In no particular order…
Inner Hoe Uprising - black feminist podcast out of NYC, about relationships, sex, and more.
Cuck Queen - On an open relationship and taking pleasure in her partner’s pleasure
Hidden Brain - mostly human psychology
Red Brain, Blue Brain - on partisanship
RedScare *Trigger warning: the podcast is centred around neoliberal and cultural critique, but the language/ideas can be insensitive or offensive. Many of the ideas offer a lot of critical insight for the left, though, worth a listen whether or not you agree with their ideas/approach as a whole.
On The New Yorker Festival “The Female Gaze”
Aufhebunga Bunga - international politics, socialist theory and critique
Amber A’Lee Frost - on feminism and #metoo
Anna Khachiyan - also on #metoo, gender roles, and narcissism
+ LOTS of amazing coverage of the Brazil election and fallout:
Commons - Canadian longform politics podcast produced by Canadaland
Clean Drinking Water in Canada
(All the episodes from last April through May are incredible, touching on very relevant and important topics in Canada.)
Jacobin - American leftist publication’s amalgamation of podcasts
Lisa Duggan on the open secret
Canadaland - independent podcast critical of Canadian media and reporting
Sheila Heti and Rachel Cusk
Ear Hustle - a podcast out of San Quentin Penitentiary
Cellies - cellmates in prison
Invisibilia - on human behaviour
The Personality Myth
The Heart (Archive) - Really incredible podcast about gender, love, sex, relationships
No: Part 1 (Trigger warning)
No: Part 2 (Trigger warning)
No: Part 3 (Trigger warning)
The Moth - people telling stories
Environment - Two Ways to Save the Planet
Poetry Off the Shelf
Poetry Rituals - on creative process
Red Man Laughing - Indigenous life, experience, and activism by comedian, reporter, etc. Ryan Mcmahon
This supreme court ruling is some first rate bullshit.
It’s widely known that Justin Trudeau has completely balked on any meaningful commitments he made to Canadians and Indigenous nations towards reconciliation, including falling way behind on bringing clean drinking water to Indigenous communities in crisis across Canada. This recent ruling is another very painful, very obvious indicator that the government is unconcerned with Indigenous rights and urgent needs, regardless of what they say to the contrary.
Reconciliation is meaningless without real action, and excluding indigenous voices from consulting on important legislation, especially as it relates to land, water, and environmental issues is a massive fuck you to indigenous rights.
According to the CBC:
"Ottawa argued that [extending consultation obligations] would threaten parliamentary supremacy and undermine the role of Parliament…"
Of course it threatens parliamentary supremacy! The whole point is to redistribute power so that indigenous communities have greater influence over legislation that affects them directly (and the rest of Canada, because heads up, Indigenous communities are leading the fight in environmental protection).
The ONLY way towards meaningful reconciliation is the amplification of indigenous voices and decolonization.
I collect a lot of information via podcasts, and I've been trying to hone a collection of subscriptions with more critical Canadian and Indigenous perspectives. It's fitting that today I discovered that Ryan McMahon (who I know via Commons from Canadaland) has been running his own podcast for 6 years (!??) called Red Man Laughing, which he describes as:
"Independent, forward thinking conversations, investigations, and pontifications about the collision between Indian country and the mainstream."
Red Man Laughing is a part of a larger media platform also founded by McMahon called Indian and Cowboy, with a total of 10 podcasts from Indigenous creators on a variety of topics. I'm really excited to listen to and learn from them all.
In light of this disgusting ruling from the supreme court, go listen to some indigenous perspectives and get your head right, especially if you're a white person in Canada.
I'm listening to Decolonization > Reconciliation right now.
A great news source is APTN. Decolonize your news and get some perspective!
I’m also really keen to read Terese Marie Mailhot’s book called Heart Berries: A Memoir about her experience with trauma and healing (and much, much more, read the description through the link).
Mailhot also recently wrote an essay about coming of age ceremonies called A Woman, Tree or Not.
Here’s a list of recommendations outlining the Indigenous podcast scene.
Go follow Paul Seesequasis on Instagram: he posts archival images of Indigenous communities and people. It’s an important portal to representations you’d be unlikely to encounter anywhere else.
Just a reminder that Brett Kavanaugh is a fucking liar.
Beyond withdrawing his nomination to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh needs to be prosecuted for sexual assault and perjury for lying under oath.
Here's a succinct breakdown of his lies, and why each one matters.
I don't feel much hope for what evidence the FBI can unearth in a week, but I feel encouraged, at least, that the investigation has been opened to extend past the 4 witnesses they were originally restricted to - which, btw, did not include Ford herself, apparently.
If the GOP appoints Kavanaugh, it will be because of their total contempt for women, full stop. This is not a partisan issue, this is overt denial of basic human rights for women, overshadowed by the supreme privileges of a particular category of men.
Women are furious, and they should be.
