hat’s Wrong With Other Girls?: Episode Notes

The print version of In The Hand of the Goddess featuring Alanna on a rearing horse, and an ebook version featuring the new purple UK cover.

Welcome to the Hot Nuance Book Club, where it is time to discuss chapter 3 of In the Hand of the Goddess. We cover age gaps and age of consent, feminism and femininity, and generally level up all of Alanna’s relationships. George is a problematic fave, Delia is a favorite problem, and Myles knows more than he lets on. 

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== Check out other FARM podcasts ==
Wheel of Time Spoilers: https://www.spreaker.com/show/wot-spoilers-podcast
That B*tch Is Always Late: https://www.spreaker.com/show/tbial
Black Girl From Eugene: https://www.spreaker.com/show/black-girl-from-eugene

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Wheel Takes: https://www.spreaker.com/show/wheel-takes

Transcripts by Anna
Art by Bree
Produced by Aradia | Fox And Raven Media

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The Song of the Lioness, In the Hand of the Goddess. Chapter 3: What’s Wrong With Other Girls?

0:00:10 Welcome, introductions and the first Patreon knighting

Ali: Hello, welcome to the Hot Nuance Book Club, a podcast in which a novelist, a screenwriter and an editor walk into a book from their childhoods, diving into its craft and impact in their mission to bring nuance back. I’m Ali and I’m a screenwriter, most recently for Rugrats, and also a project I can’t talk about. Hopefully I can talk about it someday. But also the co-host of Wheel Takes and the creator of the Grinwell Cup. Lan Mandragoran has officially been declared the winner of 2024’s Grinwell Cup, congratulations to Lan. And I’m not mad. I’m excited to have our first man in the Heroes of the Horny. That’s very exciting to me.

Bree: It was always going to be him. I don’t know if anybody, any other man could have held up against this cast of hot women hotting hottily.

Ali: He smashed through the ass ceiling. You know what I mean?

Bree: (sounds like a spit take)

Aradia: Yes. Smash through the ass ceiling, is correct.

Bree: Beautiful.

Ali: I feel so good about that.

Bree: It was a flawless pun.

Ali: Thank you.

Aradia: Fantastic. I am Aradia. I am one half of the Wheel of Time Spoilers podcast currently rereading Knife of Dreams, a podcast editor, and your pilot for this season of Hot Nuance.

Bree: And I am Bree, also known as one half of the bestselling sci fi fantasy author and romance author Kit Rocha. Currently working on my next Crackin Sexy Pirate Romance book and also anticipating the release of Queen of Dreams in August. So very excited.

Ali: Woo! I got, I finally got the box.

Aradia: Yes! Oh, my God. Just wait till you get into the book. I’m over halfway through.

Bree: I sent Gus and Ali a copy and it literally got lost in the mail.

Ali: It was so sad.

Bree: I had to, like, call so many people, I talked to their local, like, post office employee on the phone, and she was like, We’re going to find this. And then they did. So props to her.

Ali: They did. They did. And it came. And I was so excited. And our little dragons are on our mantle.

Aradia: I love the dragon. I play with him so much. I just like, hold him in my hand while I’m in meetings.

Ali: Oh, it’s so cute. And you gave us two of them, which was so cute of you. And so then we don’t have to fight over them because we would have otherwise. And you spoke to my heart a lot when you sent us little tiny candles.

Bree: That I made lovingly with my own hands.

Ali: You know, I love a good candle.

Bree: So.

Aradia: They’re so sweet.

Ali: My love of candles is so legendary that like Gus mentioned it in our wedding vows.

Aradia: Wow.

Ali: Yeah, it was part of our wedding. Because he knows that when I’m at a store and there’s a candle section, I have to legally stop and smell at least every candle.

Aradia: That tracks.

Ali: Every single candle, and get his opinion on them, whether or not they smell good. I’m like, That’s too much. You have to smell it.

Bree: Well, we did a lot of candle science for these. So I hope that everybody loves the little candles.

Ali: It shows, every single one of them smells good. Believe me, I checked.

Bree: Excellent. Okay, let’s nuance.

Ali: We are currently nuancing our way through the Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce. So if you haven’t read that, go do that and come back when you have. For the rest of you, let’s break it down now.

Bree: Before we jump into the time machine this week, we have I think at least one patron to thank.

Aradia: One. We have one.

Bree: Woo!

Aradia: Very exciting.

Bree: All of our episodes will always remain free. But if you’d like to access an ad free version of this podcast, you can support it at Patreon.com/theHotNuanceBookClub. The link is in the episode notes.

Aradia: And there are levels where you can get rewards like an extra discord channel and a sticker eventually, and an invite to our end of book –

Bree: I sent the stickers out!

Aradia: Oh, exciting.

Bree: If you don’t, if you didn’t give us your address though, so.

Aradia: There’s also an end of book live via Zoom book club. And of course, what everyone’s been anticipating, patreon shout outs.

Ali: This week we have new patrons to thank! Because we have our first Hottest Nuance Patron.

Bree: That is super exciting. Like our first Hottest Nuance Patron of the new series, which means we get to grant an official title today. We have to induct somebody new into the hall of official titles, which means for each series – last time we were making people into Saints because of the calendar of the Saints in Melanie Rawn’s book. This time we are knighting people. Are we knighting people?

Aradia: I think we said, we’re knighting people.

Ali: Yes, we’re knighting people. I want to knight someone so frickin badly.

Aradia: Well, today is your lucky day because we get to knight a person. We get to knight a person.

Bree: Who’s going to do the knighting? Ali, I think you should do the knighting, please.

Ali: I’ve got a thing.

Bree: Oh, she’s got a thing.

Aradia: Drum roll, please.

(someone drumming on a desk)

Ali: I recently bought Gus his first lightsaber from Disneyland. We went to Disneyland recently, and I bought him a lightsaber, and he has been waking me up with it every morning since then. Just walking in and swinging it around. It makes noise when you swing it around, it is friggin awesome. I should have gotten that. But I got this random wrist pad from my desk instead. So we are going to dub thee, welcome Grace C, Knight of Finding Your People Online. Arise, Grace C.

Aradia: Welcome, Grace C.

Bree: Grace C, you are the knight of one of the best things in the world and probably should be the official knight of this podcast now, because we are the neurodivergent finding people online podcast.

Aradia: Yeah, Grace is one of the people that I met really, really early on in the WoT Spoilers server. We have seen each other through some times via the discord ecosystem that has grown up and all this stuff. And to have her come on over to Hot Nuance and join in is just fantastic. So I had to delegate that particular title to Grace, my friend. So thank you so much for joining.

Bree: I love that. And your people will be our people.

Ali: That’s a perfect title. Thank you, Grace.

Bree: Thank you, Grace. And yes, if anyone else wants to become a knight, you can even bump up for a month and become a knight. And bump back down, we’re not going to be mad.

Aradia: Not at all.

Bree: If you’d like a knight title, just go for it, do the thing.

Ali: I would personally be furious.

Bree: She might knight you with a lightsaber. I have to be real, being knighted with a lightsaber sounds real dangerous. So.

Ali: So you know that I got Gus, for one of his birthdays, I got him a sword.

Bree: Yeah.

Aradia: Okay, so we’re sensing a theme here.

Ali: And so because I was, like a 30 year old man, should I have a sword.

Bree: Obviously.

Ali: I just decided that. And then he was swinging that around in our backyard, accidentally cut one of our plants. We didn’t realize it was actually kind of sharp. And I was like, I just got it on Etsy.

Bree: Promise not to cut anybody.

Ali: So I’ll use this lightsaber.

Bree: Okay, let’s get the time machine before we cause any more damage.

Ali: Truly, Truly.

Bree: All right. All right.

0:07:45 Aradia’s Time Travel Adventures

Aradia: Welcome to Aradia’s definitely reliable time travel adventures. Please keep your hands, feet, tentacles, tails, and other appendages inside the car as we take you back to the 1980s.

(swoosh sound)

Aradia: Our sixth stop on this tour is April of 1984. In science news, the 11th NASA shuttle mission, Challenger 5, launches and makes the very first time that 11 people are in space at the same time.

Bree: Thank you for saying, not the one that exploded, because I hear “the Challenger” and I am just the age, that it’s like my first collective memory.

Aradia: So yeah, everyone who heard Challenger and freaked out: No, this is not the one that exploded. That was a different Challenger mission.

Ali: Oof.

Aradia: This one just made 11 people the record breaking number of people in space. And that is what it is notable for. Probably also some science experiments.

Bree: I am very happy about this.

Aradia: I would not put the exploding Challenger here without some more warning. That’s a lot. For our cultural moment, we do have something rather dark. This is the moment in time that the book by George Orwell, 1984, opens in a journal of Winston Smith. This is when that happens. It’s April of 1984 that that book opens.

Ali: Oooh.

Aradia: So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Bree: Goodness.

0:09:17 Chapter 3: Let’s trigger Bree, specifically

Aradia: And Tamora Pierce said, Let’s start a war.

Bree: She also said, let’s trigger Bree.

Aradia: And she said, let’s specifically trigger Bree. Let’s go into a lab and make an episode that will trigger Bree. Welcome to The Hand of The Goddess in the kingdom of Tortall. Let’s go.

Ali: I got kind of excited when I read this chapter, largely because I was like, I can’t wait to hear Bree talk about this chapter. I just got very excited about it.

Bree: A couple people have been anticipating this.

Aradia: Yeah. So if we don’t get to chapter four today, that’s fine.

