Podcast

Popaganda

Bitch Media is a feminist response to pop culture, home to whip-smart writers, artists, and activists who analyze popular media with an eye on gender, race, class, and sexuality. A new Bitch podcast comes out every Thursday: Popaganda is a 45-minute in-depth exploration of themes ranging from stand-up comedy to sex work and Backtalk is our quick, fun conversation about the week in pop culture.

Episodes

  • Backtalk: That's not consent. That's capitalism.

    Apr 18 2019

    This week, Dahlia and Amy get into the newest marketing ploy around consent: condoms that require four hands to open. These kinds of throwaway, viral products commodify ideas around sexual violence without actually working to solve a problem (while hoisting the blame for sexual assault away from the perpetrator), and we’re sick of it. And in Amy vs. Dahlia, we argue about what blast-from-the-past TV show needs to make a comeback. Text “reboot” to 503-855-6485 to let us know what you think!  

  • Popaganda Revisited: Who Writes Our History?

    Apr 11 2019

    Rebroadcasted from February 2017: 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 ...more

  • Backtalk: What about “Us"?

    Apr 04 2019

    This week, Dahlia and Amy dig into Jordan Peele's latest horror film, "Us." Lots of spoilers while they talk about how the film fits into genre canons, symbolism, and what can it all mean? And in Amy vs. Dahlia, an argument about the worst of adulting. There are so many terrible things to choose from, but is it paying your bills on time or having to cook yourself? Let us know what you can't stand about being grown. Text “Adult” to 503-855-6485 to let us know what you think!

  • Popaganda: Revisited - You Feel Me?

    Mar 28 2019

    In this episode, we’re going to be talking about an emotion you’ve probably heard a lot about lately: empathy. The way we talk about it, it’s almost like a superpower: it’s like we want to believe that the cure to political divisiveness, racism, and even war lies in the act of imagining exactly how someone else feels. But is empathy really going to save the world? First, Dr. Carolyn Pedwell, associate professor in Cultural Studies at the University of Kent, explains how different people define “...more

  • Backtalk: Scammer SZN

    Mar 21 2019

    This week, Dahlia and Amy get into all things scammy. The recent news of what the FBI called “Operation Varsity Blues” has revealed a multi-million dollar college admissions scheme run by an organization to aid wealthy parents in bribing university administrators and college prep tutors to pay their way into elite schools. Another day, another story about the wealthy taking advantage of systems built to maintain their status! And Amy vs. Dahlia wants to know who’s the worse scammer: baritone Sil...more

  • Popaganda: Revisited - Sex Work is Work

    Mar 15 2019

    From the archive: Discussions of sex work often get mired in a couple basic questions: is it “good” or “bad”? Are sex workers empowered or not? But sex workers are a diverse group—their experiences aren’t all good or bad. On this show, we try to reframe the issue by exploring the legal and financial realities of sex work. For example: How does a dominatrix do her taxes? What kinds of healthcare do sex workers need? How would decriminalizing sex work change peoples’ lives?   

  • Backtalk: YA's Cancel Culture

    Mar 07 2019

    This week, Dahlia and Amy dig into the world of YA drama. Recently, two YA authors have chosen to cancel their own debut novels after being called out by some readers for "problematic" issues in the text. Dahlia and Amy talk about the effects of cancel culture that demands perfect art. Also, a Petty Political Pminute on what may be the road ahead to 45's impeachment. And Amy vs. Dahlia are debating the worst of the worst: manspreading vs mansplaning! What’s your choice? Text “Man” to 503-855-648...more

  • Backtalk: Haute Couture Blackface

    Feb 21 2019

    This week, Dahlia and Amy are back! They’ve got pop culture picks! They’ve got read, watch, and listen recommendations! They’ve got so many rage-induced opinions! In recent months, controversies have popped up in the news with the discovery of prominent politicians and actors donning blackface and prestige design houses releasing couture designs with unmistakable references to blackface. Amy vs. Dahlia wants to know who should win the Oscar’s Best Picture award! Amy thinks the beautifully-filmed...more

  • Backtalk: Our Favorites of 2018

    Dec 28 2018

    In this episode, Dahlia, Amy, and special guest Soleil share their pop culture faves that got them through this year, from Shirkers and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, to online hoaxes, sandwich outfits, and Queer Eye. We've celebrated the best of this year's pop culture, and now we're ready for you, 2019.

  • Backtalk: Who Gets to Make Mistakes?

