We talk with authors Mary HK Choi and Liana Finck about their delightful new books. Plus, what we're reading: fiction, memoir and actionable non-fiction about climate change. Share your reading list on instagram with #cygbooks.
In vintage CYG fashion, Amina and Ann discuss their Harry Potter houses (as sorted by Gina) and then move on to sadder and more serious subjects: gun violence, a check-in on #MeToo and our love for Toni Morrison.
Personal shero and labor innovator Ai-jen Poo joins us to discuss the politics of domestic work. How we can think about and pay for help with children, elders, and housework more fairly and comprehensively.
Poverty need not exist in the U.S. So what can we do about it? We talk with Annie Lowrey about universal basic income and her deeply reported (and kinda radical) book, Give People Money.
Give People Money
It's Q3 and we're hitting our stride: heading out on tour and really feeling ourselves... enraged. As are some listeners who have written in about recent ad campaigns.We respond to criticism about our ad choices, note pushback against other small women-owned businesses, and how many critiques fall disproportionately to Amina, personally. There no ethical consumption under capitalism. (And, fwiw, the Koch brothers do not own Coca-Cola.) Plus, Serena's righteous rage on the tennis court. And a new petty anger corner, where we share our hilariously mundane gripes.
We're going on tour!
Our Businesswoman Special episode
Serena’s justified rage
Claudia Rankine on Serena / Citizen
As some of our faves' fave women face charges of abuse and impropriety, we dig into the deeper meaning of #metoo. From feminist critics rushing to the defense of an NYU professor whose texts and emails paint a damning picture of her relationship with a grad student, to accusations against Weinstein survivor Asia Argento (more damning texts), to himpathy for Louis C.K., we look at the many ways people we like or agree with have caused harm. In some cases, in deep contrast to the ideals they profess. Artist Jenny Holzer put it best: abuse of power comes as no surprise.
Asia Argento accusations
Response from Tarana Burke
Avital Ronell accusations
Responses from Andrea Long Chu // Judith Butler // Chris Kraus
The “Cool” Pope
Let's talk about race, baby, and what white people really mean when they say they don't see it. Whether it's willful ignorance about collective racial identity or an unexpectedly defensive flare-up from someone who claims to be progressive or an intersectional feminist, white fragility has serious consequences. We discuss its impact on people of color with Rachel Cargle, and explore ways for white people to break down internal barriers to growth with Robin DiAngelo. If you are white and listening to this, stick with it, even if you're confused or uncomfortable.
White Fragility book
Robin DiAngelo's resources
Rachel Cargle's website and Instagram
Remember that November 9th feeling? We'd like to move in the other direction, so we're donating money, making calls, and shining a light on the people we'd like to see in office instead. We talk with with state-level candidates we're supporting: Cynthia Nixon in New York and Felicia French in Arizona. Christine Hallquist is trans and just became the Democratic nominee for governor in Vermont. Plus, shoutouts to Congressional candidates Abby Finkenauer in Iowa; Lauren Underwood in Illinois; Ilhan Omar in Minnesota; and Rashida Tlaib in Michigan.
Gettable Senate seats
Cynthia Nixon for NY governor
Felicia French for AZ state legislature
Abby Finkenauer in Iowa congressional race
Lauren Underwood Illinois congressional race
Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Christine Hallquist in VT governor’s race
Also! STOP KAVANAUGH Day of Action
Amina and Ann are writing a book! It's a memoir-manifesto called Big Friendship, and, as we kick off the writing process we're answering some of your friendship questions. Friendships where privilege gets in the way. Friendships where one of you has moved on and doesn't know how to talk about it. Friendships that are post-breakup. Friendships where fat shaming comes into play.
Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) joins us to discuss her policy goals and accomplishments. She believes there is room for optimism even in Ivanka’s dad’s America. Plus, her yes vote on SESTA, safety for sex workers, and why addressing race is a national security imperative (as well as a moral one).
Harris-Rand op-ed on bail reform
Harris statement on SESTA
Smart on Crime by Kamala Harris
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We love a money diary, even if the internet hated a recent one in Refinery29 about a marketing intern who makes $25/hour and has significant family support to afford her life. In the interest of transparency, we get real about how much we make, where it comes from, secret white people money, emotional spending, and what it means to be self-made.