Bree: I believe I am somewhat infamous for having a bit of a hate on for the Not Like Other Girls trope. And boy, did we go hard into girly girls are the worst today. And you know I’m going to come with some nuance so don’t be mad, but let’s just dive into it. I mean, we get some George first, so that will keep me happy. Kind of. (laughs)

Ali: No nuance. I’m coming into it with zero nuance, actually.

Aradia: Yeah. So we’re starting in chapter 3, which is The Princess Squire, and this chapter is basically a series of relationships going to new levels. That’s kind of what each section is. It’s what we’re doing, every relationship is leveling up and we’re just moving around doing that. And yeah, we’re going to start with George. Alanna is there for a party where all the rogues are getting drunk for Jon’s birthday. It’s a very, people will drink for any reason kind of scene –

Bree: Which is the next day. They’re getting drunk early. Which I appreciate.

Aradia: Right. It’s great, they’re pre gaming for the prince’s party. It’s amazing. I love that for them. But the important part is where George offers to make inquiries into the Tusaine rogues network. And Alanna says Yes, this is the beginning of intel flowing from the underbelly up into the government. There is a line of communication that is starting to open up here and that will have implications.

Bree: Yes.

Ali: We love implications.

Bree: I love my boy George becoming an international spy, just a useful man. He also informs us that people get married at 15. I’m going to have a lot of feelings.

Ali: Nope!

Bree: First of all, she has established this as the norm. So. Okay, fine.

Ali: No!

Bree: George is not being creepy within this culture because apparently this is the normal age for kissing girls. (intense voice) Why did you make this the normal age for kissing girls?

Ali: I’m a bit ethnocentric for a second and say No, no, no.

Bree: I wish I had not read so many books as a teenager – because I was 15 when I read this. So I was Alanna’s age. So of course I was like, Yes, I should be able to kiss anyone. There is no inappropriateness to this at all. Whatever, I think he’s hot, mack on her – At 44: why was so much of the sci fi fantasy of my youth obsessed with men, grown men, kissing teenage girls? Why? Why?

Ali: I hate it. I hate it, I hate it. I love Tamora Pierce. I hate this trope. I hate it.

Bree: I do. She’s not alone.

Ali: I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it.

Bree: It. And she’s not the worst. And McCaffrey literally Renesmee’d before, I don’t know, Stephenie Meyer was even born. Okay, like.

Ali: Why are we sexualizing young girls so hard?

Aradia: And see, I found this book and was reading it when I was like ten, so I knew nothing about anything. And this was the scaffolding upon which everything else got layered.

Bree: Yep.

Aradia: And I am still excavating and unpacking.

Ali: Are we teamJonathan now? He’s age appropriate!

Bree: Nope. No, I mean, he’s not actually any more, he’s slightly more age appropriate, but not that much.

Ali: Well, okay. Okay. How old is George? How old is George?

Bree: I believe that Jonathan was like 14 or 15 when George was 17. So Jonathan is like, because Jonathan is – let me see. 17.

Aradia: Jon’s 18 now.

Bree: Yeah. And George is like 22.

Ali: So he’s 18 and she’s 15. So this is senior in high school versus freshman in high school versus –

Bree: College student.

Ali: Creepy guy who just graduated college.

Bree: No, no, no, no. George is not that much older than them.

Ali: He’s not 22?

Bree: He’s like 20. Let’s see.

Aradia: Okay. People are not graduating from college at 22 anywhere in my sphere of experience.

Bree: 21/22. It’s not great.

Ali: I was 22.

Aradia: Wow.

Bree: Okay, well, then that’s amazing.

Aradia: Congratulations. You’re an exception.

Ali: I got there at 22.

Bree: An ADHD person who graduated from college in four years? You are the miracle girl. I only failed out of three colleges.

Ali: I graduated college at 22. But, not to brag.

Bree: It is a little bit of a brag, but it’s okay.

Ali: I think that is because my parents were like, That is all we will pay for. And I was like, Valid. And then I was like, All right, well, I’ll do it in four. So I did it as fast as humanly possible.

Bree: I had a full ride scholarship including room and board, and I failed out of college, like in 18 months. Like the way that I squandered –

Ali: Listen, was I healthy? No. Was I healthy, no. Was I well?

Bree: Yeah, that’s the thing. I think those are our choices. You can mask so hard you literally break yourself or you can flaim out. So.

Ali: Yep. I believe I did the former. I believe I’ve never really recovered from that.

Bree: Yeah.

Ali: Physically.

Aradia: You don’t, actually.

Ali: But I did graduate in four, so that was very exciting. But yeah, but my body’s never really recovered from that so, you know, take it as you will.

Bree: George is categorically too old for her, but so is Jonathan in my opinion.

Ali: Jonathan is on the cusp. He’s on the cusp, because if you think about it for a sec, it’s like high school senior with high school freshman, which is not horrible, but it’s not the best.

Bree: I mean, my personal opinion is that when everybody meets you when you’re like ten, you’ve basically got a good ten year decade where everybody’s a creep, if they’re older than you. Like, there was no no real winning here. They met her when she was very young. And there’s a point at which, you know, in a decade, none of them are that much older than her, that it would matter, when she’s 20 and they’re like 25, 28, whatever. But in the interim, there’s a lot of stuff that’s going on in your brain in each one of these years. And I just wish maybe so many books were not, you know, doing this. Because I was just consuming book after book after book –

Aradia: Yeah, that’s why. Yeah, it’s not this book in particular. It’s that this book is not a pattern breaker in the slightest, and nothing else was. Like, I can’t even think of what else? Like, did I read anything that subverted this and did I read anything that challenged this? No, it was this, and then it was this, reinforced. Over and over and over. And it’s the reinforcement that really drags.

Bree: And this was honestly one of the better ones. It didn’t break it, but it wasn’t Anne McCaffrey saying, Well, I loved your mom, but she got another boyfriend, so I’m going to raise you and then marry you. Or, there was the one where this guy rescued a 12 year old girl and basically he was like, No, she’s going to be my lover in the future! And I was like, Anne McCaffrey!

Ali: Well, you remember when I read that book where I was like, Okay y’all, tell me if you think this is going to go the way I am concerned it will. I was reading a book and I messaged you and I was like, I need you to tell me that I’m not being crazy thinking that I needed to put this book down before it goes the way I think it’s going to. Where a man, like, saved a woman, he’s reluctant to deal with her, and she’s 17 and he’s in his thirties, and now she’s his protege and like, she’s a genius, but she’s also hot.

Bree: Yeah… Not okay.

Ali: And like, she keeps kind of coming on to him and he’s like, No, it would be inappropriate. And I’m like, I feel like I’d see where it’s going and I don’t like it. And then he saved her from some guys trying to do horrible things to her. And I was like, I just have a bad feeling that I know where this is going and I don’t want it. And you were like, Leave this book immediately.

Bree: Run, run, run for the hills. Call 911, mark yourself unsafe from this book.

Ali: I think there’s this awful thing. I mean, how many of us have or know a friend who dated someone significantly older than them where it was really bad and then they grew up and they got to that age and they were like, Oh my God, I can’t believe that they dated me. That’s so creepy, because at this age I would never, you know what I mean? It’s like dating a child, you know? I mean, maybe it’s just me.

Bree: No, no, I am going to say that I don’t think that – I do think there’s an age at which, like, the older you get, the less age gaps matter. But I do think that when we’re talking about this age, when your hormones are basically cooking your brain.

Ali: Well, yeah.

Bree: There’s a lot going on there.

Ali: Well, that’s what I mean.

Bree: I just wanted to make sure that everybody’s understanding. We’re not out here saying, Well, yeah, if you met your husband and he’s six years older than you, you’re bad. No, that’s not what we’re saying.

Ali: No, obviously not.

Bree: And some people were high school sweethearts and, you know, you grew up together, and that’s the thing. But like, George is too old for her. Okay, I’m just going to say that.

Ali: George is too old for her.

Bree: Before I move on and still ship it, because I don’t care.

Ali: (guffaws)

Bree: Because I grew up with this shit, and it is one of my foundational relationships. And I’m going to go write my book about the 3000 year old, 4000 year old dragon and the 25 year old Princesses. This is the thing, the scaffolding. When you said the scaffolding, Aradia, that is the scaffolding my Id was built on. (laughs)

Aradia: You’re all saying this and I’m like, I don’t I don’t want to be like, (annoying voice) Well actually, I am an exception. But like, I am literally now very bothered by how precisely I am an exception because, that’s the age gap. Like, I was 16, he was 21 and we’re still married now. And it was a bad call on everyone’s parts. But for reasons that don’t bear going into, our maturity levels matched and it was the healthiest of the choices that I was taking regardless, because I was a fucking flaming wreck, and crashing into a slightly age inappropriate man who was actually very present and ready and willing to be there was by far the best way that that trainwreck was going to end. I was going to do something bad, bad things were going to happen and that’s –

Bree: That is the nuance of it!

Aradia: But I rolled a natural 20. I rolled a fucking natural 20, do not do what I did. Do not do what I did.

Ali: This the thing where you’re like, Don’t do what I did because nine times out of ten, it will not work out as well as this one did. But yeah.

Aradia: And it was not like this. It was not some man coming up to me and being like, I’m like history and tell you I’m here in case you ever are interested. I find George’s behavior to be way more creepy than the objective age gap. Like, just the, Oh, well, once my chosen bride grows up enough that I can show her love is –

Ali: No! No, grooming, grooming, grooming.

Aradia: I don’t even care if you’re six months apart. That attitude is a problem.

