Podcasts

We publish a new feminist podcast episode every week. Our hour-long show Popaganda digs deep on movies, books, TV, and media while Backtalk is a snappy conversation between two Bitch editors about the week’s pop culture. Subscribe to the podcasts on iTunes!
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Backtalk: Silence Breakers & The Weinstein Effect

This week, Dahlia and Amy break down Time’s much-anticipated “Person of the Year” magazine cover and cover story, and the continued fallout from the Weinstein effect. We thank our respective dieties that Trump’s ego isn’t being fed for being on the Time cover, but another white supremacist icon graces its cover instead. Taylor Swift accompanies Ashley Judd, agricultural worker Isabel Pascual, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, lobbyist Adama Iwu, and an anonymous hospital worker who represents those who are unable to speak out publicly. Though Swift had her own sexual harassment suit to contend with, we dig into whether or not she’s really a “silence breaker.” Then they discuss the latest batch of folks of predators and why Woody Allen is still a protected Hollywood institution (like, wyd, Kate Winslet?). 

Popaganda: Fembots

From Metropolis to Westworld, female robots have always played out complicated power dynamics onscreen. While the term “fembots” conjurs up the image of killer mechanical sex-kittens from Austin Powers, cinematic stories about female robots often deal with much darker and deeper dynamics. In this episode, filmmaker and professor Allison de Fren walks us through the history of female robots onscreen in movies like The Stepford Wives, Ex Machina, and Her and how their stories revolve around issues of power and control. Then, for you Westworld obsessives, poet and scholar Margaret Rhee discusses the race and gender dynamics of hit HBO series Westworld. But, of course, robots are all around us in real life, too. Feminist researcher Miriam Sweeney delves into the world of virtual assistants that have female voices and bodies, from the modern Siri to the old-school Ms. Dewey.   

Backtalk: Believe Women & Just Say No to Normalizing Nazis

This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about the latest attempt by conservative “infiltration” group Project Veritas to discredit the Washington Post for covering the sexual abuse allegations against Alabama candidate for the Senate Roy Moore and how this undermines the true stories of survivors. Lena Dunham didn’t need to get involved either, but she “naively” thought it was a good idea to release a statement in support of her friend and former Girls writer and accused sexual assaulter, Murray Miller. Then they dig into the latest shitshow that is a a New York Times profile of a Nazi and how it fails to reveal anything behind the pathology of white supremacy while normalizing neighborly hate.

Backtalk: Louis C.K. & Election 2017

This week, Dahlia and Amy declare that Louis C.K. is cancelled after he’s finally admitted that the alleged rumors about him are true, albeit through a shitty non-apology. And they talk about the assault claims against Alabama candidate for Senate Roy Moore that will piss you off because a known child molester is actually considered a viable Republican candidate. But we end on a positive note! There were some historic, inspiring, and hopeful victories across the country so that 2017 isn’t just one big toilet bowl of a year after all. 

Popaganda: Queering Family Values

“Family values” has been co-opted by right-wing folks. But what the hell! Feminists have strong values, and we have strong families, too. On today’s episode, we’re queering family values. For a lot of queer folks, the traditional concept of family is wrought with complicated feelings—a lot of blood families refuse to accept or celebrate queerness, so LGBTQ people have in many ways redefinied “family” for themselves. I talk with two queer feminist activists about what the word “family” means to them and which “family values” they try to live by and teach.

Popaganda: Designing for Democracy

Political observers often blame people for not voting. But we don’t often stop to examine what barriers keep people from voting—or make them feel like it’s not worthwhile. On this episode, we examine our democracy as a design problem—and explore what structural issues are built into our election laws that keep people from voting. We talk with Cayden Mak, an organizer Asian American get-out-the-vote group 18 Million Rising, hear from the co-founders of #CriptheVote, and listen to an excerpt of Hari Kondabolu’s new comedy album, Mainstream American Comic. Oh and there’s a Pokémon Go shout-out in there, too.  

Backtalk: Indictment Day & Kevin Spacey

This week, Dahlia and Amy dig into the beginning of the indictments against Trump-adjacent folks and the latest crop of sexual abuse allegations against powerful men. There’s have a moment of mini-celebrations because FBI director’s Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s campaign team and possible collusion with Russian officials. Indictments were served for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates. Trump’s former advisor, George Papadopoulos, plead guilty to lying to the FBI! Yowza. Prayer hand emojis for more days of indictment to come. Then they discuss the latest in Hollywood fuckery with actor Anthony Rapp’s story of a 26-year-old Kevin Spacey making sexual advances against Rapp when he was just 14 years old. Spacey tried to divert from attention to this by coming out as a gay man. Ugh. 

Popaganda: Fear

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself? Give me a break. What about being afraid of murder? Indefinite detention? Stand-up comedy? On this episode, we explore some of the many things that make us afraid. The show begins with a story from filmmaker Assia Boundaoui, who grew up in a mostly Arab American neighborhood that was under FBI surveillance. Then, we have two perspectives on feminism and horror films: Writer Leela Ginelle discusses how films like Funny Games and Panic Room tie into real-life fears of domestic violence and film buff Sara Century looks at the history of queer women in horror (bring on the lesbian vampires!). We end the show with comedian Jenny Yang, who explains how the only way to get beyond your fear of getting onstage is to actually get onstage.   

Backtalk: Weinstein, #MeToo, Everything is Terrible

This week, Dahlia and Amy talk-yell about all of the sexual harassment and assault allegations against Hollywood producer, Harvey Weinstein, and its impact on the industry and beyond. Following breaking stories from the New York Times and the New Yorker, more than 40 women have come forward with their own stories of abuse from Weinstein. This case against Weinstein can introduce a sea change in both the film industry and beyond, but this episode also discusses the limits of survivors sharing their trauma for empathy, like in the case with #MeToo tag. Women have faced sexual assault and harassment since approximately forever, will exposing ourselves with #MeToo create impactful cultural change? They also dig into Mayim Bialik’s victim-blamey NYT op-ed where she posits that maybe ladies wouldn’t be so easily harassed if they’d only just dress more modestly (she’s since apologized for her misguided essay).

Popaganda: Growing Up Immigrant

When politicians and pundits talk about immigrants, they far too often use language that makes it seem like immigrants are… other. Not real Americans. Not able to be trusted. Their histories, experiences, and native languages, those should be pushed aside in favor of the “melting pot” of English. At the same time, stories of immigrant families are noticably absent from our pop culture. While millions of North Americans are growing up as children of immigrants, you can count the number of third-culture kids on TV on one hand. Today’s episode shares the personal stories of people growing up as first-generation Americans and Canadians. The people we interview discuss navigating their parents’ traditions with their own personal politics and learning to value where they come from—despite all the cultural forces that erase immigrant stories. This episode features linguist and psychologist Julie Sedivy, poet Fatimah Asghar, filmmaker Anne Galisky, journalist Belinda Cai, and podcaster TK Matunda.  

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