Backtalk: So Burning Books is Back?

This week, Dahlia and Amy get into the recent campus conflict when white students with hurt feelings thought it’d be a good idea to burn books written by a visiting author. Jennine Capó Crucet was invited to Georgia Southern University to speak about her novel, which was required reading for some freshmen students at the school. Students confronted her during the Q&A and burned her novel after Capó Crucet’s lecture! Plus, we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day and what it means to decolonize a federal holiday.

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WATCH

Doubt starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and the incomparable Viola Davis was released in 2008 and worth a re-watch in this #MeToo moment. 

READ

In Molly Fox’s Birthday by Deirdre Madden, an unnamed narrator spends the day in her friend’s home. Molly is an actress visiting London, and the narrator, a playwright inhabiting Molly’s Irish cottage on her birthday, reflects on their friendship and the crafts of writing and acting. 

LISTEN

“Aute Couture” by Rosalía

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FULL TRANSCRIPT
 
DAHLIA BALCAZAR: Our shows are produced by Bitch Media, a nonprofit, independent feminist media organization that is entirely funded by our community. If you love waking up to new episodes of Backtalk and Popaganda, join hundreds of fellow listeners as a member of The Rage. As a member, your monthly donation includes a subscription to Bitch magazine in print and digital, a special rage-inspired mug youll never wanna put down, exclusive access to a members’ only texting group, and loads of other snazzy benefits. So, dont wait. Become a member today at BitchMedia.org/rage.
 
[theme music]
 
AMY LAM: Hi! Welcome to Backtalk, the feminist response to pop culture podcast. Im Amy Lam.
 
DAHLIA: Im Dahlia Balcazar.
 
AMY: And each episode, we start off by talking about our favorite pop culture moment. Whats yours, Dahlia?
 
DAHLIA: Amy, remember that song “Blurred Lines” that was everywhere in, I guess, 2013? Its like not only was it everywhere. Remember, the whole terrible lyrics are, “you know you want it” in that horrible, low voice?
 
AMY: Yes! Sadly, how could I forget?
 
DAHLIA: How could any of us forget “Blurred Lines”? So, who even Time flies. That was six years ago. And Pharrell is being interviewed in GQ this month. And he has finally accepted that the song was incredibly rapey. And I didnt want to, in his words, and I didnt want to As I was thinking about this moment, I didnt wanna make it too much of a giving Pharrell a cookie because its not, I mean, it is, I mean, the lyric, you know, we remember that the lyrics were very, as Pharrell says, “rapey.” But more like I think its really interesting how he really describes his thought process evolving. So, listen to this.
 
So, Pharrell says, “I didnt get it at first because they were older white women who, when that song came on, they would behave in some of the most surprising ways ever. And I would be like, wow. They would have me blushing.”
 
AMY: Whoa.
 
DAHLIA: “So, when there started to be an” I know! “So, when there started to be an issue with it lyrically, I was like, what are you talking about? There are women who really like the song and connect to the energy that just gets you up. And I know you want it,women sing those kinds of lyrics all the time. So, its like, whats rapey about that?”
 
AMY: Whoa!
 
DAHLIA: [Laughs.] But then he goes on to say, “I realize that there are men who use that same language when taking advantage of a woman, and it doesnt matter that thats not my behavior. My mind opened up to what was actually being said in the song and how it could make someone feel, even though it wasnt the majority.” Which I actually do think it was the majority, but. “Even though it wasnt the majority, it didnt matter. I cared what they were feeling too. I realized that we live in a chauvinist culture, and our country hadnt realized that. Didnt realize that some of my songs catered to that.” So, that blew my mind.
 
And like I said, I dont wanna be too much like, congratulations, Pharrell. You figured out that we live in a sexist, misogynist culture. But I think its interesting that hes willing or interested to say, to talk about this change in his thought process six years later and to be pretty honest to say, like, I really didnt realize this before, but now I see what everyone was talking about.
 