Shouldn't we all have a personal code for how we internet? Through the mini saga of plane bae, how we're conditioned to indulge in hetero-patriarchal fantasies. When internet fascination turns to outrage, no surprise, women pay the price. TV networks that juice social media storylines do not. Just because someone's account is unlocked doesn't mean you should publicize their posts, at least not without permission. Plus, the hosts of Unladylike are diving deep into the Equal Rights Amendment and its (possible!) future.
Why plane bae was so fucked up / Apology
ERA campaign from Unladylike
We step back from Cheeto-induced chaos in the U.S. and take a global view. Protests at the World Cup in Russia. The politics of globalization and migration on and off the pitch. In China, the government is cracking down on women organizing online. In Nepal, menstrual stigma risks the lives of women and girls. In slightly better news, women in Egypt are working to end gender-based violence, starting with the men who drive cabs and tuk-tuks.
Russia: Hidden Flag / Pussy Riot World Cup protests
China: Women factory workers’ networking group shut down
Nepal: Menstruation taboo leading to deaths / ZanaAfrica
Egypt: Iman El-Mahdi of CARE Egypt / Circles of Change program
Everybody poops and we're finally talking about it all: Period poops. The pleasure of getting regular. Checking your stool as an indicator of health. Eliminating poop shame and stigma. The pleasure of the bidet. And Dr. Susan Stryker on the unnatural social construct of sex-segregated public bathroom.
Everybody is constipated by Maggie Koerth-Baker at FiveThirtyEight
The Lily on documenting their poop for the duration of the month
“America has softened on stool.”
Oprah was on this tip back in 2005 / clip
Tushy, SquattyPotty, Poo Drops
Bristol stool scale
Mona Chalabi on stress and rectal bleeding
Susan Stryker: Everybody poops. No one should be stigmatized for it.
We're at the library, on the beach, and by the pool with our noses in books/kindles. And you know we're all about the stories that share and expand on women's experiences. This week we hear from Jessica Knoll about The Favorite Sister, her novel full of murder and scandal set in the world of reality TV. Glynnis MacNicol's memoir No One Tells You This is full of dispatches on life after 40 when you don't follow a spouse-and-kids blueprint. Yrsa Daley-Ward is perhaps best known as a poet, and her new memoir The Terrible uses that precision of language and feeling to explore her youth.
Novels by Jessica Knoll: Luckiest Girl Alive, The Favorite Sister
...and essays: I Want to Be Rich and I’m Not Sorry, What I Know (trigger warning: description of sexual assault)
No One Tells You This by Glynnis MacNicol
Bone and The Terrible by Yrsa Daley-Ward
Share your faves using #cygbooks!
After a week of upheaval in legal doctrine, the Supreme Court issued another shocking decision: Justice Anthony Kennedy is stepping down. Legal writer (and icon) Dahlia Lithwick explains why Kennedy has never been a centrist, reviews some of the landmark cases Kennedy decided, and previews the likely jurisprudence to come. (Hint: it’s about as scary as you think.) A small silver lining: progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her Congressional primary thanks to grassroots support. Plus, we're working on our protest signs and fundraising with friends.
Dahlia Lithwick on the “fan fic” that Kennedy was a moderate
If all goes well in November, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Flippable / Indivisible / Sister District / Run for Something / Swing Left
Donate, Protest, Midterm Elections is the new Gym, Tan, Laundry. Let's move from shock and despair at Ivanka's dad's inhumane immigration policy to reading history and taking action. The white women who defend Trump (and still get burned). Delightful quotes from Flo Kennedy: ''Sweetie,'' she said, ''if you're not living on the edge, then you're taking up space.'' Gina got a website! Bey and Jay's creative partnership and black art in white spaces. And the power of a bespoke suit.
Gina got a website!
Kirstjen Nielsen & complicit white women
Children ripped from their families: Native Americans, slaves, Japanese Americans
Democrats who paved the way for family separation
“Donate, Protest, Midterm Elections is the new Gym, Tan, Laundry.”
Flo Kennedy’s life, quotes, and public access show
June 30: March to Keep Families Together
Bey and Jay’s creative partnership, forgiveness, black art in white spaces
Emily Meyer suits / the power of bespoke
Remember when the question was, let me know when this administration gets really bad? Welcome to this week, especially for immigrants. We rage and discuss options for supporting people who are likely affected in your local community. Plus, loving ways to handle bouts of mental illness and depression within a friendship.