There are many in support of Kavanaugh now complaining that the Democrats, women, and the #metoo movement have changed their tune, like this article in the National Review. They say that criticism of his conduct/temperament isn’t legitimate, because it’s natural that he should be angry.
*I’d just like to note that in this article, the writer, Rich Lowry, calls Dr. Ford and Kavanaugh’s testimonies “performances", which I think speaks to how he, and perhaps many others, perceive these proceedings.
I would say it’s accurate to call Kavanaugh’s testimony a performance, though, and his performance is the basis for his continued support in the face of Dr. Ford’s remarkable testimony. In the second sentence of that same article, the author states:
“After his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, delivered a compelling, sympathetic performance earlier in the day, Kavanaugh entered the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with his chances hanging by a thread. Commentators speculated about how he’d inevitably be dumped by the GOP. Instead, he transformed his situation with a sustained exercise in righteous indignation as forceful and compelling, in its way, as Clarence Thomas’s attack on a “high-tech lynching” that saved his nomination in 1991.”
Things looked bad for Kavanaugh by Lowry’s own admission, until Kavanaugh’s transformative performance. So yeah, it matters if the whole thing is a fucking lie.
This entire process has been deeply wearing for women everywhere. At first, I was having trouble understanding why it affected me personally. It’s because, once again, women are lead to the slaughter in the battle for power. We are once again left powerless, even when we’re represented by a flawless champion who was able to remain composed and assured in the most vulnerable moment of her life. The tremendous privileges she has otherwise been afforded still cannot stand against this absolute entitlement and exemption from accountability. Have no doubt: if it were anyone but the pedigreed and unblemished Dr. Ford coming forward with these allegations, we wouldn’t even have gotten as far as we’ve come.
Kavanaugh’s confirmation would be a heavy blow to all women, most significantly for his position on abortion. In case you’re not certain, abortion rights are absolutely a feminist issue (I couldn’t link to bell hooks, whose writing informs my ideas on this topic, but this article is helpful in addressing the complex links between women’s rights, abortion, and white supremacy.)
Although Kavanaugh evades questioning on Roe vs Wade, it’s widely accepted that his would be the vote needed to make abortion illegal. Some of his supporters have even declared they would still support him if he was found guilty of sexual assault, provided he follows through.
Kavanaugh’s performance last Friday was a rallying cry, and its working because it spoke to the fears of all those who support him. The men who have enjoyed continued privileges throughout their life certainly don’t want to be held accountable for anything they’ve done in the past, or are doing now. That’s why they’ll fight for what Kavanaugh represents, their right to act with total impunity, and their unquestionable authority over women’s bodies.
We need to leverage our own anger. Women need to support each other, and demand support from others, particularly the men around us who claim to be allies. We need to focus our efforts to our most urgent and intersectional crises, and stand together.
This Vox chart shows how many times Kavanaugh evaded questions vs Dr. Ford. Spoiler, he did it a lot, where she answered literally every single question.
I have two books about the power and history of women’s anger on my reading list: Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers her Superpower by Brittney Cooper and Rebecca Traister’s new book, Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger.
Here’s an interview with Traister on the same topics as the book discusses. And here’s an article that opposes Traister’s ideas (overall I think the criticisms are wrong, but the article is worth reading to understand how white women are frequently unwilling to accept responsibility for their role in the oppression of other women.)
I’ll be reading Cooper’s book first, for the reasons inspired by this meme (except on the topic of white appropriation of black thought.) I respect Traister a lot, and it would appear she does a thorough job crediting her sources, but that remains TBD.
The Current podcast produced an interview with instructions on how to argue, and discussing how the logic of math helps trace the root of contentious assumptions in argument. I think as I try to be a better ally to others, and champion issues important to me, this podcast provides some important and basic tools for more effective confrontation. If you have the capacity to employ these practices, I encourage it 💗💪
Something funny to end off with: 10 Paintings of Judith Beheading Holofernes
(added 04/10/2018) Stuff Mom Never Told You podcast on Angry Women
It's literally laughable that Ian Buruma justified publishing Ghomeshi's essay because he "wasn't hearing a lot of those perspectives" when SURPRISE! Harper's Magazine published a 7000 word essay by John Hockenberry in the same week.
Incredible news tho - Buruma's been fired from the NYRB !!! because of his interview with Slate, which is an amazing win that demonstrates the power of the #metoo movement (imo).
Let's get Rick MacArthur (president and publisher of Harper's) fired for this total train wreck of an interview with Anna Maria Tremonti.
In his first sentence, he wants to “point out that John Hockenberry is in a wheelchair" Cause, you know, how could he be guilty of sexual harassment or assault? And it just gets worse from there.
Jesse Brown covers how some of this all ties together with Anne Kingston (of Maclean's) in the most recent Canadaland podcast. Worth a listen.
(It's not up on their website yet, so I linked to their apple podcast. It's the first one called 'Good Job Twitter Mob' which is in reference to the fact Buruma said in an interview that he was fired because of Twitter. LOL.)
