Welcome to Secret Feminist Agenda, a new podcast project by one half of the team behind Witch, Please. Every week I’m going to talk to a feminist about their nefarious and insurgent plans for overthrowing the patriarchy. So tell me: what’s your secret feminist agenda?
Episode 1.0: Let’s Start Something
Episode 1.1: Eyeliner & Astrology With Xine Yao
Episode 1.2: Social Media & Moana With Lucia Lorenzi
Episode 1.3: Little Tiny Things and Big Huge Questions With Rebecca Caines and Michelle Stewart
Episode 1.4: Hufflepuff Self Care With Kaarina Mikalson
Episode 1.5: Can(n)ons & Revolutions With Andrea Hasenbank
Episode 1.6: Taking Up Space & Feeling Safe With Leslie Allin
Episode 1.7: Basic Witches With Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman
Episode 1.8: Rising Signs & Anticapitalist Poetry With Adèle Barclay
Episode 1.9: Emoji Faces & Feminist Friendship With Erin Wunker
Episode 1.10: Baby Noises & Decoding Toxic Masculinity With Brenna Clarke Gray
Episode 1.11: Lazy Women & Eating the Rich With Cynara Geissler
Episode 1.12: Embracing “Good Enough” With Cynara Geissler Part Two!
Episode 1.13: Laughing Disparagingly at the Google Memo Dude With Aadita Chaudhury
Episode 1.14: Doctor Who & Planning Podcasts in Pools With Eugenia and Toya
Episode 1.15: Rethinking Podcasts With This Guy (Points at Self)
Bonus Episode: Podcasting, Public Scholarship, and Accountability
Bonus Episode: Tis The Season for Feeling Feelings
Welcome to Secret Feminist Agenda! Every week* I’ll be interviewing a feminist about how they undermine the cisnormative heteronormative ableist imperialist white supremacist capitalist patriarchy in their own lives. Mostly I just want to talk to amazing humans about how they enact resistance in both large and small ways. Get ready for laughter and tears and extensive profanity.
So tell me: what’s your secret feminist agenda?
It’s here! The first official episode! Join me as I talk cut-creases, deadlifting, and ill-advised teenage atheism with academic and podcaster Xine Yao. If you want more to read/listen to on these topics, here are some suggestions:
- Check out Virgie Tovar’s Take the Cake column on Ravishly
- Learn more about What We Mean When We Say Femme over on Autostraddle
- Read Why Do Queers Love Astrology by Chani Nicholas
- Listen to Xine’s podcast PhDivas!
Xine’s theme song is “History Maker” by Dean Fujioka, aka the opening credit song to Yuri!!! On Ice. Watch/listen here.
We’re back, and this time we’re chatting with academic, activist, and artist Lucia Lorenzi about her love for Moana and Maleficent, Twitter as a platform for feminist activism, and why sometimes it’s okay to not be okay. Here’s some conversation-adjacent reading:
- A few thoughts on Why We Need a Female Doctor in Doctor Who
- Some articles from teen-led feminist magazine Affinity about Why Moana Is Important and What It Missed
- A fantastic article/podcast about Self Care As Political Warfare — especially for Black women
Lucia’s theme song is “Cranes in the Sky” by Solange. Watch the incredible music video here and then go buy the entire album.
This episode is brought to you courtesy of backyard wine and BBQ tacos! Sit in on my conversation with Rebecca Caines and Michelle Stewart, brilliant academics and artists and activists and collaborators from the University of Regina. Our conversation ranges from leg hair to police brutality with a few stops in between. As per usual, here are a few links relevant to the episode:
- Go learn about the work Rebecca and Michelle are doing
- Check out the resources I mention on what to do instead of calling the police (shout-out to Sylvie for sharing them!)
- Read some more about women’s friendships
- Go look at pictures of women’s hairy legs until it’s so normal to you that you’ll never second-guess it again in your life! THANKS!
I wanted you to hear this episode so badly that I went and got new cords for my recording set-up AND THEN I upgraded to the “Pro” level of Hindenburg so I could get noise reduction. Just saying. Come hang out with me and Kaarina while we drink wine on opposite sides of this big dumb continent and talk about self care, Hufflepuff style.
