Episode 2.1 White Feminists & Listening to Criticism

Content warning for discussions of sexual violence and depression.

It’s time to bring back cat-and-lipstick selfies, isn’t it?


As you’ll hear, we’re undergoing some format shifts in this, our second season, including a new division between minisodes (like this one) and interview episodes (starting next week). In this, the first of our new minisodes, I talk to you about the importance of learning to take criticism well, especially if you’re a white woman with a public platform. Kaarina joins us for the first Self-Care Corner of the season, complete with new introductory music, to talk about being sad. If you want to follow up on the stories I talk about, here are some links:

  • First, I promised to link to this episode of Witch, Please so that you can hear Marcelle’s beautiful apology.
  • I don’t want to link you to all the garbage written by garbage people, so instead I’m going to recommend you read three brilliant pieces by three brilliant women of colour about Atwood’s white feminism (and how it may have been evident in her work all along).
  • Also, for an impeccable primer on UBC Accountable and related issues, read Zoe Whittall’s “CanLit Has a Sexual-Harassment Problem”
  • Have you been following Lindy West’s columns for the New York Times? They’re all great, but her piece about Aziz Ansari this week is a striking model of historicizing feminist activism.
  • Atwood’s appropriation of Roxane Gay’s “bad feminist” is a good reminder to go read Bad Feminist. We all need a little more bad feminism in our lives.
  • And why don’t you finish up by watching this scene from The Simpsons?

Download Episode / Read Transcription

The podcast theme song is “Mesh Shirt” by Mom Jeans off their album “Chub Rub.” Listen to the whole album here or learn more about them here. is Kaarina’s theme song is “I Will” by Mitski. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.

4 thoughts on “Episode 2.1 White Feminists & Listening to Criticism

  1. Pingback: Women on Top: The (Not So) Changing Nature of Power in a Capitalist Postfeminist Academe – Hot Mess: Nasty Feminisms in Performance

  2. Hi, this is the first of your podcasts that I’ve listened to. I’m doing a project in my women studies class about ethical social media activism, we had to pick a couple people who are active on social media to follow and you’re one of the people I’ve chosen. I love how diverse your episodes seem to be. In relation to this episode, I think it really summed up the point of my project. The idea that powerful people can use their power, any kind of power, their race, gender or rank, to hurt other people on social media and other platforms is why I’ve been assigned this project, to learn to ethically contribute to the discussion on social media platforms without abusing my power. I enjoyed this episode, I found the way you worded the issue very instructive, while it was something that I knew occurred on a daily basis I’d never fully thought about the impact these people can have, but you’ve got me thinking so thank you.


      • I’m a student at the University of Calgary my prof is Rebecca Sullivan. I was hesitant about the project in the beginning and it took me a while to get going. I was dreading having to read and listen to topics expressed in a negative and abrasive way. I’ve found that especially through your podcasts I’ve been able to enjoy the project more than I thought I would because you approach difficult themes with humour and positivity.


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