Backtalk: Naomi Osaka & Serena Williams Deserved Better

This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about what went down at the U.S. Open and how it hurt both Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams. In a sport with a history of sexism and racism, specifically anti-Blackness, it’s tough to ignore the unfairness lobbed at Williams during this championship match and how it overshadowed Osaka’s win. And we’ve got time for a Petty Political Pminute! We want to know if you like your cooking shows baked in delight or like an overheated kitchen—text “Food” to 503-855-6485 to let us know!

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TRANSCRIPT

[theme music]  

 

DAHLIA: Welcome to Backtalk, the feminist response to pop culture podcast. I’m Dahlia Balcazar, Senior Editor at Bitch Media.  

 

AMY: And I’m Amy Lam, Contributing Editor at Bitch Media.  

 

DAHLIA: And at the beginning of every episode of Backtalk, we share a pop culture moment. Amy, what is your pop culture moment?  

 

AMY: So during the Monday Night Football ESPN show, this picture of a very preppy Marshawn Lynch in high school, and people are cracking up. Like for example, there’s this Editor at Seattle Times. His name is Mohammed Kloub. He had tweeted, “Man looks like he’s about to write some beast code.” [laughs] ‘Cause his nickname was Beast Mode. And it’s just really funny because looking kind of like a nerdy dude that’s like in a pamphlet for you know, your high school computer science club. [laughs] Which is kind of like really different than the image he has now. And everybody’s kind of thinking it’s really tender and sweet. That’s just like a really nice thing to see that’s football related. And I just love any story that’s related to Marshawn Lynch. So that’s my favorite pop culture moment for this week.  

 

DAHLIA: My pop culture moment this week, for some reason I was so sure, Amy, that you and I were gonna have the same one, but I’m wrong.  

 

AMY: [laughs]  

 

DAHLIA: We have different ones. My pop culture moment is, I was not watching the Miss America Pageant, but then there were so many tweets about it that I had to watch just this one clip, which is that Miss Michigan introduced— There’s a little part at the beginning of Miss America where they introduce themselves, and they say what state they’re from. And Miss Michigan said, “From the state with 84% of the U.S. fresh water but none for its residents to drink, I’m Miss Michigan, Emily Sioma. And when I heard, I actually became like that scream face emoji because I was so shocked and pleased that she said that at the beginning of Miss America. Like what a good use of your Miss America introductory moment. I read later that Miss Michigan had planned to say this, of course. She said that she was nervous, and she practiced with her sisters backstage. And also that Little Miss Flint, who is a Flint water activist, DMed her and that they’re gonna get together and hang out. And so I’m both touched and also like this is a fuck yeah pop culture moment.  

 

[cutesy bells ring]  

 

DAHLIA: It’s been a while since we’ve done a Petty Political P-minute, but there has been so much pettiness to go around largely because Bob Woodward, the famous D.C. reporter who broke much of Watergate, has announced that he’s writing— Oh my god. I’m already running out of so much time. Oh good. I didn’t even turn the stopwatch on!  

 

AMY: [laughs]  

 

DAHLIA: Good. I wasn’t even timing myself. [laughs] Bob Woodward is writing a book about Donald Trump called Fear. And earlier this week, last week a little, a few snippets of that book were released, and they’re unbelievable. I know that every month there’s a new Trump book with unbelievable quotes, but this time I really mean it. So I’m gonna try and read as many of these unbelievable summaries and synopses as I can in one minute, which I— OK. I’m gonna go. [timer ticks] 

 

In this book, Bob Woodward says that John Kelly, “said, ‘He’s an idiot. It’s pointless to try to convince him of anything. He’s gone off the rails. We’re in crazy town. I don’t even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I’ve ever had’.”  

 

AMY: Mr. Kelly!!!  