    Dec 14 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy round up some of the big hits of bad takes. From Lena Dunham's letter from the editor where she admits to lying to protect a rapist to a weird piece dissecting Ariana Grande's "thank u, next" music video, who gets to make mistakes over and over again? Writers get the brunt of the backlash, but how much responsibility should the editor take when they're the ones who click "publish"? Amy vs. Dahlia wants you to weigh in on the best winter flick! Amy can watch "Home Alone"...more

  • Backtalk: Mind the Wage Gap

    Nov 29 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about what real allyship can look like in Hollywood and beyond. Recently, Porter magazine hosted a roundtable with Gabrielle Union, Gina Rodriguez, Ellen Pompeo, and Emma Roberts where Pompeo called on white folks to do better and Rodriguez brought up the issue of pay inequity. Who gets uncomfortable in these conversations and does it create real change? And, as promised, Amy's fave pop culture moment is this the Black Mirror-esque anti-Amazon ad. In this week’s Am...more

  • Popaganda: The Pumpkin Spice Must Flow

    Nov 22 2018

    At the end of summer, when the super hot days get rarer, the signs of fall appear: reddish leaves, leather jackets, people talking about football, and pumpkin spice lattes. Like death and taxes, the pumpkin spice latte seems inevitable, and it takes up an incredible amount of space in the public consciousness. So yes, we’re succumbing to the siren song and devoting a whole episode to the PSL. So why are we so obsessed with pumpkin spice? And why is it so easy to hate on the drink and the people ...more

  • Popaganda: The Fight for the Middle Ages

    Nov 16 2018

    On this episode of the show, we’ll be talking about the Middle Ages: that period in European history that most of us learned about through Game of Thrones and Robin Hood. We think of it as racially homogenous, rigidly gendered, and brutish, but scholars like the ones Soleil talks to in today’s show have more nuanced interpretations. And yet, white supremacists within the alt right are attempting to claim the Middle Ages for their own political ends. What is the truth, and why does it matter? Fir...more

  • Backtalk: Thank You for Voting—Next!

    Nov 08 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy update on the latest horrifying policies the Trump administration are hoping to force into law. Beyond the midterm elections, the monsters in the White House are working overtime to push through harmful legislation, including limiting gender to being recognized to what one is assigned at birth, an end to birthright citizen, and more terribleness. In this week’s Amy vs. Dahlia, we’re debating the worse fake politician: Veep’s Selina Meyers or Idiocracy’s President Dwayne...more

  • Popaganda: The Devil You Know

    Nov 01 2018

    This episode is all about how cool the Devil is, especially for people of marginalized genders and sexualities. The devil is all over popular media, not as a straight symbol of absolute evil, but as something a little more nuanced and approachable—and sometimes even a little queer. Is this a sign of the end times and the moral degradation of humanity? Or does the character’s appeal to young people speak to a greater rejection of good vs. evil binaries? To find out, Soleil spoke with two experts....more

  • Backtalk: Let’s Take Refuge in Horror

    Oct 25 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy get creepy and ghouly about screen horror (as opposed to the horror of our everyday lives). In this Halloweeny episode, we dig into the role of horror film and TV and how it helps us cope with our lived realities. We've also got a Petty Political Pminute starring our least favorite ventriloquist dummy, Jared Kushner. In this week’s Amy vs. Dahlia, we're debating the metaphor of the Haunting of Hill House: Is it all about childhood trauma or white supremacy? Text “Haunti...more

  • Rebecca Solnit Talks Women, Activism, and Anger with Andi Zeisler

    Oct 23 2018

    Even if you’ve never heard of Rebecca Solnit, you know who she is. It was Solnit’s 2008 essay at the blog TomDigest that identified the concept we know today as mansplaining. (“Most women fight wars on two fronts, one for whatever the putative topic is and one simply for the right to speak, to have ideas, to be acknowledged to be in possession of facts and truths, to have value, to be a human being.”) But long before Solnit became a patron saint of the extremely online, she was an activist, a hi...more

  • Popaganda: Will Veganism Save the World?

    Oct 19 2018

    On this episode of the show, we’ll be talking all about veganism and the politics of eating plants and meat. Is it possible to reduce it to a diet or wellness thing, or is it inherently political? What is the connection between industrialized meat production and patriarchy? And why does Western culture conflate eating meat with masculinity, and what does that have to do with climate change? Soleil will talk to two folks about the place of veganism in politics. First, you’ll hear from Carol J. Ad...more

  • Backtalk: What Are We Supposed to Do Now?

    Oct 11 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy are tired, depressed, and angry—what are we supposed to do with all these awful feelings? In the wake of the Supreme Court confirmation for Brett Kavanaugh, we’re thinking about who gets to display feelings and what it tells us about where our feelings belong. Mostly, we feel rage, but it isn’t enough and we’re thinking about what productive anger can look like. And in this week’s Amy vs. Dahlia, we want to know what’s more annoying about feminist marketing: all the vag...more

  • Popaganda: The Pumpkin Spice Must Flow

    Oct 04 2018

    At the end of summer, when the super hot days get rarer, the signs of fall appear: reddish leaves, leather jackets, people talking about football, and pumpkin spice lattes. Like death and taxes, the pumpkin spice latte seems inevitable, and it takes up an incredible amount of space in the public consciousness. So yes, we’re succumbing to the siren song and devoting a whole episode to the PSL. So why are we so obsessed with pumpkin spice? And why is it so easy to hate on the drink and the people ...more

  • Backtalk: We Said #MeToo, Now What?

