this hiatus from their creativity and this hiatus from their suffering, so to speak. And so they’ll say, Oh and I try and I try and I try. But, you know, I can’t really I can’t really like, you know, get the creativity or the spark. And so I tell them it’s kind of like riding a bike, like, you have to stop. You have to reframe it. You can’t look at, okay, well, now I’m feeling well, I’m much better. I’m not depressed, let’s say, in your in your case, Michelle. And so I’m going to kind of view this as like, oh, well, I feel great. But like, you know, creating isn’t really the easiest thing. You have to kind of find a different part of you to help get you motivated. You know, it’s very easy to um I mean, not that I would know. Let me let me calm down. I’ve heard that it can it’s easier to create from a place of suffering, a place of darkness. But you may just have to kind of train your your brain. Train your mind to find the motivating. Just find the motivating factors that will get you to be more creative when you are in a good place. What what do you think, Meg? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I’m over here laughing because I was like, that is such wonderful advice, Imani, because I was going to say, Girl, get off your meds for like two weeks and then do your creating and then get back on and that is so not professional. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. No, no, no, no, no, no, [laughing] no. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: This is why this is not my profession. Okay? [laughing]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. Yeah. No, no, no, no, no, no. So. So, yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Don’t do that girl. Listen to Dr. Imani, okay? She’s the she’s the one that knows what she talking about. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, yeah. No, no, no, don’t don’t do that. You know, I know that you say that you that you’re going to therapy. You’re you’re logging on to therapy, which is, you know, just as effective as seeing someone in person, especially right now with the pandemic. But I you know, I wish I had an easy answer for you. Um, I don’t I just think that you may have to just kind of, you know, go through some motions. Maybe you might want to take like, I know that you’re an artist, but maybe you might want to take a class just to kind of like uh take a class in something that you’re maybe not as proficient in to see if maybe that sparks some motivation, because it that can be kind of a it can be a challenge, maybe not suffering, but it can definitely be a challenge. So I hope that helps you, Michelle, but definitely don’t go off your meds and don’t don’t always think of your depression as like, oh, I’m depressed and I feel terrible, but like at least I’ll get something really good out of it. So, so thank you for that letter. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. Thank you. So we are going to take one more question today. And the next question comes from Jalen. He says, Dear Dr. Imani, when I met one of my closest friends during my freshman year, they revealed to me they have been addicted to nicotine by vaping for years. Later on, I discovered they also live with bipolar disorder and anorexia. I have tried my best to support them through their depressive manic episodes, encouraging them to take a semester off and to continue to take their medications. Now they also use other substances like marijuana and alcohol. My concern is twofold. Number one, I believe this substance abuse is affecting their co-morbid mental health conditions. And number two, I’ve observed the way they use other substances and it seems abusive and somewhat dependent. They have repeatedly told me they do not believe they’re addicted to any substances besides possibly nicotine. I’m struggling to continue watching them use these substances instead of getting help to be a better version of themselves. How can I support my friend with their potential addictions without straining our friendship? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. Jalen, thank you so much for writing in and also thank you for using the word co-morbid. I really appreciate that as well. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: What does that, what does that mean? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: So a morbidity is basically a disease, right? And so something that a co-morbid condition. So, for example, let’s say um someone has a heart attack um and they have surgery afterwards, right? They have open heart surgery. They there is an increased comorbidity of depression following that heart attack in surgery. So they have. So, for example, there’s. So, for example, I guess a good a good instance would be someone who has diabetes, diabetes and depression actually go together. So like they’re both– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Ah okay. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Co-morbid conditions, they’re conditions that exist at that that can exist at the same time. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. It’s not like wait, does it matter [indistinct]? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It’s not causal. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay I see. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It’s not it’s not necessarily causal. It’s just that like, oh, you have yeah, like, oh, you have diabetes. Like, oh, chances are that you may end up with with depression later on. It’s not, it’s not necessarily causal, although well sometimes it can be causal like some people have, let’s say type one diabetes or insulin dependent diabetes. They may start to feel kind of isolated and shut off because they have to like check their blood sugars and they have to like, you know, go somewhere and like shoot insulin um and they may kind of, you know, feel like really just down and guilty about all that. Um. So that’s that’s essentially what a co-morbidity is. Jalen, thank you so much for writing this letter. This letter um kind of reminds me of someone I used to know, actually. So that being said. All right, so, Jalen, let’s kind of dissect your letter a little bit. So you have a friend, they’ve been vaping with nicotine and uh your friend also has bipolar disorder and anorexia. Okay, so bipolar disorder, um we discussed on the show it’s a mood disorder, meaning that it can affect your mood. Uh. People who have this disorder can sometimes feel very, very depressed or they can feel very, very euphoric or very, very irritable. Um. There’s other symptoms as well. But I really wanted to touch upon the anorexia because I used to work at an eating disorders hospital and some of those patients who had eating disorders, whether they be anorexia or bulimia or binge eating disorder, they also may have had a co-morbid disorder um, such as bipolar disorder or depression. And when it comes to anorexia, something that’s really interesting is that well, and I also learned this through interacting with patients there is that when I get hungry, like I think when when most of us get hungry, we well you’re like, okay, I want to eat. And if you don’t eat, you can get kind of irritable and tired and I get hangry. I’ll just admit that. But when I’ve spoken to people who have engaged in restrictive eating habits or basically tried to restrict their calories like like people do uh when they engage in um uh when they have anorexia. I spoke with someone who told me and I’ve heard this from a couple of patients, too, that they actually when they’re not eating, they actually get kind of high. Like it’s kind of like a like um I guess their serotonin, their dopamine get activated and it makes them feel like–. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: What? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Slightly euphoric. Yeah. And it’s the same with. Yeah, it’s the same with people who binge eat. Like people who are bingeing, they’re eating. They’re just like shoving a bunch of food in like in their, in their mouth. Like, they’re not really wanting to like they’re not doing it like, Oh, I need to gain weight or like, I need these gains. They’re doing it because when they eat like that, it actually boosts their serotonin. It actually like boosts their dopamine, and so they feel better. But then after that high, they fall. Right? The problem with anorexia, obviously, is that if you don’t eat, there’s comes a point where your body, your organs will start to shut down. And like with binge eating disorder, for example, you can develop some really serious health conditions that rise out of being incredibly obese. Uh. You can get heart disease. You can get I mean, it’s the laundry list is very, very long. Uh. Even with like bulimia, people who vomit excessively can end up damaging their esophagus. They can end up with cancer. They can end up with just all, all kinds of stuff. And when I say cancer, I mean esophageal cancer. That being said, it sounds like your friend definitely has a tendency towards addiction with the nicotine and the restrictive eating. It also sounds like you said your friend abuses marijuana and alcohol and even though your friend who is an addict is trying to tell you, oh, well, I’m not an addict, that’s kind of like number one in addiction, is that if you’re an addict, you’re not going to admit that you’re an addict. And that’s why when people go to AA or NA, they will say, my name is so-and-so, I am an alcoholic, or I am, you know, fill in the blank, or I’m addicted to whatever, fill in the blank. So your friend definitely has addiction issues. I think the best way you can support your friend and I don’t know if you can do that without straining your friendship, but you really need to suggest to your friend and implore to your friend that they get help. And when it comes to anorexia and when it comes to, you know, I don’t know what other substances your friend may be abusing, but it sounds like your friend could definitely benefit from maybe an outpatient um rehab center. I would say what would probably be a little bit more effective might be a partial uh like a partial hospitalization rehab center or, you know, a like a like a full like, you know, inpatient rehab center where the person, like, lives there. They have to go to groups every day. Like basically they’re being watched. They they’re they’re being held accountable for their actions. It sounds like your friend definitely needs to take at least a semester off. And as far as supporting your friend with their, you know, addiction without straining your friendship, your friend will probably be very, very upset with you that you would even mention like, oh, my God, you’re an addict. But, um you know, hopefully when your friend gets better, you know, you guys can, you know, work on your relationship after that. So.