Ali: Grooming.

Bree: George is a problem. I’m not going to, like, say, one goddamn thing about it. I love him.

Ali: 1-800 groomers.

Aradia: And yet, when you stack Tamora Pierce’s ultimate arc with this up against a lot of the things I was going to read later on? Could have been worse. Could have been a lot worse.

Ali: Could have been worse?

Aradia: Like, I just –

Ali: I just don’t like the message.

Bree: See, I am going to say that as much as I don’t like the, When my chosen bride grows up thing, I did like that in that scene he actively said, I’m not going to push it again. I’m not going to say anything again.

Aradia: That’s what I mean.

Bree: Because I do think –

Aradia: It could’ve been so much.

Bree: – that he made it very clear to her that they could be friends and they were still going to always be friends no matter what she thought or wanted. And let me just say, as someone who got nice guy’d so hard at this age because I wanted to just have a friend and that was not what he wanted – I mean, I’m talking, this guy finally stopped talking to me a couple of years ago because he had spent 20 years cracking, airquote, jokes about how I ruined him for all women and taught him that women just like bad guys because nice guys never win. And I was like, Excuse me, I was a 14 year old and we dated for 48 hours.

Aradia: Wow.

Bree: I had my own shit going on with my fucked up house and home and I was not ready to have a relationship remotely, I just wanted a friend. But like, whatever, I ruined your life. Sure. So, yeah, I appreciate that.

Aradia: Jeez.

Ali: I would love to have my life ruined that way. When you think about the ways in which, like, certain lives have been ruined.

Bree: We touched pinkies in history class. That was the level of intimacy.

Ali: Yeah, that is the gentlest life ruining. Yeah, that’s the gentlest ruining I’ve ever heard. But, okay, no, there is a lot of that.

Bree: Is a problem, but it’s not much of a problem compared to everything else I read. So that’s the thing.

Aradia: Yeah. Especially because, you know, Ali said at the beginning, in world, this is not considered creepy. Plus then we have the narrative justifying –

Ali: Woah, woah, woah.

Bree: I said that, I don’t think Ali did.

Ali: But, no, I’m side eyeing Tamora Pierce, because I’m like, Where is the age of consent 15? Like in what country? Like what?

Bree: Oh, God. Like, this one.

Aradia: Our country, Ali.

Ali: No, it’s not. Are you serious, no. It’s 18.

Bree: Oh, there are states where it is!

Aradia: Twelve year olds can get married in some states.

Ali: Oh, yeah, that’s true. YI forgot about that.

Bree: Yeah. Don’t look.

Aradia: Literally 12 year olds can get married in some states.

Bree: Don’t look, Ali, don’t look.

Ali: I forgot hard about that, actually. Okay, fine, Tamora, you get a pass.

Bree: You will cry, and climb under a table, and weep.

Ali: Now I’m concerned.

Aradia: But the thing I was going to say is that the other part of the narrative that does justify this is that Faithful’s like, Well you seemed to be having a good time. And by virtue of just believing the book, like Faithful, as her familiar, he’s a teenager, but he is her familiar. So we’re being told that this is not as creepy as we could lambaste it as being, in pretty overt terms, because of Faithful’s approval.

Ali: Okay. According to this map of the age of consent in the United States. Yes, at one point it was 12 in – I forget which state, but they did change it. Now the youngest is 16 in every state that I’m looking at.

Bree: But that’s not with the marriage. In Alabama –

Ali: Oh, marriage is different?

Aradia: Yeah. Yeah.

Bree: Okay, here’s the thing.

Ali: Wait! But that makes no sense! Okay. Whatever, it makes no sense.

Aradia: Hey, controlling women’s bodies irrationally is the entire point.

Bree: No, it doesn’t make sense. This came up during the Senate runoff we had where Roy Moore was trying to become our senator. Because, you know, I don’t know if people were following Alabama politics too closely, but it came out that he was creeping on 14 year old girls. And there were people in the state who basically defended it as like, Well, yeah, you can get married at 14 with your parental consent. So you know, a nice young Christian girl would want an older man to take care of her and guide her. Like, literally, that is what –

Ali: Ew.

Bree: Evangelicals from evangelical communities are still completely on board. And there are states, I believe, that with a probate judge’s permission, 14 and 15 year olds can get married. And believe me, 14 and 15 year old girls.

Ali: Four states have no official minimum age, but still require either parental consent, court approval, or both. That’s California and Mississippi, New Mexico and Oklahoma. What, California? Get your shit together. Two states have a minimum age of 15. That’s Hawaii and Kansas. 22 have a minimum age of 16. Ten states have a minimum age of 17. 12 states have a minimum age of 18.

Bree: Yeah. The fact that you can get married before you can legally consent is a whole fucking thing.

Ali: It makes no sense. That makes no sense.

Aradia: Since when does this bullshit make sense?

Ali: Really valid. Obviously, you know, there are some cultures in which the minimum age is younger, but I’m just saying, 15 feels real young. It just feels real young to me. It just feels. It just is just. It’s just too young.

Bree: Yes. It feels a lot younger to me at 44 than it felt at 15, I got to say. I felt real old at 15.

Aradia: Very much so.

Ali: You can’t do it anything. You can’t drive, you can’t do anything. You barely have your learner’s permit.

Aradia: Yeah, no, but you can still make really dumb ass decisions and get into some stupid adult amounts of trouble.

Bree: Yep.

Ali: Truly, it’s too close to middle school for me. You should not be able to go from your middle school graduation to walking down the aisle. That feels too fast. Too fast!

Bree: Yes, well, let’s not approve of it. But I am going to say, culturally she made this not creepy. And so I’m not going to say that George is in-world being creepy. I am going to say, please, authors, let’s move away from 15 year old girls being marriageable age, because I feel like this is also like –

Ali: Don’t make me get out the sword.

Bree: A historical accuracy thing we see a lot. The Game of Thrones people would run at you screaming, waving their arms, and that’s not entirely –

Ali: No! I don’t care.

Bree: But it’s not even necessarily historically accurate.

Ali: No, no. So wait a sec. Wait a sec. Because I read a thing where people are talking about like, Oh it’s historically accurate – for the wealthy.

Bree: Yes, exactly.

Ali: For the wealthy, it was historically accurate.

Bree: Because the wealthy would transfer property via it.

Ali: Exactly. Whereas the typical average age for someone who was not wealthy, was somewhere firmly in their twenties, not 12.

Bree: And that’s going to vary from culture to culture, obviously. But yeah, our idea of when people are getting married is extremely fucked up, historically.

Ali: Well, it’s yeah, it’s biased toward wealthy people.

Aradia: Yes. Yeah. And we were just having a big old genealogy discussion in the discord today. And I will say from doing all the genealogy, I saw a very common pattern of teenage wife, early twenties husband. That was probably the most common pairing, 15/16 and like 20 through 25. That was a really, really common set for what I saw in documents for weddings, all across my and my husband’s family, which is very, you know, United States centric but like a really, really common interval, for whatever that’s worth.

Bree: Yeah.

Ali: It’s still squicky to me.

Bree: I still love George, though. Can’t let him go.

Ali: Yeah, but like, when people think about those extreme ages and we’re talking about like, fantasy in a eurocentric way, because fantasy at this time was very eurocentric. If we’re talking about historical accuracy, that kind of depends on whether or not they were wealthy.

Bree: And also, historical accuracy when people are quoting it to defend fantasy is almost once again, English, a skewed idea of English history. That’s basically what most people are going with.

Aradia: I will say that all the family people checking, they were all farmers, not super wealthy people. We are all farmers.

Ali: Well and that’s a thing too. Yeah. The farmers, they were like, We need as many kids as possible because working a farm with just you and your spouse sucks.

Aradia: And it’s dangerous.

Ali: So our whole school system is the way that it is, because the farmers needed their kids over the summer.

Bree: I almost corrected you when you said they can’t drive because I grew up in farm country and I’m like, Oh no, you get your farm permit at 14 and then you can drive the tractor to school, which people dit.

Ali: Oh my God, I love that.

Bree: I’m literally from Drive the tractor to your Catholic school. Like this is a thing that I experience. Very niche.

Aradia: Within this section there’s just one other thing I think we should get back and talk about, which is that Thom sends Alanna this cool magic chainmail shirt and a warning about Roger spying on her. And she’s like, That’s silly. And then George is like, You’ve been getting tailed from the palace ever since you beat that knight.

Ali: Of course she is!

Aradia: People are paying attention to you, stop brushing it off, Alanna. But this is what Alanna does. Alanna brushes off that she could possibly be a threat.

Bree: Yeah, Alanna first is like, Why doesn’t anybody trust me about Roger? And then, like, on the other hand, she’s like, Why would Roger care about me? I’m no one. I’m like, Girl, pick a lane.

Aradia: I know.

Ali: Yeah. That’s my thing is, I’m like, Don’t be suspicious about him and then deny it when somebody tells you that he’s tracking you in the same breath, you silly bean.

Bree: George is affirming you, and giving you evidence.

Aradia: Silly girl. Yeah. So that’s what’s relevant.

Bree: I like the magic. She asked Thom to give – the thing is, it’s a birthday present for Jonathan. So she wants Jonathan to have all this magic protection because clearly, whether she admits is or not, she knows that Roger is trying to murder that prince. So yay, magical protection. I hope this will come back at some point later in the book. I do not remember if it does, I hope that that was good foresight on her part. And then George kisses her while she’s got her hands full. But at least it’s a chill kiss and not a, I’m going to kiss you, Will you punch me, kiss? I mean, I’m just going for whatever small mercies we can pull out of this strange situation right now.

