Streams

Episode #6

Erica Jong and Molly Jong-Fast

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Monday, January 02, 2012

Transcript

Alec talks with writer Erica Jong and her daughter Molly Jong-Fast about sex, divorce and the impact on sexuality on young women today.

Erica has been through 3 divorces – she’s on her fourth marriage.   
She says  “Divorce was the hardest thing [she] ever went through … Divorce is terrible. Divorce is difficult. We have no rules for it.  
It's so incredibly painful.

Molly – still on her first marriage – says she’s learned “marriage is incredibly hard work.”

Molly and Erica spar about the legacy of the feminist movement – but Molly concludes that her mother’s own legacy is about being honest.

READ | Interview Transcript

Hosted by:

Alec Baldwin

Produced by:

Emily Botein and Kathie Russo

Comments [41]

Melly

It is men's desire to watch porn that fueled the burgeoning Internet. The initial Internet Sevice Providers' mainstay clients were porn websites, spending thousands a month on bandwidth in the late 90s. This demand for porn transcended into the fashion industry( as s an example, what were once considered "stripper heals" are now a popular shoe style for women). Ultimately what would have been considered "slutty" behaviour by female popstars in the 1980s is sadly expected by young female artists today. Molly is right that it is not the media that makes these decisions that affect the culture of female sexuality today. It is ultimately rooted in men's desire to watch porn. Of course there is a female audience for porn too, but the greater part of the female population does not want to watch porn that degrades women.

Jan. 03 2014 11:46 PM

encore!

Dec. 12 2013 10:58 AM
Eva Kendrick from Michigan

Fascinating conversation. Appreciated that Alec did not do a list of questions, but rather fanned the heat of the exchange between mother and daughter. Yes, it must hav been exhausting and painful at times for Molly. No one can deny her personal experiences, but the rest of us were not involved, so we have the luxury of perspective in listening and learning from Erica Jong's experience and cultural evaluation of the distortion of feminism and sex in today's media.

The problem is that the conversation was evolving and the program ended about 2 hours too soon. This was a conversation we would have stayed with for the duration. Once it's rolling, can't you continue taping until its natural wind down, and then section it off in the allowable increments and give your audience the pleasure of
such stimulating conversation in follow up podcasts? NOT 'come back again'- but a continuation of the same stimulating conversation.

Alec would be able to feel when the exchange of such guests has become more than a prescribed time slot.

Listen. Caitlin Moran and Erica Jong. Two extraordinary women of different generations of feminism, without the mother/daughter baggage. Caitlin convincing another generation about need for clear-cut, stand on a chair declarations of feminism with intelligence, insight, and writhing humour.

Jan. 02 2013 07:45 AM
D. H. from Tewksbury, MA

Alec,
Thanks for the interview. Good to hear others say divorce in painful, difficult, and chaotic. And I would add that it's the children who suffer for our sins. I know because after 33 years and finding out my ex had been cheating all along, my two beautiful sons, who are in their 20's, are filled with so much anger and pain.
Hopefully your daughter will be fine. You sound like your a caring Dad.
I enjoy your interviews and show. Thanks again.
D. Hunter

Dec. 01 2012 11:35 PM
Bonnie from Pittsburgh, PA

My local NPR station just began carrying this podcast; happened to catch the splendid Billy Joel interview a week or two ago, then dug up the rest online. I think Baldwin is finding his feet as an interviewer: some very good ones, like Joel & Herb Albert, others painfully poor, like the Stiglitz.

And this one which, as many others have said, had me wanting more more more. (Have listened 3+ times now. Unlike other commenters here, I actually was noting how much Jong -- whose Fear of Flying I've been re-reading every few years since I was a decade younger than its protagonist [less enthused with her others] -- interrupted her daughter). Would love to hear a more complete debate in which Molly defends the idea that feminism (not a twisted culture) has hyper-sexualized women and girls. Gives us the unedited version, Alec! Or better yet, bring them back!

Overall, as a woman and an adult child of divorce myself, I'm fascinated and even a bit moved by Baldwin's compulsion to sound out issues of love and family with various guests. (In my own life I often return to the Philip Roth quote that family is both war and peace.) I'm also intrigued and heartened by his concern (baldly expressed by way of his concern for his daughter) for the way young women navigate through society's hyper-sexualized expectations. He seems like a pretty regular guy, reasonably smart and more importantly, thoughtful.