- If you don’t have a personal Kaarina, or even if you do, here are some questions to ask yourself before giving up
- And here’s one of my favourite poems of all time, inspired by that article!
- Speaking of self care, you should be following brilliant journalist Vicky Mochama‘s series about how Canadians make space for themselves
- Want to try traveling alone? Here are some tips!
This episode is a first: that is, the first podcast episode I’ve recorded with brilliant scholar and politicker Andrea Hasenbank in which we were both stone cold sober (if you want to know what I’m talking about, give this and this a listen). It’s charming nonetheless, and so coherent, as we get into questions of which knowledges are valued and which aren’t, how to build a sustainable democratic society, and what feminists have to contribute to academia, activism, and politics. If you want to follow up on some of the topics in this episode, here are some starting points:
- First off, my recommendations: the movie and the book and while we’re at it here’s a whole thread on Black women writers
- While you’re at it, why don’t you listen to this episode of Fresh Air featuring a great interview with Jessica Williams
- If you want to read more of Andrea’s thoughts on canons and why they suck, CanCon for Crooks is a great place to start
- One day, if I’m lucky, I’ll have brilliant Indigenous scholar Zoe S. Todd on this podcast, but until then read her thoughts on tenderness in academia
Andrea’s theme song is “Rise Up (With Fists!!)” by Jenny Lewis and the Watson Twins. The video is great.
Content warning for racial violence and sexual assault.
This week I’m joined by my dear friend Leslie Allin. We did our PhDs together, but we actually didn’t get together to discuss white masculinity in Victorian adventure fiction. Leslie is also a Wen-Do instructor, and she joined me to talk about women learning to claim our space. Before we get into that, here are some relevant readings (as promised) on whiteness and white supremacy:
- Get started with some essential reading on fighting white supremacy by the ever-brilliant Ijeoma Oluo, then go pre-order her new book
- Learn about Carol Anderson’s concept of white rage in this original opinion piece or the full-length book on the subject
- This great interview on the history of whiteness introduces some key concepts
- Did you hear that Claudia Rankine’s new work is also about understanding whiteness and white supremacy?
- We can’t just think about white supremacy as an American issue. Read Zoe Todd’s twitter thread on what white supremacy looks like in Canada, then get a copy of Chelsea Vowel’s Indigenous Writes and Graham Reynolds’s Viola Desmond’s Canada and get informed.
Leslie’s theme song is “Fuck You” by The Bug featuring Warrior Queen. You can listen to the whole song here.
This week I’m joined by authors/witches extraordinaire Jaya Saxena and Jess Zimmerman to talk about their forthcoming book Basic Witches (preorder it here!). If you’re in the New York area, you can head to the launch at The Astoria Bookshop on August 29th! If you think Jaya and Jess sound dope as heck (which they are, why not check out some of the other stuff they’ve written?
- Jess references this piece about cultivating ugliness, which is part of her “Role Monsters” series (go read all of them, they’re all great)
- Want some more Jess? Of course you do. Here it is.
- This book isn’t Jaya’s first witch-rodeo (first coven meeting? first midnight gathering?) either, as this great Kitchen Witch piece demonstrates
- Actually, while you’re at it, check out all of Jaya’s work for The Toast (including her brilliant collaborations with Matt Lubchansky) and then go read her new stuff on Elle.com
Jaya and Jess’s theme song is “Witch” by The Bird and the Bee. Go listen to it.
We’re back, and only a little late, to talk about astrology, witchcraft, poetry, and queer love with the brilliant Adèle Barclay. You’ll probably want to:
- Read some of Adèle’s work (and buy her book!)
- Figure out your own rising sign
- Find out the details of this Joss Whedon nonsense
- Read up on UBC Accountable
- And on the off-chance that you don’t already, go listen to Buffering the Vampire Slayer
Adèle’s theme song is “Pure Desire” by SHEER MAG. Check it out.