Aradia: Sure.

Bree: I don’t care, George. This is a mess. And I still love you. And this is a mess. Help! Um.

Aradia: Yeah, yeah, we hate it. But also we impressed on it.

Bree: Yes. Imprinting.

Aradia: Feelings.

Bree: Oh, and he gave her a present for Jonathan. Did we find out what that was?

Ali: I don’t think so.

Aradia: I think we see it later.

Bree: Okay.

Aradia: I think he unwraps it in Alanna’s presence. I might be forgetting that.

Ali: And it’s a snake. A deadly snake.

Aradia: Yes. Because that’s how George is going to deal with his love interest problems.

Ali: I know presents to me are always very, very silly, but I never feel like I see someone give someone else a present and it’s like, completely innocuous, do you know what I mean?

Bree: Oh, that’s fait

Ali: He’s like, Oh, I’ve got a present for the prince. And it’s murder!

Aradia: Yeah, for the prince? Yeah. If it’s sent to the prince, it’s like, Oh, dear.

Ali: Yeah, yeah. There’s a present for a royal person? That person is dead. That is the worst present they’ve ever received, because it’s a death present. Happy death day to you. You know what Imean. So I was like, Oh, it’s rare for me to see royalty get a present, and that’s like, completely fine.

Aradia: Right. Yeah.

Bree: Well, I do think George is nice –

Ali: It’s murder present!

Bree: – to Jon. Because that’s the thing, George could fuck Jonathan up a lot and they’ve got a kind of chill, I like their little chill Prince/thief relationship, you know, because it could be weird.

Ali: Oh, so you like Jonathan, do you?

Bree: Well, listen, I defended Jonathan, because I said I think that Roger is mind whammying him into being a jerk. So I did come around on that, but I still don’t like him as much as I like George. Sorry, I can’t help it. I imprinted on who I imprinted on.

Ali: You have your brand, you have your brand, you have your brand to protect. I get it. I get it.

Bree: It’s weird. Broken nose, ass thief guys – I like people who are trying to disrupt power structures or steal from them. I can’t help it. Thieves –

Ali: Bree’s like, I can’t help if I’m cool.

Aradia: Hee hee hee.

Bree: No, I see. I didn’t understand this when I was young. I was just like, Why do I only like people who are thieves or outlaws? And then I finally figured out, I just don’t like powerful people because it feels like so much of the conflict they’re given ends up being, they have so much power, why don’t they just fix things for other people? And I do feel like Jonathan’s got a little – I’m a little sort of like, Okay, Jonathan, I want to see you do some good shit with your Prince power here. But I’m giving him a pass right now because he’s still a kid and clearly his uncle’s trying to murder him. And so he does not have as much power right now. I’m not sure how I feel about his dad.

Aradia: He’s being cool with George. That’s within his power.

Ali: Which is why, again, I’m saying we should examine those presents a little more carefully, considering that there is an active assassination attempt currently happening right now.

Aradia: But not from this guy.

Bree: But not from George.

Ali: No. Not from George. Well, wait. Can I say one thing?

Aradia: Yeah.

Ali: I do appreciate about Tamora Pierce in this particular thing, having just read The Hunger Games on Wheel Takes, that we have these two guys who are kind of Alanna’s love interests, but they’re not, there is no weird hatred between them.

Aradia: Right? Refreshing.

Bree: Yeah. There’s no antagonism towards each other or towards her. And Gail got some real antagonism towards Katniss in the end.

Ali: I hate Gale so much. Like, I just.

Aradia: Mmh hmm.

Ali: I can’t even begin to describe how much I hate Gale. He just is the worst at every turn. By the way, Gus has a Peeta sweatshirt. Have you seen Gus’s Peeta sweatshirt?

Bree: No, that’s amazing.

Ali: It’s like the Taylor Swift Eras Tour sweatshirt, but with Peeta’s face on it instead.

Bree: That’s a beautiful thing.

Aradia: Wow.

Ali: And it’s the Peeta Mellark tour. And I just wanted you all to know that because he loves it more than anything in the world, me included.

Aradia: Amazing.

Bree: He does love our bread boy.

Ali: He loves Peeta. And you know what? That’s fair. But there’s no like, there’s none of that, like, weird, Eww, why you hang out with George, why are you talking about Jonathan –

Bree: No, they’re friends.

Ali: Puke, I don’t care. That’s the thing, that’s the instant not attractive to me.

Aradia: Yes, right. Which, again, the scaffolding that this book laid down for me was really good because I was like, Well, love triangles are not supposed to be antagonistic. So everyone act like that after was like, No, I don’t. I don’t I don’t appreciate this.

Ali: And no, I’m not calling a child attractive. I’m just saying like, if I’m in the protagonist’s shoes, then I would find that unattractive.

Bree: Well, neither of them are children anymore, to be fair. Jonathan – I mean, they are compared to us.

Ali: I know.

Bree: The other thing I would say about the jealousy thing is like, I’m pretty sure that since we’re about to get into this, Alanna is even clearly jealous about this chick and Jonathan, in front of George and at George, and he doesn’t get weird about it even though she is clearly acting like she’s got some serious jealousy issues related to Jonathan. He’s still not being weird about Jonathan. So thank you for that. And let’s crack open this box.

Ali: Is it time to discuss Delia?

0:39:12 Music break. Just Actually Very Beige Flags

Aradia: So we open on the ball, and this is for Jon’s party. And before we get to Delia, there’s this lovely moment with Alanna just being the most autistic, awkward person, hiding behind a curtain and hating parties. And I was noticing that this isn’t just us reading her as autistic, but also, this is very real for people who feel social gender dysphoria. Like, I don’t want to go out there and to be perceived as the gender expression that you are all going to perceive me as. With Alanna, it’s complicated by all of the things that are specific to Alanna’s story, but just being in her head for that was like, Wow, I’m resonating with this on two different frequencies? So that’s happening. And she should be allowed to stay behind the curtain. But no, we get drug into Delia, so now we have to talk about that.

Bree: Okay. So they drag her to talk to the – Okay, first of all, we’ve got a pretty girl. She’s pretty. Everybody’s in love with her. She’s a flirt. Get a little bit of slut shaming kind of vibes later on from this. And apparently, though, first of all, friends, I don’t like this, friends, because apparently they’ll drag Alanna over. They want to kind of razz her, give her shit because she is awkward, apparently, talking to girls.

Aradia: Yeah, because she is painfully straight, I assume is the problem.

Bree: Yes. Or whatever she is, she’s painfully not attracted to women, depending on how you view her gender. I would say she is just not into girls, which, couldn’t be me. Don’t relate. But she does not think girls are pretty.

Ali: Yeah! I’m like, no, not –

Aradia: Cannot relate. Part of how I thought I was bad at the girl thing was because I’m like, But I don’t feel repulsed by the idea of flirting with girls.

Bree: Girls are pretty!

Aradia: What is the problem, Alanna? They’re hot.

Ali: They are hot. Ever seen a woman?

Bree: So, you know, they’re kind of being mean to her because they, like, introduce her to this pretty, pretty, pretty girl who’s the new belle of the ball. And, you know, she flirts Alanna immediately, which makes all the men mad at her, because now we have jealousy and we have all sorts of jealousy.

Aradia: Ugggh.

Bree: So all the men just immediately hate her because she beat the knght in the previous- Dain or whatever his name was. Yeah, she defeated that knight. And so they’re all jealous that she’s getting lauded for this and that the pretty girl has heard of her.

Ali: Jealousy is so exhausting.

Aradia: And the only reason that Delia is doing this is to piss off the other men, too. It’s not like she actually is taken with Alan at all. She’s just like, Ooh, if I put attention onto the least of them, then all the other ones will fight for my attention. And I have them all on a fucking leash.

Ali: Which, good for her. Slay!

Aradia: On the one hand, yes, but I would not want to have coffee with this girl.

Bree: I mean, she also seems to really get that Alanna doesn’t want this – or to her, Alan doesn’t want this attention – and she gives him more because of that. Which is a little bit ick. So, like, she’s not a great character.

Ali: Oh, I don’t like that.

Aradia: She’s a bad person. It’s very obvious she’s a bad person.

Bree: She’s she’s, you know, she’s bad. She’s a bad person.

Aradia: This isn’t just a free wheeling pretty privileged person. She is ambitious and vicious and manipulative.

Ali: What’s wrong with ambitious?

Aradia: When it’s vicious and manipulative!

Ali: I’m a Delia defender. I’m coming out as a Delia defender.

Bree: Oh, well, here’s the thing –

Ali: I’ve never hated someone on sight in my life. Don’t look at Roger.

Aradia: I have a really weird pattern in my life where I tend to have very strong opinions about people and then end up being very wrong. Like almost every person I have ever really, really liked on sight, I have turned out to not like. And every person who I immediately recoiled from has ended up being like a person I like hanging out with, like consistently. Since I was a little kid. People I’m neutral on, I’m neutral on, but.

Ali: Bree, does that not make you wonder things? Does that make you wonder if they recoiled from us when we first met? It makes me wonder.

Aradia: It makes me wonder that about everything. It’s different online. I’m thinking more in person, like walking into a room and that vibe check, where you’re like, Oh, that’s a person I’m going to get along with! I’m almost always wrong. I’m always so wrong, and it’s the people that I’m most like, Eww, no, that I end up actually hanging out with. And you know why? It’s the internalized ableism. It’s the, Oh no, they’re like me, I have to separate myself from them because my mask will be penetrated if we flock together. That’s what it fucking is. God damn it!