    Sep 27 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy discuss how the #MeToo movement can evolve beyond survivors exposing their own traumas and the role of abusers in creating real change. From public radio to the Supreme Court, what can a true reckoning with misogyny and abuse look like? We’ve also got a Petty Political Pminute—with a bonus! And in our latest Amy vs. Dahlia, we’re asking the important question of plant lady or cat lady?! Text “Pussywillow” to 503-855-6485 to let us know!

  • Popaganda: When People Become Internet Memes

    Sep 21 2018

    The Internet, which connects us to each other in ways that were pretty unimaginable to most people a century ago, has become a totally casual part of daily life. It’s changed so much: from the way we do business to the way we unlock our front doors. But it’s also changed the way we see ourselves and our relationships to other people. We live in a time when even children are able to use social media to juggle a front-facing, personal brand with their imperfect, true selves; and when a small gaffe...more

  • Backtalk: Naomi Osaka & Serena Williams Deserved Better

    Sep 13 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about what went down at the U.S. Open and how it hurt both Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams. In a sport with a history of sexism and racism, specifically anti-Blackness, it's tough to ignore the unfairness lobbed at Williams during this championship match and how it overshadowed Osaka's win. And we've got time for a Petty Political Pminute! We want to know if you like your cooking shows baked in delight or like an overheated kitchen—text “Food” to 503-855-6485 to le...more

  • Popaganda: Speaking to Specters

    Sep 06 2018

    Whether they expose past tragedies or family tragedies, ghosts reveal what is hidden away, under the layers of social etiquette, historical revisionism, and taboo. A poltergeist may expose unethical building practices as a ghost on videotape may reveal an unsolved murder. In that way, the monster is really a messenger: of a past that won’t stay buried, of feelings that haven’t been acknowledged, of a heartache that still stings. In this episode, we’ll be talking about the storytelling potential...more

  • Popaganda: Queering Virginity

    Aug 30 2018

    On her Netflix one-woman show, Nanette, Hannah Gadsby opines, “There’s only ever been two options for a little girl to grow up into: virgin or whore…. And I don’t fit neatly into either of those categories. Virgin or whore? I mean, on a technicality, I’d get virgin.” Virginity is a weird, nebulous idea that’s mostly measured in heterosexual terms. So what value does virginity hold for queer and trans people? Is it worth pulling it out of the patriarchal muck? So on this episode, Soleil talks to ...more

  • Backtalk: #MeToo Is Here To Stay

    Aug 23 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about a report that Asia Argento paid a settlement to a former castmate who accused her of sexual assault amidst questions about whether Argento’s behavior undermines the #MeToo movement. Another case has come to light about a female NYU professor who harassed and assaulted a male student and how the #MeToo movement can be inclusive for all survivors. Plus, we need your votes about the worst Marky Mark film text “Mark” to 503-855-6485 to let tell us which film was ...more

  • Popaganda: Pro Wrestling with the Sublime

    Aug 16 2018

    Pro wrestling hasn’t been the kindest entertainment industry for women. Relegated to Playboy-sponsored pillow fight matches or mud wrestling, women wrestlers didn’t get to shine for their athleticism or fighting prowess very often until Chyna came around in the late 90s. Her storylines were pretty meta, with male wrestlers and announcers who questioned her qualifications being on the receiving end of her feminist rage. But even then, women wrestlers like her had to constantly endure being sexual...more

  • Backtalk: The Myth of Racism Against White People

    Aug 09 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy dig into the trolling of writer and lawyer Sarah Jeong with accusations of racism against white people. Jeong was recently hired to the New York Times editorial board when conservative trolls dug up tweets where she mocked white folks with the likes of #CancelWhitePeople. It’s too bad that punching up with bad jokes about white people isn’t enough to get someone fired because it doesn’t cause concrete harm. Plus, this might be the spiciest Amy vs. Dahlia—text “Animal” t...more

  • Popaganda: The Blue Wave

    Aug 02 2018

    As we go into the 2018 midterm election season, we’ve got a lot of unknowns to think about. What can we expect to change this time around? Will there be more political upsets, like we’ve seen during the Democratic primaries in New York with the ascendancy of first-timer Alexandria Ocasio Cortez? One thing’s for sure: this year, more women, especially women of color, are running for public office than have ever before. Today, I’ll talk to two people with unique insight into how this all happened ...more

  • Backtalk: Don’t Waste Hannah Gadsby’s Time

    Jul 26 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy dig into Hannah Gadsby’s tremendous, heartbreaking, and honest Nanette. Gadsby’s Netflix special gives us insight into what it means to to tell one’s story to wide acceptance—at one’s own expense. Using comedy as an example, Gadsby asks: Is it enough to be in control of our own narratives and art if we’re still creating and consuming it through a colonized gaze? When do folks from marginalized communities get to be messy, frank, show their whole selves? Plus, let us kno...more

  • Popaganda: When People Become Internet Memes

    Jul 19 2018

    The Internet, which connects us to each other in ways that were pretty unimaginable to most people a century ago, has become a totally casual part of daily life. It’s changed so much: from the way we do business to the way we unlock our front doors. But it’s also changed the way we see ourselves and our relationships to other people. We live in a time when even children are able to use social media to juggle a front-facing, personal brand with their imperfect, true selves; and when a small gaffe...more

