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: 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.

Backtalk: Google Manifesto & Transphobia Is Not a Joke

This week, exemplifies the question that Frank Ocean’s t-shirt asked: “Why be racist, sexist, homophobic or transphobic when you could just be quiet?” Dahlia and Amy talk about the terribly misguided memo from a Google employee and the deplorable transphobia on the Breakfast Club. Recently, it was reported that a senior software engineer at Google decided that he needed to spread the good word around biological determinism as the reason behind the low number of women working in tech. This 10-page manifesto was leaked to the public and quickly went viral. They discuss how popular radio show, the Breakfast Club, is under fire for an interview where the hosts laughed as their comedian guest, Lil Duval, spewed harmful, violent transphobia—just a few days after writer Janet Mock had appeared on the show. This radio segment comes with the latest report that Dave Chapelle’s residency at Radio City Music Hall opens with transphobic jokes.

Popaganda: Body positive beach times

The beach is supposed to be a place of relaxation. But, as we all know far too well, it’s also a place of high anxiety. Nothin’ puts body positive feelings to the test quite like slipping into what’s essentially colorful underwear and parading around in the midday sun in front of a bunch of strangers. This episode of Popaganda, “Beach Bodies,” takes listeners from the sandy sun to the woods, to the pool, and back again, all while having conversations about how we feel about our bodies and how to deal with the anxieties people have around having their bodies being on display outside. We talk with Unlikely Hikers creator Jenny Bruso about diversifying outdoor-industry media, hear from model Sawyer DeVuyst about telling visual stories from trans perspectives, and dish on fat-positive fashion with style blogger Jessica Torres. We also share oral histories of a 1930s resort called Dreamland, which catered to African Americans living in the segregated Jim Crow South. 

Backtalk: Military Trans Ban & Limits of White Imagination

This week, Dahlia and Amy dig into the latest in Trump fuckery and the controversy around an upcoming project from the Game of Thrones showrunners. Earlier this week, Trump announced via three tweets (how presidential!) that he intends to ban transgender people from serving in the military. What are potential impacts of this policy, will it come to fruition, and is this just another inflammatory announcement meant to rile everyone up? But what we do know is that this potential policy is transphobic and harmful. They also talk about latest news around a television project in the works from the showrunners of the Game of Thrones, which is tentatively titled Confederate and will supposedly present a vision of the USA if the Union had lost and the enslavement of Africans continued. Smdh forever. 

Popaganda: Invisibility

Invisibility is the theme of Bitch magazine’s summer print issue. What are we not seeing in our films? Who are we not hearing from in our media? Despite having more technology than ever before to broadcast ourselves into the world, who remains invisible? On this episode, we talk with two authors featured in the Invisibility print issue: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha sets some ground rules for the often-invisible work of emotional labor, and lawyer and activist Andrea Ritchie discusses her powerful new book Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color. Plus, musician Julia Weldon shares their new album Comatose Hope, which explores the terrifying experience of falling into a coma after gender-confirmation top surgery.

Backtalk: Hollywood Shenanigans—Revenge Porn & Unequal Pay

This week, Dahlia and Amy get into the latest in Hollywood shenanigans. First up is the potential prosecution of the sole Kardashian brother, Rob Kardashian, for posting revenge porn against his ex-fiance and mother of his infant daughter, Blac Chyna. Revenge porn is another realm of online harassment that often targets women and Rob Kardashian’s online meltdown might bring greater awareness to how posting nude photos of other people is illegal in 34 states. Then they dig into the latest conversation around unequal pay in Hollywood spurred by the news that Hawaii Five-O stars Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park did not renew their contracts because they weren’t being paid as much as their white male costars, and Emma Stone shares a story of how her white male costars have had to take a pay cut so that she can have pay equity on her films. Such shenanigans, much misogyny. Also another Petty Political Pminute covering the latest in Russian collusion leaving Dahlia and Amy wondering if Trump has ordered a U-Haul yet because they need to vacate their present residence.   

Popaganda: Life in Late Capitalism

“Late capitalism” is a phrase that was first used by Marxist theorists at the turn of the 20th century. Over that time, it’s been used in different ways by different people, but right now, it’s popping up all over as a both funny and cutting term to describe the absurdity and lack of dignity that comes with our world’s gaping inequality. That’s what today’s show is all about. This is a follow-up episode to another show we put together about the economy: Money Feelings. We talk with Stephanie Woodward of the Center for Disability Rights about what it was like to occupy Senator Mitch McConnell’s office to protest plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act—and wind up zip-tied and arrested. Then, we hear from poverty scholar Tiny Gray-Garcia (and a backyard rooster) about the Poor News Network and what it means to have media made by and for low-income and no-income people. Then, DC Schools Project Program Director Jessica Lee and Backtalk host Amy Lam discuss the how definitions of “success” are shaped by culture, family, and how much money you’re expected to make. 

Backtalk: Where’s the Justice? & Beguiling Whiteness

This week, Dahlia and Amy discuss the disappointing verdicts of both the mistrial in the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby and the acquittal of the police officer who murdered Philando Castile. They also get into the beguiling whiteness of The Beguiled, a film set during the Civil War with an all-white main cast. We get to rub our petty hands in this week’s Petty Political Pminute since there’s been a delay in voting for Trumpcare—a healthcare plan to ensure the rich remain alive and richer, while working folks try to figure out basic healthcare needs.   

Popaganda: Redefining Dating

How many more trend pieces can you stomach on the theme of “Millennials Killed Traditional Dating”? There’s this idea in our culture that this generation has fundamentally changed dating—for the worse. That we’re getting away from “traditional” dating and into some terrible uncharted waters. But a look at the history of dating shows one thing loud and clear: every generation has redefined dating. The idea that there’s a “traditional” kind of dating that’s stayed true for 100 years until the internet burned romance to the ground is just… a myth. Instead, with each new generation, new technological changes, evolving gender norms, and our economy has changed the way we date. On this episode, we talk about early 20th-century freak-outs over young peoples’ dating lives with Moira Weigel, author of the “feminist-Marxist history of dating” Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating. Also, the founder of Aces NYC joins us to talk about how rising awareness of asexuality is changing mainstream ideas about what dating means. And Ev’Yan Whitney, who hosts the podcast The Sexually Liberated Woman and teaches feminist workshops on taking sexy selfies, interviews someone very special about sex: her mom. Tune in.  

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