Episode 3.9 Dungeons & Dragons & Feminism

FUN FACT November is my least favourite month of the year for all kinds of reasons, and by the end of this month I’m usually pretty worn down and exhausted (this year being no exception, as the quality of my vocal production in this episode demonstrates).  But in this episode, instead of telling you how tired I am, I’m going to tell you about something that I use to nourish my weary self and make sure I’m spending time NOT working. And while we’re at it, Kaarina is bringing you extra cozy vibes and reminding you to stay warm! Links!

Download Episode / Transcription To Come

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. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded and produced by Hannah McGregor on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Episode 3.8 There’s Secret Feminism Under Everything (including lawyering) with Gloria Ng and Colleen Elden

This week’s episode is the first ever live Secret Feminist Agenda, recorded at the VPL as part of the Vancouver Podcast Festival. Don’t worry though, we all sound great and the sound of laughter/applause really adds something special. I’m considering having an audience at all future recordings. Anyway, I sat down in front of sixty of my closest friends to talk to criminal defence lawyers Gloria Ng and Colleen Elden about charter rights, feminist friendship, and whether the law is a tool that can be bent towards justice or is inherently aligned with the oppressive function of the state! Fun! Links!

Download Episode / Transcription To Come

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.  Gloria and Colleen’s theme song is “Criminal” by Fiona Apple.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded and produced by Hannah McGregor on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Episode 3.7 Refuse: CanLit in Ruins

Okay I obviously don’t normally use this podcast to promote my side hustles but I want very badly to tell you about this project I’ve been working on for the past year and a half, and which launched just yesterday! Refuse: CanLit in Ruins is a collection of essays and poems and dialogues and stories that tackle the contemporary state of Canadian literature, that interrogate the link between CanLit and systemic forms of power and violence, and that imagine our way forward into something else, something better. I’m so proud of this book, and so moved by the generosity and brilliance of the contributors. If you’re interested in literature in general or Canadian literature in particular, you should read it! And because I love the contributors very much, here’s a (selected) list of other work available by them:

  • Keith Maillard’s new book, Twin Studies, is “an engrossing, timely, and contemporary novel about the bonds between twins, about sexuality and gender fluidity, and about the messy complexities of modern family life”
  • Tanis MacDonald’s Out of Line: Daring to be an Artist Outside the Big City “looks at our societal preconceptions about the artist lifestyle and examines how real artists fit into the everyday world”
  • Gwen Benaway’s poetry collection Holy Wild “explores the complexities of being an Indigenous trans woman in expansive lyric poems”
  • You can preorder Alicia Elliott’s new book, A Mind Spread Out on the Ground, “an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma”
  • Sonnet L’Abbé’s most recent chapbook, Anima Canadensisis available through Junction Books (but it’s limited edition, so go get it now!)
  • Kai Cheng Thom’s poetry collection, a place called No Homeland, and her children’s book, From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, are both available from Arsenal Pulp Press
  • Chelsea Vowel has an incredible book, Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis & Inuit Issues in Canada, which “explores the Indigenous experience from the time of contact to the present, through five categories – Terminology of Relationships; Culture and Identity; Myth-Busting; State Violence; and Land, Learning, Law, and Treaties”
  • Phoebe Wang’s poetry book, Admission Requirements, was deservedly nominated for like a bajillion prizes last year; “the speaker in these poems is engaged in a kind of fieldwork, surveying gardens, communities, and the haphazard cityscape, where the reader is presented with the paradoxes of subsumed histories”
  • Joshua Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed was long listed for the Giller Prize and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction (for those outside of Canada, these are big deals!); it’s “a tour-de-force debut novel about a Two-Spirit Indigiqueer young man and proud NDN glitter princess who must reckon with his past when he returns home to his reserve”
  • I could keep making this list forever but this is already the longest show notes ever but seriously the contributors to this book are so brilliant and talented and you should look them all up!

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. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded and produced by Hannah McGregor on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Episode 3.6 Dismantling the Patriarchy Has to be a Vocal Game with Clayre Sessoms

Content warning for discussions of sexual assault and transphobia.