  • Backtalk: Turn off the Gaslight

    Jul 12 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy got to thinking more about the ubiquity of gaslighting after seeing a Twitter thread by writer Carmen Maria Machado and the case against Junot Diaz. The term originates from an eponymous play and film about a husband who gaslights his wife into thinking she’s going mad and is now commonly used to describe making another person feel as if their own thoughts and memories are untrue and inaccurate. This episode explores how gaslighting operates on a larger scale when organ...more

  • Popaganda: Queering Virginity

    Jul 05 2018

    On her Netflix one-woman show, Nanette, Hannah Gadsby opines, “There’s only ever been two options for a little girl to grow up into: virgin or whore…. And I don’t fit neatly into either of those categories. Virgin or whore? I mean, on a technicality, I’d get virgin.” Virginity is a weird, nebulous idea that’s mostly measured in heterosexual terms. So what value does virginity hold for queer and trans people? Is it worth pulling it out of the patriarchal muck?\ So on this episode, I’ll talk to Ju...more

  • Backtalk: We Don’t Need to Be Civil to Inhumane People

    Jun 28 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy survived another week where hell is empty and all the devils are here on earth. It’s been a couple weeks of horrifying news and the last thing we need to hear is how progressive folks need to be civil to the inhumane Right. It feels the the least possible harm that Stephen Miller, Kirstjen Nielsen, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders can face is to have their restaurant meals interrupted while they’re supporting an administration that’s tearing families apart at the border and p...more

  • Labors of Love

    Jun 21 2018

    Why do romance novels get such a bad rap? The genre is often maligned as being inferior to more “literary” writing, but there’s so much more to it than shirtless cowboys and inaccurate portrayals of BDSM etiquette. Romance writers like today’s two guests live in a complicated world. They navigate arcane sorting algorithms, racism, and more intracommunity drama than you can shake a stick at. But despite all of the hardships, they keep on working hard to make sure their readers get the happy endin...more

  • Backtalk: Summer Screen Faves

    Jun 14 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy are ringing in the summer raving about some of the best anticipated film and television shows coming out. Dahlia has rounded up Bitch-approved TV shows and movies premiering soon, and is obviously really loving all the great horror and true crime shows and films. Spending a few hours watching some of great television and films can be a balm against all the horrible news we’re seeing everyday. Plus, some Amy vs Dahlia results!

  • The Best Things in Life Are Freelance

    Jun 08 2018

    Almost half of millennials do freelance work—that is, they work as contract laborers, often in fields like writing, design, and computer programming—and the majority of those workers are women. The idea of ditching the office, the 9 to 5, and the butthead coworkers can be so tempting, but is this life all it’s cracked up to be? How do you find community when you don’t have to go anywhere to do your job? And what are your rights as a freelance worker? First, we talk to Danielle Corcione, a freela...more

  • Backtalk: Racists, Stop Calling The Cops

    May 25 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about the spate of incidents of racists calling the police on Black people and POC doing everyday things. When Black and Indigenous people took up space at a Starbucks, enjoyed themselves at a park BBQ, and went on a campus visit at a university, anxious white racists took to dialing 911. This is a case of white supremacy literally policing where non-white people are allowed to go in their daily lives, posing a danger to the lives of people of color in these situat...more

  • What Does Gender Sound Like?

    May 17 2018

    Music interacts with gender in surprising and strange ways: sometimes upholding the binary, sometimes undermining it. In this episode, we’ll talk to three people who’ve thought deeply about that dynamic and come up with their own interpretations of what it all means. First, we discuss how gender identities are constructed through music with Marcy Nabors, an independent composer. Then we talk to Musicology scholar Emily Masincup about how the musical motifs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy—known ...more

  • Backtalk: Junot Diaz & MeToo

    May 10 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about the latest in this #MeToo movement and what accountability can look like. More and more stories are coming out across industries of those who are abusing their power and we’re beginning to see more claims within the literary world. Last month, Junot Diaz published a heartbreaking account of his own rape, sharing his #MeToo moment. This is in contrast to recent allegations against him as the source of other’s #MeToo stories. Can Junot Diaz reckon with his own ...more

  • Birth of the New

    May 03 2018

    End of the world getting you down? We may never truly know what the future holds, and to some of us, the looming threat of an apocalypse is the most effective birth control. In this episode of Popaganda, Soleil digs into parenting and the end of the world: whether that means a total lifestyle change or global environmental calamity. First, she talks with Chicago DSA podcast producer Eleanor Russell about the ways in which reproductive justice is tied with economic justice. Then, she discusses th...more

  • Backtalk: Summer Music Fests

    Apr 26 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about summer music fests, Beychella, and the dismal treatment of sexual harassment at festivals. This year's Coachella was a moment with Beyoncé being the first Black woman artist headlining and featuring a very pregnant Cardi B. doing her thing. But it wasn't without concerns, as outlined in a "Teen Vogue" piece where a writer documented all of the times she was sexually harassed. Plus we've got a literal Petty Political Pminute!

