Ann Friedman and Aminatou Sow live in Los Angeles and San Francisco, respectively, but the distance isn’t a challenge for their podcast Call Your Girlfriend, where listeners can eavesdrop on their phone chats about Kanye Twitter rants, Democratic campaign strategy, and period panties. On Sunday, they’re bringing their conversations to a sold-out live recording at Sixth & I with Maryland Congresswoman Donna Edwards.
Washingtonian: How did you meet?
Sow: Ann and I were invited to a Gossip Girl viewing party by a really good mutual friend of ours who also lived in DC at the time. We had a blast that night and then hung out again the next day, and now we‘re still friends.
You were wearing a homemade Chuck and Blair shirt, right?
Sow: I was. I really like that shirt. I still have it.
Do you miss anything about living in DC?
Sow: My favorite part was definitely our friends. We met some really cool people while we were there—just this mix of really smart, nerdy, very fashionable ladies. Definitely miss the free museums and just how walkable everything is. Things I don’t miss: working in politics, paying taxes, and getting no representation in Congress.
Friedman: I would add the weather to the list of things I don’t super miss.
What’s it been like trying to converse about this election season?
Sow: It’s kind of perfect because more than anything, this year feels like a reality TV show. So I think that it just goes back to that sensibility that we have—we understand the seriousness of it, but when you’re just talking to your friends about it, the other stuff is what you care about more.
Friedman: We take it seriously and we’re very aware that elections have consequences and all the other things you learn firsthand when you’ve lived in DC, but not so seriously that we can’t see that absurdity in it.
So you guys talk about periods a lot on the show. Why do you think it’s important to talk about?
Friedman: We’re both people that get periods. A lot of our listeners are women, a lot of those women get periods—it’s a fact of life. It’s weird that it’s not constantly discussed elsewhere, so we discuss it.
Sow: It’s so absurd that people don’t talk about it when literally it effects us for multiple days every month for large chunks of our lives. Everybody should talk about periods. Period stigma is real, and it has serious consequences for a lot of women.
Is there anything you guys don’t talk about on the show?
Sow: Not really. No bad-mouthing Oprah, but that’s it.
What else are you both up to outside of the podcast?
Sow: I’m just trying to stay above water, man. I’m a digital consultant, so I’m just trying to grow my consultancy. I also lead a group for women and tech called the Tech LadyMafia. That’s its own little growing community, and it’s super fun.
Friedman: Like Amina, all three of us [including producer Gina Delvac] who do the podcast are self-employed, and on any given day or week it can look really different what each of us are doing. But it’s nothing too glamorous.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.