Political Flavors


Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 51: Melanie D’Arrigo

Posted in Podcast Episodes on May 19th, 2020
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Melanie D’Arrigo

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We interviewed Melanie D’Arrigo who is running for Congress in NY’s 3rd District. She faces Tom Suozzi in the primary election on June 23.

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Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Ansaldo.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

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Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 48: Obstacle Course

Posted in Podcast Episodes on February 20th, 2020
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Obstacle Course by David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe


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We interviewed David S. Cohen and Carole Joffe about their new book “Obstacle Course: The Everyday Struggle to Get an Abortion in America.”

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Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Ansaldo.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

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Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 45: Donna Freitas and “Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention”

Posted in Book Reviews, Podcast Episodes on November 18th, 2019
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Donna Freitas and “Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention”

Subscribe to the podcast in Apple Podcasts

Feminist Coffee Hour on Stitcher

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Listen to episode in browser/Right click to download file

This month we interviewed Professor Donna Freitas about her new book “Consent: A Memoir of Unwanted Attention.” 

Join us for an engaging interview, as Freitas tells us her story about an important topic.

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Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Ansaldo.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 21: Pregnancy Discrimination

Posted in Podcast Episodes, Pregnancy And Motherhood Thinkpieces on November 9th, 2017
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Pregnancy Discrimination

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We interviewed Caroline Piela-Cohen, an attorney with the NYC based law firm Crumiller PC to talk about gender and pregnancy discrimination, paid leave in New York State and more.

Discussed in this episode:

Crumiller PC Law Firm Website

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Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Carpenter.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Feminist Coffee Hour Podcast Episode 19: Anastasia Bodnar, GMOs, and Gendered Food Panic

Posted in Editorials, Podcast Episodes on September 21st, 2017
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Anastasia Bodnar, GMOs, and Gendered Food Panic

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We interviewed Anastasia Bodnar of Biofortified to talk about the Science March, GMOs and the way food panics target women in general and mothers specifically.

Discussed in this episode:

Anastasia’s blog

Genetically Modified Foods Revisited

North Carolina Hog Farms Spray Manure Around Black Communities; Residents Fight Back

Popular Remington 700 rifle linked to potentially deadly defect

Panic Free GMOs by Nathaniel Johnson – Grist

Genetically Modified Broccoli Shrieks Benefits At Shopper

Farmworker Justice: Pesticide Safety

Millennials want more facts about their food

Science Moms Documentary

Bottled Up

Senate confirms Perdue as agriculture secretary

5 Sketchy Facts About Trump’s Pick for USDA Chief

Sociology of the March for Science

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Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Carpenter.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 18: School Based Health Centers and Girls Inc

Posted in Editorials, Podcast Episodes on June 8th, 2017
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School Based Health Centers and Girls Inc

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We interviewed our friend Robin who works in a school based health center and the awesome nonprofit Girls Inc.

Discussed in this episode:

School Based Health Centers

Girls, Inc.

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Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Carpenter.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

Feminist Coffee Hour 17: Lindsay Beyerstein’s Care in Chaos

Posted in Editorials, Podcast Episodes on May 25th, 2017
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Lindsay Beyerstein’s Care in Chaos

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We interviewed Lindsay Beyerstein about her upcoming documentary “Care in Chaos” which is the story of two abortion clinics in red states and how their relationships with police impact access to reproductive healthcare.

Discussed in this episode:

Rewire

Tape Reveals Nixon’s Views On Abortion

Lindsay’s new podcast, The Breach

Lindsay Beyerstein on Twitter

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Feminist Coffee Hour is now on Patreon.

This episode was edited by Brianna Carpenter.

Our theme song is composed by Bridget Ellsworth, check out her sound cloud page!

We’ve joined the Apple affiliate program. If you’re going to sign up for Apple Music, please do so by using this link.

What To Read To Your Kid During The Trump Administration

Posted in Book Reviews, Editorials, Personal Essays, Pregnancy And Motherhood Thinkpieces on January 20th, 2017
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My son is still a baby by but I try to read to him every day. He doesn’t understand the words yet but he likes looking at the pictures and hearing my voice. In some ways I’m glad I don’t have to explain Donald Trump to him yet, and my heart goes out to parents who do. When I was a kid I liked topical books like “How My Parents Learned to Eat” and “The Lorax.” My Dad gave me a copy of Jack London’s “The Scab” when I was about ten. And I plan on continuing the tradition of including political books with my own son. Here’s some kids books covering themes that may come up in the net few years:

For Very Little Ones
A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
An alphabet board book which covers the A-Z of activism from “Advocate Abolitionist Ally” to “Zapatista of course.” Some people may balk about introducing radical politics to young children. But I love this book. I will unapologetically share my Unitarian Universalist faith with my son, and he’ll be hearing a lot of these words at coffee hour after services, or while I’m playing “Democracy Now!” in the background of a quiet day at home. So why not read him this remarkable book of rhymes about activism?

For Your Budding Feminist
Rad American Women A-Z by Kate Schatz and Miriam Klein Stahl
About a year before I had my son, I reviewed this book on Goodreads: “This book is amazing and I want to buy a copy for every child I know.” Children will enjoy learning about historical figures they’ve heard of and those they haven’t. Although it’s written for children, it does not hold back. It begins, “A is for Angela. Angela Davis was born in 1944 in Birmingham Alabama into a neighborhood known as ‘Dynamite Hill’ because a group of racist white men called the Ku Klux Klan often bombed the homes of black families who lived there.”