Nov. 27 2012 11:06 PM

I understand this interview was done quite some time ago, but I only heard it today on my drive home. Maybe the host and the guests could nix the shamefully derogatory talk regarding fat people the next time they get together. I have friends and family members who are obese, and they are worthy of dignity and respect, just like everyone else.

Nov. 23 2012 05:41 PM

Though we didn't get to completely hear Erica's point that feminism was bastardized by our society, I completely agree with her broader statement, and it's a shame her daughter hasn't learned when to not interrupt. The focus of feminism was not about sexuality, and it seems that what we have now is what some men wanted and is essentially, how those trying to oppress feminism, succeeded. If you asked women then and now what they wanted, I'm fairly certain you would not get answers like Brittany Spears, Lady Gaga, etc. Thanks to the media and other powers that be, we now live in a society that is hyper-sexualized to the point of lacking real sexuality and intimacy. And it's devastating our relationships and our ability to form them. - And this is the opinion of someone who is probably Molly's age.

Oct. 28 2012 08:22 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

Lord--could Molly shut up and stop interrupting her mother?

When she's had a chance to live through a career, marriage and children, maybe she can weigh in on how "different" divorce is now, since the 70s; until then, she should shut up. It has NEVER been good for anyone in the equation. That never changes.

With hope, Molly will be able to cop to appreciating the great mother, human, thinker and influencer that she is--before she leaves this earth. Let go of your need to be heard/right, and listen, Molly!

Oct. 27 2012 04:53 PM
KA from Toronto

Breathtaking piece. Would really have loved hearing their full sentences - Erica, whose perspective has built over decades of life, experience and wisdom, and Molly, who was the recipient of the best her mother was able to give. What did she want to say, anyway, about media and the misappropriation of feminism? More please!!
Fascinating women, crazy (and typical) mother-daughter dynamic, so, so sorry it ended so soon. I had to remember to breathe when it was over.

Jul. 30 2012 08:27 PM
Ron from Manhattan

"And now here's a word from our sponsor, Victoria's Secret". Hilarious!

Regarding talented singers and great voices: yes, love Mariah Carey and Beyonce's voices, however, why not make room for less talented singers? I know that sounds ridiculous on the surface, but some of the less talented singers have written amazing songs and would never have been heard had they not empowered themselves and brought their own music and point of view to life.

I think everyone has a musicality within themselves, if not a great voice, and I want to hear their music! A lot of rock music would never had been made or heard if only the best voices were "aloud" to perform the songs. Lots of average voices out there in the rock world, I think.

May. 05 2012 12:40 PM
tess


Thanks ! Alec, Erica and Molly. I have a 13-year old daughter and live in a grow-up-fast-and-furious upper middle class neighborhood. Loved when Alec interjected "Brought to you by Victoria's Secret". Exactly!!! There is poignancy and urgency in the voices regarding the hijacking of feminist messages by the commercially-driven. She needs to understand what her young psyche is up against.
As soon as I listened, I knocked on her bedroom door. Mentioned new podcast by Alec Baldwin - she loves 30-Rock. Explained who Erica Jong was briefly. Then touched PLAY and tossed her my listening device. We talked after, she listened. My voice doesn't carry like Alec Baldwin's at this moment in time (Reference Michael Douglas episode), but the podcast created an opening. This worked for me. You're doing public service. Thank you!!!!

Apr. 23 2012 12:52 PM
Laura Jones from Wisconsin

What a great episode! I'm really enjoying the podcast. Filled with interesting guests and it is a treat to hear Alec as himself, out of the box. This particular episode had me rolling on the floor. Keep them coming Alec!

Mar. 22 2012 03:34 PM
Patricia Grace

God, poor Molly, her mother never gives her a chance to speak! What an overbearing mother. Must have been very very tough to grow up with. She doesn't give her two seconds to respond... just keeps screaming over her.

Great interview, Alec.

Mar. 15 2012 05:41 PM
margiesu

This was a fabulous interview. What an insight to to mother/daughter dynamics.

Mar. 09 2012 10:00 AM
Lucia Fiester from Philadelphia, PA

What a great chance to hear from my literary idol, Erica Jong and her witty daughter. Alec enters the conversation, engaging with them in a natural way,not as "host/interviewer" but as participant. Molly, I grew up in the 1960s and 1970s and would have loved a mother who even talked about "SEX." My Sicilian grandmother insisted that women who wore half-slips were putana's, or whores. Yet the media's sexual saturation does not promote a healthy view of sexuality; it creates half-truths worse than my grandmother's half-slip theory of slutdom.
I also wish that their interview lasted longer, a sure sign that you are onto something special.