 

DAHLIA: That’s like an actual quote. That whole thing is an actual quote. OK! So Trump: does he want to testify, does he not want to testify in front of Mueller? All of his lawyers are like, “Trump! Do not testify. You’re not gonna be good at testifying.” And they were like, to prove that you’re not gonna be good at testifying, let’s do pretend. We’re gonna pretend that you’re testifying. And so here’s a quote: “In the White House residence, John Dowd—his lawyer—peppered Trump with questions about the Russia investigation, provoking stumbles, contradictions, and lies until the president eventually lost his cool. ‘This thing’s a goddamn hoax!’ Trump erupted at the start of a 30-minute rant that finished with him saying, ‘I don’t really wanna testify. I’ll be a real good witness,’ Trump told Dowd,” according to Woodward. “ ‘You are not a good witness,’ Dowd replied.” Oh, it didn’t even buzz me. I did it just under the buzzer. [timer beeps]  

 

The last thing that I learned from this little excerpt from this book is that routinely, members of the Trump administration swipe papers off his desk so he won’t see them. And that’s how they handle problems with him when they’re like oh, we don’t want Trump to know about that. They’re like, I know. We’ll take the paper off his desk, and he’ll never know about that.  

 

AMY: It reminds me of when I used to have my dog—RIP, Jack—and we wanted to distract him from something if he was obsessed with a toy or food. We would just take it and hide it. He didn’t see it, so he wouldn’t acknowledge it. But that’s exactly who this man is. He’s just like, he has three brain cells that aren’t even close enough to rub together.  

 

DAHLIA: [laughs]  

 

AMY: [laughs] So this is how they’re managing him, which is so wild that American people voted for this man to lead this country. I am just waiting for the sweet embrace of his impeachment.  

 

[cutesy bells ring]  

 

DAHLIA: In every episode of Backtalk, Amy and I have a very, very serious argument. By which I mean it’s actually not serious at all. Very lighthearted. Last week it was about Mark Wahlberg. Amy and I were arguing about which Mark Wahlberg movie is the worst Mark Wahlberg movie. Amy’s argument was for the movie Ted 2. My argument was for the movie The Happening. And the votes are in. The Backtalk audience has voted, and in fact, the worst Mark Wahlberg movie is Ted 2.  

 

AMY: Of course! I Mean it’s a sequel to a very bad film. So it cannot be good. I’m so glad that our listeners voted their conscience.  

 

DAHLIA: [laughs]  

 

AMY: Which is the current though that Ted 2 is the worst Mark Wahlberg movie.  

 

DAHLIA: OK. But we have a new argument. Amy, I think you should set it up.  

 

AMY: I’m so excited to argue about this because we are going to talk about what is the best cooking show! I have a really good fan favorite pick, but I wanna hear what your candidate is for this competition.  

 

DAHLIA: OK. This is the first time in these Amy versus Dahlias that I am trying to employ some strategy. And I know that Amy is going to pick some like, actually, I know that she’s gonna pick The Great British Baking Off show, which I don’t watch because it’s too nice. What I like is Kitchen Nightmares. Here’s what I like about Kitchen Nightmares.  

 

There are two versions of Kitchen Nightmares: there’s a British version and an American version. The premise is that Gordon Ramsay goes to a failing restaurant, and he yells at the owners. And he says like, “This is why your food is terrible. Make it this way.” And then he fixes the restaurants. Gordon Ramsay is very nice in the British version of Kitchen Nightmares, but in the American version, all he does is yell at these mostly white people who have terrible restaurants. And it’s actually, I have to say, incredibly cathartic. I love watching Gordon Ramsay yell at people. If you’re like the kind of person who— I know this is like a controversial food cooking choice show, but it makes me feel so fancy to be scoffing along with Gordon Ramsay, being like, oh my god! Look at how disgusting their fridge is. I can’t believe that’s how they keep their pantry! Meanwhile I’m a disgusting slob eating frozen noodles from the freezer. But I like to feel like I know so much about cooking because of Gordon Ramsay walking around yelling at these shitty restaurant owners. And you can feel that way too if you watch Kitchen Nightmares. That’s why it’s the better choice.  

 

AMY: Ha! OK, I will concede Kitchen Nightmares is kind of an exceptional show because Gordon Ramsay is exceedingly brutal but in a constructive way. And then at the end of the show, it’s uplifting ‘cause he helps these restaurants turn around with like their—  

 

DAHLIA: You know what I like is when it’s not uplifting.  

