The episode you have all been waiting for is here! Part Two of Anne and Virginia talking all things genocide and Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In case you didn’t catch the first part (which you should check out), we are continuing to discuss the legacy of Residential schools and the genocide of Indigenous People. This report is a must read for all settlers because it is written by Indigenous people and for Indigenous people. It was written by Justice Murray Sinclair, Chief Wilton Littlechild, Dr Marie Wilson, and many others who bravely shared their stories. The full report called Survivors Speak but many other reports have been published by the TRC including, The 94 Calls to Action.Read More
To celebrate… nahh fuck your party. This week on Underwire, Anne and Virginia discuss the report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) regarding Residential Schools and the genocide of Indigenous People. This report is a must read for all settlers because it is written by Indigenous people and for Indigenous people. It was written by Justice Murray Sinclair, Chief Wilton Littlechild, Dr Marie Wilson, and many others who bravely shared their stories. The full report is over 2000 pages and is called Survivors Speak but many other reports have been published by the TRC including The 94 Calls to Action.
In this episode, Anne and Virginia unpack some of the 94 calls to action and discuss the context of these calls to action. Throughout the episode we discuss a wide range of Indigenous issues but if you would like more information, we encourage you to check out the following resources. More importantly, we think that you should read the full report - to find out why, you should tune in. We also sought to highlight Indigenous stories by reading aloud selected excerpts from the report. The stories in the report really bring the issues to life and shine a spotlight on Indigenous Voices.
Lastly, we inducted Pamela Palmater into the League of Extraordinary Women! She is a strong Indigenous woman who has been fighting for her people in a multitude of ways. She is an educator, activist, lawyer, leader, and incredibly talented. Pamela Palmater, we admire you.Read More
This week on Underwire Alice and Peggy got contributors across Canada to talk all things PRIDE since June is officially Pride Month!!!
We asked our guests to answer any and all of these questions:
- How do you identify and do you feel all of your identities are represented and included at Pride?
- Tell a story or share a memory you have from Pride.
- What do you love and what do you hate about Pride?
- Why is Pride political to you?
- What event should we hit up this year?
We are honoured to have these amazing guests contribute to the podcast: Tynan Rhea, Justina, Layla, Leah, Mandi, Trish, Lori, Phil, Nicole Ysabet, and Nivie Singh. They shared their stories and feelings about what Pride really means to them as queer people.
Suggested events are linked below:
- Yes Yes Y'all Dance Party - June 23rd
- Pride Prom - June 19th
- Rude Collective presents: Black. Nuance. Shade - June 16th
- Nuit Rose - June 16th & 17th
- Vancouver Dyke March - July 30th & Toronto Dyke March - June 24th
- The March On Pride Vancouver - June 25th
The sick beats featured in this week's episode are:
- George Michael - Freedom '90
- 5kinandbone5 - wut
- Mykki Blanco - Feeling Special
- RuPaul - Supermodel
- Ricky Martin - Livin' La Vida Loca
- Sylvester - You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
- Tegan and Sara - Stop Desire
- Cher - Believe
- And especially Rae Spoon - DangerDangerDanger
Thank you to all our amazing contributors and HAPPY PRIDE!!!!!!!!!!!
Our very first episode of Underwire was about all things Bras & Boobs . . . except, well, we didn’t cover ALL things since there are so many different ways to experience breasts and bras.
This week, with the help of some very cool contributors, we’re revisiting this sometimes bittersweet topic, this time with new insights, perspectives, and experiences to share. You’ll hear from Ripley, a trans woman, and Zee, who had breast reduction surgery as a teenager. Virginia’s sister returns with a mother’s perspective on breasts, podcaster Angelica of 3 Thick Girls shares her Ode to her mother and her boobies, and lastly, you’ll hear Anne interview her aunt, a breast cancer survivor.
We showcase Our Lady J, a trans singer-songwriter, TV writer, and pianist for what you should be listening to. Check her out!
Thank you to these fantastic contributors for sharing their stories with us! We can’t wait for you to hear them!
If you want to share your bra or boob story, we'd love to hear it! Email us at email@example.com.
We have an all-new A-cup episode out on sex in pregnancy and postpartum!
A few weeks ago, we released a Parenthood episode that included interviews with a Choice Mama, a single Mama and a hopeful Trans father to be. As part of expanding our knowledge on parenthood, we asked a friend of ToFemCo – the brilliant Tynan Rhea – to interview with us on sex in pregnancy and postpartum.