  • Popaganda: I Saw the Sign

    Apr 06 2018

    Do you believe what you read in horoscopes? In pop culture, we imbue the zodiac signs with certain stereotypical behaviors. Virgos are judgmental, Leos are always starving for attention, Geminis are two-faced. The general gist is that the sun’s position in the sky relative to 12 astrological signs at the time of your birth can tell you all about the kind of person you’ll be. At least, enough to receive the same advice once a week. On this episode of Popaganda, you’ll be hearing from two people w...more

  • Backtalk: Nat Geo’s Racism & Spring Break

    Mar 22 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about how the National Geographic is finally coming to terms with its racism and how we think about spring break in pop culture. Finally, in its 130th year, National Geographic is beginning to acknowledge its history of perpetuating colonialism through racist editorial decisions. Like, duh. The impact that the magazine has had on how folks view many parts of the world can't be understated. The same can be said about pop culture references to spring break and popula...more

  • Popaganda: Faking It

    Mar 15 2018

    On today’s show, Soleil will be talking about one of her favorite subjects: the act of faking it. Why do we do it, and what does it mean when we accuse others of doing it? And what does the impostor tell us about the boundaries we erect in order to define ourselves and our place in the world? To answer those questions, she’ll take on the Portsmouth Sinfonia, the phenomenon of the “fake geek girl,” Rachel Dolezal, and the awful—but perhaps enlightening—film White Chicks. We have two guests on the...more

  • Backtalk: Good, Bad & Problematic at The Oscars

    Mar 08 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy are back to grumble and celebrate the Academy Awards. They dig into the limits of #MeToo in an industry that would continue to celebrate known abusers Gary Oldman and Kobe Bryant and overlook Ryan Seacrest's abusive behavior so he can stay on the red carpet. And the tale of two white women actors, Emma Stone and Frances McDormand, and how their different remarks reflect what White Feminism or true allyship can look like at the Oscars. And of course the latest update on ...more

  • Popaganda: Watching What You Eat

    Mar 01 2018

    What does it take to get “well”? When we think about wellness, especially right now, we tend to think of it as everything we do to make our lives and bodies healthy. Rather than defining health through the negation of sickness, wellness advocates press that being “well” is an ongoing process of maintenance and care. But so much of what we think about wellness is so wrapped up in watching and being watched—through fitness apps, Instagram, bureaucracy, or just the day-to-day experience of going to...more

  • Backtalk: Stoneman Douglas & The Olympics

    Feb 23 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about the growing anti-gun student movement that’s happened since the shooting at the Parkland, Florida, high school and an update about the Winter Olympics. After the latest horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school, students have rallied together to demand serious gun control and that the NRA get out of the pockets of politicians. And at this year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, a #MeToo moment with Shaun White and some incredible performances f...more

  • Popaganda: You Feel Me?

    Feb 17 2018

    Popaganda is back! In this episode, we’re going to be talking about an emotion you’ve probably heard a lot about lately: empathy. The way we talk about it, it’s almost like a superpower: it’s like we want to believe that the cure to political divisiveness, racism, and even war lies in the act of imagining exactly how someone else feels. But is empathy really going to save the world? First, Dr. Carolyn Pedwell, associate professor in Cultural Studies at the University of Kent, explains how differ...more

  • Backtalk: Actual Bad Feminists

    Feb 08 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy (a.k.a your friendly neighborhood rage cheerleaders) talk about Rose McGowan’s confrontation with trans activist Andi Dier and Katie Roiphe’s “feminist” screed against #MeToo. At a recent stop on her book tour, Dier asked McGowan to explain remarks she made on Rupaul’s podcast about how transwomen didn’t grow up as women. Then they talk about the Roiphe essay you don’t need to read and how exhausting contrarian feminists need to step away from writing unproductive fodde...more

  • Backtalk: #MeToo Backlash & Larry Nassar Sentencing

    Jan 25 2018

    This week, Dahlia and Amy dig into the latest “feminist” backlash against the #MeToo movement in light of Babe.Net’s Aziz Ansari—a story which showed how a celebrity who banked on his male feminist allyship ultimately doesn’t want to respect boundaries around consent. Then they talk about the sentencing hearing for former USA Gymnastics and Michigan State University physician Larry Nassar, who has pled guilty to child molestation, and the systemic failure of powerful organizations to protect the...more

  • Backtalk: Is It Really Time’s Up in Hollywood?