Bree: Well, I also think that we are also often being awkward at parties. Like, that’s the thing. When you put a neurodivergent person in a room that is like a pressure cooker and stressful. I mean, sometimes we will be a little bit weird.

Aradia: I’m thinking in martial arts class and stuff, everywhere in my life, I’ve had this dynamic play out.

Bree: Okay, well, that’s fair. I just like everybody –

Aradia: I don’t go to parties!

Bree: I just like apparently everybody when I first meet them. But then I’ll immediately change my mind if they say something weird.

Ali: Your first mistake is going to parties.

Bree: Yes.

Ali: I think I typically expect to like people and then I’m really shocked when they aren’t cool.

Bree: Yeah, that’s kind of how I go.

Ali: Do you know what I mean?

Aradia: No, I have good expectations of most people, but the people I have a really strong take to, I’m almost always 180 degrees off for how it’s going to fall out six months later.

Ali: I’m always shocked who I end up not liking, because I feel like a lot of the time the vibes are really good and then all of a sudden there’s like a switch that happens. And I’m like, Whoa. Like all of a sudden they just like, get tired of me or something. I don’t know if it’s me or what, but then like, there’s like a switch that sometimes happens with people where I’m like, Oh, whoa. Or they’ll say something really problematic and then I’m like, Well, now I can’t talk to you ever again. And that’s always a bummer. I mean, not a bummer, not a bummer that I’m glad that they said it, so then I can know to not talk to them anymore. But yeah, I don’t know. I feel like I tend to expect to like people. Sometimes though I’ll meet somebody and I’m like, The vibes are off, pretty from the get.

Aradia: Yeah. Just like, you know, walking into a classroom and getting a sense for who your like, cohort’s going to be and you’re just like, Oh, I’m going to be friends with that person. And then it’s like, Oh, no, absolutely not. I’m going to end up being friends with the person who I didn’t even notice the first five times I came into this group.

Ali: I think I – see, here’s my problem. I think that for me I am such a people pleaser, that’s how I mask. I’m just always looking for someone who will like, tolerate me when I walk into a room.

Aradia: I make people adopt me. That’s kind of how I operate. Yeah, I don’t have friends I initiated.

Bree: I’m laughing because it’s so relatable.

Ali: Yeah, I’m like, Who will like me, who will be my allies in this situation? Like, let me find someone who will like, warm up to me. And then once I find that person, it’s like a 50/50 as to whether or not they stay cool.

Aradia: I’ve had really good luck with the people that sidle up to me.

Ali: I think I don’t see the red flags at first because I’m just like, Oh, there’s no way they’re going to like me. Now. I’m at a point where that has started to shift, where I’m not as much of a people pleaser anymore. And so I recognize the red flags faster where I’m like, I need to get away from this person. But I think I generally enter a room so desperate about how people will perceive me that I forget to perceive them. Does that make sense?

Bree: Ah ha!

Aradia: Oh yeah, that’s a mood. I have no sense of red flags at all because I’m way too busy trying to make sure that I’m not sending up red flags. Which are not, in fact, flags of any shade at all. It’s just me existing.

Ali: Yeah. And then you realize those are just actually very beige flags.

Aradia: Yeah, just sort of confetti fluttering everywhere.

Ali: But other people have told you that they’re not beige?

Aradia: Ugh. It’s a lot.

Ali: Do you know what I mean? And then you’re like, Oh, apparently those are not beige.

Bree: Well, that’s because they want us to not be us sometimes.

Ali: You know what I learned recently? Blind people can learn to echolocate, but their parents often don’t let them because it is not socially acceptable to make clicking sounds all the time. I know! Is that not so upsetting?

Aradia: So on brand and upsetting.

Ali: I know! I was really upset by that. That stuck with me as an upset, like in my craw for a – I mean, still is. But like, you know how sometimes – maybe this isn’t neurodivergent, maybe this is everybody – but like, I will hold on to a sad fact for like, days and it just weighs me down until my body can process it and let it go. Like, not let it go, but kind of go like, Okay, that’s a thing you have to process about the world.

Aradia: So mature of you. I don’t, I can’t process things.

Ali: Yeah, I just feel like it weighs on me for a long time until I can kind of like, I don’t know, exist with it, but, like, not really. Because then every time I think about it, I get bummed out. But yeah, that fact really upset me and stuck with me for several days is like a big weighted blanket on my vibe. Does that make any sense what I’m saying? I feel like I’m making it a very dismissive thing and it’s not.

Aradia: No no no.

Bree: Okay, here, there’s something with neurodivergent people, especially ADHD, that I have heard about, which is basically – and I’m not going to use clinical terms cause I don’t remember all of them – but it’s like we don’t have normal degradation of our thoughts, of our emotions. And this comes up with friendships, there’s a degradation mechanism where if you spend time not around a friend, it’s like the friendship fades, but we are just like, we put things in a cryo stasis chamber and then take them out and we feel exactly as strongly as we did when we – you know, we forget they exist for three weeks and then we take it out. And the feelings are exactly as strong, exactly as intense.

Ali: Yes! Yeah.

Bree: It’s like every time we see it comes back into our face and, like, so I could forget to talk to someone for three weeks, and then I just pick back up and I’m like, Yeah, let’s talk like we had, you know, nothing happened. Because I have no experience, no diminishing in my feelings or affection. It’s just, you know, out of sight, out of mind, back into sight, back into mind.

Aradia: Yup.

Ali: Yeah, exactly.

Bree: It is a weird experience that when you realize that other people, things continue to exist for them when they’re not at the front of their mind and they can continue to change. Whereas we like file stuff in this like perfect-

Ali: It’s why the Sims made no sense to me. The way that the friendships deteriorate over time? If you haven’t talked to them in a minute.

Bree: Yes.

Ali: That made no sense to me as a mechanism. I was like, they do? I guess I don’t really feel that way. I don’t. I just get busy and I’m tired and I like to hyper fixate on something and then two weeks later, I’m like, Oh, fuck. I have friends that I haven’t talked to in weeks. But then I thought, okay – And then this is why I don’t do social media as much anymore. I saw somebody making a joke about that, but I saw somebody, and this is like why I can’t with the Internet sometimes, they were talking about like, Oh, yeah, you know, real friendship is like we don’t talk for three weeks, but we’re still, you know, excited to talk to each other and it’s like, no time is passed or whatever. And I was like, It’s me! But it’s some kind of joke about that. And the top comment was like, That’s called maladaptive, something, something. And it’s actually really toxic. And I’m just like, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t, I can’t really. Tell me, you were in high school and like all of your friends live 10 minutes from you without telling me, right? Like, there’s just no way.

Bree: The internet was a mistake, she said on her internet based podcast. Sometimes the internet was a mistake.

Ali: Well, we talked last time about how it’s a double edged sword, right?

Bree: Yes.

Ali: I don’t even remember how I got here. But somebody – I’m like, Just because someone sucks sometimes does not necessarily mean they’re a narcissist. Like, some people just suck sometimes.

Bree: Most of us suck sometimes.

Ali: Granted, there are totally narcissists, but.

Bree: I suck sometimes when I tell you that there is nothing wrong with George.

Ali: But see, you acknowledge it. You’re like, okay, listen, this is a problem.

Bree: But I don’t care.

Ali: And I forgive you for that. I do. Because you know what? In another world I would totally be Team George also. I just, once I found out that you were Team George, had to be Team Jonathan because I had to dig in, you understand?

Bree: For the podcast. Yes, we’re doing it for the podcast, guys.

Ali: And this is how I am toxic. Like, I was like, I have to, now that I know that she loves George.

Bree: Okay, let’s get back to our new fight.

Ali: Delia!

Bree: Delilah, Delia, or whatever her name is. Okay, This is the thing.

Ali: I’m team Delia.

Bree: It says it like, she thinks that Delia knows that Alanna detested her, so she made her do lots of special services, like fanning her, bringing her glasses of lemonade, dancing with her. And then, like, apparently they’re –

Ali: Okay, That I don’t like.

Bree: Yeah, I don’t like that. And also, like, she convinces Jon one day that she was his alone and then ignored him the next day. So that’s some negging behavior. So I do believe that she has been written – unless Alanna is just a totally unreliable narrator – as kind of a not great person. Like, I have no problem with flirting and like, making knights follow you around because they’re being hormonal goofballs. But let’s not be weird and predatory towards the kid who just wants to be left alone. And also, I mean, I’m not Jon’s biggest fan, but that’s not nice. And here’s the thing. I’d be fine with her as a character, as a non nice character, if there was one other single woman in these books who we get to spend time with. But so far, is there? Laughing Nell sat in someone’s lap.

Aradia: Yeeah, nah…

Bree: Have any other women done anything?

Aradia: We got to hang out with George’s mom.

Bree: She showed up with some TERFy shit. George’s mom. And we had the witch lady in the beginning. Maude?

Aradia: Yeah, Maude. And then, yeah, there’s been a couple of women with the rogues.

Bree: Jon has a mother, but.

Aradia: Like, there is a queen. Yes. Who was like, This is my only son!

Bree: Alanna is just surrounded by men.

Ali: Yeah, we haven’t seen a lot of women.

Bree: So Alanna is just surrounded by men. And there’s been one woman, one girl, one person her age, roughly, who is female, who has been introduced to this thing. And she’s just like a toxic shit head who Alanna has immediately hated. And so that’s why I’m sad.