Tynan Rhea works here in Toronto as a doula, aromatherapist, and counselor specializing in sexual and reproductive health. In the interview, she tackles some of the many myths and stigmatization that individuals have experienced while pregnant, and goes further into the topic of postpartum from our Parenthood episode.
Find more info on: www.tynanrhea.com
Holy fuck! It's been a whole year since we started this podcast. To celebrate, step back in time with us and listen again (or maybe for the first time!) to our stories about our bras and boobs.
Reminder: our follow-up episode featuring new perspectives is still accepting submissions! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or submissions.
This week on Underwire, we are celebrating the contemporary family unit.
With both Mother’s and Father’s day around the corner, ToFemCo’s Virginia tackles what it means to be a family in 2017, and the complex relationship many have with their own caregivers. The nuclear family is a thing of the past, yet in our consumer society, we still witness ads and commercials that do not reflect our diverse reality.
Virginia explores some of the problematic aspects of these Hallmark “holidays” that undoubtedly subscribe to a cisgender and heteronormative worldview. Whether it is single parenthood, trans or queer parenthood, polygamous parenthood, or no parents at all – there is no cookie cutter image that encapsulates a family.
The episode includes 4 guest speakers; a single mother, a trans man and hopeful father-to-be, a choice mother, and ToFemCo’s Anne’s mother speaking on her experience with postpartum depression. Each brings a unique and emotional story, and takes time to address some of the many challenges that are unique to their own parenting.
As a celebratory conclusion, the episode ends with a collection of voices from around the community to give thanks to the parents, guardians, and caregivers in their lives. Tune in now for all of the feels.
Holy fuck, it has now been almost one year since we started this podcast! To celebrate, we wanted to revisit the topic from our first ever episode.
In Episode 1: Bras and Boobs, ToFEMco members shared personal essays about our relationship with our boobs and bras as a way of introducing ourselves to the world. We shared good and bad memories, moments that made us love our boobs and other moments that made us feel shame, and everything in between.
For our one year anniversary episode, we’d like to focus on perspectives we didn’t cover in our first episode, including but not limited to:
Trans and nonbinary folks
Breast cancer survivors and/or someone who’s had a mastectomy
Someone who’s had breast reduction surgery
People with disabilities
If you have experiences from these or any other perspective, we’d love to hear from you! Submissions and questions can be sent to email@example.com.
Recording can be done on a mic, laptop, phone — whatever you have access to! Written submissions are also welcome for the blog. Feel free to include your social media tags if you would like to be tagged, or submissions can be sent anonymously or with an alias, whatever you’re comfortable with.
Submissions are due by Sunday, May 14 at the latest.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Happy 4/20! With the new legalization timeline from Trudeau, we felt it was the perfect time to discuss women & weed. In this episode of Underwire, we hear a variety of voices from the members of TOFemCo alongside some knowledgeable counterparts. We go in-depth about the multifaceted world of weed – the stigma, uses, preferences and experiences we’ve had.
Peggy and her friend Roberta join us all the way from their trip to South America to talk about smoking pot, how weed can help you bond with friends and community, what they like to do while high and especially what tv shows they like to watch and highly (ha!) recommend.
Frida chats with our friend Trish (who you heard on Episode 15: Black Girl Magic) about their very different experiences with weed, as well as Trish’s take on the culture from the perspective of a Caribbean woman.
Also, did you know it’s poetry month? For this episode's pop culture pick, Karin shares some of her favourite poetry by Jamila Wood to celebrate the month.
Anne is honoured to induct Attorney Lauren Vázquez into our League of Extraordinary Women. Vázquez is the badass behind Fired Up Lawyer, a team specializing in helping cannabis businesses navigate the sometimes murky legal world of weed. She's also a social entrepreneur who has worked for over a decade to end cannabis prohibition and advance alternatives to the failed war on drugs. Vásquez served as a Senior Advisor and Statewide Organizer for the Prop 64 campaign. She has advised numerous cannabis companies and organizations and has worked with cities and counties for years to develop local licensing for cannabis businesses. Plus, she’s a Professor at Oaksterdam University and previously served as the National Deputy Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project. Wow.
What do you think about the upcoming legalization measures for marijuana in Canada? Live somewhere else and want to share your perspective? We'd love to hear about your experiences with weed, good or bad.