 

BOTH: [laugh]  

 

AMY: Wow. Actually, I’m so excited to debate this because, like you said, my pick is The Great British Bake Off. And actually, the newest season is on Netflix, and I’ve been loving it. So what I like about the show is that it’s about the bake, and it’s not about contrived drama between the contestants or with the host or judges. And like you said, the show is like everyone on the show is so delightful. And in this new season that’s on Netflix, Noel Fielding from The Mighty Boosh, which I so enjoy the show—it’s a British comedy show—is one of the hosts this season. And on the show, they’re always making shit that I didn’t know existed, most likely because a lot of these bakes that they’re making are English or from random European countries that I’ve just never heard of. And I kinda love when I’m watching this, and I love-hate when I’m watching a show, and they’re cooking something and it makes me hungry.  

 

DAHLIA: [laughs]  

 

AMY: It’s kinda like this masochistic part of me. But I just think that The Great British Bake Off is so pleasant and delightful, and I can’t get enough of it. I just want this show to be on the air like all the time.  

 

DAHLIA: Well, I think this is interesting because I think here, it really clearly demarcates our personalities, which is that you— Like really the choice is do you want something delightful, or do you want something that’s gonna make you be like, whoa, that was gross? Like that’s what I want out of my TV to be like, ugh, that’s gross.  

 

AMY: [laughs]  

 

DAHLIA: So please vote. I would love to hear. I’m so excited to know how our Backtalk audience falls. Do you want TV to delight you or gross you out?  

 

BOTH: [laugh]  

 

DAHLIA: So I hope you put us in your phones. So our phone number here Backtalk is 503-855-6485. And text us the word food. F-o-o-d, food. And we’ll let you know how to vote. And then we’ll send you some fun gifs, and you’ll be able to keep in touch with us that way via text. So our phone number is 503-855-6485, and you just have to text us the word food to vote. Please do it. Please vote.  

 

AMY: Ready, set, bake!  

 

[cutesy bells ring]  

 

DAHLIA: Backtalk is produced by non-profit independent Bitch Media. Our feminist response to pop culture is entirely funded by our community. Love our work and wanna pitch in? Become a member. Join hundreds of fellow listeners as a member of the rage, and when you do, you’ll receive a special mug, a subscription to Bitch magazine in print and digital, and other snazzy benefits. Become a member today at BitchMedia.org/therage.  

 

AMY: Yes, please become a member of the rage. And you can also support us by rating and reviewing the show on iTunes. We are so grateful for all the listeners who’ve taken time to rate or review us on iTunes because it really helps boost visibility for the podcast. We’ve gotten some amazing reviews lately! This one I really love from Leeshan station. It says, “I love Backtalk. Thank you for bringing such delightful and insightful conversations to my commute every two weeks. I love your witty banter, rapport, thoughtful takes on pop culture and politics, and how you embrace your rage.”  

 

DAHLIA: Yay!  

 

AMY: “I also appreciate your pop culture recommendations. Casanova is now a regular on my playlist.” I really love that this reviewer also pointed out that they’re listening to our recommendations and that something that we recommended is they’ve been listening to often now. So please, if you have a moment, please head over to iTunes to rate and review us. It really helps boost our visibility, and I definitely read the reviews. I check in and read them every few days. And it’s an amazing boost to my self-esteem!  

 

BOTH: [laugh]  

 

AMY: And it also helps to remind me that you know, it’s not just me and Dahlia sitting in hot closets talking to each other through the Internet. But that you guys are on the other side and listening and helping to parse our feelings and share our thoughts. We really, really appreciate it.  