AMY: Well, better late than never, I guess. [Laughs.] And its so remarkable how, in his little brain, he was unable to understand context matters and how like, oh, women have been singing these types of lines forever. How come its so bizarre that a man would say the same things, and it would have different meanings? I ughhh! [Laughs.] I dont know what else to say, but yikes. But then it also made me think about how also around, I think it was like the early 2000s when the Beastie Boys came out to be very woke and to apologize for their very misogynistic and fucked up lyrics in their songs.
 
DAHLIA: Yeah.
 
AMY: And then they turned out to be like serious activists on really important issues.
 
DAHLIA: I think the reason why this moment sort of struck me is that Im so used to treating pop culture moments as sort of it happens, and then its over sort of, you know. Maybe something controversial happens, and a artist either does or doesnt apologize for it. And then the culture moves on. And I definitely feel as if people have, the culture has moved on from this song. And I guess what I thought was really interesting was that pop culture moments keep evolving. And Pharrell obviously has been sitting on this, on his thoughts about this song for six years. And I guess better late than never. But also, I just think its an interesting example of how artists and culture makers can change their minds about things and then be willing to sort of condemnnot that he exactly condemned his past workbut definitely said he understood why it was rapey, as he said.
 
So, whats your pop culture moment this week, Amy?
 
AMY: My pop culture moment this week is that in many places in the U.S., people were celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day, a.k.a. a Columbus Day. Im so heartened to see this turn in American culture where were starting to recognize how amazingly fucked up Columbus Day is and celebrating Christopher Columbus as the quote-unquote supposed founder of this land that we now call the United States of America. I just remember being a teenager. I think I was like a sophomore in junior high school, and I bought some mail order shirt through like a little paper catalog and everything. It was like punk rock shirt company. I got a shirt where it was talking about how Columbus Day was basically celebrating the day of the genocide of native people in the U.S. And I just remember feeling like [laughing] such a little badass kid wearing it to school!
 
DAHLIA: [Laughs.]
 
AMY: But I mean, I just remember feeling kind of betrayed by the U.S. school system by not teaching us the truth of the quote-unquote, “founding of this country” and teaching us this very fucked up colonial history. And I just wanted to say that it means something that the holidays being not only like decolonized, but that theres education behind it and understanding that we will not celebrate this murderous man and his crew of rapey bros who came onto the shores of this country to colonize it, essentially.
 
And also, while I was reading about the Indigenous PeoplesDay, I learned that in 1994, the U.N. had actually declared an International Day of Worlds Indigenous People. And its supposed to be on August 9th. And I was just seeing the list of cities and some states. There are actually three or a handful of states in the U.S. that do not celebrate Columbus Day at all and have completely replaced it with Indigenous PeoplesDay. So, shout out to those states.
 
And I just think that this just is an amazing way to sort of reframe how we understand how this country was founded and to also understand that holidays are malleable and not serious, concrete things. And that we need to think about why we celebrate certain things and what they actually mean symbolically and that they could be changed and reclaimed and decolonized. And thats such a, I think, an important thing to know about our own culture.
 
DAHLIA: Yeah, Im still trying to make sense of my “Blurred Lines” pop culture moment. And so, I feel like its sort of the same thing. [Chuckles.] Oh, my God. Like this idea, I think Im very used to thinking of pop culture as not malleable, looking retrospectively.
 
AMY: Mm.
 
DAHLIA: I dont know. Im still trying to wrap my own mind around it and why it feels so surprising to me when culture does turn out to be malleable in a forward-thinking way, like this example of like mainstream acceptance and implementation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. And to think that there are kids here where I live in Massachusetts, it seems to be officially Indigenous Peoples’ Day. And I think that the kids that grow up around where I live are learning that its Indigenous Peoples’ Day from their youth. Its just really interesting to think about. I mean, I guess if anything seemed to me as a young person not malleable, it was federal holidays—
 
AMY: [Laughs.]
 
DAHLIA: that are always, always, always the same, you know?
 
