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: Body-Positive Exercise

Why does the thought of going to the gym inspire such anxiety? Because exercise—literally moving our bodies—is so wrapped up in fatphobia, ableism, sexism, and other nasty stuff. On this episode, we try to extricate exercise from all the body-shaming stuff that's usually tied to it. Bitch Media editorial intern Emily McCarty brings us a dispatch from roller derby training with the Rose City Rollers and listeners share ideas for feel-good exercises ranging from rugby to trampolining. In the last half of the show, we dig deep on yoga. Fat femme yoga sensation Jessamyn Stanley drops some knowledge, then writer Mika Doyle joins us to talk about the science of using yoga to heal from PTSD.   

Backtalk: Ryan Lochte & Prison Reform

Amy and Sarah chat with each other from across the country in this episode! We talk about the recent fiasco with Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte lying about being robbed at gunpoint in Rio, casting a negative light on Brazil while reinforcing the "ugly American" abroad stereotype. And we dig into the U.S. Justice Department's recent decision to phase out the use of private corporations who run federal prisons—reiterating a message that for-profit prisons aren't doing their job to rehabilitate inmates.   

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: "Stranger Things" & Women at the Olympics

A spoiler-free conversation about gender and race on Netflix show Stranger Things (Winona!). Amy and Sarah also discuss how female athletes are scrutinized during the Olympic games. Plus: Big news about Amy’s life and some love for Alynda Segarra of Hurray for the Riff Raff.

Popaganda: Sports and Capitalism

The Olympics kicks off this week in Rio de Janeiro, amid protests over its high costs and impact on Brazil's poorest communities. While sports represent our cultural values and tie in closely to our identities, it's not hard to see how sports from the college level to the Olympics are driven by one thing: money. We talk with women's soccer fans about soccer's wage gap (and hear some amazing fan songs). Then, professor Jules Boykoff breaks down the economics of the Olympics and explores the incredible history of protests at the Olympics, including the current games in Rio. Finally, we call up author Jessica Luther to discuss how colleges often let athletes off the hook in rape cases—and the role money plays in college sports programs.  

Popaganda: Best-Of Geek Culture

As we put together brand-new podcast episodes to debut in August, we bring you three favorite nerdy stories from past episode of our show. We take trip through the history of women working in the comic book industry, debunk five myths about women and video games thanks to Elizabeth Sampat, and talk with scholar Walidah Imarisha about what science fiction can teach social justice activists. 

Popaganda Episode: Best Of Our Stories About Activism

As we're taking a break from making new Popaganda episodes during July, we're sharing four favorite stories on activism from our archives. First off, listen to an interview with comedian (and new political podcast host!) Hari Kondabolu. Then, we highlight an interview with problematic animal rights group PETA and a collection of real-life stories from Hollywood with "Shit People Say to Women Directors." The show ends with an essay by Tasha Fierce on Black Lives Matter and the role Black women have played in protest movements.   

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. 

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