Politics 12 April 2019
Ahead of the 2020 elections, Harris Faulkner is using her role as a journalist to address some of the recent and recurring topics polarizing the Democratic and Republican parties. This Sunday, Faulkner leads her second town hall in Iowa to source perspectives from the American people on some of these trending topics, which continue to increase in relevancy ahead of 2020.
"When things start to grow across the nation, it becomes more than just a topic you cover," says Faulkner on her daily responsibility of reporting in the current political climate. “It becomes the fabric of what people will take with them when they go to the polls."
The FOX News anchor of Outnumbered Overtime, expects her second town hall to tackle the impact of the #MeToo movement on the 2020 election, the Democratic Party and the rise of socialism, yet she is also open to discussions based on what people have to say.
“We need to gather how they see it because that's all that matters," Faulkner shares. “It's not a matter of for or against, but rather the principles within these topics that both parties need to be aware of."
We had the chance to chat with Faulkner ahead of her town hall (airing at 8pm/ET on Sunday, April 14) about the impact of town halls, importance of listening, and the significance of the media ahead of the elections.
Tell me more about the town hall.
Town Hall America is something that my team and I fashioned last year. We wanted to pick issues affecting people all around America, and actually listen to them. If we're covering the border, we need to go to a border state. That's why I want to go to Iowa, not just once but three times in 30 days—we know the world will be focused on them as they begin to caucus. I've positioned myself as a keynote to hear from so many people, particularly women, and I want the few questions that I ask at the town hall to reflect that they're being heard.
What do town halls mean to you?
It's important that we talk and listen to each other. The one thing my mom used to say that resonates with me everyday is, 'Don't talk when other women talk.' We tend to be active listeners and say 'uh huh' but then we miss a lot, so try to be silent when you listen. She wasn't a political lady, but she was a big believer in people working together.
What is the layout of this town hall?
This talk will be in a barn but in round style so people will be able to see each other; I love that people can make eye contact. To me, that causes accountability, a richness of discussion, of possibility and opportunity to say, 'I don't agree with that, here's my perspective' or to say, 'You know what, we're nothing alike but wow, listen to that.' I like to gather before and after a town hall to make myself available to those conversations. I will be covering this through the next election and I want to start with openness.
Why do you think it's important to have these conversations?
We have such an interesting conversation going on right now with the #MeToo movement—who would have thought that anything could have competed with health care?
The situation with former Vice President Joe Biden is just one of the conversations that's lit up in the past few weeks, but it's important that we come at these issues with more than just emotion.
The current president has done something for the elector—to build that political energy on both sides of the isle. If people don't vote, how can they approach making their lives better? I've seen more HR departments put out notices to not talk about politics in the office. I've never seen that before—everyone is talking and feels like they want to be informed.
What do you think are the most important topics facing women for 2020?
The #MeToo movement and healthcare.
Also, being able to take advantage of where we are with the number of jobs available. It's one thing to go out and get one of those numerous jobs but if you talk about injecting women into the work force in a meaningful way, it includes all of us being able to reach up and pull up to hold positions in a higher place—and to be able to continue to reach. If we are going to change the parameters of how women are treated in and out of the work force we need to have more women at the top.
What do you want to tell female voters or women looking to get more involved in these topics?
My speech is less on politics and more on how we see ourselves rising. One of my principles is to be picky with who we are around—our 'squad goals.' We probably all need to fire some people in our inner circle who don't want us to do our best.
To segway that into politics, women vote in higher numbers per capita than men; we have a lot of power at the polls. We cannot be marginalized. We each have our own life perspective.
I'm a mom, I'm a black mom, I'm a wife, I'm working and balancing, not perfectly, but with all my heart and all my passion. I am not the same woman as someone who has the blessing of more children than I do and is choosing to homeschool those kids. We are different but in one way we are the same; we are powerful and when we go to vote, we are everything. That's why it's important to hear from all walks of life.
What should the media be doing more of in lead up to the presidential elections? What about less of?
I think that we should be doing less pontificating and more reporting. I know this is the day and age of quick bait on Twitter, but let's concede the fact that people will read your Tweet if they are following you because they are your followers—let's just concede that and go after the actual facts. We [journalists] play a role in America that is special, not only constitutionally special, but it's important because people are living their life at such fast speed that they may miss something—so we have a service.
America is a special place but we have to protect it. So when you ask me what should we be doing: drive hard in the lane of news and journalism—political news is a part of that—get in your lane and drive hard.
For decades, women have been unknowingly suffering from PSD and intergenerational trauma, but now Dr. Valerie Rein wants women to reclaim their power through mind, body and healing tools.
As women, no matter how many accomplishments we have or how successful we look on the outside, we all occasionally hear that nagging internal voice telling us to do more. We criticize ourselves more than anyone else and then throw ourselves into the never-ending cycle of self-care, all in effort to save ourselves from crashing into this invisible internal wall. According to psychologist, entrepreneur and author, Dr. Valerie Rein, these feelings are not your fault and there is nothing wrong with you— but chances are you definitely suffering from Patriarchy Stress Disorder.