Feb. 22 2012 12:49 PM
Lori Kaplan Jewelry Designs from NYC

this was great...you could FEEL their relationship. Really enjoying these series...keep it going!

Lori

Feb. 16 2012 08:25 PM
Jef Klein from Princeton

My daughter (aged 17) and I listened to this with great amusement and interest. We loved the interview and thought Alec was a terrific and natural interviewer. But of course the mother-daughter chemistry of these two was just wonderful--very real, and sorta raw. You can tell Molly doesn't always pick up when she sees it's Erica calling.

Alec asked how to talk to his daughter about the images of female sexuality in the media, and Erica gave a very wise answer, how to say this and say that--but my daughter looked at me and said, "well, you have to be around to have that conversation." This conversation has to happen naturally, and occasions really only come up in real life after long exposure with someone--quality time only comes about as a result of quantity time. Or at least that's been our experience.

I decided in college that I would not join the Reagan-era gold rush into the corporate world. I worked for non profits and when I had kids, stayed home. Not as a traditionalist but as a radical anti-corporatist. Why should i stick my kids in day care so I could go work for some company? because Reagan or some feminist told me that was what modern women did? I took a lot of crap from my peers during my stint as a stay at home mom. (Thank God for Patti Smith or I"d have had no nontraditional woman to see doing this too) But listening to Erica and Molly, I am so glad I did what I did. I stayed home til my kids were well into school and had plenty of time to be with them, demonstrate my love for them with time and care, and be in the best position to have just that kind of talk.

So all this to say, Alec Baldwin, if you want to have that talk just spend as much time with your daughter as you can, and the occasion will come.

Feb. 12 2012 11:38 PM
Dottie from New york

Your best show by a long shot. Please either bring them
back for another round or cast others in this spirit. This is the real deal.
Hilarious, fascinating, intimate and full of conflict. Who doesn't want to listen to Jews yelling at each
other about sex?

Feb. 10 2012 04:45 AM
Dottie from New york

Your best show by a long shot. Please either bring them
back for another round or cast others in this spirit. This is the real deal.
Hilarious, fascinating, intimate and full of conflict.

Feb. 10 2012 04:38 AM
John

I'd love to be on Alec's show. Why? Because I'm the best numerologist in the world.Check out my predictions on my blog @ Johnpredicts.blogspot.com. You'll see! I also shop at Wegmans.

Jan. 31 2012 11:01 AM
Jodel from New York

Alec,
Really enjoying the shows, keep them coming

Jan. 27 2012 10:45 PM
Lise from Melbourne, Australia

Oh Alec this was a brilliant show. I am so with Molly, I grew up with a mother who walked around naked most of the time! Granny was just as bad/good! As an adult now so happy I had a bohemian mother. Molly still resists all that stuff and it makes for a fun interview! You btw are a fabulous interviewer! I'm hooked! x

Jan. 23 2012 11:51 PM
Elise from New York City

Love it! Defiantly need a longer session with these two!

Jan. 17 2012 10:28 AM

this was an engaging interview -- I wish it had been longer. In fact i wish they were all longer!

Jan. 16 2012 08:36 PM
Matthew from Toronto

This interview needed to go longer. It was just getting warmed up. It was like watching the 1st act of a good film and then it ended.

Baldwin is onto something because his personality and ideological demeanor suit this type of show. But he needs to go the length of say a Bill Simmons ESPN podcast. That guy has the top listened podcasts in the world and he always goes over an hour. It shows that people will download this type of thing on their Ipod OR listen to it at work (after all most of us are working at a computer). Baldwin needs to go longer to really get the juice of the theme of the topic and interviewee.

Jan. 15 2012 11:57 AM
barent estevez

that's- kahn-TIN-flahs [second syllable accented] for the pronunciation, of the great mexican actors name, cantinflas. [not kahn-tin-flas.]

Jan. 13 2012 09:14 PM
barent estevez

i don't think that he [alec], interupts too much at all. it's a free flowing conversational style. yet,he stays within the context of the discussion, and keeps the interactive rhythm intact. it's not a plodding Q&A,which, i feel, is pretty much an archaic, somewhat deferential way of interviewing. he does not step on their thoughts, and derail the conversation,as charlie rose does,whom i think of, as an absolutely deplorable interviewer. love this format alec........

Jan. 13 2012 08:49 PM
Brooke from Philadelphia

I have listened to and loved every episode so far. I only wish that each episode was a little longer, this episode specifically. It seemed that as soon as it got going, it ended. Of course I could listen to Alec Baldwin read the phone book, so...