 

[cutesy bells ring]  

 

AMY: This past weekend was the super-anticipated U.S. Open championship match between the great Serena Williams and sort of the newcomer-ish Naomi Osaka. So Williams, it was exciting to see her come back to the game because this is part of her return to tennis after health issues following her pregnancy and birth of her beautiful daughter. And it was exciting to watch Naomi Osaka because she shares this story about how she used to watch Serena play when Naomi was a kid tennis player. And she continues to idolize her. And another part of this great story was that watching the Naomi being able to play against somebody she’s just admired for so long, after she won her semifinals, Naomi was being interviewed. And they asked her if she had a message for Serena. And I don’t know if this was a way for Naomi to answer like a pro wrestler and be intimidating, but instead her message to Serena was, “I love you.” And it was such an amazing moment in sports.  

 

BOTH: [laugh]  

 

AMY: So I think people were really excited about this. This is also gonna be a great match to watch because Naomi Osaka represents Japan when she plays. She was born there, and her mother is Japanese. And she’s also Haitian on her father’s side. And her father had been inspired by Serena’s dad, Richard Williams, who pushed Serena and Venus to be great players. And Naomi’s dad had trained his two daughters as well in the same vein. So here was going to be two Black women playing against each other in a very white sport, with like a veteran star again someone who looked up to her when she was a kid.  

 

So in the end, Naomi won her championship. She played an amazing game. And Serena actually did say before the match that you know, she feels like she’s only maybe up to 50% of her abilities as an athlete at this moment while she’s recovering and getting back into the sport. But Naomi’s really, the well-deserved championship has been overshadowed by the unfairness that was wielded against Serena by the umpire.  

 

So in the middle of the game, the umpire had accused Serena of cheating by receiving coaching from the stands. So the way tennis works is that the players don’t receive coaching during the game. It’s supposed to be a very individualized sport. Like had been coached, of course, during training and everything, but they don’t have a squad on the sidelines giving them any kind of pointers. So Serena’s coach was sitting in the stands, and the umpire saw the coach do a gesture. And the coach actually said yeah, he was like doing some kind of random coaching gesture or whatever. But coaches coach all the time from the stands, and half the time maybe the players are watching or not even watching. But when the umpire accused Serena of this, Serena was like, “No, I was not getting coaching. We do not do that. I do not cheat. He gave me a thumbs up. That’s not any type of signal between us. You might construe it as that, but that’s not happening.” Like that’s how little she was watching his hand signals because he wasn’t giving her a thumbs up; he was giving her another hand signal to like move closer to the net or something.  

 

So after this initial warning from the umpire, Serena had to defend herself, and the umpire punished her by taking a point away from her. Because Serena ended up calling him a thief for taking the point, and then repeatedly told him that he owed her an apology. So the umpire had flagged her for three violations: the alleged cheating, her unsportsmanlike behavior when she destroyed a racket out of frustration, and finally when she called him a thief. These are all types of behavior that male tennis players often exhibit but are seldom officially docked for it. ‘Cause in this case, she was docked a point, and then she ended up giving up the second set. I think that’s what it’s called. And that’s why Naomi ended up winning.  

 

But if you watch the entire match, you would see that Naomi was like outplaying her. So a lot of sports people are like, “Naomi would’ve won anyway.” But it’s fucked up that Naomi had to win under these circumstances where it was so obvious that Serena was being targeted with this unfairness that it’s like a lot people are saying are rooted in sexism, racism, and anti-blackness on tennis courts. You know, people have pointed out how Serena is often unfairly policed on the court. Like it was just last month when the officials the French Open banned Serena’s signature catsuit, saying that it was a disrespectful to the game. It’s literally an outfit. What happened her at the U.S. Open wasn’t only heartbreaking for Serena a Black woman who’s under intense scrutiny in a very white sport. But it was also unfair to Naomi Osaka, another Black woman who couldn’t receive her deserved moment because of an umpire’s decision to make the game about his calls.  

 

DAHLIA: So I watched this game, and tennis is truly a wild sport. Like it’s almost a metaphor because you’re actually watching a white man sit atop a little throne and make decisions about the appropriateness of an athlete or you know, in this case, a woman’s behavior. And you know, it’s his job to be like, “That is unsportsmanlike.” Which is unbelievable because think about any other sport. Like that idea that you can’t express emotions while you’re playing, that’s not a memo that exists in the football world. That idea is ridiculous. And then also just literally like this enforcing of emotions, like, OK, you can be playing, but don’t get upset about it. Don’t actually care about this game.  