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah, I was going to say, I mean, you really have to decide what kind of friend you want to be. Is it, you know, based on what how your friend reacts because you might want to support your friend with their addictions, but if your friend is like, I don’t have addictions, then you can’t support them. Do that until they want to get the help for that. Right. So you have to decide as a friend, am I going to be the friend that just goes along and like doesn’t rock the boat because I don’t want my friend to be mad at me? Or are you going to be the friend that goes, uh uh, I’m calling the place like– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –I’m not going to step off the gas when it comes to you getting help because I care about you that much. If you decide not to be my friend, you decide not to be my friend. You have to decide which one to, which person are you going to be? Because I don’t know if it’s possible to support your friend with their addictions and not strain your relationship with them. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. Yeah, exactly. I don’t think it’s possible at all, but it doesn’t mean that, you know, when your friend gets better and is seeing the world and themselves through clearer, you know, eyes that your friend will be able to say, you know what, I do miss my friend. And my friend really was there for me, even though I didn’t want to hear it. So, I mean, it sounds like your friend has a really, you know, tough road ahead of them, but it’s not impossible at all. Um. I know addicts and I know people that have been clean for years. And it’s definitely possible just, you know, offer the offer your friend like the most support that you can. And if they want it, great. If they don’t, you know, that’s okay too. But just make sure that you take care of yourself Jalen, and you let your friend know how much you care and love, love them and that you want to support them, but you can’t support them if they’re engaging in these behaviors. So so thank you so much for your question. Thank you, Michelle and Jalen for submitting your questions. I really hope we were able to help. Those were great questions. Today’s questions are a great example that we all have stuff in our personal lives that can affect our mental health on a daily basis. But what happens when you add on to that with everything happening in the world today? Like I mentioned earlier, we’re pivoting away from our current series about REALationships for a moment so that we can just be real for a moment. I want to check on your mental and the effects of the recent Roe v Wade hearing. How can you protect your peace in such scary and frustrating times? What do you do when the news makes you feel hopeless and anxious? So that’s what Meg and I are going to talk about today, the mental health consequences of the abortion ban. But before we do, let’s take a quick break and we’ll be right back. 

 

[AD BREAK]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Welcome back. I’m eager to be getting into this topic of the health consequences that are going to come out over the latest news on Roe v Wade. I don’t know about you, Meg, but when I heard about the abortion ban, I was all in my feelings. So I will readily admit, like I’m I’m a news kid. My mom worked in news. My dad worked in news. My parents were behind the scenes in news, basically. And I always have kind of watched the news. Um. But I will take breaks. And now that I’m back on my Prozac, I can read the news and not feel like it’s so um crushing. Like I can read the news– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –And be like, okay, you know what? I’m reading this and I’m putting it here because now I have stuff to do and I have to focus on myself and my world. Roe v Wade. I mean, I was in my feelings. Let me let me back up. I was in my feelings maybe a month before Roe v Wade was announced when the–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah when you found– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Breach happened. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. Yeah. When it leaked that this was going to happen. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah and I was like I was like, oh, oh. Oh okay. So we gonna get that raggedy. We’re going to be that that raggedy in 2022. Okay, okay. We don’t get that raggedy and deuce deuce. I I I understand that. But I guess, you know, listen, I’m not going to sit here and say that when our current president, Joe Biden, was elected, that everything was going to be, you know, rainbows and daisies. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I just didn’t know how far this current conservative majority Supreme Court would go. And I just have never lived in a world where abortion was not a constitutionally was not it was not constitutionally protected. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Um. So when the announcement came out. I was like, Oh. Okay. So y’all really did that. Y’all really rolled that back. I am. I don’t know. Like, I guess I’ve been kind of in this in this kind of hazy denial, in a way. I mean, not that I’m, I’m not in denial that it happened, but I live in California. So like our Governor um Newsom, like Gavin Newsom is like, okay, we bout to we bout to put abortion and like the right to abortion in the California Constitution. Like, I’m not even playing this game with y’all like, he’s he’s really he’s really bout that. Like, he’s really progressive and he’s about that life. Now, Meg you live out in Georgia which is– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Ooo Girl. Mmm. It is–