Apologies if I sound a little drunk on the sheer joy of friendship in this episode. I was. Come hang out with me and Erin Wunker — academic, activist, award-winning author, and all-around treasure of a human being — as we talk about the politics of accessibility in feminist writing and also make emoji faces at each other for five minutes. If you want to learn more about her, or other topics this episode covers, here you go:
- Read about Erin’s book Notes from a Feminist Killjoy: Essays on Everyday Life, and then order yourself a copy
- You should probably be following Hook&Eye if you have any relationship to academia whatsoever, but I particularly recommend her pieces on Reading as Resistance, on Gratitude and Feminist Work, and on Surthrival
- And for a peek at the important work CWILA does, read Erin in conversation with Vivek Shraya
- Don’t forget to read a little more on Kate Millet and her legacy!
Erin’s theme song is “Leather Jacket” by Thunderbitch. Listen to the whole thing here.
There’s a lot of really great stuff in this episode: a wide range of exciting sounds from Baby Groot, discussions of feminist and academic mothering, and of course some generalized rage directed toward toxic masculinity. Not to mention our illustrious guest, Brenna Clarke Gray, academic and author and public intellectual. All that, framed by my thoughts on navigating diet culture, and the first ever instalment of Kaarina’s Cozy Self-Care Corner! And of course, some readings:
- Brenna’s writing is all over the danged Internet, including BookRiot and Graphixia and her own TinyLetter
- Her piece on UBCAccountable is particularly worth reading!
- Oh, also this piece about how female friendship is a radical act! Seriously, read this one.
Brenna’s theme song is a beautiful cover of Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” by The Once. You can listen to the whole thing here.
For this episode, I made an extremely fancy vegan charcuterie board and invited the always-immaculate Cynara Geissler over to talk about that thing where we’ll all slowly working ourselves to death in a desperate bid to prove our worth. You know, just a light summer afternoon chat. In addition to being a brilliant thinker on the intersections between class, gender, and disability, Cynara is also the marketing manager at Arsenal Pulp Press and the writer of many wonderful things. Here are links to some of them!
- Cynara’s iconic piece on Toddler Grandma Style is a must-read, but if you want to by a Cynara completist try this Fat Acceptance primer, and then go buy yourself a copy of Lessons from the Fat-o-Sphere
- Cynara also recommends Brené Brown’s work on vulnerability and guess what she has a Ted Talk
- This week Kaarina taught us all about the gloomy octopus and their underwater cities
- If you’re interested in learning more about the housing crisis in Vancouver, this review of the documentary No Fixed Address is a good start and this interview a more thorough follow-up
Cynara’s theme song is “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore. Why don’t you go watch an awesome live version of it.
Content warning for depression and suicide.
HEY GUESS WHAT there was still so much good stuff leftover from last week’s conversation with the very brilliant Cynara Geissler that I just went ahead and made it a two-parter. In this episode we ask what it would mean to embrace “good enough” and to learn to be much more tender with ourselves. I also spend a whole bunch of time talking about de-stigmatizing mental health issues in professional and academic settings and, I’m not gonna lie, it gets pretty real. You know what else is real? These really good links I’m giving you:
- Did you know that half of all PhD Students experience mental health struggles during their degrees? It’s true! And the more we talk about it, the less stigmatized it’ll be!
- Speaking of talking about things, here’s Melissa Dalgleish’s wonderful piece on being our whole selves as academics; I found it incredibly moving, and I bet you will, too!
- We talk a lot about feminism (obvi) and being good enough, and that made me think about Roxane Gay’s bad feminist manifesto (read on for an incredible list of tips on being friends with women, and then go buy Bad Feminist because it’s really great)
Cynara’s theme song is “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore.
I’m back, babes, and better than ever, or rather, not actively sick any more. And after spending some time talking about sickness and rest (with some reading recommendations below), I’m thrilled to be bringing you my conversation with PhD student and feminist shit-talker Aadita Chaudhury. After Aadita tells me exactly what STS is (you have to listen to find out), we smack talk Radiolab and sing the praises of Hidden Figures. You’re gonna love it. You know what else you’re gonna love? These links:
- First off, go follow Aadita on Twitter. You won’t regret it.