Aradia: It’s everything Alanna said she didn’t want to be. She’s like, Ah, yes, women, those things I hate and want to cast off.

Bree: It’s like, she is the manifestation of femininity that we must loathe.

Aradia: Right? Like, it’s another one of those things where it’s just, this is what Women are like. And in order to like, get away from being a Women, you have to hate on all this stuff. And as a little nonbinary kid growing up being like, why? Why does not make sense, right? Like, this definitely factored into that, because Alanna, who’s the closest thing I have to understanding someone taking gender into their own hands, is then doubling down on this highly gendered, extremely narrow definition of what gender is, hate thing? And it’s not good scaffolding, because really it’s been really hard for me to explore the side of myself that is feminine without being like, Ew! And it’s, it’s rooted in Alanna going, Ew! in this chapter. This is the very first seed upon which all the rest falls out.

Ali: I mean, yeah, I feel like it’s not just the non-binary experience, but that I do feel like that’s a really valuable perspective to come at it. I feel like for some reason exploring the feminine for everyone – granted, obviously, with the non-binary experience is a very different and more extreme version of that – But like, I mean, men, cis het men, struggle to explore their feminine side. That’s an Ew.

Aradia: Yeah, it’s the same thing. Absolutely.

Ali: Women, I mean, hear the Rosamund Pike Gone Girl cool girl monologue.

Bree: Yeah.

Ali: Right, where they talk about how you have to be the cool girl and, you know, somehow manage to look like a million dollars, but actually like you’re not working at it, like all that kind of stuff.

Aradia: The number of songs on my playlist, that that is the thesis. I’m like, Oh my God.

Ali: I mean, it’s just the emotional labor that women are asked to go through, and the self-hatred and hatred of their own femininity that happens as a result is very sad. Like the ways in which femininity is treated as trivial or with outright hostility at its worst. Right? Because I mean, I feel like that is the thing. It always roots back to misogyny in this weird way where it’s like – with trans women or gay men, it’s like, how dare you explore the feminine when you have all of this male privilege? Like, how dare you? And with lesbian women and trans men, it’s like, how dare you enter this, how dare you think you could be one of us?

Aradia: Yeah!

Ali: And then with women, it’s like this eternal punishment of like, look how trivial you and your interests are, you know? So I guess.

Aradia: Even being raised in, like, a hippie sense of like the whatever fucking way feminism, right. Being like, okay, well, now we got to reject it on another level and on another level. We just have to all be these blank, vaguely men shaped things because that’s what equality looks like.

Ali: Yeah, it’s the treatment of the feminine with cruelty or open hostility and even violence. It’s weird to me, and I have this whole thing about how that –

Aradia: And then it also pigeonholes non-binary people into having to be androgynous. It makes it hard to be anything other than androgynous and feel like you have a right to claim nonbinaryness, because well, you’re leaning into your assigned gender from birth, so how dare you be nonbinary? And it’s like… thanks.

Bree: And because we’re calling this feminine and it’s feminine coded and this is what we have traditionally society says is feminine. But why? Why is any of this like, you know, that’s the question at the end of the day. Why is the dress feminine? Why is flirting feminine? Why is being a catty bitch feminine? Because like, you know.

Aradia: Yeah.

Bree: That’s what follows through from this.

Ali: Like, I’ve met some catty bitches who are men, right? I have met plenty of catty bitches.

Bree: Catty bitches, gender neutral.

Ali: Like if you want to see catty bitches, like, a cis het straight man can be really catty. I don’t know. I’m like, that is a human trait.

Bree: I mean, the men are all being kind of catty.

Ali: I mean, they really are!

Bree: This chapter, because they’re all, they’re fucking dueling!

Aradia: Because they’re all hormonal teenagers.

Ali: That’s why, I don’t know. For me, it’s like, Okay, we introduce a woman to this space who is hyper feminine.

Aradia: And the hormones made all the men crazy.

Bree: (laughs)

Ali: The instant hostility Alanna feels toward her, to me, is really loaded, right?.

Bree: Because there’s no counterprogramming.

Ali: Maybe she sucks. She could suck, right? But then I’m also like, I guess I’m at a point with my feelings about the feminine and feelings about women where I’m like, because of the ways that I have been toward women in the past, I am, like, hyper wanting to give them all of the chances at this point in time. In a way that maybe is an overcorrection. But I’m like, let’s hear them out. In the year of the Barbie movie, are we getting instantly hostile toward women? Let’s examine what’s happening. Do you know what I mean?

Bree: See, my thing is definitely less – And this is very much like when I get mad at one of Robert Jordan’s women. I’m actually sort of a little irritated with Tamora Pierce here, because I do think that if she could have –

Ali: Me too.

Bree: – accomplished a lot of the same stuff while making – How are you saying her name, Delia? – More complex, more nuanced, less just a straight up shithead. I think that there’s a lot that you could do there. Especially since this is a like – Imagine instead of this hostility towards this, we get Alanna realizing that all the women are trapped in this weird system and this is just her navigating it in her own way, trying to use the weapon she has at her disposal.

Aradia: Mhm. Yes.

Bree: And at the end of the day, this stupid patriarchy shit that’s making her pretend to be someone else in order to pursue what she wants is hurting all of us. And I think that this was a conversation that maybe in the eighties we were not having as much, because waves of feminism. But if I were to see a dream, that’s what it would it be. She could have disliked her a lot. And I don’t know if this is going to happen later in the book. I kind of doubt it because this introduction was pretty intense. But a realization that these court women seem empty and frivolous and like, they’re just doing stuff, that this is survival for her, too. She has got to, like, you know, find her way to find security.

Ali: Honestly, one of my, like one of the phrases that triggers me is like, I’m just one of the guys. Like, I’m a guy’s girl, Like that kind of stuff just sets my teeth on edge.

Bree: Yes. And I was told that constantly. You’re just one of the guys, Bree. You’re one of the boys. I was one of the boys, and I didn’t want to be. I was being told I was one of the boys. Like, femininity was being ripped out of my hands as an option because I was just, they were constantly, Yeah, you’re just one of the guys. And I’m like, I didn’t ask to be that! Why am I so bad at girling that you won’t even call me one? So. Yeah. Yeah.

Ali: Well, I feel like – it’s not to say that, like, women can’t not like each other in books, right?

Bree: Yes, that’s not what I’m saying.

Ali: Obviously, that’s not true. It’s just the idea that, like, I guess this was, yeah, maybe part of what feminism was back then was like, you know, you had to kind of put on this more masculine front in the workplace and things like that. But it just was another way of pitting women against each other in a way that I’m just like, Aren’t we tired? This is my thing about all of it is, I’m like, What it’s doing is it’s like, let’s these subgroups of people who, if they all worked together and accepted each other, we’d all be powerful enough to dismantle this larger system. But if we keep them infighting and thinking that there’s only limited slices of the pie for them or limited seats at the table for them, then they’ll be so busy infighting about what feminism is or who’s right, who’s like, whatever matters more that like, they won’t pay attention. They won’t have the strength and ability to bring it down. And obviously there’s a lot of nuance to that statement, too, of course. Right. But I just want to say, obviously intersectionality and all that stuff is super, super important. But that’s the thing, intersectionality, the bringing together of all these different people with all these different perspectives, all these different expressions of femininity, all these different cultures, right?

Because all of those groups together are what is going to ultimately be the thing that can bring down these bigger systems, not us all infighting over whether our expression of femininity is the most feminist, or whatever, or like the correct thing. And I’m like, Also, aren’t we just tired of the opinions, the unsolicited opinions of cis het men? I’m just tired of it and having to be like, Oh, do they like me? I don’t give a flying fuck any more.

Aradia: Aren’t being in your thirties great? I’m enjoying it so much.

Ali: Like, I love my husband, I love I, you know, and I feel like this is the time where I have to be like, I love –

Bree: Some of my best friends.

Ali: If you are not offended by this then I’m not talking about you. (bitchy voice) Some of my best friends are men! The real ones, no I’m not talking about them. But I’m just like, in terms of these larger establishment patriarchy things, I’m just fucking tired of getting the unsolicited opinions on my gender expression, on my being, from like a random family member at a fucking party. Like, I’m done, I don’t care. And neither should any of us. Whether or not you are like a frilly girly girl, a cottagecore lesbian, non-binary, like who gives a fuck. Silliness! Yeah, I’m just done with that. And so yeah, I guess it was very triggering to see Delia treated with immediate hostility in the year of the Barbie movie, you know what I mean?

Aradia: Yeah, I appreciate that, because I just am just right there with Alanna, of like, grump, grump, grump. And then I do like Myles’ take, because Myles is old enough and far enough away from all of it that he’s like, You’re so jealous. He doesn’t even need to know that Alanna is a girl to be like, I know jealousy when I say it.

Bree: He does, right? He absolutely knows. I feel like he’s known since the sweating sickness thing. And I think we’re getting hints that he knows because he keeps – and I think she even says at some point in this, that sometimes Myles said stuff that makes too much sense for her comfort? Like Myles knows for sure. For sure.

Aradia: You know, I forgot that he – you’re right.

Bree: Like, I mean, I don’t know.

Ali: That he knows about Alanna’s?

Aradia: Yeah. No. Yeah, he’s had his first big clue, ever since the sweating sickness, he’s been having dots to put together.

Bree: It’s right here. “Sometimes the odd things Myles told her made too much sense for her peace of mind.” And this is after he does the like, you know, Some women like to break up men’s friendships! Or something like that.

Aradia: So here I always just thought that was Myles being very wise.

