This episode originally aired on October 23, 2015. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself? Give me a break. What about being afraid of murder? Indefinite detention? Stand-up comedy? On this episode, we explore some of the many things that make us afraid. The show begins with a story from filmmaker Assia Boundaoui, who grew up in a mostly Arab American neighborhood that was under FBI surveillance. Then, we have two perspectives on feminism and horror films: Writer Leela Ginelle discusses how films like Funny Games and Panic Room tie into real-life fears of domestic violence and film buff Sara Century looks at the history of queer women in horror (bring on the lesbian vampires!). We end the show with comedian Jenny Yang, who explains how the only way to get beyond your fear of getting onstage is to actually get onstage.
This episode was originally released on April 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 today’s episode, we’re queering family values. For a lot of queer folks, the traditional concept of family is wrought with complicated feelings—a lot of blood families refuse to accept or celebrate queerness, so LGBTQ people have in many ways redefined “family” for themselves. I talk with two queer feminist activists about what the word “family” means to them and which “family values” they try to live by and teach. Writer and photographer Margaret Jacobsen and writer Yasmin Nair are two awesome feminist thinkers who have different ideas on what it means to have a family, what it means to get married, and how our ideas of family shape our ideas of the world.
From Metropolis to Westworld, female robots have always played out complicated power dynamics onscreen. While the term “fembots” conjurs up the image of killer mechanical sex-kittens from Austin Powers, cinematic stories about female robots often deal with much darker and deeper dynamics. In this episode, filmmaker and professor Allison de Fren walks us through the history of female robots onscreen in movies like The Stepford Wives, Ex Machina, and Her and how their stories revolve around issues of power and control. Then, for you Westworld obsessives, poet and scholar Margaret Rhee discusses the race and gender dynamics of hit HBO series Westworld. But, of course, robots are all around us in real life, too. Feminist researcher Miriam Sweeney delves into the world of virtual assistants that have female voices and bodies, from the modern Siri to the old-school Ms. Dewey.