- I reference two articles this episode: Johanna Hedva’s Sick Woman Theory and Kendra Marks’ The Idea of Rest. Go read them now. Content warnings for discussions of sexual and racial violence.
- Aadita name checks some other awesome feminist science folks, including christine liu and Judy Wacjman (you know, if you want more smart science and technology feminists in your life). (Which you probably do.)
- Obviously go watch Hidden Figures if you have’t already, but either way here’s some supplementary reading on the role of Black women in the Space Race.
Aadita’s theme song is “Train Song” by Vashti Bunyan. Listen to it in its soothing entirety.
Content warning for sexual violence.
Hahaha remember when I wasn’t sick for a second there? I do. Those were the days/lungs. Anyway, I’m here, and I’m a little late but I’m super pumped to bring you my conversation with Eugenia and Toya, the brilliant women behind the podcast Woke Doctor Who. We talk about finding space for critique within your fandoms and why more women of colour need to start podcasts. Before we get to that, I spend a little time thinking out loud about #metoo and what it tells us about the unspoken realities of sexual violence in women’s lives. And, of course, there’s another unbelievably soothing instalment of Kaarina’s Cozy Self-Care Corner to look forward to!
- Former guest and friend-of-the-podcast Lucia Lorenzi was interviewed about #metoo and the burden it places on survivors in the goddamn Washington Post
- If you want to share some resources on ending rape culture with the men in your lives, here’s an intro to Rape Culture 101, a quick list of things men can do, and a beautiful piece on teaching men not to rape
- I reference this fabulous piece on curative versus transformation fandom in my conversation with Eugenia and Toya, and you should read it, too!
- And finally, because it’s been a hard week, here’s a series of GIFs of women fucking shit up
Eugenia and Toya’s theme song is “Dr. Feelgood” by Aretha Franklin. Listen to it all here.
Welcome to the end of the beginning! By which I mean, it’s time for a wee little break in this here podcast while we sort a few things out, most especially how we’re going to go about peer reviewing it (surprise! this podcast is going to be peer reviewed! maybe! somehow!). If you’d like to be part of the amazing process of helping me to develop new forms of public, feminist, community accountable peer review, here’s your chance. Just comment on this post. Here are some questions you might consider:
- What do you think of the format? Do you like the length? Do you wish the interviews were longer or shorter? What about the intros?
- What are your thoughts on the guests/topics thus far? Are there specific people you’d like me to invite or topics you’d like me to tackle?
- What’s one thing that’s really working for you? What’s one thing you’d change, if you were the boss of me?
- If you’re a scholar, or have opinions on scholarship: what makes Secret Feminist Agenda scholarly, or not scholarly, in your opinion?
Don’t feel limited by these questions if you have totally different things you’d like to write about. Oh, and don’t worry: there’s still a self-care corner on this mini episode.
DID YOU MISS ME duh of course you did. I’m back temporarily to share with you a talk that I gave in October for SFU’s Open Access Week. This talk delves a little deeper into what I’ve learned about public scholarship from podcasting, and why I think community accountability ought to matter more than institutional gatekeeping. If you want to follow along, here are a few useful links:
- A lot of my thinking on this topic is inspired by Moya Bailey‘s work, particularly her paper #transform(ing)DH Writing and Research: An Autoethnography of Digital Humanities and Feminist Ethics
- This talk also draws in part on another essay I wrote on podcasting and Witch, Please
- For a quick summary of the Third World Quarterly debacle, read this
- If you haven’t listened to the Witch, Please episode I reference, it’s here (and it’s actually a great episode to listen to if you aren’t normally a Witch, Please listener)
You’ll here from me again in a couple of weeks! (Want to know what for? listen to the episode!)
Happy Solstice! We’re right in the thick of the holiday season (with the whoop-de-do and hickory dock) and all of the rich complexities of emotional experience that accompany this time of year. So in honour of all of that, Kaarina and I are bringing you a festive minisode about taking care of yourself at the holidays. And to get yourself into the festive mood, why don’t you check out this very special playlist I made for just this occasion?
Warning: it has made me cry every time I’ve listened to it.
My theme song is “White Wine in the Sun” by Tim Minchin. Listen to it all here.