AMY: Yeah, I think youre bringing such a great point about how there are literal little kids now being raised on the fact that it is Indigenous Peoples’ Day and not Columbus Day, because that can shift your entire thinking about where you live, where youre growing up, the land that youre occupying, essentially, and who it once really belonged to, who was forced off of it in order to build the buildings that we go to school in now. And to think how much more radical could we possibly have been if we grew up thinking that, if we grew up being taught that?
 
DAHLIA: Yeah.
 
AMY: I think thats so incredible. And I think it is actually, really does connect to your pop culture moment, you know?
 
DAHLIA: Oh good. Im glad! [Laughs.]
 
AMY: I think that you saying that makes so much sense, because when you were mentioning the Pharrell piece, it reminded me that its because hes on the cover of GQ for the quote “new masculinity” issue. So, hes reflecting on his career, and what does his projection of masculinity mean. And that like, congrats to him, but that people can change and evolve and have new ways of thinking. And that they could have a turn. And I think thats really heartening for culture in general, because often on this podcast, were griping and [laughing] being really upset about how these decades- and centuries-long cultural thinking is so deeply ingrained in us and how harmful it is. And to see that these big institutions like federal holidays or Pharrell Williams
 
BOTH: [Laugh.]
 
AMY: could possibly change and evolve in their thinking. I dont know. I think it makes and justifies the shit that we talk about here. Like, yes, we can push back on these ideas, and that someday can change serious institutions. And I think that just a small federal holiday like Columbus Day, a.k.a. Indigenous Peoples’ Day is a showing of like how these small, incremental things can mean something and then help literal children reframe their thinking about culture. Thats amazing!
 
[cutesy bells ring]
 
DAHLIA: Were used to hearing and reading about the intolerance that supposedly goes on, on college campuses. We talk about that on Backtalk all the time. Libertarian and conservative pundits are always eager to talk about how provocateur speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos or Ann Coulter are being disinvited or so-called no platformed from college campuses and how that proves that college students are all delicate snowflakes who cant handle hearing divisive opinions. [Chuckles.] But last week at Georgia Southern University, students harassed an author and later burned her book on campus, all because they said that the novel, which is about a Latina student, makes uncomfortable generalizations about white people. So, I thought this was a really interesting way to look at the kind of things that are actually happening on college campuses that Fox News doesnt talk about.
 
So, last week, Latina author Jennine Capó Crucet who, shes an associate professor at the University of Nebraska, she spoke at Georgia Southern University, where her novel, Make Your Home Among Strangers was used as required reading for some freshman year elective classes. So, some groups of students, some groups of freshmen, on that campus had been required to read her book. The book follows a Hispanic girl who is inspired by herself, whos accepted into a prestigious university and struggles in her new, predominantly white life. At the Q and A after the reading, a student asked, and this is a quote, “I noticed that you made a lot of generalizations about the majority of white people being privileged. What makes you believe that its okay to come to a college campus like this”
 
AMY: Whoo!
 
DAHLIA: “when were supposed to be promoting diversity on this campus, which is what were taught? I dont understand what the purpose of this was.” So, Crucet replied, “I came here because I was invited, and I talked about white privilege because its a real thing that youre actually benefiting from right now in even asking this question. Whats so heartbreaking for me and whats so difficult in this moment right now is to literally have to read a talk about this exact moment happening, and its happening again. Thats why a different experience, the white experience, is centered in this talk.”
 
Later that night, videos and photographs appeared online depicting students burning the novel on campus, and Crucet was moved to another hotel for her safety because later, crowds had formed outside of her originally-scheduled lodging. She was also scheduled to speak at another event at Georgia Southern University, but the event was, and this is, quote, “canceled because the administration” Oh, this is a quote from Crucet. “The event was canceled because the administration said they could not guarantee my safety or the safety of its students on campus because of open carry laws.”
 
AMY: Whoo!
 