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, different. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –the bible belt and it is definitely different. And I’m from Kentucky, which was actually had the trigger–

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oooh Girl. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –a trigger law. So as soon as Roe v Wade was eradicated as federal law now in Kentucky, immediately they stopped abortions. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Um. It doesn’t even matter if you had one scheduled like the next day. Done. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: In Georgia, there is a heartbeat bill that is on the floor uh and it may or may not pass. I think it probably will, just because it’s a very conservative state. So we’ll see what happens. But that basically is um says as soon as there’s a heartbeat, you can’t have an abortion in the state and heartbeat is like six weeks. And mind you, some women don’t even know they’re pregnant at six weeks. I’m going to say a lot of women don’t know they’re pregnant at six weeks. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I didn’t. I I– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: See! 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Had no idea I was clueless. I didn’t know I was pregnant till I was eight weeks and I went and got an ultrasound. I I think I told you I was. I was ready to go out that night. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I was about to go out. And then I was like, Oh, well, you know, I was like, well, my pregnancy test was positive. So like, you know, let’s see what’s going on. Like it’s probably fake. And then I went in and got an ultrasound and I saw a whole hand and I was like, wait a sec. I was like, What? What is this little bean thing with a hand. And it was– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –You know, it was later to be my son, but I didn’t know I was pregnant at six weeks. Like I– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –still, I was still getting my period. So. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: See. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: So yeah, so. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: So, so it’s just really rough because now it’s like, okay, you know, basically, you know, I want, I want people to understand it’s not that abortion is completely gone, it’s just that it’s not a it’s not what’s the right word. It’s not federally regulated, meaning there’s no one law for every single state that says you have to allow abortions. Now, they basically the Supreme Court left it up to the states to decide what they want to do. Um. And so, you know, you might live in a state that now no longer has abortions. You’ll have to go to another state. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know, which which stinks, because the people that this really affects are poor people who tend to be Black and Brown. So it’s like. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right, right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know and I had this I had this conversation with one of my friends from high school. She’s white. And she says um, we were on Instagram, was talking, and she was just like, I don’t care what people think of me after I say this, but I’m so glad that Roe v Wade is gone um because I know too many people that were getting three, four, five abortions and using it as birth control. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh, really? Really?

 

MegScoop Thomas: So now they can’t do that. And I was like–

 

Dr. Imani Walker: That’s a lie. That’s a lie. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I mean I’m not gonna– I know a few people that have had multiple and I’m not– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah but– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –Going to judge them. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But yeah but no– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: But like that’s not the majority. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Exactly. And like, I mean I’m just like, okay, real talk. I’ve never had an abortion, but in med school I saw like I saw a dilation and curettage, I saw a DNC. And your not it’s not fun. Like it’s surgery. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like you like your uterus get scraped. They give you pain medication afterwards. Who would want to do that as opposed to using a condom or or taking the pill or getting an IUD or whatever? Like, that’s bullshit to me. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like every time I hear that, I’m like, you are a goddamn lie, you are lying. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. And I said, and I told her I was like, you know, it’s it’s even it doesn’t just affect that. You know, there’s a lot of for example, I’ve had an ectopic pregnancy um where the pregnancy was happening in my left fallopian tube. I didn’t know I was pregnant, thought I had food poisoning. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I go to the E.R. and they’re like, ma’am, you are pregnant. And your your internal cavity is filling with blood. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Because my fallopian tube had burst. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: In a situation like that, they had to remove the not only my the– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: The tube. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. The tube and embryo, the fetus didn’t make it. They had to–. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –Take all that out. So, you know, in situations like that, you know, I had to look closely at some laws because that technically falls under Roe v Wade. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Um. But I know there’s like in Georgia, it says like, oh, that won’t be the case for ectopic pregnancies or, you know, stuff like that. But there’s cases where an ectopic, you cannot see where it is. You can’t tell if it’s–

