77. Women Talking

Kaylia and Chris talk about institutionalized abuse, power dynamics, and how this very evocative book and beautiful movie find a way to be optimistic in the face of some of the worst parts of humanity.

Trigger Warning for rape, sexual abuse, (against both children and adults) and domestic violence etc.

Women Talking (2018) is a novel by Canadian writer Miriam Toews. Toews describes her novel as “an imagined response to real events,” the gas-facilitated rapes that took place in the Manitoba Colony, a remote and isolated Mennonite community in Bolivia: Between 2005 and 2009, over a hundred girls and women in the colony woke up to discover that they had been raped in their sleep. These nighttime attacks were denied or dismissed by colony elders until finally it was revealed that a group of men from the colony were spraying an animal anesthetic into their victims’ houses to render them unconscious. Toews’ novel centers on the secret meetings of eight Mennonite women who, on behalf of the other women in the colony, must decide how to react to these traumatic events. They have only 48 hours before the colony men, who are away to post bail for the rapists, return.

In 2022, the novel was adapted into a film of the same name, written and directed by Sarah Polley and starring Rooney Mara, Claire Foy, and Frances McDormand.

Cohost: Chris

Chris is an outspoken activist, writer, DJ, and radio host. He makes the world’s best cheesecakes, loves his husband and his cats, and recently discovered the thrill of Escape Rooms.

Chris and Kaylia cohost the It’s A Queer Thang on the first and third Fridays of the month.

This Pages and Popcorn Podcast episode was produced by Kaylia Metcalfe and featured “Pages and Popcorn Podcast Theme” performed by M.D. Arms, Kaylia Metcalfe, and The Kiddo-Cat

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Sources and Links

NY Times review

Review from The Guardian 

A less-than-favorable review from Jacobin.com 

Really great points from The Cut

Domestic Violence and Faith Communities from NY.gov

Resources for survivors of religious abuse 

Interview with August Winter who played Melvin




Underground Girls of Kabul

It’s A Queer Thang episode with our Lillian Faderman interview.

Woman: The American History of an Idea by Lillian Faderman

Published by kayliametcalfe

Queer,loudmouth,skeptical-agnostic-pagan,book addict,coffee lover,wine drinker, SAHM,writer,editor,producer,podcaster. -She/her

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