Patriarchy Stress Disorder (PSD) is defined as the collective inherited trauma of oppression that forms an invisible inner barrier to women's happiness and fulfillment. The term was coined by Rein who discovered a missing link between trauma and the effects that patriarchal power structures have had on certain groups of people all throughout history up until the present day. Her life experience, in addition to research, have led Rein to develop a deeper understanding of the ways in which men and women are experiencing symptoms of trauma and stress that have been genetically passed down from previously oppressed generations.
What makes the discovery of this disorder significant is that it provides women with an answer to the stresses and trauma we feel but cannot explain or overcome. After being admitted to the ER with stroke-like symptoms one afternoon, when Rein noticed the left side of her body and face going numb, she was baffled to learn from her doctors that the results of her tests revealed that her stroke-like symptoms were caused by stress. Rein was then left to figure out what exactly she did for her clients in order for them to be able to step into the fullness of themselves that she was unable to do for herself. "What started seeping through the tears was the realization that I checked all the boxes that society told me I needed to feel happy and fulfilled, but I didn't feel happy or fulfilled and I didn't feel unhappy either. I didn't feel much of anything at all, not even stress," she stated.
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Valerie Rein
This raised the question for Rein as to what sort of hidden traumas women are suppressing without having any awareness of its presence. In her evaluation of her healing methodology, Rein realized that she was using mind, body and trauma healing tools with her clients because, while they had never experienced a traumatic event, they were showing the tell-tale symptoms of trauma which are described as a disconnect from parts of ourselves, body and emotions. In addition to her personal evaluation, research at the time had revealed that traumatic experiences are, in fact, passed down genetically throughout generations. This was Rein's lightbulb moment. The answer to a very real problem that she, and all women, have been experiencing is intergenerational trauma as a result of oppression formed under the patriarchy.
Although Rein's discovery would undoubtably change the way women experience and understand stress, it was crucial that she first broaden the definition of trauma not with the intention of catering to PSD, but to better identify the ways in which trauma presents itself in the current generation. When studying psychology from the books and diagnostic manuals written exclusively by white men, trauma was narrowly defined as a life-threatening experience. By that definition, not many people fit the bill despite showing trauma-like symptoms such as disconnections from parts of their body, emotions and self-expression. However, as the field of psychology has expanded, more voices have been joining the conversations and expanding the definition of trauma based on their lived experience. "I have broadened the definition to say that any experience that makes us feel unsafe psychically or emotionally can be traumatic," stated Rein. By redefining trauma, people across the gender spectrum are able to find validation in their experiences and begin their journey to healing these traumas not just for ourselves, but for future generations.
While PSD is not experienced by one particular gender, as women who have been one of the most historically disadvantaged and oppressed groups, we have inherited survival instructions that express themselves differently for different women. For some women, this means their nervous systems freeze when faced with something that has been historically dangerous for women such as stepping into their power, speaking out, being visible or making a lot of money. Then there are women who go into fight or flight mode. Although they are able to stand in the spotlight, they pay a high price for it when their nervous system begins to work in a constant state of hyper vigilance in order to keep them safe. These women often find themselves having trouble with anxiety, intimacy, sleeping or relaxing without a glass of wine or a pill. Because of this, adrenaline fatigue has become an epidemic among high achieving women that is resulting in heightened levels of stress and anxiety.
"For the first time, it makes sense that we are not broken or making this up, and we have gained this understanding by looking through the lens of a shared trauma. All of these things have been either forbidden or impossible for women. A woman's power has always been a punishable offense throughout history," stated Rein.
Although the idea of having a disorder may be scary to some and even potentially contribute to a victim mentality, Rein wants people to be empowered by PSD and to see it as a diagnosis meant to validate your experience by giving it a name, making it real and giving you a means to heal yourself. "There are still experiences in our lives that are triggering PSD and the more layers we heal, the more power we claim, the more resilience we have and more ability we have in staying plugged into our power and happiness. These triggers affect us less and less the more we heal," emphasized Rein. While the task of breaking intergenerational transmission of trauma seems intimidating, the author has flipped the negative approach to the healing journey from a game of survival to the game of how good can it get.
In her new book, Patriarchy Stress Disorder: The Invisible Barrier to Women's Happiness and Fulfillment, Rein details an easy system for healing that includes the necessary tools she has sourced over 20 years on her healing exploration with the pioneers of mind, body and trauma resolution. Her 5-step system serves to help "Jailbreakers" escape the inner prison of PSD and other hidden trauma through the process of Waking Up in Prison, Meeting the Prison Guards, Turning the Prison Guards into Body Guards, Digging the Tunnel to Freedom and Savoring Freedom. Readers can also find free tools on Rein's website to help aid in their healing journey and exploration.
"I think of the book coming out as the birth of a movement. Healing is not women against men– it's women, men and people across the gender spectrum, coming together in a shared understanding that we all have trauma and we can all heal."