    Jan 11 2018

    In this first episode of 2018, Dahlia and Amy get into this year's Golden Globes, the Time's Up movement, and the misguided obsession for Oprah 2020. The Golden Globes is the first awards show since the fallout from the Weinstein effect and it didn't shy away from talking about #MeToo and the latest movement to announce that Time's Up for sexual harassment and violence against women in the industry. But is it all for show and what will real, concrete change look like? Plus, they kick off another...more

  • Backtalk: We Made It Through 2017

    Dec 28 2017

    Pour yourself a sweet drink because we made it through 2017! The year that felt like a decade with the inauguration of 45, no gun reform in sight, attacks on marginalized communities through policies, the normalization of supremacists, and, of course, the Weinstein effect. But we made it through because we have one another and we believe in the possibility of real concrete change. On this episode, Dahlia and Amy share their pop culture faves that got them through this year from Latinx pop music ...more

  • Backtalk: Silence Breakers & The Weinstein Effect

    Dec 15 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy breakdown 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 th...more

  • Backtalk: Believe Women & Just Say No to Normalizing Nazis

    Dec 01 2017

    Ya’ll, it’s finally December. 2017 is nearing an end and the outrageous news cycle keeps churning. 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 sta...more

  • Backtalk: Louis C.K. & Election 2017

    Nov 16 2017

    Another episode, another week of yell-talking about the latest revelations of sexual harassment and assault. 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 terrible nonapology. 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...more

  • The Year That’s Lasted a Lifetime: An Election Retrospective

    Nov 08 2017

    It has been exactly 365 days since the election of Donald Trump. For many of us, that day marked the beginning of a year of resistance. In this election special, Bitch staff share what that fateful day sparked in us, how it changed us, and how it moved us to action. We are here for our community and invite you to share your stories with us on social media using #BitchVotes2017.

  • Backtalk: Indictment Day & Kevin Spacey

    Nov 03 2017

    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 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 ...more

  • Backtalk: Weinstein, #MeToo, Everything is Terrible

    Oct 19 2017

    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 the...more

  • Backtalk: Lone Wolf Myth & Kneeling for Justice

    Oct 06 2017

    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 he “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 wh...more

  • Backtalk: Jemele Is Not Wrong & The Emmys

    Sep 21 2017

    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 ...more

  • Big News for Popaganda

    Sep 14 2017

    We've got something to share this week and a special interview. Bitch Media Editorial Director Lisa Factora-Borchers talks with Sarah Mirk about her favorite memories over her four years hosting the show and what's next for her work-wise.

  • Backtalk Goes Back to School

    Sep 07 2017

    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 admi...more

  • Backtalk: Trump & Tina Fey Respond to Charlottesville

    Aug 24 2017

    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 fight...more

  • Food Writing

    Aug 17 2017

    Chow down on food politics. On this episode, three food writers of color talk about reshaping food media. It's often tricky to discuss race, gender, and class in the food industry! We hear from chef and "Racist Sandwich" podcast host Soleil Ho, Eater and A Hungry Society writer Korsha Wilson, and Thrillist editor Khushbu Shah.

  • Backtalk: Google Manifesto & Transphobia Is Not a Joke

    Aug 10 2017

    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...more

  • Beach Bodies

    Aug 03 2017

    Every body is a beach body, amiright? On this episode, we hit the sands of a nude beach, travel through the woods, and chat about eating cheeseburgers poolside in discussions about learning to love our bodies. Featuring fat-positive fashion blogger Jessica Torres, artist and model Sawyer DeVuyst, Jenny Bruso of Unlikely Hikers, and an oral history of the racial segregation of American pools.

  • Backtalk: Military Trans Ban & Limits of White Imagination

    Jul 27 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy dig into the latest in Trump BS 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? They also talk about latest news around a television project in th...more

  • Invisibility

    Jul 20 2017

    Seeing the unseen. We talk about the often-invisible work that goes into emotional labor with Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and hear from Andrea Ritchie, the author of Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color. Plus: new music from artist Julia Weldon.

  • Backtalk: Hollywood Shenanigans—Revenge Porn & Unequal Pay

    Jul 13 2017

    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-fiancé 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 convers...more

  • Life in Late Capitalism

    Jul 06 2017

    We hear three stories about the ways capitalism seeps into our ideas of success, failure, and freedom. Disability rights activist Stephanie Woodward tells us what it's like to occupy a Republican senators' office with a crew of wheelchair-using protesters. The co-founder of POOR magazine breaks down ways the United States makes it illegal to be poor. And a youth mentor shares her perspective on being a first-generation American who's expected to put her paycheck above all else.

  • Backtalk: Where’s the Justice? & Beguiling Whiteness

    Jun 29 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy discuss the disappointing verdicts in 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 rich...more

  • Redefining Dating

    Jun 22 2017

    Let's talk about sex! And also not having sex! This episode looks at how there's no such thing as "traditional" dating. Dating norms have evolved over our history and continue to grow and change as we have more freedom to define happiness for ourselves. We talk with Moira Weigel, the author of the book Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating, and the founder of NYC's meetup group for asexual and agender folks. Plus, sex positive selfie enthusiast Ev'yan Whitney interviews a very special person ab...more

  • Backtalk: Oh Really, Megyn Kelly? & Bustle’s Hustle

    Jun 15 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy get really, very, super frustrated about Megyn Kelly’s new NBC show where she’ll feature fake news, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. They also dig into how Bustle is trying to hustle their readers into giving up their personal information under the guise of delivering more personalized content—all the while ripping off Bitch Media’s donor circle name. And in the Petty Political Pminute, it’s all about Comey’s hearings and the lying, liar-ness of Trump.