DAHLIA: So, actually the school told her, we are afraid that students might bring guns in response to your presence on campus. And the school actually responded. They said, “While its within the studentsFirst Amendment rights, book burning does not align with Georgia Southerns values, nor does it encourage the civil discourse and debate of ideas. This is a real example of intolerance on campus, one in which students have endangered the safety of a speaker theyd rather not hear from.” We hear from pundits who like to criticize college students, saying that college is a time to encounter ideas different from our own and engage with them. But I think this example really clearly shows that theres a difference between students who feel like a speakers voice is harmful and dangerous to the people on their campus and students who wanna make a speaker feel harm and endangered on campus.
 
AMY: I think its really rich that the school sent a statement saying that the actions of these students do not reflect the values of the school, because obviously, they do. There are a groupI dont know how big they arebut there are a group of students who thought it was appropriate to burn the book of the author who was coming to speak. I mean, did none of them read Ray Bradburys Fahrenheit 451?
 
BOTH: [Laugh.]
 
AMY: I thought it was required reading across all schools in this great nation. And to harken back to Bradburys novel, it is literally a book about the suppression of all types of liberties and freedom by this firm that goes out to burn books because they wanted to stifle ideas and stifle knowledge. And here are these students who are doing just that. And I think that whats most ironic about this is that the burning of Jennines book is because these students felt slighted by her calling out white people and white culture, essentially. And that the reason that theyre allowed, that their sort of First Amendment rights to burn her book are supported by her writing in a way. That because shes able to tell these stories, in a way, theyre able to sort of enact this type of speech.
 
But I think that its intellectually dishonest to say that this type of speech is on the same level of like when students protest speakers like my Milo Yiannopoulos, because when people like Milo Yiannopoulos show up at campuses to talk, theyre espousing these feelings and rhetoric of very harmful ideologies of sort of a dominant culture of white supremacy. Whereas when Jennine Capó Crucet shows up on a campus, shes talking about her singular experience of having, not even her experiences; its based on a novel. This isnt even based on her book of essays called My Time Among the Whites: Notes from an Unfinished Education, which is actually so telling that she wrote a very timely book about her previous experience, which sort of like foretold this experience on this campus.
 
DAHLIA: Yeah.
 
AMY: But its about, its a novel, you know, where its like a fictionalized thing where she talks about white folks. But its like shes in a position where she doesnt carry institutional power in the way that, or represents institutional power in a way that, a Milo Yiannopoulos would or does. So, its just so telling that these students are unable to sort of see the meta irony of their actions and how they look completely prove her point. Like Viet Thanh Nguyen, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, actually tweeted about this. And he says, “Some enraged white people burning a book by a woman of color who criticizes white privilege proves her point,” which is so true!
 
They showed up thinking that theyre completely powerless, a how dare she come on their campus and generalize white people. When in fact, like we talked about earlier in this very episode, when in fact, we have been raised in this country with generalizations about nonwhite people our entire lives and our entire education, where we read about nonwhite folks and their practices and how they are. We learn about them in such a stereotypical way so that we can make dehumanize them and not care if nonwhite people are marginalized or there are policies against them that tear their families apart, that deport them or harm them in so many real and tangible ways. Its just so disingenuous for white students to go to her talk and feel like theyre victimized by her novel.
 
And the thing is that I think that a lot of people probably didnt even know about her novel. She doesnt, until this happened, she doesnt wield sort of this inexplicable amount of power over these white students. It was just like their little white feelings got hurt, and they didnt know what else to do but to burn her book. And then in the act of burning her book, sort of showed and threatened real violence against her to the point where she had to be rehoused. Thats ridiculous!
 
DAHLIA: I think its also really telling how the school rhetorically puts the rights of the students before they talk about the safety of a visitor to the campus when they say, “While its within the students First Amendment rights, book burning does not align with Georgia Southerns values.” What if they just said, “Book burning does not align with Georgia Southern values?” They first have to acknowledge or say, like, oh, but we understand why you would do this, students. Instead of just saying flatly, this kind of behavior is not acceptable on this campus, theyre saying like, well, its not acceptable, but legally its acceptable, and you legally can totally do this.
 