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –Within the tube or if it did make it into, you know, another part. But it’s just not viable. But it will kill you, right? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And so in a situation like that, you’ve got doctors that are just like, let me call the lawyers to see if this is something I can do while you have somebody in pain. Because I’m gonna tell you right now, ectopic pregnancy is the most painful thing I’ve ever felt in my life. I wanted to take my own life. It was so painful. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Of course. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And I remember sitting in the E.R. just being like, I’m going to die. I’m going to die. I’m going to die. Like I just kept thinking that, it hurt so bad. And I think I had to wait out there for like an hour because somebody who really was dying, like, was a little more– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –like they had to go in before me. But I think about what what if a woman is sitting in the E.R. right now with the same situation and there’s doctors mulling it over with lawyers trying to figure out– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –What to do. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –Am I allowed to do this. Does it qualify because she’s that X amount of weeks like while this wom– poor woman’s just in pain like that’s that’s terrible that this that’s what we’ve come to in this country. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It’s terrible. The ramifications I mean, first of all, the first thing I thought about when you just mentioned, you know, Black and Brown people are going to be the most affected. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yup. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Is the fact that Black women in this country have the highest rates of mortality while giving birth. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yup.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like. So basically what you’re saying is, not you. But I’m saying basically what the what the government is telling us is that if you’re a Black woman and you were had a higher chance of dying before, now you have an even higher chance of dying. And even if your life is at stake, you can’t you constitutionally are not protected from getting the help that you need. And that is–. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Just it is nauseating to me to think–. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –About that. The other thing I thought about are that there are so many ramifications of Roe v Wade. Two things that pop into my head are that, is that number one. So I’m a physician. I have friends who I worked with, um who I trained with um in med school who are OBGYNs. They’re obstetrics. They’re they’re um trained in obstetrics and gynecology. And before Roe v Wade before Roe v Wade was overturned, there was never an issue in terms of, okay, we’re going to teach you, you know, the different ways that the different methods are performing an abortion. Now, because it’s state to state, it’s like, well, we can teach you all these things but are you going to be able to have are you going to be able to use these tools to perform an abortion of a woman who just wants to have that choice? Are you going to be able to perform an abortion on a woman who, you know, it’s a it’s a life or death situation. And then the other thing I was thinking of, I don’t know if you saw this Meg, but there are all these men who like the day Roe v Wade, Roe v Wade was overturned that Friday. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Since that day, there have been uh urologists who perform um vasectomies. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I’m like, when you snip the [laughter] well. So there are all these men who called like 300-400% rise in these urologist’s office of men who were like, I want a vasectomy. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: They should have been did that okay? [laughing]

 

Dr. Imani Walker: They should have. They should have been did it. Now, the men that–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –I, the men in the articles that I’ve read who were like, yo, like, like if this like that, I’m about to, you know, get this handled. There was this one dude who was like, you know, I’m I’m in a div– I’m in a committed relationship and we are married, but we both know that we do not want kids. And he said, you know, I feel like if my wife’s bodily autonomy is getting taken away from her, then I need to be the person to step up and actually, you know, save both of us by just getting my vasectomy. And which also, you know, you know, side note, which also brings into play the notion that birth control is always assumed to be the woman’s issue. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It’s always something–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

–That we have to assume for ourselves. When if there was a pill and there is there is a pill that’s that’s been developed and it actually has it is effective. There is a pill that men can take that lower the sperm count temporarily so that the chances of a woman getting pregnant fall. So it’s and it’s it’s great birth control. Also, for example, another side note, when it comes to fertility, a lot of women go completely like bonkers because they’re like, oh, my God, I can’t have a baby. Oh, my God, you know, with the first. Okay. So when when I was in school, when I was in med school, if a woman can’t get pregnant, the number one cause of a woman not being able to get pregnant is that she’s already pregnant. Right. Like she’s like she just doesn’t know. The second reason. Right. Is, is that it’s the man. His sperm count–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Is low. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: So that’s the first thing that you check when it comes to fertility. You don’t start with the woman, you start with the man. So I always thought it was backwards. Like, why? Why do we as women have to assume, like, oh, I’ll I’ll take, you know, I’ll do all these things. Barriers, you know, get an IUD. Take the pill. Change my hormones when you know. Really, like, honestly, you’re the one who. It’s actually kind of easier to, like, control. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Because this is a patriarchal society. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Exactly. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And you know what should have happened? If you’re going to take away Roe v Wade, then you also need to make mandatory child support in effect. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Exactly. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Because that’s not fair that you say, you know, you basically put the responsibility on a woman and say, hey, sorry, you have to have these kids no matter what happened, whether it was a rape, whether it was consensual, whether whatever. You have to have this these children. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And we’re not going to do anything to help you once you have them. That, to me is so backwards. Like there’s nothing that says, oh, in addition, since you’re you’re made to have a bab– that you have to have this baby. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: You have to. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: This man has to help you as well. There has to be like if you don’t know who your child’s father is, there’s we’re going to put money aside for DNA testing. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: If, you know, we have to find the father because he has to pay for this child. It’s mandatory. It’s the law. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: That– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But–

 

MegScoop Thomas: –to me makes way more sense. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Exactly. But then. Then what about the men? Right. What? I thought about this. What about the men who didn’t want a baby? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yup. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And the woman doesn’t want the baby, but now she has to have a baby. And now they come after the man for child support. And he’s like, yo, I didn’t even want her to have a kid. Right. It is it’s it’s just, you know, it reminds me somewhat of gun laws. And–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yup. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –When we were, you know, before Roe v Wade was overturned, we were, you know, as a nation, we were definitely very occupied with what happened in Buffalo. And we were very preoccupied with what happened in Texas in um in Uvalde. I remember reading time after time and article after article that the majority of Americans, when polled, want there to be like better gun laws. We want background checks like we like whether you’re in a red state or a blue state. And when I like I read an article this morning about Florida, for example, Florida, you know, is more of a conservative state. It’s definitely it’s the state where, you know, they they didn’t want kids wearing masks. They didn’t want like mandatory COVID testing. Actually, Florida is the only state in the in the nation who did not order, they did not preorder COVID shots for kids under five. So now they now like people like, well, I want to get a shot for my kid. And Florida is like, yeah, we have to wait because it’s on back order. So Florida’s a little bit behind. But that being said, the majority of people in Florida want for abortion to be an option for women. But that’s not the case. And so what is so infuriating to me, speaking of patriarchy, is that we are getting these decisions made by white men. We’re getting these decisions made by, in the case of the Supreme Court, white women who have already had, I think, like what Amy Barrett has, like I think she got like seven kids. Like she done having her kids. Okay. And and the other thing I was thinking about, too, is that there are a lot of women who get abortions, who are who have kids already, who are married and have kids, and they’re like, okay, well, we have two kids. I don’t want another one. They they they can get abortions, too, but now they don’t have that option. And so it’s just it’s it is infuriating to me that this is going on. It’s infuriating to me to hear, you know, to to hear Clarence Thomas. I mean, yes, he’s the Uncle Ruckus of, you know, of all time. But Clarence Thomas, who’s married to an entire white woman talking about–. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Well, you know, now that Roe v Wade, you know, has been overturned, like let’s look at, you know, like let’s look at like gay marriage and like gay rights and like all these things. I’m just like, wow, you are you really, you know, your your attitude matches your face all day. Like I have just never in my life met someone well excuse me, I’ve never met Clarence Thomas. This is going– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah don’t meet him girl. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: This is like we’ve had conversations in my head, apparently, but I’m just like, I have never I have never in my life just heard of a Black man who was just this racist towards other Black people. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know, Anita Hill tried to tell us and we still was just like–