The authors have also written a sequel “Rad Women Worldwide.”

For The Elementary School Age Peacemaker
The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan
This is a simple story of two girls who are best friends, one white and one Arab, but who secretly think each other’s food is gross. You can probably guess what happens next. It’s a sweet story with charming pictures.

If Things Get Really Bad
The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss
Dr. Seuss wrote this during the Cold War, and it’s an unflinching look at the prospect of nuclear war through the eyes of a child. I read it when I was about 11 in 1994. By that time, both the Berlin Wall and the USSR were things of the past. For children who lived through times where the prospect of mutually assured destruction was very real, this book was much more relatable. It’s also a good tool to teach kids about allegory and how literature can simplify real world problems into stories we can talk about.

Feminist Coffee Hour Episode 15: Post Election Analysis With Amanda Marcotte

Posted in Podcast Episodes on December 15th, 2016
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Post Election Analysis With Amanda Marcotte

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Amanda Marcotte of Salon.com joins us to discuss the results of the general election. This episode was recorded on Sunday November 27, 2016.

Discussed in this episode:

Amanda Marcotte at Salon.

What So Many People Don’t Get About the U.S. Working Class [Harvard Business Review]

Donald Trump’s Supreme Court will be a real threat to labor — and that’s going to hurt the Democrats

Alabama approves right-to-work measure

What Trump Could Mean for Women in Business (and It May Not Be What You Think)

Is Bernie Sanders’ Our Revolution over before it even began?

Eleanor Roosevelt Legacy Committee

Progressive Change Campaign Committee

Where Coal Was King, Pa. Voters Hope Trump Rejuvenates Their Economy

Donald Trump’s New York Times Interview: Full Transcript

Slate Star Codex – You Are Still Crying Wolf

Trump’s big infrastructure plan? It’s a trap.

Asch conformity experiments

Trump is a real threat to women — but it will be tougher to eliminate abortion rights than he thinks

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Why I Gave My Son My Husband’s Last Name

Posted in Editorials, Personal Essays, Pregnancy And Motherhood Thinkpieces on November 21st, 2016
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Push the button?

Six years ago, when my husband and I got married, I did not change my last name. I’ve written about the subject and discussed it on my podcast, twice. I didn’t see a good reason to change my name – it was a lot of work for no perceived benefit and historically a sexist custom. I did ask my husband if he would like for both of us to hyphenate but he declined, considering the effort that would take. So neither of us changed our names.

“But what about the children?!” people have asked me. I did consider giving our child a hyphenated or double barrelled last name. And if either my husband or I had done that I would have done so in a second. I am fond of saying that in Latin America many people have two last names and no one bats an eyelash. It’s a great custom which preserves both halves of a child’s heritage and I have no aesthetic qualms about it. Unfortunately in the United States many of the people I know with hyphenated last names face a bureaucratic nightmare that neither my husband nor I were willing to face. As we rejected the paperwork and red tape of having two last names in a country where this is seen as an odd choice, I hesitated to give my child a hassle I didn’t want for myself.

There was the option of giving my son my last name as his middle name, a custom I also like. But I preferred to give my son the middle name of my great uncle who was a wonderful man – charming, kind, generous and who maintained his sense of humor and his appetite for candy and scotch sours until the last days of his 95 years.

And so it seems I was giving my son only one last name. It could have been mine. But I chose to give him my husband’s last name alone for several reasons. I think parents who choose to give their children their mother’s last name are doing the hard work of defying a patriarchal custom. And as I will explain, it is work.

There is no logical reason why in the United States and other Western countries we give children only one last name and it’s always their fathers. The reason is our cultural taboo about paternity. We name children after their fathers as a way of signaling paternity. Not counting astronomically rare hospital mix-ups, as a fact of human biology, mothers are certain which children are theirs. And although we could easily replace last names with the paternity tests of modern medicine, they’re just not as salient as a last name.

Imagine two birth announcements:

Ms Mary Smith and Mr John Jones announce the birth of their son, Michael Jones, born October 1, at 12 noon, 8lb 20in

or

Ms Mary Smith and Mr John Jones announce the birth of their son, Michael Smith, born October 1, at 12 noon, 8lb 20in. A paternity test confirmed that John Jones is Michael’s father.

Doesn’t have quite the ring, eh?

The feminist argument that if a woman carries a child for ~40 weeks and then goes through childbirth and recovery she should name them after herself as a tribute to the work of pregnancy is a very good one.

But it ignores the cultural context in which we live and asks women to push the large red button labeled “PATERNITY TABOO.” People will quickly assume that a child named after their mother was named thusly because their father was absent at the time of birth, or that her current partner is not the biological father. They may even go on to assume that the child was the product of infidelity.

I was more than willing to take any ignorant or sexist comments for not changing my name when I got married. But I’m unwilling to take an action in the name of my feminist ideals which may cause people – however uninformed, or malicious – to reflect poorly on a child who cannot consent to my political action. And I do believe that under the current political climate, giving a child their mother’s last name is a political act. I would also prefer not to be put on the defensive about my fidelity to my husband for the rest of my life. I appreciate that some families are willing to take this on, but I do not want to take on the burden of signifying my resistance to patriarchy in this way. My choice is not feminist. Just angst savingly expedient.