In light of the Trump administration’s decision to roll back on the environmental initiatives set in place by President Obama, this episode is all about the environment. In this episode of Underwire, Sylvia and Georgia talk about environmental feminism, its history, and ecofeminists who have inspired grassroots activist movements around the world. They delve into the intersectionality of ecofeminism as well as criticisms of the movement, and discuss the popular association of femininity with nature.
Sylvia and Georgia also chat about current events and environmental politics: the Dakota Access Pipeline, the water crisis in Flint, Trump’s terrifying effort to bring coal back, and where Trudeau stands on the environment.
This week, Frida inducts Honduran human rights and environmental activist Berta Cáceres into the League of Extraordinary Women. Cáceres was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize in 2015 and tragically murdered in March 2016.
For this episode of Underwire, Hermione and Georgia discuss the rewarding, but often difficult practice of self-care and its even more elusive sister, self-love.
Self-care is always beneficial, but it is especially essential for those who do a lot of emotional labour. In response to the fact that we are now living in the darkest political timeline, many people are becoming involved in activism for the first time and current activists are putting in even more hours fighting the good fight. With social media lending a hand, many are experiencing serious burnout, and finding a way to practice self-care is on everyone’s mind. So what exactly is self-care, what is it not, and why is it so damn hard sometimes?
By sharing with you their own struggles and triumphs with self-love, making a list of “ingredients” for good, effective self-care, and talking through the benefits and barriers associated with some popular self-care methods, Georgia and Hermione hope to dip their toes into the muddy waters of this complicated subject and hopefully, come away a little clearer.
In celebration of Buffy the Vampire Slayers 20th anniversary, the women of Underwire are professing their love/hate relationship with a show we once thought annihilated the patriarchy. The popular American TV series turned comic book, now on its 11th season, has been known for its unequivocally feminist ideals and putting women first. However, like many hit TV shows, Buffy failed in many ways to represent a diverse and intersectional cast. ToFemCo members Kaylee and Virginia address several issues we unveiled in one of our favourite TV chronicles, and how we came to acknowledge our enjoyment of something problematic.
Along with our critique of Buffy and her all-white vampire slaying gang, we challenge the lack of diversity in popular TV shows and movies of today. Over the past two decades, there has been little movement in progress for the Superheroes and Supershe-roes of popular entertainment enterprises such as Marvel, DC and Darkhorse, and for a genre widely loved by younger viewers, the lack of representation is troubling. We address storylines that are disguised as progressive, but upon a closer look show covert displays of racism, misogyny and rape culture. Underwire is raising the stakes for what it means to brand a TV show, movie or comic book – feminist.
Amongst all the dismantling and disavowing, there is some hope in the dark. While overall we are dissatisfied with the lack of progress, Frida shares some positive news for some upcoming changes at Marvel. Also, an exciting new edition of “Are They Real or Are They Fake?” has Kaylee asking Alice some puzzling questions on things you may find surprising to discover in the world of comics.
We are also pleased to announce a new contributor this week, Hillary! This week Hillary will be taking on our pop culture review for the award winning film Hidden Figures. It is undoubtedly worth mentioning three legendary women from NASA in our She-roes episode.
If you have any other recommendations of shows similar to Buffy, but with enhanced diversity in mind, please let us know on social media. We’re always looking for new shows to fall in love with.
Thanks for listening!
This week on Underwire, we're celebrating Black History Month and Black Girl Magic.
As Huffington Post’s Julee Wilson brilliantly explains in this video, Black Girl Magic is a term used to illustrate the universal awesomeness of black women. It can be used to celebrate the general awe-inspiring nature of women like Serena Williams or Viola Davis, but it can also be used for everyday moments of magic, like wearing natural hair or killing it at work.
The title for this episode perfectly reflects the unique perspectives of our five black contributors this week: D, Trish, Catriona Smart (Coco & Cowe), Amal and Sedina Fiati (artist and activist). Each woman represents the smart, magical awesomeness of black women in their own different ways.
Listen now to hear the ladies induct Phoebe Robinson of Sooo Many White Guys into the League of Extraordinary Women, while also discussing growing up black and biracial in Canada, beauty norms, Issa Rae's show Insecure, racism, allyship and so much more.
The hosts of Underwire explore femme friendships in all of their complicated, difficult, and beautiful forms. Anne and Alice guide you through personal stories that discuss our past, present, and future femmeships. If you want to start the femmeship revolution, join us at the Steady on Friday February 10th at 8pm when we host Galentines. It is pay what you can (suggested donation of $5) and you can get tickets online or at the door.