  • Video Games and Identity

    Jun 08 2017

    Our Final Fantasy characters, ourselves. Writer Sam Riedel walks us through the ramifications of Gamergate and how role-playing games helped her articulate her trans identity. Then, we talk with scholar Saud Al-Zaid about the connection between massively popular first-person-shooter games like Call of Duty and the U.S. military.

  • Backtalk: White Supremacy Kills & DAPL Update

    Jun 01 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about the horrific attack in Portland by a known white supremacist and the newly-leaked documents that reveal that counterterrorism tactics were used against water protectors at Standing Rock to protect corporate interests. And in this Petty Political Pminute: What is going on with Trump’s handholding and handshakes?

  • Radical Science

    May 25 2017

    Behold! Using the power of science to interrogate societal assumptions around race and gender! We talk with experimental physicist Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein about the physics of melanin and then biologist and sociologist Shay-Akil McLean about decolonizing science—and the physical marks that inequality leaves on our bones.

  • Backtalk: Accountability of PWR BTTM & Murder of Jordan Edwards

    May 18 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy talk about what accountability looks like for two recent stories: the sexual assualt allegations against the queer punk band PWR BTTM and the murder of teenager Jordan Edwards at the hands of a police officer. They dig into what it looks like to be held responsible for one’s actions. In Mr. Toad Trump’s Wide Ride, they talk about Trump’s scandal around the firing of FBI director James Comey and the hearings with former Attorney General Sally Yates.

  • Money Feelings

    May 11 2017

    Hate the capitalist system, still have to earn a living. It's the way life goes. We talk with feminists about squaring their feelings about our exploitative economy with each person's need to make money and feel stable. This episode features real talk from Michelle Tea, Ashley C. Ford, Roan Boucher, and the crew behind the podcast Criminal.

  • Backtalk: May Day & Handmaid Horrors

    May 04 2017

    This week, Amy and Dahlia talk about May Day activism across the globe and the difficulties and opportunities in imagining work systems that work better. And they dig into The Handmaid’s Tale series, examining where the show diverges from the novel and what that might mean for the future of the series (hopefully that Offred leads the resistance and shows us how to take down a fascist authoritarian regime). In Mr. Toad Trump’s Wild Ride, they reflect on 100 days of the world’s oldest toddler bein...more

  • Queering Family Values

    Apr 27 2017

    "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 this episode, we're queering family values. We talk with two queer feminist activists about how they've redefined family values for themselves: Magaret Jacobsen and Yasmin Nair. 

  • Backtalk: So Many Feelings & Escapist TV

    Apr 20 2017

    This week Dahlia and Amy talk about feelings, all of them. They've got outrage fatigue with all of the bad news we're inundated with regularly and look at a couple of news items, on a global and local level, and talk about what they're able to control when everything feels out of control. From the "mother of all bombs" being pushed out of a cargo plane to revoking Title X, they parse out what they can do. One of the ways they cope with all of the worse news is through television, and they talk a...more

  • Journalism in a “Post-Truth” World

    Apr 13 2017

    What role did “The Apprentice” play in making its reality TV star our actual president? Sadly, a lot. Media critics Jennifer Pozner (of Women in Media and News) and Carlos Maza (of Vox) explain about how Donald Trump has changed the media landscape—and how satirists are doing the best job reporting on his constant and outrageous lies.

  • Backtalk: Pepsi Fail & The Harasser Factor

    Apr 07 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy chat about capitalism and cola in Pepsi’s latest absurdity of an ad starring Kendall Jenner, the most cheerful group of protestors, and a slew of asinine signs. And they discuss the latest in Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, and the $13 million in settlements that they’ve had to pay women who have accused him of sexual harassment. In lieu of the Mr. Toad Trump segment, we're introducing the Petty Political Pminute (we adore alliterations!) where we celebrate small victories whe...more

  • Where Abortion Is Illegal

    Mar 30 2017

    What happens when a country bans abortion? A dispatch from Chile, where abortion is completely illegal—but where money actually determines your options. For the first time in 30 years, feminists in Chile are hopeful their country will make abortions legal in some cases.   

  • Backtalk: Adichie's Transphobic Remarks & Trouble at Thinx

    Mar 23 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy discuss the latest in our problematic faves: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's transphobic remarks. Bitch Media's Global Feminism Writing Fellow, Aqdas Aftab's piece, "Reading Chimamanda Adichie Today: On Racism & Transphobia in Feminism," examines how Adichie's transphobic remarks is within the legacy of feminism itself and what that means for an intersectional, inclusive feminist movement. Thembani Mdluli's "When Callouts Become Anti-Black: On Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Tran...more

  • When Your Parents Are Deported

    Mar 16 2017

    Imagine coming home from school and your dad is gone. On this episode, we hear two stories of women who are trying to hold their families together while our immigration system tries to tear them apart.