Ali: Some women like to break up men’s friendships? Myles.

Bree: Another thing, do we really, do we really? I mean.

Ali: Look, here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. I am a girl who, like, you know, develops early and that was hell on earth. I’m going to say that right now. That was hell on earth to be a neurodivergent girl who developed early. No one liked me, no one. Girls’ moms were mean to me! It’s like, you can’t win. The Barbie movie, right? The whole monologue. But it was so – the thing about it is that we had that same monologue in like 45 different movies, you know, about women, I feel like 90% of the time. But yeah, you can’t win. It doesn’t matter what your gender expression, whether you’re one of the guys or not, or what have you, it’s like there’s no beating it. There’s no perfect woman in the patriarchy’s eyes, because – I mean, look at these pick me girls, right? That we talk about, like the pick me women who are like, Oh, no, I do want an alpha male or whatever. The alpha males aren’t picking them. They’re not, because they don’t want them.

Bree: Not usually, because they like to break women. That sounds so terrible.

Ali: They want to break a different woman. Yeah, they want to break a feminist. That’s what they want. They want to win. And I’m like, that’s the thing is, even if you are that picture perfect or attempt to be that picture perfect, oh yeah, I want everything that the patriarchy says I’m supposed to be. They don’t want you! You’re still not good enough or.

Bree: If they do, you’re not going to like what you get.

Ali: No, there’s no Prince Charming coming to dance you away. None of those men are Prince Charming, right?

Bree: Oh, I want to say something else. After the whole, Sometimes odd things Myles told her made too much sense. He says, You’re a good human being, Alan. And that just feels extremely gender neutral to me. So I’m on team Myles knows. Myles knows.

Aradia: I completely forgot to take that into account, because I was thinking so much about just Delia as being a really manipulative person, because I was thinking that, like, if she’s there to play court politics and she knows about the special relationship that Jonathan has with his squire, there might be some strategic advantages to her politically to separating that particular friendship. So, I mean, I always thought that Myles was just being an adult and I was just not wise enough to parse out what he was saying. I’m just stupid. And that’s why I’m on this podcast. So that way the professional writers can school me on how people are.

Ali: No.

Bree: No, no, no, no.

Ali: No, stop it. You’re not stupid.

Bree: Not at all.

Ali: You are not allowed to say that.

Bree: We’re coming to get you.

Ali: We as neurodivergent people will not allow a neurodivergent person to say the S word. I don’t allow it. Nope, it’s too triggering. You can’t say the S word on this podcast.

Bree: You are just observant of different things and that is how we’re going with it. And that is the truth.

Ali: Yes.

Bree: I am super observant of word choice because that is literally my job. And also I know how you hide things.

Ali: I guess what’s triggering for me, if I may, is that as a young Neurodivergent woman, I was often told that I was flirting with people and I had no idea. I thought I was just being friendly.

Aradia: Mhm. Oh yeah, I remember that.

Ali: And so I guess when I’m hearing about young women flirting, I’m like, Is she though?, or does she – I guess, yes, for her –

Bree: I’m pretty sure she is. But I don’t think people necessarily are.

Ali: I guess for me, I guess when we’re talking about young women flirting and how that’s bad, I just like flashback to that period of my life where I’m like, first of all, that’s what young people do. They flirt with each other, right? Young people flirt, they’re trying out their whole adulthood thing. That’s part of it.

Aradia: And they behave in such irrational ways because it’s their first time.

Ali: It’s like going through toddlerhood over again. Right. Except with added hormones.

Aradia: Exactly. Exactly. Yes, you get some odd results. Yeah.

Ali: So it’s like they’re learning how to be people. Yeah. They’re learning how to be people. And so they’re going to try things and act in ways where you’re like, Why would you do that? Or like, That’s silliness. But it’s like, they have to learn that at some point. And just because they look like they might be close to adulthood doesn’t mean mentally they are. And I just yeah, I got accused of being a flirt often and I was like I thought I was just being playful. I thought I was just having fun. I thought I was just being friendly. But I seem to not be able to do anything around a male counterpart that isn’t perceived as flirtatious. And that’s not just by other kids. That was other parents. Will they call my mom and being like, Your kid’s really flirtatious. And like, I’m 13 years old? What is flirty about a 13 year old, you’re a child! And that just bothers me, the instant condemnation of girls that seem to be growing up too fast, but then also the ones that don’t seem to be growing up fast enough. It’s like, what is the line? Where are you supposed to go?

Aradia: Nowhere.

Ali: Or being too feminine versus not feminine enough? Where are you supposed to go?

Aradia: You’re supposed to go nowhere.

Ali: So I just, I don’t know. The Delia thing – and it’s always the women that they have issues with are always hyper feminine and flirtatious.

Aradia: Yeah, it’s as bad of a trope as anything.

Ali: It’s never another slightly masc woman. Like, it’s never that. It’s never that, you know? Anyway, it just bothers me.

Bree: We’re not going to get the next chapter today, Aradia.

Aradia: We’re not. So put a pin in that and we’re going to take another POV switch. Not really POV switch, I call them – It’s a break.

Bree: It’s because something crazy is about to happen.

Ali: (gasps) Alex!

1:13:42 Music break. The long arc of Justice for Aradia

Aradia: Yeah, so we switchto a nice winter montage. There’s some exciting things happen over this winter. We get a winter scene. Alanna hates the cold. This is one of her human failings. She is particularly not okay with the cold, which, like, don’t particularly relate.

Ali: Well, I relate 110%. I’m a lizard person. I need the sun.

Aradia: See, I’m a chronically overheated person. Like my quest is always to cool down. Being too hot disregulates me way faster than being too cold. I will just let myself stay cold sometimes just to like, soak it in and try to hold onto it against summer’s heat. Even though I know that’s not how it works.

Ali: Oh, I can’t be too hot either. I have to be exactly 70 degrees at all times. Or I’m a mess. I’ll just fall apart. If I am not at a exact perfect temperature, and this sounds dramatic, but it’s true. My body just falls apart, to pieces.

Bree: Oh, mine does to.

Ali: My feet are always freezing my feet and my hands are always freezing. So I have to wear like, socks. All the time. So I agree. There was just a point where, in Chicago, I turned to Gus and I was like, This is my last winter here, and I hope you’re coming.

Aradia: Mm hmm.

Ali: Couldn’t do it.

Aradia: I can see why you moved to California, for sure.

Ali: This is where I was born. It is temperate. I require temperance.

Bree: Okay, so she hates the cold. And I’m going to tell you, this feels foreshadowy to me. And I don’t know if I’m remembering something or if it’s just – I don’t know, but I feel like cold and Alanna are not done with each other. And I have no idea if this is a memory or just this was –

Aradia: It’s still a world. The world has a lot of cold in it.

Bree: This was real ominous. She did not let up on how much she hates the cold.

Aradia: It may come back to haunt her. Probably not for the book where she’s pictured on the front in the desert. But you know, we’ll get there. Deserts are actually quite cold at night. FYI

Bree: Also she considers climbing into bed with Jonathan.

Aradia: (cat noise)

Bree: She’s having sporadic, sexy thoughts.

Ali: (cat noise)

Aradia: Just for the heat. It’s just for the heat. It’s just for the heat.

Ali: Oh, yeah.

Bree: So, yeah, that’s a thing that’s happening.

Aradia: I like how Alanna is learning to run her fief at a distance, like Coram is at Trebond, bringing it back from the neglect that her father left it. And because, of course, Thom has no interest and Alanna’s like going to her friends in the palace, to the adults in her life in the palace, for advice on how to run her fief long distance. And that’s cool.

Ali: Okay, I’m just trying to imagine having your whole livelihood live and die by a 15 year old.

Aradia: It’s a lot, but it’s better than the benign neglect of her father. Like, Coram trying and Alanna trying is literally better than the benign neglect they were having, which is not a great statement about Lord Alan the senior.

Ali: Oh, he sucks.

Aradia: Sucked. Now he’s dead.

Ali: We may be better off for it, which is upsetting.

Aradia: Yeah, Yeah. So then a very, very interesting thing happens. All the squires have to go on a camping trip. It’s like a test of their survivalist skills, which totally makes sense, right? They’re like boy scouts on top of everything else. So, go survive in the woods for a week, to prove that we taught you how to not die is like, okay, sure. Fair. So Alanna and Faithful go and they’re having a fine time. It’s working out great, a little bit extra stormy, but whatever, it’s fine. And a fucking demonic boar attacks them, and Alanna barely manages to ward it off, and then it just vanishes.

Ali: Roger.

Bree: Absolutely.

Ali: Roger.

Aradia: You think? Aren’t there other candidates? Can’t you think of someone else? This is just a normal thing that happens in the woods.

Ali: Roger.

Bree: Demonic ghosts. Demonic ghost pigs.

Aradia: Demonic pigs that vanish. It’s like, there’s no body. It literally vanishes.

Ali: Into the Woods!

Bree: I would just like to tell anybody who does not live in the woods or, like, got confused by the 15 or whatever feral hogs meme into thinking that feral pigs or boars are not the most terrifying thing on earth – They’re fucking terrifying. If you have never had a wild pig coming at you, even if it’s not demonic, you will think it is. So I’m scared of this. I had to rescue Donna from a giant wild pig once, drive over to her house because it had gotten a chain wrapped around her ankle and dragged her around the yard somehow, like –

Ali: (gasps)

Aradia: What the fuck?