Like so many good things, this episode started one way and ended up another. I invited Clayre to chat about singing, and we ended up talking about community and harm and silence and what we do (or don’t do) to feel like we belong. Oh, and we talk about performative allyship, which is so complex a topic I could probably make an entire season about it, but in the meantime here are some LINKS:

  • There are about a million things to read about the complexities of allyship and performative allyship, including work on the shortcomings of symbolic gestures like safety pins, rejections of the idea of allyship altogether, and this excellent episode of Code Switch on “Safety-Pin Solidarity” which includes the priceless phrase “those getting the allyship done to them”
  • And since we’re also talking about singing in a group and how great it is, here’s a piece about singing in a group and how great it is
  • We don’t talk about this much, but I allude to Sara Ahmed’s work on complaint, specifically thatWhen you expose a problem you pose a problem. “
  • I wasn’t sure what to post on the topic of the asking of invasive questions, and how for some people sharing your story becomes the cost of admission, and then I remembered this excerpt from Layli Long Soldier’s incredible poem “WHEREAS”:
    • WHEREAS we ride to the airport in a van they swivel their necks and shoulders around to speak to me sugar and lilt in their voices something like nurses their nursely kindness through my hair then engage me as comrades in a fight together. Well what we want to know one lady asks is why they don’t have schools there? Her outrage empathy her furrowed brow. There are schools there I reply. Grade schools high schools colleges. But why aren’t there any stores there? There are stores there. Grocery stores convenience stores trading posts whatever what-have-you I explain but it’s here I recognize the break. It’s here we roll along the pavement into hills of conversation we share a ride we share a country but live in alternate nations and here I must tell them what they don’t know or, should I?

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.  Clayre’s theme song is “Duetto Buffo di Due Gatti.” It’s this version specifically,  but you should probably always go watch this video of small boys singing it.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded and produced by Hannah McGregor on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Episode 3.5 Ableism and Doing a Bit Better Every Day

It’s been another rough week, folks! But rather than getting bogged down in despair at the seeming indestructibility of the goddamn patriarchy, I’m think about something that brings me a little bit of hope: the generosity of critique, and the possibility of doing a little bit better every day. That’s something we can all manage, and it’s something that makes me feel a little less impotent. You know what else is hopeful? Kaarina’s beautiful meditation on the pleasures of fall. Here are some links!

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. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded and produced by Hannah McGregor on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Episode 3.4 Parenting, Mental Health, and Drinking Wine in a Rec Room with Marcelle Kosman

Content warning for discussions of mental health, depression, and infertility.

This episode opens with me explaining the entire premise of Secret Feminist Agenda to my long-term collaborator and dear friend Marcelle Kosman, because Marcelle does not listen to Secret Feminist Agenda, and the fact that my love for her is unimpeded by this negligence is a good sign of just how much I care for this human being. If you aren’t already a fan from Witch, Please, our formerly-fortnightly podcast about the Harry Potter world, then you certainly will be after you listen to her frank, vulnerable, and hilarious discussion of parenting, mental health, and the places where the two intersect. Here, have some links:

  • I was googling around and found this glorious manifestation of Marcelle and my friendship, which is clearly based on both of us being adorable rather than knowing one another particularly well.
  • My googles also led me to this great essay that Marcelle wrote, prior to the birth of Eliot, about baby showers and the disciplining of the female body. Oh, and it also explains my Foucault reference, so definitely read it!
  • And here’s a beautiful piece by feminist icon Anne Thériault about mothering with mental illness.
  • And, okay, here’s one more link, about raising your kids not to be fatphobic, which is only kind of related to this episode, but it’s still about raising kids to be compassionate and it’s such a great series so just go read it.

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.  Marcelle’s theme song is “Postdoc Blues” by John K. Samson, and you definitely need to go watch the beautiful video for it.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded and produced by Hannah McGregor on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.

Episode 3.3 Reading for Alternative Futures, or Hannah’s Sad Bookclub

this is the face I make when I’m having a bad week

Not quite a content warning but definitely a heads up, that I’m talking a little bit this week about death and grief and apocalyptic despair. But only a little! Mostly I’m talking about the books that have been not just blowing my mind this year, but helping me to think differently about death, loss, climate change, and other hard topics. I’m talking Afrofuturism and Indigenous Futurism, queer horror, magical realism, and the way the work of queer, trans, and BIPOC writers opens up possibilities outside of the ideologically oppressive structures of Western narrative!!! Links!

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. Follow me @hkpmcgregor, follow Kaarina @kaarinasaurus, and tweet about the podcast using #SecretFeministAgenda.

Secret Feminist Agenda is recorded and produced by Hannah McGregor on the traditional and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.