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Call Your Girlfriend

Author: Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow

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A podcast for long distance besties everywhere. Co-hosted by BFFs Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow. Produced by Gina Delvac. Brand new every Friday.
288 Episodes
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Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith

2020-08-0749:532

This week we’re taking a break from our Summer of Friendship to bring you a very special guest: Zadie Smith!! Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time, as well as two collections of essays, Changing My Mind and Feel Free. Her latest is Intimations.
Race plays out differently in every friendship. And not all interracial relationships involve a Black person and a white person, but ours does.  As Wesley Morris wrote in his memorable review of the forgettable movie Ted 2: "For people of color, some aspect of friendship with white people involves an awareness that you could be dropped through a trapdoor of racism at any moment, by a slip of the tongue, or at a campus party, or in a legislative campaign. But it’s not always anticipated. You don’t expect the young white man who’s been seated alongside you in a house of worship to take your life because you’re black. Nor do you expect that a movie about an obscene teddy bear would invoke a sexual stereotype forced upon you the way Kunta Kinte was forced to become “Toby.” " Wesley talked with Aminatou about the trapdoors of interracial friendship, Joe Biden, friend breakups, and yes, Ted 2, in an interview we recorded while writing Big Friendship in 2019. Links: Wesley Morris is a critic-at-large for The New York Times and the co-host of one of our favorite podcasts, Still Processing. Wesley Morris on Ted 2 Pat Parker: For the white person who wants to know how to be my friend
We stretch when we grow with, and in response to, a friend. But it can be hard to figure out: How do you know how much to give to a friendship—and take from it? We talk to therapist Jordan Pickell about interdependence and the blurry line between leaning on friends and asking too much of them.
We did not write a “female friendship” book, but we are indeed two women. And our friendship has been both strengthened and threatened by the ways we communicate. We interview linguist Deborah Tannen, whose book You’re the Only One I Can Tell: Inside the Language of Women's Friendships was a touchstone for us—explaining concepts like "story of sameness," one way that some friends bond by finding similarities in each other's lives. Catch the virtual book tour and get a copy of Big Friendship at bigfriendship.com
Big Friendship

Big Friendship

2020-07-1039:062

Days away from the release of Big Friendship, Aminatou and Ann share key definitions from the book and read a passage about a very challenging time in their friendship, early in the life of this podcast. Catch the virtual book tour and get a copy at bigfriendship.com
We learn about young Aminatou and Ann from Faith and Bridget, our high-school besties—who both remain close friends today.
We kick off a summer dedicated to friendship—its joys and its difficulties—as we get ready for the release of Big Friendship. On this episode, we talk about our friendship origin story, and interview our mutual friend Dayo Olopade about how she knew we'd hit it off. Also, we're looking for your voicemails about long-term friendship—stories about difficult patches you've survived, and also your questions for us about keeping friendships strong in the long term. Leave us a message at (714) 681-2943.
Media Reckoning

Media Reckoning

2020-06-1944:284

On the conflict between outward facing antiracist messaging (ads, content, “solidarity” statements) and internal office behavior: who’s hired, who’s promoted, who’s given a raise, how Black people feel at your place of work, whose ideas are supported and welcomed—in media, and beyond.
Gossip Queen

Gossip Queen

2020-06-1201:04:47

We talk with queen of gossip and media literacy Lainey Gossip about the meaning of gossip, the royals, how covering celebrity has changed, knowing your worth in your work, and the empire she's launched her site LaineyGossip.com.
Police Abolition

Police Abolition

2020-06-0556:456

It's been a week. Amid uprisings and violent police suppression, we turn to Mariame Kaba. Mariame is a longtime police and prison abolitionist, educator, and organizer who has been doing the day-in, day-out work of activism and opposing state-sponsored violence since the early 2000s. If you've been wondering: what's police abolition? what's prison abolition? why not simply reform or defund police departments? how do I commit myself to racial justice? what does a post-police future look like? is there room for hope? ...this episode is for you.
Whimsy and Elegance

