Leadership

Aminatou Sow: My Favourite Things

The co-host of the whip-smart pop culture and politics podcast Call Your Girlfriend talks feminism, trolls and the best beauty routine we've ever heard.

By Angela Ledgerwood

Leadership

The co-host of the whip-smart pop culture and politics podcast Call Your Girlfriend talks feminism, trolls and the best beauty routine we've ever heard.

By Angela Ledgerwood

Friendship is political for Aminatou Sow, co-host of the whip-smart pop culture and politics podcast Call Your Girlfriend and co-founder of Tech LadyMafia, a platform devoted to increasing the visibility of women in tech. Friendship is the fire in which your identity and politics are forged—this is especially true for friendships between women,” says Sow, who has recorded her candid and downright hysterical catch-up conversations with her BFF, Los Angeles-based journalist Ann Friedman since 2014. Their chats range from topics like Beyoncé and gender equality to the “Cheeto in Chief”. Together, they’ve made caring and conversing about politics both cool and crucial—encouraging women’s political engagement by simply being themselves and amplifying the voices of other inspiring women. Here, Sow took a moment away from interviewing the likes of Hillary Clinton and Cynthia Nixon, to share what it means to be an emotional dresser, a good feminist citizen and more.

On Feminism & The Future

An unapologetic feminist knows that feminism is a “movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression”. (Don’t thank me, thank Bell Hooks for this definition.) Good feminist citizenship is rooted in reading and giving credit. An unapologetic feminist reads the work of the feminists who have come before her and gives them credit for their ideas. An unapologetic feminist knows that. She also knows that feminism isn’t simply about empowering women or justifying our daily choices. Feminism is a political movement, it is hard work and the ticket to freedom for every single human being on this planet. Life agenda: Elevating women’s voices and taking my antidepressant every day! Three inspiring women: Pauli Murray and Mickalene Thomas and my favorite Herstorian, Alexis Coe. “No going back” moment: When I quit my job at Google. It was terrifying to venture out on my own, but I knew I was done working at a desk. On evolving career goals: I think more than anything I’ve let go of the idea of having a career, whatever that means. The very nature of what work is, is changing for my generation. I just want to be doing work I love every decade of my life and learning new skills along the way. I’m most hopeful about: Today’s kids and how little shit they take from bigots. Best money advice: Always take the trip!

On Media

Social strategy: Don’t get into fights with nobodies and only share things you’re OK with the whole world knowing about you. Also, always ask for permission before including your friends’ kids in your pictures. Favorite app you have on your phone: WeCroak, it reminds you five times a day that you’re going to die! Favorite people on Instagram: @IFYOUHIGH, @tactilematter, @90sanxiety, @nmaahc, @thesallcollection, @sunujournal I deal with trolls/haters by… calling them at work. Works like a charm. Podcasts you love: Who Weekly, The Nod, Keep It, People are Presidents too, 99% Invisible Must-read feminist books: Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, Feminism Is for Everybody: Passionate Politics by Bell Hooks, Women Who Run with The Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney Cooper, All The Single Ladies by Rebecca Traister, and I Love Myself When I Am Laughing And Then Again When I Am Looking Mean And Impressive by Zora Neale Hurston. Words to live by: “I am deliberate and afraid of nothing” – Audre Lorde. Coolest historic figure: Fannie Lou Hamer. She was an absolute badass and she didn’t let anyone – including presidents – silence her.

Image credit: Instagram @animatou

On New York

Favorite tea shop: Bosie Tea Parlor Restaurant: Jack’s Wife Freda Weirdest New York love: The holiday nostalgia train that runs one Sunday a year between Manhattan and Queens. I stumbled upon it accidentally a few years ago when I was having a particularly challenging day and it was magical. Favorite New York Museum: The Studio Museum in Harlem is devoted to the work of artists of African descent and Thelma Golden, the museum director brings history to life every day there. Dream NYC day: Waking up without an agenda and walking over to Rucola for breakfast with the paper. After that I’ll usually walk over to Books Are Magic, the best bookstore in Brooklyn. I might pick up flowers (right now I’m partial to ranunculus, peonies and some eucalyptus) for my apartment or spend too much money at the Aesop store. I love running into friends on the street and making plans on the fly. I want to be outside as much as possible, drink delicious cocktails and make out with a cutie.

Best of Aminatou

Beauty routine: Wash your face, take your meds, mind your business and drink lots of water. How would you describe your style? I’m a pretty emotional dresser. I don’t plan anything. It all depends how I feel that day and what’s clean. I love natural fibers. I’m not afraid of a loud pattern. I like being comfortable above all else. I don’t keep anything in my closet that doesn’t fit. No need to wait for that perfect body. Dress for the body you have right now. You’ll feel great! Favorite holiday destination: Marfa, Texas. Place you’d like to visit next: Tokyo. I splurge on travel and hand cream. To relax I roll a joint, lie on the floor and listen to records. It’s delightful. Best advice from your mum: Don’t wait for anyone to ask you to do something. Favorite thing about Australia: McIvers Ladies Baths hands down. I fell in love with Australia and can’t wait to be back. Melbourne is next on the list!

 

Main image credit: Anisha Sisodia