 

Dr. Imani Walker: She did. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: But he’s black. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: She did. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Let’s leave him. Let’s not go after him. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Well, let me tell you something. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: All skin folk ain’t kinfolk. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: They’re not. And you see how Anita Hill looks amazing. She looks the damn near the exact same way she looked back– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –In the eighties and look at Clarence Thomas’s face. And that’s what that’s what hate will do to you. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: There you go. There you go.

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It makes you look like Gollum anyway. [laugh] Moving forward from all of this, I mean, how do we move forward? Like what? What do we do? Like, I don’t I mean, I don’t know. I mean, people who are poor already are already cash strapped. It’s not like, oh, well, you live in a state where, you know, they don’t have abortions. Then, you know, like, yeah, whatever. Just move. Like, people have families. People, you know, have friends. Like, it shouldn’t be it shouldn’t be the case that just because you live in a state that is majority conservative, that you can’t get to have your own rights. I mean, honestly, mentally, I don’t I don’t I don’t know. I don’t I don’t really know what to do outside of just, you know, like acting, you know? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. And, you know, [a baby cries out] this is this is really. Oh, you hear little baby girl was like [indistinct]. She ain’t feeling it either. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I do. She was like, yes. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: She’s not feeling it either. [laughter] But, you know, this this makes me think because when I was 17 years old, I had an abortion. And in the state of Kentucky, you if you’re not 18, you have to get parental consent. And I remember it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do at seventeen. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: That is crazy. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I’m a kid. Like, I don’t I’m stupid, I you know, I tell my parents and they’re like, look, this is your body, your choice. If this is what you’re going to, you know, no matter what choice you make, we’ll help you. But, you know, whatever choice you make, you will have to live with the ramifications of it for the rest of your life. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: There is a lot that goes into when a woman decides to have an abortion. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And to be honest, it is something that I have thought about every day. And in even before I had my kids, I was going through a depressive state of like, I don’t know, I’m not even worthy of kids because of what I, you know. So it’s not an easy decision when a woman decides to have an abortion, um even if it’s, you know, like a ten year old that I was reading a story, a ten year old that got raped. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I saw that. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And now, she’s in a state that had the a trigger law so she–

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: So you’re telling me a ten year old has to give birth? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: That doesn’t that does that just doesn’t sit right with me. And I’m not saying that abortion is right. Okay? I’m not I’m not saying abortion is right I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m saying there’s situations that we just know within ourselves that can’t be okay. Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: That can’t be okay. And the fact that now this little girl doesn’t have access to it is just crazy to me. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And I don’t even want to think like I’m in Georgia. I have a daughter. What if that happened with my daughter? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You know what I mean? Like, what would I do? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It’s just it’s just it’s just terrible to me. And I really hope that there is a way that we can change this. If not, I hope and pray that there are some type of organizations that are going to dedicate themselves to making sure you can if a woman lives in a state that doesn’t have access to abortion, hopefully she can, you know, they can pay to have her go somewhere else to get the abortion, pay for lost wages, whatever she needs the support um to get to make that happen, because this is just, this is too far. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, I know there are a number of companies like the day that the that the ruling was um announced as being overturned um who said, you know, on Twitter, on record released, you know, statements saying that, you know, if you work for this company, you know, and you live in a state where abortion is not um available, um we will cover your wages. We will send you there. We will cover the cost of your abortion. So I thought that was really just humane, to say the least. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And and really just, you know, just really, really necessary. I mean, I wish I could answer that, you know, like, oh, how, you know, mentally, how do we recover? I don’t know how we recover. I mean, the U.S. used to always be looked at as like this, you know, this beacon of democracy, this beacon of what is right and it is not right. And it is really, really backwards. And I’m really, really upset. So I you know, you guys I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know what to tell you. I I just you know, I hope that, you know, we all this is a call for all of us to act. It’s a call for all of us to really take our civic responsibility seriously. And it’s also a call that we need to, you know, wait for these super, super old, you know, white men and some women to just die off so that those of us who are younger and are in our right minds can start making the right decisions for ourselves and, you know, for each other. So, you know, I wish I wish I had an answer, but I don’t um. It’s just it’s just it’s super. It’s really sad. It’s really just, like, heartbreaking. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Girl, America is ghetto. Let’s let’s– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay. [laughing]

 