AMY: And I was reading another statement that was released by somebody who is a senior in professional communications, gender studies, a student. Her name is Nora Cook. She says that, “I think its exemplary of the culture thats being fostered on the Statesboro campus. Its a culture that puts white people and white feelings above the safety of marginalized communities.” And I think thats such an appropriate quote, because its talking about putting white feelings above the actual physical safety of a marginalized person. And in this case, its a Latinx woman. And I…. [Laughs.]
 
DAHLIA: [Chuckles.]
 
AMY: Im even speechless because I think it just speaks to so much about sort of white supremacist rhetoric, where especially the type of white supremacist rhetoric that people on the far right or people like Trump speak to where they sort of like foment this fear of nonwhite people like poking at them or poking white folks and making them feel too small or making them feel as if theyre in danger. And I mean, I havent read Capó Crucets novel, but I wonder if theyre sort of like getting a taste, however, morphed it is where in their brains where theyre reading about generalizations of white folks, a taste of how it feels to be a marginalized person. But without understanding the context and history of this country, where white folks have always been in power, will continue to be in power for the foreseeable future!
 
But I think that this is how the far right, the base of the far right, gets stoked by thinking that like, oh, my gosh, were getting picked on, and were being marginalized. When in fact, this one single novel cannot marginalize white people. And the minute that they feel quote-unquote “threatened,” they actually do perform this type of thing where its showing their dominance by enacting something that is a real threat, like a real threat of physical violence. I think its just so sad to think that on a college campus like this, where theoretically students are learning to be better or learning to be better, not just people, but better thinkers, to have more nuanced ideas than, oh, my gosh, your book said something bad or weird about my people, and now I feel really upset! Im gonna take my toy back and destroy it so that neither of us can have it. Its just such bizarre, childish thinking that actually goes to show how much more farther these freshman students have to go in their own education.
 
DAHLIA: I think what were seeing here is students who were fully unwilling to engage really with the material that they were reading, which was again, a novel and not a textbook. We, a few weeks back, had an episode of Backtalk about how textbooks are actually often written in a very racist way. And obviously, this is a group of students here at this university who should be reading these texts, who need these texts, because theyre so unwilling to confront the realities of lives unlike their own or just at the basic minimum, so unwilling and unable to confront the fact of privilege, which is not an insult! You know, so many people have seemed to have been trained by pundits rather than by actually engaging with ideas to the fact that privilege is, the idea of privilege is, an insult, or the idea of privilege negates personal experience. Rather than just accepting the idea of privilege. You know, privilege is real and isnt an insult to you if you have it. Its just something you have! And you should know about it and learn about it.
 
And think both of us, Amy, you and I are having trouble sort of wrapping our minds around this intense stubbornness and reluctance, unwillingness to look outside of their own experiences that these students have. And how frustrating it is that obviously, this is a book that could have helped them and opened their eyes if they were so resistant to the ideas in it. If they had only engaged and listened and had open hearts and minds, then probably they wouldve learned something. But obviously, they had a closed mind from the beginning and thought it was, you know, like freshmen or teenagers, they thought it was funny or whatever to harass and intimidate someone who wrote a novel that they didnt like.
 
AMY: And then I think it actually does show how incredibly ignorant that they are. Instead of, I dont know, penning an op ed to their student paper or something, they burned her fucking book, you know! Without thinking about the context of what burning a book has symbolized in our fucking history?
 
DAHLIA: I know.
 
AMY: [Laughs.] Its like its mind-bogglingly obvious how fucking idiotic they are or ignorant they are by this is how they enact their frustration. And I think that the only way to correct all of this is that all of us go out and buy a Jennine Capó Crucet book.
 
DAHLIA: [Laughs.]
 