 

If these women’s bodies are too uncontained or express too much or too unrestrained, the umpire couldn’t take it. It’s like there’s so much regulating of the appropriateness of women’s bodies. It’s unbelievable. Watching that game was really hard because you can see how much Serena cares and that she’s being penalized for caring about something that she’s dedicated her whole life to. That’s something that everybody is there to see. But the umpire is like, no, it’s unsportsmanlike of you to express frustration.  

 

AMY: Yeah. It’s unbelievable because— And also we’re watching somebody do their job, and Serena Williams just happens to be exceedingly masterful at her job. In this match, she didn’t play her best because you know, she’s just coming back to the sport after taking a long time off for health reasons. But Naomi Osaka played an amazing game. Like she outplayed Serena. And it was great to see this match and to see Serena come back and everything. But these are two women doing their jobs, doing jobs really well. They are at work, you know. They are earning money doing their jobs, and here is a literal man on the sidelines saying, “Well, you’re doing your job, but here are some little technical things that you are not doing right.”  

 

And the thing about framing this as Serena being in the workplace is that this man accused Serena of taking unfair advantages in her workplace: receiving coaching and cheating from the sidelines. So I think this is like— And like you’re saying, there was the part where you see Serena interact with him, and she’s like incredulous. She’s upset because she’s been accused of cheating. And as she’s talking to him, she even goes like, “I’m not a cheater. I have a daughter. I’m not raising her that way.” So there’s that part where I think a lot of us have felt that at some point in our professional lives and maybe in our personal lives where we’ve been accused of something, of something we that didn’t do, and we need to defend ourselves. That’s number one, right?  

 

And it was amazing to see how vehemently she was defending herself. But I think the part that really got me as I was watching the game was after she defended herself, she says to him, “You owe me an apology.” But like there’s still a break or a shake in her voice when she says repeatedly, “You owe me an apology.” Because she knows she’s right, but she there’s the shake in her voice because there’s this way I think that for a lot of people from marginalized communities, we know that we’ll never get that apology. But we have to verbalize that to say, “You still owe it to me.”  

 

And I think to an extent, Serena could only say that to this umpire because she’s fucking Serena, right? How many times have we been gaslit or been accused of something or been talked over and know full well that this person who was talking over us or gaslighting us or taking advantage of us in the workplace or in our personal life, how often do we know that that person owes us an apology? But we didn’t have the confidence to go up to them and say, “You owe me a fucking apology.” And in that moment when Serena was doing that, I remember watching it thinking like, she knows this motherfucker owes her an apology. She also knows she’s not gonna get it. But she’s fucking Serena, so she’s gonna say it to him. And I think it was very arresting as a spectator to see that here she is asking for an apology because she has been wronged. But the shake in her voices knows that she’s not gonna get it. Even though she’s fucking Serena Williams.  

 

DAHLIA: Amy, what you’re saying is exactly what I was thinking while I was reading about Serena’s postgame interview. She said, “I’m here to fight for women’s rights and women’s equality. The fact that I have to go through this as an example maybe didn’t work out for me, but it’s going to work out for the next person.” And that’s like, what an incredibly gracious and levelheaded sort of thing to say. Except the thing is that she is Serena Williams, one of the most famous and successful athletes of all time, of human existence. And she’s saying like, “Well, I did my part to try to make things better, and hopefully it’ll be better for the next person.” And just to me, it’s just unbelievable that even the most famous woman athlete of all time still has to be saying that sort of like, well, I put a dent in the ceiling. Then hopefully next time it’ll be better.  

