Ever feel like you have no idea what to make of the media's coverage of China? How do we separate truth from xenophobia? What does it mean to be "tough on China?" And how do we look beyond news reports and politics to see the nuance inherent in a nation of 1.4 billion?
This episode of Femtastic features Dori Jones Yang, an expert who has spent her entire career helping Americans better understand China.
Dori helps us separate fact from fiction and see China for what it is: not a monolith, but a complicated, imperfect, impressive, and wildly resilient nation.
She explains China's place in the geopolitical environment; what they got wrong and got right about coronavirus; the good and the bad of China's powerful central government; American diplomatic policy towards China (past, present, and should-be-future); and what to make of China's rise.
Jones Yang's new book, When the Red Gates Opened: A Memoir of China’s Reawakening, tells of her experiences as a young foreign correspondent in China during the 1980s, a time marked by the both the euphoria of a post-isolationist China and the despair of Tiananmen. Learn more and find her memoir wherever books are sold.
After the execution of George Floyd earlier this year, Black entrepreneur, mother, and activist Lydia Elle found herself answering lots of questions from the white women in her social circles. They wanted to know how to teach their kids about racism, how to understand the world of parenting through the eyes of a Black mother, how to raise anti-racist kids, and how to talk about racism to their friends and family. Eventually, these conversations inspired Lydia to launch courses like "A Black Mother's Answers to White Women's Questions," and merchandise store Supplies for Allies so that these conversations were accessible to everyone.
In this interview, Lydia discusses what led her to this work, the kinds of questions she answers in her courses, and the most common mistakes she sees well-intentioned people making when trying to be allies. She talks about how she navigates the emotional toll of her work, offers guidance for white people who may want to ask questions of their Black friends about racism, and provides a frame for thinking about the tokenization of Black people in white anti-racism work and spaces. Lastly, she offers advice for how white people can start on their journeys towards becoming anti-racists and how that work can be sustained (hint: check out her free Anti-Racist Advent Calendar this month)!
Imagine if you could easily get your birth control over-the-counter, just as you do with other safe, effective medicines like Tylenol and cough drops. Today's guest is Aisha Chaudhri, a reproductive justice advocate and leader of the Contraceptive Justice Project at EverThrive Illinois, who is working to increase access to comprehensive contraceptive care - including by making oral contraceptives available without a prescription.
In this episode, Aisha discusses why more methods of contraception should be made available over-the-counter (OTC) and the reasons why the United States is one of the few countries in the world where they are not already (hint: it's not for any scientific reason).
Aisha explains how increasing the availability of OTC methods of contraception creates greater equity in healthcare by increasing financial and physical access to these medications, and allowing people to care for themselves outside of a clinical setting and regardless of insurance status. Aisha tells listeners what they can do to help make OTC oral contraceptives a reality in the US.
Robyn Gigl is a transgender attorney and activist focused on protecting and expanding the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. In this interview with Katie Breen, Robyn describes the impact the Trump administration and recent Supreme Court rulings had on LGBTQ+ rights and discrimination protections, and what she sees as the legal (and political) challenges and opportunities ahead as we head into the Biden administration. Robyn describes her own experience of transitioning as a transgender woman in 2008, when she was in her 50s and a managing partner in a law firm she had worked at for 30 years. Lastly, she offers thoughtful advice on how heterosexual and cisgender people can be better allies to the LGBTQ+ community.
Visit Robyn's website to learn more about her and to preorder her upcoming novel, By Way of Sorrow, available on March 30, 2021.
In the wake of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death and Trump's nomination of judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the resulting vacancy...we have a lot to discuss.
Lawyer Kimya Forouzan revisits Femtastic to talk to host Katie Breen about the significance of Amy Coney Barrett's nomination. What are her potential paths to appointment? Is there anything we can do about it? Why is her role on the court so concerning? Is Roe v. Wade doomed? Find out all this and more.
Resources from the show:
How do we change not only the stereotypes of who is a scientist, but the systems themselves that have created and perpetuated these stereotypes? Katie discusses with the hosts of the Webby-nominated Dope Labs podcast, Drs. Titi Shodiya and Zakiya Whatley.
Dope Labs isn't your typical science podcast because Titi and Zakiya are not your "typical" scientists. In fact, these two black women scientists are on a mission to break the mold of what we think of as a "typical" scientist.
The Duke University-trained PhDs created Dope Labs to empower those who are most often left out of scientific fields: women and people of color. The hosts bring their whole selves to exploring scientific questions, bringing a Black lens and a penchant for pop culture to make science relatable and fun. This is reflected in their broad range of topics, such as astronomy, "cuffing season," why the concept of biological race is a lie, and vibranium (the fictional metal from "Black Panther").
