Anita Sarkeesian, Feminist Frequency Radio


Cool Tools Show 142: Anita Sarkeesian

Our guest this week is Anita Sarkeesian. Anita is a media critic and the host of Feminist Frequency Radio. She has a new book called History vs Women, which she wrote with Ebony Adams.

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Show notes:

Free calendar scheduling
“You know when you’re trying to schedule a time to meet with someone, and you do 20 back and forth emails to find the date and time that works for everybody? It is the most annoying thing especially for those of us who are just in meetings all the time. So earlier this year, I found this app called Calendly and what it is, is you just send a link and then the other person finds the time on your calendar and just automatically schedules it. It’s like heaven. The way it works is you put in your calendar constraints. So, if you want to have availability open from nine to five, Monday through Friday, you do that. You can also change it and be like, ‘Oh, I’m not available from one to five or whatever might be.’ It’s very customizable, and then it only shows the other people the dates and times that you are available. It’s awesome. … I think there’s premium versions where you can have more people, but in my experience I’m just using it one-to-one. So, it definitely works that way. I’ve also seen people use it who work in a customer service scenario where they’re scheduling meetings to introduce new clients to their product or what have you, and so they set it up and then they’re just like, ‘Here, pick your time that works.’ I’ve seen people use it for events. So, if you’re at a conference and you’re scheduling a bunch of meetings, you can use it that way for that week to make sure that everyone can just schedule in and it’s not all these back and forths.”

Instant Pot
“The Instant Pot is a slow cooker, pressure cooker, rice cooker. It’s a multi-tool thing in your kitchen that lets you cook kind of everything. It is remarkable. I actually had the instant pot sitting in my house for a couple of years and never used it, and I finally pulled it out earlier this year, and I don’t know why I waited so long. You can make so much with it so quickly. You can sauté in it. You can do roasts in it. You can make soups. I boil eggs in it. I make the most perfect soft-boiled eggs every time. I love it. .. You could put 20 eggs in it and it will be absolutely perfect every time, because it’s the exact same pressure and there’s no juggling when did the water start boiling and all of that stuff. I come from a family where my mother has every single kitchen gadget known to humankind. I somehow end up with all of these kitchen gadgets, and this is a one-stop shop. You don’t need a rice cooker, and a pressure cooker, and a slow cooker, and all of these different things because it literally does everything. I actually just heard from a friend who for some reason her building isn’t going to have gas for a while. So, she’s switching to the instant pot as her primary tool for cooking. I’m seeing more and more cookbooks coming out. I just got one that was this 25 Affordable Easy Instant Pot Recipes. So, this is becoming kind of a craze and a thing that people are using. We’re seeing more and more experimentation and more and more options of how to use it.”

Packing Cubes
“I am a little bit neurotically obsessed with packing efficiency. I will sometimes go through YouTube rabbit holes of the best way to pack things. It’s kind of a problem but also I travel so much, and I hate checking in luggage. I don’t like to bring a lot of stuff, so I am constantly looking for more efficient ways of bringing the least amount of things especially when I’m going on month long multi-city trips. So, packing cubes are one of the things that I started introducing into my travels. They’re basically like little bags, and instead of just folding your clothes up and throwing it in the suitcase, you fold your clothes up and you stick them in these little bags, and it lets you pack in more, more efficiently. …You can make them sit in whatever ways, which is this nice tidy collection. So, if you do have to pack a little bit more and don’t want it sort of popping out everywhere, these bags help contain it. I particularly like a brand or rather a style, and the brand that I use is Eagle Creek. They’re a little more stable and structured in size as opposed to once that are more flimsy. You can pack them, you can just fold your clothes as you would and stuff them in or you can roll your clothes. There are lots of different ways to use them.”

The Gender Knot: Unraveling our Patriarchal Legacy by Allan G. Johnson
“This is a book that I always have. Once I read it for the first time, I was like, ‘This is foundational and instrumental to my feminism, to my activism work,’ and the reason I love it so much is because it takes these very big concepts of systems of oppression. In this case specifically, talking about patriarchy and distills it down into very easy to understand language. It takes it out of the theoretical academic realm and explains it in ways that’s really easy for folks to understand, and I found it to be so instrumental in my understanding, or the early days of understanding feminism that I highly recommend it to everyone who wants to get a better sense of what is patriarchy. What are systems of oppression? How do they affect you? How do they affect our world, and what do we do about it? .. It doesn’t make it any simpler. It just makes it more accessible. It uses language that we can understand. It makes it more available to more people instead of keeping it trapped in these academic spaces.”

Also mentioned:

History vs Women: The Defiant Lives that THEY Don’t Want You To Know
“We profiled 25 women who have been erased from history. The book actually came out of a series that we did at Feminist Frequency called the Ordinary Women where we told the stories of five women that we thought were very interesting and that we wanted other people to learn about. So, with History Vs. Women, we obviously got to tell more stories and dive in a little deeper. I think one of the things that this book does is we’re trying to root the fact that women have been written out of history and the erasure of women’s experiences, women’s lives, women’s contributions to our contemporary time and the way women are treated today. So, we write in the book about why you should care about these women. Why you should care about these forgotten stories and how it affects us today and in the future. It was really important to us to be intersectional in the way that we approach the women that we chose. It is intergenerational, so we tried to do a very wide span of history, and we tried to look globally as we could.”

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