Can't wait for the next one.

Jan. 12 2012 09:50 PM
roberta from piedmont ca

Keep them coming Alec...have enjoyed all of the shows to date! "Here's the Thing", someone should interview you.

Jan. 12 2012 07:24 PM
Carita from Boston, MA

Great interview with Jong and her daughter. Loved hearing Alec and Erica agree on what sexuality and sex are! Her daughter has a lot of living and loving to do. Intimacy is the hardest thing in the world.

Great platform for interviews, can't wait to hear more!

Jan. 11 2012 09:27 PM
lisa ann from big bear ca.

gosh to hear a mother an daugther have a deep conversation like this was just great I wish my own blood line could get down an messy with Alec trying to run innterference that was just good medicine.
I come from divorce, being 54 with no kids but an aunt to my sister's children who I love, I see more more how under-educated my parent's were to the idea that the freedom divorce offered was such uncharted territory for grown-ups of the era. That said as a 12yr old I decided to go with zero population growth, that was a mantra of the era also. Please Erica & Alec do another round and hopefully by then I'll know more about Molly's writing so as to not be so judgmental towards her. Until we live through a time we choose to judge we really have no reason to claim a true knowledge of it, an opinion yes.

Jan. 10 2012 01:42 AM
Stephanie

As someone in the midst of a divorce, this interview enlightening and so many words of truth about the catastrophic nature of divorce for all involved. Love Alec and his soothing voice and all that Erica had to say.

Jan. 10 2012 12:09 AM
Jane

Erica please lovingly inform your highly intelligent daughter that the media does not give the public what they want...it is, for the most part, prescribed by encumbered or otherwise self-interested wannabe media tycoons.. and only those who dare to question what they are fed, drivel really, may possibly help to effect much needed change.. The headlines of most publications these days seem annoyingly irrelevant or are gross misrepresentations of the truth. Why??

Jan. 07 2012 07:18 PM
Jane from HI

This is without question the absolute best interview program ever. Substance. What a concept.

Jan. 07 2012 06:22 PM
amy from li

Interesting interview but it seemed like you spent equal airtime self promoting the podcast as interviewing. Very annoying.

Jan. 07 2012 12:05 AM
YarnGuy from Brooklyn

Best interview yet. This one really came alive in the making -- of course, it helps that these two have a fractious relationship to start with. What's fascinating is how quickly they zoom back to lovey-lovey after screaming at one another. Despite Molly's unbearable voice, I enjoyed it immensely. May all the segments be this fresh and lively.

Jan. 06 2012 02:24 PM
nina solomon

Loved it!

Jan. 05 2012 05:13 PM
Sindhu Blume from Washington, DC

What a fantastic conversation, especially the the arguments about the impact of the feminist movement. Love the podcast and LOVE Alec Baldwin as an interviewer. Fabulous!

Jan. 05 2012 02:20 PM
Anna

I have enjoyed all of the podcasts so far. I would love it if they were longer so you could really delve into subjects with your guests.
I wanted to comment on this podcast for a reason. I believe what Erica said was correct. The images & stories that the media feeds to us is not necessarily what we want to hear or see. My daughters are 9 & 10, and I worry for them about the images of women they will be subjected to as they pay more attention to the media. It's like a piece of chocolate cake...I probably wouldn't go seek it out, but if it's in front of me all day long I'm most likely going to eat it.
The images we see distort our perceptions. It is now becoming normal to me to see 60 year old botoxed women; I remember when it looked so odd. It is unfortunate that we no longer celebrate the elder woman as wise & beautiful for what she is.

Jan. 04 2012 02:25 PM
Judith from New Jersey

The Erica and Molly Jong interview is the first I have heard of the podcasts. The naturalness of your conversation is very enjoyable but it feels like so much was missing and the point of the interview was missed. Maybe it is the dynamic of your guests or maybe the free form style you have, but I guess I was looking for more substance. The point is, as long as you are working with the open style of podcast with fewer time constraints of "live" on air get more meat (no pun intended) into the space you are using.

Having found this podcast (thank you twitter) I will give the others a listen and look for more in the future. Good luck with these.

Jan. 02 2012 09:49 AM
Joannie from LI,NY

The interview was very entertaining and interesting. I enjoyed it very much. A nice way to start the new year listening to an interview between Alec Baldwin and Erica Jong and her daughter, Molly Jong-Fast. Thank you for another fine interview on Here's The Thing.

Jan. 02 2012 08:29 AM

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