Episode 4: Equal Rites

Happy full moon–and lunar eclipse! For our fourth episode, we’re throwing it back to a classic: Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett.

Our theme song is “Moon and Spruce” by Sarah Littledrum.

Here’s a listening guide for the episode. (For a description of our segments, go here.)

Introduction (0:00 – 3:20)

Which Craft? (3:20 – 29:35)

“Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” (29:35 – 47:46)

  • Reading magic through gender identity
  • Reading magic as socially assigned labor

Related Links

Overview of Gender Studies

Traditional Gender Hierarchy*

Male as Norm

Gender Master List: A Glossary of Gender Identities

“Bald Heads and Queer Noses” (47:47 – 1:00:15)

  • Decoding bodies through visual cues, especially clothing (#robegate)
  • Racebending and the benefits and drawbacks of foregoing racial signals

“Round About the Cauldron Go” (1:00:15 – 1:18:00)

  • Connection between magic and the natural world (bees!)
  • Real world magic (headology and the power of will)
  • More bees!

Final Spells (1:18:10 – 1:24:00)

Blooper Reel (1:25:00 – 1:26:50)

*Relevant quote from source above: “Women have traditionally been associated with the senses in Western culture, and in particular, with the ‘lower’ senses. Women are the forbidden taste, the mysterious smell, the dangerous touch. Men, by contrast, have been associated with reason, as opposed to the senses, or else with sight and hearing as the most ‘rational’ of the senses” (Constance Classen, The Color of Angels: Cosmology, Gender, and the Aesthetic Imagination, 1-2).

Next month (Sep. 6) we’ll be discussing Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. See you then!

Episode 3: Wonder Woman

For our third episode, we are excited to bring you our discussion of the 2017 film Wonder Woman! There will definitely be spoilers. (There are also spoilers for Captain America: The First Avenger.)

Here’s a listening guide for the episode. (For a description of our segments, go here.)

Introduction (0:00 – 7:13)

  • Amazons as witches
  • Brief history of the Amazons
  • Significance of the Wonder Woman film

Related Links

The Amazon Women: Is There Any Truth Behind the Myth? (Smithsonian Magazine)

Ukraine’s Asgarda: Reinventing the Amazon Warrior Women

The Strange, Complicated, Feminist History of Wonder Woman’s Origin Story

Wonder Woman Breaks Records: Biggest Live-Action Box Office Hit by Female Director

Which Craft? (7:17 – 21:54)

  • Filmography and stylistic choices/ visuals
  • Costumes
  • Score
  • Screenplay and structure
  • Casting

NB: One thing we meant to talk about, but didn’t get to, was how much of a role Chris Pine/ Steve Trevor was given, considering he was the love interest/ sidekick. (See McDorman’s review, linked below, for more about how Trevor is centered in the story.*) We also forgot to talk about Robin Wright!!! Nooooo!

Related Links

Wonder Woman: Armor vs. Underwear & Why it Matters

Wonder Woman’s Amazon Origins Detailed in New Movie Art

Joss Whedon and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Script

*Is Diana Really the Hero of Wonder Woman? A Review by G.L. McDorman

“Are You a Good Witch or a Bad Witch?” (21:58 – 39:55)

  • Representation of people of color and minorities
  • Representation of women in the film
  • Female villainy
  • Diana’s characterization

Related Links

My Soul Looks Back and Wonders: A Critical Examination of the Wonder Woman Movie

Eugene Brave Rock Reveals Chief is a Demi-God Too

Black Panther Teaser Trailer

“Bald Heads and Queer Noses” (40:00 – 53:05)

  • Ares (and his hipster mustache)
  • Steve Trevor (and his nudity scene)
  • Amazons (and their non-sexualized skin)
  • Lesbian and bisexual representation
  • Body positivity
  • Working bodies and scars
  • Disability and disfigurement

Related Links

How Disfigured Villains like “Wonder Woman’s” Dr. Poison Perpetuate Stigma

“Round About the Cauldron Go” (53:10 – 1:03:49)

  • Dr. Poison as witch figure
  • Chemical warfare and drugs
  • Women in science
  • Ares’s environmental argument

Treguna, Makoidees, Trecorum, Satis, Dee!” (1:03:55 – 1:16:41)

  • Creation of the Amazons
  • Creation of Diana
  • Diana’s self-discovery and empowerment
  • Parallels to the Eve and Satan story
  • Parallels to the Goddess Artemis/ Diana
  • Love as the central theme

Final Spells (1:16:45 – 1:27:12)

  • Amazon Queen Hiera
  • Women’s activism today

Related Links

The 11 Biggest Marches and Protests in American History

Race and Feminism: Women’s March Recalls the Touchy History

Women Warriors: Myths and Legends of Heroic Women

Penthesilea (the Amazon who fought at Troy)

Wonder Women Have Been Smashing the Patriarchy Since Classical Times

Blooper reel (1:27:07 – 1:28:41)

  • Literally just a minute of us laughing

 

In August we’re discussing Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett. See you on the next full moon (Aug 7)!

Episode 2: Akata Witch

Happy full moon! Our second episode is a discussion of Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor.

Here are some links and resources you might find useful:

Non-Traditional Plot Structure

African Storytelling: Rethinking the 3-Act Structure

Plot Without Conflict (Kishōtenketsu)

Interview with Mercy Akide-Udoh

Serena Williams wins the Australian Open while pregnant

Becca Long: First woman to receive a college football scholarship

AllNigerianRecipes.com

Jainism

Next month, we’re doing Wonder Woman! The episode will be posted on July 9. See you then!

Episode 1: A Discovery of Witches

Our first episode is a discussion of A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. We would like to dedicate it to Marcelle Kosman and Hannah McGregor of Witch, Please. Thanks for inspiring us!

Trigger warning: assault, rape, domestic violence

Note: As writers and creators, we know how difficult it is to produce good art. Our comments are not meant to belittle or censure. Rather, we believe in deconstructing and critiquing the things we love, and we hope that our attempt to engage critically with these texts can help our listeners generate productive discussions and insights about themselves and the social structures in which they operate. Please feel free to join the conversation on our Twitter page!

Here are some links and resources you might find useful:

Violence Against Women (womenshealth.gov)

Is This Abuse? (loveisrespect.org)

Bechdel-Wallace Test

Sexy Lamp Test

Katie’s Blog Post: Improving Female Representation in Fiction

Next month, we will be discussing Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. The episode will be posted on June 9. We hope to see you then!

Introduction

We recorded this introduction to the podcast–and ourselves–as part of our first episode but ended up cutting it due to time constraints. If you’re interested in learning more about us, then give it a listen. (You can also visit our About page.)

And for your enjoyment, here is our theme song, “Moon and Spruce,” written and performed by the talented Sarah Littledrum, in its glorious entirety.

Thanks for joining us!