MegScoop Thomas: –put some money together. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: America’s so like– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It’s so ghetto here. We need to. Come on. Y’all. Let’s do a gofund me for all of us to move somewhere else. Where we going y’all? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay? Okay. Like America it’s not even that it’s ghetto, America, America is like like it’s like American Psycho like America is is pathologically America is like a psychopath. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Legit. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Legit. Well, Meg, little baby Milan, thank you for your thoughts on this topic. Obviously, this has been like just an awesome conversation, although I’m like a bit riled up still. That being said, I think it’s a great time for us to switch gears and lighten things up with my favorite segment, Pop Culture Diagnosis. [music break] Pop culture diagnosis is a segment where we take a person or a character from a TV show or movie and assess their mental state or, as we say in the medical field, figure out what the hell is going on with them. Meg, can you give listeners a quick synopsis of the extremely popular show Mad Men and who in particular you wanted to diagnose today? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes, ma’am. Okay. So for those of you who don’t know, Mad Men is a drama. Uh. It’s focused on the life, social life of the 1960s. It’s got a lot of stylish visual flair. It’s really um a cool show because it centers around one of New York’s most prestigious ad agencies, uh Sterling Cooper and Partners. Now, the person that like the show focuses on is a very talented ad exec, Don Draper. But we are going to diagnose the powerhouse of a woman that is Joan Harris. Now on the show, Joan, you know, she was raised to be admired, but she struggles, like most women in their field, to be taken seriously in a man’s world. So she sets her sights on something better, which is respect. Now, Joan agrees to sleep with a client, but she wins this big Jaguar account. She earns a partnership at Sterling Cooper and Partners, which is huge for a woman, especially in the sixties, and that ensures that her son is going to be provided for. So she’s a really dope character. So let’s talk about her. What would you diagnose her as having? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Okay, here’s the thing. So this whole episode has been about Roe v Wade, and I’m really happy that we’re focusing on Joan for a bunch of reasons. First of all, I love Joan. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Mm hmm. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I loved– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I love Joan Holloway. Um. I loved especially doing like some deep diving on Joan Holloway. Um. So I’m purposefully avoiding answering your question [laughter] as far as like what could we diagnose her as um because I kind of want to wait to the end uh to actually–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Like, say anything. But Joan is. Joan is definitely when we see the show open, um she’s a seductress. Um. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I guess you could say she’s kind of like a Venus character. I one of the things that I learned is doing like a recent deep dive on Joan is that actually her maiden name is Joan Holloway. So Harris is her married name, which is a name that she does she uses later on when she creates her own agency, um which is just Holl– Holloway Harris. But Joan Holloway, I learned so. Holloway right. When we first see her on the show. She is very curvaceous. She’s always wearing very um, very– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right like tight–

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Form fitting clothing. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: –Form fitting. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. And she’s the office manager at Sterling Cooper. And she’s just she’s she’s about that life. Like she’s just like, listen, if you got a question, like, I got the answer. Like, she just very– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –No nonsense. But she is a very sexualized character on the show. So much that I remember when Mad Men was out, it was it was all about like Christina Hendricks, who’s the woman, uh the actress who plays uh Joan Holloway, and how you can get Joan’s style. And da da da da da. And I didn’t see a lot of deep diving on Joan Holloway, the actual character. I love– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Joan as a character because her arc on the show, I mean, it is I’m not going to sit here and say that that, you know, I identify with Joan because I’m not a white woman. I’m definitely not that curvaceous. But just where we see her start and where we see her end up over the course of– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I think it’s eight seasons of Mad Men is it’s it’s it’s phenomenal. It’s really interesting to see. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yup. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: But the thing about Joan’s even her her character name so there’s Joan Holloway. Um. Some people have said that you know, Holloway meaning hollow way like she’s a holl– like you see, like when we first meet her, she’s a hollow person. But Holloway could also also mean that she’s kind of like an empty vessel waiting to kind of be filled. And then Joan–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Ooo that’s good. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Kind of like Joan of Arc. Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Mm hmm. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: So when we first see her, you would in no way you would know that she’s going to have this, like, really very and at a lot of times tumultuous, tumultuous progression throughout the show. You did talk a little bit about there there definitely was um a lot of controversy. And I mean, within the characters of the show, like they were discussing the fact that Joan, it was presented to Joan that if she slept with the uh the general manager of a Jaguar dealership out in New Jersey, that this would enable uh the ad agency to secure Jaguar and then they would have money and then she would be able to um to have a partnership in this in this ad agency. And honestly, [sigh] what was interesting about all of that is that you mentioned Don Draper. Don Draper, still to this day gets all the attention. Really Joan is the foil to Don and Joan is one of the is one of the. Let me see. I think there’s one of two characters on Mad Men, Joan and Peggy, who also has her own like tumultuous, really awesome character progression throughout the show. Peggy is more so like Don’s daughter/slash protege. And Joan is kind of like his sister. And they are both very like, um you know, very like. Like they drip with sex. And, like, back then, I remember, like, one of the characters in the show was like, oh, well, you know, men want to be Don Draper and women want to sleep with him. Don was sleeping with everybody. And when I say everybody. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I remember there was one scene where Don was having dinner. I think his wife was there and one of the clients was there. And Don was digitally penetrating the the wife of the of the of the uh the wife of the man who you took to dinner like like the client. I was like d– in the restaurant, I was like Don Draper, like, what are you doing? So it’s crazy. But back to Joan. So Joan, when she first starts out on the show, she is, you know, very sexy. Everyone’s like, oh, god, I’d like a piece of that. And da da da and she she plays into that and she definitely uses– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Her sexuality as um as a benefit, as a currency, you know, as you will. And honestly, I don’t I don’t see I really didn’t see anything wrong with that, especially because at the time, I mean, the things that these men were saying, I don’t know if–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Like, you know, you were I mean, you didn’t watch the entirety of the show. I’ve seen it probably five times in its entirety cause I love it. But the things that these men were saying to her and she was still having to work with like these were her coworkers. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah, yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Were just– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I mean and that was like that this is before way before me too. So that was, like, acceptable for them to say these things. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Oh, yeah. Like, just, I mean, just doing like there was, there was a point. Well, that not this wasn’t Joan, but it was Peggy, the other character I’m talking about. But at one point, like Peggy, Peggy starts out as a secretary and then she ends up actually becoming uh she starts to be able to write copy. Like she starts working for the agency, not as a not as a secretary, but as an actual, um I guess. What is that, an advertising executive, I guess you would say. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: So yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And at some point like so she’s, you know, fully ad executive, she’s like presenting and at some point like she they’re in a meeting and one of her coworkers is like, Oh, Peggy, can you grab us some coffee? And she was like, uhhh and I don’t I want I definitely remember Peggy like rebuffing them at various points, like get your own damn coffee. But I’m pretty sure when it first happened, she was like, I don’t know what to do. I’m just going to go get this coffee because this is like– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: That you know what that exact scenario happened to me before. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Did it? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: In real life. Yes girl. In like 2000 and like 7, I was working at a um in my former pre media life. I was a financial consultant and I had been promoted. So I wasn’t like the lowliest person in the room. There was like three other people that were junior to me and I was in this meeting and the partner who was like, this old white man was just like, okay, Megan, can you move this um? He like wanted me to move this rack of files. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: To the next room. And it was like, mind you, he had to go past all of the more junior people, two of which were white males, to ask me– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Of course. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And I just kind of looked and was like, first of all, why are you asking? There’s there’s a room full of men. There’s men who can move it, number one. Number two, I’m not the most junior person in here so for you to be like, basically like, oh, Black female. Hey. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: You look like a secretary, move this. And I was sitting there like. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm mmm.

