The Intrinsic Perspective
The Intrinsic Podcast
The Gen Z gender divide: The Intrinsic Podcast #4

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The Gen Z gender divide: The Intrinsic Podcast #4

Guest Ruxandra Teslo assesses the political and social split

Welcome to a rarely done (and done for fun) episode of The Intrinsic Podcast. These episodes are an opportunity for me to casually chat with someone on a topic I find interesting. Today’s guest is Ruxandra Teslo, who has her own (appropriately named) Ruxandra’s Substack, where she writes on a host of issues, including her own subject of expertise, which is genomics (she’s a PhD student in genomics at the prestigious Wellcome Sanger Institute).

However, we’re not talking about genomics today, but something quite different: her experience as a member of Gen Z, and how the growing political differences and cultural pressures have created a cultural divergence, she’d even say an aesthetic divergence, between young men and young women (Ruxandra cheekily describes this divide as being between “the Longhouse” and “the Gooncave”—I will leave you to guess which is the male-dominated space of culture and which is the female one).

If online culture is pushing young men into spaces that overemphasize the worst stereotypes of women, and pushing young women into spaces that overemphasize the worst stereotypes of men, how bad will it get? Teenagers are having fewer relationships, driving less, and not pairing off like they used to. Can Gen Z ever overcome the gap and achieve peace between the genders? Some related topics as well: Can online culture ever develop the rich aesthetics of the media outlets (like literary magazines) it seems to be replacing? How important are culturally apolitical spaces for the gender divide? To what degree is political change itself just a matter of aesthetics?

If you want to hear more from Ruxandra, you can also find her on X/Twitter here. Our conversation focuses on a few of her specific posts on her Substack, like “Political polarisation by gender: a matter of aesthetics?” and “Ideas matter: How I stopped being a Culture Incel.” As always, these podcasts are only accessible to paid subscribers.1

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Erik Hoel