On today's Femtastic Podcast, Titi and Zakiya explain why it's so important to speak about science in a way that anybody can understand and how they want to empower people of color to bring their whole selves to scientific careers. They also talk about how we must strive beyond the goal of mere "representation" of people of color in science and instead think about how we create systems and cultures that allow marginalized people to have the power, freedom of expression, and respect that majority groups get by default.
"For us, it’s just about having folks feel like they can show up as their for-real selves to their slice of the scientific community, and not have to change themselves or hide parts of themselves because they feel like it will be something that holds them back in their career."
The Supreme Court of the United States just released long-awaited decisions on two highly consequential reproductive rights cases. In June Medical Services v. Russo, the court weighed in on whether states can enact a specific type of sham law to limit access to abortion care (TLDR; they said not *that* type of law but others might be cool). In Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania, the court decided whether your (yes, your) private employer or university can deny coverage of birth control based on their religious or moral beliefs (spoiler: yes, even if you don't work for a religiously-affiliated organization). Suffice it to say that these two decisions have HUGE implications for reproductive rights in the United States. On the podcast to break it all down is attorney Kimya Forouzan, a legal fellow of reproductive rights law organization If/When/How who is currently working within the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF). Kimya explains what happened in these cases and what it all means for our reproductive rights moving forward.
RESOURCE MENTIONED IN THE EPISODE:
For anyone with questions or concerns about their birth control coverage, particularly in light of the decision in Little Sisters of the Poor, the National Women's Law Center (who worked on the amicus brief for the case) runs a free hotline called CoverHer to help triage any birth control insurance coverage questions.
Amidst all of the COVID-19 news, one thing you may have missed: anti-choice lawmakers have been seizing upon the opportunity to use coronavirus as an excuse to enact abortion restrictions. Femtastic host Katie Breen speaks with Ravina Daphtary of abortion rights organization All* Above All about the methods lawmakers have been using to use COVID-19 policies to restrict abortion access. They also discuss how the issues of racial injustice, COVID, and reproductive rights are all tied together - and how those intersections are playing out in current events.
Want to learn more about the Hyde Amendment? Listen to Femtastic episode #21: "How the Hyde Amendment Harms Women" from November 2017, featuring Morgan Hopkins of All* Above All.
In the wake of #MeToo and several high-profile sexual harassment cases in the news, many of us are left wondering...what can we do if we think we're the victim of sexual harassment or gender discrimination at work? What options do we have? How do we protect ourselves AND our careers? Attorney Vince White joins Femtastic Podcast to help guide us through these questions. White is a partner at a NYC law firm specializing in sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace. In an interview with Femtastic host Katie Breen, White details what sexual harassment and gender discrimination may look like, what options victims have for both non-legal and legal recourse, and what they may expect from the process. White also talks about how #MeToo and Trump's election have changed the makeup of the clients that seek his help, and how his field of law still has a long way to go in terms of the gender makeup of its attorneys and adequate representation of transgender clients.
Sometimes, your kids get on your nerves. But how parents respond in those situations is incredibly important to their children's development and their own mental health as parents. Hunter Clarke-Fields is a mindfulness mentor, host of the Mindful Mama podcast, and author of the new book "Raising Good Humans." In an interview with Femtastic host Katie Breen, Hunter shares how parents can teach themselves practical mindfulness skills so that when their kids inevitably press their buttons, they can respond in a less reactive and more loving way. While this is obviously great for kids, Hunter also explains how in a world with ever-increasing pressure on parents to be "perfect," getting out of the reactivity-guilt cycle is a lifeline for parents too. Hunter likes to ask, "Can we love ourselves into being better parents?" The answer is yes.
Caitlin Blunnie started publishing her art as @liberaljane on Instagram in 2016. She has since gained a huge following by creating art that serves as (literally) colorful social commentary on issues of bodily autonomy such as abortion rights, queer liberation, and justice for survivors of sexual trauma.
Katie Breen interviews Caitlin on Femtastic to discuss how she got involved in "art as activism," what inspires her, how to support other artist-activists, and how to get involved in activism of your own making (artistic or otherwise).
Katie Breen interviews Farah Melendes, the first-ever Political Director for the Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA). As the head of campaign services for the organization in 2018, Farah supported DAGA’s success flipping four AG seats blue, keeping eight open seats blue, and reelecting six incumbents. On the podcast, she discusses how DAGA succeeded in electing the most diverse group of Democratic AGs in history, their recent 1881 Initiative to elect more women AGs, how DAGA became the first Democratic campaign committee to require candidates be pro-choice in order to be eligible for endorsement, and why it's so important that AGs reflect the diversity of the populations they serve. Farah also offers her advice for women interested in becoming involved in politics.