Whimsy and Elegance

2020-05-2956:482

The inimitable Maurice Harris joins us to discuss his creative origins, how he started using flowers in art, being a small business owner in the time of corona, and his new show Centerpiece.
Joe Biden Problems - Part 2

Joe Biden Problems - Part 2

2020-05-2201:00:10

In the second of two parts, we discuss Tara Reade's sexual assault allegation against Joe Biden with Vox's Laura McGann who spoke with Tara when she came to her in 2019 with a different complaint about abuse of power in Biden's Senate office. Plus, how Biden makes progressives complicit in his pattern of non-consensual behavior, why you may or may not vote for him, and how we can be re-center survivors in our discourse. Links: Laura McGann on reporting out Tara Reade's allegations Tarana Burke's tweets Rebececa Traister on the Biden Trap for women politicians Stacey Abrams' Biden endorsement AOC's Biden comments
Throughout public life, Joe Biden has claimed to stand for women. His long career from the Senate to the Vice Presidency to presumptive Democratic nominee can paint a very different picture. In the first of two episodes, we discuss key moments that give us pause about Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr. 1991: Biden mishandles Anita Hill's testimony during Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearings as chair of the Senate Judiciary committee.  1994: Biden uses the Violence Against Women Act as character witness, a shield from backlash against his treatment of Professor Hill. VAWA was situated within the crime bill and tended to focus on training law enforcement and judges, stopping short of addressing the broader scale of violence women confront. 2016: Speaks at the United State of Women conference to a packed room of gender equality advocates, among them untold numbers of survivors, and us, describing his work on the Violence Against Women Act and recounting numerous instances of violence against women in borderline lewd, graphic terms. 2019: Announces his campaign and calls Anita Hill. Professor Hill was not impressed with his apology and shared some pointers for how he might make amends. Throughout his career: inappropriately grabs, touches and hugs women in congressional offices and the campaign trail. Links: Biden's role in the Clarence Thomas hearings in 1991 Violence Against Women Act in 1994 Biden speech at the United State of Women in 2016 Lucy Flores on Joe Biden kissing her head in 2014 CYG Episode 33: Low Key Creep in 2015 Joe Biden "just likes giving hugs" Biden's non-apology to Anita Hill in 2019
Things That Scare Us

Things That Scare Us

2020-05-0846:011

From snakes to ocean waves to people's unstated political ideologies, we talk about our fears. Plus, journalist Eva Holland on how fear lives in the body and her new book where she unwinds trauma, phobia, and grief.
Resilience

Resilience

2020-05-0152:062

What allows people to endure and try again? In the first of a series tackling big ideas that are helping us get through these deep-feeling quarantimes, we talk with Lulu Miller about a scientist who lost everything - again and again - and somehow was never fazed. Plus, Amina's love of country music, and how friendship is a beautiful unexplained anomaly in an often-selfish world.
Get Counted

Get Counted

2020-04-2429:27

The U.S. Census is underway and - if you just started snoozing, gently nudge yourself awake. This once-a-decade opportunity to be counted. Why? As Jeri Green of the National Urban League tells us, the Census is used to determine everything from how Congressional seats states get to federal funding for student loans, and much more. And now you complete it online. It's especially important for people from marginalized communities to get counted. Go to My2020Census.gov to fill out the quick and easy from and tell your besties!
The legendary Fran Tirado is here to tell us what to watch and where we can stream it.
Wow, No Thank You

Wow, No Thank You

2020-04-1056:131

We talk with national treasure Samantha Irby about her hilarious and confident writing about all of her foibles and insecurities. From dealing with money and contracts, to love, her white stepchildren, and her fondness for TV's Judge Mathis, Sam is the antidote to all of our cooped-up sadness right now. Her latest book, Wow, No Thank You is out now.
Read Me