Bree: She was trying to get it chained up, to get like animal control, and it burst free and the chain got tangled around her ankle. Like, this is seriously shit. So this was traumatic for me to read. Wild Pig Attack, and I was also a demonic, magic wild pig. This is scary. Don’t like, bad, Roger, thumb down.

Ali: No, boars are no joke No, just ask Old Yeller.

Aradia: Or Dorothy.

Bree: And then Jonathan’s writing poetry to our favorite girl and occasionally sleeping with her. So that’s not great. Little slut shame-y.

Aradia: I do think it’s interesting that the heir just gets – that there’s no like court level slut shaming of either Jon or Delia. There’s like, Oh, yeah, no, the heir to the throne is just sleeping with this lady of the court. And that’s just like a thing that is happening without, like political comment.

Bree: I wonder if people know, but it doesn’t seem like it’s serious. I mean, I guess I don’t know, like, I don’t know what to think because Gary and Raoul are fighting fucking duels over her still while she’s casually sleeping with Jonathan. So I think I always assumed it was a secret, because this just did not seem like a court.

Aradia: And that only Alanna knew because she’s the squire?

Bree: Yeah, because she shares a bedroom wall with him. Because this just does not seem like a court that’s like, And we believe in female sexual liberation.

Aradia: That was what was pinging to me. I was confused. Thank you, but.

Bree: I’m not getting that vibe.

Aradia: Okay. All right.

Bree: So I would like to be wrong. I hope they prove me wrong.

Aradia: Yeah, I just thought it was like, She’s sleeping around, and everyone’s weirdly fine with that. But you’re right. It’s just a secret that Jon is assuming Alanna will keep. Because squire/knight relationship.

Bree: Yeah.

Aradia: That makes more sense. Unfortunately. Hate that for everyone.

Bree: Hate that.

Aradia: I mean, unless. Unless Ali is defending it, in which case, I don’t hate her for her.

Ali: I do.

Aradia: All right.

Ali: No, I do. I don’t hate that they’re sleeping together. I hate that they have to hide it.

Bree: We don’t know for sure they do. But I got the impression, just because I have not felt like this is a place where everybody would be chill about it. But I could be wrong.

Aradia: No, I probably just been projecting weird egalitarianism on it because that’s what I wanted to see. So moving on from that.

Bree: And apparently Alex is the only one who’s immune, which is – I don’t know how I feel about that.

Aradia: Alex and Alex’s squire. Alex’s squire seems to be following Alex’s lead on this.

Bree: Yeah, I’m still worried about that.

Aradia: And that gives Alanna and Alex the basis for more time together, which is, you know, ostensibly good. It’s good to have a friend. But like, Alex is acting a little weird, and then he’s acting a lot weird. And we’re having a duel that feels maybe like it’s going to kill Alanna, until Myles arrives in the nick of time because Faithful freaked out at him. That escalated really weirdly, didn’t it?

Bree: And in the long arc of Justice for Aradia we hit a land speed record for how many times she can call Alex dark in this section, which I’m not thrilled about, because it’s the one where he’s attacking her. But like, “her dark friend” and like –

Aradia: Yeah, the villain’s getting more dark.

Bree: Yeah, yeah. There’s a lot of that. We’ve continued to discuss this on discord. People have gone out to Facebook groups to get head canons.

Aradia: It’s becoming a thing, we’re going to keep on this.

Bree: Yeah, the Alex question. They did come back with head canons that Raoul might be Perrin from Wheel of Time adjacent, in the TV show, which I’m not hating that head casting, the gentle giant, like Marcus Rutherford. I can go with that.

Aradia: I don’t hate it. I came up with it. I still don’t hate it. It’s been a couple hours. I still don’t hate it. So.

Bree: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’m feeling it. However, Alex, what the fuck? I mean, clearly, mind whammied, right?

Ali: Oh yeah.

Aradia: His eyes get all weird, and then once he gets brought out of it, he acts like he doesn’t know quite what was happening. It is like, Oh, no, let me help. Like, it seems like a switch got flipped back off again, and that’s bothersome. Alex has a switch?

Ali: Poor Alex. I mean, could you imagine?

Bree: I mean, he was going for her. He broke her collarbone.

Ali: Like, you hurt your friend and then you don’t remember it or had no control over it? That’s like a nightmare. That’s a nightmare.

Aradia: Come out of a fugue and someone’s blood is on your hands? That’s not ideal.

Ali: Well, I’m like, it seems like he wasn’t aware of it, right? Of what he was doing. Because I’m like, there’s two equally nightmarish scenarios. Either he was aware of what he was doing and couldn’t stop it, in which case, a nightmare! Imagine attacking someone you know and care about and like you’re where you’re doing it and you can’t stop. Nightmare. Two, he wasn’t aware of it. He comes out of this fugue state, right? And he’s attacked Alanna. Another nightmare. I can go into a fugue state at any time and attack someone I care about? Either way, I’m tying myself to like some kind of pole. Right?

Aradia: Right. Yeah. There’s no good options for him at this point.

Ali: Poor Alex. That’s messed up. I would almost prefer for him that he was, like, aware and wanted to do this. Like, that’s horrifying. That’s why sleepwalking is so scary. It’s the things you could do while you’re asleep. It’s, like, scary.

Bree: Mm. Yeah. So Myles comes and stops it, and Myles is like, Dude, he was trying to kill you. Which Alanna immediately, even though she literally just experiencing an attempted murder, denies it because, you know, I mean, that must be really hard though. Like you don’t want to believe your friend would do that. And then she realizes that he hasn’t been a close friend since he became Roger’s squire. And I’m so sad. Alex came back to us.

Aradia: I hate that.

Bree: I really think Alex’s situation – and Roger’s just going hard here I’m assuming, because this feels like, either of Ali’s options, Roger is the reason it happened, right?

Aradia: There’s no other suspects.

Ali: Definitely. It’s not Alex’s fault.

Bree: Yeah so, don’t like this. I liked the demonic pig better, honestly, because turning your friends against you is scary. Yeah.

Ali: That’s so scary.

Bree: Even if they haven’t been close. Like, Yeah.

Ali: I feel for Alex. I hope he’s okay. I hope he ends up okay, Alex.

Bree: I’m feeling scared.

Ali: Because that’s scary. Oh, no. Aradia’s face is scaring me. Alex’s dead, Alex is dead. Oh, no, Alex is so dead.

Bree: I don’t have a good memory. I don’t have a clear memory, but I’m definitely feeling, I have a bad feeling.

Ali: I don’t remember. I hope he’s okay, but I don’t like Aradia’s face right now.

Aradia: My mistake – just for all of you who are trying to learn how to hold a poker face – the trick is to never think of something clever, because your face will give away that you’re trying to think of something clever. Just focus on not reacting. Because if you’re trying to be clever, you’ll be reacting. Don’t do that.

Ali: I didn’t like a single thing about Aradia’s face just now.

Aradia: I was just trying to think of something clever and I shouldn’t.

Ali: And I normally like everything about Aradia’s face, but today, not so much.

Aradia: That’s fair.

Bree: Here’s the other thing. This felt foreshadowy again too. It felt really foreshadowing because like – they talk about, this is not the first time, this is like the third that we’ve had this, Which of them is the best thing? And things keep interrupting before it can be established for sure. And I feel like the end game has to be us finding out. Because it’s going to Alanna, right. Alanna is going to be the better of them because she’s the titular character of the series. I don’t think she’s going to die in book two, I’m pretty sure. But I feel like we’re going to – I don’t know if it’s going to be this book or like the end of the series, but I feel like that question has to be answered. Because even Myles is like, If you two played Best Warrior long enough. We have to find out. And this wasn’t a fair fight because she kept – she didn’t know they were fighting for real and she kept doing things that she would not have done if this had been a serious fight. So it wasn’t like this was a test of which one of them was better. This was her rallying at the last moment really is, Oh, shit, I’m in trouble.

Ali: Yeah, I’m fighting for my life here. Not fight for funsies.

Aradia: And not like with Dain where like she switched up the rules but still had observers. This was unobserved, which made it very different.

Ali: Yeah, that was scary. That was a scary, scary thing Alex did to her. And I feel scared for all of them.

Bree: I’m not loving it.

Ali: I feel very bad about what’s going to happen to Alex, and Aradia’s face didn’t help.

Bree: Ominous way to end the chapter.

All: Dun dun dun.

1:28:35 Wrap up.

Aradia: And an ominous way to end the episode because we are not getting to chapter four today. That is not happening.

Bree: Listen, we had to do age gaps, and age of consent, and feminism, and it’s been a long episode.

Ali: You know what though, I think a worthwhile little sojourn into feminism, and also Delia.

Aradia: Yeah so thank you to you two for all of that, and to our audience for listening through it.

Bree: I’m problematic, still George.

Ali: I want Delia to be good so bad.

Bree: Man, the dream.

Ali: But I know it’s not going to happen for me.

Bree: I just want the dream.

Ali: I want Delia to turn out to be cool really bad. But I don’t think that’s going to happen for me.

Bree: No, I don’t have a lot of hopes. I don’t remember.

Aradia: We will have to read and find out, but these are YA books from the eighties. So a certain amount of trope aversion is not to be expected, shall we say?

Ali: I’m not like other girls, yeah. Mmh, it’s not my favorite.

Bree: It’s okay. We’ll survive.

Ali: When someone says something like that. I’m like, Oh, what’s wrong with other girls?

Aradia: Yeah, we’ll get to revisit that. Possibly. Maybe once or twice more.

Ali: Thank you so much for listening. Our social media and contact details are below. Until next time, have a very nuanced day.

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