Men who are so shockingly out of touch with urgent and contemporary issues - nevermind the fact they didn’t BOTHER to inform themselves of the nuances of the allegations against these men prior to releasing such sensitive and contentious material - should not be running prestigious, “progressive,” magazines.
If you're going to read Jian Ghomeshi's piece in the New York Review of Books, you should also read a piece by at least one of his 24 victims. I suggest this one, by Kathryn Borel, from 2014. It's a personal account, like Ghomeshi's, and it's only half the length.
And here's some additional ideas to consider:
What justification did the NYRB give for providing this platform to Ghomeshi?
This interview with the editor, Ian Buruma, is brutal through and through, but here's an excerpt that summarizes things pretty well.
"The exact nature of [Ghomeshi's] behaviour—how much consent was involved—I have no idea, nor is it really my concern. My concern is what happens to somebody who has not been found guilty in any criminal sense but who perhaps deserves social opprobrium, but how long should that last, what form it should take, etc."
And he wanted Ghomeshi to write about it because
"...it is an angle on an issue that is clearly very important and that I felt had not been exposed very much."
Except the NYRB does A LOT to give men a platform. They only publish 23.3% women. Which the editor justifies by saying
"I don’t believe in quotas. I believe in having things that are of the greatest interest."
This makes me think of something a friend recently posted - are these mens' opinions and cultural contributions so irreplaceable? We can't find women, or even other men creators, who are as insightful, or who offer such fresh perspectives, as these men who have sexually harassed and assaulted people? And if we can't find anyone who doesn't have a clean slate, doesn't that prove with even more urgency what a crisis, what an epidemic, we have on our hands??
Oh and if the NYRB had asked a woman to write this piece, in example Kathryn Borel, to explain how she thinks Ghomeshi's "social opprobrium" should go? She probably would have said
"We need real accountability, and real introspection. If not, more monsters will be created, and more people will be hurt."
(cause that's a direct quote).
Ghomeshi's NYRB essay is a pity party for himself. Is it bringing more nuance to the table? Does it actually propose "how long he should be held accountable", and "what form that should take"? No, just that it's already been so hard, and he's suffered enough, in his opinion.
This article does actually bring a fresh perspective on accountability and justice, and from a man! (so don't worry, men in general still have a platform, just hopefully not the specific one who committed violent acts of sexual assault)
And does the platform the NYRB provides overtly undermine the #metoo movement (which Ian Buruma claims to support)?
Well, all I can say is the editor's interests in publishing Ghomeshi's piece cite many of the same reasons #metoo deniers fear the movement, as far as I've observed. They're worried about "how long is too long" and if the "movement has taken punishment too far". They're worried women can't distinguish between sexual harassment, assault, and rape (they can). They're worried about men's roles, and men's voices.
The NYRB's next issue is called "The Fall of Men", validating every #metoo denier’s deepest fears that the movement is out to take down all men indiscriminately, and set a lifelong embargo on their valuable cultural contributions and humanity.
Framing Ghomeshi’s pity-piece in the context of “The Fall of Men” is totally sensationalist and plays to the fears of those most ignorant to the #metoo movement. The NYRB is actively contributing to fear mongering against #metoo, and seeking to profit from it.
In my opinion, and, I believe, in the majority opinion of those who support it, the #metoo movement is about addressing the crisis of sexual harassment, assault, and rape women endure on a daily basis. The issue of #metoo is exactly about the importance and definition of consent.
You know why it feels like you haven't heard a take like Ghomeshi's recently? Because it doesn't address any of the relevant issues relating to #metoo. And when the editor who published his work says things like:
"The exact nature of his behaviour—how much consent was involved—I have no idea, nor is it really my concern."
That really says it all. Ghomeshi's take isn't fresh. It's what he's been saying since he was first accused, and it's what men have been saying on repeat throughout the #metoo movement.
The reason this piece was commissioned is because consent isn't really Ian Buruma's concern. But if he's so concerned with the "nuance" the #metoo movement apparently fails to achieve, maybe Buruma should also concern himself with the nuances of the allegations against Ghomeshi, instead of treating the issue as black and white, and deeming those allegations unimportant because Ghomeshi was legally acquitted, and thus, in the eyes of Buruma, unequivocally innocent, and deserving of a platform.
Finally, a couple more links:
Here’s some fact-checking from Jesse Brown to refute Ghomeshi’s downplaying of the accusations against him.
This is an article from Ruth Spencer, a woman who dated Ghomeshi for 5 months, shortly before he was fired.
And this is a podcast episode from a really incredible podcast, Ear Hustle. The podcast recounts experiences of the inmates in San Quentin Correctional Facility, and the episode is about restorative justice. It’s in the context of sex trafficking, so the situations are more extreme, but themes of accountability, apology, and forgiveness ring true.