Read Me

2020-04-0351:44

Our book is finally available (for pre-order at least)! Aminatou and Ann discuss the making of Big Friendship, writing in a single voice, and the vulnerability in a deep creative partnership. Plus, how to support your local indie bookstore, and even more reading recommendations from Emma Straub. And we talk with Adeline Dieudonne about her novel Real Life, just translated to English, and Ashley Woodfolk about her new YA novel about a friend breakup, When You Were Everything.
Spring Books 2020

Spring Books 2020

2020-03-2744:01

Books are one of our go-to ways to stay sane, when bored, cabin-feverish or stressed out. And there are so many great authors and bookstores who need our support right now. At the moment, we're curled up with Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb and Thin Places by Jordan Kisner. Pro tip: if buying books isn't possible for you right now, your local public library probably uses the Libby app to get audiobooks and e-books to you, even while branches are closed. Links Nobody Will Tell You This But Me by Bess Kalb Bess is hilarious on Twitter Thin Placesby Jordan Kisner Jordan's recent Atlantic article on reiki Amina is also reading... Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby Save Yourself by Cameron Esposito Ann is also reading... Glitter Up the Dark by Sasha Geffen Look by Zan Romanoff Bess is reading... Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey Elena Ferrante in lieu of taking melatonin Jordan is reading... On Immunity by Eula Bliss
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Comments (21)

daisy

Lord. all white people with black friends should give this a listen

Aug 7th
Reply

Nm

I loved this episode :)

Jun 14th
Reply

daisy

ugh bad bullying bosses make the world worse

Feb 2nd
Reply

daisy

the title!

Jan 10th
Reply (1)

daisy

powerful and brave

Dec 28th
Reply

daisy

I'd been feeling kind of bored with #CYG but this was a great interview with Samantha Power

Oct 25th
Reply (1)

Aya Kaufmann

I feel like Ann didn't enjoy that Thomas s English muffin commercial enough

Apr 12th
Reply

Nm

Really liked the podcast the transparency

Mar 10th
Reply

Cristina S

amazing episode

Mar 2nd
Reply

Arjun Singh

You make me fun, lol

Jan 29th
Reply

Baraschwa

Why do some people whisper on podcasts?! It's impossible to maintain a comfortable volume!

Nov 10th
Reply

Nancy Lapus

took my sch

Oct 1st
Reply

Nancy Lapus

you to go you to my Gail no keep my mind devil until Jay into school Lego on ours full let it heal

Oct 1st
Reply

Cristina S

Um fantástico episódio. Aprendi imenso.

Sep 3rd
Reply

Papyrus🔅

boring

May 1st
Reply

Tori Flores

I just listened to your first podcast...and I love you both! This makes my drive to and from work so much more fun. Thank you for entertaining me and putting a smile on my face.

Sep 15th
Reply

iTunes User

It's like getting two brilliant, hilarious, aesthetically RIGHT ON women comb the internet obsessively and tell me each week what happened. A critical service!

Aug 30th
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iTunes User

Somehow Ann & Amina manage to be both relatable and original in all of their musings. Discussion topics that you suspect will be superficial or strictly humorous end up taking very smart and profound turns. They're just a blast to hang out with, and I always walk away with a great piece of wisdom, article recommendation, new song, and general sense of sisterhood. And--I laugh out loud multiple times per episode. Thanks, girlfriends :) :)

Aug 30th
Reply

iTunes User

This is, without a doubt, my favorite podcast. Period. (Ha). My only complaint is that I wish it were longer, and more frequent. But these ladies are busy, and hardworking, so I'll take what I can get! I love their refreshing advice, and intelligent perspectives. Thank you much, Aminatou and Ann, for your unflinchingly feminist voices. It pains me to encounter so many women trying to be cute, and exclusively appealing to the male ear (gaze?) in so many female-led podcasts. This podcast speaks to the honest, unapologetic, high-achieving side in every woman, and it should be celebrated. Shine on, ladies.

Aug 30th
Reply
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