ShopCYG is back!
DOJ not interested in asylum
A small town in Tennessee deals with immigration raids
That Merkel photo
Voter-roll purges greenlit by SCOTUS
Why “You are loved” and “please reach out” aren’t good enough
Crisis text line: Text HOME to 741741 in the United States
Or call 1-800-273-8255
"The scam economy is entering its baroque phase." From Ponzi schemes to fake royals to imposters in the tech and wellness space, our guide to scammers both amusing and insidious.
Common grifters and their scams:Fake royals: Anna Delvey, fake-German-heiress scammer; the guy who impersonated a Saudi royal; fake British royal-adjacent Thomas J Mace Archer Mills Esq.Political grifters: Trump cabinet scammers: Pruitt (and his wife), Carson, Zinke; Ivanka; all Trumps, really; Jill Stein, recount scammerMessy bitches who live for drama: Joanne the Scammer; the ex-Vogue stafferSelf-declared saints: Pope Francis (and all popes, really); Justin Trudeau; John McCain“Wellness” icons: Gwyneth Paltrow; Amanda Chantal Bacon; related scammer: Alex JonesPyramid schemers: Bernie Madoff; the Vegan Bernie Madoff; multi-level marketingSilicon Valley tech-scammer: Elizabeth Holmes; so many dude “serial founders”
(Hint: you're already in one.) We talk about all the ways we’re feeling good in our bodies this summer; why body positivity is about working to make the world better for ALL kinds of bodies, not just your own; our favorite instagram accounts from people with a range of hot bods; microdosing, psychedelics, and other ways we get out of our heads and into our bodies.
Insta accounts we love
Jessamyn Stanley / Keah Brown / #DisabledAndCute / the thicc / She’s All Fat / Jacob Tobia / Tuesday Bassen / Muse Gold / Virgie Tovar / FatLeopard.jpeg / Myisha Battle
Lindy West on being a happy fat woman
Microdosing / Michael Pollan / Ayelet Waldman
A feminist guide to microdosing
Interview with our faves at She’s All Fat
We let our aggressive word nerd selves out to play. Why the Glass Cliff is an imperfect metaphor for women who get promoted after men fail (glass shovel, anyone?). Al Franken and what's next for #metoo men. Plus, your questions: is it okay to call a group of women "hey guys"? how do you deal with a fragile male ego at work? And, you donated 580 pints of blood in our drive, enough to save 1700 lives!
“The glass cliff”
Laura McGann on Al Franken + letters she’s gotten from men who miss him
Kate Manne on what misogyny is really about
Leeann Tweeden’s statement
What’s next for ‘Me Too’ men?
#MeToo doesn't lack nuance. Its critics do
The writings of Andrea Dworkin
Hey girl, we're furious and saddened about, well, a lot actually. First, that former New York AG and public feminist (TM) Eric Schneiderman has abused multiple women. Meanwhile in Iowa, that "fetal heartbeat" bill is really an abortion ban, intended to challenge Roe v. Wade. In Ireland, voters could repeal a constitutional ban on abortion, May 25. New research on the stress and financial strain of anti-abortion laws. And a palate cleanser: we love the web series Bad Ally, Naomi Alderman's book, The Power, and the nation of Australia.
With so much attention on Iran this week, we look at daily life for women. Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad joins us to discuss her campaign against compulsory hijab. Plus, how Western feminists and politicians can be better allies to women in Iran. Masih's soon-to-be-released memoir is The Wind in My Hair.
The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran by Masih Alinejad
My Stealthy Freedom campaign
Girls of Revolution Street
Wedding season is in full swing. Michelle Markowitz and Caroline Moss join us to discuss their book Hey Ladies, which chronicles the (fictional) emails among 8 BFFs in amid bachelorette party planning and wedding madness. We share our loves and gripes about weddings, group travel planning, and how to communicate better across budgets and desires.
We discuss the fears black customers face in stores and coffee shops (white people stop calling the cops!) Thank you to everyone who's been #bleedin4Amina, no thank you forever to human housecat Jonathan Chait's opinions about female politicians, and we are devastated about Shania Twain's support for Trump/inability to apologize like a proper Canadian.