 

DAHLIA: And in a way, she’s talking about literally Naomi Osaka you know, who was standing next to her during the awards ceremony. And the crowd was really upset about the treatment against Serena. So while they’re presenting the awards, they were booing. But they were not booing Naomi Osaka. I think that everybody who watched the match knew that she did a really amazing job. But Naomi Osaka is standing up there with her idol, and in her heart, and I think in a way, she’s just like everybody wanted Serena to win, but she didn’t. And I think that in post-interviews, they both said repeatedly that it was actually really confusing on the court what was happening because they can’t hear the judging so well or the umpires so well because of the crowd and everything. But when Serena Williams says that like, she’s trying to make it better for the next person, I think to an extent, she’s talking about Naomi even, you know, who just won the championship. Because she knows the hurdles that Naomi might have to jump through as she continues through the sport.  

 

And you know, some commentators have said that Serena Williams’ remarks in that post-game interview are kind of outlandish, like, what do you mean she’s trying to fight for women’s equality?  

 

DAHLIA: [chuckles]  

 

AMY: Like there’s nothing wrong, you know?  

 

DAHLIA: Oh, no.  

 

AMY: Like, it’s fine. She’s just being a bad sport or whatever. But it’s like, that is such a comment made in bad faith. To look at Serena Williams, who’s a Black woman athlete in this very, very white male-dominated sport, and to make a statement like that, like, what does she know about fighting for your rights within the sports world? It doesn’t make any sense, especially you think about there are blatant examples of anti-blackness, of sexism in the sport. In terms of sexism, for a lot of these grand slam tournaments, they didn’t have equal prize money for a very long time. Like the earliest one was the U.S. Open in 1973. That’s when they instituted equal prize money between the male players and the female players. But the Australian Open didn’t do it until 2001. The French Open didn’t do it until 2006, and Wimbledon didn’t do it until 2007. And we’re not talking about like, oh, you know, the male champion gets $100, and then the female champion gets like $75. It isn’t like that. They’re talking about millions of dollars, you know?  

 

Like in this U.S. Open right now when Naomi won, she won $3.8 million. It took this long. Like it was literally in the 2000s where three of these Grand Slam tournaments didn’t give equal prize money to men and women. How are you gonna say that there’s no sexism in the sport? Which is such a ridiculous claim. And then also, the racism that the Williams sisters have had to put up with in their decades in this sport, which is well documented: people talking shit to her on the court, just racist shit happening.  

 

And then there was also this really fucked up cartoon that an Australian newspaper The Herald Sun. It’s by the cartoonist Mark Knight, and it’s this disgusting caricature of Serena Williams. And it depicts her on the court, and she’s stomping her racket, which she did not stop her racket, number one. But you know, it’s just like it kind of reminded me of some fucked up cartoon from the turn of the century or something, where they’re like, I don’t know, more acceptable mainstream types of anti-black racism were published in newspapers. And people were saying, “Oh, it’s not racist. It’s just to show her unsportsmanlike behavior.” But it’s like the way they depicted Serena Williams, it’s nothing but racist. And also you can tell it because there’s like this racist energy to it. Because there’s this caricature of Serena in the forefront, and then in the background, it’s like a player that’s supposed to be Naomi Osaka. And the umpire is saying to her like, “Can you just let her win?”  

 

But this person who’s supposed to be Naomi Osaka looks like a pale white woman. So there’s this is dichotomy between this caricature of Serena Williams stomping on a racket and this frail blonde woman that’s supposed to be Japanese-Haitian Naomi Osaka in the background. It’s just like how, people are doing very blatantly anti-black, misogynist shit when they’re talking about Serena Williams. And like all of us are supposed to be gaslit to think that that is not anti-black and misogynist against her. It’s just like, we all see this, and we all see how historically she’s been treated unfairly. And it’s just, I think that in this game in particular, it was just heartbreaking to see that it culminated in overshadowing Naomi Osaka’s win. Which is so heartbreaking because to see her on the awards stand and crying because it wasn’t the win that she, the way it was presented, it wasn’t the way that I think she probably had envisioned it, was just so sad for both Naomi and for Serena.  