 

MegScoop Thomas: And like I had the look on my face because I was like, do I say something to him in front of everyone? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Mm hmm. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And one of the more junior uh white dudes on the team, he was like, I got it. And I was like, mm mm. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Thank you. Thanks, Brad. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Thank you. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I mean, I don’t know if his name was Brad, but still like– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: It probably was, I don’t remember nothing girl. [laughter] But the whole point was this stuff is this is real life. This stuff happ– that happened in 2007. Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: And the show, it’s the sixties. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: So stuff hasn’t really changed too too much. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. I mean, one one of the. I’m kind of glad you brought that up, too, because I mean, Joan definitely at times plays into that. And then there’s times when, you know, even though it’s the sixties, I remember this one particular scene. So what one of the things that we didn’t talk about as far as Joan is that Joan actually got ends up getting raped in Don Draper’s office by her then fiancee. And her fiancee is um at that point is a surg–, a surgery resident. He’s really not very good. Um. He ends up– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right, right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Leaving and going to Vietnam because it like it was it was kind of messed up. It was like it was like, okay, so I’m not a good, like, surgeon, so I’m going to go like do surgery on people in Vietnam. Like it was like it was like if you can’t do surgery here, like don’t go over there and start trying to– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Like play, play um play uh what’s the name of that? What’s the name of that game where like it would be like uhhh [imitating buzzer sound]. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Oh, Operation? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah so don’t be playing operation on the people in Vietnam. Like, you suck over here like you going to suck over there. So at one point he says something like far like wild to Joan as she took a vase and and knocked that shit over his head. And I was like, yes, girl. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yup. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I was like, exactly like, she is not tolerating your bullshit. I say all that to say that Joan definitely has I mean, she deals with so much, so much. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And even though she ends up, I mean, prostituting herself in order to, you know, make partner, she ends up getting raped by her fiance in Don Draper’s office. Um. She ends up basically relationshipless at the end of the show. Um. Even Peggy ends up I mean, sorry um spoiler alert. If you haven’t seen Mad Men, this won’t matter. But Peggy ends up getting with Stan and I, I love them together. But. But, like Don, Peggy ends up relationshipless at the end of the show, and it really just shows her fortitude and and her willingness to not compromise. She ends up a single mother because even though she was pregnant when she was married to her stupid surgery resident raping um husband, the baby ends up being another partner’s baby, Roger at Sterling Cooper and she ends up at the end of the show with her own agency, her, you know, a single mother. She’s doing it. I say all that to say that when Joan started at the beginning of the show, she I remember her saying specific things like she was I remember her saying this to Peggy. Well, you know, if you play your cards right, you know, you’ll be married and you’ll be living in the country like the wives of the ad executives here, like notably Don Draper. Um. That was basically his life. And his life was a complete sham because, well, I will share this, even though it’s sort of a spoiler. Don Draper is not his real name like it’s not his real name at all. Like he he–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Oooh. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Took it, right? He took it from someone else. It’s a whole thing. But it’s actually ends up kind of sweet as far as like him making amends for that. But Don Draper is not his real name. His whole life is a sham. And over time, we begin to see that Joan starts to peel away the sham that is this heteronormative ideal that– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –That was in place. It’s def– it’s still pretty much in place now, but it definitely was in place back in the sixties. You know what it reminded me of Meg? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: What? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Do you remember there was there was a letter that we had read, the woman who wrote in the letter, and she was like, well, you know, I have I’m I’m turning 40 and I haven’t hit these goals and I want to have–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –A family. And I just ended I just ended a relationship with my boyfriend. And we were together for like a decade or something. And we were telling her, like, yo, like you could still have a family, you could still have a kid. Like, you don’t have to prescribe or subscribe to these– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Heteronormative ideals. And that’s kind of where Joan ends up at the end, like, I can have a kid, I can be happy, I can make my own money, I can, you know, do for me. And that’s why I really love this character so much. I think I also love the character, too, because she doesn’t, you know, when it comes to like working, like if you’re a woman and you’re working, you know, anywhere in this society, which is completely patriarchal, you end up in some ways, you know, really thinking to yourself, like, what? Like what? Where do I sacrifice my femininity? Like. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like, can I wear this dress? Is this too much? Do I need to wear a jacket over it? Like, Oh, well, let me check to see, is it too much cleavage today? Like that whole thing. And I just love that Joan was basically like, this is me. And if y’all like, I can’t cover this up. And in fact, I’m not going to. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right, right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Because I look dope. And if you don’t like it, then that’s your problem. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Exactly. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Right. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yup. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And I’m still going to have a voice. It took her a while to, I wouldn’t I’m not going to sit here and say that it took a while to find her voice because she was always pretty outspoken. But I think it took her a while–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –to really just be like, you know what? I don’t care about–