AMY: Go to your libraries; requests her books to be on the shelves. This is how we course correct this horrible thing that happened to this writer. She, shes, shes a novelist. She writes essays. Shes not out there enacting these policies that push white people to the margins or significantly harm white people. I think that they need to think about their feelings and why they decided to perform their feelings in this way. And that in order to support a writer like this, we need to get her books and make sure that people are reading her work. Because I think if its charged enough to make these white students this way, she must be saying some really great things, [laughing] honestly.
 
[cutesy bells ring]
 
So, each episode, we wrap it up by letting you guys know a recommendation for a read, watch, and listen. Dahlia, what are you reading!?
 
DAHLIA: I finally got my hands on this book that I thought I had lost to time and history. This book is called Molly Foxs Birthday by Deirdre Madden. And I remember so vividly reading it the summer after I graduated from college. And I was living at my moms house, and I was very sad and lonely.
 
AMY: [Chuckles.]
 
DAHLIA: And I loved this novel and then just immediately forgot everything about it except for the basic plot, which is that I remembered that it took place in one day and that it was set in Ireland, and it had an unnamed narrator. And that was all I could remember about the book!
 
AMY: [Laughs.]
 
DAHLIA: And it took me until, so that was, so, it took me like 10 years to find out, figure out what that book was, and its Molly Foxs Birthday by Deirdre Madden. So, Molly Foxs Birthday is about an unnamed narrator who is a playwright, and she is staying at Molly Foxs, her good friends, house. Molly Fox is an actress. And the narrator reflects on her work writing a new play and her work with Molly as a playwright in the past. And its just like a lovely book. And a review on the cover calls it “apparently effortless.” And thats something that I really, I felt like I connected with. Its just like, you know, it seems like what a feat to write a book that takes place in one day, mostly just the narrators thoughts and not a lot of action. So hard to do in a good way. And this book just seems like the reviewer says, effortless. It just really engages you and keeps you interested, even though it is mostly no action and just someone reflecting on her life with her friends.
 
I think another thing I really like about it is I like books about artists of other kinds, like artists who arent writers. So, I like books about painters or actors especially. So, I just love it. It was real, its so good. And…losing Molly Foxs Birthday was the reason why I started writing down every book, the title of every book I read because I was like, I cant have this happen again! It took me 10 years to find it again.
 
AMY: [Laughs.]
 
DAHLIA: So, I hope you like it.
 
BOTH: [Laugh.]
 
AMY: But didnt it feel good to find it and realize that that was the book?
 
DAHLIA: Yes!
 
AMY: Yes.
 
DAHLIA: And the cover, when I saw the cover again, I was like, yes!!! Thats it!
 
AMY: [Laughs.]
 
DAHLIA: I was so happy.
 
AMY: Thats such a good, amazing feeling. Ive had that with films or songs where Im like, Ill go on social media and be like, okay, I need help remembering what this is. And Ill describe it in this really [laughing] abstract, weird way.
 
DAHLIA: Yeah!
 
AMY: And then maybe within, by the end of the day, somebody will be like, “Is it this?” And Im like, “Oh my god! Thats exactly that. Thank you for naming it.” And I think actually, your very specific example kind of speaks to this larger feeling of when you first learn the name of something, be it like a feeling or a type of situation, and it just gives like so much power, and it just feels so fucking good. So, I am celebrating your joy in finding this book. [Laughs.]
 
DAHLIA: Thank you! [Laughs.]
 
AMY: So, my watch pick is the film Doubt from 2008. I actually had to go and search through the Backtalk archives to make sure I had it recommended this already. And I dont think I have in my little search, so I cant believe I havent recommended it already. Its an amazing film. The plot of it is that it stars Meryl Streep as the sister and principal of this Catholic school where theres a new priest in town who is the one and only Philip Seymour Hoffman. And Meryl Streeps character kind of has these, I dont know, these prickly feelings about Philip Seymour Hoffman, who portrays his character as a very jovial, a kind man. But Meryl Streeps character kind of has suspicions that perhaps hes taking or has too particular of interest in male students and specifically this one student whos a Black student in a very white, I think maybe even almost completely white, school. And Amy Adams plays a very naïve and young sister who teaches the Black student and kind of helps Meryl to affirm her suspicion. And then theres like this amazing, amazing cameo that Viola Davis does, where she plays the students mom and her feelings towards the situation.
 