  • Backtalk: Get Out & Uber Sexism

    Mar 09 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy are very excited to be spoiling Jordan Peele's debut film, Get Out, and to do a deep dive into all of the layers of celluloid. Get Out is full of memorable performances, a scary movie that reveals the horrors of racism, the compounding effects of microaggressions, and the brutal legacy of the enslavement of Africans in American history. And they discuss recent blog posts exposing systemic issues of sexism at Uber by woman engineer by Susan J. Fowler and how it's even pe...more

  • A Protest Is Not A Riot (Rebroadcast)

    Mar 02 2017

    The movements that have arisen recently to challenge racism and violence in our justice system have created not only discussion and outrage, but a cultural shift. Out of racism and violence and sexism has come creativity: songs, chants, art, policy ideas, creative ways to push back against power and re-imagine the way our world can be. On today’s show, we’re looking at the culture that has grown from recent protests—in Portland, in New York, in St. Louis, San Francisco, and Cleveland—from art ma...more

  • Backtalk: Milo's Demise & Vogue's Yellowface

    Feb 23 2017

    This week, Dahlia and Amy take small pleasures wherever they can get them, such as celebrating the public downfall of famed conservative troll, Milo Yiannopoulos. Writer Roxane Gay, who pulled her book from publishing with Simon & Schuster after they announced a book deal with Yiannopoulus, warns against praising a publishing house whose decisions around Milo were always about the bottom line. And they discuss a recent spread featuring model Karlie Kloss in yellowface in the latest issue of Vo...more

  • Who Writes Our History? (Rebroadcast)

    Feb 16 2017

    Our past isn’t static—what stories we tell about our history depend on who’s doing the telling. On this episode, we look at three ways of reclaiming narratives, talking with comedian Negin Farad (author of “How to Make White People Laugh”), hearing from historian Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz (author of “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States”), and discussing the legacy of baller and brawler blueswoman Bessie Smith.

  • Backtalk: Bey’s Announcement & Sundance Showdown

    Feb 09 2017

    Sound the air horn and let the confetti fly, Dahlia and Amy talk about Beyoncé's beautiful pregnancy announcement and what's behind the imagery with Cate Young, Bitch Media's 2016 Pop Culture Criticism Fellow. They also look at the "heated debate" between Jessica Williams and Salma Hayek at a Sundance luncheon, and how you don't have to be white woman to practice White Feminism. Plus: a new segment to look at some awful Trump-related news, in Mr. Toad Trump's Wild Ride.

  • Growing Up Immigrant (Rebroadcast)

    Feb 02 2017

    Stories of children of immigrants are rarely seen in our pop culture. We share personal stories of growing up in immigrant families from a poet, linguist, filmmaker, activist, and journalist.

  • Backtalk: Trump's Toxic First Days & Women's March

    Jan 26 2017

    This week on Backtalk, Amy and Dahlia try to address the nightmare we’ve been plunged into: finding hope and optimism where it exists but not forgetting to be honest about the pessimism and reality we face. We don’t have all the answers to what we do now, but we do know that honesty and telling the truth about what’s happening is always the right thing to do. Amy and Dahlia share perspectives on the Women’s March, the Inaugural address, and Trump’s terrible and toxic first days.

  • Laughing at Tyrants

    Jan 19 2017

    Donald Trump hates it when you laugh at him. Comedian Aparna Nancherla joins us to talk about embracing comedy to cope with dark times. Also, the leader of Detroit’s Satanic Temple fills us in on using Satanism as activism.

  • Backtalk: Golden Globes & White Nationalist Book Deal

    Jan 12 2017

    This week on Backtalk, Dahlia and Amy dig into the recent Golden Globes with some highlights, lowlights, and Meryl Streep's anti-Trump acceptance speech for her lifetime achievement award. One of the highlights included Tracee Ellis Ross's win for her work on Black-ish, where she dedicated her award to women of color. The last time a Black woman won this award was in 1983 when Debbie Allen was given the award. They also talk about the controversial book deal by publisher Simon & Schuster with...more

  • Fembots

    Jan 05 2017

    From Metropolis to Westworld, we look at the history of female robots onscreen—and how stories about robots grapple with issues of gender, power, and control. This episode features scholars Allison de Fren, Margaret Rhee, and Miriam Sweeney discussing Her, Ex Machina, the Stepford Wives, and the real-world labor dynamics behind virtual assistants like Siri.

  • Backtalk: Best Wishes for 2017

    Dec 29 2016

    Amy and Dahlia share six wishes for 2017, and talk about Saturday Night Live, good trouble, and the best cable channels to have when you’re home with your family. Plus reminiscing about Felicity’s epic haircut.

  • Women and Pain

    Dec 22 2016

    Caroline had a mystery. Unfortunately, it was a mystery coming from inside her body. On this episode, we talk about gender bias in healthcare and how pain women experience is all-too-often diminished, dismissed, and disbelieved. Feministing editor Maya Dunseberry joins us to talk about her upcoming book "Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick" and writer Sam Riedel shares stories of trans women who report PMS-like symptoms. Plu...more

  • Backtalk: Bitch Media Turns 20!

    Dec 15 2016

    Party like it’s 1996! Listeners share stories of the first time they read Bitch and became radical teenagers. Plus, big news about the future of Backtalk—meet your new co-host Dahlia Grossman-Heinze!