2016 was a pretty shitty year overall but Kaylee reminds us of the moments to celebrate. TOFemCo members also share their own favourite feminist moments. Here's hoping for a better 2017!
Note: this is our last episode of Season 1! Thank you so much to everyone who listened, emailed, engaged or inspired us in any way.
We'll be back again in February for the launch for Season 2. Stay tuned, and stay motivated, feminists!
On Wednesday November 23rd, Peggy moderated a panel with some of the contributors and editor of the new book You Care Too Much: Creative Women On The Question Of Self-Care at the book's launch at The Steady Cafe in Toronto.
The panelists you'll be hearing from regarding self-care are: Erin Klassen - writer, editor, and publisher of the anthology; Jen Spinner - art director; Angela Lewis - photographer; and Kathryn Bondy - florist and artist.
Erin started soliciting submissions from women in her peer circle (17 in total, including herself) on the subject of self-care and decided to make an anthology and release it through the indie publishing house she founded With/out Pretend.
Check out this great interview with Erin to find out more!
Read our book review of You Care Too Much on our blog.
This week, Frida and Georgia sit down to talk about race and whiteness, Amal honours legendary journalist Gwen Ifill and Peggy makes her pop culture picks.
At Underwire and TOFemCo, we want listeners to know we stand with the protesters who are rising up, organizing and demonstrating against hate and prejudice in their country. We also support and are proud of all of the people who are making every effort to protect more marginalized groups by showing solidarity and putting their bodies on the line to protect those most affected. Most importantly, we are thinking about all of the women, Muslims, people of colour, Latinx, LGBTQ folks and more affected by the rise of hate.
Recently, we had a meeting here in Toronto to discuss how the election results make us feel and what we can to prevent this from happening in Canada. Already, one of our friends who lives in a smaller town outside the city has seen a friend be harassed just for walking down the street, a cup full of urine thrown out a car, narrowly missing her head.
Some of the points in our action plan, to help those in the US and our fellow Canadians, were as follows:
- Donate to progressive organizations. One idea is donating to Planned Parenthood in Mike Pence’s name. We can include the address on our blog post for this episode.
- Protest in your city and let racists know this will not be tolerated. However, we do not recommend protesting in Toronto this weekend.
- Paint over any Swastikas or racist graffiti you might see. A Swastika can easily be converted into a Windows 95 logo!
- Verbally let the women, and people of colour in your life know that you are there for them. Act on this if you witness injustices happening to anyone, anywhere. Support and believe those online who share their stories.
- Engage people with opposing views to try to understand their thinking, in a non-judgmental way, if you feel safe doing so. Ask them why they feel this way and empathetically try to share your point of view. You never know how you could change their perspective.
- #MakeItAwkward. A campaign started by Jesse and Julia Lipscombe in Edmonton calls on us to confront racism head-on when we see it taking place, even if it makes it awkward among friends and family. Especially if you hold a privileged position in the group you’re in where this happens, or if you are the same race, gender, etc. as the harasser. They’re likelier to take you more seriously if you call them out in a tactful, patient way.
- Don’t make excuses. We’re tired of hearing “Oh I know a Trump supporter. But deep inside they’re a good person.” That may be true. But whoever you know who voted for him put their own, possibly privileged, interests ahead of the lives and safety of millions of other Americans who may have their rights infringed upon or taken away from them. As Kumail Nanjiani tweeted after he was harassed by Trump supporters in an LA bar, at best, Trump supporters overlooked racism and sexism from their presidential candidate. Now, they are part of a group either committing these acts of violence, encouraging them or turning a blind eye.
Last but not least, if you have personally encountered racism, please tag us in your story. We want to support you in any way by retweeting or offering a compassionate ear, thereby showing those who think we’re overreacting. Trump’s win has serious repercussions in the US, Canada and globally.
"Okay, Fine. Here's What You Should Do Post-Election." Huffington Post
"Canada's racial divide: Confronting racism in our own backyard." The Globe & Mail
W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu's Politically Reactive
NPR's Code Switch
Trump, Brexit and racism: Why Canada isn't immune to racist rhetoric on CBC's The Current
Music featured on this episode:
Solange - Cranes in the Sky
A Tribe Called Quest - We The People
The US Presidential election is over and everyone is still reeling from the results. Anne is here to talk about her feelings and getting ready to fight once more. If anyone wants to check out the inspiration of this episode, go to Jay Smooth's video called, 'Trump's America: What Happens Now?'. Be well in our brave new world.
Music: Grand Canyon by Ani DiFranco