 

MegScoop Thomas: I don’t care, yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –What you think and who you are. And like, I got all this body ody and I’m still gonna run shit, so get out of my face. So. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: So I I I love Joan for that. But it definitely reminds me of having to like, you know, like, like on a daily, like, what do I wear to work? Well, when I used to go to work every day. But what do I wear to work? Like, I’m. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like I’m just like, look, I can’t. I’m not shaped like Joan, but I’m like, I’m not about to walk in here looking like a brown paper bag because– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Y’all don’t know how to act. That’s not my problem. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Girl. Right. You can’t hide that wagon. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Exactly. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Show it. Show what you got. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I’m like you better get these legs. You better get this booty like like you better– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yes. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –feel it. You better get these fake titties. Feel it. [laughing] I’m just playing.

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. So what would you diagnose her as having? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: I mean. Okay, so really, she ain’t got a diagnosis. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Okay. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: She doesn’t have a diagnosis. Joan is Joan. Joan is Joan is. You know what? She got this body ody ody, She she running shit. She knows what to do. Joan is just an independent, I almost said Black, Joan is an independent woman in the sixties. And at the end of Mad Men, I think it’s like 1970. But she enters into the seventies like, yo, like this is like this is me. This is me. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Like, if you don’t like it, then I guess you not going to get this check from my company, um you know? And if you and me and my son, we about to go and live this entirely good life. So. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: In the midst of all this Roe v Wade talk, and I always think about how, you know, men are, still oftentimes characterize women as hysterical. And–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Yeah. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Just the fact that, you know, like I’m sure you’ve heard this Megan, but like the the whole term hysterics was used to describe women because back in, you know, the 1800s or probably even early 1900s, like men thought that when women were, like experiencing like symptoms of a mental illness, like even anxiety or depression, that their their uteruses were wandering around their body. [laugh] Did you know that? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I have never heard that. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Really? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Oh, that sounds like such a male thing to say. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It is. It is. No it it is. I remember I remember my mom telling me that like my mom when she was married to my biological father, that he thought that when a woman got their period. When women get they period that they would just get a pad and just like sit in like all of it would just come out at once and then be like, okay, I’m done. And I was like, wh– [laugh] Yeah. And I’m like, and you made it to adulthood and had a whole child. Me.

 

MegScoop Thomas: Wow. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: And really thought. I was like sir okay. But yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Men. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: It just reminds me of just like, you know, hysterics, hysterical. You know, women are still thought of as like, oh, are you still on your period or like we can’t have women president because like, you know, she gonna have her period and then like what happens if she mad? She just gonna push the button and it’s going to be all–

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Kinds of bombs, and it’s like you sound stupid as hell. You sound– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –dumb. Like, if that’s the case– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Mm mm. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Why are your balls so sensitive? 

 

MegScoop Thomas: See, that’s exactly why we need more women at the top, right? 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: We need more women, more women of color on the Supreme Court. Like, we just. We just need a lot of– 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: We just need a lot of women. I’m like, men, y’all had your chance. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: We do. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Y’all messed it up, so um– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Sorry. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Sorry. But that being said, Joan doesn’t have a diagnosis, and that’s actually kind of the point. Like, she’s she’s just she’s herself. And she is– 

 

MegScoop Thomas: I love it. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: Yeah, she’s a modern woman. And, um you know, I I really love the character. I really love her whole, like I said, progression over the course of the series. It was if you haven’t checked out Mad Men, do yourself a favor. Yes. You’re going to encounter some racist stuff over the course of the show, it’s not so bad, but it’s just a really the characters are very well-developed and good job Matthew Weiner on writing and directing and developing Mad Men um and big ups to Joan, who I’m sure if she were a real person, would be utterly hysterical and righteously so about uh–. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: Right. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: –Roe v Wade not being a constitutional right anymore. 

 

MegScoop Thomas: There you go. 

 

Dr. Imani Walker: There you go. So you know what, you guys? That’s it for pop culture diagnosis. I’m sorry I didn’t have a diagnosis, but that was kind of the point. Now we’re going to have another fun character to analyze next week. So if you have suggestions for fictional characters out there you want me to diagnose, hit me up on Twitter at @Doctor_Imani or email the show at Hello@ImaniStateofmind.com. Thank you again for listening to Imani State of Mind. Thank you as always to Meg for co-hosting. We’re going to be back for an all new episode next week. Let’s keep the conversation going. Follow the show on Instagram at @ImaniStateofMind. And again, email us at Hello@ImaniStateofMind.com