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: Summer Music We Love!

This week's episode of Backtalk is a special summer music edition! Sarah and Amy each highlight five new-ish songs they love that we'll be listening to all summer long. Looking for new music? You're in the right place. Chill out and turn up the volume as we share some good tunes, from rap to surf rock to a sexy R&B throwback.

Popaganda: Who Writes Our History?

History isn't static—it's the stories we tell ourselves about the past. And that story changes depending on who's doing the telling. On this episode, we explore what it means to tell your own history in three different ways. Iranian-American comedian Negin Farsad talks with us being a super patriotic teen and her new book, How to Make White People Laugh. Then, writer Jessica Machado discusses the life and music of blueswoman Bessie Smith, who told her own story in song in the 1920s and 30s. Finally, we call up brilliant scholar Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz to dig into her work, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States. Listen in!   

Backtalk: Letting Go of Likability

This week, we're joined by the hosts of podcast Good Muslim/Bad Muslim, Taz Ahmed and Zahra Noorkbakhsh, to talk about how gender and race impact who’s seen as “likable”—and what that means both for Hillary Clinton and for the rest of us. At last summer's Girls Write Now awards ceremondy, Americanah author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said, "If you start thinking about being likable you are not going to tell your story honestly, because you are going to be so concerned with not offending, and that’s going to ruin your story, so forget about likability." Adichie called bullshit on likability—and we agree. 

Popaganda: Money

Money. You hate it. You need it. On this episode, we embark on an anti-capitalist exploration of cold hard cash, highlighting work from the Money issue of Bitch magazine. Featuring: Financial advice for your twenties from Ester Bloom of The Billfold, a conversation about the racial politics of fair trade with travel writer Bani Amor, a discussion of gender in the freelance economy with writer Sarah Grey, and the revelation of why cigarettes were once sold to women as "freedom torches" as Andi Zeisler shares an excerpt from her new book We Were Feminists Once. Tune in!   

Backtalk: Game of Thrones & xoJane

This week, we talk about burning down the patriarchy in Game of Thrones and how the show's female characters have evolved this season. Then, we discuss the desctructive clickbait culture seen in many online outlets—most specifically, xoJane, which published an insensitive and callous essay that minimized the effects of mental illness and suicide. 

Popaganda: Insider/Outsider

This one’s for the punks, poets, radicals, and outliers. We hear four stories about what life is like as an outsider, from tattoo artists confronting invisible disabilities to poet Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib on being a person of color in the punk scene. Plus, we hear from comics artist MariNaomi about her new memoir Turning Japanese and feature an investigation into gender discrimination in college sports by Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.  

Backtalk: bell hooks on Beyonce & Yacht's Hoax

This week we chat with Bitch contributor Zoe Samudzi about bell hooks's recent criticisms of Beyonce's Lemonade in "Moving Beyond Pain," and how we can both respect and be critical of works by people we admire. Plus Sarah talks about how disappointing it was to learn about indie electro-pop duo Yacht's hoax, where they pretended to be victims of a sex tape leak to create publicity for a music video. 

Popaganda Episode: Bathroom Panic

From Wisconsin to Washington to Wyoming, this spring Republican legislators have pushed for 50 new laws that would specifically ban transgender people from using the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Why is there all this sudden panic about where people use the bathroom? On this episode, we dig deep on transphobic bathroom bills, exploring the history of gender segregation in bathrooms, analyzing the right-wing strategy behind this current wave of new laws, and celebrating the resistance of people pushing back against discrimination across the country. This episode features interviews with National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling, ACLU lawyer Chase Strangio, and York University Associate Professor Sheila Cavanagh, who literally wrote the book on queer identities and bathroom politics. Plus, writer Sam Riedel shares her essay debunking five right-wing myths that fuel bathroom bills. Tune in! 

Backtalk: "Lemonade" + Marketplace Feminism

This week, we talk about Beyonce's visual album Lemonade with writer and photographer Margaret Jacobsen, who wrote "What Beyonce's Lemonade Means to Me As a Black Woman," and talk about the themes of self-love and stunning imagery.  And we chat with Bitch co-founder, editorial and creative director Andi Zeisler about her new book, We Were Feminists Once, about "marketplace feminism" that centers the movement as a brand rather than an action. 

Popaganda Episode: Volunteers

From a teenager farmworker in Seattle to the only abortion clinic in Mississippi, stories about going above and beyond.  Writer Rafia Zakaria explores the complicated dynamics of voluntourism—the trend of people from richer countries combining international travel and volunteering. Then, reports from the field from a teenage farmworker who spends her high school years pitching in to improve the working conditions of other agricultural laborers, a local Michigan Muslim community getting involved in political organizing, and Trapped filmmaker Dawn Porter details the attacks on abortion clinics in the South. 

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