Fear of A Black Patron
EYEROLL @ Jon Chait
We're taking 420 off to get stoned, but fear not, some of our favorite men are here to answer questions from listeners and some of ours, including: Why aren't men funny? Why are men so emotional all the goddamn time? And, can men have it all?
Thomas Page McBee
Chris Roan (aka Mr. Of a Kind)
Chris's skin care picks, Ezra's book list and more at callyourgirlfriend.com
A deep dive into some of the new books we're most excited about, with a focus on nonfiction: Brotopia by Emily Chang, Just the Funny Parts by Nell Scovell and Your Art Will Save Your Life by Beth Pickens.
Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chang
Just the Funny Parts: And a Few Hard Truths About Sneaking Into the Hollywood Boys’ Club by Nell Scovell
Your Art Will Save Your Life by Beth Pickens
Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
Back Talk by Danielle Lazarin
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch
We're together in NYC with the iconic Cecile Richards. Cecile is the president of Planned Parenthood, and announced earlier this year that she's stepping down. She tells us why she's leaving, how she felt after testifying before Congress for nearly five hours, and what's next. (A political career perhaps?) Her new book is Make Trouble with the #goals subtitle Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story. Come for the juicy behind-the-scenes memoir about the fight for repro rights and her front-row seat to her mom (and former Texas governor) Ann Richards' life and career. Stay for practical and inspiring ways to lead and make social change.
Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead--My Life Story
Cecile's 2015 testimony at Congress's sham anti-choice hearings
Color of Change
Texas Freedom Network
Stormy Daniels: politician, credible source, savvy scammer. Wild Wild Country is our new cult obsession. (Doesn't Amina have the makings of a good cult leader?) Learning new languages as an adult and we're still Bleedin' 4 Amina and discovering an international buffet of blood donation snacks along the way. A SESTA update. Plus, Aly Raisman is calling out concern-troll critics who re-victimize her fellow Olympic gymnasts.
Stormy Daniels is a boss
SESTA update: It passed
Wild Wild Country
Aly Raisman + leotard ban
Good and bad looks from RBG and Ivanka, respectively. The New York Times and National Geographic are reckoning with their legacies of racism and sexism in very different ways. A digression into Game of Thrones, Age of Adaline and the very dimply Michiel Huisman. An update from Patti Masciesz aka @artpatti on how CYG listeners have been billing the patriarchy! We love Drag Race! But have to drag some of RuPaul's outdated views on trans folk.
Remember to sign up for the blood drive!
Scrunchies never went away
Ivanka is dressed up like a scientist
NYT “Overlooked” obituary project
National Geographic’s racial reckoning / John Edwin Mason / Doreen St. Felix
You, too, can Bill the Patriarchy
RuPaul's disappointing views on trans people doing drag
Ellen meets Asia Kate Dillon
Slump days, ethical travel, and the dominatrix who makes her clients read black feminist theory. Sex workers say a bill meant to stop child trafficking would do more harm than good. Artist Patti Maciesz is invoicing her reps for all her unpaid work: childcare, missed opportunities, emotional labor and all. Plus, that time Amina coverted a Trump voter at the resort bar in Jamaica.
Shine Theory, millennial pinkwashing, and intellectual property in the internet age. Plus, women-only spaces for profit and for community.
Shine Theory / millennial pinkwashing
Appropriation in fashion
IP in the internet age
Jaclyn Friedman laying groundwork on consent
Audre Lorde laying groundwork on *everything*
NYC: The Wing and New Women Space
LA: Women's Center for Creative Work
Cramps, hysterectomies and the quest to make doctor's believe women's pain. An update from Amina about her cancer journey. Our #bleedin4amina blood drives start this month. Mike Pence's abortion delusions. Parkland teens are amazing. What if Black Lives Matter teen organizers got the same love and support?
Gina takes over the host seat to discuss bisexuality. First, professor and psychologist Jennifer Vencill's research on health, sexual satisfaction, and feelings of invisibility that can affect bisexual people. Plus, writer Catie Disabato on the word bisexuality, how we identify, the richness of being bi, and how to proceed when you feel new feelings for a friend.
There's so much to female friendship, and it extends far beyond a single bestie bond. When best friend is a category, a whole web of relationships develops. We discuss how to navigate the challenges that can arise between your friend and her friends. Plus, Kayleen Schaefer on the history of female friendship, her book Text Me When You Get Home, and policy changes that can better recognize powerful platonic relationships.