 

[cutesy bells ring]  

 

DAHLIA: At the end of every episode of Backtalk we share something we’re reading, something we’re watching, and something we’re listening to. I have the read pick. I fell in love with the novel Conversations with Friends this summer. It’s by Sally Rooney. The main character’s name is Frances. She’s a college student in Ireland, and the book is about her relationships primarily with her best friend and ex-girlfriend Bobbi and an older, slightly celebrity actor named Nick she begins a relationship with. And the novel is about college love and marriage, polyamory and depression and queerness. I just fell in love so much with the characters, with the writing. The writing is so sharp and funny and witty, and this is just one of those books that took me by surprise by how much I deeply loved the characters and everything about it. So I could not recommend this book more highly. It’s called Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney.  

 

AMY: And I got the watch pick, which I also love, love, love. It is a new season of Issa Rae’s Insecure on HBO. I think I just love how this show isn’t just about Issa but also her friendship with Molly and how they’re both, I guess, always trying to figure out ways to live their best life even though it can be so easy to stay stagnant. I think this is a theme of the second season. And another thing that I really love about the show is how it shows Molly going to see a therapist. And it’s like I just think that I grew up watching so much television and film where it’s just white people going to see counseling. And I didn’t realize how necessary it was to see non-white people seeking therapy until I saw Molly in her amazing therapist’s office. Like therapist’s office is like a dream room.  

 

DAHLIA: [laughs]  

 

AMY: It has these amazing shelves. Just watch the show [laughing] to see short clips of the therapist’s office. And also I can’t get enough of how the show is like a love letter to Los Angeles. I think it’s showing Los Angeles in this light that I’ve never seen depicted before, and I literally mean lighting.  

 

I think we’ve talked about Insecure before on Backtalk where the director and the lighting people on the show talk about how like they really focus on how to light Black folks and people of color on the show, particularly the Black folks, and how to make them look beautiful in it. But I also think that the set and the setting of Los Angeles is also lit beautifully or, I don’t know. Like the cinematography on it is amazing. It’s just such a fun show. It’s messy. It doesn’t make us think that we’re not as good as the characters. In fact, we think that like we’re just on the same level as the characters living their lives in all its iterations. I just can’t get enough of Insecure. And I think it’s about halfway through the season. Please check it out if you haven’t. Watch the first season. Watch the second season. I think this is the third season. And it’s just a lovely show. Please watch it.  

 

DAHLIA: It’s back to school time in Portland, and after this really hot summer, it’s like chillout fall vibes. I ride a little moped to work, and I get to go by this school. And one of the best parts of my day is blasting tunes and seeing all the kids be like, who is that cool girl on that moped? So this is the song for driving by, being a cool girl on a moped. This song is called Que Tiene by Ximena Sariñana. Thanks for listening! 

 

♪ A veces cuando la luz atraviesa temprano  

Por la ventana entra el sol y tú llegas buscándome  

Estás intentando convencerme  

No sé si esto me conviene  

Vale madre lo que digan  

 

Si no sé frenar 

¿Qué tiene? 

Si no sé bailar 

¿Qué tiene? 

Si no tengo flow 

¿Qué tiene? 

¿Qué tiene? 

¿Qué tiene? 

 

Si no sé frenar 

¿Qué tiene? 

Si no sé bailar 

¿Qué tiene? 

Si hoy amanece 

¿Qué tiene? 

¿Qué tiene? 

¿Qué tiene? 

 

De la noche de anoche tengo varias lagunas 

La cama me acompaña cuando estoy cruda 

No sé, pero me encanta ser tributo a la luna 

En estos tiempos no hay fuerza de voluntad 

 

Buscándome 

Estás intentando convencerme 

No sé si esto me conviene 

Vale madre lo que digan ♪ 

 

DAHLIA: Thanks for listening to Backtalk. This show is produced by Ashley Duchemin. Bitch Media is a reader- and listener-supported feminist nonprofit. If you wanna support the show and our work, please head over to BitchMedia.org and donate.  

 

♪ Si no sé frenar 

¿Qué tiene? 

Si no sé bailar 

¿Qué tiene? 

Si no tengo flow 

¿Qué tiene? 

¿Qué tiene? 

¿Qué tiene? ♪ 

by Amy Lam
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Amy Lam is Bitch Media’s contributing editor. Find her at @amyadoyzie.