But I actually think that, like, cause I just re-watched the film, re-watching Doubt in the time of #MeToo is so incredible, I think that especially because this film is set in like the 60s in the Bronx. So, the time and place and culture are so different. When we talk about systemic abuse, sexual abuse of young people who are really vulnerable and watching this and watching the subtlety and the nuances in the performance and how it speaks to the larger cultural moment of what it meant for the Catholic Church to cover up abuses like this. Its just so incredible.
 
And its actually a very low-key film that just looks like a slow burn. But its just so amazing. And its not surprising that its actually based on a stage play because of the way the story is plotted. But its just like its just so perfect! And a lot of it owes to the amazing performances. Every performance, every actor on this is just pitch perfect, and its just so great to watch. [Laughs.] I cant, I cannot over-recommend Doubt. Please watch it. Its actually streaming on Netflix. Thats how I rewatched it. So, please check it out.
 
DAHLIA: Thats super interesting to think about re-watching it post #MeToo ‘cause its from 2008. And I remember seeing it in theaters, and its one of those movies thats very clearly based on a play just because it demands so much intensity from the actors. Its mostly like just two-person scenes of people speaking very intensely to each other. Yeah, I think about the last line of Doubt all the time, actually.
 
AMY: Mm. Oh my god!!! Meryl
 
DAHLIA: All the time.
 
AMY: Ahhhhhhhhhh! [Laughs.]
 
DAHLIA: [Laughs.]
 
AMY: Whoo.
 
DAHLIA: Ill rewatch it.
 
AMY: Yeah. Its like its breathtaking. Its so breathtaking. Its so good. I just cannot over-recommend it, yes.
 
DAHLIA: Oh man.
 
AMY: Okay!
 
DAHLIA: Yes.
 
AMY: Dahlia, what is your listen recommendation?
 
DAHLIA: Okay. Okay. I have been so obsessed with this song lately. I think I have before recommended the musician Rosalía. She is a Catalonian flamenco/hip hop musician. She is just so incredible. Shes the subject of a New York Times magazine profile, I think last week, thats excellent that talks about her training as a flamenco musician and her work creating an urban flamenco genre for herself. The song I wanna recommend is “Aute Cuture” by Rosalía. So good! I really recommend the New York Times magazine profile if you wanna learn a little bit more about her youth and her musical training. But its just incredible. Its like her music, when you learn even a little bit more about its roots and the training that goes into it, it just sounds so incredible. I love her music so much, and I love this song so much. And so, please spend all your time listening to Rosalía and the song “Aute Cuture.
 
[“Aute Cuture” by Rosalía plays]
 
♪ “Te conjuro y te dejo prendao/
Encima del stage yo olvido lopecao (Sí)/
Y que tolosantotienen su pasao (Chao)/
Yo te bendigo si te tengo al lao (Amén)/
Su nombre en el coraya no está clavao (Nah)/
Manoen el aire si te lo han rasgao (Uf)/
Que yo lágrimasolté un puñao Olé yo, ¿y qué?….” ♪
 
AMY: Thanks for listening.
 
DAHLIA: Thanks for listening.
 
♪ “Esto está encendío, na, na, na, na/
Esto está encendío, na, na, na, na/
Esto está encendío, na, na, na, na/
Esto está encendío, na, na, na, na (¡Na, na!)….” ♪
 
DAHLIA: Thanks for listening to Backtalk. This show is produced by Cher Vincent. 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.
by Amy Lam
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Amy Lam is Bitch Media’s contributing editor. Find her at @amyadoyzie.

by Dahlia Balcazar
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Dahlia Balcazar was a senior editor at Bitch Media, the co-host of the podcast Backtalk, and the host of the live show Feminist Snack Break. She’s passionate about horror films, ’90s music, girl gangs, and Shirley Jackson. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.