Vivek Shraya's new bestseller, I'm Afraid of Men, was called "cultural rocket fuel" by Variety—and for good reason. On this episode, Vivek chats with Mica about what inspired the book and its attention-getting title, why toxic masculinity isn't a very productive term, and how the pursuit of self-love can be exhausting and even demoralizing.
Fainting Couch Feminists
The radiant poet Adèle Barclay is here to discuss furry armpits, fuzzy legs, pretty pubes, and why having hair makes her feel feral and alive! Adèle is all about the pursuit of joy, and shaving just doesn't factor into that joy. We also chat queerness, the politics of hair care, and why grooming in service of a partner can be soul-crushing, totally fun, or somewhere in between. If you love discussions that overcomplicate issues of beauty and womanhood, then oh boy oh girl you're in for a treat.
Laura Anne Harris is a solo performer whose latest show, "Destiny USA," is based on her experiences working as a relay operator for the deaf and hard of hearing. The conversations she heard from strangers across America were at times beautiful, and at times infuriating. Trump says he knows "Real America"? Well, Laura heard it. Also in this episode: how "Nanette" is creating space for more women solo performers, what it's like to be forced to repeat racist remarks on-the-job, and why Glenn Weiss' proposal at the Emmys was . . . kind of a dick move.
This is an alarm clock of an episode because it will wake you up—especially if you've ever claimed to be an "Intersectional Feminist." Lutze Segu is a multi-issue social justice activist and practitioner of Black queer Feminism, who discussed the difference between presenting yourself as a feminist, and actually participating in social activism.
In this absurd and sensual episode, dear friend and performance artist Alexandra Bischoff joins Mica to chat about her former job at The Fantasy Factory (Canada's oldest sex shop franchise) and how it influenced her latest performance art pieces: "Peep Show Pop-Up" and "egg shells, egg shells." Ali also discusses her love of embroidering vintage porno mags, a practice that pays homage to two very traditional forms of female labour: embroidery and sex work.
Today we're talking bodies. Friends of the podcast Jocelyn Tennant (a screenwriter and short fiction writer) and Megan Jones (a model and poet)join Mica in a conversation about how our experiences with fatness and thinness intersect. We also chat about body dysmorphia, binge eating, that preposterous new show "Insatiable," and how nice it would be to live in a world where "fat" doesn't mean "bad."
Mica blazes through the (literally) nuclear history of bikinis, what they have come to mean culturally, and why tiny bathing suits can be simultaneously liberating and oppressive. Mica also delves into her personal history with bathing suits and church camp, her hatred of the bikini-and-high-heels combination, CGI asses on Instagram, and what a vain little product of the patriarchy she used to be.
For better or for worse, it's wedding season! This love fest features Dina Del Bucchia, a writer, rom com expert, and self-identified small town bitch. Dina chats with Mica about how romance is represented on screen (and all the problems with that), how romance is represented in real life (and all the problems with that) and why marriage just isn't for her. Also included: jokes about penises, why "whimsy" is such a misunderstood concept, and why smart people can still enjoy stupid TV.
This episode features an interview with Spanish filmmaker and documentarian Alba Sotorra. Alba's latest film, Commander Arian, follows the title character and her journey alongside the Women's Protection Unit in Syria (the YPJ)—an all-female militia fighting to liberate the city of Kobane from ISIS. Alba chats with Mica about how these women are fighting for their right to exist, how they earn freedom on the frontlines, and why it's so important to solidarize with Syrian women. As Alba says, their fight is our fight, too.
This episode features Mozhdah Jamalzadah, an Afghan-Canadian pop-singer and talk show host deemed "Afghanistan's Oprah" by Time Magazine. In this interview, Mozhdah chats with host Mica about what it's like to prioritize social issues over your own safety (Mozhdah was forced to leave Afghanistan in 2012 because her talk show, which tackled taboo subjects like divorce and domestic abuse, made her vulnerable to extremist threats) and how her singing career was inspired by her political beliefs as opposed to an inherent love of music.
Currently on Newsstands
Room 41.4, Emergence
Edited by Alissa McArthur
In this issue:
Tharuna Abbu, Farah Ali, Kristin Bjornerud, Michelle Chen, Nomi Chi, Morgan Christie, Kim Fu, Hannah Graff, nancy viva davis halifax, Ceilidh Isadore, Liz Kellebrew, Jo Lee, Kris Ly, Melanie Mah, Sara Mang, Katie McGarry, Estlin McPhee, Triin Paja, Loghan Paylor, Nagmeh Phelan, Oubah Osman, Lisa Rawn, Yvonne Robertson, Erika Thorkelson, Cara Waterfall.