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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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.  

Backtalk: Lone Wolf Myth & Kneeling for Justice

This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about how mainstream media upholds white supremacy by continually casting white, male, mass murderers as “lone wolves.” This week marked the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history, where Stephen Paddock gunned down 58 people and injured 500 more, yet there have been headlines humanizing him and how “enjoyed gambling, country music; lived quiet life before massacre.” Let’s not kid ourselves, the story about the killer would be much different if he wasn’t white. Then they discuss the latest in pro-athletes protests as the NFL season gets underway, and how no one respects Trump the “bum.” Speaking of him, in the Mr. Toad Trump’s Wild Ride segment, they dig into his purposeful and racist inaction in the face of a natural disaster in Puerto Rico.

Popaganda: Why We Love Sports

Being a feminist sports fan is complicated. Athletes are talented artists and teams can build community and confidence. But sports culture has many dark sides: violence, homophobia, greed. On this episode, we talk with feminist fans of football, tennis, soccer, and basketball about what keeps them watching and how they’re working to change sports for the better. The great Jessica Luther joins us to discuss how she remains a football fan while working on a book about sexual assault in college football programs. Steph Yang talks about how women’s soccer has become a positive place for LGBTQ players and fans, despite the rampant homophobia seen in other sports. Amy Lam expounds on NBA players taking stands for social justice issues—while owners who would prefer they remain silent. Veronica Arreola encourages us all to attend at least one women’s sporting event this year. Plus: Applause for Serena Williams, superstition about the Cubs, and a tale of a high school football player who became a cheerleader. 

Backtalk: Jemele Is Not Wrong & the Emmys

This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about the very factual statement: Donald Trump is a white supremacist, as tweeted by sports journalist and truth-teller Jemele Hill, and the highs and lows of this year’s Emmys. Last week, Trump supporters were in an uproar over Hill’s tweets calling Trump out for exactly who is and the White House did not take kindly to it—Sarah Huckabee Sanders remarked that Hill should lose her job over the tweets! Then they celebrate some of the great Emmy wins and groan about the Sean Spicer cameo no one asked for.

Popaganda: Goodbye for Now!

Big bittersweet news! Host Sarah Mirk is leaving Popaganda, though the show will begin again with new episodes in 2018. Bitch Media Editorial Director Lisa Factora-Borchers talks with Sarah about her favorite memories over her four years hosting the show and what’s next for her work-wise. 

Backtalk Goes Back to School

This week, Dahlia and Amy go back to school! They talk about some of their fave school memories like Dahlia and chicken mummies (!!), and Amy and wearing her first-day-of-school clothes for all the days of the week. And they dig into some of their favorite pop culture that helped them get through school. Dahlia was a baby riot goth who loved bands like Jack off Jill and telenovelas on Univision. Amy can’t stop talking about the 90’s teen drama, My So Called Life. Then they discuss the Trump administrations latest attack on equity by investigation alleged race-based discrimination due to affirmation action in university admissions.

Backtalk: Trump & Tina Fey Respond to Charlottesville

This week, Dahlia and Amy dive into the two of the most awful and inadequate responses to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Beginning with Trump’s comments that there was “blame on both sides” when violence erupted at the “Unite the Right” rally last week, resulting in the murder of Heather Heyer when a white supremacist plowed his car into a group of counter-protestors. Then they discuss Tina Fey’s latest segment on a special SNL Weekend Update where she suggests fighting white supremacy by eating sheet cake. Really. But not all hope is lost, especially when people left the sheet cake at home and hit the streets to show up against white supremacists, like in Boston when a massive group of counter protestors greatly outnumbered the alt-right rally.  

Popaganda: Food Writing

Even though it’s one of our basic human needs, food isn’t simple or straightforward. What we eat ties into our upbringing, our culture, and our values. Food is a deep reflection of our identity. That’s what we’re talking about on today’s show: the personal politics of food. The food we consume intersects with big issues around race, gender, class, and history. We talk with three food writers about the unequal economics of the food industry and how we can all be better, respectful food lovers. Soleil Ho joins us to talk about food and cultural appropriation—a topic she often discusses on the Racist Sandwich podcast and recently covered for travel platform On She Goes—and about not catering to white tastes as the chef of her new restaurant, Bonito Kitchen. We talk with food writer and A Hungry Society founder Korsha Wilson (who got her start in restaurants as an Olive Garden “breadstick girl”!) about her recent article, “Dear White Chefs: Stop Talking and Start Listening.” If you ever heard someone gush about how “Filipino food is so hot right now,” then you’ll appreciate Thrillist editor Khushbu Shah’s take on the problems with declaring an entire cultural cuisine to be an up-and-coming trend.

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